Search engines continue to be the strongest source of customers for the online merchants who comprise the MarketLive Performance Index, finds MarketLive [download page] in an April report covering Q1 2012. About 39% of customers were acquired via search engines, up from roughly 38.2% in Q4. Close to 29% were bookmarked/typed, and about 1% were acquired via social networks, down from 1.3% the previous quarter, and 3% in Q3 2011. All other means combined represented the remaining share of acquired customers. Of the various verticals studied, brand manufacturers saw the highest proportion of customers acquired via social networks, at 2.1%.
The online merchants made significant year-over-year gains in areas such as visitors and revenues during Q1 2012. Data from “The MarketLive Performance Index Vol. 18? indicates revenue among year-over-year sites rose almost 20% compared to Q1 2011, while visits increased more than 4%. Conversion and engagement rates were both up more than 12%, to 4.23% and 10.59%, respectively, while abandonment rate dropped 1% to 61.09%. Tempering this success was an almost 12% increase in the “1 and out” rate, which grew to more than 36%, meaning that more than one-third of visitors now leave the websites after viewing a single page.
Despite the encouraging year-over-year results, online merchants saw quarter-over-quarter declines in various metrics. Looking at the average of all sites (not just year-over-year sites), MarketLive found that overall conversion rate dropped 26.1% to 4.28%, while engagement rate (visit to carts) fell 8.33% to 10.79%. The overall cart abandonment rate rose 9.84% to 61.15%, while the only good sign was a slight 0.63% drop in the 1 and out rate, to 36.32%.
About the Data: The MarketLive quarterly report examined Q1 performance data from more than 100 retail sites.