2017 is officially here so we’re taking a look back at how our customers performed in 2016. At Brightpearl, we’re fortunate enough to work with over 1,200 independent retailers from various different industries so we’ve analyzed their performance throughout the entire year.

We looked at gross merchandise value (GMV), the number of orders processed, the biggest shopping days of 2016, the average number of sales channels, the average order value, the number of currencies used, and growth in sales by country. We even digged deeper to look at the statistics by sales channels to see which ecommerce platforms and marketplaces performed best in 2016.

Overall customer performance

2016 was a successful year for Brightpearl customers with a 16% growth in gross merchandise value (GMV) reaching $1,115,341,307. Additionally, the number of orders processed increased by 37% with 10,767,132 processed for the entire year, 29,448 on average per day, and an average of 1,229 processed per hour. Our customers also began selling on extra sales channels in 2016 with an average of 3 channels, compared to 2 in 2015.

Biggest shopping days

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were unsurprisingly the busiest shopping days of 2016 followed closely by Tuesday 31st May and Thursday 8th September, two seemingly normal days of the year.  

Average order value

Interestingly, average order value decreased by 10% last year to $115 compared to $127.50 in 2015. The drop was seen across the majority of sales channels with Magento seeing the biggest drop of 16% even though the platform has the largest average order value of $135. BigCommerce was the only channel to see a rise in average order value.

As average order value decreases but the number of orders processed and GMV increases, it poses the question of why are consumers spending less per order but more overall? There could be many reasons including retailers offering larger discounts, shoppers making multiple but smaller orders, or more consumers shopping whilst spending less per order. Do you have a theory of why average order value has fallen? Let us know by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page.

Cross-border trade

More independent retailers seem to be expanding their business by selling to more countries in more currencies. In 2016, Brightpearl orders were bought using 33 currencies, compared to 28 in 2015. We’ve also witnessed a growth in sales by country with the biggest increases in Italy, Australia, Canada and Spain.

eBay vs Amazon

The battle of the marketplaces continues with Amazon increasingly overtaking eBay. Amazon saw a 40% growth in GMV and 53% rise in number of orders, compared to a smaller increase of 11% (GMV) and 13% (orders) from eBay. However, shoppers are spending slightly more on eBay with an average order value of $37, compared to $35 on Amazon. Based on Brightpearl’s independent retailers, it seems like both marketplaces continue to grow but Amazon is expanding at an extremely fast rate.  

Sales channels

As for ecommerce platforms, the most popular ones with our customers are all maintaining growth with GMV increasing by 40% for Magento, 38% for Shopify and 25% for BigCommerce and number of orders increasing by 63% for Magento, 57% for Shopify, and 12% for BigCommerce.


Check out the infographic below for a summary of all the statistics talked about and more.


As the focus moves to 2017 and you plan for the year ahead, take a look at our 2017 retail calendar which highlights all the key dates your retail business needs to be thinking about.

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About the Author

Danielle Ricketts is the Senior Global Content Manager at Brightpearl where she spends her time following her passions of writing, retail and social media. She can be found writing away about all things retail or engaging with followers online.