Key insights, trends, and findings from our eCommerce benchmarks tool
The most interesting insights and eCommerce trends witnessed based on anonymized, consumer shopping data made available through our eCommerce industry benchmark tool.
To say 2020 has been like no other year would be an understatement. Not only have consumers been forced to adapt their shopping behaviors, but brands have been put to the test, racing to accommodate for new peaks in eCommerce traffic while continuing to cater experiences to the wants and needs of both new and returning visitors. Many, even while short on resources, have been up for the challenge, managing to grow their businesses in the face of it all, an accolade-worthy accomplishment.
As consumers have turned to eCommerce for products many typically purchase in-store – groceries, cleaning supplies, furniture, and more – many retailers have had to navigate unexpected challenges, such as managing irregular product inventory levels and working to guarantee shipping timelines, all while continuing to compete with big-box retailers like Amazon.
In the face of these new challenges, how has online shopping behavior changed in 2020?
To find out, Dynamic Yield analyzed behavioral data from 200M+ monthly unique users over 300M+ total sessions across eight different eCommerce verticals globally using our eCommerce benchmarks tool. Teams can use the strategic insights outlined below to see how they stack up against others in their industry, gain a clearer picture of observed business trends this year, and start gearing up for the coming months.
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, many consumers turned to eCommerce for their shopping needs. As a result, we saw add-to-cart rates initially peak on a global scale across four industries: luxury & jewelry, food & beverage, fashion, accessories, & apparel, and multi-brand retail.
Following government-mandated stay-at-home orders, many consumers stocked up on cozy essentials to adjust to working from home, began eating most (if not all) meals at home, and purchased other essentials like cleaning supplies, leading to a notable spike in spending in May. The peak in luxury & jewelry can likely be attributed to shoppers scaling back on discretionary spending over the past seven months, as it marks the starting point of a steady decrease in spending in this vertical.
Industries whose average add-to-cart rate initially peaked during the six-month period.
A unique callout is that many consumers became increasingly dependent on online grocery shopping following regional lockdowns, resulting in a 13.09% add-to-cart rate globally among food & beverage retailers in May. This is the highest add-to-cart rate among all sub-industries we witnessed on a global scale during this six-month period.
The Food & Beverage industry saw a massive spike in add-to-carts in May 2020.
Tracking regional spending power
We noticed average order values (AOVs) vary dramatically on a regional basis. As regional lockdowns rolled out across the Americas in the spring, spending peaked in June yet remained steady through October. Globally, AOVs started off a bit slower in May but have slowly picked up steadily over the last six months.
In EMEA, we’ve seen almost steady spending growth, with AOVs peaking in October at $142.37. The overall spend rate in EMEA outpaces that of the Americas, likely due to the region’s initial trend toward recovery, as it was hit hardest back by the pandemic in March and April.
The same can be said for APAC, which saw its lowest AOVs in May, as it, too, was affected by the virus more dramatically in the spring. Since then, we’ve seen spending increase by nearly $20 on average month-over-month during certain periods, particularly between May and June, and again between August and September.
Overall, average order values across the globe have always exceeded $110 at any given moment during the past six months, yet no region was able to surpass a $150 AOV threshold. As spending continues to climb, we’ll continue to track positive trends during the next six months as promises of a vaccine begins to positively impact the stock market and bolster the labor market and assess the impact this has on consumer spending.
Average order values month-over-month in Europe and the Middle East.
Higher AOVs do not necessitate more units purchased
Globally, average order values have slowly trended upward, and units per transaction (UPTs) have remained mostly steady. Yet outliers from these overall trends are visible on an industry level:
For consumer goods retailers, we saw AOVs come in at $88.83 with an average of 2.48 UPTs in May. The following month, the exact opposite occurred, with AOVs surging to $238.82 and UPTs falling to 1.88.
For beauty and personal care retailers, spend started stronger in May, with an AOV of $143.23 and 3.18 UPTs. In June, however, spending dropped to $115.43, despite units per transaction climbing to 3.27 on average.
For multi-brand retailers, AOVs in July came in at $171.54 with an average of 3.52 units purchased per transaction. And while AOVs dropped by $15 to $155.79 in August, UPTs rose to 3.66.
While these fluctuations can be attributed to a number of factors, we’ve seen consumer behavior shift dramatically this year. As time has passed, consumers began realizing shifts in daily lives would last beyond the short-term, transforming the way they’ve shopped. For example, it makes sense for spending on consumer goods to climb under the assumption that shoppers were likely making smaller purchases to serve the immediate at the onset of COVID-19. As time passed, many began conducting more thoughtful, larger purchases to help maximize comfort at home. Similarly, as more consumers have become comfortable with online shopping, an increase in items purchased has been part of that natural adjustment, even as order values slightly fall.
Conversions rate trends vary dramatically by industry
Unlike trends we’ve seen across other KPIs, conversion rates tell a unique story for each sub-vertical. For example, conversion rates peaked in October among consumer goods, beauty, and pet care / veterinary services businesses. We see the exact opposite take hold in other industries, particularly multi-brand retail, luxury & jewelry, home & furniture, and food & beverage, where conversions peaked in May.
During the earlier months of the pandemic, shoppers acclimated to online shopping for more of their typical brick-and-mortar purchases, and as restrictions eased up, shoppers likely began returning to stores. And as mentioned earlier, online shopping for non-essentials picked up over time as consumers adjusted to unprecedented changes, resulting in the later peak in conversions for consumer goods, beauty, and pet retail.
Conversion rate trends for multi-brand retailers.
The cart abandonment rate isn’t as high as meets the eye
While the eCommerce cart abandonment rate sits just north of 72%, we see a notable variance in this number when we assess abandonment on an industry level. Pet & veterinary services have the lowest rate of cart abandonment globally of the sub-industries tracked in our benchmark tool. Meanwhile, fashion, accessories, and apparel witnessed the highest abandonment rate during the same timeframe. Below is a breakdown of the highest abandonment rates by sub-vertical during the last six months:
- Beauty & personal care: 66.43%
- Consumer goods: 67.7%
- Fashion, accessories, & apparel: 76.12%
- Food & beverage: 68.99%
- Home & furniture: 74.46%
- Luxury & jewelry: 70.92%
- Multi-brand retail: 74.12%
- Pet care & veterinary services: 58.34%
And while most industry abandonment rates remain within in four-point range of the overall industry average, beauty, consumer goods, and pet care are outliers, a potential signal that despite changes in consumer behavior and uncontrollable variables, shoppers seeking out products in these verticals are more deadset on completing a purchase from the moment they arrive on an eCommerce site.
Expect more changes in consumer behavior
We hope these insights allow you to reflect more deeply on the past six months. While retailers have been facing unexpected challenges, many have remained nimble, continuing to meet consumer needs and creating engaging experiences in the face of it all. And as you continue to adjust your marketing strategies and plans for the next six to twelve months, we hope benchmarking your efforts against other businesses facing the same challenges helps you more closely track performance, anticipate additional challenges, and strategically think about how to maintain success or improve your eCommerce efforts down the road.