Ecommerce Benchmark Guide 2007

The Guide features:
  • 98% new content
  • 223 charts & tables
  • 1,913 ecommerce marketers own data
  • Survey results from heatmaps 2,449 online shoppers
  • New eyetracking incl. Best Buy, Circuit City & Wal-Mart
    Bonus: Order now to get PDF instant download + Printed copy together - two for the price of one!

  • Do you want to improve your e-commerce conversions? Grab a copy of MarketingSherpa's new Ecommerce Benchmark Guide 2007 to help you:

  • Raise shopper-to-buyer conversions, as well as buyer lifetime
  • Lower shopping cart abandons
  • Improve search engine marketing ROI, despite rising costs
  • Perk up email opens, clicks and conversions
  • Compare your marketing stats to your peers
  • Get marketing test and site revamp ideas approved by management

    Here's where MarketingSherpa gets its comprehensive ecommerce marketing data from:

    #1. 2007 MarketingSherpa Surveys and Audits of Your Peers - America's Top Ecommerce Marketers

    Our thanks to the 1,913 ecommerce marketers who took our fairly extensive survey this January, revealing their real-life budgeting strategies, traffic-driving tactics and conversion data. This is the world’s largest survey ever of ecommerce marketers. And, the resulting data is phenomenal.
    In addition, our research team conducted an audit of 250 US ecommerce sites, including the largest ones as well as the more entrepreneurial ones. We signed up for your email, used your customer service tools and reviewed your home page features to see what the norm is for 2007. Plus, given how critical search marketing is for driving ecommerce traffic, we examined your status by industry (e.g., apparel, home electronics, etc.) in both organic (SEO) and paid search listings.

    #2. New MarketingSherpa Surveys of Online Shoppers

    In a new series of three surveys, conducted in partnership with Prospectiv, Guidester and Survey Sampling, we asked a total of 2,449 adult (18+) online shoppers everything from:

  • How they research and determine which sites to shop on
  • What is the first activity they do when landing at your site
  • What factors make them leave your site without buying
  • Whether customer (peer) reviews make a difference in their buying decisions
  • How often they like to receive email from a typical ecommerce site
  • How they feel about special offers in transactional emails they get from you

    #3. New Eyetracking Lab Tests of Five Famous Sites

    You will find six colorful “heatmaps” in this Guide, the results of our eyetracking lab tests conducted in February 2007. Our goal was to determine what typical ecommerce shoppers’ eyes actually “see” when they navigate through a site – especially on all-critical category pages. This kind of data is very useful for your Web design team.

    Sites included in this all-new study: Best Buy, Circuit City,, QVC and Wal-Mart.

    #4."Best of" Study Results from 30 Independent Research Organizations

    Next, we filled out any holes with “Best Of” data from more than 30 organizations, such as Coremetrics, comScore and Nielsen//NetRatings. Much of this data is previously unpublished, generously gathered by these organizations at our request because we hoped you would find it useful.

    All in all, you have nearly 300 pages packed with 223 charts and tables and six eyetracking heatmaps that you can use to: make your case for site revamps … plan your budget around … drive search and email marketing campaign tests … pick the most effective promotions … create more accurate shopper "personas" ... and answer in-house debates about what "works best".

    Top 10 questions MarketingSherpa's Ecommerce Benchmark Guide helps you answer:

    #1. How can we lower shopping cart abandons? What’s the typical abandon rate?

    #2. What do more than 40% of shoppers immediately look for on our home page? How can we make that one element more effective?

    #3. How can we raise conversion rates for new shoppers? Will adding bill-me capability help or hurt our bottom line?

    #4. Which three email improvements are most worth investing in to raise sales? Should we add promotions on our shipping notices and receipts? How about sending e-coupons?

    #5. How can we increase customer loyalty and lifetime value? Getting customers to buy from us repeatedly is critical to our profitability.

    #6. How can I improve our affiliate program results? And, how do my competitors recruit more affiliates?

    #7. Which shopper tools, such as instant chat with customer service and product reviews, will really improve conversions?

    #8. How can we make store category pages more powerful? How do we get more shoppers who land on category pages to buy something?

    #9. Which Web site tests give the most impact? If I could only test three features on our site, which three would be the most worth testing?

    #10. Search marketing is more expensive – what’s the average ecommerce search click conversion and how can we improve ours? Plus, how does our site’s search presence stack up against our competitors’ visibility?

    What Reviewers are saying about MarketingSherpa's Ecommerce Benchmark Guide:

    "I looked through my copy of the Guide, marking useful, actionable tidbits. As I worked through the Guide, I began to make small but significant changes in my product pages, such as adding a guarantee graphic and revising my return policy wording. These changes alone will probably generate of hundreds or thousands of dollars a year in increased revenue."

    Dr. Ralph Wilson
    Publisher, Web Marketing Today

    Table of Contents: MarketingSherpa Ecommerce Benchmark Guide 2007

    Chapter 1: Traffic Generation

    Chart 1.01 : If Shoppers Had Only One Choice, They’d Go Online
    Chart 1.02 : How Do Online Shoppers Find New Retailers?
    Chart 1.03 : The Shoppers’ View – Cons of Online Shopping
    Chart 1.04 : What Factors Turn Off Prospective Shoppers?
    Chart 1.05 : First Step in Product Research – Electronics Example
    Chart 1.06 : What’s the First Thing Consumers Do When They Arrive on a Retail Site?
    Chart 1.07 : Online Shopping and Product Research Are Ordinary
    Chart 1.08 : How Often Do Consumers Research Products Online Before Buying in a Brick-and-Mortar Store?
    Chart 1.09 : How Much Did Consumers Spend Online Last Year?
    Chart 1.10 : How Does Product Type Affect Likelihood of Online Research?
    Chart 1.11 : Where Do Consumers Begin Their Online Research?

    Ecommerce Marketing Tactics
    Chart 1.12 : Product Marketers Evaluate Ecommerce Marketing Tactics
    Chart 1.13 : Ecommerce Marketing – Holiday Tactics Compared
    Chart 1.14 : Product Marketers Evaluate Offline Marketing Tactics
    Chart 1.15 : Consumer Services Marketers Evaluate Offline Marketing Tactics

    Website Visitors - Where Are They Coming From?
    Chart 1.16 : Breakdown of the Sources for Ecommerce Website Visitors

    Multichannel Marketing
    Chart 1.17 : What Are Multichannels Doing – Those w/Sales Under $5MM
    Chart 1.18 : What Are Multichannels Doing– Those w/Sales Between $5MM and $50MM
    Chart 1.19 : What Are Multichannels Doing – Those w/Sales Above $50MM

    Search Marketing
    Chart 1.20 : Ecommerce Marketers Evaluate Top-Tier Paid Search Marketing
    Chart 1.21 : Share of Search Activity
    Chart 1.22 : Share of Shopping Related Searches
    Chart 1.23 : Share of Search Activity – Ecommerce

    Search Marketing Benchmarks
    Chart 1.24 : Ecommerce Marketers – Conversion Rates on Top-Tier Search Sites 2006 and 2007
    Chart 1.25 : 2005-2006 Keyword Prices on Top-Tier Search Engines – Consumer Ecommerce Products Under $50
    Chart 1.26 : 2005-2006 Keyword Prices on Top-Tier Search Engines – Consumer Ecommerce Products Between $50 and $100
    Chart 1.27 : 2005-2006 Keyword Prices on Top-Tier Search Engines – Consumer Ecommerce Products Over $100
    Chart 1.28 : 2005-2006 Keyword Prices – Shopping Comparison Sites Compared to the Top Tier
    Chart 1.29 : 2005-2006 Keyword Prices on Second-Tier Search Engines
    Chart 1.30 : Ecommerce Marketers Evaluate 2nd-Tier Paid Search Marketing
    Chart 1.31 : Marketers & Agencies Rate 2nd-Tier Search
    Chart 1.32 : Agency and Marketer Comments on 2nd-Tier Experience
    Chart 1.33: Keyword Prices – Comparing the First & Second Tier
    Chart 1.34 : Top 25 U.S. Product/Retail-Oriented Search Terms (June 2006)

    Special Report: Search Marketing Report Card for Top Retail Sites Chart 1.35 : Search Marketing Emphasis of Top Retailers
    Chart 1.36 : Search Marketing Emphasis of Top Sites by Product Area
    Chart 1.37 : Search Marketing Emphasis – Books & DVDs
    Chart 1.38 : Search Marketing Emphasis – Housewares & Home Furnishings
    Chart 1.39 : Search Marketing Emphasis – Office Supplies
    Chart 1.40 : Search Marketing Emphasis – Flowers, Gifts and Jewelry
    Chart 1.41 : Search Marketing Emphasis – Automotive and Hardware
    Chart 1.42 : Search Marketing Emphasis – Apparel and Accessories
    Chart 1.43 : Search Marketing Emphasis – Computer and Electronics
    Chart 1.44 : Search Marketing Emphasis – Toys and Hobbies
    Chart 1.45 : Search Marketing Emphasis – Drug, Food and Beauty

    Shopping Comparison Sites
    Chart 1.46 : Ecommerce Marketers Evaluate Shopping Comparison Sites
    Chart 1.47 : Shopping Engines Compared – Search Agencies Rate ROI
    Chart 1.48 : Shopping Sites – Required Feed Attributes
    Chart 1.49 : Shopping Sites – Required Feed Attributes
    Chart 1.50 : At What Price Do We Start to Comparison Shop Online?
    Chart 1.51 : How Do Comparison Shoppers Use Online Shopping Tools?
    Chart 1.52 : Negative Retail Site Factors for Comparison Site Users

    Search Engine Optimization
    Chart 1.53 : Ecommerce Marketers Evaluate Search Engine Optimization – Product vs. Services
    Chart 1.54 : SEO – Easier Said Than Done Notes from the Field: Combating Plummeting Ecommerce Site Rankings

    Affilitate Marketing
    Chart 1.55 : Ecommerce Marketers Evaluate Affiliate Marketing
    Chart 1.56 : Merchants Rate Challenges in Affiliate Marketing
    Chart 1.57 : Merchant Policies Toward Affiliate Email in B-to-C
    Chart 1.58 : Do Merchants Connect Affiliate Email Practices with Their Own Reputations?
    Chart 1.59 : How Are Merchants Monitoring Affiliate Email?
    Chart 1.60 : Affiliate CAN-Spam Compliance Failures
    Chart 1.61 : Summary of Affiliate CAN-Spam Compliance Study
    Guidelines for CAN-SPAM Checks Used for this Audit
    Additional Guidelines for CAN-SPAM compliance
    Chart 1.62 : Ecommerce Marketers – Affiliate Conversion Rates 2006-2007
    Chart 1.63 : Merchant Practices in Recruiting and Supporting Affiliates
    Chart 1.64 : Merchant Policies Toward Affiliates’ Paid Search Becoming More Sophisticated

    Online Advertsing
    Chart 1.65 : Product Marketers Evaluate Online Advertising-Related Tactics
    Chart 1.66 : Web Publishers Diversity Ad Types and Offerings

    Auction & Classified Sites
    Chart 1.67 : Consumers Rate Pros and Cons of Online Auction Sites

    Chapter 2. Converting Shoppers Buyers
    Chart 2.01 : How Well Do Marketing and Technology Work Together on Ecommerce Web Sites?
    Chart 2.02 : Marketers Rate Impact of Ecommerce Trends
    Chart 2.03 : Are Product Marketers Taking Advantage of Online Opportunities?
    Chart 2.04 : Are Consumer Services Marketers Taking Advantage of Online Opportunities?

    Home Pages
    Chart 2.05 : Retail Site Home Page Image Saturation – SMB and Large Sites Compared
    Chart 2.06 : Sales Promotions on Retail Site Home Pages
    Chart 2.07 : Special Offers on Retail Site Home Pages
    Chart 2.08 : Some Sites Still Use Pop-Ups on Retail Site Home Pages

    Internal Search Pages
    Chart 2.09 : Consumers Split on Preferred Way of Finding Products
    Chart 2.10 : Sites Using ‘Buy by Brand’ or Other Unique Navigational Options
    Chart 2.11 : Presence of a Search Bar on Retail Site Home Pages
    Chart 2.12 : Retail Site Marketers Grade Their Internal Search
    Chart 2.13 : Retail Site Marketers Rank Internal Search Capabilities Chart 2.14 : Share of Internal Search Showing Price in Results
    Chart 2.15 : Sorting Options Available in Ecommerce Search

    Special Report: Internal Search & Navigation Eyetracking Study
    Image 2.16 : Category/Search Page
    Heatmap 2.17 : Category/Search Page
    Findings 2.18 :
    Image 2.19 : Category Page
    Heatmap 2.20 : Category Page
    Image 2.21 : QVC Internal Search Results 1
    Image 2.22 : QVC Internal Search Results 2
    Heatmap 2.23 : QVC Internal Search Results 1
    Heatmap 2.24 : QVC Internal Search Results 2
    Image 2.25 : Circuit City Internal Search Results
    Heatmap 2.26 : Circuit City Internal Search Results
    Image 2.27 : Wal-Mart Internal Search Results
    Heatmap 2.28 : Wal-Mart Internal Search Results
    Key Findings – Eyetracking Year Two – Internal Search and Navigation Study
    Key Findings from Ecommerce Eyetracking – Year One

    Customer Experience on Ecommerce Sites
    Chart 2.29 : Problems Encountered While Shopping Online
    Chart 2.30 : Consumers Rate Compelling Retail Site Features
    Chart 2.31 : Product Buying Guide – Bed, Bath & Beyond
    Chart 2.32 : Info on File a Key for Some Consumers
    Chart 2.33 : Anonymous Cookie Data – 2005 vs. 2006

    Site Tools and Offers
    Chart 2.34 : Product Marketers Rate Website Tools
    Chart 2.35 : Consumer Services Marketers Rate Website Tools
    Chart 2.36 : Online Consumers Are Using a Variety of Information Sources
    Chart 2.37 : RSS Feeds Still Unusual on Retail Sites
    Image 2.38 : Consumer Site RSS Feed

    Consumer Reviews
    Chart 2.39 : Consumers Prefer Sites with Reviews
    Chart 2.40 : Are Sites Offering Customer Rankings and Reviews?
    Chart 2.41 : A Surprising Number of Consumers Post Reviews and Product Comments
    Chart 2.42 : Top-Rated Products Get 75% Positive Reviews
    Chart 2.43 : Top-Rated Products Get 83% Positive Ratings
    Chart 2.44 : Range of Responses in Consumer Reviews
    Table 2.45 : Growth of Consumer-Generated Media

    Website Tests & Tactics
    Chart 2.46 : Effectiveness of Website Tests – Product Marketers
    Chart 2.47 : Effectiveness of Website Tests – Service Marketers Notes from the Field: Three Advanced Ecommerce Tests

    Shopping Cart Abandonment
    Chart 2.48 : Product Marketers – Shopping Cart Abandonment 2006-2007
    Chart 2.49 : Services Marketers - Shopping Cart Abandonment 2006-2007
    Chart 2.50 : Why Weren’t Transactions Completed?
    Chart 2.51 : Why Consumers Abandoned – Another View

    Shopping Carts & Payment Options
    Table 2.52 : Shopping Cart Tests and Tactics
    Chart 2.53 : Payment Options Offered by Ecommerce Sites
    Chart 2.54 : Effectiveness of Shopping Cart Abandonment Emails 2006-2007
    Image 2.55 : Shopping Cart Abandonment Email
    Notes from the Field: How to Run a Complex Auto-Email Program to Reduce Abandoned Carts for High Consideration Purchases Notes from the Field: Can Multivariate Tests Reduce Your Shopping Cart Abandons?
    Image 2.56 : Mini-cart Example 1: Chadwick’s Image: Mini-cart
    Example 2: The Sharper Image
    Image 2.57 : Mini-cart Example 3: PetSmart
    Image 2.58 : Mini-cart Example 4: The Sportsman’s Guide
    Chart 2.59 : Persistent Shopping Cart Example 1: AJ Madison
    Chart 2.60 : Persistent Shopping Cart Example 2: Omaha Steaks

    Chapter 3. Increasing Repeat Customers

    Email Marketing
    Chart 3.01 : Ecommerce Marketers Rate House Email – Product vs. Services
    Chart 3.02 : Segmentation Ecommerce Marketers Evaluate House Email
    Chart 3.03 : Ecommerce Marketers Evaluate Third-Party Email Lists – Product vs. Services
    Chart 3.04 : Email Merchandising Tactics Rated by Product Marketers
    Chart 3.05 : Email Merchandising Tactics Rated by Service Marketers
    Chart 3.06 : Marketer Use of Email Merchandising Tools
    Chart 3.07 : How Many Commercial Email Relationships Are Consumers Maintaining?
    Chart 3.08 : Do Online Shoppers Still Subscribe to Retailer Email?
    Chart 3.09 : Most Online Shoppers Find Email Frequency Appropriate
    Chart 3.10 : How Has Spam Affected Consumers’ Use of Email 2004-2007
    Chart 3.11 : How Consumers Perceive the Issues of Spam, False Positives, etc
    Chart 3.12 : The Consumer’s Perspective – A New Wave of Spam
    Chart 3.13 : What Email Benchmarks Are B-to-C Marketers Tracking?
    Table 3.14 : What Metrics Should Marketers Be Tracking?
    Table 3.15 : What Variables to Test

    Email Benchmarks
    Chart 3.16 : Ecommerce Marketers – House Email Conversion Rates 2006-2007
    Chart 3.17 : Ecommerce Marketers – Third-Party Email Conversion Rates 2006-2007
    Chart 3.18 : Agencies Estimate – Open Rate for B-to-C Campaigns to House List
    Chart 3.19 : List Growth Breakdown for B-to-C Marketers

    Preview Panes
    Notes from the Field – Preview Pane Best Practices
    Notes from the Field - Email Newsletter Redesign to Improve Preview Pane Viewing
    Table 3.20: How Email Clients Show Images (or Don’t)
    Image 3.21: HTML Emails Compared – Images Off/On

    Email Registration & Preferences
    Chart 3.22: Most Retail Sites Offering Email Opt-in on Home Page
    Chart 3.23: Location of Email Opt-in on Retail Site Home Pages
    Chart 3.24: Few Retail Sites Offer One-Step Email Opt-in
    Chart 3.25: Retail Sites Offering Email Newsletters at Checkout or Through Registration
    Chart 3.26: Online Consumers Views on Greater Control of Merchant Emails
    Chart 3.27: Ecommerce Welcome Messages – Percentage Sent
    Chart 3.28: Retail Sites’ Welcome Message Content
    Chart 3.29: Immediacy of Retail Sites’ Welcome Messages
    Chart 3.30: Frequency of Emails During the Holiday Shopping and Returns Season

    Online Coupons
    Chart 3.31: Use of Coupons Received in Email
    Table 3.32: Types of Online Coupons
    Coupon Metrics — Basic Redemption Data
    Table 3.33: Coupon Redemption Rates

    Customer Service
    Chart 3.34: How Quickly Do Large Ecommerce Sites Respond to Emailed Inquiries?
    Chart 3.35: How Quickly Do SMB Ecommerce Sites Respond to Emailed Inquiries?
    Chart 3.36: Consumer Expectations for Service from Online Retailers
    Chart 3.37: How Many People Do Consumers Tell about Their Experiences?

    Special Report: Marketing & Transaction Email Study
    Chart 3.38: One-Third of Consumers Maintain a Special Account for Commercial Emails
    Chart 3.39: Online Consumers Rely on Email and Prefer It
    Chart 3.40: Not All Retail Service Messages Are Created Equal
    Chart 3.41: Having Special Commercial Email Accounts Equals High Preference for Email
    Chart 3.42: Younger Users More Comfortable With Email Bills
    Chart 3.43: Service-Related Emails Are Opened & Read
    Chart 3.44: Consumer Reaction to Marketing in Service Emails
    Chart 3.45: How Do Marketers Think Customers React to a Marketing/Service Mix?
    Chart 3.46: Younger Consumers Are More Accepting of Service/Marketing Mix
    Chart 3.47: Marketing/Service Mix – Factors That Influence Consumer Opinion Chart
    3.48: Marketing/Service Mix – Factors That Influence Opinion by Age Group
    Image 3.49: Marketing/Service Mix – Low Intensity Example
    Image 3.50: Marketing/Service Mix – Medium Intensity Example
    Image 3.51: Marketing/Service Mix – High Intensity Example
    Chart 3.52: Marketing/Service Mix – Did Consumers Notice the Marketing?
    Chart 3.53: Marketing/Service Mix – Did Consumers Find the Marketing Appropriate?
    Chart 3.54: Marketing/Service Mix – Did Consumers Find the Marketing Relevant?
    Chart 3.55: Marketing/Service Mix – Comparing Relevance with Appropriateness
    Chart 3.56: If They Can Use Preview Panes …They Do
    Chart 3.57: How Consumers Configure the Preview Pane
    Image 3.58: Preview Pane Option #1 – Horizontal with Small Preview
    Image 3.59: Preview Pane Option #2 – Horizontal with Large Preview
    Image 3.60: Preview Pane Option #3 – Vertical with Small Preview
    Image 3.61: Preview Pane Option #4 – Vertical with Large Preview

    Emerging Tactics & Consumer Generated Content
    Chart 3.62: Ecommerce Marketers Rate Emerging Marketing Tactics Chart 3.63: Consumers Are Wired, but Not That Wired
    Chart 3.64: Young Consumers Are That Wired
    Chart 3.65: Younger Users Dominate Use of Emerging Media Consumption Models
    Image 3.66: Ecommerce Blogs –
    Image 3.67: Ecommerce Blogs – Boot Barn

    Chapter 4. Ecommerce, Budgeting & B-to-B Benchmarks

    Chart 4.01: Ecommerce Order Growth 2005-2006
    Table 4.02: U.S. Government Ecommerce Data 2004-2006
    Chart 4.03: Year Over Year Growth in Ecommerce 2005-2006
    Chart 4.04: Year-Over-Year Ecommerce Growth by Category
    Chart 4.05: Average Ecommerce Order Size by Category

    Chart 4.06: Share of Ecommerce Marketing Budgets Spent Online
    Chart 4.07: Ecommerce Budget Increases in Key Online Marketing Tactics
    Chart 4.08: How Are Online Marketing Elements Treated in Ecommerce Budgets?

    Retail Benchmarks
    Chart 4.09: How Well Are Product Marketers Tracking Essential Metrics?
    Chart 4.10: How Well Are Consumer Services Marketers Tracking Essential Metrics?

    Repeat Customers
    Chart 4.11: Product Marketers – Repeat Customers 2006-2007
    Chart 4.12: Services Marketers - Repeat Customers 2006-2007
    Chart 4.13: Ecommerce Conversion Rates of Repeat Visitors
    Chart 4.14: Product Marketers – Return Rate

    Chart 4.15: Percentage of Ecommerce Revenue Lost To Fraud
    Chart 4.16: Revenue Impact of Fraud on Online Retailers
    Chart 4.17: Fraud and Order Rejection Rate by Retail Sector
    Chart 4.18: How Are Retailers Combating Fraud?
    Chart 4.19: Churn in Ecommerce Systems Continues
    Chart 4.20: Are B-to-B Ecommerce Marketers Taking Advantage of Online Opportunities?

    Focus on B-to-B Ecommerce
    Chart 4.21: B-to-B Marketer Ownership of Ecommerce Websites Lags Behind Consumer Marketers
    Chart 4.22: How Well Are B-to-B Ecommerce Marketers Tracking Essential Metrics?
    Chart 4.23: Online Conversion Rates for B-to-B Ecommerce
    Chart 4.24: A Confederacy of Metrics – Differing Definitions of Retailer Email Conversion
    Chart 4.25: B-to-B Ecommerce Marketers Rate Search and Email-Related Tactics
    Chart 4.26: B-to-B Ecommerce Marketers’ Usage of Search and Email Related Tactics
    Chart 4.27: B-to-B Ecommerce Marketers Rate Offline Tactics
    Chart 4.28: B-to-B Ecommerce Marketers’ Usage of Offline Tactics
    Chart 4.29: B-to-B Ecommerce Marketers Rate Website Tests
    Chart 4.30: Breakdown of B-to-B Ecommerce Organizations Providing Data

    Appendix: Demographics of MarketingSherpa 2007 Consumers and Marketing Study
    Chart 5.01: Demographics – Male/Female
    Chart 5.02: Demographics – Age
    Chart 5.03: Demographics – Income Level
    Chart 5.04: Demographics – Daily Email Volume
    Chart 5.05: Demographics – Number of Personal Email Accounts

    Referenced Resources

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