Generally, statistics alone aren’t useful. They offer nuggets of information out of context and let the reader draw their own conclusion. This can be useful for people in the industry, but for those outside or new to the eCommerce world they can be confusing and discouraging. Below I have taken some of what I consider to be interesting numbers and offered an analysis of what they may indicate.
60% of people begin their product search on a search engine
This means that your SEO, PPC or social media strategy is vitally important to the visibility of your business. Word of mouth and recommendations are an important factor in gaining new customers, but if you are not attempting to optimise for organic traffic or paying for it per click, then your site is missing out on a large chunk of the market.
A user will visit an average of three sites before making their purchase
You may think your products are the best around, and they may well be, but if your site isn’t connecting with visitors then you won’t convert traffic to sales. The design of your site, the coherency and professionalism of your content, and the trustworthiness your website projects are important factors for conversion and beating the competition to a sale.
46% of mobile users are less likely to look for comparable items when using an app
This statistic appears to be saying that having a dedicated app your business will preclude the user from buying elsewhere. That may be partially true, but it could also mean that almost 50% of mobile users find no value in store specific apps and use their browser app to comparison shop. Without further statistics around it, this number could be promoted as a positive or a negative, and is a great example of one that could be used for either argument.
Returning customers will spend 300% more than new ones
This statistic is important as it shows how vitally important repeat business is. New customers cost more to acquire and will spend less. Attempting to retain these customers is more cost-effective to your business. Many eCommerce platforms have lead acquisition measures built in, such as pop-up email capture windows, which will pop-up for returning customers as well. In addition, a new trend is for the homepage of a site to prompt new sign-ups first, rather than allow existing users to log in without clicking a link. The aim of these invasive and annoying techniques is to gain more customers. In itself, this isn’t a bad idea, but sacrificing the usability of a site in an attempt to grow the client base will be more likely to stymie repeat business than encourage new users.
There’s a fine line between worthwhile and worthless
Statistics without analysis and context are essentially worthless. They’re the questions at a pub quiz night – interesting as trivia for a fleeting moment, but without application they have little value. The key point to remember is that anyone can make up a number and call it a statistic, so apply some critical thinking before you believe what you read or a certain person’s interpretation.