The latest survey and studies in 2022 show that the average ecommerce conversion rate is 3.65%.
The average conversion rate in all segments of all ecommerce markets increased by 19.63% from 1.61% to 1.92% in July 2022 compared to July 2021.
Conversion rate information is one of the most protected data on the web. You should expect such secrecy. Website owners do not jump on the idea of sharing their web site’s performance with competitors. While many tools available can estimate the number of visitors a website receives, limited software options may determine any website conversion rate.
The question now is: what is a good conversion rate?
The answer: it varies. What’s great for one industry might be below par for another.
One multi-billion-dollar company I once worked with had conversion rates of 41% for first-time visitors. And they still wanted more.
The key is to understand the average e-commerce conversion rate and benchmark your performance against it. Once you know whether you are meeting the average for your industry, you can work to improve conversion rates until you’re in the top 10 percentile of performers.
If your website converts at around the average mark, you are underperforming.
This article has been updated for 2022 to include new data for the average conversion rate across ecommerce industries, countries, etc.
What Is A eCommerce Conversion Rate?
An ecommerce conversion rate is defined as the number of people who placed an order with your store compared to the number of traffic that came in.
It is expressed by this formula;
eCommerce conversion rate = orders/number of visits X 100%
Consider this scenario;
Your store gets 1500 visits and 75 places an order. Using the formula above, this will be;
75/1500 = 5%.
Depending on your analytics, this metric is called different names. In Google Analytics, it’s called eCommerce conversion rate; in Shopify Analytics, it’s called online store conversion rate; and other analytics tools may refer to it as transaction rate or order rate.
Here’s an example of eCommerce conversion rate in Google Analytics;
Understanding Average Conversion Rates
The first thing you should understand is that conversion rate is highly contextual. A store selling high-end electronics isn’t going to have the same conversion rate as one selling $10 t-shirts. Similarly, a store with a loyal email list of 100,000 hungry buyers will see far better conversions than one buying cold traffic off Facebook.
Some of the variables that impact conversion rate include:
- Product type
- Product cost or average order value
- Traffic source
- Device (mobile, tablet or PC)
- Platform (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, etc.)
Furthermore, the term “conversion rate” is generally used to signify the % of visitors that turn into customers. You might have different goals you are trying to optimize for (say, % of visitors who add a product to cart, download a lookbook or fill a contact form, etc.).
The term “average conversion rate,” thus, can be a bit misleading.
Why is eCommerce Conversion Rate Important?
The eCommerce conversion rate measures how well your online store is converting.
Success for an eCommerce business isn’t in the monthly traffic it gets but the number of orders placed from that traffic. This is what defines conversion rate.
Now, if you’re driving a ton of traffic with little to no conversions to your site, it’ll become clear to you that it’s not a traffic issue on your site, but a conversion problem which now requires a deep dive into your site, looking for possible areas of improvement.
How do you know you need to investigate your site’s conversion rate?
1. Low orders.
2. High cart and checkout abandonment rates.
3. Product stock always in store, etc.
Now, you don’t go ahead and begin implementing changes all of a sudden to your site; there are better ways to go about this.
1. Set up exit pop-ups asking clients about their experience and why they didn’t purchase from you.
2. Conduct JTBD interviews with recent customers to find out their difficulties and how they overcame them. You can also ask them what they use your product for; the answer might surprise you.
4. Conduct user and usability tests to get more feedback from respondents.
All these actions aim to look for common patterns and complaints. Then you prioritize them based on which impacts the bottom line more, create a hypothesis for the bigger issue then proceed to A/B tests.
This is how you tackle conversion rate issues. You don’t just make changes to your site; you need to hear from your site visitors about their experience and how you can improve.
Where does our data on the average website conversion rate come from?
The data we present in this article comes from a variety of sources including Invesp internal metrics on over 300 websites we track. We also use publicly available data from several analytics and personalization software companies.
In this section, we have data provided that has been tracked from September of 2009 to Mid-2019.
We also have new data from 2021 into 2022, bringing you up-to-date.
1. Average Conversion Rates of E-commerce Websites
As of Q2 – 2019:
- The average ecommerce conversion globally is at 2.58%
- The average ecommerce conversion in the US is at 2.57%.
- The average ecommerce conversion globally is at 3.81%.
Let’s compare how the ecommerce conversion rates vary globally, the US and the UK since 2014:
Data Source: Monetate
We can see how average website conversion rates have fluctuated globally in the last five years:
How average website conversion rates have fluctuated in the US during the last five years:
And finally, the changes in average website conversion rates in the UK during the last five years:
Historical Average Conversion Rates For E-commerce Websites
In the early 2000s, Shop.org reported the average e-commerce website converted 3% of its traffic into customers.
In 2014, MarketingSherpa pointed that the majority of stores had conversion rates in the range below 1% up to 5%, with few companies reaching higher rates.
FireClick Index data from 2015 show an average e-commerce conversion rate close to 7.2% globally.
Conversion data for fashion and apparel, from Fireclick index:
Conversion data for catalog websites, from Fireclick index:
Conversion data for specialty websites, from Fireclick index:
Conversion data for outdoors and sports websites, from Fireclick index:
Conversion data for software websites, from Fireclick index:
Back in 2010, outdoor and sporting stores converted less than 0.5% of the traffic they receive. In 2015, these stores were converting 4.8% of their visitors into customers. This is close to a 900% increase in conversion rates.
From Fireclick index findings, specialty stores convert at the highest average rates (7.6%), followed by catalog websites (6.7%), fashion and apparel (5.9%), outdoors and sports (4.8%), and software (4.1%).
A 2014 benchmark study from MarketingSherpa, showed that business services, electronics, softwa, e and video games, and publishing and entertainment related products convert substantially better than other product categories.
The study also found that stores that sell multiple products saw an average 17.2% conversion rate. Niche stores selling only one-category products, on the other hand, had a 16.3% conversion rate. This result goes against conventional wisdom that targeted, niche stores do better than general stores.
The result goes against Fireclick index findings as well, which show a 6.7% conversion rate for catalog stores and a 7.6% conversion rate for specialty stores. Niche stores, in this case, outperform stores selling multiple products.
Average Conversion Rates For Top E-commerce Websites
The following data shows the top 15 converting online retailers for 2014.
2. Average E-commerce Conversion Rate by Device
As of Q2 – 2019:
- The average ecommerce conversion for desktop is at 3.90%
- The average ecommerce conversion for mobile is at 1.82%
- The average ecommerce conversion for tablet is at 3.49%
By the end of 2016, traditional devices, i.e. desktops and laptops, reach a considerably higher conversion rate than mobile devices. Among mobile, conversions on tablets more than double compared to conversions on smartphones.
Here is how data looks for the last five years:
Let’s see how mobile vs. desktop compare:
3. Average “Add to Cart” Rates
The percentage of visitors click on the add to cart button when they get to a product page on an ecommerce site varies globally, the US and the UK:
4. Average Conversion Rate For Lead Generation Websites
You will not find any published data on the average conversion rate for lead generation websites. Invesp internal metrics, based on approximately 35 different lead generation websites, indicates an average of 13% of visitors converted into customers, with the highest converting site sustaining a rate at 28%.
5. Average Conversion Rate For Affiliate Websites
Similar to lead generation sites, there is no published data on the average conversion rate for affiliate websites. Invesp internal metrics, based on approximately 17 different affiliate websites, indicates an average of 26% of their visitors converted into customers.
6. Average Conversion Rate On Freemium Products
Companies offering freemium products are able to reach high conversion rates. Slack, for instance, converts 30% of free subscribers into premium paying customers. These are the conversion rates of some freemium providers, according to Business 2 Community.
7. Average Conversion Rates For Webinar Registration Pages
Over the last couple of years, there has been a massive push to use webinars as a lead generation activity to drive business leads. However, few articles and blog posts have addressed increasing conversions for webinar registration pages. The data we provide here is narrow and based on our own webinar registration page.
- The conversion rate for webinar registration pages varies depending on the type of webinar software you are using. GotoWebinar, which seems to be the most popular, might increase conversions anywhere from 5% to 15%.
- Conversion rate for webinar registration page depends on the quality of the visitors you are driving to the page, the webinar title, day, and time of day.
- The standard GotoWebinar registration page converts 22% of visitors.
- Custom-built webinar registration pages convert 35% to 45% of visitors.
9. Average Conversion Rates By Platform
Mac users, at the 4th quarter 2016, bought more than Windows users, who bought substantially more than Linux users. During the 4th quarter 2016, conversion rates were the same for Mac and Windows users. On mobile platforms, Android under-performs against iOS.
10. Highly Motivated Visitors Drive Higher Conversions
In a famous conversion experiment, you give ten people a credit card. Direct them to an e-commerce website. Ask them to buy a particular item the store carries.
How many of these ten people are able to complete the purchase?
Remember, they are only required to perform the purchase. They are not spending their own money. All they have to do is navigate to a site, find an item, add it to their shopping cart, and successfully finish the checkout process.
Logically, you would guess that at least eight of the testers should complete the task.
Wrong! When the experiment was done, only two were able to accomplish the goal of buying the item. If only two concluded the checkout process under these circumstances (full motivation and no fears or objections), it is no wonder that everyday consumers do not convert on the web.
We highly recommend running the same test for your website and examining the results.
11. Understanding Your Website Visitors: Browsing Vs. Converting
Visitors’ intent as they browse your website has a direct impact on your conversion rates. Are visitors coming to your website to research products with the intention of buying online? Or are they taking information from your site back to brick-and-mortar stores to buy there? It depends on the nature of the product you offer and how visitors view it. This answer is focused on visitor-centric information and not on factors you control, such as website messaging, design, copy, etc. These are the three different categories of visitors’ intent:
- Browse online / buy online: clothes, event tickets, books, and toys, or making reservations
- Higher browse online / Lower buy online: Electronics, computers, sporting goods
- Lower browse online / Higher buy online: airline tickets
So, what can you do with this categorization? Think about your own website and consider the type of browsing vs. buying of your average consumer. If you know that visitors tend to use your website for research but do not convert online, what can you do to convert more visitors into buyers?
12. Why An Average Conversion Rate Is Not Good Enough (And What You Can Do To Improve It)
As we saw earlier, conversion rates vary greatly across stores. Some stores see conversion rates in excess of 10%. Some struggle with rates under 2%.
According to WordStream, for example, the top 10% of stores see a conversion rate of nearly 11.5%.
eCommerce Conversion Rate Benchmarks By Industry (2022)
There’s no universal conversion rate. This has been established.
A good conversion rate isn’t driven by an amazing customer experience or because of your perfect messaging /offer.
There are three factors that influence a site’s conversion rate.
1. Traffic sources – traffic from ads to new visitors, traffic from blogs, or affiliate sites won’t boost your conversion rate because these are first impressions. The traffic that impacts conversion rates is the hone from previous purchasers ie, site visitors already familiar with your brand.
2. Price point – the more expensive your products, the lower your conversion rate. This is because the more expensive an item, the more consideration is put into the purchase. The less expensive an item, the less thought is put into the purchase.
3. Purchase type – subscription businesses are likely to have lower conversion rates than stores that encourage one-off purchases. The reasons are that customers that buy from subscription businesses need more time to think about the long-term commitment factor, and also, many subscription businesses have lower returning customers.
It’s still good practice to have a conversion rate benchmark to judge your store’s performance against competitors.
According to Statista, the online conversion rate in the second quarter of 2022 in selected verticals is outlined below.
eCommerce Conversion Rate By Channel
This data is courtesy of IRPCommerce.
In October 2022 the sales breakdown in the ecommerce market by Traffic Channel is Paid Search Marketing 53.8%, Direct 23.9%, Affiliate Marketing 11.7%, Email Marketing 9.5% and Paid Social Media Marketing 1.1%.
Conversion Rate Of Shoppers by Country Worldwide.
This detail is gotten from Statista.
The next section covers how to improve your website’s conversion rate.
Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization
You can implement certain steps today to improve user experience on your website, which will reflect in increased conversion.
Outlined below are some of the strategies that you can implement right away. The list isn’t meant to be exhaustive, just a pointer.
1. Use clearer images.
Have you tried zooming into images to get clearer details and yet couldn’t?
Did you end up making the purchase? Most likely, no.
The same thing happens on your website. When there’s no ability to zoom in to see smaller details, and your image resolution is poor, users will end up not buying.
The solution is to use images with higher resolution, 360 degrees function, and zooming ability.
2. Use More Social Proof.
- ‘This product was good.’
2. ‘I enjoy using this product.’
3. ‘I couldn’t sleep well at night for years until I came across the Aquapedia mattress; now I need to set the alarm to wake up; if not, I’m not sure I’ll ever wake up. This experience is so good, I don’t want it to end.’
Which of these reviews do you prefer?
Which of these reviews do you think will motivate potential customers to buy from you?
If your guess is as good as mine, the third review.
Use more social proof with stellar reviews on your money pages to increase conversions.
3. Tweak Your Checkout Process.
Many checkout stages have unnecessary steps that make the shopping experience unpleasant.
It’s simple to improve this in 4 steps.
- Remove every unnecessary field/form.
- Allow guest checkout.
- Show a progress bar.
- Show security seals.
4. Focus on top-converting traffic channels
From the above charts, it is clear that social converts fairly poorly as compared to search and email, both of which underperform against direct traffic.
If improving conversion rates is your priority, focusing on better converting channels will yield better results. Dig into your analytics report to see where most of your traffic comes from. If your top channel is social and you have very little direct traffic, it might be a good idea to divert marketing resources to PPC or invest in an email campaign.
Similarly, email yields better conversion rates than social and search. Consider investing in an email marketing campaign to push up your store’s overall conversions.
5. Promote best-converting products/categories
Different products and product-categories will have different conversion rates. Dig through your analytics to see what pages convert best. These should be the top priority in your marketing campaigns.
For example, if your t-shirts convert better than your shoes, make sure to promote the former on your site and your marketing.
At the same time, also consider what products contribute the most to your bottom-line. A $1,000 product that converts at 2% is better for your store than a $10 product that converts at 10%.
Finding a product with a reasonably high order value and strong conversion rates can do wonders for your store.
6. Go deeper with your A/B tests
When split testing, it is easy to fall into the trap of making small changes (such as changing a button color) and expecting big returns.
Such an approach will rarely, if ever, yield unicorn-level conversion rates of 5-10% or higher. To get to that level, you have to look beyond cosmetic changes.
Try the following with your tests:
- Overhaul page design. Experiment with minimalist pages, busy pages, etc. Be prepared to try out 10 or more radically different designs to see what truly works.
- Experiment with different offers. Instead of selling products conventionally, try to run a time limited sale (like Groupon).
- Change up traffic sources. Use the same landing page on different channels (Facebook, Twitter, AdWords, etc.). Try a remarketing campaign with top performing channel to push conversion rates even further.
7. Invest in a mobile shopping app
Smartphone traffic to e-commerce sites has steadily grown from 16.6% of all traffic in Q2 2014 to 22.9% of traffic in Q2 2015.
Smartphone traffic conversion rates, however, are significantly lower than both desktops and tablets.
Improving the mobile shopping experience can be a big boost to your bottom-line. One way to do this is to invest in a mobile app. While the upfront costs will be high, a mobile app offers several advantages over a mobile website:
- Personalization: By using location data and tracking user engagement, a mobile app can offer a more personalized experience to your customers.
- Notifications: You can use mobile notifications to alert customers about sales and deals – something that’s not possible (so far) with mobile websites.
- Design and Performance: A mobile app gives your designers more room to create innovative shopping experiences. Apps also perform better than websites since they can tap into the full power of the smartphone.
This is one reason why some retailers are ditching mobile websites altogether and going ‘app only’.
Even if you don’t invest in a mobile app, make sure to optimize your site for mobile users. According to Criteo, mobile-optimized sites convert more than 100% higher than non-optimized sites.
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