Repeat customers now account for more than one-half of
total revenue among the high-end electronic commerce sites tracked by Intermarket Group’s new reference
directory, The eMerchant Survey.
During the first quarter of this year, revenue from repeat customers accounted
for an average 53% of total online revenue, up from 37% during the 1997
calendar year, the survey found.
Although the growth rate for new customer acquisition slowed sharply,
eMerchant Survey firms now boast an average 713,000 customers or registered
Revenue per employee among the eMerchant Survey firms averaged $600,000 during
the first quarter. Almost 8% of firms generated in excess of $2 million per
employee. The average Web staff consists of 115 individuals while 12% of firms
have more than 250 persons dedicated to Web-related initiatives, the survey
Online marketing partnerships are a popular approach to building site traffic
among eMerchant Survey firms. The top three partners among so-called portals
are America Online, Excite Inc. Yahoo!, USA Today, CNET Inc. and
InfoSpace are the most common
partners among major Web destinations.
The average partnership deal is slightly less than three years in duration.
three out of four deals provide sector exclusivity and two-thirds include some
type of revenue sharing component, the survey found.
Affiliate programs are employed by approximately one-out-of-five eMerchant
Survey firms as a traffic building tool. Most such programs, however, are
relatively small, with less than 100 members on average. Fewer than 25% of the
affiliate programs included more than 500 members. The average commission rate
among all programs is 7.3%
while 18% of the programs pay affiliates a fixed commission per lead.
The eMerchant Survey is a semi-annual reference directory focused on high-end
e-commerce sites and the e-commerce initiatives of large companies. The
inaugural edition profiles almost 80 such online merchants, providing
information that includes company size, customers, revenue growth,
technologies deployed, online marketing partners, offline presence,
management, and principal investors.
The $295 survey also provides a variety of statistical and benchmarking data
on the profiled firms as a group. Profiled firms include 1-800-FLOWERS, AMP,
autoweb.com, Eddie Bauer, eBay, ONSALE, Ingram Micro, Lands’ End, iPrint,
Charles Schwab, CDnow, and Preview Travel, among others.