Oct 5, 2018

Secrets of High-Performing Websites Revealed

The secrets of high-performing eCommerce websites have been revealed in a new study.

Wolfgang Digital have lauched their annual report for eCommerce websites - showing crucial, actionable data which has gone largely unreported until now.

The study highlights some of the most vital KPIs, particularly the crucial importance of returning website visitors, as well as the influence of social media engagement in driving purchases. 

The award-winning digital marketing agency analyzed 250 million eCommerce website sessions and €500 million in online revenue to discover what drives today’s consumer to click and buy. For the first time the study examined Facebook analytics conversion data, merging it with Google Analytics and online surveys, to give a more accurate picture of a customer's path to purchase. 

“This year we’ve gone bigger and broader with our data set to produce some really interesting findings. We’ve filled some holes in Google Analytics by tapping into Facebook’s new analytics tool, to see which patterns of user behavior on and off site correlate with higher than average eCommerce revenues. This year we’ve some of the strongest correlation scores seen yet,” said study author and Wolfgang Digital founder and CEO Alan Coleman. 

Key Findings

Here are some of the key findings from the report, which can help to steer strategy for marketers, brands and eCommerce specialists.

The value of the returning visitor: Websites that attract a user back repeatedly are pushing ahead of the competition when it comes to sales. Simply put, the more visits per user the higher the revenues. Currently, eCommerce website are averaging 1.5 visits over 12 months. Anything you can do to increase this return visit rate is an excellent marketing approach.

Mobile a big mover: Revenues for purchases on mobile devices is the big mover, growing by 23% to account for 32% of overall revenue. Mobile dominates as a traffic source, with 53% of traffic coming from a smartphone, versus 37% for desktop and 10% for tablets. However, it is worth noting that big ticket purchases are still more likely to take place on desktop or tablet.

The true value of social: It’s not just the user interactions on your website that count. Facebook analytics reveal a social media engager is twice as likely to convert as a website visit (4.4% versus 1.8%). Messenger was notable as having extraordinarily high conversion rates (9.9% for messages received).

Facebook’s advocacy advantage: Almost half of people are more likely to buy from a brand they see a friend or family member interact with. With the average Facebook user having 338 friends, a single share can bring you up to 162 eager potential customers in an instant.

Average conversion rate: The overall conversion rate is coming in at 1.85%. Travel websites average 2%, while retail websites average 1.7%. 

UK tops conversion rates:  European conversion rates are higher than the US, and the UK is well ahead of the two.

Google dominates but share of pie declines: Google delivers the majority of traffic (60%) and revenue (56%). However, its share continues to drop, with still no visibility from Google Analytics into who’s winning that share.

Websites need speed: Average page load times were 6.8 seconds, far slower than Google’s recommended 2-second threshold for eCommerce websites.

The Author's Advice

When asked for one standout piece of advice he’d give digital marketers on the back of the report, Coleman stressed the importance of repeat website visitors and building a relationship with the customer.

“Attract that visitor back. Think of each as a multi-step relationship rather than a point-in-time transaction. Create an itinerary of digital media touchpoints which transport them from interested clicker to loyal customer. Each interaction should add a new layer of value and reach them on a new channel,” he said.

In the following video, Alan explains how the number of website sessions per user stands out as a vital metric from the report. He also gives a great practical demonstration of how marketers can build a strategy to optimize this, and increase revenue as a result: 

dmi video thumbnail

Join for FREE to access this video

The Wolfgang Digital E-commerce KPI Benchmark Report is available to download free. Just click on the link below to access it:


Conor Ward
Conor Ward

Conor is a content producer and writer, and former Membership Content Executive at the Digital Marketing Institute. In that position he played a key role in building and managing an extensive library of specialist digital marketing content for the Membership platform. He is an experienced writer and editor, both for print publications and digital platforms, with a passion for content marketing, major brands and career topics. He can be found on LinkedIn here

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