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Less than a 10% conversion means it is time to leave your merchant

are they treating you right?



3:34 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have seen quite a few postings asking about what the right conversion rate is for your affiliate program. The typical answer is that it depends on the situation. I have managed sites that bring in close to $1B a year and the fact of the matter is if you aren't getting 8-10% conversion rate then you should probably look elsewhere. If these sites can't convert customers who have already shown an interest in the product then they just aren't doing a good job.


4:01 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Or you aren't doing a good job. Especially if you blindly send the users to your merchant or trick them into landing there.

You also have to take into consideration what type of service it is. People are less likely to buy into something that requires a monthly recurring charge, etc.

Too many variables to make a plain statement like that.


4:20 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That's a pretty broad statement. Conversion ratios vary tremendously from industry to industry, merchant to merchant, and even affiliate to affiliate.

I would expect a book at Amazon.com to promote far higher than a $5000 necklace from a full price jewelry merchant.

I would expect a well known name like Amazon.com to convert much better than a virtually unknown merchant.

I would expect a merchant with free or cheap shipping to convert better than a merchant with tiered shipping ranging from $8.95 to $24.95.

I would expect a merchant with a streamlined checkout process to convert better than a merchant with a confusing shopping cart and checkout process.

I would expect a merchant with discount prices to convert better than a merchant will full retail prices.

I would expect well targeted traffic from PPC to convert much better than general traffic on an untargeted site.

Some merchants share conversion information. I've seen some that show that their average conversion ratio is in the 3-4% range but that their top affiliates have conversion ratios in the 30% range. I'm sure they have others with conversion ratios under 1%. A lot of it depends on how qualified the affiliate traffic is and how well the affiliate presells the product.


4:51 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think what matters is your EPC/ EPM. If that makes it worthwhile, keep going. If not, explore other options. As MovingOnUp says, conversion ratios are subject to many variables and don't always present a realistic picture.


5:12 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Is that [strikes Dr. Evil pose] one billion dollars?



5:26 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I missed the $1B in bbscan's post.

I think we've had this discussion here before. $1B a year narrows it down to about 20 different sites.

Sergey? Pierre? Is that you?


11:15 am on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Movingonup you make excellent points, but they all support my original statement. I wasn't trying to say the merchants are malicously denying you revenue, just that they were failing either by having poor shopping processes or denying you revenue, the latter of which I agree is much less likely. Either way they should be doing a better job. As far as the affiliate tricking people to go to the merchant site, I don't care what conversion rate they get, because they get what they deserve. The only argument that I feel is valid against my statement are highly considered high priced items like jewelry.


3:13 pm on Mar 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, I recently started affiliate marketing for my sites and am happy with 3-5% conversion. there are a few merchants with less than 1% of conversion but I just lower their positions from my sites so that they can get less clicks than other better performing ones. As far as I know most eCommerce sites(even big ones) have only 1-2% of conversion if you take out branded traffics (PPC for brand terms & direct type-ins, etc.). For large sites, if you include branded traffic, they have over 10% of conversion. As an affiliate you usually do not have branded traffic to your site. So comparing your conversion to merchant's branded conversion is not quite fair.

Of course, this varies by industry, merchants, and affiliates.


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