What’s a Good Website Conversion Rate?
This week I found myself answering the age old question, “what is a good website conversion rate?”. This is a great question to ask, however there is no concrete answer. The fact of the matter is that a good conversion rate is going to vary depending on critical conversion elements such as 1) what the conversion goal is, 2) how much commitment are you asking the customer/lead to make, 3) how easy is it to convert, 4) what is the conversion call-to-action and a handful of other factors unique to each website.
Over the years i’ve had clients that were thrilled with a 5% conversion rate, and those that couldn’t achieve profitability at anything under 10%. Some of the best campaigns run in the 20-30% range, but again this depends on the conversion objective. It’s much easier to get someone to fill out a form for a discount coupon, than to get someone to buy a $2,000 industrial power washer online. I’ve heard claims of 70% website conversion rates, but have yet to see a website that can convert 2 of 3 people for anything that involves much user input.
Internet Retailer reported on a Neilsen/Netratings study that identified the conversion rates for some leading e-commerce websites. You will notice that the barometer for success varies widely even among this small group. Below is a summary of the findings of the conversion rate study. This data is reported as of February 2008.
- Proflowers.com, 14.1%
- Coldwater Creek, 13.3%
- FTD.com, 13.0%
- QVC, 12.8%
- Office Depot, 12.4%
- eBay, 11.5%
- Lands’ End, 11.5%
- Tickets.com, 11.2%
- 1800flowers.com, 10.0%
- Amazon, 9.6%
When we sit down with a client to determine their objectives, we focus on the business objective, not just the conversion rate. It’s great to have a high conversion rate, and increasing the rate is always an objective, however the real question should often be, “what is it going to take for this website to be economically viable?” This depends on critical business metrics such as average revenue per sale, the lead-to-sale conversion rate, the lifecycle economic value, customer attrition rate, etc. It’s important to identify all of these elements and then craft a plan to create a unique plan to achieve online success…whether that involves a 3% or 23% conversion rate.