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marketlive-online-merchants-q4-2011.jpgThe online merchants who comprise the MarketLive Performance Index made significant year-over-year gains in areas such as visitors and revenues during Q4 2011, according to [download page] a February 2012 report from MarketLive. Results from “The MarketLive Performance Index Vol. 17” indicate revenue among year-over-year sites rose 20.3% compared to Q4 2010, while visits increased more than 12%. According to January analysis from comScore, retail site categories boasted 5 of the 10 top-gaining web categories by percentage change of unique visitors in December 2011.

Other Areas Less Impressive

Data from MarketLive’s report indicates that online merchants showed only marginal year-over-year gains in other areas including conversion rate, which increased from 5.37% to 5.4%, and engagement rate, which rose 0.74% from 11.33% to 11.41%. In addition, the shopping cart abandonment rate dropped less than 1% from 57.42% to 56.86%.

Despite overall positive results, the “one and out” rate, which measures the percentage of visits ending after just one page, increased by more than 22%, suggesting that the increased traffic brought visitors whose needs were not immediately met.

Q-O-Q Results More Striking

marketlive-online-merchants-q4-2011-qoq.jpgQ4 2011 MarketLive Performance Index results were more significant when compared to Q3 2011 as opposed to Q4 2010. Among all sites (not just year-over-year sites), on a quarter-over-quarter basis, revenue soared 57.12% while visits grew 22.65%. Overall conversion rate jumped more than 27%, from 4.55% to 5.4%, and engagement rate rose almost 13% from 10.42% to 11.77%. Overall cart abandonment rate fell an impressive 9.45%, from 61.48% to 55.67%.

In addition, the percentage of “one and out” visits increased only 1.61%, from 35.97% to 36.55%.

Other Findings:

  • Average order size among index merchants during Q4 2011 was $140.87, down from $147.26 in Q3. Average order size was highest for apparel, footwear, and accessories sites ($204.20), and lowest for brand manufacturers ($74.35).
  • Average revenue per visit was $6.57, up from $5.26 the previous quarter.
  • The average customer viewed 11.32 pages per visit.
  • 63% of index sites had reviews. Catalogers had the highest percentage of sites with reviews (72%), and brick-and-mortar retailers the lowest (38%).
  • About 38.2% of customers were acquired via search engines, up from roughly 36% in Q3. 29.9% were bookmarked/typed, and about 1.3% were acquired via social networks, down from 3% the previous quarter. All other means combined represented the remaining share of acquired customers.

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