Enterprise Ecommerce / How to Sell Online

The 3 Most Important Ecommerce Benchmarks & How You Can Crush Them

Janessa Lantz / 2 min read

At RJMetrics, we are nerd-evangelists for data benchmarks. We want everyone to learn how to use it and love it. So we crunched the data from hundreds of our clients to see what we could learn about the state of ecommerce. Here’s what we discovered about customer retention, average order size, customer lifetime value, and other ecommerce benchmarks you always wanted to know but never knew who to ask.

Top Ecommerce Benchmarks

1. Top customers spend 5x more per order

On average, 90% of ecommerce customers spend $54 per order. The top 10% are spending $163 per order, 3x more per order than 90% of customers. When we zoomed in even further we found that the top 1% of customers have an Average Order Value (AOV) of $267, 5x more than the AOV of most of your customer base.

rjmetrics average order value

Use reviews to increase your AOV

Ebay and Amazon were pioneers in user generated content, among the first e-commerce retailers to implement comments and user reviews. Today customer reviews create a 74% increase in product conversion. If you’re not already using customer reviews, don’t worry, you’re not alone. A surprising 27% of the IR 500 doesn’t use customer reviews. But now is the time to change that. Customer reviews convert and decrease return rates — so get them!

2. Top customers make 4x more purchases

The typical online store gets 43% of its revenue from repeat customers. Companies that have mastered repeat purchases are getting up to 75% of their revenue from repeat customers. If you tend to focus on customer acquisition, now is the time to pay attention to how you can grow revenue by looking at your existing customer base.

Percent of Revenue from Repeat Purchases-01 copy

Don’t be afraid to break the discount cycle

There’s a tendency in e-commerce to solve problems with discounts rather than data. When it comes to driving repeat purchases, your data can help you figure out things like how soon after a purchase you should reach out to a customer or how often you should be emailing your various customer segments. Leverage those insights. Now is the time to get better at repeat business that doesn’t rely on deep discounts.

3. Top customers spend 30x more than the average customer

Customer Lifetime Value is the single most important metric for your e-commerce store. If you’re not already familiar with this metric, get up to speed on how to calculate CLV now. Here’s why it’s so important — the top 1% of e-commerce customers spends 30x more than the average customer. The lifetime value of these customers isn’t just a little better, it’s dramatically better.

Customer lifetime value by percentile

If you’re still tracking marketing ROI using metrics like cost of customer acquisition or first purchase this data should make it overwhelmingly obvious that it’s time to stop. Your customers are not all the same, and you shouldn’t be treating them as if they are. Spending $15 on a customer whose lifetime value is $35 probably isn’t a great move, spending $15 on a customer whose lifetime value is $1,050 is a no-brainer.

Treat your best customers like VIPs

Every month, pull a list of your top 1% of customers and do something special for them. Write a note, send a gift, invite them to a special event. If you can do this more often or at scale, even better. Try showing some love to your big spenders and just see what happens.

This is the year to really dig in. Find the most loyal customers, get the most reviews, the most repeat purchases and the best possible returns. Nerd out with your data and sell more!

What benchmarks do you use to run your ecommerce store?

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Leave a Comment
  • An excellent article, Keep going! Feel fee to contact for business inquiry at https://hirelaraveldeveloperindia.com

  • “Treating your best customers like VIPs” It gets lot of easy business to me. Well explained blog, keep posting more.
    We treat every customer like VIP @ https://www.xmedo.com !

  • Thanks for the nice article. http://www.concettolabs.com use your advice in help us more clients.

  • Absolutely agree. Thanks for reading!!

  • Great post. A lot of insight. It is so important to watch where you are spending your time.

  • That is very true and yet only 5% of online shops actually measure CLV.

  • I think entrepreneurs focuses on the customers at all levels. The people who place $54 dollar orders are capable of taking your brand to a great heights because of their numbers which is tough for the people who fall under $163 and $267 but a core part of revenue is generated by them. So treating each and every customers is the smartest move.


  • farmstr

    Great article!

  • Great post, love the visuals! “Use data, not discounts” is pretty catchy.

  • Elie Challita

    Thank you for the insight.

    It makes sense to treat the top 10% of buyers better, through fidelity programs and such, as opposed to pandering to the base. Isn’t it better, if possible, to shift the whole curve to the right however?

  • i have shopping web site and i will use your advices.

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  • marc zazeela

    Indeed, Julie. Their tangible value is easy to measure. Their potential value is immeasurable. One friend tells 2 friends who tell 2 friends who tell 2 friends…

    Exponential growth.

  • Great point Marc. Treat everyone like VIPs and maybe they’ll spend more in the future. But even a given customer doesn’t increase their purchases, winning them over as a brand evangelist could be far more valuable.

  • marc zazeela

    The old 80% – 20% rule is alive and well. Your top 20% of your customers create 80% of your revenue.

    But you still can’t underestimate the value of the little guy. Grassroots marketing is the most powerful marketing there is. Treat all your customers like the gems that they are.

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