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Monday, Jun. 23, 2008 at 10:22 am

Top 10 Online Retailers by Conversion Rate: May 2008

By Bryan Eisenberg
June 23rd, 2008

top ecommerce conversion ratesHere are the top 10 converting websites for May 2008*. These are based on Nielson Panel data and are calculators by toolbar user to final conversion.

1. ProFlowers 35.70%
2. Office Depot 31.40%
3. Blair.com 23.80%
4. FTD.com 21.30%
5. QVC 18.70%
6. CDW 17.90%
7. Lands End 17.50%
8. 1800flowers.com 16.80%
9. Drugstore.com 16.20%
10. HSN.com 15.80%

*Source: Nielsen Online / Marketing Charts

Looks like Mother’s day certainly helped the florists, all 3 major brands are present here. This is a first appearance of Drugstore.com since we started reporting these numbers.

Additonal May Retail Benchmarks:

Page Views Per Session 13.06
Product Page Views Per Session 3.48
Average Time on Site (in seconds) 488.12
Average Items/Order 6.18
Average Order Value $122.82
Shopping Cart Conversion Rate 33.21%
Shopping Cart Abandonment 66.79%
New Visitor Conversion Rate 2.21%
On-site Search Session 14.68%
On-site Search Conversion Rate 6.56%
On-site Search Average Order Value $135.70

Marketing Summary Benchmarks:

Direct Load:
Traffic % 47.71%
Sales % 64.45%
Conversion Rate 3.64%

Natural Search:
Traffic % 13.02%
Sales % 8.27%
Conversion Rate 2.02%

Referrals:
Traffic % 6.67%
Sales % 2.27%
Referral Conversion Rate 1.46%

* Source: Coremetrics LIVEmark Benchmarks US (PDF) – UK benchmarks PDF available.

Coremetrics LIVEmark leverages aggregate performance data across more than 300 participating brands to deliver over 35 benchmark metrics addressing performance indicators such as campaign and channel effectiveness, site stickiness and conversion rates.

If you need help increasing your numbers, I know who can help you. Just ask me.

. .

Editor’s Note: Ambitions of seeing your e-commerce site on this list? Join Bryan and his guest, Google’s Tom Leung, on Wednesday, July 9th for our free Google Website Optimizer webinar. Space is limited, so sign-up today!

Add Your Comments

Comments (17)

  1. Only 36%? Tsk tsk.

    ;)

  2. CPC Trends in Top 6 Categories – Top 10 KeyWords in 10 Cats…

    Here’s a cornucopia of great stats for affiliates, niche marketers & PPC affiliates. Top 10 Online Retailers by Conversion Rate, Top 10 Search Terms in 10 Categories, Average PPC Cost per Click by Category by Month so far this year.
    ……

  3. what toolbar is tracking this?

  4. Monty,

    Coremetrics LIVEmark has the benchmarking data and Nielsen Online publishes the ecommerce conversion data. Both sources are linked to in the post.

  5. Almost 36%, “Holy Cow Batman!”

    That’s just begging for a Case Study and some serious reverse analysis by the rest of us wannabe conversion rate superheroes.

    Where’s my cape Alfred?

  6. Bryan (or anyone), please spell out for this newbie exactly what the above conversion rates mean… I’m assuming that 35% means 35% of folks that landed on the site bought something…

    I’d like to know how they ties back into the published general “referral conversion rate” and if you have any data showing which channels are most likely to feed the 35% figure.

    Apologies if this is self-evident.

  7. Actually, I figured it out by going up one level – like others, I just had trouble believing anyone could be converting at 35% – anyway, excellent site Bryan

  8. John,

    You may also be interested in reading the analysis of January’s numbers that Bryan did. I think you’ll find that it’s a good baseline explanation of what happens month over month in certain sectors.

    In this case, ProFlowers.com’s strong email campaigns clearly helped it convert all of that Mothers’ Day traffic it must have gotten. Still, whatever the circumstances, I think we can all agree that 36% is highly impressive.

    But I encourage all of you to check it out for yourself. Go to the ProFlowers homepage and click just about any link. You’ll end up on a category page with a URL ending in “SplitA” or “SplitB”. There’s no question that the secret to their success stems from our motto: “Always Be Testing!”

    Hope that helps!

  9. How did ProFlowers do it? Of course, there is no single factor, but one contributing success factor is their user-experience design. At the outset, they hired extremely talented and highly trained usability experts (OK, it was me and my team, how did you guess) to help them create a design focused on their key market. Obviously, I can’t go into detail other than to say that our user research identified a more task-oriented user-experience approach that has kept ProFlowers profitable from day one, 10 years ago.

    This same approach has been just as successful on a host of other projects, including medical devices, such as Pyxis (Cardinal Health), and web apps, such as FedEx Kinko’s Print On-line tool. Both of which we designed.

    No, I’m not trying to beat my drum. I’m trying to help you understand that there are some really talented teams out there that use a task-oriented design approach that really works. Be sure your team knows how to do real User-Centered Design and you, too, could be a success.

  10. Interesting how there’s 3 flower sites in the top 10. I think when somebody (I can speak for myself at least), goes to a flower site we already know we want to order flowers.

    The same doesn’t necessarily hold true for other products. I might just be having a hard time getting my head out of the box tonight though.

  11. Good point. The May numbers reflect the fact that Mother’s Day is one of the Hallmark occasions in the florist industry. But if you look at the latest numbers, you’ll see ProFlowers is still near the top, along with Office Depot. Both of these benefit from the fact that people know what they are looking for when they go there, so the conversion rate is naturally higher. But you can’t discount the fact that for Oct 2008, a non-Hallmark occasion month; Proflowers is still near the top while the other on-line florists faded away.

    ProFlowers, Office Depot, and the others see profitable results from not only driving their customers to the site, but in satisfying their needs once they arrived at the site.

    Good user-experience design is not just about designing a flashy UI, it’s about the entire experience, and the website is just part of that experience. Having worked with the ProFlowers staff, I can assure you that they leave no stone unturned. I’m sure the same us true for Office Depot and Land’s End, etc. I do know that Office Depot has a User-Experience Team (I’ve met them) and it’s quite likely that has an impact on their successful conversion rates.

    That’s not to say that a user-experience design can make bad products, sites, or services successful, but a bad one can certainly kill a good product. User-experience is only one part of the recipe, but without the chocolate, it’s just not a chocolate cake.

  12. [...] tous les mois, je fais mon petit tour sur Grokdtocom ou sur Marketing Charts pour consulter le palmarès mensuel des champions de la conversion aux [...]

  13. [...] eksempel bruker ProFlowers, som er helt rå på konverteringsrater, grønne kjøpsknapper. Les også om hva KP skriver om [...]

  14. I think a good make such calculations so that the calculation is very accurate

  15. As this is a few years old we have found similar results with our clients for web conversions. Most sites we have seen start at about .5% conversion and most lack the ability to understand how to achieve 10%+ conversions. Do you have case studies on the above list?

  16. I can share some of the case study info for Proflowers, since I was the UX designer, and my partner can share some history on Blair.com, since he worked with them.

    Feel free to contact me.

  17. One of the factors for the highest conversion rate for proflowers is the images on the products page. They help a lot.

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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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