The new E-Commerce Guide from MarketingSherpa is definitely worth a look, even if you don’t run an online store. To judge for yourself, listen to the May 2nd audio conference recording and read the executive summary.
I’ve ordered the full report. From an quick onscreen browse of the PDF, the heatmaps are sure to trigger ‘heated’ discussions about navigation design and page layout. Findings on conversion gains from testing, consumers’ use of shopping search sites and shopping cart/email combos are very interesting and warrant more detailed review.
The report’s a hefty 301 pages, so I’m waiting for my hard copy to arrive for the deep dive into the findings, particularly shopping cart abandonment. MarketingSherpa’s average is 59.8% (publically available datapoint in the PDF available with the May 2nd audio conference). Improvements to 50% resulted from testing and persona design, with possibilities of 42% from single screen checkout. One site that relentlessly pursues low cart abandonment consistently has a low 20% abandonment rate. Also interesting – the overall average is better but not far from FireClick’s current benchmark average of 68% for cart abandonment, with sub-segments ranging from 58 to 84%.
Now, benchmarking continues to generate lots of controversy and friendly disagreements. Using a benchmark to simply judge whether performance is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is not recommended. However, if benchmarks lead to discussions about ‘why’ there are differences, ‘what’ can be done to improve, and support continuous improvement efforts, then benchmarks are a good thing.