February 19, 2014, 1:23 PM

MarketLive retailer clients grow web revenue 26.5% in 2013

39% of Q4 traffic came from smartphones and tablets.

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Web sales grew 26.5% year over year in 2013 for the more than 100 clients retailers that e-commerce software provider MarketLive Inc. tracks in its quarterly Performance Index. The Year-End Benchmark report released this week says sales in the fourth quarter increased 16.1% over 2012. The report does not include revenue figures in dollars.

Traffic to the retailers’ web sites rose over 21% in the full-year 2013, including a 17% increase in Q4. Average order size in 2013 grew 3% over 2012 to $149.55, and the add-to-cart rate increased 8.3%. Merchants that operate on MarketLive’s e-commerce platform include Beachbody LLC, No. 125 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide; Orchard Brands Corp., No. 108; and dELiA*s Inc., No. 221.

Conversion rate for the retailers listed in the Index dropped about 1% to 2.60% in 2013, but conversion rate in the all-important fourth quarter grew 2.4% over 2012 to 2.95%. E-retailers with physical stores grew their conversion rate the fastest in 2013, with a reported 6.8% increase. The growth helps explain the 37% year-over-year revenue increase on web sites operated by retailers that also have bricks-and- mortar stores, the highest revenue growth among the six types of merchants in the index.

MarketLive’s Performance Index also tracks key trends in paid and organic search. According to the report, paid search visits accounted for about 33% of total search engine visits in 2013, up from 27% in 2012. Also, revenue from paid search rose to 44% of total search engine revenue in 2013, a 10% increase from 2012. Overall, clicks from paid search ads grew 25%, while visits originating with organic search results declined 8%. Visits from search engines as a percentage of total traffic increased just 1%.

The Performance Index’s findings also underscore the continuing shift to consumers shopping via smartphones and other mobile devices. 39% of retail web site visits in Q4 came from smartphones and tablets, and MarketLive predicts mobile devices will account for 50% of all traffic by the end of 2014. While tablet traffic grew four times faster than smartphone visits, smartphone revenue grew twice as fast as tablet revenue in the period. The Index also reported that 67% of online shopping trips start on one device and continue on another, usually within 24 hours.
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