Average conversion rate – what’s an average website conversion rate?

Discover the average conversion rate for ecommerce and financial services websites, based on our many years’ experience.

Average conversion rate

Average conversion rate is a strange concept when you think about it. We want to know if we are doing better or worse than average but in reality it’s not a useful metric for multiple reasons.

Firstly averages lie. When you look at a website’s analytics data to check the ecommerce conversion rate, the figure you see doesn’t actually give you much information because it’s an average of everything Google Analytics is tracking. So it’s a single figure that averages out all conversions over the last 30 days (or whatever period you’re looking at) from all devices types, browsers, sources, mediums, new users, returning users, etc.

That means that any change whether up or down could be down to any number of factors. For example, if someone puts a link to your website on a busy forum, and you start getting loads of visitors who are not looking for your product or service, your ecommerce conversion rate will go down.

Your actual website sales may not have changed but conversion rate will still be down. By looking beyond the averages in GA, you’ll be able to see why the conversion rate has dropped. The ecommerce conversion rate you’re seeing in GA is therefore not always indicative of performance.

But that said, let’s assume that the overall conversion rate is indicative for your website and you want to know how you compare to the rest of the world, you now need to know what the average conversion rate is.

Average conversion rate for ecommerce websites

In our experience, a typical conversion rate for an ecommerce website is around 2 or 3%.

We’ve worked with businesses with average conversion rates in excess of 7% (even on mobile) as well as businesses with conversion rates of less than 0.5%. It varies depending on the business and comparing a business that sells high end furniture with an average order value (AOV) of over £1500 with a business that sells fast fashion with an AOV of £35 is pretty futile.

Instead of looking at whether your business has a better or worse conversion rate than average, consider focusing on metrics like this instead:

  • Revenue per user (RPU)
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • Customer lifetime value (LTV)
  • Conversion rate broken down by device, source, user type etc

Average conversion rate for financial services websites

For financial services websites, it’s a bit more complex because ‘conversion’ can mean so many things.

Some businesses will track a call as a conversion, others will only consider the completion of an online sign up as a conversion, and some will consider the completion of a ‘request an appointment or review’ form as a conversion because it fills the top of their funnel and ultimately the sale is done offline anyway.

This means that conversion rates for financial services businesses vary a lot and averages are harder to report. We’ve broken down the numbers from our work with many types of FCA-regulated businesses below:

Average conversion rate for:

  • Inbound calls: 4%
  • Enquiry forms or request a call back forms: 1%
  • Online sign up: 2%   

Again, this will depend a lot on the type of business and the process and drivers for each of the actions.

Ultimately, whether your website is doing better or worse than average, if you can balance customer acquisition costs with customer lifetime value in a way that leaves you with some money left over, you (probably) have a viable, scalable online business.

If you can’t balance these metrics yet, you can reduce customer acquisition costs by increasing the number of conversions you get. If you’d like us to help you, give us a call on 0161 713 2434 or email [email protected] and get a free 15 minute website conversion audit call with a senior optimiser.

Nina Mack

17th April 2019

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