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We have studied the headline performance of all Screen Pages' Magento clients where we have year-on-year data, to examine how these niche brands are trading online.

The data collected is calendar year-to-date until end October 2012 and is taken from 18 businesses including Bella di Notte, Christopher Ward, Finisterre, Hush, Loake, Marie Chantal, Profile Fashion, The Real Flower Company, This Works,  the online shops of the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the RSPB, Kew Gardens and Historic Royal Palaces. All the businesses are running Magento websites. Four of the businesses re-platformed during the period (to Magento).

* The average year-on-year sales growth is 32%. The highest performer showed growth of nearly 150%.

* Nearly a quarter (22%) showed sales growth of 50%+ and overall, roughly two-thirds (61%) grew by more than 20%, comfortably more than the industry average: according to the IMRG, online shoppers spent 17% in July more than at the same time last year and were also 9% up on June’s online spending.

* Three online operations showed negative growth: although the businesses involved changes in management, strategy and overall online focus.

* Visitor numbers were also up by 34% and there was also some improvement in sales conversion ratios of nearly 2%. All but two enjoyed increased traffic.

Looking under the covers, we can see that the increases are driven by the a number of factors. The 4 businesses who re-platformed have in the main enjoyed healthy returns, since these projects offered the opportunity to re-think site design, navigation and overall conversion strategy.

For the balance of the visitors,the main contributor for these merchants was increased visitor counts by more effective marketing, improved product offerings and overall better demand for the brand. Some of the growth can no doubt be attributed to the higher popularity of online shopping in general.

It is fair to say that the focus has not been on improving conversion ratios, although there always opportunities for providing a better shopping experience and generating revenue increases from the same traffic.



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