What’s A Good Conversion Rate, and How Can You Improve Yours?

This is a frequent question asked by e-tailers. E-commerce conversion rate goals vary depending on whether you’re a brand selling your own products, or a multi-brand reseller of products. They also may be affected by how long you’ve been operating the store. Here’s a short summary of the top-line and average conversion rate goals for both brands and resellers.

Conversion Rates By Type of Seller


Established brands and well-known larger resellers    Top:  20%        Average: 15%

New brands and smaller, multi-brand resellers               Top: 3%        Average: 1 – 2%

When you are just starting out, conversions will in most cases hover around 1% until you have had a chance to tweak your marketing or merchandising strategies. 

Traditionally, the goal for a multi-brand reseller has been around 2%. Above that, you’re really leaning in.  If you are one of these resellers and want to break out from small to mid-size, or mid-size to larger order volumes, it’s a good time to focus on CRO – conversion rate optimization.

Factors that affect conversion rates

The most common reasons are:

1. Is there a Trust issue?

Some websites look like they were pulled together by an amateur with a random mix of poor graphics, sloppy navigation, and badly written copy.

These sites either have poorly written shipping, privacy, and return policies or worse, none at all. A site that looks like it’s run by amateurs just looks untrustworthy. Are they amateurs, or sloppy scammers? In either case, if you were the shopper would you trust this seller?

2. Is Contact information clearly visible?

A lot of online stores don’t really tell you who they are, or how to get in contact other than through an e-mail form. There’s no phone, no address, no indication of who owns the business or where they are located. Missing or inadequate contact info also creates a trust issue that discourages purchases.

3. Have you clearly stated your value proposition?

The Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is what makes your store stand out from direct competitors. It could be the way your products uniquely solve their problems. Other competitive advantages might be, for instance, no-reason returns or fast, free shipping.

The value proposition is about how they perceive value, and less about the price itself. A would-be buyer is wondering if they will get their money’s worth when using your product.

4. Have you optimized the user experience?

When a user wants to navigate their way to a purchase, that path should be as short and as smooth as possible.

  • Is it user-friendly?
  • How is the speed of navigation?
  • Does your internal search function as it should?
  • Are checkout frictions minimal? Can they buy, for instance, without first creating an account user ID and password, then logging back in?

5. How is marketing targeted?

That “perfect customer” that helps you define your UVP should also be indicating your marketing targets. We went over how you should be targeting customers in our previous article, What It Takes to Have a $60K a Month Online Store.

While SEO (search engine optimization) IS important to your business, it generally delivers people who are “top of the funnel” or “middle of the funnel” and not ready to buy. These are researchers. This also means they may be far broader in interests than your perfect customer avatar. While you can remarket to this audience to help drive revenue, the conversion rate from SEO alone is low.

Ideally, your first marketing efforts need to focus on the right type of customer, in the right places (where they hang out online, which social media platforms they use), with the right messages and at the right moment when they’re ready to buy.

7. The holistic view of how strategies work together.

Lastly, you need to be properly attributing different marketing efforts and understand how they come together to result in more conversions.

It’s easy to believe that SEO visitors convert poorly if you only look for the direct connection between organic search and conversion. Oftentimes, that connection isn’t so direct. Maybe they found you on a Google search, browsed around and thought about it. If you have ad retargeting, they may eventually purchase via the ad, or an email, or after seeing your product again in their social media feeds. They all work together, and all are important.

Conversion rates don’t remain steady without steadily working on them. The factors that affect conversions need occasional tweaking, frequent testing, and constant monitoring for effectiveness. See our 4-part blog series on growing an online store from $15K a month to $100K a month for more insights you can use right now.

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