Online Analytics Manager at Waitrose Ltd.
27 February 2008 12:16pm
I work for epson (http://www.buyepson.co.uk), and we are just getting started in Web Analytics.
One of the things I want to have a look at is our checkout abandonment - how well and painlessly we convert customers from starting the checkout to completing checkout and receiving an order confirmation.
I can see the conversion on our website - 90% of customers starting the checkout place their order, but I don't really know how well it means we're doing compared to others.
I found a very interesting forrester research on the reasons why customers would not complete the process, but I haven't found a benchmark of conversion rates.
So I was wondering if someone on the forums could enlighten me.
Thanks in advance.
CEO at Econsultancy
03 March 2008 20:44pm
To state the (hopefully) obvious:- Abandonment rates vary hugely by sector / product / target audience. So you can't really talk about an 'average' overall.- Abandonment rates vary hugely on the SAME site depending on the source of visitor, whether they're a first time visitor or not, the product category etc. etc. All of which means that abandonment rates are not THAT interesting (bit like conversion rates) except in the way that you can change them on your own site by incremental improvements over time.
However, if you really want a statistic then we typically hear around 50% as a standard drop out rate for a (more generalist than Epson) retail site. So it looks like you're doing really well.
I guess you've looked at whatever stats we have on this in our latest Internet Statistics Compendium?
And I assume you've read our indispensable (and much better value than Forrester ;) ) report Online Retail 2007: Checkout Special?
04 March 2008 09:33am
Thanks for your response, it's really useful.
Freelance at Language4Communications
06 March 2008 08:50am
I appreciate you have to get your head around the complicated subject of web analytics. You might also want to think about extracting customer and product insight and engagement from the myriad social media (blogs, forums, message borads, usenets social networks, social applications) that people use to inform themselves before, during and after visits to www.buyepson.co.uk.
We have been working with Epson Spain for about three years in doing just that. Online comments and discussions are pro-active, create further opinion both on and offline and are growing in influence on purchase decisions. Feedback on the website experience is a growing issue within this intelligence.
See www.asomo.net for more on this.
E-commerce Manager at Monarch Airlines
07 March 2008 08:36am
Was asked the very same thing at a recent marketing seminar group I presented to. Of course I told them 'that kind of market research is like rocking horse poo' unless you want to spend £20k on a Hitwise conversions report, but then did some digging myself and found a couple of useful resources that offer reasonably up to date information on top e-commerce websites conversion rates. It's not very granular and I assume they are looking overall UVs to purchase, but could prove a useful benchmark none-the-less. They certainly give us something to aim for...
Ian Chambers | E-commerce Manager | Monarch Airlines | www.monarch.co.uk
Group Account Director at DTDigital
10 March 2008 14:33pm
If you're getting 90% conversion from shopping basket to sale, then you're doing very well in terms of most retail e-commerce applications.
With such strong conversion stats, I would recommend you focus your attention on the up-stream traffic generation to the basket as your conversion through the sales funnel is good.
Focus on two distinct paths:
- User journey within the site (Internal usability and site design)
- User journey to the site (marketing, advertising and promotion)
My agency provide e-commerce conversion support to online retailers and once you're happy with your level of conversion to sale from basket, the key metric we try to improve is the overall shop-to-basket measurement.
This is the 'consideration' measurement, and is the point at which customers are at the most suggestible. Once they've added to basket, they're already in the 'purchase' phase, and they'll drop out usually only if something goes wrong, or they're spooked by something unexpected or not obvious about your sales process.
Consideration is much harder to pin down, and more difficult to spot in the analytics.
If you can improve this stage via multivariate and A/B testing of offers and products on the site, your overall volumes should improve dramatically.
From your post it sounds like you're just starting to tackle the analytics, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1) Set your objectives early: Analytics can provide a wealth of useless information. So focus on the strategic objectives. A website is a living thing, so devote resources on fixing the strategic issues, and then improve in a cycle. Only when you know what the objectives are can you effectively measure them.
2) Test constantly: Small improvements in base functionality can improve performance dramtically, so set up multivariate, A/B and regular user testing programmes. It's not an extra cost, it's a necessary (read: ongoing)investment. Having a robust testing programme will reap rewards. Likewise creative changes can have dramtic effect, so allow resource for constant development.
But always remember:
3) Your internal analytics provide no external context: Even if the numbers on your site look good, you may be slipping behind competitors. Get a competitive benchmark set early and compare often. Subscribe to an external industry analysis report. It's important to constantly compare to your competitors.
If you're in the market for a good e-commerce conversion consultancy to help setting up this sort of programme, let me know (contact details on our website: www.bplmarketing.com). We at BPL Marketing do this sort of thing for our clients. We act as the 'voice of reason' in the middle of advertising and marketing agencies, your web developers and your internal marketing and sales stakeholders. We're very good at it.
Good luck with it all. If you're anything like me, you'll be astonished by the insight good analytics can produce, and how impressed your colleagues will be when you can provide hard evidence to back up 'gut-feel'.
11 March 2008 16:26pm
Thanks to all for your input.
The Web Analytics Beginner's Guide aims to be the first step in a journey that will see you become a fully-fledged expert in online analytics. A must-read for those interested in this area, free to Bronze members and higher.
Econsultancy's UK Web Analytics Statistics document is one of 11 individual downloads that make up Econsultancy’s UK Internet Statistics Compendium, a comprehensive compilation of statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures that are essential to understanding the marketplace as a whole.
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