What is Conversion Rate?
Conversion Rate in reference to Online marketing, is defined as the ratio of the number of visitors to a website, to the number of visitors who complete a specific task or a goal, that could be either buying a product, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter.
Conversion Rate = Number of sales / Number of Visitors
Using conversion rates is one of the most effective ways of determining the ability of online marketing efforts to generate traffic. For ecommerce sites, these rates are, in essence, the rates of individuals that, by virtue of marketing efforts, translate their website visits and ad viewings into actual purchases. Ecommerce websites with high conversion rates, then, have a large number of visitors who access the site with the intent to purchase, not merely browse or were re-directed through marketing efforts. Sites with low rates, therefore, operate under the assumption that higher rates of consumers that can be converted into actual purchases will result in larger profits. As such, tracking the conversion rate of a website is of critical importance for online marketers and people interested in increasing online sales.
The top ten websites with the best conversion rates are not necessarily the sites that one would expect on the outset. Far from being major online auction houses like eBay and other sites, the sites with the top rates tend to be more niche oriented industry leaders that have developed and continue to maintain control over their respective markets. The top ten sites are, in order of number one to ten, are Schwan’s, Woman Within, Blair, 1800petmeds, Vitacost, QVC, ProFlowers, Office Depot, Oriental Trading Company, and Roamans.
The top ranked site for site conversions is Schwan’s. The company itself is an online grocer that focuses on selling food directly to consumers via online delivery systems. The key to its long and impressive history of success is that it has been in the business of delivering food directly to consumer’s homes for well over sixty years. As such, Schwan’s holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many consumers, and acts an effective provider of necessary goods at a competitive price, complete with quality goods. Establishing quality controls for online food distribution can be difficult, and Schwan’s rarely, if ever, fails to deliver quality goods.
As such, the company boasts a large and popular fan base of loyal customers, and maintains a high conversion site rate simply because when people visit the site, they do so in order to purchase goods. This high conversion rate is notable in the industry for its lack of search engine optimization work. Instead, Schwan’s achieves this high conversion rate by marketing directly to select consumers and crafting individual relationships with its customers. However, Schwan’s marketing strategy is based largely on its capacity in its formative years to create long-lasting relationships with families, and may be viewed as an exception to the rule.
Woman Within. Woman Within is a fascinating company in the sense that it is a great example of an online company that markets directly to a very specific niche market—plus sized women. By selling and marketing their products directly to large women, Woman Within translates page views and hits into conversions very effectively. Woman Within is recognizable for its very specific focus on a particular niche in the clothing market, and exemplifies a company that knows exactly what it is doing with regards to its online business and marketing efforts.
The Top 3 Websites have a Google Page 4, indicating that traffic is mostly direct, through Advertising, and No major SEO efforts.
Blair.com is another site aimed at offering clothing for consumers. Similar to Schwan’s, Blair was founded many years ago as a mail-order company that delivered pre-fitted clothing directly to one’s doorstep. As such, Blair formed a similar clientele of highly reliable customers that turned to Blair for their clothing needs. This represents a significant aspect in the high rates of these sites—individuals, when they visit Blair, tend to be looking for specific goods with the intent to purchase, and not merely drawn to the site via advertisements placed online or in print media. Instead, by emphasizing their marketing efforts at individuals who have relationships the customers they already have, they increase their retention rates and make it more likely that customers will return for future orders. Thus, Blair maintains high rates on its online efforts, and their website exists as a method for existing customers to purchase their goods.
All the top 10 websites use re marketing.
Petmeds aimed at fulfilling the needs of a niche market. 1800PetMeds currently dominates the market of online pet medications. The market of pet medication is one of very particular interest to many petowners, and PetMeds does very well for itself in securing the top spot of pet medication sites and fourth on the overall list of top ten sites with high rates. Largely due to its dedication to fulfilling only the needs of pet owners who need medication for their animals, PetMeds is a great company that, like Schwan’s, Blair, and the others, focuses heavily on a single, narrow niche in the broader market. Instead of focusing on other pet items and miscellaneous goods, the site markets only medications, and does that very well. As such, PetMeds is an example of another site that achieves high rates given its dedication and focus on a specific market niche and largely ignores or disregards other market segments in favor of specializing in a focused field that yields both large revenue streams as well as the added benefit of many return customers.
Vitacost.com, a website that again focuses on a very specific market segment. Boasting a conversion rate of over 15%, Vitacost represents one of the oldest and most established online supplement distributors. It stresses the importance of a clean, clear site that is easy to navigate and not overloaded with fancy graphics or burdensome images. Instead, Vitacost does exactly what it markets itself to do, which is supply vitamins and health supplies at a low cost and with a trusted, effective design. In particular, the site maintains a large sidebar on the left that allows for easy and instant access to the most popular of their item categories, enabling a customer to access the appropriate tab for whatever good they are looking for quickly and efficiently. Even more so than other sites, Vitacost is heavily focused and centered on making sure a customer is able to easily access and purchase their goods, which is central to establishing an effective method of both customer retention and high conversion rates.
QVC, a fashion and clothing company that is heavily optimized at retaining clients and making sure conversion rates are as high as possible. In particular, the site boasts a clean and crisp feel, is not heavily burdened with excessive graphics or annoying advertisements. Instead, customers are greeted with a site that is easily accessible and well-equipped to find whatever product they are searching for.
ProFlowers.com, a site dedicated to the sale of online flowers just about as much as any site could be. Customers are greeted with a clean, fresh looking site that maintains a pleasant color scheme and clear ways of purchasing goods via ecommerce. Consumers are only a few clicks away from reaching the products they desire, and ProFlowers does well to ensure that its site is optimized for people looking to purchase. There is little filler text or otherwise useless information or pages, and the purchasing process is simple, effective, and transparent. By dedicating themselves to their specific niche, ProFlowers is an effective online provider of flowers to consumers online and represent a highly effective strategy of retaining high levels of conversions from advertisements.
QVC is the world’s leading video and ecommerce retailer, offering a curated collection of desirable brands to millions of customers around the globe each day through broadcast, Internet, and mobile sales platforms. Ranks among the top online mass merchandise retailers. With conversion rate of 18.3 QVC’s 2012 ecommerce revenues, was $2.9 billion. In 2012, 22% of ecommerce orders came from mobile platforms,