E-commerce Update: Website Traffic, Conversion Rates See Slow Decline

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Here, the IndieCommerce team shares an important look at current trends in the world of e-commerce.

Below is a seven-day comparison of the e-commerce conversion rate for all IndieCommerce (IC) and IndieLite (IL) stores. The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to websites that complete a purchase online.

When comparing the two periods, last week (blue line) had an average conversion rate of 7.22 percent vs. the previous week (orange line) of 7.39 percent. This represents a 2.27 percent decrease in the conversion rate. This is the third consecutive week we have seen a weekly average drop in this rate.

Seven-day comparison of conversion rates

During the same seven-day comparison period, we also saw a 3.83 percent decrease in the number of users to IC and IL websites (see chart below). This is the third consecutive week that we have seen a weekly average drop in traffic.

Seven-day comparison of users

The trend we’ve observed over the past three weeks is that traffic to bookstore websites is much higher than usual, but it is slowly dropping. We’ve also seen a slow drop in the e-commerce conversion rate during this same period. Some of this is due to states reopening for business, while some of this is due to an annual seasonal drop as weather improves and people go outside. Keep in mind that the conversion rates on bookstore websites are still extremely high. Bookstores should take advantage of this by encouraging customers to shop online; if their store now offers curbside or in-store pickup, they should heavily promote this as a safe shopping alternative. 

Additionally, bookstores should not be conservative with their online marketing right now. Many stores are increasing the frequency of their email newsletters, email marketing, and social media marketing. With the elevated conversion rates we’ve been seeing, if bookstores can get customers into their website, there is a good chance they will convert to a sale.