I love numbers. And statistics. And charts.

I love reading the story behind them.

Today I have a bunch of numbers for you. All about e-commerce in 2017. The numbers come from 4 independent studies, focusing on different aspects of e-commerce.

Read the story behind them and act accordingly.

One benchmarking study tells us how our e-commerce sites stack up against the rest of the industry, and another reveals that obeying four simple rules can boost conversions by 25 percent.

Here are some of the most interesting findings:

  • Mobile revenue is growing, but desktop is still where most of the money is being made. Desktop is responsible for 61 percent of revenue. Even so, more sessions are taking place on mobile than on desktop for the first time ever: 52 percent.


  • Email still absolutely stomps Facebook. As a final click, email delivers three times the revenue of Facebook.

    Yet, so many businesses treat email as an afterthought. As “set it and forget it.”

  • Out of all of the correlations studied, the strongest was between conversion rates and time on site—60 percent correlation.

    This has always been the case with every business I have worked with. Keep the customers interested, and with enough time they become interested enough to make a purchase.

  • The vast majority of e-commerce sites do not track offline conversions in Google Analytics—a staggering 99 percent.

    Yes, it’s hard. But it also gives you a more complete picture. Do you know how many of your customers research online and buy offline? Or the other way around?

  • If the ever-elusive, industry non-descript benchmark conversion rate is of interest to you, it is 1.6 percent for e-commerce sites.

    The answer to the question “what’s the benchmark conversion rate” is always “it depends.” But people always keep asking. So there it is.

  • Site speed definitely plays a part. There was a 25 percent correlation inverse load time and site revenue, with average annual revenue increasing 10 percent for every 1.6 seconds of load time cut.

    Very underappreciated aspect. Something I always point out when starting to work with a company.

  • Investing in shipping seemed to pay off. 50 percent of mid-market retailers saw an increase in sales after adding shipping choices. 43 percent saw a boost in revenue.
  • 66 percent of shoppers feel shipping fees are unreasonably high and don’t reflect the shipping value.
  • 65 percent would buy more to get free shipping, and $18 shipping is considered reasonable for same-day shipping.

    “Spend $17 more and get free shipping” type of messages always seem to boost conversions.

  • 40 percent of consumers expect Amazon Prime-esque memberships within a few years. However, only 25 percent of retailers are planning anything similar.
  • The shipping situation for retailers is getting worse, with 29 percent offering same-day shipping, compared to 53 percent last year. After-hours delivery also fell, from 34 percent to 25 percent.

    If you haven’t noticed already, shipping is hard. For both shippers and the businesses using them.

  • 54 percent of shoppers abandoned their shopping carts as a result of shipping fees.

    Every time, one of the top 3 reasons to abandon the cart.

  • 59 percent would go to a brick and mortar store if they considered the delivery fee unreasonable.

    I’m often astounded by the lengths people would go to just to save a few bucks. It’s like time is free. But that’s how it works, and you need to account for that.

  • Nearly half would abandon their cart if there weren’t any premium, fast delivery options.
  • 100 percent of shoppers expect to get delivery date estimates, but only half of businesses provide them.

    This is just inexcusable.

  • 50 percent of shoppers wouldn’t bother with a retailer again if they had one negative shipping experience.

    Don’t drop the ball.

4 Studies That Show How E-Commerce Changed in 2017