Archives for November 2011

Most likely your Conversion Rate is Wrong

I am sorry to break this news to you but chances are that your conversion numbers are all messed up. Let me demonstrate it with an example.

Let’s take a simple conversion process, see the figure below. Let’s assume that you get 100,000 visitors on your site, and 20,000 start the checkout process, 15,000 make it the next step and finally 5,000 end up converting.

Based on your web analytics tool your conversion rate will be 5,000/100,000 = 5% . So far everything looks good.

But what if your checkout path looks something like this?

Do you see the phone number? I bet many customers are using that phone number to complete the purchase. Are you taking those, who call and convert, into consideration when calculating the conversion rate? Do you know that when someone picks up the phone to call he/she has a higher likelihood of converting?

Taking the example above, here is how your conversion funnel looks like:

Most of the web analytics tools just allow you to see a view of single channel conversion rate i.e. web conversion rate. However, as I discussed in my post “Are you Optimizing the Wrong Steps of the Conversion Process?“, customers don’t care how your channels are divided or who is responsible for what channel at your organization. They care about their money and will use whatever channel they feel most comfortable with.

Are you going beyond single channel when calculating your conversion rate? If your answer is no then your conversion rate is wrong.

Thoughts? Comments?

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Web Analytics Jobs

Conversion Optimization: Go Beyond A/B Testing and MVT

A/B testing and MVT are a great way to help you drive more conversion on your website. A/B testing and MVT help you decide the best layout, headlines, images, message copy etc. that motivates the visitors to complete a transaction.

However, A/B testing and MVT will only get you so far. If a visitor does not complete a transaction during later steps of the funnel then there are generally other reasons than those that can be simply fixed by changing the page layout, copy, images etc. . Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you can’t improve conversions by optimizing later steps of the funnel. You can, but you will get to a point of diminishing return and you will need something else to drive more conversions. Moreover, the learning from A/B and MVT will only help you going forward but you will lose many customers while you are doing the tests.

Keep in mind that as a visitor moves down the conversion funnel his/her commitment to complete the transaction (convert) increases. If you are able to capitalize on that motivation in time, you will drive higher conversions.

Here are some of the ways to help you drive conversions from those visitors who walked away without converting (sales, download etc.):

  1. On-Site Targeting – This is very effective technique to drive user to take desired actions. You can target visitors with personalized message/offer, prompting them to complete a transaction, when they come back to your site at a later time.
  2. Remarketing or Retargeting via Ads– This works great to bring the potential customers, who have wandered away on the internet, back to your site. Using a service like Google Adwords you can reach your visitors on various sites which use Google Adsense. There are several remarketing services that you can use but Google Adwords, though not very sophisticated, is a good way to get started. Read my post on Google Adwords Remarketing before moving forward.
  3. Online Chat – Online chats are a great way to make a human connection with the visitors while he/she is still on the site and in the buying mode. Some products/people need human interaction to persuade and a triggered online chat might just do the trick.
  4. SMS – Everybody seems to own a cell phone these day, follow-up the shopping cart abandoners with an SMS message, hit the iron while it is still hot. SMS marketing is not very prevalent in US but is heavily used in many other countries.
  5. Email Follow-upFollowing up with an email is another excellent and widely used way to drive conversions from those unfinished conversions.
  6. Phone Calls – Similar to online chat, phone calls have a human element to them. Phone calls work very effectively even in converting a person who might have decided otherwise. Phone conversion rate is generally a lot higher than web conversion rates and phone salesperson can even do upsell to drive more revenue/visitors, though the cost also goes up. Striking a right balance is critical and needs proper assessment and strategy.
  7. Direct Mail – Yes it still does work in many cases.

Keep in mind that timing and right follow up strategy is very critical when contacting those that did not convert. If you do need help in this area send me a note.

Questions/Comments?