What's a good conversion rate for Shopify?

By Ilana Davis

Shopify store owners I speak with want to reach a 3% conversion rate. When I ask them why they usually answer with “because its a good conversion rate, right?”.

As of October 2020, the average Shopify conversion rate was 1.83% across all stores.

This expectation that we must get at least a 3% conversion rate is misleading. Is this 3% on mobile or desktop? What about my specific products, industry or country?

These best, typical, average, good… conversion rates don’t take into account that every store is different. Results vary because each lever you pull works differently in every store.

A conversion rate for a school supply store is not comparable to a store selling snowboards.

For one, their seasonality is completely different. The school supply store will have higher conversion rates in summer and early fall. The snowboard store will have higher conversion rates in fall and winter.

It’s also more likely that the school supply store will have smaller impulse buys. The snowboard store will have buyers looking for a board based on style, weight and height and have a larger dollar amount.

It’s easier for a customer to spend $20 than $200. The school supply store however is broad and may get a lot of traffic looking to compare price from store to store. More traffic could mean lower conversions. The snowboard store, may not compete on price and instead compete on features or specs. Less traffic with a targeted audience could lead to higher conversions.

So when someone asks me what the best, typical, average, good… conversion rate is, my response is simple.

The best conversion rate is one that is increasing.

There is no secret sauce or magic button to get you to 3%. For that matter, 3% is an arbitrary benchmark that someone told them was a “good” conversion rate.

Measuring conversion rates over a period of time will also give you a more realistic view. It’s best to compare conversion rates quarterly and compare with the previous year.

Using the previous example, comparing seasons will tell you more about your conversion rate growth. Comparing month to month such as September with October is misleading when most school supplies have already been purchased and the busy season is no more.

We tell our children not to compare themselves to others. Now I’m telling you not to compare yours to other Shopify stores.

Instead, focus on pulling different levers, at different times of the year to see what works or doesn’t.

Instead of reaching for a 3% conversion rate, focus on growth.

Instead of shooting in the dark hoping the lever you pull works, consider the Website Rescues.

A common goal of the Website Rescues is to increase conversion rates. We make small changes to your site that have a direct impact on conversions and measure those changes over the course of the year to see what works for you.


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