When starting an e-commerce website, one of the biggest obstacles is getting those first sales. For  direct marketing efforts, it appears that having good search engine rankings and using Pay-Per-Click advertising appears to be by far the most effective with email marketing showing well and growing.

Custora, a customer acquisition platform, just released data taken from their large customer base to come up with the following charts:

Where percentage of customers come from

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 2.01.03 PM

Note: CPC and PPC are essentially the same thing

This chart is showing that ~16% of newly acquired customers came from organic search and ~10% came from CPC/PPC. Email marketing also has a strong showing at ~7%.

The value of a customer over their lifetime

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 2.01.16 PM

Customer Lifetime Value is how much income an e-commerce retailer can expect from a single customer. Organic search yields 54% higher than average sales while Twitter is 23% lower than the average sale.

“The savviest marketers in the new era of ecommerce will be looking beyond just where customers are coming from. They’ll be looking at the value of new customers acquired across channels, platforms, and geographies” – Custora Report

The main point here is that quantity of customers doesn’t necessarily translate into more money for a business. It is the quality of those customers. According to this data, the most quality visitors come from Search Engine Optimization efforts and Pay-Per-Click advertising. So if you have a marketing budget, those areas are the best places to start.

This data represents the average of 82 online retailers using Custora in 14 industries totaling 72 million customers. Iif you have a niche store this data could be misleading. The only real way to know is to try all forms of marketing and determine your own cost effective marketing plan. Oh, and we can help with that if you want!