Check out our B2C Community Benchmark for Q1 & Q2 2021

  • 4 October 2021
  • 7 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

It has been on our wishlist for a long time to be able to share valuable benchmark information with you here on inSpired. In the past, this was not an easy task simply because it was not that easy to collect all this information for you in an efficient manner. While we performed a benchmark last year, the process was quite labor-intensive and not scalable. Hence we are super-proud to say that we are now able to offer you these insights on a more regular basis!

Before we dive into the numbers however, let’s first have a quick overview what we measured, and how.


Scope and methodology


This benchmark has a focus on all the B2C communities which use inSided. We further categorized communities based on vertical (Telco & Consumer online services) and also on their level of maturity (more on that later).

We have measured only communities that have been live for at least six months in January 2021. It is important to note that, in a small amount oif cases, we were not able to measure all KPIs for each community, mostly due to missing Google Analytics integration.


What KPIs have been benchmarked?

Here you can find an overview of each KPI that we benchmarked. Further below you can also learn where to find the data to measure these yourself!


Traffic Engagement Service
Sessions Registrations Questions / month
Users (visitors) Conversion (% of new visitors that register) % Questions
New user % % of users with 1 activity % Conversations
Organic Traffic % % of users with 3 activities % Articles
Referral Traffic % % of users with 5 activities Average time to answer
Click-Through-rate % % of users with 10 activities % Questions answered

Unique users

(Audience Dashboard)

% of users with 100 activities % answered by peer
  Replies / month % answered by Superuser
  Topics / month % answered by Moderator
  Average replies / topic Average time to answer
  % user topic without a reply  


Missing anything?

Are you missing any KPIs in this overview that you’d like us to benchmark? Sometimes we lack rich data on some subjects (e.g. exit survey data), but if you have a question or suggestion, just let us know in the comments!


The findings


Here you can find the results, broken down per theme and KPI. Next to vertical-specific benchmarks for Telco and Consumer online services (COS), you will also find benchmarks based on community maturity. But how did we define maturity, and under which maturity level does your community fall under? We have written a short definition for each level below. To learn the maturity level categorization of your community, your CSM will be happy to help you further!


Click on the image to enlarge

Which maturity does my community fall under?

For a general indication, here what we see as indicators for the different maturity levels:

Maturity level 1

These communities either are younger than 12 months, or are for other reasons not yet making use of their full potential (e.g. lack of ressources, strategy or reach).


Maturity level 2

These communities have been live for at least a year, show decent activity, but the overall reach and activity is still relatively small compared to the benchmark and the potential (given their customer base).


Maturity level 3

These communities are mastering their goals (mostly service) quite well, have an active group of Superusers and are now starting to discover more use cases that go beyond their initial business case.


Maturity level 4

These communities have been active for at least three years, and show higher levels of activity (with a larger group of seasoned Superusers). At least one other use case (next to service) has been adopted well by the community users.


Maturity level 5

These are the oldest and also most active communities on our platform, they have been live for at least five years and have 6-digit figure total registered users. Well-defined processes, a larger group of Superusers as well as advanced integrations


What are the differences compared to the 2020 benchmark?

Needless to say, 2020 was quite a special year. Especially our Telco customers had to handle store closings, support teams working from home, as well as new kind of questions that have never been handled on the community before. This had a huge impact on the benchmark. Mostly in Q2 of 2020, especially companies with physical stores had challenges to deal with the increased demand for online support. This impact partially transitioned well into 2021 for some communities as well.

In general, we now see more stable numbers than last year, where the performance was fluctuating much more heavily on a monthly basis. This is due to the COVID situation slowly normalizing across the EU and the US.


In general, we see a small downtrend across most engagement KPIs, which is likely also related to the phase of the COVID pandemic that most countries find themselves in in 2021. In average, there is a 10% decrease in registrations and posts. We interpret this as a sign that there is less pressure on visitors to register than in 2020, where many new questions arised that have never been handled on the community before.

Traffic & Reach

In terms of reach, we observe an increase in sessions and visitors. In a normal year, you can also expect this, simply as each community is growing in content and therefore also the relevance & SEO power is increasing. The organic traffic however seems to show a small decrease. We did not compare the total numbers here, so it could also be that more users find the community via e.g. links on the company homepage (pushing down the relative share of organic traffic).

Service value

Looking at the service KPIs, there seems to be a downtrend of the share of questions that have been marked as answered. This KPI is crucial not just because it shows how many users had their question answered, but it is also very important as it helps other visitors to find their answer more easily and can bee seen as an indirect driver of organic traffic.

We see a chance that this KPI performs higher because of the nature of the questions: Less questions are being asked about COVID-related topics, therefore have a higher chance of being answered as they are more standard questions (that also are more likely to be answered by other users).


How does my community perform against the benchmark?


Usually, we cover some of this benchmark data during our business reviews with you. But if you cannot wait until then, you can of course do your own calculation to compare your community with the benchmark. Here an overview of where to find the data for the respective KPIs:


Traffic Engagement Service

Google Analytics

Search Console

Audience Dashboard

inSided Dashboards

User export

Post export

Mark as answer export

Success Dashboard

Mark as answer export

Content Dashboard


Here’s a tip
In general, we advise to measure monthly activity for at least 6 months and then calculate the average values. Also, make sure to spot peaks and, if necessary, take them out of the calculation.


Should you have questions about the specific calculation of a KPI, simply let us know in the comments!

7 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Love it, @Julian ! This is really great insights that can help to pinpoint areas that need to be looked into to grow the community.

And it would be a fantastic addition to the analytics dashboards! 

Userlevel 6
Badge +3

Wow this is great!


I’d like to see some ‘Content helpfulness’, ‘topic helpfulness’, ‘deflection’, CES benchmarks here as well…


@Julian a couple questions if you have a sec:


  1. ‘Unique users / month’ - is this effectively the number of IP addresses that have visited? If so, how can this figure be higher then ‘Sessions / month’ as it is for Maturity 2, 4, 5 ? 
  2. Peer to peer benchmarks seem low. Do you count a peer and a super user separate here? e.g for Maturity 3, we have 23% answered by a peer, and 10% answered by a super user. Is that 13% answered by non super-user peers, or a total peer to peer of 33%?



Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Super-happy to hear that you find this valuable! :)

@Ditte I love your suggestion to have this in the dashboard for reference. Would help a lot of people to understand where their community is at. I surely will take this with in my conversations with the product team.

@timcavey thanks for sharing your suggestions as well! Some data (like deflection) might be a bit harder for us to get (as customer survey data is not easy to access), but helpfulness should be achievable.

As to your questions:

  1. This is a very good question. Both numbers are measured quite differently (Sessions in Google Analytics and unique visitors by our own system). Whie we know that GA is massively undercounting, so the “real” number of sessions usually is much higher (we feel it is around 30% higher in average). We also can observe that we are overcounting a bit in our own dashboards. It is not necessarily the IP adresses used, but also the device used by a visitor that leads to over-counting the amount of visitors. We actually planned a little experiement around this, so stay tuned for more insights here. ;)
  1. Yes, I noticed this as well, I am currently investigating this. So far I believe that we indeed have to add Registered user % and Superuser %. So in your example that would be 33%. I still find this a bit low, so I am doing some checks. Could be that there are some outliers, or that something went wrong collecting the data. Once I have found out more, I might adjust the table a bit to avoid any confusion and / or correct the data points.
Userlevel 1

Hello @Julian 

The percentage of new topics without reply for the best in class is 83%, is this correct?

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Good find, that of course is not the best in class. :joy: I see that my colleagues must have added the MAX value instead of the MIN value. I am cleaning this up right now, along with some other smaller things that I have found. Once this is done I will update the data here as well.

Checking the right value here, the top performers are actually at 0%. This is not surprising, as it also includes younger communities (but only those that were live for the entire period). These communities have less content to manage and therefore it is easy to respond to all topics if you are a Community Manager.

Userlevel 2

Thanks so much for this info @Julian. I’m wondering if you have any benchmarks for user group engagement?

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

That is an excellent idea, thanks for sharing, @cstrange! We do not have this right now, unfortunately, but I will put this on the list for our upcoming benchmark! I do see quite some differences here amongst communities and also between groups within them, so surely interesting to also investigate what is driving engagement (and what not)...