Average Conversion Rates Aren’t Really Average

Man using TypewriterAverage Isn’t Really Average—It’s Failing.  Average conversion rates for ecommerce are between 2 and 6% (mileage varies based on industry). A lot of businesses get into that range and start feeling good about their e-commerce efforts. …Don’t.

Online business can be overwhelming. There are so many moving parts it’s difficult to keep up with them all and impossible to be an expert on them all. I completely understand the compulsion to look at what everyone else is getting out of their online efforts and decide being in the average probably means you’re doing fine. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that. It means you’re doing marginally better than the majority of businesses, and way worse than businesses doing it well.

To give some examples, in 2012 Schwan’s Foods’ website had a 41.7% conversion rate and Woman Within had a 22.4%. In 2014, Schwan’s reported 40.6% and Woman Within went up to 25.3%. Both companies sustained conversions way above the average. They are not alone in putting up those kinds of conversion numbers, and before you start thinking they must have low traffic that just converts well, each of those websites is well over half a million unique visitors each month. Still willing to settle for 2-6%?

I’m going to let you in on a secret— I don’t love technology. Some days, I don’t even like it. What I love, what really fires me up, is efficiency. Technology that isn’t doing better than a human being is useless. A website that isn’t converting better than a call center employee or a paper order form is failing. A 2% conversion rate means that out of 100 people who came in to your online store with a need in mind, who had a 1 on 1 conversation with your website, it was only able to convince 2 of them to purchase. Every single day that’s happening. Every single month.

If your website were a floor salesman, you would fire it.

There are a lot of ways to improve conversion rate on your website. We’re not going to get into them right now because that’s a long process full of testing, testing, and more testing. Instead let’s keep going with this floor salesman idea. If that same salesman started getting contact information from the prospects he failed to sell to, and was extremely effective in his follow up and consequentially his closing rate, you’d be much less inclined to fire him.

You see where I’m going with this, don’t you? By getting really good at collecting the right information on your website—the exact same under-converting website you have right now— and applying it to an expertly crafted email marketing plan, you can turn that failure into an asset.

With trigger messages and list segmentation, you can create a 24/7 sales machine with the kind of efficiency that is only possible through technology. And with a full service email marketing agency like Email Broadcast, you don’t even need to struggle with learning something new. All you have to do is pick up the phone.

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