Conversion Rate

Have you been paying close attention to the conversion rate on your site?

Have you been paying close attention to the conversion rate on your site?

Neilsen Online reports in its MegaView Report that 1-800-Flowers.com led retail web sites in conversion (the percentage of visitors who make a purchase) in September, 2008.

The company’s MegaView Report analyzes contemporary trends in Internet retailing, an aspect of online marketing that Ninthlink puts significant focus on for our clients.  We keep an eye on current conversion trends to determine how these trends may reflect purchasing online in the near future, and what areas need attention to create a profitable conversion rate for you and your brand.

The sites with the highest conversion rates in September were:

1-800-Flowers.com @ 25.2%
Office Depot @ 24.8%
ProFlowers @ 21.3%
QVC @ 20.3%
Blair A16.6%
J. Crew @16.3%
Amazon.com @15.8%
VistaPrint @ 15.6%
eBags @ 14.7%
L.L. Bean @ 14.2%

The product categories with the highest average order value in September, according to Nielsen Online, were:

Computer hardware, $246.34
Automotive, $184.49
Jewelry and watches, $143.65
Event and movie tickets, $136.75
Consumer electronics, $127.90
Office supplies, $97.95
Home and garden, $71.25
Sporting goods and outdoor activities, $69.98
Food and beverage, $61.01
Child/baby care, $60.58

In September, the top sites in various categories based on purchases, reporting the number of purchases and the number of customers (in thousands), were:

Apparel and accessories
eBay, 3,912, 1,636
J.C. Penney, 600, 526
Victoria’s Secret, 465, 239
Old Navy, 424, 361
Amazon.com, 409, 315

Home and garden
eBay, 2,390, 1,337
Amazon.com, 771, 668
J.C. Penney, 403, 353
Office Depot, 380, 337
Overstock.com, 347, 295

Health/wellness/beauty
eBay, 779, 504
Avon, 506, 390
Drugstore.com, 343, 302
Amazon.com, 322, 291
QVC, 203, 172

Computer software
Symantec, 401, 321
Amazon.com, 236, 178
McAfee, 194, 175
eBay, 159, 87

Books
Amazon.com, 4,092, 3,070
eBay, 1,353, 787
Barnes & Noble, 817, 629
Alibris, 144, 124
ChristianBook.com, 107, 83

DVD/video
Amazon.com, 1,365, 1,113
eBay, 1,071, 467
DirectGroup Bertelsmann, 685, 547
Best Buy, 168, 89
Barnes & Noble, 166, 138

Office supplies
Office Depot, 1,646, 812
VistaPrint, 1,321, 1,010
Staples, 797, 481
eBay, 209, 148
Hewlett-Packard, 142, 124

Consumer electronics
eBay, 1,183, 809
Amazon.com, 695, 597
Verizon Wireless, 322, 271
AT&T, 288, 254
Office Depot, 246, 223
Jewelry and watches
eBay, 1,873, 520
HSN.com, 143, 78
QVC, 137, 100
Avon, 86, 70
Amazon.com, 61, 55

Toys, games and hobbies
eBay, 6,299, 2,033
Amazon.com, 674, 595
Oriental Trading Company, 257, 235
Wal-Mart, 174, 135
Toys “R” Us, 172, 157

Analysis
Why were flowers the top conversion movers as a product? Quite simply, 1-800-Flowers.com partners with florists nation-wide and provides a service that only requires logging onto a website and purchasing an order. In today’s busy world, who has time to stop off at a florist, fill out an order, and pay in cash?  Flowers are a commodity needed for all aspects of everyday life: to say you’re sorry, to say hello friend, to express love and concern, to congratulate, to wish well, to wish good health, or just to tell another you are thinking about them.  1-800-Flowers.com has successfully used the Internet marketplace to address human emotions, wants, and needs.  We can learn from this company’s successful marketing approach to the simple things in life.

In the category breakdown, notice that the leaders in conversion are eBay and Amazon. Both companies offer everything there is under the sun when it comes to items for home, office, entertainment, and clothing.  Now that Amazon Seller Accounts allow anyone to sell their used items, the service joins eBay in cashing in on the growing “previously owned” trend over buying new items. This is especially noteworthy in the current economic climate, where consumers are now shopping around for the best deal, and having new products is not necessarily as important as just having the product in whatever form it is available.

Competitive deals and pricing may be the strongest trend in online consumer purchases for 2009, as people become price-conscious in an unpredictable economic climate. Something for all us to keep in mind!
Here are October 2008 Top 10 Web Brands.  What are they doing right that we can learn from and adopt?

Top 10 Web Brands for October 2008 (U.S., Home and Work)
Brand                  Unique Audience (000)  Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss)
1.   Google                     122,325                            1:23:07
2.   Yahoo!                     116,078                            3:23:29
3.   MSN/Windows Live    102,494                            2:23:27
4.   Microsoft                    92,348                            0:45:54
5.   AOL Media Network     88,028                            3:34:41
6.   YouTube                     77,480                            0:53:25
7.   Fox Interactive Media  67,182                            1:37:12
8.   Wikipedia                   56,896                            0:20:07
9.   Apple                         49,340                            0:58:34
10. eBay                          49,213                            1:47:26

Call to Action
Questions about how the conversion rate of your website could improve with the help of the team at Ninthlink?  Feel free to contact us at anytime.

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