What is a good website conversion rate?

Top ten websites by conversion rate in December 2007.

The best retail websites have a double digit conversion rate. If you are a retail website you do well to set a conversion rate target of greater than 5%. However, some websites, especially those that also mail customers a print catalog, can obtain a site conversion rate greater than 10%.

Just what is a good website conversion rate? For reference, Amazon.com had a 17.6% conversion rate in December 2007. This number can help us set a baseline goal for our websites.

Your website conversion rate should be one of your most tracked website statistics. Why? Because it doesn’t matter how many visitors you have; if your conversion rate is zero that means your website has generated zero business. Thus, improving your conversion rate is often the most reliable and cost-efficient way to increase your sales.

Calculate your website conversion rate

Your conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of website visitors who spent money with your company by the total number of visitors to your website. For example, if your website had 10 purchases last month and you had 100 total visitors, then your conversion rate would be 10% (e.g. 10% of customers spent money on your website).

A well designed website is generally going to have a higher conversion rate. You do well to ask yourself:

  1. What is my conversion rate today?
  2. Am I happy with my current conversion rate?
  3. Is my current conversion rate good for my industry?
  4. What can I do to improve my conversion rate?

Typical conversion rates by industry

Unfortunately, conversion rate statistics for each industry are difficult to find. I did, however, come across data from MarketingCharts.com that lists the top 10 websites on the internet by their conversion rate!

What can we learn from this list? I can identify at least two lessons:

  1. That conversion rates in excess of 10% are possible for a retail site. Compare this to your site.
  2. That sites that send out a physical catalog to customers dominate the conversion rate list. Perhaps you can include direct mail marketing in your budget.

This list leaves us with some questions. For example, what makes The Popcorn Factory such a successful website?

If we can learn lessons from successful websites that have proven their ability to convert website visitors into paying customers, then we can generate more income from our websites.

To accomplish this, I will soon be analyzing some of the companies from this list and sharing that analysis on my website. Please check back for the analysis.

In the meantime, why don’t you examine these top ten websites and see if you can determine why they are so successful at converting website visitors into paying customers. Then apply these lessons to your website. If you’d like help improving your site’s conversion rate, give me a call and tell me that you’re looking for help improving your website’s sales.