What Is the Average Conversion Rate? The New Data Will Surprise You

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If you’re only just starting out with conversion optimisation, you’re probably wondering how you stack up against other businesses.

I also wondered this, so I went out, read a bunch of reports and studies, and compiled this guide to average conversion rates in different industries. Hope it will help you see where you realistically fall amongst the competition.

Keep in mind that this data is only a guideline. You need to keep optimising your landing pages regardless of your current standing. Your visitors change, your product changes, the technology evolves. This means the process of improving conversions is never finished.

Landing Pages (9.87% / 13.28%)

WishPond tested 146 landing pages to draw out an average conversion rate for B2B and B2C industries. They found out that:

  • 64 B2B tests showed an average conversion rate of 13.28%.
  • 80 B2C tests showed an average conversion rate of 9.87%.

Email Marketing

This study from Movable Ink’s data sheds some light on the email marketing space:

Percentage, average conversion rate
  • Mobile email opens (50.12%) have surpassed desktop opens (32.97%).
  • 36.6% of people make purchases on a desktop, while 49.3% of people make purchases on smartphones.
  • iPhones gets more opens, but Android users boast a better conversion rate.

Keep in mind that this data may not correlate with each other. Opens and conversions are shown side-by-side in the graph, but it’s not clear whether the conversions actually stem from the email marketing or if they are the site’s general CVR (conversion rate).

Ecommerce (~1—5%)

MarketingSherpa reports that the overall conversion rate for ecommerce lingers around 5%, with most answers in the 1—10% segment.

They also published a list of conversion rates broken down by industry and type of store.

ecommerce, average conversion rate

Here’s an interesting nugget of insight from the article:

Daniel Burstein
Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS Institute

We found that the average conversion rate for companies selling only one product was 16.3%, while those selling multiple product categories had a higher conversion rate at 17.2%.

Want to know more? Here’s a post on the data and how to deal with shopping cart abandonment.

Another, more recent report (data from 2015) by Monetate compared average conversion rate on different devices.

The report showed that while customers are becoming more and more comfortable with completing purchases on tablets, desktop remains the primary purchase device with smartphones being more of a “research” platform.

average conversion rate

AdWords (0.89% / 2.70%)

WordStream’s data show that about 1/4 of all of their customers’ accounts have less than 1% conversion rates. The median rate was 2.35% (median rate is not average rate, though!).

The top 10% of AdWords advertisers have account conversion rates of 11.45%.

average conversion rate, conversion rate distribution

A new report by the same company shows an average conversion rate of 2.70% on search ads and 0.89% on display ads.

average conversion rate

Forms (17% / 34% / 1%)

Every website has forms. Whether it’s gating content, a newsletter sign-up box, the purchase process, a survey, or contact forms, there’s a good chance your website also has at least a couple. This is why data on forms matters a lot.

The study created from 650.000 Formstack forms produced shocking results:

  • Form completions were higher on multi-page (13.85%) than single page (4.53%) forms.
  • Lead generation forms have an average conversion rate of 17% and average of 11 fields.
  • Contest forms have an average conversion rate of 34% and average of 10 fields.
  • Contact forms have an average conversion rate of 1% and average of 4 fields.
  • Survey forms have average CVR of 14% and average of 22 fields.
Form type, average conversion rate

While reading the report, I found a bunch of other very interesting nuggets. I recommend you download your own copy and give it a read.

CVR by Channel

Marketo says that the top acquisition channel, judging by the conversion rate, are referrals, followed by inbound (content) marketing, partners, and paid advertising. Email performs the worst in Marketo’s list.

average conversion rate, Acquisition

Of course, none of this data should be viewed on its own, without the knowledge of the entire sales funnel. I find a lot of the data available on the web is actually incomplete, failing to illustrate the whole story or ambiguously naming what the conversion rate is for.

Use this data only as a benchmark, and not even a crucial one. Like in life, your goal should be to be better than you were yesterday, not compete with others — especially when you can’t even see the whole picture.

What converts best for you? How does it stack up against the data we found?

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