Whether you're using Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Salesforce Commerce Cloud or another ecommerce platform, it's crucial to drive high traffic volume to your site.
But important as it may be, it's not the deciding factor between a sale and a cart abandonment. If your traffic doesn't convert, the volume of traffic doesn't matter.
Customer attraction is only half the battle — customer engagement, however, is what leads to higher conversion rates, which means more product sales for your store.
Conversions are the lifeblood of product marketing. So your main goal is not attraction, but persuasion — collecting an email for lead generation or retargeting, completing customer transactions, getting signups up for your newsletter or anything else of measurable value for your store.
As a merchant, you know conversions are the name of the game.
You'd think every merchant would have it down to a science. In fact, the data suggests otherwise.
What's a healthy conversion rate?
While your average ecommerce conversion rate will vary by product type, price point, location of sale and other factors, here are some reliable industry benchmarks we've nailed down:
Just recently, our team surveyed 1,127 stores and found the average conversion rate for stores was just 1.4%.
This means a conversion rate above 3.1% would put your store in the 80th percentile, with a rate higher than 4.8% in the 90th percentile.
Our test also found an ecommerce conversion rate (all devices) of less than 0.5% would put your store in the 20th percentile, with a rate of below 0.2% ranking your store among the worst-performing:
Converting sales isn't getting easier, either — reaching the 1.4% industry benchmark can be a challenge for online stores, especially those that:
- don't price competitively (with the help of historical data)
- don't use conversion rate optimisation best practices
- don't optimise their store to increase customer engagement
Speaking of customer engagement, we'll dive into how to boost your ecommerce conversion rates (here are some bonus tips on improving CRO). But first, let's overview what customer engagement really is.
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What is customer engagement, really?
Customer engagement is the strongest indicator of how a customer feels about your brand, your products and your online shopping experience.
There are many conduits for measuring customer engagement (e.g. email open rates, page views, landing page clicks, average time spent on page, bounce rates, etc.).
With a 500-person sample of marketers, a Marketo survey found the following:
- 22% of people thought customer engagement was a brand awareness tool
- 63% considered it customer retention, repeated purchases and renewal rates
- 78% thought it was something that occurred in the final stages of the marketing funnel
In other words, modern merchants don't exactly have a solid definition of what customer engagement really is.
Even as data analytics experts (a.k.a. data geeks), we consider customer engagement to be more than a measurable set of customer data or online actions — it's also an emotional connection to a brand as well as a tool for brand awareness, chiefly driven by data, measured by data and optimised by data.
See the pattern? Customer engagement isn't just short-term set of actions. It's a strategic, long-term play that informs product sales performance, marketing attribution and customer delight.
Without accurate, reliable data to support decision-making, it's difficult to move the needle for your store — and especially hard to optimise your conversion rate.
Luckily, our commerce connections for top platforms like Shopify, Shopify Plus, Magento and BigCommerce are available for merchants of all sizes.