We get asked this all the time. Stressed out online businesses call us and beg us to tell them they're normal, average, just like all the others. Not to get all existential on you - but, what does normal or average mean?

It's sort of like asking a personal trainer how fast the average person can run. If you've never run before, chances are the average speed is going to be too fast for you, and you'll need to train to get there. If you're Usain Bolt, you'll be laughing at those plodders just doing the average pace. Sure, knowing the average human's running pace might be a useful fact to store in your brain - but it's probably not relevant to where you're at, and where you want to be - or where you could be if you really tried. It might even limit you!

So let's think about your website and your conversion rate. If your website converts at 2%, and you're wondering if that's normal - I think the real question here is, are you happy with that as your conversion rate? What would it mean for you business if that was 4% instead? Maybe you could cut back on your marketing spend, maybe you could keep your marketing spend and enjoy more profits - maybe you could invest in new premises, more staff, better equipment to help your business grow even more?

Average conversion rates vary from industry to industry, and can be dependent on a lot of things. More expensive products may have lower conversion rates online as people typically prefer to see and touch a high value item before purchasing (think cars, jewellery, designer clothes). So it'd be a mistake to compare trying to sell a Harley Davidson online to selling a product like shampoo for example. Prospective buyers typically want to test drive a motorcycle - but unfortunately you can't test shampoo your hair in store - so there's less of a downside buying online.

So while it's nice to know the average - we'd suggest throwing average out the window and start thinking about what could your best conversion rate be. After all, who wants to be average?