Conversion rates are a good indicator of a website’s performance and your marketing team’s performance. This indicates how many visitors complete a desired action on your website, typically converting from visitors to leads in B2B or from visitors to buyers in e-commerce models.
If you’re trying to improve conversions, you’re probably wondering what a good conversion rate looks like. Conversion rates differ considerably from industry to industry, with highly competitive industries like the e-commerce space typically seeing lower numbers. And what’s considered reasonable for one industry might be below average for another.
In this guide, we provide some industry-specific third-party conversion metrics to help you establish your own targets.
A Look at Average Conversion Rates by Industry
Marketers calculate conversion rates by dividing the number of users who complete an action by the total number of visitors or unique site sessions. In the B2B industry, this action could be subscribing to a newsletter, requesting a demo, or signing up for a product trial. In e-commerce, conversion goals may include adding an item to cart, making a first-time purchase, or increasing the cart value with an upsell.
By seeing the difference between the number of visitors your website gets and how many of them convert, you can determine whether your website and marketing initiatives are effective. Before examining the numbers, it’s important to remember that there are no universally accepted conversion rate benchmarks here, just ballpark figures.
Your actual conversion targets will vary, so treat the following data as a compass to move you in the right direction. Let’s look at common conversion rates for the B2B and e-commerce industries.
Scientific testing and measurement companies – 1.3%
Higher education industry – 1.4%
Commercial insurance companies – 1.7%
Solar energy companies – 1.8%
Nonprofit organizations – 2%
Shipping and logistics providers – 2.7%
Electrical/commercial equipment companies – 2.7%
Commercial real estate companies – 2.8%
Lending and loan servicing companies – 3%
Medical device and equipment manufacturers – 3.1%
Manufactured and packaged goods providers – 4%
Finance industry – 5.01%
Staffing services – 5.1%
Legal services – 7.4%
Media and publishing companies – 10%
For many B2B sites, a conversion is a one-time event. In the SaaS space, for instance, prospects request a demo or trial of a product, and their journey to complete that particular conversion goal is over. The prospects would not need to convert again until the demo or trial is over and a paid subscription, or subscription renewal, is required. For this reason, a lower conversion rate is acceptable among B2B industries.
The following e-commerce industries see these website conversion rates, according to HubSpot:
Sports and recreation industry – 1.18%
Car and motorcycle retailers – 1.36%
Fashion, clothing, and accessory retailers – 1.41%
Home accessories and giftware retailers – 1.55%
Kitchen and home appliance retailers – 1.72%
Online pet care industry – 2.51%
Health and beauty product retailers – 3.08%
Food and drink product retailers – 3.58%
Arts and crafts retailers – 4.01%
For e-commerce sites, conversion rates often depend upon brand loyalty and recognition. If a site has a high volume of traffic coming from loyal, repeat shoppers, the conversion rate is usually high because they know what they want and are coming to the site to buy it. If a brand has a small customer base, does not have a presence outside of its website, or has little to no customer reviews about its products, it is not likely to see a high conversion rate.
How to Improve Website Conversion Rates
Website conversion rates can help you evaluate site performance, analyze digital marketing campaign efficacy, and identify areas to improve and grow your business. The higher the conversion rate, the more leads or revenue you’re driving for your business.
Before you can begin to improve your website conversion rate, you need to know your baseline conversion rate. To find your baseline conversion rate, find the number of conversions that your target audience has taken and divide it by the total number of unique visitors or user sessions.
If your conversion metrics are falling below industry averages or internal benchmarks, you can use certain strategies to improve them. To increase conversions, it is important to understand the factors that persuade visitors to convert and the barriers they face. Using this information, you can strategize personalized, data-driven ways to boost conversions and better communicate with your users.
Factors That Influence Conversion Rates
Many, many factors impact website conversion rates, including industry, audience, business model, and traffic source. Here are some others to consider:
Product type: The type of product significantly impacts the conversion rate. If you are selling high-priced products, for example, your conversion rate is likely to be lower. Expensive products only attract a specific market segment, and fewer sales are needed to achieve revenue goals, meaning that a lower conversion rate is acceptable.
Visitor device and platform: The user’s device also significantly impacts the conversion rate. For example, if you have a high-performing desktop site but a poor mobile experience, you may see fewer conversions from mobile users. If you optimize your website for iOS users but not Android users, you may see fewer conversions from Android visitors, and so on.
Competitors: Whether you’re in a broad or niche industry, your website visitors are likely looking at your business’ competitors to compare things like price, product capabilities, and more. However, the customer experience could have an even bigger impact on your visitor’s purchase decision. Keeping tabs on your competitors’ websites can not only help you see what they’re doing well but allow you to take your customer experience to the next level and win more conversions.
Common Ways to Improve Conversion Rates
Now that you know your baseline conversion rate and the factors that might be influencing it, let’s discuss how you can actually begin to improve your conversion rate. Here are some tactics to help you get started:
Target audience:First and foremost, you must thoroughly understand the needs, desires, and pain points of your target audience. Really get into the mindset of your target customer by listening to sales phone calls with prospects (for B2B), running focus groups, delivering surveys, and more. Only then will you be armed with the intel you need to hypothesize how to design and implement the best customer journey for your site, with the goal of converting more of these visitors into leads or customers.
Optimizing and personalizing your website: Now that you understand who you’re trying to convert, you need to think about optimizing their on-site experience to ensure they do just that. If you’re not already optimizing, especially for each individual visitor as opposed to each segment of visitors, this could be why your conversion rates are low. It’s imperative that you only show relevant, personalized content that keeps them moving through the customer journey. Website personalization and optimization can help you develop pages that speak to a unique user segment’s motivations and desires, reducing bounce rate and elevating conversions. Analyze your user data and use it to personalize pages for different devices, traffic sources, transactional data, and geolocation.
Calls to action: Landing page visitors are unlikely to click a button to sign up for a mailing list or to add an item to their cart for fear of unknown consequences. Make sure that your calls to action are clear so that visitors know where a link or button leads to and there are no surprises–which will not only hinder you from getting the conversion but will also probably leave a sour taste in the visitor’s mouth about your brand.
Copy quality: Vague text or jargon on your landing pages might confuse website visitors. As a result, they are less likely to complete a desired action, leading to lower conversion rates. Ensure that your copy is bold, on-brand, and relevant so that it hooks a visitor into your product’s story and encourages them to stay on your website, fostering conversions.
Value proposition: Potential buyers invest in a product or service due to its perceived value. You must craft a persuasive value proposition to convince your customers that your product or service is worth the conversion. An unclear value proposition is not likely to convince users to convert, while a strong and compelling story can enhance your conversion rates.
Implementing a strong content management system: A strong content management system improves the accessibility and sortability of your content, so visitors find what interests them faster, improving their chance of converting. This helps you organize and test your website continuously, improving usability.
Adding customer reviews: Customer reviews and testimonials not only help to increase user engagement but also justify that everything you say about your product is true. They can also create a sense of FOMO for your visitors when they see amazing results from top companies in their industry. Make sure you have enough customer proof points on your website to drive conversions.
Questions to Ask When Starting Conversion Rate Optimization
While the tactics above are general best practices, remember that your organization is unique and it is up to you to identify who your users are, what excites them, and what makes them leave your website. When brainstorming ways to improve your conversion rates, it is important to analyze your own user and website data, identify possible messaging gaps that exist within this data, and devise brand- and user-specific solutions to bridge them.
You can brainstorm ways to improve your conversion rates by asking the following questions:
Where in the customer journey are users leaving your website? Identifying the main drop-off points on your analytics platform can help you find opportunities for improvement. For example, if visitors visit your pricing page, then exit your site, you may want to explore stronger value propositions or do a competitive analysis of your pricing or pricing structure to see how your offering compares and make adjustments accordingly.
How can you make conversions simpler?Lengthy checkout journeys, survey fields that ask for unnecessary information, and other complex processes can make it difficult for customers to convert. The longer and more complex a conversion journey is, the more opportunities a user has to leave. In these cases, consider simplifying your conversion journey, such as condensing a form or using third-party data to prepopulate fields.
How does your website look to users on different devices?Websites can look very different from desktops, tablets, and different types of mobile phones. If you notice that users on one device have a much lower conversion rate than average, there is likely an issue with that site experience. First and foremost, make sure your site is mobile responsive! Further, whenever you’re trying a new CRO tactic, be sure to make device-specific iterations so that your mobile experience is just as quick and seamless as your desktop experience.
Leveraging Machine Learning for Conversion Optimization
Regardless of your industry, if you’re expecting your site visitors to perform an action when they come to your site, and you’re closely measuring conversions against key business objectives, then you must prioritize optimizing for conversions at every turn…and perhaps even become conversion-obsessed!
Intellimize uses machine learning to help conversion-obsessed marketers across B2B and e-commerce industries and more automatically test and personalize their websites and landing pages for Continuous Conversion™. Here are just some results that Intellimize customers have seen: