We’ve taken a deep dive into the latest Ecommerce Quarterly report here on the blog. We’ve talked about optimizing ecommerce traffic for new and returning users once or twice, add-to-cart rates, bounce rates—even wallpaper.

That leaves a pretty big elephant in the room:

Conversion rates.

Q4 is historically a pretty good quarter for conversion rates. The whole gift-giving thing tends to get people in the converting mood.

In Q4, conversion rates averaged 3.5%, the highest rate in our trailing 12-month analysis and slightly higher than Q4 2014, which had an average conversion rate of 3.4%.


As you can see above, device performance saw across-the-board, year-over-year gains (even if they were modest), while email and search both saw growth as referral channels. As you might expect, new-visitor conversion rates trailed returning-customer rates in every way imaginable.

The average new-visitor conversion rate for Q4 2015 sat at 2.5%, with desktop visitors the only segment within the new-visitor category to break the 3% conversion rate plateau.

Optimizing for conversions.

One of the case studies we featured in the report was from Calendars.com. Using predictive analytics and Monetate’s ability to take action on those analytics, the online retailer created a “win-back” segment comprising customers they identified as having a high risk of churn, and customers who had previously made a purchase but whose engagement with the retailer was slowing.

To begin creating repeat purchases and loyalty, Calendars.com gave customers in this segment a 20% discount offer for their next purchase, advertised through a lightbox and sitewide banners. The results were good enough that the brand now refreshes that segment on a weekly basis and offers the discount through an email promotion.

Of customers who were at risk for churn, conversion rates increased 46% and revenue per customer increased 71%. For customers whose engagement with the retailer was slowing, conversion rates jumped 121% and revenue per customer increased 100%.

For more case studies and the complete ecommerce benchmark report, download your copy of the EQ now.

Ecommerce Quarterly for Q4 2015