Top Ecommerce Sites, Conversion Performance

Great chart, “Top 10 Online Retailers by Conversion Rate – October 2008” posted on, listing the sites with especially good sales conversion rates.

Matt (@tugglmatt) pointed this out and theorized a bit about why they exceeded the performance of the other gajillion websites out on the information superhighway.  He asked: “Top 10 web retailers by conv. rate. Is it traffic quality? site optimization? user intent? interesting chart…”

This got me wondering, so I checked out a sampling of three that I wasn’t intimately familiar with.  I suspect that conversion rates at a site like ‘’ might partially be so strong because of their obvious brand leadership.  Along the same lines, I figured that a site from a company who was not the obvious industry leader might be more related to its layout and design quality…

I found (same company family as and others) to be especially sharp and awesome.  Roaman’s is awesome too.  I find the actual product listings sub-pages to be more attractive than the index page on all 3 examples.

So here’s a quick hit list of my observations.  Clearly, this isn’t the whole story, but I noticed the following common threads:

First, they all have the obvious, clean layout, seo friendly text link navigation, nice buttons, sharp edges.

  • All have bright colors, either a pretty pastel or otherwise attractive coloring
  • Lot of white space, or clean space
  • All have trust signals clearly displayed…McAfee, plus Verisign or another
  • All have narrow page width, not 1000mpx, would fit horizontally on small-ish monitor
  • Product prices in red font
  • Large selection of relatively low cost products
  • Images’ prices displayed below the image, not to the side
  • Full secondary product pages always 4 columns wide, many rows tall,
  • Prices in red font in two of them
  • Attractive smiling women on index page of two
  • All have nav bar across top, not along side
  • All have a search box clearly displayed at the top
  • Order Status, Track My Order links at top of every one

So what do you all think?  What about these sites makes their per-visitor conversion so much higher?  Notice something in common among them that are unobvious?  Other examples of the finest sites you can think of?