As an ecommerce business owner, you’re probably always looking for ways to improve your website’s performance and drive more sales. One of the key metrics you should pay attention to is your conversion rate — the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or subscribing to your newsletter.
In this article, I’ll share the average conversion rate for ecommerce businesses, why it’s important to understand this metric, and how you can improve your own conversion rate to increase sales and revenue.
What Is a Conversion Rate?
Simply put, your website’s conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action on your site. For ecommerce businesses, the desired action is typically making a purchase, but it could also include signing up for a rewards program, joining your email list, or even adding a product to their cart.
What Are the Different Types of Conversion Rates?
There are a lots of different conversion rates you can measure. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Overall Conversion Rate: The percentage of all website visitors who take a desired action, regardless of what that action is.
- Product-Specific Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors who view a specific product page and go on to purchase that product.
- Landing Page Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors who arrive on a specific landing page and take a desired action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase.
- Lead Conversion Rate: The percentage of website visitors who fill out a lead form or provide contact information and become a sales lead.
- Call-to-Action Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors who click on a specific call-to-action button or link and take a desired action.
- Return Customer Conversion Rate: The percentage of customers who make a repeat purchase or take another desired action after their initial purchase.
- Cart Abandonment Rate: The percentage of visitors who add items to their cart but don’t complete the checkout process.
- Checkout Abandonment Rate: The percentage of visitors who begin the checkout process but don’t complete the purchase.
Why Should I Monitor My Conversion Rates?
Tracking and monitoring your conversion rates over time can help you set appropriate benchmarks and sales goals. They can indicate a healthy pipeline or poor optimization. Here are just some of the insights you can glean:
- Effectiveness of Marketing Efforts: Determine which marketing campaigns, channels, and messages are resonating with your target audience. Track average conversion rates across different customer segments to better understand your audience and improve your marketing strategy.
- Website and Checkout Optimization: Uncover patterns and trends that highlight potential areas of improvement for your website and checkout process. For example, if your cart abandonment rate has been consistently high, it may be a sign that the checkout process is too complex or there are too many steps involved.
- Product and Offer Optimization: Track product-specific conversion rates to identify which products or services are performing well and which ones may need to be optimized or discontinued. Test different offers and promotions to see which ones drive the highest conversion rates.
- Performance Benchmarking: Establish a baseline and benchmark for performance against industry averages and competitors. Learn how well they are performing compared to others in your space.
When analyzing your conversion rate data:
- Look for patterns or trends over time. Are your conversion rates increasing or decreasing? Are there particular times of the year when your conversion rate is higher or lower?
- Segregate conversion rates by traffic source. Which sources of traffic are driving the most conversions? Are there any sources of traffic that are underperforming?
- Compare conversion rates by product or product category. Are there particular products or categories that have higher or lower conversion rates? Are there any products or categories that may need to be optimized?
What Can Impact Conversion Rates?
Ok, so it’s clear there are a variety of different conversion rates you can track. But how can you improve conversion rates or uncover why a conversion rate is low? The following factors are a great place to start if you need to improve your average conversion rate or determine why your conversion rate has dropped.
Your website’s user experience (UX) is one of the most important factors in determining your conversion rate. If your site is slow, difficult to navigate, or confusing to use, visitors are likely to get frustrated and leave without taking any action.
On the other hand, if your site is easy to use and provides a seamless experience, visitors are more likely to stay on your site, explore your products, and make a purchase.
Website Design and Navigation
Your website’s design and navigation go hand-in-hand with user experience. A well-designed site with clear, easy-to-use navigation can help visitors find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, which can lead to more conversions.
Conversely, a poorly designed site with confusing navigation can lead to frustration and confusion, which can cause visitors to leave without making a purchase.
Content and Product Information
The content on your website — including product descriptions, images, and reviews — can also make or break your conversion rate. High-quality product images and detailed, informative descriptions can help visitors understand your products and make informed purchasing decisions.
Personalize your content’s tone to address your customers’ specific needs and clearly outline their next steps to encourage them to convert.
Trust and Credibility
Building trust and credibility with your visitors can boost your reputation as well as your conversions. Visitors are more likely to make a purchase if they trust your brand and believe that you offer high-quality products and excellent customer service.
To build trust and credibility, you can use social proof like customer reviews and testimonials, display trust badges and security seals, and offer guarantees or warranties on your products.
Your customers might be ready to buy, only to abandon their carts when they encounter tedious forms during checkout. If your checkout process is confusing, lengthy, or requires visitors to create an account before making a purchase, you may be losing potential customers.
Streamlining your checkout process and making it as simple and easy as possible can help increase conversions and reduce abandoned carts. Some strategies to improve your checkout process include offering guest checkout, minimizing the number of form fields required, and providing clear and concise instructions.
Consider how your pricing strategy may affect conversions. If your prices are too high compared to your competitors, visitors may choose to purchase from someone else. On the other hand, if your prices are too low, visitors may be skeptical of the quality of your products.
Finding the right pricing strategy for your ecommerce business can be challenging, but some strategies to consider include offering discounts or promotions, bundling products together, and using dynamic pricing to adjust your prices based on demand.
SEO and Conversion Rate
SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords and phrases.
Here’s how SEO can impact your ecommerce conversion rate:
1. Organic Traffic
One of the main benefits of SEO is that it can drive more organic traffic to your website. When your website appears higher in SERPs for relevant keywords, more people are likely to click through to your site, which can lead to more conversions.
2. Relevance and Quality
SEO also focuses on creating high-quality, relevant content that provides value to your target audience. By creating content that meets the needs and interests of your visitors, you can increase the likelihood that they will make a purchase.
3. Trust and Credibility
SEO can help build trust and credibility with your visitors. When your website appears higher in the SERPs, it signals to potential customers that your business is trustworthy and credible. This can help increase conversions and reduce bounce rates.
4. User Experience
Finally, SEO can impact your website’s user experience. Many of the same best practices for SEO — such as optimizing site speed and using clear, easy-to-understand navigation — can also help improve your conversion rate by making it easier for visitors to use your site and find the products they’re looking for.
What’s the Average Conversion Rate for Ecommerce Businesses?
The answer, of course, varies depending on a number of factors, including your industry, your target audience, and the products you sell.
It’s worth noting this is just an average, and your own conversion rate may be higher or lower depending on a number of factors, as we’ve discussed.
Industry Benchmarks for Average Conversion Rate
Looks look more closely at specific industries, using Salesforces’s numbers:
Again, these are just averages — worldwide averages, at that — and your own conversion rate may be higher or lower depending on a number of factors.
Additional Factors That Influence the Average Conversion Rate
So what factors can influence your ecommerce business’s average conversion rate? Some of the most important pieces of the puzzle include:
- Industry: As we’ve seen, different industries have different average conversion rates.
- Target Audience: Your target audience’s demographics, behaviors, and preferences can all impact your conversion rate.
- Products: The type of products you sell, their price points, and how they compare to your competitors determine whether customers choose to buy from you.
- Traffic Sources: Conversion rates can depend on whether you diversify and optimize for different traffic sources (e.g., organic search, paid search, and social media).
- Seasonality: Conversion rates can also fluctuate depending on the time of year (e.g., holiday season vs. summer months).
How To Calculate the Average Conversion Rate
To calculate your own average conversion rate, you’ll need to divide the total number of conversions by the total number of website visitors over a given time period, and then multiply by 100.
For example, if your ecommerce site had 10,000 visitors in a month and 250 of them made a purchase, your conversion rate for that month would be:
You can also calculate conversion rates for specific products or pages on your site to get a better sense of where you may need to make improvements.
5 Strategies To Improve Conversion Rate
Let’s talk about some strategies you can use to improve your own conversion rate (also known as conversion rate optimization).
1. Optimize Website Design and User Experience
As discussed earlier, your website’s design and user experience are critical factors in determining your conversion rate. To optimize your website design and UX:
- Use clear and easy-to-understand navigation.
- Ensure your website is simple to navigate on both desktop and mobile devices.
- Make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for by using search functionality and filtering options.
- Ensure your website is fast and responsive.
Improving your website design and UX makes it easier for visitors to find and purchase your products, which can lead to increased conversions.
2. Use High-Quality Product Images and Descriptions
Your product images and descriptions are crucial to entice potential buyers. To ensure that your product images and descriptions are as effective as possible, consider the following:
- Display high-quality images that showcase your products from multiple angles.
- Create descriptive product titles that include relevant keywords.
- Write clear and concise product descriptions that highlight the key features and benefits of your products while also directly addressing the needs of your target audience.
- Show off customer reviews and testimonials to provide social proof and build trust with potential customers.
3. Streamline the Checkout Process
Your checkout process is one of the most critical parts of your ecommerce site. If your checkout process is confusing or time-consuming, visitors may abandon their carts before completing their purchases.
Here are some ways to optimize your checkout process:
- Use a single-page checkout process to minimize the number of steps required.
- Offer guest checkout to allow visitors to check out without creating an account.
- Use clear and concise instructions to guide visitors through the checkout process.
- Implement a progress indicator to show visitors how far along they are in the checkout process.
- Offer a mobile-friendly checkout process to make it easy for visitors to complete purchases on their mobile devices.
By streamlining your checkout process, you can reduce cart abandonment and increase conversions.
4. Implement a Pricing Strategy That Encourages Conversions
Finally, your pricing strategy can have a significant impact on your ecommerce conversion rate. Here are a few tips to implement a pricing strategy that encourages conversions:
- Monitor your competitors’ prices to ensure that your prices are competitive.
- Offer discounts or promotions to encourage visitors to make a purchase.
- Bundle products together to offer value to customers.
- Use dynamic pricing to adjust your prices based on demand.
By implementing a pricing strategy that encourages conversions, you can increase your sales and revenue.
5. Improve Your SEO
Better SEO means more targeted traffic to your site — which can lead to increased conversions. Plus, since SEO and UX go hand-in-hand, SEO improvements help create a better experience for your potential customers.
- Conduct keyword research: Identify the most relevant and high-traffic keywords for your industry. Use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to find keywords to optimize your product pages around and to ideate new content to help drive additional traffic.
- Optimize your product pages: Once you’ve identified your target keywords, optimize your product pages to include those keywords in your page titles, meta descriptions, and product descriptions. Use high-quality images and videos to showcase your products, and provide detailed, informative descriptions that highlight the key features and benefits of each product. Add structured data for rich results in SERPs.
- Use internal linking: Internal linking is a technique that involves linking to other pages on your site from within your content. Internal linking can help improve your website’s overall SEO by making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. It can also help improve your conversion rate by directing visitors to other relevant products or pages on your site that they may be interested in.
- Build backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site. They signal to search engines that your site is trustworthy and credible. Secure a trusted link building service to build your pages’ authority.
Say Goodbye to Average
Quality SEO can help you improve your conversion rate by enhancing your website’s UX and increasing organic traffic. With a trusted partner, you can make data-driven decisions to support your business goals and improve the metrics that matter to you. Learn more about our ecommerce SEO services or schedule a free consultation to chat in person.