eCommerce Marketing Benchmarks: KPIs You Should Look Out For

March 7, 2023
5 min read

If you don’t know where you are or how you are doing, you’ll never get anywhere. 

eCommerce KPIs are powerful sets of data: specific numbers that are used to determine the performance and growth of your business. The benchmarks you track, set, and beat will be the guiding beacon for business growth. 

eCommerce growth depends on accurate, relevant, and pertinent data for your business. Add a layer of relevant data for your competitors and you now have a complete picture of how you are doing vs. how others are doing -- given the same constraints or within a particular industry.

The usual eCommerce KPIs for an eCommerce business that you’d need to track are: conversion rate, average order value, gross profit, shopping cart conversion rate, customer lifetime value, churn rate, and several others.

There are some other eCommerce Marketing KPIs you should look out for such as email scoring, performance benchmarks, number of emails sent, and more. 

Here are some of them: 

Email Marketing Velocity

There are two broad mistakes most eCommerce brands make when it comes to email marketing for eCommerce: Sending way too many emails or never sending emails at all. 

You need balance. In fact, you need a healthy publishing cadence or velocity. Look out for your own email marketing velocity (the number of emails sent during a specific time period -- such as a week or a month). 

Then, look out for the average email marketing velocity that other brands (in the industry you operate in) adhere to. 

You should aim for the average email marketing velocity that’s common within your industry. From there on, test other email marketing frequencies and find your own frequency. 

Email Marketing Design

Within your eCommerce vertical, how are other brands designing their emails? Are most of their emails text-based and without use of heavy images? Are brands using heavy HTML-based email messages complete with video, images, call-to-action buttons and so on? 

Ideally, it’s always recommended to test between two broad email marketing design themes: image-less, text-only style and heavy HTML designs. 

Both the types of email design have pros and cons. Thankfully, because most email marketing tools provide you with both options, you can test them out to see what works better for your business.  

Email Campaign Metrics 

Your own email marketing program can provide you with your campaign specific information for email marketing such as click rates, open rates, successful email delivery percentages, number of emails that bounced, number of unsubscribes, and more. 

You get precise benchmarking data such as how  emails optimized for open rates, and click rate of links within? What’s the likely Spam score of subject lines used, Subject line length, emojis used within subject lines, 

Promotional Pressure

Think of promotional pressure as the activity levels of the brand. If you see a lot of content being published, how much of this content is produced on a periodic basis? Do you see ads, emails, and landing pages for your competitors’ campaigns? What are the specifics of these promotions (and on which levels and platforms) and how are they doing?

If you see email campaigns (including advanced eCommerce automations and sequences), what does that look like? In short, how well are the marketing wheels spinning -- down to the last detail (or the hub and spoke of it). 

Branding & Copywriting

Especially for the relatively smaller brands, are you able to identify brands when you happen to see their logos, ads, emails, colors, and so on? 

When you look at your competing brands for branding, positioning, copywriting, images, videos, and branding elements such as logo, colors, and style? 

How branded are the emails of your competitors? Can you recognize their email easily from other emails or newsletters?

If you are unable to recognize a brand from their ads or emails or if you fail to see branding cohesiveness, it’s a sign for you to double check your own branding consistency. It’s an opportunity for a quick win by making sure your branding and copywriting are aligned. 

Advertising Velocity

What is the pace of campaigns when you look at your competitors or brands within a specific eCommerce vertical? At what rate are campaigns (such as Google Ad campaigns, facebook Ad campaigns) rolled out?  What are the platforms chosen for these brands as primary traffic sources? Is it Google?YouTube? Instagram? Or Facebook?

How many different campaigns or ads can you identify for each brand?How many new ads are they publishing each week or month?

Advertising Media Mix

How many videos vs. Carousels vs. Images they’re publishing each week or month? If you look at your competition or any brand within an eCommerce vertical, what are the various content types they use for advertising or general marketing? In essence, what is the composition of their advertising mix? 

Plan images with copy? Videos with text? Image Carousels?  Videos only? Images Only? If it is text, is it long-form or short-form? 

Look out for the content mix or advertising media mix to give you a fair idea of what’s being used. The more something is being used, the better it’s likely to be performing. 

Product Price Evolution

Most brands and businesses struggle with pricing (it’s one of those perennial thorns in commerce). While every brand does struggle with pricing, every product does have a price tag (no matter how experimental or temporary it is). 

One of the competitive benchmarking aspects most brands and businesses miss out on is the pricing or the product price evolution. What is the present price of each product and how are the products priced -- one-time price? Is it subscription-based? 

What’s the average price of their latest products? How is the rest of their catalog priced at? Do you notice any changes in prices in a given time period -- such as a year or couple of years? 

Benchmarking gives you superpowers. Period. 

There are several other aspects of advertising and marketing that are not available in the public domain: such as more information about targeting, complete set of acquisition channels used, ROI or ROAS for campaigns, and so on.