Occasionally, we receive requests for special data samples out of Coremetrics Benchmark. For those unfamiliar with our benchmarking solution, Coremetrics Benchmark allows participating clients to compare the performance of their online campaigns to those of their peers and competitors. The solution helps clients uncover areas of weakness and marketing optimization opportunities.
Recently, we received a data sample request for a small group of online merchants that market women’s apparel goods. Once we sampled the Women’s Apparel data, we decided to compare it to a larger sample of apparel-related sites (both men’s, women’s and children’s) and then to a much larger sample from the entire Retail vertical that includes apparel but also other sub-verticals such as Gifts, Jewelry, General Merchandisers, and so on.
We tested three different periods to make sure that the data is consistent: July 2009, June 2009, and July 2008. We averaged the periods to make the data more digestible.
When we compared to three samples, very interesting trends emerged. But before we dive into the details, a final note to our Coremetrics clients: you will notice that the data we provide below is different from what you will see reported in your Coremetrics Benchmark solution. Again, this is because our data is sampled, whereas yours is complete.
Ok, here’s what we’ve found:
- Bounce rate: Women’s Apparel sites’ single-page sessions were 3% lower than Apparel sites’ and almost 8% lower than Retail sites’ bounce rate. This can be understood given the next two findings:
- Preferred channels: Women’s Apparel sites had the highest percentage of traffic arriving via direct load (52.27%) and the lowest percentage of traffic coming from SEO (9.64%) and from referring sites (4.78%).
- Site stickiness: Average session length was the highest for Women’s Apparel – clocking a full one minute longer than Apparel and over two minutes longer than Retail . Women’s Apparel visitors looked at almost twice as many product pages per session as Apparel visitors and over 4 times as many on Retail sites.
One logical conclusion from the above findings are that visitors of women’s apparel sites go to what they know (as opposed to searching for it or exploring links from other sites). Once they get to the sites, they tend to stay there longer, which means that they either frequent the sites often or are more patient to test them out. Here at Coremetrics, we tend to think that the latter probably occurs more often, partially because of the next finding:
- New visitor conversion: Women’s Apparel’s new visitors conversion rate was 50% higher than those of Apparel and Retail.
New visitors of Women’s Apparel sites convert more often than Apparel and Retail visitors. One might suspect that cookie deletion influences new visitor measurement, and that it’s really existing visitors that are converting, but one must also agree that there is no reason to suspect that cookie deletion occurs more often with visitors of Women’s Apparel sites. Cookie deletion should hit our three segments relatively equally.
Ok, lets look at conversions—this is where things really get interesting:
- Conversion funnel: Women’s Apparel had the highest percentages of sessions in which users browsed product pages (57.38%), added items to shopping carts (14.37%), and completed orders (4.15%). Order completions were 1.25% higher than on Apparel and Retail sites.
- Purchases: Women’s Apparel sites saw the lowest average order value of $96.44, approximately $3 less than Apparel and $50 less than Retail. Likewise, Women’s Apparel sites had the lowest number of items per order at 4.21, compared with 4.24 items for Apparel, and 6.38 items for Retail.
Evidently, visitors of women’s apparel websites spend their money more carefully than visitors of the two other segments. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
What do you think about our findings? Drop us a line in the comments section.