The Importance of Benchmarking

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This Volusion blog post introduces the concept of benchmarking and why it’s critical to the success of your online store. This process includes analyzing specific indicators and tracking metrics related to achieving long-term goals. Benchmarking allows your business to gauge progress and make strategic changes to better facilitate your success.

In order to get where we want to go in the long haul, it’s important to take a look at where we stand today. It’s even more important to put together smaller goals to make sure we’re getting there in the most productive way possible. Think of it as if you’re running a marathon – at each mile you’ll want to perform a quick check to see how you’re doing on hydration, nutrients and body performance. The same idea holds true for your online business.

This is what we call benchmarking. While there are several definitions and variations of the term, it ultimately boils down to setting a long-term goal and using specific indicators and metrics to track your progress. Let’s walk through a quick benchmarking process using the following example:

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Benchmarking can also be used to track the performance of your online business in comparison to your competitors and the industry as a whole. Thus, if the abandoned cart rate for your specific industry is 38% (random number) and your abandonment rate is 46%, follow the above process to help bring that rate down.

It can be easy to fall into a routine when selling online, especially when things are going well. Remember to keep challenging yourself by keeping long-term goals at the forefront of your strategy. In the exciting world of ecommerce, some priorities can feel like a marathon to achieve – just make sure your route has the right checkpoints.

Happy Selling!
-Matt Winn, Marketing Associate


How do you define benchmarking? Do you have any experiences in putting together a benchmarking strategy? What do you think of the steps outlined - agree or disagree? Any questions about this process? Do you think benchmarking is overhyped or too often ignored? Any thoughts, ideas or advice? Share with us!

Matt Winn

Matt Winn was Volusion’s Senior Brand Manager, where he helped oversee branding and communications efforts. Matt has created hundreds of articles, videos and seminars on all things ecommerce.