eCommerce Foundation Launches Results for eCommerce Benchmark

(Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine) – The eCommerce Foundation, a non-profit organization created with the intent to help both companies and the industry as a whole to improve e-commerce activities, today announced the first findings of its eCommerce Benchmark research initiative. Supported by over 250 retailers from global markets, the research shows that Search is now a key factor in influencing consumer choice in online purchasing, with retailers stating that 59% of all online traffic to their websites comes via search engines. Social & viral related traffic only contributes very modesty to the overall traffic (4%).

The  eCommerce Foundation launched the eCommerce Benchmark initiative in October 2011 with the aim of conducting research studies, facilitating knowledge, sharing and supporting benchmarking efforts within the retail and eCommerce sectors. Supported by industry leading partners such as hybris, Unic and Buckaroo, the eCommerce Benchmark website is an interactive online evaluation tool for both B2B and B2C merchants and retailers, which enables them compare their own e-commerce activities on 100+ key performance indicators with those of competitors, anonymously and for free.

Some key findings from this first set of research include:

Search engines rule, social media not: more than 59% of all traffic is coming from search engines. Paid search traffic as part of all search engine traffic is however lower than expected and is on average 20%. Direct traffic is the third main source of traffic (22%). Email (6%) plays a modest role. Social & Viral related traffic contributes even less (4%).

Shopping cart abandonment plagues the fashion industry: The average cart abandonment rate in retail is 45.7%. While specialty stores (40.5%) and home & garden (36.0%) stores are performing well, the fashion industry tops at 52.7%.

Conversion ratios differ strongly per industry:  From a mere 0.7% in the food retail to up to 4.9% in specialty stores conversion ratio’s differ strongly per industry. While the assortment of department stores is much broader then within other sub-industries and a higher conversion ratio would be expected, only a low 2.5% is reached. Being a specialist clearly pays off with a conversion of 4.9%.

eCommerce reports to the board: In the last few years eCommerce organizations have started using centralized or mainly centralized models (82.1%). Still some, especially large, organizations apply hybrid models (14.1%). Decentralized models are hardly used anymore. The average eCommerce team now consists of 15.7 Full Time Equivalents (FTE). However the spread is considerable. Traditional retailers often choose to lay most eCommerce related tasks within the existing organization, creating a core eCommerce team of only a few FTE. For online only retailers, the entire staff is in fact part of the eCommerce unit. The eCommerce team is usually an independent unit, reporting to the management board. In other instances it is nearly always part of the marketing or sales unit. Only in rare cases eCommerce still reports to the ICT department.Email sweet spot – once per week: Companies are mailing with very different frequencies (from less than monthly to more than once a week. As a result open (average 27.1%) and click through ratio’s (average 13.3%) differ strongly. The sweet spot seems to be weekly. If the emailing frequency increases beyond that the open and click through ratio’s drop quickly while mailing less frequent those not improve the ratios significantly.

Among the other KPI’s which companies can benchmark on are average order value, order return ratio, number of order lines, marketing, ICT and organizational expenditure, innovation priorities and many others.

Companies can join the eCommerce Benchmark initiative anonymously and for free. Benchmarks are executed on the lowest level (e.g. Retail – Fashion – Women) for which data is present (at least 3 participants). The benchmarks are continuously updated as more companies participate. Participants can receive an email when a new benchmark is added in their specific industry.

For access to the research report (individual data is never provided), questions or sponsorship application, please contact [email protected], +31 6 5234 2568.

The eCommerce Foundation

The eCommerce Foundation is a non-profit organization created with the intent to help both companies and the industry as a whole to improve their e-commerce activities, by conducting research studies, facilitating knowledge sharing and supporting benchmarking efforts. The eCommerce Foundation is sponsored by Unic, Hybris and Buckaroo and led by representatives of both companies as well as other e-commerce experts like Professor Cor Molenaar (from the Erasmus University), Gijs Vroom (Owner and Chief Editor of Emerce magazine) and Ian Jindal (Founder and Chief Editor of the publication Internet Retailing in the UK). Partners and Sponsors only get access to aggregated results. Individual results are never shared outside the Foundation.

About Unic

Unic is one of Europe’s leading providers for premium e-business solutions with offices in Amsterdam, Berne, Brussels, Karlsruhe, Vienna and Zurich. Unic offers integrated solutions from one source in the areas of e-commerce, digital communication and collaboration. The list of clients includes organizations such as 3M, Arbonia-Forster-Holding, AUDI, BKW FMB Energie AG, Coca-Cola, Credit Suisse, the Swiss postal service (Die Schweizerische Post), Hewlett-Packard, HORNBACH, JURA, the administration of the canton of Berne (Kanton Bern), Manor, Mammut, Pfister. PKZ, Swiss railways (SBB), Swiss public television (Schweizer Fernsehen), Suva, Swisscom und Zürcher Kantonalbank.

About hybris


hybris is a leading vendor of next generation end-to-end multichannel commerce software based on a single platform including managed and hosting services. Its clear vision about the need for consistency, coordination and personalization of information across all channels and throughout all phases of the customer lifecycle has resulted in the development of an integrated, agile solution enabling businesses to communicate and sell across all channels – online and offline – in a consistent and effective way. Hybris has 14 offices around the world located in the economic capitals of North & South America, Europe and Asia and supports over 380 global customers. Customers are brands from retail and manufacturing industries, including: Bobcat, Clarks, Coca Cola Beverages, Conrad, Grundfos, Hornbach, Iomega, Kaiser+Kraft, Levi´s, Lufthansa, Migros, Nespresso, Nikon, P&G, Rexel, Timberland and Toys´R´Us.

About Buckaroo

Buckaroo is the leading provider of payment solutions in the Netherlands, specializing in billing and payment for businesses and online payment for online shops. The wide range of payment solutions, integrated in one system has led to many large organizations opting for Buckaroo amongst which The State Lottery, Pathé Theaters, Intratuin, Miss Etam, Selexyz, Auto Trader, Dolcis, Manfield, Ajax and Dixons.