A recent study utilizing a sample of eCommerce transactions since 2007 found that consumers were willing to spend almost twice as much more per item purchased when shopping online in 2011. SumAll recorded and analyzed 30 million eCommerce transactions settled by clients of Shopify, a hosted eCommerce shopping cart, from 2007 to 2011. Over this time the average total revenue per unit sold nearly doubled from $19.86 in 2007 to $39.37 in 2011. There was over 12 percent growth in the average total revenue per unit sold from 2010 to 2011 alone.
Other findings from SumAll and this sample of data are that e-tailers are offering larger discounts now than they were in 2007 and that shipping costs have also increased. In 2007 the average percentage discount per unit sold was 11 percent and the average shipping cost per item was $2.02. In 2011 the average percentage discount per unit sold exceeded 19 percent while shipping costs increased to $2.51. Although shipping costs increased in absolute terms the cost of shipping is less now than in 2007 relative to the average cost per item ordered.
Although the sample data for the study only looks at Shopify clients and excludes many major multi-channel and online retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy and most of the other top online selling firms, it still provides some insight into how eCommere has changed over the last five years. Consumers are becoming more comfortable online and are willing to spend more per purchase. Additionally, eCommerce is becoming increasingly more competitive as online sellers are offering greater discounts. SumAll states possible reasons for the increase in revenue per item sold online include inflation and a shift to consumers being willing to buy more expensive items online now than they were five years ago.
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