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Why Conversion Rate Benchmarks Don’t Matter

Nov 13, 2012   //   by jeremywallace   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Measuring your conversion rate against industry benchmarks is always a difficult task.  First you have to find the benchmarks, then you have to question how they were produced.  There are some CRO industry benchmarking services out there but for the most part comparing yourself against industry wide average data can be troublesome.  Even if you can get sector specific data (which is very hard because it basically means that competitors are sharing their stats) the relevance of this is still low.

via Marketing Sherpa

Conversion rates are always based on a numerator/denominator resulting in a percentage with the numerator representing the number of conversions or sales and the denominator representing all traffic to the site.  The most important factor for a business is your actual sales (or leads) not what your specific conversion rate is as your conversion rate only tells you the % of traffic that you receive that are manage to sell to.

For example imagine two different websites each selling the same product.  Site A only gets a little bit of traffic (primarily loyal word of mouth) and converts to sales at 2.5%, Site B however gets lots of traffic (primarily from lots and lots of social media activity) and converts to sales at 0.4%.

Site A
1,000 unique visitors per month
25 units sold per month
2.5 % conversion rate

Site B
25,000 unique visitors per month
100 units sold per month
0.4% conversion rate

While Site A clearly has a higher conversion rate Site B is selling a lot more units per month despite their lower conversion rate.  In this simple example Site B is clearly the winner on units sold but if Site B was to compare themselves to an industry benchmark for conversion they would be under performing the benchmark.

Both of these example sites thought would still benefit from an increase in conversion.

The most important thing to ask is not “how are you performing against the benchmark” but rather – “how can you improve your current conversion rate” whatever it is.  Every website, no matter how much they have tested can still further improve their conversion rates.  The largest websites; Amazon, Google, MSN, all test have tested an incredible amount and continue to test on an ongoing basis.  It seems that testing and the resulting improvements that testing leads to only bring on a desire for more testing – this is certainly what we see with our clients.

Improving your conversion rate does a couple things for:

  • gets more value out of your current visitors
  • lowers your cost per sale/lead
  • allows you to invest marketing dollars in areas where the ROI previously didn’t allow it (specific PPC keywords are a great example of this)
  • improves your customer experience

One of the advantages of working with Crowdvert is that our fees are based off performance so you should be able to determine if there a positive ROI for using our services prior to starting a project . . . and if we can’t improve your conversion rate you don’t have to pay a cent.

Email us today at to find out how we could help increase your conversion rate.

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Crowdvert gives you a team of optimization experts who create A/B experiments to test on your site using our software. All the work is done on a pay for performance basis so there are no fees unless your conversion rate improves.

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