Ecommerce Trends 2019: Episerver B2C Benchmark Report

Amanda Mulquiney-Birbeck
Amanda Mulquiney-BirbeckDigital Marketing Manager
18 Jul 2019


Last month Episerver released its latest report, the 2019 B2C Ecommerce Benchmark Study. If you’re looking to compare how your B2C commerce site stacks up against the competition, then you’re in the right place!

Episerver has tracked 1.3 billion unique shopping sessions across 159 retail and consumer brand websites globally. They’ve captured a snapshot of what they believe are the key performance indicators and metrics that matter most when running a B2C Ecommerce website.

With new research claiming that “60% of consumers shop online at least once a month”, online retailers should constantly evaluate which devices and traffic sources are performing and adjust their marketing strategy to suit.

The “B2C Dot-Com Report” will give Ecommerce and Digital Marketing Directors a useful snapshot of what’s currently happening across a statistically significant sample of retail and consumer brands.

The B2C Ecommerce study aims to identify:

  • Which traffic source has the highest units per order
  • The device that contributes to the most items sold per transaction
  • The channel responsible for driving most site traffic
  • Which traffic source has the highest conversion rate
  • The best cumulative traffic source


Key Takeways

Mobile has reached a tipping point

When looking at traffic share by device it’s clear that mobile has reached a tipping point with 50% of all sessions coming from a smartphone device. The other 50% is split with 9% from a tablet, and 41% from a desktop.

With an increasing number of consumers opting to shop via their mobile, online merchants should ensure they optimise their web experiences considering content priorities, goals, site speed, and mobile-responsiveness.

Which device contributes to the most items sold per transaction?

Despite mobile being responsible for the most website traffic, a surprising 24% higher number of units per order are taken when users are on a desktop compared with mobile. Likewise, a 9% increase on tablet compared with mobile. Whilst desktop may be more profitable, it’s clear users won’t put up with a clunky, slow user experience, and your Ecommerce experience should be device specific.

Which channel is responsible for driving the most site traffic?

Episerver’s study suggests that the culmination of a brand’s marketing efforts may be more valuable than any one channel with “48% of website visits come from direct traffic”. For those of you who don’t know, direct traffic is counted as a person who types in the brand’s website directly into their browser or clicks non-tracked links or other non-Web links such as email links.


In second place we have Organic Search - this is another acquisition channel where the factors responsible are varied. This could be due to searches for branded keywords, a successful SEO strategy, website crawlability, mobile friendliness, rich content and speed / accessibility. Depending on your role you might not have much ownership over direct or organic search, however paid search should be optimised as it currently accounts for 13% of all retail website visits.

Interestingly even with a high proportion of users visiting a brand’s site direct – 87% of consumers still compare what they find on a brand’s site with Amazon. (Principles of Standout Digital Experiences, Episerver, 2019)


What traffic source has the highest units per order?

During 2017 and 2018 direct and email traffic represented the source that had the highest units per order (averaging 3.4 units per order). The cause for this may be the level of personalisation available both in email communications and online. Making the user experience more intuitive and effective. Also, attribution is often skewed - If a user visits a site after a session on social or paid search with the intent to buy, this traffic won’t get attributed to the correct channel. Another consideration is if your brand is well known, users are likely to shop around before making their final purchase. This highlights the importance of brand loyalty; those with a strong brand are likely to see higher units per order from direct traffic over new purchases via social media.


Which traffic source has the highest conversion rate?

Paid and organic search are both a force to be reckoned with when it comes to conversion rate, with paid search taking first place at 2.9% and organic at 2.8%.  

Organic search is in second-place highlighting the importance of mobile-friendly site design.


Social and display are in the last position with <1% conversion rate – highlighting how online retailers aren’t taking advantage of social commerce to turn the casual follower into a loyal customer.

Email is likely to be more profitable than other channels because the recipients are returning or at least loyal customers who've already bought from the retailer. As such, they are more likely to convert following a brand’s email campaign or promotion.

According to the 2019 report, Google is the most popular place to start the shopping journey. With the highest conversion, units per order and low bounce rates. The results from this study should inspire retailers to optimise their web pages for search engines and use product recommendations and personalisation engines such as Episerver.

To find out more about Episerver from Maginus click here.



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