I get asked about average/good conversion rates more often then I should. It should be fairly evident that a good conversion rate is whatever number of conversions to visitors that will give you a tidy profit every month. That can be easily worked out based upon your costs, visitors and average conversion value.
If a conversion is worth £100, you have 1000 visitors to your site each month and your costs for everything is £5k a month then you need a 5% conversion rate to break even. So in that instance aim for as close to 10% CR to be safe. If you fall short your still in profit.
What I think people actually mean is what is an achievable conversion rate. Now this is a interesting question. There are industry specific averages but we all know the average is a lie. For example in the financial services the average is 10%, great. However for a big international bank who might measure personal banking logins is a goal because it saves overheads in branches and call centres. That’s great for them but their conversion rates will be pulling up the industry averages. So for a a B2C consumer credit company 10% is way over they are likely to achieve 5/6% is more realistic.
An achievable conversion rate will be based upon your offering, your service, your competition, your traffic source/quality and a dozen other variables. The best conversion rate I have ever seen is 25% and the worst is 0.8%. The company converting a quarter of its visitors was not happy the one converting less than a hundredth was ecstatic.
Would it shock you to know over the whole internet the average conversion rate is 1-5%, that’s a big margin i grant you but the internet is a big place.
I would say stop focusing on what your competitors say they convert at or what your industry converts at. Do not even asking the company owner what he wants the site to convert at.
A good conversion rate is based on your business and its needs now and in the future. A good conversion rate will always be better then last week/month/year all else being equal.