Does A Higher Volume of Site Personalization Lead to Better Conversion Rates?

June 3, 2019

Personalization continues to prove its value, with companies reporting benefits such as positive ROI from implementing it in their marketing. But when some personalization can be creepy, should marketers dial it back? If conversion is your key measure, the answer is not necessarily – Monetate’s Q4 2018 E-commerce Quarterly Report [download page] has revealed that, in the case of websites, the more personalized pages a consumer views, the greater the resulting value.

The report found that conversion rates increase considerably with the number of personalized page views. Visitors who viewed three pages of personalized content had a conversion rate of 3.4%, double the rate (1.7%) for those who were exposed to two pages with personalized elements. Add-to-cart rates also experienced a large (+74%) increase between the second (9.6%) and third (16.7%) page views.

The difference is more dramatic when examining when consumers reach the tenth page view. The conversion rate between the second (1.7%) and tenth page view (31.6%) increases more than 18-fold, while add-to-cart rates increase by almost 7-fold between the second and tenth page view.

But common sense may say that if a consumer has taken the time to view ten pages, they are more likely to convert. The research did take that into account – Monetate established a “baseline comparison between deep engagement in general and deep engagement coupled with a high level of personalization.” From this data, they were able to establish that exposure to multiple personalized pages was the key contributor to driving higher conversion rates.

Conversion Rate Different Across Referring Channels

In terms of sources, direct traffic has the highest conversion rate (2.8%) after seven personalized page views, compared to other referral channels like email (1.1%), Google (1.4%) and Facebook (1.0%). For most of the referral channels, the increase in conversion rates is modest when going from seven personalized pages to eight, however, Facebook experiences a spike in conversation when consumers view the eighth page of personalized content, although this may be due to sample sizes.

How can Facebook advertisers benefit from this data? Facebook remains the most used social media platform by marketers and, according to a survey by Nanigans, Facebook receives 19% of the digital ad budgets from larger retailers (more than $100 million in online revenues). So, with such a level of investment that marketers are making in Facebook, knowing what will best convert consumers is advantageous. The data shows that while it may take longer for Facebook users to convert, once they do it’s at a very high rate.

Conversion Rate and AOV Benchmarks

Monetate’s benchmark data reveals that while conversion rates fluctuated throughout the year, the US e-commerce conversion rate for Q4 2018 was generally flat on a year-over-year basis. Conversion rates, in general, were highest on traditional devices such as computer/laptop (4.84%) compared to that of smartphones (2.25%) and tablets (4.06%).

Globally, the average order value (AOV) fell slightly from $99.76 in Q4 2017 to $98.21 in Q4 2018. While Monetate did not break out the AOV per country it did show that AOV did vary quite a bit from state to state. In the US, traditional devices, once again, brought the highest AOV ($116.25).

To read more, download the report here.

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