Conversion rates of America's top online retailers

One of the more dramatic ecommerce developments during the pandemic was the sharp rise in conversion rate. The percentage of Top 1000 website visits that ended in a sale jumped to 2.9% in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 outbreak, from 2.2% the year before. And it remained at about 2.8% for both 2021 and 2022. It’s unclear whether online conversion rates will remain elevated as more consumers return to their normal shopping patterns, including more visits to brick-and-mortar stores. The conversion rate was highest in Office Supplies, as it normally is, as many of the purchases are made by office managers replenishing supplies from retailers they buy from repeatedly. However, conversion rate in this category did fall to 4.83% in 2022 from 5.03% in 2021. The Food/Beverage category had the second-highest conversion rate at 4.59% and registered the largest increase from 2021, when it was 4.33%. The conversion rate remained the lowest in Automotive Parts/Accessories, as consumers often visit those websites to research and get tips, and not necessarily to buy. The conversion rate also remained low in Jewelry and Consumer Electronics, two categories of higher-priced and thus highconsideration merchandise. By merchant type, it was Direct Marketers that boasted the highest conversion rate, as they typically do. That’s because consumers often are looking atprinted catalogs or TV shopping programs whenmaking purchases from retailers in this group. Consumer Brand Manufacturers — whose websites are often used for product research — had the lowest conversion rate at 2.52% in 2022, down modestly from 2.58% in 2021.

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