Insights from 2017 to Guide Your 2018 E-Commerce Digital Marketing Strategy

December 6, 2017

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Wondering where to focus your digital marketing in 2018? Drowning in data in your efforts to decide?

If so, take heart: Recent research indicates that honing in on a few select metrics may be all you need to supercharge your e-commerce conversions in the coming months.

One report that caught our attention is E-Commerce KPI Benchmarks 2017 from Wolfgang Digital. As we head into the new year, the benchmarks in this report offer an opportunity to take a look at what’s been working throughout the industry — and what new opportunities 2018 may bring.

To help, here’s our take on several key KPIs to monitor — along with additional insights from our own latest research and takeaway tips you can put into practice right away.

KPI #1: Traffic Sources

According to the annual E-Commerce KPI Benchmarks report, Google is likely driving some 62% of your e-commerce website traffic. However, it’s important to remember that the successful digital marketing strategy involves monitoring more than website traffic alone. Why? The product search.

While Google may still be used heavily for research and discovery, purchase-ready consumers are more likely to search for specific products. And for that, just 28% go to Google. More than half (55%) start with Amazon, and many turn to comparison shopping engines.

Bottom line: It’s important to benchmark your traffic across all digital marketing channels — from Google Shopping and AdWords to Amazon advertising.

Takeaway Tip: When benchmarking your best traffic sources across e-commerce channels, be on the lookout for opportunities to optimize your product content for digital marketing efforts in paid search, social advertising and more.

KPI #2: Pageviews

For a potentially easy way to identify new digital marketing opportunities and increase revenue, pay more attention to pageviews. One notable finding from the 2017 KPIs study indicates that keeping users on a site for another 35 seconds can boost your conversion rate by an impressive 10%.

How do you encourage visitors to view more web or product pages? If you’re used to painstaking, page-by-page conversion rate optimization campaigns, here’s some appetizing food for thought: A fresh focus on Facebook may just do the trick.

Wolfgang Digital’s number crunchers found that websites “that got more traffic from Facebook had higher time-on-site metrics.” This finding is supported by Statista’s new Digital Economy Compass, which states that “if you are not on Facebook, it remains challenging to transform social media into a profitable business.”

Takeaway Tip: Research indicates that having a strong understanding of the current social landscape, as well as Facebook advertising essentials, may offer the key to increasing time-on-site.

KPI #3: Devices

As consumers increasingly balance their time between smartphones, laptops, tablets and TV, multi-screening trends are leading to some somewhat surprising stats.

On the one hand, mobile is “laying claim to more sessions than desktop and tablet combined,” according to the KPIs report, which states that a strong mobile strategy means more revenue and higher value orders. After all, your audience’s attention can migrate from your TV ad to your mobile website in an instant… which helps explain why 59% of e-commerce website visits occur on mobile devices.

Even more compelling: The more time a tablet user spends on a mobile site, according to the KPIs study, the higher the order value — perhaps because tablets have become a luxury for big spenders in the smartphone era.

Takeaway Tip: When optimizing your mobile strategy, follow Google’s guidelines for tracking cross-device conversions to learn how multi-screening habits are impacting your customers’ paths to purchase.

KPI #4: Presence

This “metric” is harder to measure but more important than ever. Why? Because the e-commerce consumer journey has never been longer or involved more touchpoints than it does right now.

According to Wolfgang Digital’s analysis, the number of clicks required to breach the $1 million revenue mark has grown by 12% in 12 months. Other studies indicate the number of touchpoints has more than doubled in the last 15 years — from 2 to 5.

Heading into 2018, it will be imperative for e-commerce digital marketers to develop content that matures as consumers weave their ways through increasingly complex paths to purchase.

Takeaway Tip: If you’re not doing it already, make it a goal to regularly revisit your consumer’s journey to see where you can make connections. (Stay tuned for our upcoming post on attribution and other tools you can use!)

To Summarize:

E-commerce never stops changing, and there’s always the chance that today’s digital marketing success story could soon become yesterday’s KPI. New research sheds some light on current consumer behaviors — keeping tabs on these and other insights can help ease efforts as you plan your digital marketing strategy for 2018.

Next up, we’ll be exploring several specific steps you can take to create more meaningful connections with consumers heading into 2018. Subscribe to the blog, and we’ll ensure you’re notified when that post is published!