PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Monetate, the leading provider of multichannel personalization to the world’s best brands, announced today the release of its latest global Ecommerce Quarterly report (EQ4 2014). The data shows that personalized customer experiences helped power the industry to a record-breaking holiday shopping season, with more than $51 billion in revenue, a 7.7 percent year-over-year growth, according to the National Retail Federation.

In the report, Monetate breaks down exactly how its customers powered personalized online shopping experiences for consumers, dramatically outperforming the industry average in four key areas.

Optimizing Conversion RatesQ4 2014 saw the highest reported conversion rates among the last five quarters – 6.4 percent for Monetate customers, and 2.8 percent for the industry average overall. This increase in conversion rates indicates that browsers are turning into buyers more frequently, but the marked difference between Monetate customer results and the industry average shows that shoppers respond to highly personalized experiences. Examples include:

  • A luxury clothing brand targeted existing customers visiting its site with VIP messages and promotions, and carried that language throughout the site with a VIP promotion banner posted on every page the customer visited. This helped the brand achieve a 6.7 percent conversion rate.
  • In an effort to sell more NFL-related calendars and merchandise, one of the largest direct-to-consumer stationary sites targeted customers in specific markets who had previously searched for an NFL-related term and served them products related to their hometown team. The experience was a complete win, with an average conversion rate of 13.1 percent.

Beating Bounce Rates

Monetate customers experienced an average bounce rate of 19.9 percent in Q4 2014, well below the industry average of 30.2 percent. Bounce rate is a key metric in determining how well brands are able to keep customers on their websites, and here’s how two Monetate customers stood out:

  • An apparel and home goods catalog company was experiencing the normally high bounce rates that come with Pinterest-referred traffic (nearly 60 percent). During the holiday shopping season, the brand promoted a one-time discount off all Pinterest visitors’ purchases, which resulted in bounce rates dropping to 29 percent.
  • A global consumer telecommunications brand focused on ensuring that the expressed interests of new and existing customers were reflected on its landing page and drove  bounce rates down as low as 4 percent.

Dominating Add-to-Cart Rates

For Q4, the industry average add-to-cart rate was 8.4 percent, a significant increase over the rate of 8.0 percent in the same period in 2013. The Monetate customers that aced add-to-cart rates outperformed the industry by more than 12 percent, at 20.4 percent. For example, a lifestyle apparel retailer sought to re-engage dormant shoppers by offering “lightboxes” – a tactic which allows marketers to display content as an overlay over the main page content – with free shipping codes. The codes were triggered based on average length-of-stay on the site. The result? A 68 percent add-to-cart rate.

Decreasing Cart-Abandonment Rates

Perhaps the most frequent challenge retailers have is abandoned carts, and in Q4 2014 they experienced nearly flat abandoned cart rates of 66 percent. However, Monetate customers saw abandoned cart rates of 43.6 percent, nearly 20 percent lower than the rest of the industry.

How did Monetate customers do it? A sporting goods brand, for example, learned that its tablet customers behaved differently at checkout than desktop customers, so it served them a less distracting checkout page without the footer, online chat and social media links found on its desktop page. These simple changes resulted in a reduced cart abandonment rate of just 23.3 percent.

“It’s evident that personalized, curated experiences across multiple channels continue to be a driving factor for successful retail brands,” said Lucinda Duncalfe, CEO, Monetate. “Consumers expect more personal experiences across every touchpoint that reflect how they’ve interacted with a brand in the past. We’re seeing that the brands who are driving faster to meet that expectation are enjoying tremendous ROI, and leaving their less customer-focused competitors in the dust.”

Download a free copy of the Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly report (EQ4 2014) here.


The EQ analyzes a random sample of more than 7 billion online shopping experiences using “same store” data across each calendar quarter. Averages throughout the EQ are calculated across the entire sample. Key performance indicators, such as average order value and conversion rate, vary by industry and market type. These averages are published only to support the analysis in each release of the EQ, and are not intended to be benchmarks for any ecommerce business.