Ecommerce conversion rates

Our compilation comparing average conversion rates for retail sites and other industry sectors

As you will know, conversion rate is often used as a KPI to review the effectiveness of Ecommerce sites. Naturally all site managers and owners want to know, “how do our conversion rates compare?”

In this post I have compiled different free industry sources focusing on retail Ecommerce conversion, but towards the end of the post a chart shows average conversion rates for a range of sectors including B2B conversion.

Before we get to the stats, one other caveat on analysis of conversion rates:

When benchmarking conversion rate, we think it’s important to explain to marketing managers that they should go beyond headline conversion rates to segment conversion by different types of visitor.

To see why, see Dan Barker’s excellent post explaining why conversion rate is a horrible measure to focus on.

March 2014 update – conversion rates by device

The Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly is a great source giving regularly updated benchmarks on conversion segmented by devices and media for large Ecommerce brands.

Their latest quarterly update shows conversion rates to add-to-basket/cart and sale across the last 4 quarters.

Add to cart rates by basket

With shoppers increasingly using smartphone and tablet to purchase, it’s important Ecommerce site owners know the effectiveness of trading via these platforms.

If you’re creating a business case for mobile optimised sites as explained in our mobile marketing strategy guide, this data is also valuable since it shows the variation in conversion rate by mobile type.  Tablet conversion rates are similar, but slightly lower than desktop conversion rates, suggesting people are increasingly comfortable with the experience of buying on tablets.

However, it’s a different story for Smartphones since these convert at one third to one quarter of the rate of traditional or tablet devices.

This suggests smartphones are more of browse or research platform rather than a buy platform since many of the large retailers featured in this survey will have mobile optimised sites. Smartphone experiences should be personalised to show this different form of usage.

2014 update conversion rates by device retail

For more information on how to make the business case for Mcommerce investment, see our mobile commerce strategy guide.

March 2013 update – conversion rates by channel

March 2013 update – UK average conversion rates from IMRG

With the acquisition of retail analytics service Coremetrics by IBM we lost one of our best free sources for comparing conversion rates. Within the UK data is compiled for members by retail category. These aren’t usually shared, but the overall trend was recently published in this 2012 Ecommerce report from Channel Advisor-IMRG. This chart shows that average conversion rates for visits to sale of 4 percent. Note that these are typically for large brands, so conversion rates for less well-known brands that don’t have the credibility, trust or large base of returning customers will generally be lower. Based on previous UK compilations from Coremetrics when their data was published we can say that typical average conversion rates for established retail brands are…

Conversion rate (visit to add to basket): 8% Conversion rate (visit to sale): 4%

It’s interesting that there is a typical 50% abandonment from basket through checkout to sale, even with the efforts on checkout optimisation. It suggests many will add to basket when researching and comparing, but may eventually buy elsewhere online or offline. This is a screengrab of the Coremetrics data from 2009 which shows that visitor sessions with an add to basket or cart are typically double those of order or sale sessions.

Options for segmenting conversion rate

As Dan Barker suggests in his advice we mentioned at the start of this post, conversion rate gets more useful as you break it down by different types of visitors with different intent and a different relationship with the retailer. Different conversion rates and average order values can then be segmented for different audiences to understand and work to improve the quality of traffic or strength of propositions, for example:

  • First time, repeat visitor or registered customer conversion
  • Referring channel conversion, e.g. paid or natural search, social media, affiliates, display advertising
  • Search type, e.g. paid or natural, brand, generic or long-tail
  • Product category type – conversion rates are much higher for simple commodity products for example – flower purchase (double digit percentage) compared with a higher cost product that will often be purchased in store (for example beds or furniture which which will often be less than one percent).
  • Promotion type or seasonal sale – the IMRG data and Coremetrics data below shows that conversion rate can increase dramatically at these times.

Conversion rates for non Ecommerce sites including B2B conversion

I’m also often asked about conversion rates in other sectors, particularly for business-to-business lead generation. While similar caveats about sub-category, type of visitor and strength of brand apply, this is a useful compilation from  Marketing Sherpa of average conversion rates by industry sector.

Dec 2011 update

We’ll update on the latest figures in 2011. In the meantime, this IDM/Coremetrics US Black Friday / Cyber Monday conversion rate averages shows some interesting data on conversion for mobile devices and visitors from social media including Facebook and Twitter. Still, it’s natural we will still all be asked “how to we compare?“, so we have compiled some of the best sources of conversion rate statistics here. We suggest you compare these four key types of conversion rate: 1. Overall site session (visit) conversion rate as reported in this 2010 Coremetrics example (US data – see sources at the end of the post). 2. Visitor conversion rate calculated by dividing the number of conversion events by the number of unique visitors within a defined time period. 3. Shopping basket conversion rate (percentage who add item to basket who convert, e.g. 4. Session search conversion rate (percentage of visits which include a search (notice that conversion rate and average order value (AOV) tends to be higher for these visitors.

Original sources for Ecommerce conversion rate statistics

These are our original recommendations on the best sources for comparing Ecommerce conversion rates:

  • UK conversion rates from Coremetrics – Coremetrics is rated by Forrester as one of the premium web analytics systems and offers sector specific conversion benchmarks to clients. Reports conversion rates as order sessions with clearly stated definitions of different types of conversion.
  • Fireclick Index of conversion rates – provides conversion rates from less well-known analytics provider in different categories including Fashion / Clothing, Electronics and software

Please share your views

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

All comments

  1. Primeoutsourcing

    Thanks for sharing this one. It is worth knowing!

  2. Thanks for the post Dave. It’s always useful having metrics to use while pitching.

  3. Pingback: What’s new in digital marketing: March 2013 round-up | IDM Marketing Blog

  4. HomeSpaceDirect

    Can anybody help us with our website, we are achieving nowhere near the average conversion rate for an eCommerce website – http://www.homespacedirect.com

  5. Pingback: The Ultimate Responsive Web Design Beginners Resource List » Target Local

  6. At http://www.movylo.com we have merchants selling via smartphones, in several countries. Some of them (the top and smartest merchants I’d say…) range from 5 to 8%. We see that for smartphone commerce it’s a lot about impulse deals, promotions…than regular browsing. We have small and smart merchants selling A LOT more compared to bigger guys, both in terms of conversion rates and volumes

  7. Does anyone know where I can get average conversion rates based on the industry? I know electronics must be different than home decor.

  8. Pingback: The Ultimate Responsive Web Design Beginners Resource List | Free Responsive Design Blog

  9. Pingback: Mobile Advertising Essentials For Any Business | Get Busy Media

  10. Pingback: Could CRM Software Make Your Marketing More Effective? - Blue Kite Marketing

  11. In Ukraine conversion rate 1% is considered quite good. Strong retail brands have 2%.

  12. Pingback: How I chose the niche for my new online store - Ecommerce Pulse

  13. Pingback: Erfolgsoptimierung für Ihre transaktionsorientierte Website leicht gemacht | Usabilityblog.de

  14. Pingback: When A First-Page Ranking Isn’t Enough | Online Marketing Simplified

  15. Pingback: Pros and Cons of PPC Advertising | Intentionally DigitalIntentionally Digital

  16. Pingback: Psychology of conversion optimization: Persuasive design | Search Engine People | Toronto

  17. Pingback: Mobile Advertising Essentials For Any Business | Mateo Llinas

  18. Pingback: Mobile Marketing Statistics 2013 - AMAZULA

  19. Pingback: Digital Marketing News – Latest Update 8 | Target Internet

  20. Pingback: Going for the goal: Understanding conversion rates and turning traffic into sales « Guru Animations

  21. Pingback: 3 ways that web shops are missing out on business | Walter van der Scheer

  22. Pingback: 11 Experiments to Improve Your E-commerce Conversion Rate | MonetizePros

  23. Pingback: From Intent To Action: Turning Online Browsing Into Retail Sales | Bugdaddy

  24. Pingback: Online Retailer Achieves 18% Mobile Conversion With ShopLogiQ Touch-Based Interface | Windows Tablets

  25. Pingback: Google will mit „Instant Buy“ den mobilen Checkout beschleunigen » t3n

  26. Pingback: M-Talk, Google, Facebook.

  27. Pingback: Studien zeigen: Es ist höchste Zeit mobil aufzurüsten

  28. Pingback: Moving Beyond E-Commerce Basics: 10 Resources the MonetizePros Founders Love | MonetizePros

  29. Pingback: How Much Web Traffic Do You Need?

  30. Pingback: 15 Shocking Mistakes Killing Your Conversions - Titan Web Agency

  31. Pingback: 15 Shocking Mistakes Killing Your Conversions

  32. Pingback: 15 Shocking Mistakes Killing Your Conversions | The Marketers Mega Toolkit

  33. Pingback: Merchants See 61% Performance Gains on Magento Enterprise with Creatuity | Creatuity

  34. Pingback: Mobile optimisation – a couple of useful links | The Brown Consultancy

  35. Pingback: 4 Important B2B Marketing Trends for 2014 | Magento eCommerce Marketing & Related News

  36. Pingback: Das Amazon Fire Phone ist kein Smartphone, sondern ein Onlineshop für die Hosentasche [Kommentar] » t3n

  37. Pingback: Das Amazon Fire Phone ist kein Smartphone, sondern ein Onlineshop für die Hosentasche [Kommentar] › Mac is Sexy

  38. Pingback: 25 Ways To Boost eCommerce Sales - Trellis

  39. Pingback: The State Of eCommerce In 2014 - Trellis

  40. Pingback: Mobile App Promotion Case Study: 4,127 App Installs in 2 Weeks

  41. Pingback: The Change in Technology Retail | All about Malaysia ePayments News, Malaysia eCommerce news, Malaysia Cyber Security news, Mobile Tech news, Digital Marketing News, Malaysia Online Store Review and Malaysia Online Deals

  42. Pingback: 10 Google Analytics Reports That Tell You Where Your Site is Leaking Money

  43. Pingback: 10 Google Analytics Reports That Tell You Where Your Site Is Leaking Money

  44. Pingback: How To Make Mobile eCommerce Sites Convert

  45. Pingback: How To Make Mobile Convert: The Most Common Mobile Store Mistakes | DailyMashable

  46. Pingback: Ecommerce Analytics: 3 quick tips to help you sell more online

  47. Pingback: Create a UI that Converts - ItsMonkie Solutions

  48. Pingback: 25 Amazing Ways to Boost eCommerce Conversion Rates | Search Engine People Blog

  49. Pingback: 25 Amazing Ways to Boost eCommerce Conversion Rates

  50. Pingback: Lessons In Conversion Optimization

  51. Pingback: 5 Seductive Reasons to Have a E-Commerce Mobile Marketing Strategy | patricknaughton.com

Feedback Form
Feedback Form