What is the average conversion rate for ecommerce sites?

This is the question I get asked almost by everyone: “What is the average conversion rate for sites like mine?”

2-3% average conversion rate

Usually I give the text book reference answer, “According to Industry Retailer, the average conversion rate for ecommerce sites is about 2-3%.” And there is usually a sigh of relief, a pause, and then, “Whew… Cool, we’re at about 1.5%, so we’re almost average.”

Seriously?!?! You are going to be eaten alive if you’re goal is to be average. I don’t like to tell people the answer, because I feel like, “why in the world do you want to be average or even be compared to average? Stay away from average!

The question I usually ask is: “So why do you think 98.5% of everyone that comes to your site leaves?” Usually there is a long pause, then a reflective “I’ve never thought of it that way.”

I totally understand. We’re all just struggling to keep our head above water with 1,837 more tasks to do by the end of the day. We’re running around mach 10 with our hair on fire, and barely keeping up with the infinite loop of the email stream. All the while totally ignoring the few priorities that REALLY matter to the bottom line.

So, as a savvy marketer (being one of the 10-15 people who actually read our blog), your goal is to figure out “why the heck is 98.5% not takin’ the bait?”

The 5 Reasons Why People Don’t Buy

It really comes down to 5 reasons why people end up leaving your site with their wallet in the pocket (of course for lead gen sites, it’s their valuable private information they leave with).

5 Reason Why They Ain’t Buyin’:

  1. Got no money
  2. Don’t want what you got
  3. Don’t believe a word you’re saying
  4. Have no clue what you are talking about
  5. Can’t understand what they’re supposed to do

The good news is that you’ll NEVER convert those who fall under 1 and 2. So, you can ignore them. In fact, you MUST ignore them!

Just focus on building trust (not just slapping up logos),  simply explaining your product and service in understandable language, and clearly point out the process they need to do (call to actions) now that they believe you.

UPDATE post here: average Conversion Rates for eCommerce

If you want to improve your conversion rate (We’re talkin’ sky-rocket improvements) just contact us today. By Jon Correll.

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15 thoughts on “What is the average conversion rate for ecommerce sites?

  1. Yay. I’m one of the 10-15 who read this blog!

  2. The 5 reasons are super simplistic but true, never actually thought about it this way. Great post.

  3. In Spain is not that common to see this thinking, I agree with you, there are 2 “profiles” we must ignore.

    The interesting, and the BIG CHALLENGE, arrives with these with the profiles 4 and 5. Hope you will blog more about those, as nowadays I think they are the big challenge for any marketer

    1. I agree Jordi. I think those are difficult for all marketers. We’ll look at describing this more in the future. Thanks!

  4. Customers are more likely to convert to a sale more often when we we give them a reason. Optimizing your site with calls to action is a great way to do it.

    We have used Spring Metrics to quickly and dynamically create smart offers for our customers with a control group to measure our lift in sales at Creative Kidstuff.

  5. I disagree with your point 2 – I encourage my ecommerce clients to use the site search statistics (built-in with BigCommerce) to identify what products people are looking for that you didn’t have. This information is vital to inform future inventory purchasing decisions. It gives you great insight into what your traffic is actually after, and should dictate to a degree where you go with your product listings. Now you have the traffic, make sure you are giving them what they want.

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