Ecommerce Conversion Rates

by Jim October 3, 2018

Have had some great interactions with viewers these past couple of weeks regarding the best e-commerce platform. While I acknowledge that the most popular doesn’t always mean the best, it is important to understand the forces that drive revenue, such as conversion rate and basket size.

What I learned

  • Just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it’s the best
  • Magento is the best – but it’s expensive
  • Do you know what your conversion rate is?
  • What’s a decent conversion rate?
  • Simple ways to improve the conversion rate
  • A trusted brand increases the conversion rate


Hey, welcome back Rankers. A little bit different this week. Anyway, I want to talk to you today following up on the last couple of weeks where we’ve been talking about e-commerce platforms. Got some really good feedback. A lot of interest out there on that topic, and at the moment on our client base, we’ve probably got about six different platforms that people are using. Obviously, there’s crossover with them, but this is not a non-typical or atypical example of a retailer and what’s happened.

Popular Doesn’t Mean Best
This particular retailer, they’ve got a really good brand, but it’s only on eBay, right? They actually haven’t had a web presence on their own, their own store. Our challenge was to basically get the web presence up. We weren’t asked to build the site but had some problems with the site, Magento site built in India on the cheap, and this is one of the problems with Magento is that it is an expensive option to get up and running, but it is the best option.

Now, one of the conversations I had on LinkedIn this week was just because Shopify is the leading e-commerce platform doesn’t mean it’s the best one. I agree. I totally agree. However, that doesn’t matter because as we know, VHS was not the best video recording tape, Beta was. Yes, I’m very old. When you get into this, and this is a nice growth curve from someone that’s never had a web presence … They’re not paying the 7% on eBay fees and all those sorts of things, but when you bring these sorts of clients on board, the reason we love working with e-commerce clients is because they’re so revenue-focused.

Now, you might say a 3% conversion rate is pretty good for a basket size of $100 but it’s actually not because the actual conversion rate for this when you break it up and look at it is that on desktop, it’s actually over 5% conversion rate, and on mobile, it’s under 3% e-commerce conversion rate, right? Now, depending on your percentage of mobile traffic, you might decide to see if you can make that mobile conversion rate lift, but it could be the law of diminishing returns.

This client, however, has about 70% of their traffic as mobile. It gives you an idea of the opportunity and where to go. That’s what I would call the low-hanging fruit. You’ve got one audience converting at three, the other converting at five. Pretty simple. Some other improvements that we can make on here are the ones we addressed a couple of weeks ago with site search and those sorts of things, and then you can look at basket size.

What’s Your Conversion Rate?
Now, we’ve had a lot of discussion about conversion rates, and you will have a lot of discussion on the web, and I’ll give you averages and those sorts of things. Just keep in mind who your audience is, who your buyer personas are. Now, if they were to go and buy this product that you’re selling from a traditional bricks-and-mortar store or somewhere else, how long would it take them to make that purchasing decision? That comes into it, right, with your e-commerce conversion rates, as does the price of the basket itself and the trustworthiness and reliability of your brand.

Now, the reason this client, their first website has such a great conversion rate is because they have been around for quite a while on eBay, and people know who they are. The products they’re selling are very, very well-known brands for the local market, so they’ve got a couple of ticks going for them there already. A couple of things that we look at with these sorts of clients is, okay, where’s the next step? How do we grow this revenue base? You’ve got options. You’ve got, we can increase our conversion rate. We’ve had clients in the past that have had 12 and 13% conversion rates for e-commerce, which is insane. The reason that they had such high e-commerce conversion rates was because the brands were so strong. People trusted the brand. They knew who they were. The brand was keeping its promise, so 10, 13% was reasonable in that situation.

You’re talking about businesses who have, I think it was about 200,000 people on their email list, so they should have an email EDM, and they’d get a 10, 12% conversion rate on that. The basket size is about 100 bucks. Even though we’re looking at $100 basket size here, you might say, “Oh, 3% conversion, that’s really good.” It could be better, and I think that one can be better. Your conversion rates are going to depend on the traffic that’s coming to the site. Do they know you? Are they familiar with you? Direct traffic, returning traffic, is always usually going to convert higher. If it doesn’t, you may have an issue there.

If you ever look at your conversion rates and you go through them, direct usually converts the highest. Email usually converts the highest. The reason for that is because people know who you are, which is why you’ve got to get more people knowing who you are because it converts higher. Go have a look at your conversion rates. If you have any questions about your conversion rates, you think, are they low? Are they high? Is this out of whack? Let us know, and we will see you at Pubcon in a couple of weeks. 16th, 17th, and 18th. See you at Pubcon. I’m speaking on the 17th and the 18th. Hope to see a few of you there. Going to talk more about this sort of stuff, and why you should be building your brand and not your backlinks. That’s it for this week’s show, and we’ll see you next week. Thanks very much. Bye.

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