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Screen Pages has released e-commerce benchmark data regarding visitor sources and behaviour, conversions for retail e-commerce websites, for the period Jan-Mar 2012.

The businesses indexed are limited to niche brands, generally selling online, via catalogues and stores, whose online sales range between £100k & £10m per annum and average order values average £100. The e-commerce platforms ran on Magento.

Table of characteristics by source of traffic

Source of traffic Average % of site visitors Average bounce rate Average conversion rate
Search engines 51.3% 37.82% 2.64%
Direct 20.11% 48% 2.81%
Referrals 22.1% 37.1% 1.83%
Email 14.9% 31.0% 3.97%

Within search traffic, the percentage of “generic” – i.e. non brand-related – was 28.1%. This figure reflects the effectiveness of SEO activities for brands, as the brand-related traffic is high overall. The “know us” traffic (direct URL entry and brand-related searches), which represents the bedrock of a niche retailer’s online business is 43.5%. Add in the % from email, that makes a significant 59% of all traffic who aree directly influenced by the brand to make a visit.

The impact of retailers’ email marketing campaigns on site traffic and sales is clear: email activity accounted 15% on average of all traffic and it converts at nearly twice the rate.

Screen Pages also looked at the use of the onsite search box. About 5.8% of all visitors use these search boxes.

The data, compiled from 25 e-tail websites using Google Analytics, studies where visitors land on websites and what actions they take.

As a Google Authorised Analytics Consultant, Screen Pages has invested in Google Analytics to provide the tracking technology for e-commerce websites. The company provides a range of value-added services to help retailers get up to speed with Google Analytics, including standard and advanced/bespoke training, quarterly e-commerce benchmarking and individual website audits.

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