The Conversion Chronicles, resources for improving your online conversion rates

What is an average conversion rate?

There has been much debate about what an average level of conversion is. The following conversion rates are a compilation of data from a number of independent sources. We've also got some figures for the top online conversion rates taken from April 2005 from Nielsen//Netratings.

For more articles on improving website conversion rates, start with the Online Marketing Basics.

Clickz (Bryan Eisenburg - June 4th 2004)

Below, the latest conversion rates from the Fireclick Index (made available to its clients). They're aggregated from Fireclick's actual Web analytics retail customers, spanning December 1, 2003, to March 1, 2004:

Sales conversion rates catergorised by type of web retailer.

Rate (%)
Specialty stores3.9
Home and furnishing2.0
All verticals2.3
Source: Fireclick Index

Source: Clickz ROI Marketing: Benchmarking An Average Conversion Rate (June 2003)

The following statistics come from Online Marketing Benchmarks published by E-consultancy in June 2003.

Registered users: (Lead Generation)

Companies with an optional and free registration process commonly get 2% - 3% of visitors to register. When added to buyers (who also have to register) companies frequently find they have the personal details of about 5% of visitors.

Free subscribers to paid subscriptions

Typically between 1% and 7% of registered users will convert to a paid service.

Sales/Visit (browse to buy)

A typical range would be 0.5%-8% depending on the sector, target market and quality of the site and proposition.

Within retail financial services online, for example, 1 - 2% would be typical with 2% being very good.

For retailers the high end can go up to 8% but this is exceptional and only the case for the very best pure-play e-tailers.

For a ´clicks to bricks´ e-commerce site targeting consumers you would more usually expect between 1% and 2% of visits to culminate in a sale with 5% representing ´best in class´.

Shop.Org - April 2000

Shop.Org indicates that the average conversion rate of their members' websites (visits resulting in a sale or sales lead) currently stands at about 1.8%. (State Of Online Retailing 3.0 - April 2000)