By Dennis Last update October 26, 2017 Comments: 3

ecommerce benchmarks

I use a lot of ecommerce benchmarks in my work. With new clients, they are great to put together a plan with projections. With existing clients, they are great to see where we need to step up our game.

This article is centralizes all of the different research and reports that I use.

Quick word about the data: I’ve tried to focus on high quality data from studies with a large enough sample sizes. That said, some of these metrics vary between studies. That has to do with geography, technologic maturity, scale, niche and age of the included stores. That said, it’s a good way to know the ballpark of which numbers you you be hitting.

Traffic sources (by visitors)

  • Google organic: 32%
  • Google CPC: 23%
  • Direct traffic: 21%
  • Email: 1%
  • Facebook organic: 2%
  • Facebook CPC: 2%
  • Bing organic: 1%
  • Other: 16%

Source: Wolfgang Digital Ecommerce KPI Benchmarks
Notes: Traffic sources in Other include everything that drove less 1% of traffic.

Why should you care?
Compare this with your own analytics to see which traffic sources you should have a look at.

Traffic sources (by revenue)

  • Google organic: 35%
  • Google CPC: 25%
  • Direct traffic: 19%
  • Email: 2%
  • Facebook organic: 1%
  • Facebook CPC: 0%
  • Bing organic: 2%
  • Yahoo organic: 1%
  • Other: 14%

Source: Wolfgang Digital Ecommerce KPI Benchmarks
Notes: These benchmarks use last-click attribution. Meaning that this was the last action a customer took before purchasing. The truth usually is a lot less clear cut.

Why should you care?
You might get the traffic from the same sources, but is this also where your revenue comes from? This can be an indicator that the effectiveness of your investments is off. You could be attracting a lot of organic traffic, but get no sales from it. This means that you’re missing critical links in addressing the buyer process.

Many of our own clients have seen great results from Facebook Ads. Not just to drive traffic but also to generate sales. The authors of this study have said that many of the (bigger) retailers in their study have an ‘adoption lag’. Meaning they are running behind on what’s actually happening.

Sales channels (by revenue)

channelpilot-top10-sales-channels-ecommerce-europe-2016

Source: Channel Pilot presentation
Notes: These benchmarks show the revenue shares for comparison shopping engines, market places and social media. The are based on data from 1200, mostly German shops.

Why should you care?
This chart shows some alternatives to the tried and true channels. It mainly shows steady growth for Amazon and comparison search engines like Google Shopping and a couple of up and coming platforms like Stylight and Stylefruits.

Device type (by visitors)

  • Mobile: 52 (vs 36% in 2016)
  • Desktop: 41% (vs 41%)
  • Tablet: 18% (vs 12%)

Source: Wolfgang Digital Ecommerce KPI Benchmarks

Why should you care?
This will depend on your niche and geography. Some countries will skew a lot more towards mobile.

Device type (by revenue)

  • Mobile: 26% (vs 21% in 2016)
  • Desktop: 61% (vs 62%)
  • Tablet: 13% (vs 18%)

Source: Wolfgang Digital Ecommerce KPI Benchmarks

Why should you care?
Segment your own revenue by device to see what your breakdown looks like? Do you attract visitors but fail to convert?

On-site metrics

  • Pages/session: 5
  • Session duration: 3m24s
  • Bounce Rate: 36%
  • Page load speed: 5.78s
  • Server response time: 0.75s

Source: Wolfgang Digital Ecommerce KPI Benchmarks

Why should you care?
These numbers will very much depend on your niche. But a general rule is that more engagement with your site is better. If your numbers are totally off, try comparing buyers to non-buyers on your site.

Transaction path length

  • 1 session: 40%
  • 2 sessions: 60%
  • 3 sessions: 70%
  • 5 sessions: 81%
  • 12+ sessions: 100%

Source: Wolfgang Digital Ecommerce KPI Benchmarks

Why should you care?
Many store owners expect to make a sale the first time someone visits their site. These metrics show that you’ll need to think of ways to bring these visitors back to your site.

Ecommerce Average Order Value

Average order value (by traffic source)

  • Direct: $123.79
  • Email: $111.85
  • Search: $116.53
  • Social: $88.92
  • Unknown: $132.02

Source: Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly (Q2 2016)

Why should you care?
Your average order value (AOV) depends on the type of products you sell. But solid businesses bring in solid revenue. And building a business on $150 orders is often easier than doing that on $10 orders. If your order value is too, low, you might need new products or cross/upsell more effectively.

Average Order Value (by store performance)

  • Top 25% stores: $102.93
  • 25-50%: $97.73
  • 50-75%: $88.31
  • Bottom 25%: $74.73

Source: RJMetrics Ecommerce Growth Benchmark

Why should you care?
These numbers illustrate what great stores do compared to the average ones. If all else stays equal, the better performing stores get a 30% higher average order value. This extra revenue allows them to invest more and get even further ahead.

Average Ecommerce Conversion rate

AverageTop 10%
Organic1.18%3.7%
Direct1.46%3.98%
Google PPC1.55%3.77%
Facebook PPC1.56%2.49%
Email3.84%9.89%
Overall1.33%3.65%

Source: Compass Ecommerce Conversion Rate Benchmarks

Why should you care?
This table shows a breakdown of the different conversion rates you can expect for each of your marketing channels. If you’re not hitting the average ones, maybe it’s time to review the effectiveness of your efforts.

Also compare the average with the conversion rates that the top 10% of the stores in the study are generating. For most channels, they convert more than DOUBLE the rate of the other stores. This gives them a huge competitive advantage.

Conversion rate per device type

  • Desktop: 3.99%
  • Tablet: 3.46%
  • Smartphone: 1.48%

Source: Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly (Q2 2016)

Why should you care?
Mobile visitors convert at almost half the rate of desktop visitors. That’s a fact and these benchmarks illustrate it. So what do you do about it? Eliminate paying for mobile traffic? Continue to optimize your mobile experience?

Add to Cart rates per device

  • Desktop: 11.98%
  • Tablet: 11.30%
  • Smartphone: 7.47%

Source: Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly (Q2 2016)

Why should you care?
If your visitors don’t buy, have a look at the add-to-cart rates for your store. Are people adding product to their baskets? You might need to configure extra ecommerce analytics to track this metric.

Cart Abandonment Rates

The average shopping cart abandonment rate is 69%.

 

Why should you care?
It can be very frustrating to see visitors add things to their carts, but then abandoning the checkout after.

But most of these visitors were in fact never going to buy anyway. About 58% of all that abandon their cart claim it’s because they were “just browsing”. Many use the shopping cart as a save for later list.

That doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do about the remaining 40%. If you score below this benchmark, take a look how you could improve your checkout experience to generate more sales.

Source: Baymard Usability Study

Annual Ecommerce growth

Stores with an annual revenue between $0-$1 million have a annual growth rate of 137%.

Why should you care?
Keeping track of this metric is a pretty advanced thing to do. But if you know how fast the best stores in your industry are growing, it will help you to set realistic growth targets for your own store.

It’s a good indicator of when you will need to move past the low-hanging fruit and start exploring new sources of growth. In the early days of your company, you can double your business simply by building awareness. But after you’ll need to grow more deliberately: improve your website, start advertising or get serious about your email list.

Source: RJMetrics Ecommerce Growth Benchmark

New versus repeat orders

Top 25% companies

  • Month 2: 20% of revenue comes from repeat customers.
  • Month 36 (3 years): revenue from repeat customers starts taking over revenue from new customers.

Bottom 75% companies

  • Month 2: 10% of revenue comes from repeat customers.
  • Month 36: revenue from repeat customers equals revenue from new customers.

Source: RJMetrics Ecommerce Growth Benchmark

Why should you care?
Solid businesses are build on repeat orders. It’s cheaper to get your existing customers to buy again, and if that revenue reaches scale, your store really grows leaps and bounds.

The top companies excel at retaining customers, even at the start of their business.

Average Gross Margins in Ecommerce

Average gross margins sit in the 30-40% range.

The exact gross margin depends on the type of business, but what’s interesting is that gross margin increases with the size of the business increases. This makes sense because as the business grows in size, it should becomes more efficient in its spending.

Why should you care?
But these numbers can work as a target. if you’re far below, you should explore how your competitors might be able to achieve better margins.

Source: MarketingSherpa

Ecommerce Customer Acquisition Cost (repeat customers)

Customer acquisition cost for repeat customers is between ⅛ and ⅓ of the original cost.

No source.

Why should you care?
You need to spend the big money to get customers into your world. But getting them to buy again will cost you a lot less. If you think that it’s free remember to factor in the cost of things like sending newsletters,

Google Adwords benchmarks

Adwords Clickthrough Rate by Network

  • Search: 1.66%
  • Display: 0.45%

Source: Google Adwords Industry Benchmarks

Why should you care?
These will give you a very rough ballpark to see if your campaigns are any good.

Average Adwords Clickthrough Rate

  • 25th percentile:  1.91%
  • 50th percentile: 3.23%
  • 75th percentile: 5.58%
  • 90th percentile: +9.5%

Source: Wordstream Adwords Ad data

Why should you care?
Rather than using averages, these numbers show what great advertisers are doing. The best ones (in the 90th percentile) are getting almost 5X the CTR vs the lower performing ones. On Adwords this will translate into a great quality score, and a lower cost per click.

Average Adwords Cost Per Click

  • Search: $0.88
  • Display: $0.29

Source: Google Adwords Industry Benchmarks

Why should you care?
This will depend greatly on your industry. But good to have a number to reference.

Average Adwords Conversion Rates for Ecommerce

  • Search: 1.91%
  • Display: 0.96%

Source: Google Adwords Industry Benchmarks

Why should you care?
Unlike other traffic sources, with Adwords you have a lot of control over who you attract to your site. These conversion rates should give you an idea of the quality of the visitors your bringing to your site.

Average Adwords Cost Per Action for Ecommerce

  • Search: $46.07
  • Display: $30.21

Source: Google Adwords Industry Benchmarks

Why should you care?
Similar to the Adwords conversion rates, these should give you a rough idea if you can make Adwords work for your store. But of course it will depend on your products (and average order value!).

Google Shopping benchmarks

Average Google Shopping Traffic per Device

  • Mobile: 60%
  • Desktop: 27%
  • Tablet: 13%

Why should you care?
Google Shopping on mobile is a huge opportunity. But many advertisers are still adjusting their bids to exclude all mobile traffic.

This number is only going to grow so you need to make sure you have a game plan for mobile shopping.

Average Google Shopping Conversion Rate per Device

  • Mobile: 1.49%
  • Desktop: 2.36%
  • Tablet: 2.11%

Why should you care?
It’s clear that the mobile conversion rates are a lot lower.

A big reason for that is that most visitors come in through a generic search and are directed to a specific product page. Exploring other products in the category might be harder to do on mobile.

Average Google Shopping Bounce Rate per Device

  • Mobile: 74%
  • Desktop: 63%
  • Tablet: 70%

Why should you care?
The higher bounce rate has a very similar explanation to the lower conversion rate. Mobile makes it harder to browse through the offering.

If your numbers are higher, you need to explore the mobile experience and see how you can enhance the browsing aspect.

Average Google Shopping Pages per session per Device

  • Mobile: 2.53 pages
  • Desktop: 3.55 pages
  • Tablet: 2.98 pages

Source: Foundit mobile shopping behaviour report

Facebook ads ecommerce benchmarks

  • Average Click-Through Rate: 1.59%
  • Average Cost per Click (CPC): $0.70
  • Average Conversion Rate: 3.26%
  • Average Cost per Action (CPA): $21.47

Source: Facebook Ads Industry Benchmarks

Why should you care?
These numbers can help you get an idea how effective your Facebook ad campaigns are and what kind of numbers you should be setting as your targets.

Email marketing

 

Average email open rate

If your emails don’t get opened, you don’t have a chance of selling.

Average email open rate: 16.75%

Why should you care?

Email open rates are very dependent on list quality, sending frequency and strength of the subject line. If you are far below the benchmark, consider segmenting or working harder on your subject lines

Source: Mailchimp’s Email Marketing Benchmarks

Average email click rate

Clicks are what transforms a subscriber into a buyer.

Click rate: 2.32%

Why should you care?
If no one clicks through to your website, you won’t make any money. To improve your click rates you can improve the design of your emails and improve your offers.

Source: Mailchimp’s Email Marketing Benchmarks

Average email unsubscribe rate

The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of people that unsubscribe with each email.

Unsubscribe rate: 0.23%

Why should you care?
Losing subscribers that you’ve spent a lot of effort in acquiring can nerve wrecking. being able to put a number on it might give you some piece of mind.

If your unsubscribe rate is higher, you might need to rethink if the emails that you’re sending are of actual value to your subscribers. Email frequency can also be a culprit. You can learn about things by getting in touch with your subscribers or from the unsubscribe form that many email service providers offer.

Source: Mailchimp’s Email Marketing Benchmarks

Average revenue per recipient

The average revenue per recipient looks at how much money a store makes from each email divided by the number of recipients.

Companies with larger annual revenues make a larger percentage of their revenue through email (up to a third) and they generate more revenue from each recipient.

  • Annual revenue below $100k: $0.06
  • $100k – $1M: $0.07
  • $1M – $10M: $0.11
  • $10M+: $0.21

Source: Klaviyo Ecommerce Email Benchmark Report

Why should you care?
Email is one of the only assets you truly own in your business. And as you can see, a solid email marketing program can account for a steady stream of revenue.

If your numbers are below these benchmarks, you have a lot of potential revenue growth. Start to look at the effectiveness of the different types of emails that you send out.

Bonus: Rather than pay attention to all of the ecommerce benchmarks above, I’ve put together a guide that will tell you which metrics you should pay attention to at every stage of your store. Click here to download your free guide.

About the author

Dennis

Dennis is the main guy behind Store Growers. He's never had a job that he didn't invent himself and loves that freedom.
In writing articles, creating courses or working with ecommerce clients he has one goal: to create more freedom for online store owners.

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