April 6, 2004, 12:00 AM

Conversion is still No. 1--although a fifth of retailers don’t know theirs

The No. 1 metric for measuring a web site’s effectiveness is conversion rate, says a new survey from The E-Tailing Group Inc. But 19% of respondents to the E-Tailing Group’s 3rd Annual Merchant Survey do not know their conversion rates.

 

The No. 1 metric for measuring a web site’s effectiveness is conversion rate--the percent of browsers who become buyers, according to a new survey from Chicago-based consultants The E-Tailing Group Inc. That’s probably no surprise to most retailers as 58% ranked it as of prime importance to understanding how well a web site is performing. But nearly a fifth--19%--of respondents to the E-Tailing Group’s 3rd Annual Merchant Survey do not know their conversion rates.

The results are not an indication that they don’t recognize the importance of knowing their conversion rate, says Lauren Freedman, president of The E-Tailing Group. Rather, it’s a reflection of the fact that the survey includes many smaller retailers who probably have invested a lot of resources in getting their sites up and running and only now are turning to a more sophisticated understanding of how the site operates.

Among retailers who know their conversion rates, the average was 3-4% in this year’s survey, the same as last year.

The survey also reported that 47% of retailers do not know their shopping cart abandonment rate.

The most important metrics for measuring web site effectiveness, according to the survey, are:
• Conversion rate, cited as of key importance by 58%
• Products purchased/sales on the site, cited by 54%
• Click-throughs, 45%.
Survey respondents were asked to choose all that were of importance.

 

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