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Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008 at 5:30 am

Top 10 Online Retailers by Conversion Rate: 11/2007

By Bryan Eisenberg
January 8th, 2008

Coldwater Creek – 23.7
HearthSong – 21.9 – 20.1
Lillian Vernon – 20.0
Roamans - 18.9
Oriental Trading Company – 16.9
Urban Outfitters – 15.9
Lands End – 15.4
The Sportsman’s Guide – 15.3
QVC – 14.9

Source: Nielsen/NetRatings

These results are quite different than those from October and September.

Anyone want to take a guess who might appear on December’s list? Amazon? eToys? 1-800-flowers? Who do you think?

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Comments (13)

  1. Besides Amazon, I’d guess Best Buy, again, so will Sportsman Guide, a new clothing company, and some furniture company -either Overstock or Ikea.

    My best educated and somewhat scientific guess. :)

  2. I would imagine that toys and tech retailers that offer in-store pickup would do well for Christmas conversions – I’m thinking Target, Toys R Us, Circuit City and Best Buy.

  3. I think we have apples and oranges in that mix. Should make for a tasty fruit salad. ;)

    What is the formula they’ve used? # of completed checkouts / total # of visits to the website?

    I could get the CR to be anything I like depending on the formula.

    I know the purpose on this post is to inspire people not to be satisfied with 2%, so I will not be a party pooper any more.


  4. I don’t know that IKEA could pull that off. They are brilliant when it comes to brick-and-mortar stores, but their online store leaves a number of things to desire. It’s simply not fun enough. I assume it drives more offline than online conversions, if anything. Anybody able to shed some light here..?

  5. Lars,

    I am not commenting on how they measure it. We can safely assume they follow the same methodology for measurement month after month though.

    I’d agree that IKEA is not the world’s best website.

    Thanks for coming to the party anyway :-)


  6. Linda, I thought of Target as well but read that Target had a really low online return for the holidays.

  7. Hi Emon, you’re right, I heard Wal-Mart kicked Target’s butt this year in sales – not sure if that was online, offline or both, though.

  8. We are still left with the problem that conversion rates are an out-of-context metric.

    If 90% of your traffic is solid, thoroughly qualified affiliates traffic one month and then you add another element of ppc to the mix with 1/4 theconversion rates 2X the traffic & still reduce per-sale advertising costs your conversion rates will sink but your profits will rise. But you’d fall off these lists.

  9. It is also very heavily dependent on the size and scope of the marketing campaigns they run in most cases. If I cut my search campaigns back to my own brand terms for my website, the conversion rate could be even higher than those above. If I blow it out to types of products, product categories, etc… then it goes way down.

    If Coldwater Creek drops 20 million catalogs and the whole online budget is spent on buying ColdWater Creek brand terms, then almost everyone who comes to the site is not only predisposed to buy but predisposed to buy from them.

    Take that investment in 20 million catalogs and blanket the online search & media landscape and the conversion rate tanks because the people they are reaching aren’t predisposed to buy from them.

    Not sure how they measure, or where the data comes from but sites like Harriet Carter and Figis are likely to be right up there in the 15-25%% range. Same biz model, drop zillions of catalogs and generate pre-qualified brand traffic to the site.

    So while those are conversion rate metrics posted, they may be more a measure of brand strength and lack of online advertising. If CWC & HS do run a lot of online advertising that sends traffic to the site, then they’ve got a magic potion to hit 20%+ CRs.

  10. [...] interesting results for the top converting websites from the holiday season. Last month, I wondered who you thought would be the top 10 converting online retailers in December. One of our readers guessed Amazon would make an appearance [...]

  11. [...] new sites made the list that we didn't see in December, November, or [...]

  12. I agree on the comments about the size of the campaign. It is easy to run a tightly focused campaign with high conversions, however as you increase the budget and get a broader reach conversions tend to go down.


  13. Wow thank you.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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