What is Conversion Rate in eCommerce?

4 Mins read

At the forefront of an eCommerce business owner’s mind is sales and lead generation. As a result of an increasingly competitive online buying environment, the challenge of achieving these objectives is getting tougher. Business owners cannot rely on doing the same thing or assuming the sales levels (or conversions) will continue to rise or stay at a satisfactory level. In this blog, we’re going to look at what a conversion rate means for an eCommerce store. What makes a good conversion rate? How can you adopt conversion rate optimisation best practice and generate more sales for your online business?

How do you measure conversion rate?

The eCommerce conversion funnel has long been viewed as the standard model to fully understand the customer journey. This starts the moment a user clicks on the site, developing interest and ultimately taking the desired action. Not every site visitor is going to convert into a lead or sale, which is where the conversion rate is measured.

A conversion rate is simply the percentage of website visitors that take the desired action on a website or a page. For example, if your eCommerce site attracts 1,000 visitors in a month and generates 50 sales over that period, then the conversion rate would be 5% (50 divided by 1,000).

The previously mentioned ‘desired action’ can be anything that you intend for the visitor to do on your website, it could be;

  • Buying your product
  • Registering for your service
  • Downloading your app
  • Submitting a form
  • Signing up to a newsletter
  • Filling out a contact us form
  • Completing a customer survey
  • Signing up for a subscription
  • Calling a given phone number

Getting visitors to your site is the easy part – either through your pay per click campaigns or through search engine optimisation. Encouraging them to convert is the tricky bit. There are many things that can cause visitors to click off without converting. Your website might be slow, it could be difficult to navigate or the visitor simply might not find what they’re looking for. This is why you need to constantly be testing and running checks on your site.

Tracking your conversion rates and measuring them against previous results is one of the best ways to gauge the success of your site. If your conversion rate dips over time, then you know that you need to be looking at changing things up. Whereas if it’s on the rise or at about the level you want it to be, then you can categorise your site as a success.

What is a ‘good’ conversion rate?

The median conversion rate tends to vary between sectors and can depend on the platform you operate on. For eCommerce, the average conversion rate for online stores is 1.84% (as of 2020). However, typically something around 2-5% would be considered ‘good’. However, a well-optimised website can hit double digits. So just because you’ve hit the 5% mark, doesn’t mean you should stop there. Always be on the lookout for new opportunities. 

It’s also worth noting that, depending on how many visitors you have on your site, even the smallest increase can dramatically boost revenue. We’ve had clients where we’ve increased the conversion rate from 1.15% to 1.42% producing a 23.4% leap in transactions and overall sales.

Improving conversion rate

As previously mentioned, there are a whole host of factors that come into play when it comes to whether a site visitor will convert or not. So here are just a few key principles that you should consider.

Changing the button text

Sometimes it can be as simple as changing the text on a button. It could be rewording or simply adding a word. Simple text changes can add a sense of urgency – “I must buy this product”. 


Changing the button colour

The colour of any CTA button needs to contrast with that of the page. It needs to stand out and be a true ‘call to action’ – encouraging the visitor to click. Choose a colour that pops, but stays in line with your branding. Make them appear as if they should be pressed – can they change colour when hovered over?

Ensure your website is mobile friendly

Over half of all eCommerce sales come from mobile. Today’s consumers want access to products through their mobiles. Think: your competitors’ sites will more than likely be well-optimised for mobile, so if yours isn’t then you won’t generate the leads or sales you’re after. This means ensuring it loads properly, text isn’t too big or too small, and making sure that it’s as easy to navigate as it is on desktop. 

A/B Testing

A/B testing is the process of creating two different versions of the same piece of content. You then present these two versions to two similarly sized audiences to discover which one performs better over a set period of time. Usually it’s good to carry out a test over the course of three to four weeks. 

Depending on what you test, A/B testing is very low cost but can be incredibly high in reward. Even if you’re just testing out using different colours on the same page, learning which one has the better conversion rate will go a long way in boosting revenue. 


The success of an eCommerce store is measured by how much revenue it generates for the business. If your site isn’t getting the sales you feel it should be, have a look at its conversion rate. If it’s low then you’ll need to consider changing aspects of content on your landing pages. Remember to regularly run tests. What improvements do you feel can be made? Your online competitors will constantly make tweaks to their eCommerce stores, so you can’t afford to be left behind in this online arena.  

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