The State of Retailing Online 2013: Key Metrics and Initiatives

Publish Date: January 13, 2013
Partnership With: Forrester
Product: State of Retailing Online (SORO)

eCommerce continues to grow at a rapid pace; on average, the retailers surveyed for Forrester and’s annual The State of Retailing Online study experienced 28% growth in sales in 2012 over 2011. Key metrics such as conversion rates, average order values, and sales from repeat customers also grew in that time frame. While still small, mobile and tablet sales are a promising revenue stream: Retailers reported triple-digit year-over-year growth in sales through those devices. As a result, many retailers are focusing on optimizing their mobile experiences, but an even larger number of web retailers believe they can kill multiple birds with one stone and improve sales across devices and platforms by improving their core site experiences, such as by improving checkout or adjusting their key pages to a responsive design framework. 

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Key Take Aways from this report

Key eCommerce Metrics Continue To Grow
On average, the web retailers surveyed in Forrester and’s annual The State of Retailing Online study saw growth of 28% in 2012 over 2011. The majority of retailers also responded that the following key site metrics improved in that same time frame: site conversion rates, average order values, and the percent of sales from repeat shoppers.

Mobile sales are Growing particularly Rapidly
While Forrester’s mobile commerce forecast figures show a minority of eCommerce sales (less than 5%) coming from phones, the retailers that responded to our survey said that, on average, they experienced a 129% lift in year-over-year sales from smartphones and a 178% lift from tablets.

Mobile has a net positive impact on Retailers’ Conversion Rates
Th irty-six percent of the retailers surveyed said that mobile sales and traffic have helped their company’s overall web conversion rate, while 29% of the retailers said that mobile sales and traffic have decreased their overall conversion rate.

Site optimization is The Key investment area For 2013
Retailers say that their top priorities in 2013 are improving their site’s conversion rates and redesigning their site experience -- in other words, optimizing their site’s overall performance. Many retailers specifi cally called out plans to focus on the checkout experience and to adjust their site to accommodate a responsive design framework.