Most people who make a living selling their stuff on the net might wonder why increasing ecommerce conversion ratios might be a good way to sell more stuff. The average vendor might not even know what “ecommerce conversion ratio” means. Don't worry, though. Like other high-sounding technical jargon, the concept associated with it is not all that complicated.
What it means
The concept, basically, consists of these elements: (1) Find my store; (2) come in and stay awhile; and (3) don’t leave until you buy something (or do something I want you to). The “conversion ratio” part has to do with dividing the customer visits by orders (or some other desired behavior like referrals, inquiries, positive feedback, etc.). Ecommerce gurus say that if you have an ecommerce ratio above about one percent, you’re doing okay. If you’re doing not-okay, then you’ll need to think about getting the ratio up so you don’t have to close down.
(1) Find my store.
Customers’ finding your online store is, of course, the first thing you need to worry about. It is your priority consideration and has lots to do with factors like having your online store designed in a way that web customers can quickly find you and your product. Google has an AdWords service (see previous blogs) that helps with all that, and it is useful to know a bit about SEO optimization (using words and phrases in your site that match what people typically search for.)
(2) Come in and stay awhile.
Ecommerce web design experts know how online stores should be designed. It all begins with step (1) above where the customer finds your link, clicks on it and is brought quickly to that specific part of your store where that particular product is located, preferably at a competitive price. In these days of information/product overload, to get your customer to stay awhile, you’ll need an expertly designed web site that: (1) achieves instant gratification for product seeker, and (2) piques the customer’s interest to stick around and maybe buy a widget holder for that widget she just ordered.
(3) Don’t leave until you buy something (or do something else nice).
Like most statistical expressions, the “conversion ratio” here gets a bit cloudy and it all depends what you consider is the best outcome of a customer visit. Car salesmen will tell you that customers who say they will “be back” – they call them “be-backs” – rarely actually come back. Obviously, in your online store business, sales are your paramount consideration, but so are “be-backs.” The answer to getting that good ecommerce conversion ration probably lies a point about three-quarters the way between “be-backs” and actual sales.
What to do to get that ecommerce conversion ratio higher
There are lots of good ideas out there with some commonsense suggestions on raising your ecommerce conversion. Allison Midori Reilly, for example, has written an insightful (and thankfully nontechnical) approach to the challenges faced by ecommerce vendors. In her “Nine Ways to Increase Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate” Reilly lists as her first priority, “Make life easy for your shoppers.” That’s all about design. It stands to reason that badly designed web stores will lose visitors no matter how many come in.
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