How to calculate the conversion for a non e-commerce website?

Conversion calculation for e-commerce is easy – but what if you are not in e-commerce? In e-commerce those Key Performance Indicators would be:

  • Average Order Value per Customer
  • Average Order Value per Website Visitor
  • Conversion
  • Turnover
  • Number of Orders
  • Number of Returns
  • Abandonment Rate during order process
  • Filled but not-ordered baskets
  • Etc.

E-commerce is easy
So, in e-commerce the conversion means ordering a product. If the price of a product is 100 Euro we know that conversion value is 100 Euro as well. Simple as that. This makes the life of an e-commerce Manager easy. For a Web Analyst or Product Manager or Digital Consultant in a non e-commerce company it’s a bit more difficult to achieve the same attention within management. This is because management only listens to financial information, economical benefits and ROI improvements and not to increases of Facebook-Likes or increase of duration or decrease of 404-pages. That is why they are in management.

The question then, naturally, is how to calculate the conversion value of a non e-commerce website. How to calculate the conversion value of a newsletter registration or a brochure-download? Now it is getting interesting.

Micro Conversions help
In other words, we need to look at the micro conversions.

Being a marketing expert in such a company requires reporting on the financial value of those micro conversions. If you tell your CEO you increased the number of newsletter registrations he will not listen to you. If you tell your CFO you increased the number of video streams of your Youtube channel she will not listen to you. I also wouldn´t.

Stop reporting on the wrong metrics – get heard by the top management through relevant data knowledge.

To give a (hypothetical) practical example:


You can not buy these boats online – still Analytics is important…


yachtImage courtesy of impala ark on Flickr

Luxone Yachts offers very stylish but also expensive boats and yachts and – of course – do not offer an online shop of these dream products on their website or any other digital platform. You will not buy a yacht with a pricing above 250.000 Euro without doing a test ride, checking the quality of the interior, listening to the sound of the engine and checking if the dealer is trustworthy. This shopping behavior might change in the future but currently we still want to grab what we get (in this price ranges). There is no macro conversion (Buy a Boat), but instead smaller micro conversions (sign up for newsletter, download a brochure, find a distributor, arrange a meeting at a boat show etc.). Those micro conversions need financial value linked to their intention.

What is the value of a brochure download?
What if a website visitor does a brochure-download? How much money can you allocate to that? 10 Euro, 1.000 Euro, 15.000 Euro?

You need to find the amount of website visitors that download a brochure on a weekly level. This can easily be done with your analytics system, go ask the consultant of your vendor (hope you have someone to call here). Assuming it will be 100 visitors downloading a brochure, you would then need to check how many of those visitors show up at one of the listed distributors with those brochures. Assuming it will be 10 people visiting a distributor with a downloaded brochure:

If it is known (from research) that for every 100 people walking into a distributors there are, on average, 2 sales at € 300,000 each, then we could assume the average sales value of a person walking in to a distributors as € 6,000 each.

If we know that for every 100 brochure downloads this encourages 10 people to walk into a distributors to look at yachts, we might assume the average sales “value” of these people to be 10*6,000 = €60,000 and therefore the average sales value of a brochure download is €600  ( i.e. 60,000/100 ).



Breaking down the Macro Conversion (more revenue) into Micro Conversions help understand your business

 (You can also find another example here: non-commerce reporting

Report on Financial Value
Now you have the attention of your CEO if you have a plan how to increase the number of downloads. If you add this value in your system and combine it with the download report you will talk money instead of statistics. 

The key takeaway is: if Analytics is not a high priority of the C-Level it might well be your fault (Start Yelling at your CEO).

Working as an Analyst for an e-commerce website is easy – working for a non-commerce website needs some more thinking. Go for it and convince your CEO.


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