Screen Pages has released e-commerce benchmark data regarding visitor sources and behaviour, conversions for retail e-commerce websites, for the period January-June 2009.

The main findings are:

• Overall conversion rates increased by 3.2% from 2.18% in Q4 2008 to 2.25%, despite the Christmas factor of the previous period.
• Conversion rates for returning customers were 9% higher at 3.89%. At the same time, new business is harder to come by: conversions are down by 16% for new visitors.
• Email traffic to retail sites is lower (again, compared to Christmas), but it remains the best converting source of traffic & improving: up over 28% to 4.33%.

Search engines (paid and unpaid) remain the best source of traffic at 63%. Direct traffic (visitors keying the URL) produced 16%, with 11% coming from referrals (links from other websites) and email accounting for 9% on average.

43% of all traffic is brand related, i.e. visitors keying the website’s name into a search engine, entering its URL or responding to an email. It is this segment that offers greatest short-term sales potential, but in the long run must be offset by new customers who have not been reached by the brand.

The data, compiled from 30 e-tail websites over a six month period built on the same platform all using Google Analytics, studies where visitors land on websites and what actions they take.

As a Google Authorised Analytics Consultant, Screen Pages has invested in Google Analytics to provide the tracking technology for e-commerce websites. The company provides a range of value-added services to help retailers get up to speed with Google Analytics, including standard and advanced/bespoke training, quarterly e-commerce benchmarking and individual website audits.

About Screen Pages

Screen Pages ( has provided e-commerce and related value-added marketing services to niche retailers and mail order companies since 2002. Its e-commerce approach blends creative, analytical, marketing and technical services designed to increase a brand's sales online. Screen Pages' portfolio includes over 60 clients such as Thorntons, Browns Fashion, East, Joules Clothing and Smythson.

Published on: 5:11PM on 8th September 2009