November 10, 2009, 12:00 AM

MarketLive Index shows sales up nearly 2%

Same-store online sales of more than 160 midmarket online retailers who drive $2 billion in annual sales grew 2% in the third quarter compared to a year ago, according to the MarketLive quarterly index.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Same-store online sales of more than 160 online retailers who drive $2 billion in annual sales grew 2% in the third quarter compared to a year ago, according to the MarketLive quarterly index.

MarketLive also reports:

  • Visits to the 160 retailers were up 1.2% year over year.
  • Conversion rates fell to 3.4% from 3.72% a year ago.
  • Cart abandonment was up to 63% compared to 60.4% a year ago.
  • Exits after viewing one page fell to 30.9% from 38.3% a year ago.
  • The percentage of shoppers who place an item in a cart-which MarketLive calls the “engagement rate”-is up to 9.7% from 8.1% a year ago.
The conversion and abandonment rates show that consumers are still buying-but they’re doing a significant amount of research before they buy, says Mark Pierce, MarketLive CEO. “They’ll come to a site, build a cart and then will do a lot more searching around before they actually make their purchase,” he says.

MarketLive also reports some interesting conversion rate variations among types of retailers:

  • For catalogers, the average conversion rate was down to 4.6% from 5.7%, which MarketLive says is a positive trend for catalogers as it means they are driving more traffic from search engines and less from expensive catalog mailings. Consumers coming from search engines are not as likely to purchase as those who receive catalogs, hence the lower conversion rate.
  • For brand manufacturers, conversion rate increased to 3.2% from 2.7% a year ago.
  • For retail chains, conversion rate was flat at 1.5%.

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