Ecommerce Conversion Rates Broken Down By Industry (And 3 Ways to Improve Them)
By Mike O'Brien | January 30, 2020
Conversion rates are among the most important measurements for any marketer. For those in ecommerce, our friends at Campaign Monitor broke down the average rates by industry, and explained how to increase them. Read on to see their insights in full:
Email marketers know just how vital understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) are to the success of their marketing efforts. Knowing your brand’s personal numbers is an excellent start.
However, those numbers really mean nothing if you have nothing to compare them to.
This fact is especially true for ecommerce brands that are looking to improve their conversion rates. Before we can dive into ecommerce conversion rates by industry for 2019, let’s discuss what an ecommerce conversion rate is.
What Is an Ecommerce Conversion Rate?
In marketing, a conversion occurs when a given individual performs a specific task. This task will depend on the nature of the brand, what they’re offering to their customers, and more. When it comes to an ecommerce brand, a conversion typically happens when an email subscriber clicks a link within an email or social media post and then completes a purchase.
For example, Bed Bath & Beyond sends out ecommerce emails to their subscribers to make a sale. The process goes something like this:
- Click “Shop now” call-to-action in the email
- Pick your desired product and “Add to cart”
- Go to your cart and complete the checkout process
Source: Bed Bath & Beyond
How to Calculate a Conversion Rate
Knowing your conversion numbers is great. But to genuinely understand these numbers, you need to understand how to calculate them yourself. Don’t worry; it’s not a hard process, and very little math is actually involved.
To calculate a conversion, simply take the total number of purchases made and divide that by the total number of emails sent. Finally, you’ll want to multiply that number by 100 to give you a true percentage.
Are you using CTAs on other marketing channels, such as social media? If so, you’ll simply need to change out emails to the total number of unique clicks.
Why Does Knowing Ecommerce Conversion Rates by Industry Matter?
Knowing your ecommerce conversion rates by industry matters because it’s the only way to tell you exactly how successful your marketing campaigns truly are. Again, while knowing your numbers is a great starting point, you can’t determine your overall success unless you have a number to compare it to.
That’s why knowing the ecommerce conversion rates by industry is so vital. You can compare your numbers to an overall ecommerce conversion rate, which stands around 2.86% globally, as of 2018. However, to truly understand where your ecommerce brand stands amongst competitors, you’ll want to compare your average ecommerce conversion rate to those of your specific industry.
For instance, if your ecommerce brand falls under arts and crafts, you’ll want to compare your average ecommerce conversion rate to that of the overall arts and crafts industry. As you’ll notice in the chart below, for that particular industry, the average ecommerce conversion rate falls at 4.01%, which is significantly higher than the 2018 global ecommerce conversion rate average. So, while you may be averaging a 3.02% conversion rate, you’ll be higher than the worldwide average, but still well below the industry average.
Knowing the industry average and comparing it to your brand’s average will tell you whether your marketing efforts are paying off. If you’re below the average, you’ll want to sit down with your team and reevaluate your plan of attack.
Ecommerce Conversion Rates by Industry for 2019
Just like with traditional email marketing, the goal is to have your readers make a conversion from subscriber to customer. By comparing your numbers to those in your specific industry, you’ll be able to determine just how successful your marketing efforts are.
That said, here are the latest numbers pertaining to ecommerce conversion rates by industry for 2019:
- Agricultural Supplies: 1.41%
- Arts and Crafts: 4.01%
- Baby and Child: 0.71%
- Cars and Motorcycles: 1.36%
- Electrical and Commercial Equipment: 2.70%
- Fashion Clothing and Accessories: 1.41%
- Food and Beverages: 0.90%
- Health and Wellbeing: 2.02%
- Home Accessories and Giftware: 1.46%
- Kitchen and Home Appliances: 1.46%
- Pet Care: 1.61%
- Sports and Recreation: 2.51%
3 Actionable Takeaways for Increasing Your Ecommerce Conversion Rates
Now that you understand exactly how to calculate your ecommerce conversion rate and compare it to ecommerce conversion rates by industry, you can determine just how successful your current marketing campaigns are. If you’ve noticed a dip in your averages, then it’s time that you sit down and reconsider your online marketing strategy.
While this can seem like a rather intimidating task, considering a few actionable tips can help you increase your ecommerce conversion rate.
1. Consider your audience.
This is one of the most vital factors you’ll need to consider when first creating or revamping your ecommerce marketing strategy. If you don’t know your targeted audience, where they’re hanging out, and what catches their attention, then you’ll get nowhere with your marketing efforts.
The first thing you’ll need to consider is where your audience members are spending their time while online. Are they browsing through their emails or maybe clicking through social media? If they’re spending most of the time on social media, which platforms are they using the most?
While most people spend their downtime online, it all comes down to the age group and other relevant demographics. For example, the Nielsen Company stated that, in the first quarter of 2018, the share of daily time spent by platform looked something like this:
While social media used to be where people spent their time online, those numbers are quickly plummeting. They aren’t expected to make a significant jump any time soon, either.
Even more impressive is the fact that, when it comes to promotional content, consumers prefer to get it through email, not through social media. A study by MarketingSherpa stated that 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content via email. Meanwhile, 17% said they prefer to receive the same content through social media.
So take the extra time to really research your targeted audience and see where they are spending their time. While reports suggest that email marketing is the way to go, many small businesses have stated that their best bet for reaching their ideal customer is through social media. Take your time with getting to know your audience members, so that you aren’t wasting precious time and resources later on.
2. Reconsider your CTAs.
Your consumers need to be directed for them to take the action you want them to. If your CTAs aren’t up to par, you’re bound to see a significant decline in your ecommerce conversion rates.
Take this example from Facebook. We have two different ads. The top one is from The Home Depot and the second one is from a marketing agency. Can you identify the ad that’ll get the most conversions (without the brand factoring into the equation)?
If your guess was for the top ad, then you’re correct. The primary reason why is because there’s a clear CTA right in the viewable text. The reader knows what they’re getting when they click the ad and don’t have to go through the additional “See More” step to figure it all out.
It’s true that having relevant content for your audience is necessary. However, if you’re trying to capture their attention in a crowded newsfeed, you don’t want them to have to click extra links to find out what it is that you’re offering them.
Now, email CTAs are a little bit different in that your readers are already expecting to have to go through some content before reaching your CTA. What’s important to keep in mind here is that you want to not only capture their attention with a CTA that stands out, but use language that’s encouraging them to take action, not demanding it.
In this example, which CTA do you think will encourage readers to click?
Source: Really Good Emails
While both email CTAs are usable, the one on the left is more user-oriented than the one on the right. Simply telling someone to “Shop now” comes off as more of a demand than an invitation, despite the enticing 60% off comment above. The CTA that reads “Get 30% off” entices the reader more because it’s about them. They can choose to use it on their order or they can choose to leave it. You aren’t telling them to do anything, only giving them a reason to click and shop.
Remember, your CTAs are what’s going to get your readers to make the conversion, so make sure you’re tailoring them to their needs, not your own.
3. Are you A/B testing?
Finally, you want to make sure you’re A/B testing your content whenever you can. This is the only way to determine the success of your content before wasting your resources on sending it out.
A/B testing involves sending one version of your content to a small selection of your list and a second version to another small sampling. Whichever version performs better is the one that you should choose to send to your entire list, whether it be via email or social media.
There are many different reasons why you’ll want to know ecommerce conversion rates by industry, but the primary reason is to determine the success of your personal campaigns. If you’ve noticed a decline in your conversion rates, then consider the following actionable tips:
- Study your audience
- Rethink your CTAs
- A/B test
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