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Internet Marketing

Latest eCommerce Conversion Rates

Here are the top 10 (US) converting websites for March 2009*. These are based on Nielson Panel data and are calculated by toolbar user to final conversion. To date no figures are available for NZ websites, although we expect the 10 best sites here to be much lower.

Note conversion-rate data is based on visitor conversion rates, not session conversion rates: i.e., No. of unique customers/No. of unique visitors.

1. Schwan’s 50.5
2. FTD 27.2
3. ProFlowers 24.3
4. Vitacost.com 23.7
5. Woman Within 22.7
6. Roaman’s 21.1
7. ColdWater Creek 20.0
8. Eddie Bauer 19.3
9. Blair.com 20.20
10. QVC 17.30

*Source: Nielsen Online / Marketing Charts

How is it done?

Research tells us that on a typical website, 3% of visitors are Buyers and the other 97% is distributed among the ‘Potential Buyers’ and ‘Disqualified’ traffic. Yet of that 3% that come to buy, only a small number will actually complete the sale. Now most of you are likely thinking, if that’s the case, how do the above market leaders manage to achieve double-figure results?

Firstly, it’s obvious that people visiting the above sites are those with clear intent. Highly qualified, motivated and generally in love with the products on offer. But even allowing for this, these figures are astounding. Most are lucky to get a tenth of this.

It’s not just the small ecommerce sites that are failing at selling online. Low figures had a lot to do with the demise of Ferrit here. Also, their attempt to market to multiple sectors obviously doesn’t pay. An online version of a super-store is really hard work. Amazon proved that, taking years to turn a profit. Telecom, Ferrit’s owner, obviously could not wait that long. On the net, niche marketing is usually the safer, most profitable strategy.

Checkout these 10 winning websites and see if you can pick up what they’re doing differently.

But it’s not just the products offered. Very high sales conversion rates comes from a combination of art (design, persuasion) and science (databases, analytics, psychology).

It’s used by Rafi Albo and others at the top end of the loyalty marketing sector, who are taking the industry to the next level, achieving incredible bottom-line returns for their clients. What still amazes me as an academic marketer, is that few businesses, agencies or marketers are willing to learn from these well documented methods. We want success in business, but not if it means changing our ways of marketing….

Rafi commonly manages 10-40% conversion rates with his one-to-one direct mail and cross-media campaigns – just proving it’s not a communication channel issue (offline vs online), but one of using the right strategies and techniques.

For more on this key topic, click here.


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