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Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2009 at 6:30 am

Top 10 Online Retailers by Conversion Rate: February 2009

By Bryan Eisenberg
March 18th, 2009

Here are the top 10 converting websites for February 2009*. These are based on Nielson Panel data and are calculated by toolbar user to final conversion. Conversion-rate data is based on visitor conversion rates, not session conversion rates: i.e., No. of unique customers/No. of unique visitors.

1. Schwan’s 42.10
2. ProFlowers 36.50
3. Quixtar 33.20
4. 28.90
5. Woman Within 24.20
6. LL 20.40
7. Office Depot 20.30
8. 20.20
9. 1800Flowers 17.30
10. QVC 17.10

*Source: Nielsen Online / Marketing Charts

Additional February Retail Benchmarks:

The online retail sector in general registered dramatic drops in ecommerce activities in February 2009 compared to January 2009 (month over month) and February 2008 (year over year).

Gifts retailers and Jewelers—both traditional winners on Valentine’s Day—reported 23 percent and 15 percent increases in order sessions respectively. However, the average dollar value of those orders did not match these increases, with a modest increase of 4 percent for gifts retailers and a decrease of 14.3 percent for jewelers. These numbers illustrate that even on those occasions when consumers want to spend, they are spending in a more restrained fashion than in the past.”

Page Views Per Session 11.70
Product Page Views Per Session 3.17
Average Time on Site (in seconds) 481.05
Average Items/Order 5.21
Average Order Value $138.27
Shopping Cart Conversion Rate 34.39%
Shopping Cart Abandonment 65.61%
New Visitor Conversion Rate 2.00%
On-site Search Session 17.6%

* 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.

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Comments (31)

  1. Just to reiterate the above info… The lowest conversion rate of the top ten is 17.10%. What is your conversion rate and what are you doing to increase it? Serious food for thought.

  2. Hi Bryan, how could you explain such high conversion rates ?

    Also, I noticed that ProFlowers is converting a lot more than 1800flowers. Any thoughts about that ?

    Thank you !

  3. Can we have some clarification on the metrics? The conversion rates seem awfully high. Are these numbers cart completions?

  4. It is worth noting that their conversions are measured in unique customers over unique visitors, while analytics software, such as GA, frequently measures conversions as transactions over visits. As such comparing your conversion rate to theirs is a little more complex than just plopping the two numbers next to each other.

  5. Right. In most cases a conversion rate would be lower if you are using unique visitors as opposed to unique visits b/c most analytics (google & omniture) don’t count singe page visits. My visitor # is always higher that visits. What are they considering a “unique customer?” Someone who visited the site in that month and competed a purchase?

    I highly doubt that a site can convert 40% of visitors.

  6. Do these numbers represent the site as whole, or a particular campaign during this month? Is this the number of visitors that begin and complete a shopping cart transaction, or the number of visitors that land on the site and then convert to paying customers? Or potentially the number of people who land on the site and complete any of many potential conversion goals, like signing up for a newsletter, visiting the company blog, downloading a whitepaper, or …?

  7. Those are certainly unbelievable conversion rate. I would like to know how they do in the marketing…

  8. Why many of these sites have such high conversion rates:

    The sites area in industries where a customer is likely to return regularly. When you are measuring unique customers / unique visitors, and your site has a high return visitor rate than you are going to have high conversion.

    Schwans does frozen food delivery – if you are their customer and you eat food, then you are likely going to order more food when you go to their site.

    If you only go to a flower site when you need some bonus points with the lady, you have an extremely high propensity to buy given your situation.

    The numbers are achievable. It helps to be in an industry that has customers coming back often (when they are running low on food, or when they manage to upset a female). Of course, they better be testing to further improve their conversion.

  9. Humm…Surprising, Where is AMAZON ? Anybody knows any specific reasons why Amazon is not in this list I mean does that mean others have improved or Amazon has gone down in conversion rate

  10. [...] Top 10 Online Retailers by Conversion Rate: February 2009 FutureNow’s GrokDotCom / Marketing O… [...]

  11. [...] people have commented in past posts about’s incredible conversion rates. You’ll often see them with a conversion rate over 30%. However, most people won’t [...]

  12. [...] people have commented in past posts about’s incredible conversion rates. You’ll often see them with a conversion rate over 30%. However, most people won’t [...]

  13. [...] vitamiineja tai toimistotarvikkeita. Tällainen ajatus tulee mieleen, jos katsoo Nielsen Panelinkonversiolukuja. Kärjessä ruokakauppaSchwan’s 42% ja toisena kukkakauppaProFlowers37%.  Minuutin [...]

  14. Bah, this is nonsense. There is no business that has this kind of conversion rate. Anyone converting at these numbers would be worth more than dow jones together. The calculations for these numbers are flawed.

  15. Dan : This is Shopping Cart Conversion rate—Out of all visitors who placed items in their shopping carts, this is the percentage that
    went on to place an order.

  16. So call it what it is–cart completion rate. This is web analytics terminology 101 here.

  17. This is not cart conversion rate but overall conversion rate for customers who are Nielsen panel members.

  18. Thank you for clearing that up. Can you explain a little bit how they reach such high conversion rates ?

  19. No one, not even the Eisenbergs, have ever explained the conversion rating. Can someone link us to the source of this information? I can assure you the conversions are not visitors to cart completion. Example: look at how much junk traffic you receive on your website just from SERP. If we excluded SERP then everyone will receive a nice bump in conversion.

    I think the overal objective is to create your own baseline and methodology and then stick with it. To me, this list is relative and not useful.

  20. @eComGuru the source is linked to in the post. It is Nielsen Online and Marketing Charts that reports on it. These numbers are based on only those people that are part of the Nielsen panel.

  21. Hi, FJ it reads “No. of unique customers/No. of unique visitors.” this does not sound like basket completions only to me. I have always read this to mean number of site unique visitors that turn into customers. Love to hear feedback?

  22. looks like schwan’s is down 10%. I’m still surprised they are so high when they didn’t even use to exist on this list!

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  24. wow… thanks for those stats… it’s really interesting to see how well other convert and to compare it to your own stats.

  25. I was thinking this can’t be possible, we have a 8% a 9%conversion rate on our site (no members count) and they have 36% a 42%. But now i see that you only count the basket-rate. Well we have a basket-rate of 52% and i feel that this isn’t so great at all… but i think this is do that we don’t add items to a basket but redirect them to our checkout page so if you don’t want this item you will go back. Therefor 52% isn’t that great at all, but better then those sites. So… what are the real conversion rates of the complete site, then i can compare it and learn from it.

    Thanks webmaster

  26. I think that having conversion data is valuable in these times. We can all take some information from the best converting sites and apply that knowledge to our sites.

  27. It doesn’t surprise me that consumers are spending less than they have in the past. I have noticed this with my own site.

  28. [...] just 3% of new site visitors go through the [...]

  29. [...] just 3% of new site visitors go through the [...]

  30. [...] La home de mostraba hoy una formula de publicidad no intrusiva. Los interstitials molestan. Molesta mucho por ejemplo cuando visitas y aparecen, yo lo visito menos que antes. Pero este es un buen ejemplo de publicidad no intrusiva. La ventaja de Dictionary es que su navegación sólo necesita un campo de búsqueda para comenzar, pero la ejecución es interesante. Además, el anunciante es 1-800-flowers, exitoso ejemplo del comercio electrónico. Este tipo de detalles son los que nos llevan a entender por que tiene tan altos ratios de conversión. [...]

  31. Most of the sites have one of two things in common. They either provide a product/service that someone specifically seeks out or they provide a product that needs to be renewed/repurchased.

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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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