On Monday, SeeWhy will publish a major piece of research into the website conversion techniques used by the Top 10 converting websites. The report, published as a free ebook and titled ‘Lessons learned from the Top 10 converting websites’ challenges conventional wisdom, and suggests that many ecommerce teams are focusing on the wrong things.
The Top 10 collectively convert 23 percent of then visitors in the same session, compared with an average of between 2 and 3 percent across the industry. That’s 10 times more visitors becoming customers.
Here’s the list of the Top 10 converting websites:
Rank Website name, Sector, 6 month Average Conversion rate
1 Schwan’s, Food, 41.7%
2 ProFlowers, Flowers & Gifts, 26.5%
3 Vitacost.com, Health & Nutrition, 24.0%
4 Woman Within, Catalog /clothing, 22.4%
5 Blair.com, Catalog /clothing, 20.5%
6 Lands End, Catalog /clothing, 19.5%
7 DrsFosterSmith.com, Pet supplies, 18.6%
8 Office Depot, Office, 18.4%
9 Roamans, Catalog /clothing, 18.4%
10 QVC, Jewelry +, 18.3%
This study is based on the latest Nielsen data available, for the six months ending November 2009. In order to qualify, a website needs to achieve a minimum of five million unique visitors per month, and each website had to have featured in the top ten converting websites list a minimum of three times in the six month period. We specifically excluded December, seeking a continuous level of performance during ‘normal’ months.
What the Top 10 Converting websites do differently
It’s worth visiting some of these sites to understand what they do differently.
Conventional wisdom would suggest that the top ten converting websites would be tuned to make purchases intuitive and simple, to speed the buyer through the process.
But this is not it.
Some of the websites are far from intuitive, lack clear calls to action, and have lengthy shopping cart processes that would deter all but the most determined. Moreover, 6 out of the top 10 converting websites force the first time visitor to create an account and register on the site before being able to make a purchase.
The difference is that all of the companies behind the top 10 converting websites are direct marketers at heart. Astonishingly 9 of the top 10 have a catalog. All make it exceptionally easy for returning customers to make purchases, and herein lies the difference.
It’s a different mindset: to these companies, it’s not about SEO, or page views, and making a sale, but about the second, third, fourth sales to the same customer, driving profitability for their companies. And in the process, they get the highest conversion rates in the industry as their customers come back to buy again, and again, and again.
This research shows that all of the Top 10 converting websites follow three big ideas which drive exceptional website conversion rates, and essential lessons for all ecommerce companies. Collectively these three ideas are transformational and represent a clear business strategy for the ecommerce sector.
To get your copy of ‘Lessons learned from the Top 10 converting websites’ you can get it here, from Monday 19th April. If you register before the 19th, we’ll email it to you as soon as it is available.