Strategies to Increase the Conversion Rate of an eCommerce Site
Posted on 08/09/2009 in eCommerce, Internet Marketing, The Basics, Zen Cart

One of our own websites (which sells memory for macs), has been kicking along making a nice little profit each month with very little input (OK – no input!). In June of this year, we decided it was about time we paid this site a bit of attention and try to improve the level of profit it generated.

We did a few things simultaneously (which is an internet marketing purists “no-no” because you can’t then tell which strategy had what affect).

Our first strategy (which is NOT a conversion strategy) was to triple the CPC (cost per click) that we were willing to spend to acquire a new visitor. The ROI (return on investment) on this site was massive – it ran at about 1500% (ie for every $1 spent, it returned $150). However, the profit in $$ terms was modest.  So, increasing the customer acquisition cost was a no-brainer. We should have done it years ago!  It took about 15 minutes to do, and the results were instant (ie more traffic equates to more sales – even if you do nothing to increase the conversion rate).

Sales Conversion Strategies

The second strategy was to implement a range of on-site initiatives that would encourage more people to purchase ram for their mac from us.  Here is a summary of some of those strategies:

1. Undertook a Competitor Review:

I arranged for one of our research staff to look at our major competitors in Australia and identify what they were offering compared to what we were offering. We did this at a global level (site and service) and a micro level (products and pricing). We identified some areas where our site was not competitive (eg where we were more expensive than all of our major competitors) and then made those changes.

2. Increased the Lines of Communication between our Customers and Us:

One of the things we did not want to do was have to set up dedicated phone nos and staff to handle support enquiries (that can be expensive). So, we implemented some (slightly) more passive methods of communication:

a) Online Live Chat – this enables our customers to talk with someone by chat – at times of our choosing. They can also “Request a Call” – so there is the opportunity for voice contact if that is there preference.

b) Add a better contact us form.

c) Mentioned on the front page all the ways that people can get in touch with us.

d) Added more comprehensive info pages:

e) Recorded a YouTube video which answers the most common questions we get – what ram will my mac take? This serves two purposes:

i) it answers a common question that people have
ii) it provides excellent SEO value – because Google LOVES video!

3. Made the Site Easier to Navigate

a) We moved the product categories into other categories – so that it was easier for people to find their particular mac.

b) We made all the “action” buttons bright orange – so new customers could easily see the pathway they should take to check out.

c) Modified some of the site text so that it gave clearer instructions to aid checkout.

d) Added a new Paypal logo – so it showed that you can use by Visa and Mastercard.

The Result?

These changes have certainly paid off! Without giving away our core business metrics, here are our web stats:

  • Traffic – up 291%
  • SEO traffic – up 45% (without doing specific SEO)
  • PPC traffic – up 300% but IRRELEVANT (because this is just a function of spending a lot more!)
  • Pageviews – up 362%
  • Pages per visit – up 18%
  • Bounce Rate (% of people who leave within 30 seconds) – down 8.85% (where going down is a good thing!)
  • Average Time on Site – up 15.67%

Of course though, at the end of the day, the only stats that really matter are sales stats: total sales, net profit, ave sale per customer, value per visitor etc. These are all extremely positive – but for reasons of commercial confidentiality, I am only going to disclose one – gross sales. They are up by over 600%!

Now those sort of results will not always be achieved by such strategies. Even if we had got a 50% increase, I would have been happy. None of these strategies took much time and they were all fairly obvious to even a casual observer of ecommerce websites.  How do you do work out what to do on your site? Think like a customer!

  • What are the most common questions they want answered?
  • What are their biggest stumbling blocks (if you don’t know – add livechat and you will soon find out!)?
  • What do they see when they go to a competitors website?

Services We Can Offer to Help your eCommerce Sales Soar:

1. Traffic and Conversion Analysis & Plan – we can assess your site, your competitors sites and look at your current web metrics – then make recommendations about what can be done to improve your traffic and sales conversion.

2. Modify your ecommerce site – change text, make buttons bigger, create a simpler checkout system, rearrange navigation and much more! Ideally, this would be done after the Conversion Analysis plan – so you know exactly what needs to be done. But, if you already know some things – then send them through to us and we’ll quote on making those changes for you.

3. Perform SEO on Your Website – this will get you more targeted traffic ie visits from people who want to buy what you are selling!  There is an upfront cost, but the benefit should be lots of long lasting traffic!

4. Create & Manage a Pay Per Click account – if you are not doing PPC advertising, you are missing out big time! In my view, this is the best form of advertising ever invented. It is bullet like in its focus, eminently customisable, and absolutely accountable. Call us for a discussion of how PPC advertising can work for your business.

Questions? Call us on 133 656 902.

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