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E-commerce Benchmarks: Email Conversion Rates Drop in 2Q13

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
September 18, 2013

The average conversion rate from email for e-commerce websites dropped in the second quarter of 2013, falling to 3.34%, from 3.56% in 2Q12, according to a recent report from Monetate.

Referral traffic from email also declined, falling 26% in in 2Q13 compared with the same quarter last year. However, average order value from email channels was up to $99.93 in 2Q13, from $89.43 in 2Q12.

Search conversion rates also dropped (1.94% in 2Q13 from 2.12% in 2Q12), whereas the conversion rate of social increased (0.79% this year compared with 0.62% in the same quarter last year).

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from more than 600 million online shopping experiences in the second quarter of 2013.

General Trends

  • Same-store website traffic for the companies examined increased 17.6% year over year.
  • The sites also recorded an 8.16% gain in average order value (AOV).
  • In fact, AOV was higher in the second quarter of 2013 ($115.27) than in the traditionally strong fourth quarter ($113.05) of 2012.

Mobile and Tablet Traffic

  • In the past year, combined smartphone and tablet traffic grew from 15.2% of visits to 22.13%.
  • Tablet traffic continues to outpace smartphone traffic, making up 12.44% of all e-commerce traffic examined, compared with 9.69% for smartphones.

  • The average order by device type was relatively similar in 2Q13—$115.74 for desktops, $113.15 for tablets, and $112.73 for smartphones.
  • However, the average conversion rate for smartphone visits (0.96%) was significantly lower than that of desktop visits (2.56%) and tablet visits (2.54%).

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Steve Wed Sep 18, 2013 via web

    Thanks Ayaz.
    Can you confirm that conversion rate as defined above equals number of unique purchases divided by number of unique clicks? Just want to make sure I am understanding the results as compared to my data. Thanks.

  • by Ayaz Nanji Wed Sep 18, 2013 via web

    Hi Steve -- I'm 100% not sure how the authors of the report derived their conversion rate (they may have used unique purchases/unique clicks, or less precise metrics). I'll reach out to Monetate to find out.

    In the meantime, you may find some additional details in the full report:

  • by Sarah Bauer Wed Sep 18, 2013 via web

    Tablet traffic on the uptick - definitely an urgent time for e-retailers to adapt their websites for these devices.

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