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Defining conversion in eCommerce

What is a conversion rate?

A Conversion rate is the number of conversions divided by the number of visitors to a website. Generally expressed as a percentage. For example, you might say I have a website conversion rate of 5% – which means of every 100 visitors you have to your website, 5 convert.

Breaking this down:

  • Conversion – The conversion is typically a Sale (i.e. someone purchasing a product on your site), but not always – a conversion could also be signing up (and opting in) to an email list, it could be signing up to a loyalty program. It could also be a microconversion (taking a particular step in a journey – more on this later)
  • Visitors – A Visitor is a person who has visited your website. Sounds straightforward, but there are also a number of ways to define this. There is a a visit and a Visitor. A visitor might visit a site 3 times in a day. Sometimes people use a visit in place of visitor. Using visitor in the definition means the conversion rate is how many people you convert in a given time period (like a day). Using a visit – means you are measuring how many sessions result in a conversion.

Breaking down a conversion rate to microconversions

The other thing that is important is that you can break down a conversion rate into multiple steps. Say you are measureing a conversion rate of sales to a certain website. A typical journey might involve:

  1. Visiting the home page
  2. Visiting a product listing page (multiple products)
  3. Viewing a product page
  4. Adding to your basket: As you might expect – Adding the product to your basket
  5. Checking out: Filling in your payment and delivery information
  6. Confirming: receiving a confirmation that the purchase has been accepted.

The typical conversion rate is a measurement of (6) divided by (1). But if you wanted to diagnose where you are getting problems – you might like to look at:

  • Home page to viewing products: (2) divided by (1)
  • PLP to PDP (3) divided by (2)
  • Basket conversion (4) divided by (3)

…and so on. These are called microconversions. Examining the microconversion allows you to see if you have blockers at specific steps.

Confer With helps website owners increase their conversion by prodividng a customer with an opportunity to confer with a retail expert, live.

Request a demo on conversion

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