Google recently published a post on the Google Analytics blog entitled “Retailers: Three Insights to Drive Q1 Results” which immediately grabbed my attention. Unfortunately all the insights are for the US market! Nevertheless, using the Google Analytics Industry Benchmarking feature I have done my best to replicate their insights for UK furniture retailers.

Over 60% of Sessions will be New Sessions

Image by terryballard

In the first quarter people are in the research phase of their furniture purchasing decision with 65% of traffic counting as New Sessions Jan – Mar 2014. This is supported by an average pages/session of 5.39 and an average session duration of 03:33 mins.

Note: When looking at Q1 2014 it is unfortunately not possible to segment the benchmark by location and traffic source so I can only give all traffic insights.

How to use this insight

Understanding your customers’ behaviour should help to shape your revenue forecasting and budgeting to ensure that you have realistic targets throughout the year. But from a more practical digital marketing perspective you can use this insight to:

  • Create soft conversion points on the site, so you stay front of mind when people are ready to buy
  • Ensure the site has a good alternatives strategy so that if a piece of furniture that someone wanted in Feb is no longer available in April they are offered the next best alternative, to try and keep them as a customer

Work with your web development team to enhance website performance and do user experience testing in this first quarter to make your site tip-top in Q2 when people are ready to invest in new home furnishings.

How are you getting on?

Looking at the Benchmark data for 1st – 25th Jan 2015 in the Home Furnishings vertical Google says your website traffic should look a little something like:

Default Channel Grouping Benchmark Sessions % Benchmark New Sessions Benchmark New Users Benchmark Pages / Session Avg. Benchmark Session Duration Benchmark Bounce Rate
Paid Search 22,207 66.49% 14,766 4.88 00:02:46 42.73%
Organic Search 18,940 64.02% 12,125 5.48 00:03:56 36.08%
Direct 5,108 68.23% 3,485 4.69 00:03:52 45.26%
Referral 3,218 63.11% 2,031 3.85 00:03:02 44.47%
Email 2,259 32.01% 723 5.31 00:03:57 35.50%
Display 1,894 39.70% 752 4.04 00:02:17 50.00%
Social 446 61.43% 274 3.98 00:02:59 49.33%
(Other) 3,375 51.20% 1,728 3.37 00:02:27 57.33%
Total 57,447 62.46% 35,884 4.89 00:03:17 41.73%

Are you Mobile Optimised?

A Mobile Couple
Image by FidlerJan

We have noticed a correlation between mobile performance and overall SEO performance since mid-2014 and are building up our data to draw insightful conclusions. Whether or not Google holds back sites on desktop that are not mobile friendly it is increasingly an area that site’s need to improve their performance on, because that is where customers are looking for interiors products:

Benchmark Sessions
52% of sessions are from mobile and tablet.

Hopefully these insights will help you to build a successful digital customer acquisition strategy in 2015. Good luck!

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