Shop.org’s new State of Retailing Online 2014: Key Metrics and Initiatives study reveals that digital retail businesses grew an average of 29 percent in 2013, the result of key investments they made in the customer experience.
E-commerce growth reflected in improved key numbers. Developed in partnership with Forrester Research, the study shows that healthy growth is reflected in improvements across several key metrics:
- Site conversion improved year-over-year for approximately 58 percent of retailers surveyed, with average order value up for 65 percent. Experience in selling online makes a difference: companies selling online for 10 years or longer reported average conversion 3.8 percent, notably higher than the 2 percent average for those selling online between four and 10 years.
- While branded manufacturers reported an average conversion rate of just 1.6 percent, their average order value clocked in at $214, compared with $136 for store-based retailers.
- Repeat customers are proving their worth: almost half of retailers surveyed saw an increase in repeat customers. On average, 51 percent of sales came from repeat customers, whose “basket” size was $178, or $20 more than non-repeat shoppers. By contrast, 47 percent of pure-play retailers and less than one-third of branded manufacturers said they rely less on repeat customers as a percentage of total online sales.
- Growth of sales via smartphones and tablets has been significant. Store-based retailers experienced an average of 135 percent year-over year-growth in sales from smartphones, and 86 percent via tablets. Store-based retailers also reported that an average 9 percent of online revenue in 2013 came via smartphones, 14 percent from tablets, and the remaining 77 percent from desktop.
2014 priorities: don’t stray far from fundamentals. Given consumer expectations and the rapid shift in where web revenue originates, it is little surprise that 53 percent of retailers listed mobile among their leading “key initiatives” this year. Forty-six percent of retailers had site overhaul initiatives as their second most-important initiative as companies recognize that redesign, personalization, site usability and content management are all smart investments to continue improving their web businesses. For 36 percent of retailers, marketing initiatives to acquire and retain customers was third on the list heading into 2014.
Shop.org members can visit the Shop.org site to download a copy of the report to see the full results.