Benchmarking analytics in ecommerce marketing. Ecommerce platforms are data machines. From the revenue side to the UX side, there is a wealth of information businesses can use to improve ecommerce sites and increase sales.
Because there are so many sets of numbers to look at, it’s important to prioritise. Knowing the data that most impacts your business will help your team make strategic decisions.
This article is meant to be an overview of the benchmarks you’ll look for in your analytics, sorted by category, many of which will affect your bottom line.
Analytics for Ecommerce
Ecommerce metric benchmarks provide a trajectory (not a hard target) for your goals. Think of them as leading indicators that provide you a crystal ball into which you can see how your business will perform in the future. Businesses that keep a close watch on their metrics have an opportunity to take swift action to course correct and in doing so, avoid negative outcomes.
Frequently, ecommerce businesses measure their benchmarks in terms of percentage growth (or decrease) and pay particular attention to both short-term and long-term trends. Depending on how long you’ve been operational, it may also be useful to measure your performance against broader retail ecommerce industry trends.
However you rate and rank, these analytics are useful in helping you identify seasonal opportunities and shape business, product and marketing decisions.
The analytics ecommerce businesses focus on can be loosely divided into three categories:
- Ecommerce Website Analytics
- Ecommerce Marketing Analytics
- Ecommerce Financial Analytics
Of course, these delineations are conceptual and many subcategories overlap but for the sake of simplicity in this article, we’ve limited it to the first category.
Ecommerce Website Analytics
For online retailers, an ecommerce website is the mothership for the entire business ecosystem. Whether or not it works, how it works and how you track your ecommerce website performance are vitally important data points that can determine whether your business survives or thrives.
All ecommerce businesses should have goals for predictable improvement, and progress against these goals can in many cases be tracked using ecommerce website analytics including:
- Overall site traffic
- Site health
- Site traffic patterns
- Which pages visitors view
- How long visitors stay on a page
- How many pages visitors view
- Increases depending on day of week/time of day
- Device type
- PPC v. SEO
- What are the most effective channels for traffic?
- How many site visitors come from paid ads?
- How much organic traffic does your site get?
- Transaction path length (how many sessions before conversion?)
These numbers help business owners understand how visitors are using their site, where they’re encountering difficulties and how/when/where they drop off. Metrics such as these can also be used to develop a plan of action for improving website performance.
What’s the Norm? Ecommerce Website Benchmarks
Here are some benchmarks for these metrics that can help you measure the health of your own ecommerce website against the average. Keep in mind, these are averages from ecommerce businesses across a range of industries. As such, they should be considered a starting point against which to measure your performance. Over time, the most important thing for your business is to see measurable improvement over your own past performance.
- 43% Organic
- 18% Paid search
- 20% Direct search
- 4% Email
- 5% Social
- 1% Display Ads
- 7% Referrals
- 3% Other
- 53% Mobile
- 37% Desktop
- 10% Tablet
- Average pages per session = 5
- Average bounce rate = 41%
- Average page load time = < one second
- Average session duration = 3 minutes
Transaction paths (how many sessions for conversion):
- 40% in 1 session
- 60% in 2 sessions
- 70% in 3 sessions
- 81% in 5+ sessions
What To Do With Benchmark Analytics in Ecommerce
The trick is using all of the data points we listed above to inform strategic action. Many online retailers collect metrics like this, but many don’t do much, instead choosing to simply “watch” them. Analytics truly become valuable when they are put into action.
When you have a busy retail ecommerce platform, the numbers change every day. Your goal should be to create a system where you’re regularly looking at the right numbers and immediately turning around to make strategic decisions based on them.