Bluecore 2022 Retail Ecommerce Benchmark Report: Shopper Lifecycle Benchmarks

Bluecore 2022 Retail Ecommerce Benchmark Report
Shopper Lifecycle Benchmarks

In today’s crowded, digital-first retail landscape, it’s essential that retailers prove performance — quickly and effectively. To arrive at this year’s benchmarks, Bluecore analyzed more than 35.5 billion campaigns (delivered to shoppers via global retail brands’ emails and ecommerce sites), as well as the resulting actions taken by shoppers.

Below are the findings on how shoppers behave across lifecycle stages and engage with campaigns across lifecycle stages and purchase history, and how these campaigns contribute to the success of a brand’s marketing program. 

Lifecycle stages represent each shopper’s unique buying cadence with Active Buyers remaining within that buying cadence, At Risk Buyers falling outside of that, and Lost Customers who have exceeded that threshold with a low likelihood to come back. Lifecycle stage calculation represents that unique cycle — each customer can enter each of these stages at varying time periods.

Key Takeaways

  • At-Risk and Lost Buyers present a massive opportunity for retailers. At-Risk Buyers and Lost Buyers are nearly as engaged as Active Buyers. While they are defined by their lifecycle stage, it’s imperative to treat them with care and curate each moment spent with them to nurture more Active Buyers.
  • A retailer’s revenue lies with their existing shoppers. Seizing the opportunity to engage and convert shoppers at each moment in their lifecycle is critical to driving revenue. Although repeat purchasers are a smaller subset of total purchases for the year, they drive the most revenue across retail vertical and average order value. 

Shopper Lifecycle Benchmarks

  • With every new purchase, the likelihood that shoppers will come back to a brand increases, across the board. This demonstrates the importance of cultivating loyal shoppers to drive revenue. 
  • These percentages are consistent across retail verticals with Consumer Electronics leading the way with increased likelihood to purchase — this could be a resolution of supply chain shortages as more inventory became available.
  • Home Goods leads the retail verticals at first purchases (68.60%) and demonstrates a high share of second purchases as well (17.03%).
  • Sporting Goods & Outdoors saw the lowest percentage of first purchases (28.77%) and Consumer Electronics saw the lowest percentage of second purchases (12.97%).
  • While Active Buyers present a smaller subset of a brand’s total shopper base (Apparel, 32.16% and Health & Beauty, 31.78%), they generate the greater share of revenue (Apparel, 54.16% and Healthy & Beauty, 62.72%
  • Non-Buyers generate more revenue for Sporting Goods & Outdoor (49.50%) and Gifts and Floral (72.95%) than shoppers in any other lifecycle category.
  • While there are more Non-Buyers purchasing across average order values, revenue generation comes from Active Buyers. This demonstrates that loyal, active shoppers are more likely to make larger purchases and drive more revenue.
  • For the $0-$99 average order value, Active Buyers composed only 30.88% of a retailer’s total shoppers but generated 53.27% of the revenue. Similarly, for the $100-$249 average order value, Active Buyers compose 30.18% of a retailer’s total shoppers, but generate 54.08% of revenue. This is consistent across average order values.
  • While across the board, Active Buyers drive the highest engagement, At-Risk, Lost Customers and Non-Buyer engagement are not too far behind. 
  • Out of all the retail verticals, Sporting Goods & Outdoor has a consistently high click rate, and actually sees higher engagement from Non-Buyers (9.91%) than Active Buyers (7.66%). Consumers might be doing some extra browsing with these retailers and taking a while to make a purchase.  
  • While Active Buyers have slightly higher open rate across average order values, At-Risk Buyers, Lost Customers and Non Buyers are not far behind. 
  • At-Risk Shoppers (0.12%) are converting and clicking (1.96%) at a rate that is comparable with Active Shoppers conversion (0.11%) and click rates (2.06%). This represents a big opportunity for brands to recognize shoppers before they’re lost with the right messaging to bring them back to active profiles. 
  • The high intent of creating a Wishlist easily explains their high conversion rates (0.83%). Wishlist is also effective at boosting cart sizes. Once brands know what a shopper is looking for, they should devise strategies to showcase related purchases and products to make that conversion even larger.
  • Campaigns that capitalize on the product catalog also perform well, like New Arrivals (0.18%). 
  • Health & Beauty leads in repeat purchases this year (8.52%), which is not surprising considering that these brands invest more in cross-category strategies and drive a higher level of customer dedication with cult-like products that shoppers need to replenish at a faster rate.
  • Gifts & Floral sees the lowest percentage of One-Time Buyers to Repeat Buyers (1.59%). Shoppers are less likely to be engaged with gifting brands and may purchase from a different brand when the occasion arises.
  • Footwear made a big jump in repeat purchases over First-Time Buyers. Some of the larger Footwear brands who are going Direct-to-Consumer this year are investing in experiences designed to bring shoppers back again and again. 


Bluecore’s complete 2022 Retail Benchmark Report is based on data from more than 35.5 billion campaigns across email and ecommerce sites, by a subset of Bluecore’s Ecommerce customers from January 2021 through December 2021. The benchmark metrics are the average partner performance per campaign type, less outliers, where the campaign had at least 1,000 sends in the time period.

Key Definitions

Lifecycle stages represent each shopper’s unique buying cadence. Therefore, lifecycle stage calculation represents that unique cycle — each customer can enter each of these stages at varying time periods.

  • Active Buyer: Customers who have made a purchase within their typical buying cycle. 
  • At-Risk Buyer: Customers who have deviated from their typical buying cycle and are at risk of never purchasing from your site again. 
  • Lost Customer: Customers who have a high probability of never purchasing from your site again; they have exceeded the threshold of their typical buying cycle.
  • Non-Buyer: Customers who have not made a purchase on your site yet.