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eCommerce Benchmarking: How to gain a competitive edge in uncertain times

The year 2022 has been truly extraordinary for a number of reasons. For one, most of the world is emerging from the pandemic and adjusting to a new way of life. Besides this, there is also the Russo-Ukrainian war that has contributed to the global energy and cost-of-living crisis. In fact, many experts say that the cost of living hasn’t been as affected since the 1970s. For a sector that was already struggling, all these factors have increased the challenges for the eCommerce industry manyfold.

So, the question remains – how do retailers measure their business performance in such times of uncertainty?

They certainly can’t compare their performance with the previous year as the benchmark. They can’t compare it against forecasts either. It would be more beneficial  to measure their progress against similar sized companies in a similar vertical and selling in the same region. This is exactly what we’ll cover in this article.

The 2022 Industry Benchmark Data for eCommerce Businesses

The next-generation eCommerce data analytics platform, Conjura, shared the following insights about the retail industry in a recent report –

  • Less revenue is being generated during the Black Friday week, and the weeks following/leading up to it.
  • For an average business in the UK, the year-on-year (YoY) revenue has been down every month.
  • Although the monthly eCommerce traffic in the UK has been up (YoY), this has not contributed to a growth in revenue for this sector.
  • The D2C (Direct-to-Customer) businesses in the US continued to see growth this year. They recorded a 14.5% year-to-date growth in 2022, as compared to 2021. However, this growth was significantly lower than the 2021-on-2020 growth (31%).
  • The Beauty, Health, and Fashion industry has witnessed growth in 2022, however, this growth has also been slower as compared to the previous year.
  • The Home and Garden industry has also seen a decline in growth throughout 2022, up till August.
  • The CAC for paid search shopping has been increasing in the US since July 2021, while in the UK, this trend has seen a steady decline in both Q2 and Q3 of 2022.
  • The CAC for paid social media has been down in the US for both the second and third quarters. In the UK, on the other hand, it has been steadily increasing since the third quarter of 2021.

What does the 2022 Golden Quarter hold for the Retail industry?

Q4 of 2022 can be key for offsetting the low growth experienced by the retail industry in the last few years. Many of the items that had to go on sale in Q4 are already on sale. But there is a silver lining to all of this, as many customers are planning to shop at online sales rather than going to stores. So, the main consideration for retailers this year is whether they can afford to provide their customers with any more discounts.

Why eCommerce benchmarking changes the game

Discounting is expensive, and with the added cost pressures, it can get difficult for retailers to deal with increasing energy costs and changing customer behaviour. During these challenging times, the most important thing is to develop a better understanding of –

  • Their customers’ purchasing habits
  • How is the retail sector responding to the changes?
  • How are their competitors performing?

The answers to all these questions can be found with eCommerce benchmarking. All you have to do is connect  your business data to obtain useful insights about your industry and competitors. When you are able to understand and predict the trends shaping your industry, you better understand what needs to be done to respond to market conditions. On a micro level, you’ll be able to determine whether you are over or under performing  on online marketplaces.

Retail benchmarking can also help you measure the performance of both tactical and strategic initiatives you took in the past. This will help you validate any strategic decisions you take in the future. 

Leverage eCommerce Benchmarking with Conjura

Conjura’s eCommerce Benchmarking tool enables brands to access all of their performance metrics and benchmarks in one simple, intuitive view.

eCommerce businesses can deploy the tool in minutes and filter their dashboard searches by region, vertical, average selling price, revenue rank, and more to reveal instant competitive insights that show how their businesses stack up against industry benchmarks.

With this critical, on-demand information, brands are better equipped to understand market trends, validate their strategies, and uncover potential gaps.

Interested in gaining a competitive edge in the industry? Try eCommerce Benchmarking by Conjura free of charge.

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