Top 5 ecommerce benchmarks to track during the holidays [free ebook]

Historically, early-through-late December is one of the biggest sales seasons of the year for ecommerce businesses. We recently took a look at some of the more popular ecommerce metrics and created 20+ benchmarks specifically tailored to the current sales season. With our Benchmark your site tool, compare your site's engagement and conversion metrics with over 10,000 other websites this holiday season. [note]Want to know where you store stands during Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend? Check out our top 9 benchmarks to track during BFCM.[/note] To give insight on your product and digital marketing, we gathered the data from Google Analytics from different industry sectors.  So why did we create the benchmarks? Let's take a quick look at last year's holiday sales. Holiday ecommerce sales in 2018 For ease's sake, let's define the holiday shopping period from November through the end of December. Last year, Digital Commerce 360 estimated shoppers spent $122.0 billion with online stores — a massive 17.4% jump from 2017. They also estimated total ecommerce sales grew ~5.6% over the same period, according to their holiday 2018 estimates report. From the same report, ecommerce represented nearly 17% of all holiday spending, up from 15.2% in 2017. Explaining the numbers Over the past decade as online shopping has become more of a preference for consumers (especially when it comes to gift-giving), shoppers have browsed more sites for gift ideas, deals, discounts and more. Shoppers are exercising their options (and taking advantage of stiff seasonal competition between stores), which often leads to increased spending volume across multiple stores — though this may cause stores to see a drop in average order value (AOV)  per customer. Of course, stores tend to also increase their digital marketing spend during hot sales periods and peak shopping seasons, which leads to more online sales. What about this December? This past weekend alone (Black Friday Cyber Monday), Shopify reported record-breaking global sales numbers ~$2.9 billion. On the Shopify network alone — which now boasts over 1 million merchants — merchants across 175+ countries sold $2.9+ billion, up from last year’s $1.8+ billion. While the holiday shopping period (which is underway) does not necessarily stack up to BFCM weekend by sheer sales alone, it's a terrific chance for companies to finish out the year strong or get rid of extra inventory from BFCM. Since December will yield massive sales figures to round out 2019, it's crucial to track the metrics that matter to your store. If you don't know where you stand among the stores you compete with, what's the point? That's why we created a free ebook to help you stack up: Top 5 ecommerce benchmarks to track during the holidays. [subscribe heading="Download the top 5 benchmarks free" background_color="green" button_text="get the ebook" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/top-5-holiday-benchmarks"]

by Nico
2019-12-09

9 ecommerce benchmarks to track during Black Friday Cyber Monday

With #BFCM (Black Friday Cyber Monday) just a week away, we wanted to share recent data findings that should help you stay on track with your weekend sales goals. Whether you run your store on Shopify, Shopify Plus, Magento, BigCommerce or another platform, the following ecommerce performance metrics are prevalent to your store. [note]Want to know where your store stands during this holiday sales season? Check out our top 5 holiday ecommerce benchmarks. It's a free ebook![/note] From top-of-funnel shopper behavior to conversions and everything in between, know where you stand before the year's biggest sales weekend hits: Shopper behavior benchmarks Average add to cart rate Littledata surveyed 564 stores in October 2019 and found the average add-to-cart rate was 5.2%. What is a good add to cart rate? Anything more than 9.0% would put you in the best 20% of stores we benchmark for add-to-cart rate, and more than 12.4% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor add to cart rate? Add-to-cart rate of less than 2.3% would put you in the worst 20% of stores, and less than 1.7% would put you in the worst-performing stores. How to optimize / Things to consider If your site is above 9.0%, you have an above average proportion of users adding products to their cart. If they are not following through with checkout, could they be checking prices or delivery options on other sites? To sell more, you must first boost the number of browsers considering purchasing. Reevaluate some of the more common problem areas: Pricing Images User reviews Delivery options Checkout completion rate Checkout completion rate is essentially the inverse (opposite) of add to cart rate, as it measures how many checkouts actually went through and were recorded as successful sales. Littledata surveyed 543 stores in October 2019 and found the average checkout completion rate was 45.2%. What is a good checkout completion rate? Anything more than 63.1% would put you in the best 20% of stores we benchmark for checkout completion rate, and more than 71.3% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor checkout completion rate? Checkout completion rate (all devices) of less than 27.3% would put you in the worst 20% of stores, and less than 21.9% would put you in the worst-performing stores. Desktop vs. mobile If your site has a checkout completion rate (desktop) of between 34.1% and 66.1%, then you are average compared with this benchmark. With less than 25.9%, your store is definitely underperforming. For mobile, a rate between 23.9% and 57.5% is average, while any rate under 18.3% is underperforming. How to optimize / Things to consider If your checkout completion rate is hovering somewhere above 63.1%, you can focus more on  increasing adds-to-cart. On the other hand, losing customers at the last hurdle is costly for your store. If you find your store below 27.3%, look in detail at payment options, delivery options and usability to ensure customers in all countries can complete the process. [subscribe] Ecommerce conversion rate benchmarks Average mobile conversion rate Littledata surveyed 1,107 stores in October 2019 and found the average mobile conversion rate was 0.9%. What is a good mobile conversion rate? Anything more than 2.2% would put you in the best 20% of stores we benchmark for mobile conversion rate, and more than 3.3% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor mobile conversion rate? Mobile ecommerce conversion rate of less than 0.3% would put you in the worst 20% of stores, and less than 0.1% would put you in the worst-performing stores. How to optimize / Things to consider If your store's mobile conversion rate is already above 2.2%, trying to improve conversions beyond this rate may yield diminishing returns. If your current rate is lower than you'd like (whether before or after Black Friday sales), consider: Increase the conversion rate with more attractive product pages and product images Improve your checkout process and checkout flow Install Enhanced Ecommerce tracking to identify exactly where your blockers lie Average desktop conversion rate Littledata surveyed 1,095 stores in October 2019 and found the average desktop conversion rate was 2.0%. What is a good desktop conversion rate? Anything more than 4.8% would put you in the best 20% of stores we benchmark for desktop conversion rate, and more than 7.1% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor desktop conversion rate? Desktop ecommerce conversion rate of less than 0.8% would put you in the worst 20% of stores, and less than 0.3% would put you in the worst-performing stores. How to optimize / Things to consider Similar to mobile conversions above, trying to improve conversions beyond a rate of 2.0% may yield diminishing returns. However, the same tips above for mobile also apply to desktop conversation rate optimization, including installing Enhanced Ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics. Average revenue per customer Littledata surveyed 1,087 stores in October 2019 and found the average revenue per customer was $98 (USD). What is a good revenue per customer? Anything more than US$ 252 would put you in the best 20% of stores we benchmark for revenue per customer, and more than US$ 558 would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor revenue per customer? Revenue per customer of less than US$ 49 would put you in the worst 20% of stores, and less than US$ 36 would put you in the worst-performing stores. How to optimize / Things to consider If you're averaging more than $252 (USD) revenue per customer, your product price may be high. This does not necessarily skew the data, but is probably the reason you're in the top 20% of stores for this metric. On the other hand, if you find yourself making less than $49 (USD) per customer, consider doing the following: Increase the average checkout value by cross-selling other products? Offer free shipping above a minimum threshold Increase pricing on selected products Add and manage post checkout upsells through popular apps like CartHook [note]If you're looking to optimize your post checkout experience, our new and improved CartHook connection accurately segments your sales by source, medium and affiliation with 100% accuracy. 🚀[/note] Marketing campaign benchmarks Average bounce rate from email campaigns Littledata surveyed 2,110 sites in October 2019 and found the average bounce rate from all email campaigns was 44.9%. What is a good email campaign bounce rate? Anything less than 30.3% would put you in the best 20% of sites we benchmark for bounce rate from all email campaigns, and less than 22.2% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor email campaign bounce rate? Bounce rate from all email campaigns of more than 60.5% would put you in the worst 20% of sites, and more than 69.4% would put you in the worst-performing sites. Desktop vs. mobile If your site has a bounce rate from email campaigns (desktop) between 55.5% and 25.5%, you're within the industry average. If your campaign bounce rate is above 66%, your campaigns are underperforming. On the other hand, if your campaigns on mobile are experiencing bounce rates between 63.5% and 36.2%, you're in the middle of the pack. Any bounce rate over 72% is underperforming for this benchmark. How to optimize / Things to consider If your campaign bounce rate is under 30%, chances are you either you have a highly engaged email list, or your messages and landing pages are well-designed and written; your visitors are sticking around! If your bounce rate is worse than 60.5%, your emails may be driving traffic, but quality of traffic is far more important than quantity of traffic. If you're not driving high-potential buyers through your campaigns and to your product pages, you're not giving yourself the best chance at a conversion. Average bounce rate from Google Ads Littledata surveyed 1,351 sites in October 2019 and found the average bounce rate from Adwords on desktop device was 39.7%. What is a good Google Ads bounce rate? Anything less than 22.8% would put you in the best 20% of sites we benchmark for bounce rate from Adwords on desktop device, and less than 15.8% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor Google Ads bounce rate? Bounce rate from Adwords on desktop device of more than 60.6% would put you in the worst 20% of sites, and more than 70.0% would put you in the worst-performing sites. How to optimize / Things to consider If your site's desktop bounce rate is sitting below 23%, a solid portion of your Google Ads traffic are engaging on your landing pages (which means your chances for conversion increase). However, if your Google Ads bounce rate is above 60%, there are a few things to focus on: Improve the first impressions of your landing pages (copy, product listings, images, etc.) Move key content higher up the page Increase the page load speed [note]With a smart analytics audit from Littledata, you can see where you stand with key performance metrics like page load speed.[/note] Average referral rate from Facebook By 'referral rate from Facebook', we're referring to a certain volume of traffic, either from Facebook's website or tagged with Facebook (Facebook is now the second biggest referrer after Google). Littledata surveyed 2,035 sites in October 2019 and found the average referral rate from Facebook was 2.9%. What is a good referral rate from Facebook? Anything more than 9.0% would put you in the best 20% of sites we benchmark for referrals from Facebook, and more than 20.1% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor referral rate from Facebook? Referrals from Facebook of less than 1.4% would put you in the worst 20% of sites, and less than 1.2% would put you in the worst-performing sites. How to optimize / Things to consider If your Facebook referral rate is above 9%, you may have an underestimated figure. Unfortunately, Google Analytics tracks untagged Facebook app traffic as "Direct". Luckily, our Shopify app fixes this problem by properly attributing marketing traffic and conversions so you exactly which channels are working for your store. On the other hand, if your referral rate is less than 1.4%, consider your ad spend on Facebook: is it targeted at the right type of shopper? Are you utilizing retargeting to bring visitors back to your site? Average referrals from Twitter Littledata surveyed 189 sites in October 2019 and found the average referral rate from Twitter was 2.0%. What is a good referral rate from Twitter? Anything more than 4.1% would put you in the best 20% of sites we benchmark for referrals from Twitter, and more than 7.8% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor referral rate from Twitter? Referrals from Twitter of less than 1.3% would put you in the worst 20% of sites, and less than 1.2% would put you in the worst-performing sites. How to optimize / Things to consider If your referral rate is less than 1.3%, go back to social marketing basics: are you targeting the right audience? Are you utilizing retargeting or perhaps lookalike audiences? Twitter targeting is slightly more precise than Facebook (since you can target specific keywords, keyword groups or actual account followers). During #BFCM, don't just take these benchmarks as arbitrary numbers — treat them as goals! Just a week from the chaos, remember to track your progress closely. You can even try Littledata free for 14 days to test its powerful tracking fixes during even the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

by Nico
2019-11-22

3 reasons your product pages are underperforming

According to Baymard, 69.57% of online shoppers abandon their cart. That means that for every three people that add an item to their cart, two of those people end up not purchasing. As a store owner, this can be extremely frustrating. You’re running a business, so you want to see sales — not abandoned carts. On the other side of the coin, however, I can assure you that your customer was frustrated, and this is exactly why they abandoned their cart. While there are a million reasons why a customer would abandon their cart, there are a few common threads and factors for mounting frustration. The good news? They’re all easily measured with data and improvable with some common sense. [subscribe heading="Try Littledata free for 14 days" background_color="grey" button_text="start my free trial"] 1. Your mobile site experience sucks As an agency owner, I see a lot of websites. Yet it still surprises me how many ecommerce brands suffer from this issue. Over 50% of all traffic to ecommerce sites is coming from a mobile device, yet many brands are perfectly fine with letting their customers suffer through an almost unusable mobile experience. This is an extremely common cause of cart abandonment. If you’re curious, you can look within Google Analytics to see how many people abandon carts on different devices. While most websites are ‘responsive’ these days, that does not mean they’re usable or easily navigable. Have your parents, your siblings, or your significant other run through your online experience and try to purchase a product, and you’ll see the shortcomings in your mobile experience. Responsive design hardly considers the goals of an ecommerce website. When a store design is not user friendly, this leads to higher abandoned cart rates. 2. Your product pages don’t provide enough information The next commonality with cart abandonment is all too simple, but it’s one of the leading causes. It boils down to the customer having a question about the product: How big is it? What is it made out of? How much does shipping cost? How long until I can get it? What’s your return policy? Is it waterproof? Your product page needs to answer every question a shopper could ever have about your product. There are so many advantages to ecommerce, but the main disadvantage is that the customers are not holding that product in their hand. So, they can’t answer a lot of those questions on their own. You need to be their five senses in describing that product and your policies so that the customer can make a completely informed purchase decision. If I have more questions than answers, I’m not buying. (Not sure how to fix your product pages? You can get my 8-point guide on product page improvements by joining our mailing list here.) Some of the questions your customers have might not be obvious. Being so close to the product and the brand often puts blinders on business owners. An easy way to solve that is by asking your customers! You can use apps like Hotjar to ask your customers questions on why they’re leaving a product page. 3. Your apps, files or images are slowing down your page load speed The last issue to tackle: your page load speed. This is something that is often overlooked by people new to online businesses. If your website takes too long to load, I’m out of there. There are quite a few reasons why this would happen, but the main reasons are typically 1) too many apps and 2) content not sized properly for web. Apps are amazing, and I frequently recommend them to our clients to solve requests. What's not amazing about apps is their tendency to add bloat to your website. That’s why I highly recommend never installing an app unless you absolutely need it. The more apps you have installed, the more data that is being loaded on every page, and the slower your website will be. Uninstalling apps does not necessarily mean that the underlying code is deleted either. Take this as a warning. Additionally, oversized video and photos kill load times. I know that lifestyle photography you shot for your new collection is beautiful, but a five megabyte photo on my mountain 3G connection takes entirely too long to load, and I’m now browsing Twitter because I got fed up with your store. People are impatient. They do not want to wait, they want things instantaneously. You can view and track your site speed in Google Analytics to get some ideas on where you can improve those metrics. Ecommerce reporting and data tracking is key. Fix customer frustrations, fix your cart abandonment problem Customer frustration is the root of most abandoned carts. Your customers want a quick, mobile-friendly, simple experience — so create one! This is a guest post by Chase Clymer, Co-Founder at Electric Eye and Host of Honest Ecommerce. Chase is an ecommerce expert making brands more money every day. He's also a fan of islands, tacos, and Magic: The Gathering.

2019-07-11

6 essential benchmarks for Shopify stores

Understanding how your website performs versus similar sites is the best way to prioritise what to improve. In this post we take a look at 6 top benchmarks for optimising Shopify store performance. Accurate benchmark data is especially useful to the increasing number of ecommerce companies using web performance benchmarks, such as bounce rates and home page reliance, as core elements of their sales and marketing KPIs. Understanding benchmarks is a key to success. To put together this new benchmarking report, we analysed current data from 470 Shopify retailers. If you're wondering how you compare, check out our Shopify analytics app. Average order value Average order value (AOV) or Average revenue per paying user (ARPU) is the total monthly revenue divided by the number of users which transacted that month. It is a measure of how well you are up-selling and cross-selling your products, depending on your product mix. What is a good average order value for Shopify stores? The benchmark is $69. The average is slightly lower ($63.50) if you are a smaller Shopify store. More than $120 AOV would put you in the top quartile, and one of our top-performing stores in the luxury ecommerce sector is averaging $2,080 per order! If your Shopify store has a lower AOV than the benchmark, you might try increasing your average checkout value by cross-selling other products, offering free shipping above a minimum threshold or increasing pricing on selected products. [subscribe heading="How do you compare?" button_text="BENCHMARK YOUR SITE"] Ecommerce conversion rate Ecommerce conversion is the number of purchases divided by the total number of sessions. Most visitors will take more than one session to decide to purchase, but this is the standard measure of conversion rate. It is a measure of how good a fit your traffic is for your products, and how well your site converts this traffic into customers. What is a good ecommerce conversion rate for Shopify stores? The benchmark is 1.75%. Larger stores have pushed this to 1.85%, and if you are more than 2.8% you are in the top quartile. The highest conversion rate we’ve seen on Shopify is 8%. Can you increase the conversion rate with more attractive product displays, or improving the checkout process? Enhanced ecommerce tracking will help you identify exactly where the blockers lie. Bounce rate from mobile search Since more than 60% of Google searches are now done on mobile, ensuring your site design works on a small screen is important for branding and sales. Bounce rate is the percent of visits of only one page – and will be high if your landing pages do not engage. Google will even adjust your mobile ranking for a given keyword depending on what proportion of visitors stick on your page - a good indication that your link was useful. What is a good bounce rate from mobile search for Shopify stores? The benchmark is 47.5%. The biggest Shopify stores have got this below 40%, and overall large retailers have 38% mobile bounce rate. So it’s not a problem with the Shopify platform, so much as a problem with the store theme – or how the options and products are displayed on a smaller screen. Can you improve the first impressions of the landing pages, put key content higher up the page, or decrease the page load speed to reduce that bounce rate? Delay before page content appears The delay between a page request by the user and them being to read or click on that page. This is more important than full page load speed for AJAX / lazy loading sites (also called the ‘DOM Interactive Time’). What is a good delay time before page content appears? The benchmark for Shopify stores is 2.75 seconds. Even larger retailers have this down to 2.8 seconds, so Shopify sites do well on this score. Anything less than 3 seconds is generally acceptable. Internet users are increasingly intolerant of slow sites. Your developers could look at Google PageSpeed Insights for more details. Often the delay will be down to extra scripts which could be delayed or removed. [subscribe heading="How do you compare?" button_text="BENCHMARK YOUR SITE"] Server response time This is the part of the page load speed which is entirely outside of your control – and due to the speed of the servers your site runs on. What is a good server response time for Shopify stores? The benchmark is 322ms. The average for larger ecommerce is 542ms – so Shopify’s server infrastructure is serving you well here. Reliance on the homepage This is the percent of visitors who land on your homepage. If this is below 40% you rely heavily on your homepage to capture brand or paid search traffic. Google increasingly rewards sites with a greater volume of landing pages targeting more specific keyword phrases. What is a good reliance on homepage percentage for Shopify stores? The benchmark is 32%. Larger Shopify stores, with many more landing pages, have reduced this to 7.3% of traffic landing on the homepage on average. Can you build out product landing pages and inbound links to copy their advantage? Ready to benchmark your own website, stop playing guessing games and start scaling your ecommerce business? Our Shopify reporting app is the easiest way to get accurate benchmarking. Install Littledata today and you'll get instant access to up to 20 relevant industry benchmarks for ecommerce sites, plus the tools you need to fix your analytics for accurate tracking, so you'll always know for sure where your website stands. It's all about smart data that helps you focus on making changes that drive revenue and increase conversions. We're here to help you grow!

2019-06-14

8 ways to minimise cart abandonment

It might be a familiar sinking feeling - why do users keep deciding at the last minute not to buy an item? There are a whole range of reasons that online shopper abandon their shopping carts. You might not be able to do anything about the majority of these reasons, but if you are seeing a high cart abandonment rate then it is definitely something you can actively work on minimising. In this post I dive into shopping cart abandonment: what it is, why it matters, and how to minimise it using proven practices from successful ecommerce sites. What is the average rate of cart abandonment? The Baymard Institute has compared reported cart abandonment from 41 studies, to conclude that the average rate stands at 69.57% in 2019. However, reports varied wildly over the years. In 2010, Forrester Research calculated that cart abandonment stood at just 55%. At the high end of the scale, AbandonAid stated in 2017 that cart abandonment occurs 81.4% of the time. Is your average checkout completion rate below the industry average? How to calculate cart abandonment rate Fortunately, there is no need to consult a mathematician when it comes to calculating your cart abandonment rate. To find the percentage of users who have not completed a purchase after adding an item to their cart, you must divide the number of complete purchases by the number of carts created: 1 - (Complete purchases/Carts created) x100 After doing this division, subtract the result from 1 and multiply by 100 to get your percentage. Fortunately, there’s no need to get the calculator out. You can easily monitor ecommere analytics with Littledata’s Shopify app. Connect this to Google Analytics to make the most out of tracking user movements - in this instance, when they removing products from the cart. Why might a cart get abandoned? There is no simple answer to this question. The truth is, carts get abandoned for a variety of reasons, although the recurring theme is that a lower abandonment rate means a more intuitive and trustworthy store. A high proportion of people browsing your store might be doing so in the hope of coming across a hidden discount, to compare prices or to check your stock against competitors. Some might even be compiling a wishlist for the future, with almost no intention of purchasing your product now. In short, there isn’t a lot you can do about this type of shopper. Focus, then, has to turn to the shoppers who would have made a purchase, was it not for an element of your site or checkout process that led to them scurrying away. As part of the Baymard Institute’s research into cart abandonment, it conducted a survey of over 2,500 US adults asking why they abandoned their purchase after passing the stage of adding an item to their cart. Many of the factors above can be countered by making tweaks to the checkout process. Take the second largest influence - “the site wanted me to create an account”. By offering a guest checkout option where an account is not necessary, this 34% of respondents will be one step closer to purchasing the product in their cart, and avoiding the dreaded stage of checkout abandonment. What goes into a better checkout process? It’s fine to say that the checkout needs to be streamlined in order to reduce cart abandonment, but what does this actually mean? What are the characteristics of a site that experiences relatively low checkout abandonment? This is specifically about what happens after a user has added a product to their cart - optimising add-to-cart rate itself is a different stage in the purchase funnel that we have talked about before here at Littledata. The first thing to take a look at is the intuitiveness of your buying process. After adding a product to cart, ensure that the following trail resembles a standard ecommerce store. This might mean identifying a clear “checkout button”, followed by payment options and providing delivery address, then reviewing the order before submitting. Any significant change to the standard process could throw a user off balance. Making your store as trustworthy as possible is another key step to reducing cart abandonment. Check that the secure payment icons are visible when checking out, and a money-back guarantee will always send a customer’s confidence skyrocketing. Offering incentives to complete a purchase also does the trick. As mentioned, shoppers may be on your site as part of a price comparison tour, so making a 10% discount visible from the outset will make your site a winner in the eyes of many a potential customer. In a similar vein, you should make sure that product and delivery details are easy to locate and understand. Adweek shows that 81% of shoppers conduct detailed research before buying a product, so make this task easier for them. Please don’t include any last-minute delivery charge shocks. Another thing to consider is the mobile-friendliness of your checkout process. The statistic that half of all ecommerce revenue will be mobile-based by 2020 is banded around a lot, but shouldn’t be ignored. If a site is near impossible to navigate on mobile, you can be sure of frustrated cart abandonment. 8 ways to minimise cart abandonment I want to give you a list of specific ideas that you could implement on your site. These have all been taken from Missions - our new optimisation tool. Each mission consists of a pack of ecommerce optimisation tips on a certain subject, complete with evidence and studies found by our researchers. The following eight tips, of course, have all been taken from our “Minimise Cart Abandonment” mission. Steeped in proof, we like to take a step away from gut feel. These tips have all reduced cart abandonment for other sites, and I am sure that some of their effects can be replicated. 1) Send cart abandonment emails This one really is the only place to start. We will of course take a closer look at tweaks you can make to your sales funnel, but targeting people who have already abandoned their carts is a crucial way of reviving a potential sale. Ecommerce site owners are becoming increasingly aware of the opportunities provided by email marketing. Hertz are one company making the most of this practice, reporting that 37% of people who opened a cart abandonment email went on to make a booking. In the past, so much money would have been left on the table by users who abandoned carts. Now, it’s so easy to send a personalised email to every customer who abandons their purchase on your site. This is all about remembering that not everybody who abandons a purchase does so on bad terms. They may simply have gotten distracted, or left the purchase for a later date. A friendly nudge back towards your buying funnel might be just what they are after! 2) Trigger exit surveys and live chat at key moments If a user is on the brink of exiting a site in frustration at not being able to find what they want, a live chat session could keep them around. Some classic stats served up by BoldChat suggest that live chat is the preferred method of communicating with a business for 21% of shoppers. If you manage to solve a customer’s biggest doubts, they will be one step closer to completing a purchase. In turn, exit surveys allow you to gather the opinions of customers who abandoned their cart. Why didn’t they make a purchase? Gold dust. Easily identify recurring themes and patch these things up so fewer potential sales slip through the net. A handy tip for exit surveys - give people open-ended questions to answer instead of preset options. According to Groovehq, this will increase response rate by 10%. 3) Use address lookup technology to minimise typing Form-filling is dull. Customers know this as well as anyone, and will often go to great lengths to avoid it. If your checkout funnel is littered with unnecessary forms to fill, more than a couple of potential customers will run like the wind. Of course, a customer’s shipping address is central to completing their order. To make this easier on them, some accurate address lookup technology such as Loqate will squash the time it takes to get things done. Anything you can do to make the form-filling process as pain-free as possible is a surefire way of reducing your cart abandonment rate. Hotel Chocolat, after introducing address lookup, reported a 19% uplift in the amount of people completing each stage of their checkout funnel. 4) Give shoppers the option of using a guest checkout Finding the option to “checkout as a guest” is starting to come as naturally to customers as looking for the “add-to-cart” button. Research from the Baymard Institute indicated that 30% of all shoppers abandon their purchase immediately upon viewing a registration process. Not even a second thought! Similarly to tip #3, this is all about saving time on the customer’s side. If they have a product in their basket and are willing to pay for it, the last thing you want to do is shove a registration form in their face. 5) Use dynamic retargeting to recover lost sales Stella & Dot saw their average order value increase by 17% when targeting customers with more relevant ads. This is all about employing technology which is able to accurately create a picture of a customer’s browsing experience, so that they can be targeted with adverts to match their interests. Although female lifestyle and fashion website Stella & Dot were more focussed on increasing their average order value, dynamic retargeting is a valid method of reducing cart abandonment by presenting individual users with adverts to match their activity. 6) Provide a one-click checkout Made famous by retail giant Amazon, a one-click or one-step checkout allows a user to immediately purchase a product if they already have their payment details registered on the site. The ability to avoid form-filling and save time is a godsend for shoppers - and the estimated $2.4 billion value of Amazon’s recently expired one-step checkout patent goes to show this. Other ecommerce sites have designed one-click checkouts of their own, finding that they do wonders for retaining customers within the purchase funnel. A case study by Strangeloop showed that implementing a one-step checkout increased conversion rate by 66%. 7) Be clear about delivery (especially free shipping) A joint study conducted by eDigitalResearch and IMRG found that 53% of cart-abandoners cite unacceptably high shipping costs as the reason for abandoning their purchase. Making sure that your shipping fees are blindingly obvious from an early stage in your purchase funnel will prevent any user frustration at discovering the cost just before payment, or simply not being able to locate this information at all. A study by Accent has shown that 88% of online shoppers expect free shipping to be offered to them in one way or another. Failing to meet this rising expectation will likely result in a chunk of abandoned carts. 8) Experiment with exit-intent popups It isn’t a coincidence that popups always appear just when you are about to close a page. Many sites use technology that detects an aggressive mouse movement towards the top corner of the screen - usually a sign that it will be closed down. These are a last-ditch attempt to keep a user browsing the site, but if they capture attention in the right way then they can work wonders in terms of saving a cart that was about to be abandoned. A common tactic is to offer a discount. Research from Beeketing indicates that 48% of ‘window shoppers’ would buy a product they were interested in if they were offered a limited-time discount. This works on the scarcity principle - a perceived rush to buy a product can prevent someone from abandoning their cart to come back at a later date. Reduce your cart abandonment today Packed with plenty of tips similar to the ones we have explored, the ‘Minimise Cart Abandonment’ mission will equip you with an arsenal of techniques to drive that statistic down and keep shoppers inside your purchase funnel until the very end. Littledata automatically benchmarks ecommerce sites so you can see how you compare, then recommends missions to optimise performance. Knowing your average checkout completion rate is a good place to start. Whether you're looking at a Shopify abandoned cart or abandoned carts on a different ecommerce platform, you can launch the 'Minimise Cart Abandonment' mission directly from your Littledata dashboard. Use the app to track progress as you test ideas to discover what works best for your site. And one final tip: don’t try to fix everything at once. Start with one of the tips above that’s most relevant to your current shopping funnel, and go - or should I say grow - from there! This is a guest post by Jack Vale, a UK-based freelance writer and ecommerce expert.

2019-05-16

Shopify vs Magento: Ecommerce performance

Whether you're choosing a new enterprise ecommerce platform for your online business, or considering a platform migration, choosing Shopify vs Magento is not an easy choice. But when it comes to ecommerce performance, it pays to take a look at the data. Littledata has a range of customers on different ecommerce platforms, with a majority of larger stores using Shopify Plus or Magento. So which platform has the best ecommerce performance? For this post, we crunched data from 1,600 Shopify and Magento stores to see where the platforms typically perform best, from technical performance essentials like site speed, to ecommerce essentials like conversion rate and average order value. Ecommerce benchmarks Littledata benchmarks stores using our platform on 30 key metrics. Any merchant can sign up to benchmark their ecommerce website, and we like to dive into the benchmark data to find key stats and unexpected trends. Comparing Shopify vs Magento benchmarks, we looked at the median performance of stores of all sizes in all sectors, and then just larger stores (those getting more than 20,000 sessions per month). The headline news is that Shopify converts more visitors into customers than Magento, mainly due to better add-to-cart rate, but also slightly more efficient checkout conversion rate. Shopify stores have a higher Average Conversion Rate, but Magento stores have a higher Average Order Value However, since Magento stores have a larger average order (maybe because stores selling high value items are put off by Shopify’s percentage pricing) the Magento stores get more revenue per visit. And it is really the higher customer lifetime value that you should care about (Shopify agrees). Magento stores outperform on landing page engagement and marketing, and have a significantly higher usage of product search. Shopify vs Magento: a benchmark-by-benchmark comparison Average conversion rate The headline ecommerce conversion rate is better on Shopify (2% vs 1.7%) and this actually widens for larger stores (2.3% Shopify vs 1.5% on Magento). This is reflected in Shopify being better on both underlying metrics of performance: add-to-cart rate (5.5% vs 4.6%) and the percent of those starting to checkout. [subscribe button_text="benchmark your site"] The checkout completion rate is actually better on most Magento stores (48.6% vs 51.3%), although for larger stores this is flipped around (50.0% Magento vs 48.7% Shopify). Average order value Average revenue per customer is much higher for the Magento stores surveyed (and this difference persists for larger sites) - $75 USD per customer on Shopify vs $161 on Magento. This is driven by both a higher average order value, and more repeat purchasing on Magento stores. This extra money per order more than compensates for the lower conversion rate on Magento, and means Magento stores get an average $2.79 per visit versus $1.52 for Shopify store visits. Site speed There are two factors to website speed - how long the server takes to response, and how long the page takes to render in the browser. Shopify's cloud infrastructure is better at the former (609 milliseconds versus 967 milliseconds average server response time on Magento), but for the more important delay before page content appears there is little difference between the platforms (2.6 seconds for Shopify vs 2.8 seconds for Magento). Larger Shopify stores do typically install lots of 3rd party apps, which can increase the script load time, and so the time to full page load is higher on larger Shopify stores (6.8 seconds vs 6.0 seconds on Magento). Marketing channels There are some big differences between how Shopify and Magento store owners go about Marketing. Shopify stores get a far higher proportion of traffic from Facebook (5.8% vs 2.7%), but this is still below the global average for Facebook referrals. Shopify stores also had a greater reliance on the homepage - showing a lack on content marketing sophistication (34% on Shopify vs 25% on Magento). User engagement (site search and email marketing) The interesting difference is a much higher use of site search for Magento stores (3.1% Shopify vs 10.8% Magento). This may that Magento themes make it easier to implement site search, or that Magento stores with larger numbers of SKUs. And Magento marketers manage to get a lower bounce rate from emails: 50% on Shopify vs 44% on Magento. This is maybe due to a greater variety of email landing pages or campaigns. What about Shopify Plus vs Magento Enterprise? Many of the same differences are there for Shopify Plus (the equivalent of Magento Enterprise Edition for larger stores). Shopify plus stores manage a higher conversion rate (2.6% vs 1.6% for Magento EE), and but still have a lower average value per session ($2.12 on Shopify Plus vs $3.23 on Magento). And Plus stores, with more customised themes, still get a higher bounce rate from mobile search (55% vs 51% for Magento). If you're looking for more info, we have a useful post on the general differences between Shopify and Magento, and our friends at Electric Eye have an extensive breakdown of how Shopify and Magento pricing and implementation really work for merchants seeking the best ecommerce platform for their business. For an in-depth look at enterprise ecommerce options, we recommend checking out the big Magento 2 Commerce vs Shopify Plus comparison by Paul Rogers. An expert in ecommerce replatforming, Rogers has worked with Magento brands including O’Neills, Agent Provocateur, Waterford, Royal Doulton, and Shopify Plus brands including Bulletproof, Trotters, Oco, Current Body and ESC. Learn more Looking for more performance data? If you're interested in the topic of Magento vs Shopify performance, you can view our public listing of detailed Shopify benchmarks and Magento benchmarks. We've made it easy for anyone to dive into the data for themselves. And if you have an ecommerce website, sign up to benchmark your site for free! [subscribe button_text="benchmark your site"]

2019-03-21

A case study in how to improve page load speed

We used one of Littledata's own benchmarks to identify an issue with mobile page load speed and fix the underlying problems. Here's how we did it. Page load speed benchmark Using benchmarking in the Littledata app, we compared our website with 72 other marketing services sites benchmarked in December. (Our app lets you compare web performance by sector). Paying attention to both mobile and desktop experiences, we looked at things like the average delay before page content appears and the average time before full mobile page load. Overall we are above average, but against one benchmark - delay before page content appears - we are close to the median. That means 35 sites in our sector manage faster page load speeds. As website professionals, we can't let that rest! We care because Google cares about speed. If our landing pages take a long time before first 'paint' - before the content is visible - then more visitors will bounce or pick another article to answer their questions. If we invest time into writing articles like this one on our analytics blog, we should also invest time in making sure they are fast to load, and fast for Google to crawl and index. Here's how we acted on the benchmark data. [subscribe heading="Benchmark your site" button_text="sign up"] How fast were pages loading? We used the excellent PageSpeed Insights tool to pinpoint what was going wrong with the pages loading. Our original speed on mobile For mobile browsers, where traffic increasingly comes from, we were in the bottom 10% for speed, and below average for desktop. That sucks, and was definitely penalising our organic search rankings. Fixes to improve page load speed 1. Removing unnecessary JavaScript modules As a 'web app' built using Meteor, our pages are heavy with Javascript - effectively the whole site is pre-loaded with the first page. This means a module used by only one page can slow down ALL pages. By visualising the bundles for our Meteor App we found 2 very large modules which were blocking page load for all pages: the D3 library, used to visualise our industry category coverage, and the autoform package used for a single signup form. Using the clever dynamic imports feature in Meteor were were able to cut those modules from the landing page, and half the size of the Javascript bundle loaded from 1.6Mb to 0.8Mb. 2. Using Webp images for Chrome and compatible browsers Google prefers you to use the more efficient .webp image filetype, which is typically half the file-size of older .png or .jpeg filetypes. We found our chosen image server, Cloudinary, includes a simple feature to automatically chose the best file type for the browser it detects. Very quick fix! 3. Lazy-loading of landing page images Even if the images are efficiently served, trying to fetch all the images for a long-form landing page takes time - and is wasteful for users who only read the first few paragraphs. Instead, we can wait until the user scroll down before images are loaded for that section. This results in a small flicker as the user scrolls the first time, but faster initial load time. 4. Caching pages from our blog Wordpress is a great CMS, but the PHP + MySQL stack it uses is not the fastest for generating the pages. Luckily there are some great cache plugins, including WP Fastest Cache which we set up. What this does is save a rendered HTML file on the WP server, and only refresh the cache when the post is edited or new comments are added. 5. Cleaning up unused CSS and HTML templates Like all sites that have evolved their design and content over a few years, ours had lots of redundant code that no-one had spring-cleaned. Generally it's easier with older projects just to leave code, but for Meteor apps particularly it can slow down every page (see fix 1). So a new front-end developer starting was a good chance to rewrite templates from scratch, and chuck out the trash. The page load speed improvements Those 5 improvements, plus a database upgrade, let to some pretty good speed improvements - above average for mobile and top 2% for desktop speed! Even a few days after the release we saw a boost in the visibility of our landing pages in Google Search. Looking at Littledata's benchmarks for February, included in the newly released mobile vs desktop benchmarks, we can see the delay before content appears has dropped from 2.6 to 1.8 seconds (down by 40%). And the desktop speed is now in the top 10% of all sites at 1.7 seconds. The only area we still lack is the mobile page speed, so maybe we will look at some AMP versions in the next sprint. Ready to benchmark your site? Littledata's free plans include a Google Analytics connection and free benchmarks in ecommerce, engagement, marketing and site speed.

2019-03-13

The year in data: 2018 in ecommerce statistics

How did ecommerce change in 2018? Let's take a look at the data. Littledata benchmarks online retail performance in Google Analytics, and with over 12,000 sites categorised across 500 industry sectors we have a unique insight into ecommerce trends in 2018. The pattern we're seeing is that web sessions are becoming ever shorter as users split their attention across many ads, sites and devices. Marketers need get visibility across a range of platforms, and accept that a customer purchase journey will involve an ever greater number of online touch points. In the following analysis, we look at how performance changed across 149 ecommerce sites in 2018, and how these trends might continue in 2019. Ecommerce conversion rate is down Ecommerce conversion rate has dropped by an average of 6 basis points, not because of a drop of online sales - but rather because the number of sessions for considering and browsing (i.e. not converting) has risen. This is partly an increase in low-quality sessions (e.g. SnapChat ads preloading pages without ever showing them to users), and partly an increase in users from platforms like Facebook (see below) which bring less engagement with landing pages. See our mission to Increase Ecommerce Conversion Rate for more details. Revenue per customer is up Revenue per customer is the total sales divided by the total number of users which purchased online. The increase of $16 USD per customer per month shows that many stores are doing better with segmentation - ignoring all those sessions which don't convert, and retargeting and reselling to those that buy lots. The growth in subscription business models is also fuelling this trend. Getting a customer to commit to a regular payment plan is the most effective way of increasing revenue per user. See our mission to Increase Average Order Value for more details. Reliance on the homepage is down Content marketing became mainstream in 2018, and no self-respecting brand would now rely on the homepage alone to drive interest in the brand. The percentage of traffic coming 'through the front door' will continue to fall. In building out a range of keyword-specific landing pages, stores are harnessing a wider range of Google search queries, and providing more engaging landing pages from Google Ad and Facebook Ad clicks. Usage of internal site search is up Along with fewer visitors coming through the homepage, we are seeing fewer browsers use traditional category navigation over internal search. We think this is partly to do with younger consumers preference for search, but also probably reflects the increasing sophistication and relevance of internal search tools used by ecommerce. Referrals from Facebook are up Even after Facebook's data security and privacy embarrassments in 2018, it continues to grow as the 2nd major global marketing platform. Although few sites in our benchmark rely on Facebook for more than 10% of their traffic, it is a significant driver of revenue. As merchants continue to come to Littledata to find out the real ROI on their Facebook Ads, check back next year for a new round of analysis! How did your site perform? If you're interested in benchmarking your ecommerce site, Littledata offers a free trial to connect with Google Analytics and audit your tracking. You can see ecommerce benchmarks directly in the app, including 'ecommerce conversion rate', 'referrals from Facebook' and 'reliance on the homepage', to know exactly how your site's performing. Sign up today to benchmark your site and import Facebook Ads data directly into Google Analytics. [subscribe] For this article we looked at Littledata's private, anonymized benchmark data set, selecting ecommerce sites that had a majority of their traffic from the US and more than 20,000 sessions per month. We measured the change from 1st December 2017 to 31st December 2017 to the same month in 2018.

2019-01-28

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