July 24, 2014, 12:21 PM

E-retailers improve key metrics in Q2

Greater traffic levels paired with higher conversion rates and orders sizes helped drive a 19% increase in web sales for MarketLive clients tracked in a quarterly study. Q2 stats also reflect the ongoing shift of online shopping to mobile devices.

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Web sales grew 19.4% year over year in the second quarter for the more than 100 retailer clients that e-commerce software provider MarketLive Inc. tracks in its quarterly performance index. The sales growth outpaced traffic growth of 11.1%. Improvements in key on-site metrics show how e-retailers did a better job of converting traffic into sales.

E-retailers in Q2 did a better job of getting consumers to add products to their carts and to complete the checkout process. The average add-to-cart rate in Q2 for the studied e-retailers was 8.2%, which is an improvement of 3.6% year over year, according to MarketLive data. The average conversion rate in the quarter was 2.48%, an improvement of 4.7% year over year.

E-retailers in Q2 also saw some shifts in how consumers arrived at their sites. Consumers clicking on organic search results drove 31.37% of traffic, up from 27.97% in Q2 2013, a change of 12.18%. A greater percentage of traffic came as a result of clicking through from e-mail: 10.05% versus 7.19% a year ago, a nearly 40% increase. MarketLive did not explain the large increase in traffic from e-mail.

E-retailers saw less traffic coming from consumers typing in URLs directly or from accessing a bookmarked URL: direct traffic accounted for 20.16% of Q2 traffic, down from 23.50% in Q2 2013. Traffic coming from paid search declined only slightly on a percentage basis, from 16.64% a year ago to 16.15% in the most recent quarter.

Q2 data also reflects consumers ongoing shift to mobile. 24.13% of traffic to the e-retail sites included in MarketLive’s performance index came from consumers on smartphones, up from 15.90% a year ago. 15.25% of traffic came from tablets (up from 12.40%) and 60.62% from desktop users (down from 71.70%). As a percentage of revenue, consumers on smartphones were responsible for 6.68% of quarterly sales (up from 4.12% a year ago); tablets, 12.68%, up from 10.49% a year ago; and desktop, 80.64%, down from 85.9%. 

Eight merchants in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide operate on MarketLive’s e-commerce platform, including Beachbody LLC, No. 137; Fossil Inc., No. 205; and Title Nine, No. 347. Ten merchants in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 Guide are MarketLive clients, including Ulla Popken, No. 561; and FrenchToast.com, No. 701.

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