MarketLive Performance Index: A First Look at Q3 Data
October 6, 2011 Leave a Comment
Third-quarter data from the MarketLive Performance Index is hot off the presses! From July 1 to September 30, Index merchants saw a more than 15% gain in visitors and revenue growth of over 18%, with conversion also inching upward by 5.24%, to 4.66%.
The data also highlights a potential challenge for merchants – engaging shoppers beyond the first page of the site. Year-over-year data for the third quarter shows a marked increase in the “1-and-out” rate, which measures the percentage of visits ending after just one page. The “1-and-out” rate increased by nearly 15% in the third quarter, suggesting that increased traffic is also bringing more visitors who aren’t immediately connecting with products or offers that meet their needs.
The “1-and-out” growth is a continuing trend. Earlier in the year, our second-quarter report for 2011 similarly found the “1-and-out” rate had jumped, albeit by a smaller percentage. Merchants have a significant incentive to better serve those visitors – if they can be persuaded past the first page of the site, they’ll potentially go on to purchase, driving even larger gains in engagement, conversion and sales.
The need to offer compelling products and offers is especially acute heading into the holiday season, when visitors are likely to research and shop heavily online.
With continuing economic uncertainty fueling a conservative outlook, shoppers nonetheless report they plan to maintain holiday spending at levels on a par with last year. According to new data from the MarketLive/e-Tailing Group Holiday Shopping Survey , a majority of shoppers – 56% – report they’ll spend the same amount as they did last year, with 7% saying they’ll spend more and 37% predicting they’ll spend less. Regardless of their budgets, consumers will use the Web to hunt for deals, with 61% of shoppers saying they intend to research products online before making offline purchases, according to the survey.
This conservative, but hardly catastrophic, consumer outlook should be cause for merchants to take heart. The challenge will be to find ways throughout the holiday season to engage shoppers, beyond simply slashing prices. For key tactics to try, be sure to download the MarketLive Performance Index Vol. 16 report, which will be available at marketlive.com Oct. 13.
And for more holiday best practices, be sure to sign up for MarketLive’s 2011 Consumer Shopping Survey and Holiday Strategies Webinar, presenting original research produced in conjunction with the e-Tailing Group. Register for the October 26 Webinar now.
Meantime, how do your Q3 numbers stack up? What are you doing to engage visitors beyond the first page?