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  • Writer's pictureRick Kenney

The Best of Benchmarks have arrived.

After 18 months of go-go-gadget everything in digital set expectations high, the first half of this year was more like Dr. Claw clipping the Inspector's heli-hat propellors. This reset is an opportunity to review, revisit, and remind ourselves what reality looks like after removing the gold-colored glasses that adorned digital.

The best of benchmarks from the first half of this tumultuous year are here. We'll focus on those basic KPIs that are shaping digital now.

This best of benchmarks spans the ecommerce spectrum -- from marketing, thru commerce, and into service -- providing a ground-level view of the metrics that serve as the digital foundation.

What stands out from this year? Here are three you-outta-know benchmarks:

The Path Less Traveled

As digital has matured over the past decades, the Martech lumascape (that densely populated firmographic map covered in different technology company logos), has become a well-worn yet shining example of the growth and breadth of the ecosystem. An interesting byproduct of this technical sprawl has been both a pro and a con; extreme focus and speciality have been gained, while a singular view of a business and it's underlying metrics has been obscured. And one of the most central yet difficult to pin down metrics is the shape of the shopper journey.

Enter this composite view of the shopper journey. For a deeper dive into how and where shoppers drop during the journey, read this. Else, the attrition can be seen here:

Productive Products

At a time when retailers are searching for their next pocket of opportunity, Marketplaces have established a channel to deliver real growth - doubling eCommerce growth for the past few years. At the heart of that growth is simple -- products. Product assortment is the fuel for marketplace growth - as marketplaces prove their mettle of being an expert matchmaker between their shoppers and an extended product assortment.

What's intriguing about the product growth, though, is where it is coming from. The long tail -- the bottom 20% of the catalog -- is providing to be the fastest growing product segment.

Consider the Source

Whether it’s news, food, or ecommerce, consider the source.

From channel to channel, the shopper arrives on site with — or without — baggage. And, their performance reflects it. When an established relationship exists - like in email - KPIs look strong.

In other channels with shoppers earlier in their consideration journey, those same (aggregate) metrics may appear lower. Here's a look at the leading traffic sources, and how they differ across different KPIs.

The complete best of benchmark collection is here, see what has shaped digital's first half of the year.

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