Conversion

What’s a Good Conversion Rate? It Depends

When it comes to analyzing online businesses, a common question is “What is a good sales conversion rate?” It’s difficult to answer because conversion rates vary greatly and depend on many factors, including product offerings, target audiences, prices, and devices.

Conversion rates tend to fluctuate. For example, leading into the third quarter of 2018, U.S. smartphone conversions increased by just 0.02 percent, while tablets and desktops saw bigger rises.

U.S. Conversion Rates by Device

 2017 - Q32017 - Q42018 - Q12018 - Q22018 - Q3
Desktop / Laptop4.15%4.4%3.7%3.83%3.94%
Tablet3.55%3.88%3.43%3.68%3.78%
Smartphone1.51%1.84%1.65%1.82%1.84%

Source: Statista

While industry, country, and even global statistics provide insight, they do not represent all businesses — harnessing data from 100 percent of companies isn’t possible. So use such numbers as inspiration more than anything else.

When delivering content to existing and potential customers, consider what types of smartphones, tablets, and computers they use. In the table below, note that while Windows desktop users convert more than Mac users, the iPhone and iPad trumps Android devices and Windows phones. Chromebooks also convert decently. Folks running Linux don’t convert well at all.

U.S. Conversion Rates by Operating System

 2017 - Q32017 - Q42018 - Q12018 - Q22018 - Q3
Android (smartphone / tablet)1.63%1.84%1.65%1.78%1.84%
iOS (iPhone / iPad)1.95%2.32%2.08%2.25%2.23%
Windows Phone (smartphone)1.44%1.54%1.44%1.49%1.42%
Chrome OS (Chromebook)3.11%3.27%2.63%3.00%3.37%
Mac (desktop)3.69%4.09%3.25%3.46%3.69%
Windows (desktop)4.50%4.68%4.19%4.23%4.33%
Linux (desktop)0.81%0.72%0.50%0.52%0.44%

Source: Statista

According to Statista, Mac owns about 12.3 percent of the global desktop and laptop market, but the iPhone owns about 43.7 percent of the worldwide smartphone market. Many iPhone users opt for a Windows computer because of cost — if they use a desktop or laptop computer at all.

An online store’s conversions rely heavily on criteria that are often ignored by small business, such as:

  • Voice. Email, text messaging, and social channels each have their purposes, but how content is presented is key. Speaking with your customers and prospects rather than to them is key. Thus using words and lingo they understand and appreciate is often as important as product features. Consider this when taking photos and video, too.
  • Social proof. This is the psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others because they believe those actions convey correct behavior. By enticing shoppers to “do the right thing,” you can close more sales and build a loyal following. (I addressed the topic last year, by the way.)
  • Customer service. Big e-tailers can get away with poor service. The little guys, though, need to go the extra mile. Do everything feasible to please a shopper before, during, and after the sale.
  • Returns. Even Apple allows the returns of new iPads, iPhones, and computers. Unless you sell custom-made products or digital goods, such as software and music, allow for easy returns.
  • User experience. The design and functionality of the store should follow from the voice of the business. Pre-made templates do not necessarily apply to your audience.
  • Real testimonials. Customer product reviews help close sales more than anything else. And testimonials about your business tell others they can trust what you say. What comes after the sale is often as important as the product itself. Take steps to encourage loyal customers to write good things about you.

In short, industry-wide conversion percentages may or may not apply to your business. Some — such as users of Apple products have higher incomes and spend more money online — are helpful. Review the relevant stats and then adjust your marketing, store design, policies, and online presence so that consumers who are most apt to purchase notice, support, and trust you.

Pamela Hazelton

Pamela Hazelton

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