May 09, 2019

The Most Popular Charts from MarketingSherpa’s 20 Years of Reporting on Marketing Industry Data

SUMMARY: was registered in 1999 to give marketers of the world the stats (and stories) to improve their results.

For today’s article, we’re focusing on the stats. Specifically, the most popular charts from 20 years of data journalism.

Read on for data about ecommerce conversion rates, channel preference, average gross margins and more.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.


Ecommerce Research Chart: Industry benchmark conversion rates for 25 retail categories

(September 15, 2015)

In marketing, we’re always trying to keep up with the Joneses in some sense. See how others are doing, to get a sense of how our own performance stacks up.

There are good reasons for this (providing context for our results) and there are bad reasons for this (focusing more on the competition than the customer), but either way, it is an intense marketer interest.

This chart shares average ecommerce conversion rates, and then the article includes an in-depth explanation from Dr. Diana Sindicich to help you make use of this data specifically and averages in general.

After all, it is a fact that the average of my net worth and Jeff Bezos’ net worth is $75.8 billion, but that data point still won’t get me into fancy country clubs.


Marketing Research Chart: Do different age groups prefer different channels?

(March 10, 2015)

Spoiler Alert: Everybody. Loves. Email.


Ecommerce Research Chart: Average gross margins for small, medium and large companies

(September 2, 2014)

Some numbers matter more than others.

On HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” when the show’s main character determined a competitor was losing money on each pizza order to establish a customer base, he bought a whole lotta pizza from them to drain their seed capital.

Getting a high conversion rate is great, but you ignore your margins at your company’s peril.


Marketing Research Chart: Average website conversion rates, by industry

(October 23, 2012)

The website is at the heart of conversion marketing, and this chart breakdown shows that professional /financial services and media/publishing lead the way in conversion rates, while non-profits lag far behind.


MarketingSherpa Consumer Purchase Preference Survey: Demographics of customer reasons to follow brands’ social accounts

(November 24, 2015)

Conventional wisdom from social media consultants often cautions brands about being too salesy on social media. And they certainly have a point.

But as this article by Dr. Liva LaMontagne shows, brands should be careful about going too far in the other direction — getting regular coupons and promotions was the top reason customers followed a brand on social media.


Ecommerce Chart: Online shopping behaviors of millennials versus baby boomers

(July 28, 2015)

Consumers’ top behavior on smartphones is researching products online, with younger smartphone users much more likely to do it than older users.

This article includes advice for topics related to mobile marketing, like social media …

“Our study found that 76% [of milliennials] follow companies or brands on YouTube, 84% follow brands on Facebook and nearly half follow brands on Twitter,” Brad Jefferson, CEO and Co-founder, Animoto, said.

And mobile advertising …

“Our research has shown that only 7% of consumers grade advertisers with an ‘A’ for the relevancy of their ads. Developing omnichannel campaigns customized to a specific generation and with a ‘privacy-by-design’ stance will give marketers a clear advantage in the race for customer loyalty,” Lisa Joy Rosner, Chief Marketing Officer, Neustar, said.


Marketing Chart: Which advertising channels consumers trust most and least when making purchases

(January 17, 2017)

While our focus is more on digital than traditional marketing at MarketingSherpa, we’ve got to go where the data takes us.

And in this case, we found print ads in newspapers and magazines to be a far more trustworthy advertising channel when customers are making purchase decisions than online channels.

This gives the digital marketer an important point to ponder — how do you incorporate print into your digital marketing campaigns and omnichannel programs?


Ecommerce Research Chart: Acquisition cost per customer

(July 22, 2014)

If you throw enough money at your marketing, you will get customers.

But as mentioned above, when discussing margins, that is not a sustainable business practice. So another important metric to consider is cost per acquisition (CPA), which, when combined with customer lifetime value, will help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing.


Email Marketing Chart: How subject line length affects open rates

(May 19, 2015)

While 41-50 characters was the most common length for email subject lines, emails with 61-70 characters had the highest read rate.

"When testing subject lines, don't focus on how long a subject line is. Don't try to be clever — unless that's an essential part of your brand — and don't be vague. Tell the subscriber in the first few words what's in it for them, create a sense of urgency when possible and tell them exactly what they should do," Tom Sather, Senior Director of Research, Return Path suggested in the article.


Ecommerce Chart: The most effective types of personalized product recommendations

(August 11, 2015)

Visitors who viewed the previous articles also viewed this article, which includes personalized product recommendation data along with advice from Abby Bandel, Marketing Director, Barilliance (“Making the content dynamic in this way increases engagement and requires minimal input from the user”), and Meir Tsinman, President, Medical Supply Depot ("We want to make sure our customers have access to a live person pretty much at all times.”).


And now for a bonus extra piece of industry data, from one of the earliest mentions of data on MarketingSherpa…

FULL COVERAGE — Online Marketing Loses Out: Exclusive internet Market-Maker survey results

(February 22, 2000)

“11% DO believe the internet is an important way to reach potential users.” How times have changed over the past two decades.


Related Resources

MarketingSherpa Customer Satisfaction Research Study — Free reports with 26 charts based on research with 2,400 consumers

Newspaper Paywalls and Digital Subscriptions — Four key insights from research with 900 U.S. consumers

MarketingSherpa Ecommerce Benchmark Study — 95 charts based on research with 4,346 ecommerce marketing professionals

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