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10 Ecommerce Benchmarks You Need to Know to Run Your Business in 2021

10 Ecommerce Benchmarks You Need to Know to Run Your Business
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Guest Post
Field Experts
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Updated 09/2021

Google Analytics, as well as other reporting tools offer unprecedented access to marketing data. However, leveraging that information isn’t always simple. 

In fact, having too much data on hand can make it even more difficult to extract any actionable insights.

In 2021, most digital marketers have access to similar data on their own performance. With that in mind, how you interpret that data will determine whether you’re able to stay ahead of the competition.

Companies don’t always fail because of their prices or the quality of their products—it’s often due to their inability to generate interest through marketing. 

Unfortunately, analytic data won’t improve your digital marketing campaigns on its own. You need to understand the meaning and relevance of each figure.

This way, you can make more informed decisions based on the results of past campaigns. That brings us to ecommerce ROI benchmarks

Understanding Ecommerce ROI Benchmarks

Benchmarks give marketers points of reference. These help them measure performance and compare results over time and across campaigns. 

When used effectively, ecommerce benchmarks can become invaluable resources in the decision-making process

If you’re already performing above average on a particular metric, it might make sense to divert some of your efforts to an area in which you’re lagging behind the competition. 

For example, a 7% average repeat customer rate is actually higher than average. Thanks to this, your time would be better spent trying to improve another metric. Metrics like your conversion rate or average order value (AOV).  

Of course, you shouldn’t stop trying to improve your results on a particular ecommerce benchmark—even if you’re satisfied with where you are right now.

Successful campaigns still have room for improvement. Resting on your laurels will only give your competition time to catch up while you stay in the same place.

Ecommerce benchmarking also offers powerful insights into your brand’s biggest weaknesses. For example, using an analytic tool to discover that a site is loading much more slowly than competing sites.

As ecommerce vendors, it’s often difficult to find the most efficient ways to use our time. Identifying an area where a website might struggle gives an immediate goal. 

This is just one example showing how ecommerce benchmarks can help vendors shore up weaknesses—all while improving on their existing strengths.  

Simply having access to data doesn’t make you a data-driven organization. You need to use that data to make targeted improvements that will put your brand on the right track. 

Ecommerce is starting to center around data collection and analysis. Thanks to this, the way you leverage data is what will determine your long-term trajectory. 

The 10 Most Important Ecommerce Benchmarks

Looking at your ecommerce ROI benchmarks for the first time can be incredibly overwhelming. 

To help you get started with these analytics, we’ve created a list of the 10 most relevant metrics for ecommerce vendors.

  1. Overall Conversion Rates:
    Research from Growcode indicates that American ecommerce sites convert roughly 1.96% of visits into purchases. In other words, roughly two out of every three hundred visitors end up buying something.

    Getting customers to your website doesn’t provide much if they never end up making a purchase. With that in mind, you should always be doing everything you can to maximize your ecommerce conversion rate benchmark.

  2. Google Adwords Conversion Rates:
    Your Google Adwords conversion rate represents the percentage of Google Ads traffic that converts. Google Ads leads are more motivated than the average visitor, so you should be converting them at an even higher rate.

    Take some time to re-evaluate your current approach if your Google Adwords conversion rate is significantly lower than your conversion rate for other traffic.

  3. Facebook Ads Conversion Rates:
    With over one billion users, Facebook is the most common channel for social media marketing. However, conversion rates tend to be much lower on Facebook compared to Google at an average of just 1.42%.

    Consider how much stock you should put into Facebook Ads. Certain brands and industries will convert better on social media than others. For example, clothing companies might see more new customers interested in products and even in the company social profile.

  4. Email Conversion Rates:
    Email isn’t traditionally an exciting marketing channel. However, our data consistently indicates that it’s the best platform for conversions. It also offers an incredible average ROI of 40,000%.

    This makes it one of the most valuable marketing tools currently available. To that point, our data shows that the average conversion rate from email clicks is roughly 6.49%.

  5. Black Friday Conversion Rates:
    Black Friday is the most important time of the year for both ecommerce and retail vendors. In fact, some stores make as much as 50% of their annual revenue from big sales events like this.

    This includes the weekend from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday—known as Cyber 10. The average conversion rate skyrockets to an incredible 10.3% over the Black Friday weekend.

  6. Average Repeat Customer Rates:
    Converting a customer for the first time is great. Bringing them back for repeat purchases is even better. Retaining your customers also helps your business become more profitable.

  7. Bounce Rates:
    Every user that visits your site and leaves without doing anything represents a missed opportunity. Visitors usually come to your site for a reason. Bounces are usually the result of failing to meet their expectations.

    The overall average bounce rate is 60%, but bounce rates are similarly dependent on your niche and target audience. Keep in mind that your bounce rate could be very different for desktop and mobile traffic.

  8. Time on Site:
    The more time a customer spends on your site, the more likely they are to make a purchase. Every extra second represents a chance to them to form a more personal relationship with your brand.

    A typical ecommerce site keeps visitors active for an average of 128 seconds. With this in mind, consider how you can best capitalize on this attention span.

  9. Abandoned Cart Rates:
    Naturally, losing a visitor isn’t ideal. Losing someone who already had a product in their cart is even worse. Consider that the average cart abandonment rate is about 25%—anything higher than that could be a sign of inefficiencies in your checkout process.

    Whether your cart abandonment rate is higher than this or you want to lower it, examine your checkout process. Consider what elements might drive your customers away from the checkout. For example, unexpected shipping costs are another common cause of lost sales and revenue.

  10. Page Load Time:
    Internet users expect lightning-fast loading times. Roughly a quarter of all visitors will leave after just four seconds of waiting. This is similar to how people will only wait patiently for an elevator for five seconds—you need to accommodate visitors quickly.

    Beyond issues with user experiences, long load times also hurt your Google search rankings. This means that your site will become less visible—more so the longer you leave the problem unchecked and unresolved.

How to Use Benchmarks to Grow Your Business

The most important ecommerce benchmarks to monitor depend on your typical customer journey. For example, consider brands that primarily sell expensive products.

These will typically have lower than average conversion rates than cheaper products. After all, customers will buy the latter on impulse. 

That’s why it’s important to compare your results to other brands in your vertical rather than taking them out of context.

You can’t extract the full value of your marketing data without leveraging it on a regular basis. The right implementation of ecommerce benchmarks is different for every business, but these steps will put you on the right track:

  • Find the metrics listed above in your Google Analytics dashboard
  • Compare each ecommerce benchmark with the averages shown above
  • Brainstorm ways to fix your top weakness
  • Try different ideas and test their impact on your results
  • Apply the same steps to the remaining benchmarks

Make use of contemporary testing and analytic tools. These help you improve your approach to digital marketing—they make it as easy as simply following the data. 

By following these tips, you can optimize every element of your campaigns and move more leads through the sales cycle.

About the author:
Ramon Bez is a growth hacker with ten years of experience using data to find opportunities for sustainable and profitable growth. He’s worked for online companies of various sizes, from startups to multi-million dollar businesses. In his last company, TourRadar, he helped raise revenues from $500k to $1.2M in under a year.

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