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Conversion Rates by Industry
03.08.20, Haydar Yüce

Whether Macro or Micro Conversion – companies often ask themselves what is actually a good conversion rate. A good question, because after all, a user’s visit to the website should be converted into an action. Only those who know their key figures can ensure the success of marketing measures.

Without doubt, it can be stated that the Conversion Rate (CR) depends on a variety of factors and must be considered differently from industry to industry. Even in the respective industries there are differences, such as between a landing page for lead generation and an online shop with sales targets.

If the Conversion Rate is considered too isolated, this can lead to incorrect evaluations. The same applies to the blanket comparison of average values. But how can you calculate your own Conversion Rate and when is a Conversion Rate good?



Calculate the Conversion Rate

There is one thing that the conversion rate is certainly not: a fixed defined key figure. It is therefore important to consider the context in which the Conversion Rate is to be considered. It is thus referred to as a relative key figure, which always expresses a ratio.

In e-commerce, page visits or sessions are in relation to purchases, while Amazon, for example, calculates the number of products sold in relation to total clicks. If, on the other hand, the aim of your page is to gain leads, you should primarily consider the page visits in relation to the number of registered contacts via contact form and Co.

In general, the formula for calculating the (Macro) Conversion Rate is:

conversion rate formula

An example: 1000 customers visit the website. This results in 36 purchases. The Conversion Rate in this example is 3.6%.



Excursion E-Commerce: User vs. Sessions

The Conversion Rate in e-commerce has some special features. If you look at the number of visits on a page and compare them to the number of purchases, you ultimately ignore the important point that customers usually do not make a purchase the first time. They may return later and buy the product at a later date. Therefore, a Conversion Rate measured by visits can distort the overall metric depending on the target.

Online merchants should therefore focus on user behavior and set the Conversion Rate in relation to visitors. For this it is useful to measure the Conversion Rate based on the Unique Visitor, which is used with tools such as Google Analytics. In this calculation, not the number of clicks is counted, but each user is counted only once.

The formula for the Conversion Rate of the Unique Visitor is:

conversion rate visitors e-commerce

An example: To determine whether a new product is well received and the marketing measures are effective, the Conversion Rate of the website is calculated. 100 purchases are made.The number of Unique Visitors is 5000, so in this example the Conversion Rate is 2%.



The differences between Macro Conversion and Mirco Conversion

In an online shop, the main goal, represented by the Macro Conversion, is to sell one or more products. On the way there are, however, some intermediate goals, called Micro Conversion, which lead the customer step by step to Macro Conversion. The selection of a product, adding it to the shopping cart, entering the data, choosing the payment method, etc. – the whole process of Customer Journey falls within the measurability of Micro Conversion.

microconversion macroconversion

Why is this so important? The measurement and the key figures of a Conversion Rate are ultimately intended to uncover potential for optimization. If the online merchant knows where and why customers leave the shop, he can initiate targeted optimization measures. It may well be that the Micro Conversion is very high (for example, customers often put products into the shopping cart), but the purchase is cancelled before the decisive click on the order button. This phenomenon is known as shopping cart abandonment. In our article “10 Tips for Improving the Conversion Rate in the Checkout” you can read how easy it is to implement optimization measures in the checkout to increase Macro Conversions.

If the mentioned intermediate steps are omitted because an action is to take place every time a page is visited, the Macro Conversion can be used. A good example of this is a landing page that has the task of generating leads.





What is a good Conversion Rate?

A survey of the first quarter of 2018 recorded the following Conversion Rates:

conversion rate by industry

There are a lot of studies for the American market, for the German and other European markets they hardly exist. Unfortunately, the differences in the American Conversion Rate are often so great that they cannot be easily adapted. An older German study from 2011 by Hightext Verlag and Web Arts AG recorded a general Conversion Rate of 3%. This may be very good for some industries, while others still have room for improvement at over 12%.

An example: An online shop in the cosmetics sector offers care products in the medium price segment, while another shop offers premium articles in the upper price segment. While the first retailer sells more due to the price and is happy about a high Conversion Rate, the other one is already happy to be at 1%.

Ultimately, factors such as target groups, brand awareness, product range, pricing and website structure also play a crucial role. Even the well-known fashion online shop Zalando had a conversion rate of 3.5% in the 3rd quarter of 2016.



Industry comparison of the Conversion Rate only makes limited sense

Therefore, there can be no generally value for a good Conversion Rate, even if there are some approaches. The Conversion Rate depends on a variety of factors and the own objectives. Likewise, industries differ greatly from each other and within the industries themselves the respective traffic sources.


A quote from Peep Laja founder of ConversionXL sums it up:

“Even if you compare conversion rates of sites in the same industry, it’s still not apples to apples. Different sites have different traffic sources (and the quality of traffic makes all the difference), traffic volumes, different brand perception and different relationship with their audiences.”

Averages can give you an overview. However, comparing your own monthly Conversion Rate makes much more sense, because the ultimate goal is to improve it from month to month. The higher the Conversion Rate increases, the better.





3 tips to increase the Conversion Rate

The Conversion Rate usually has room for improvement and with the right measures it can be well optimized.

Increase the Conversion Rate with A/B Testing

In A/B testing, two or more different versions of a website are tested against each other. This involves analyzing which possible barriers reduce the Conversion Rate and where potentials have been left behind so far. Based on the results, individual elements are optimized, for each of which an A/B test is then created. This determines how efficient the measures are in comparison with the unchanged original (A) and the modified variant (B).


The following elements are suitable for A/B testing:

  • Content such as texts and headings
  • Product descriptions and selection of offers
  • Visual media such as pictures, videos and co.
  • Call-to-Action Buttons
  • Layout of the page
  • Testimonials
  • Order process


An example: In order to make the recovery of shopping cart abandoners as successful as possible, uptain permanently does A/B testing across hundreds of shops. Possible changes in user behavior are thus integrated into the algorithm’s decision-making process. Thus, each individual online shop benefits directly from A/B testing.

Personalization to boost the Conversion Rate

About 40% of a Statista study stated that the personalized customer approach has a rather high influence on the Conversion Rate. Another study shows that 57% of customers are willing to enter their data if personalized discounts and offers are involved. A recent representative survey by Actico shows a similar result: 43% of German consumers say they prefer personalized offers. Conversely, 41% of respondents ignore offers that are not personalized to them.


A good way to increase the Conversion Rate, for example, is the re-engagement, which reduces shopping cart abandonment. Popups as well as e-mails with intelligent software, such as uptain, address customers in a personalized way and reduce shopping cart abandonment by up to 30%.

Create trust to optimize the Conversion Rate

Nowadays it is more important than ever that a website demonstrates security. Many users are now very distrustful considering fake news, online shopping fraud, phishing emails and identity theft. According to a DIVSI study from 2016, 39% of the German citizens feel insecure about security and privacy issues on the Internet.

Starting with the topic of trust is a good way to increase the Conversion Rate. Online merchants can gain the trust of shop visitors with the following measures:

  • Insert security seal

  • data retrieval as low as possible

  • good and fast accessibility

  • Introduction of the company and the team

  • Include a reference to SSL encryption

  • Design a clearly structured imprint

  • transparent pricing

  • Integrate all important information such as shipping costs, return and cancellation rights centrally.

  • Insert customer reviews

  • Present certificates and diplomas

Anyone looking for a Conversion Rate set in stone will unfortunately be disappointed, as this is a relative indicator both in general terms and depending on the sector. In this case, companies and online merchants would do well not to cheat on the competition and to see average values as a guide at best.

It is important to determine your own Conversion Rate regularly, to set it in relation to your goals and to compare it with each other. Together with suitable measures, the Conversion Rate can thus be optimized.


conversion killer annoyance customer




Thus you avoid annoyance factors as conversion killer in e-commerce.

Use communication effectively and increase sales.

Further interesting posts:
Abort reasons in online shops: complex but predictable
Email Marketing for Online-Shops: Basics and Tips
Shopping cart abandonment in the online shop: The unattended potential