4 Steps to Increase Online Conversion Rates — Catalog Success Webinar Recap, Part 2
For catalog/multichannel merchant Creative Irish Gifts, 2005 proved to be a turning point. After 18 straight years of profit growth, the marketer of Irish and Celtic-themed gifts was confronted with a crisis. It was greatly overmailing a tapped-out prospect universe, said Rob O’Connor, vice president of Creative Irish Gifts, during the recent Catalog Success webinar, The Coordinated Sell — Redefined for 2009 & Beyond, sponsored by Sigma Micro. The result: For the first time in the company’s history, it lost money.
This led to a strategic decision on the company’s part to shift its focus online. With the company realizing 2 percent to 3 percent annual growth online since it went live with its e-commerce Web site in 1997, and Web sales accounting for 33 percent of the company’s total revenue in 2005, O’Connor decided it would be wise to focus his resources on converting customers online.
O’Connor presented four steps his company followed to get itself back on track and earning a profit. It started with improvements to its site. As a result, in the three years following the shift in focus to online, Creative Irish Gifts’ online revenue has increased by an average of 8 percent (of total revenue) per year, with online revenue projected to account for 65 percent of total company revenue in fiscal year 2009.
(For part one of our coverage of this webinar and a recap of the presentation by Stephen R. Lett, president of the catalog consulting firm Lett Direct, click here. You can also find a link to take you to a free rebroadcast of the event at the bottom of this article.)
Here’s the four-step process Creative Irish Gifts followed to increase its online conversion:
1. Offer a broader choice of merchandise online. With the introduction of Web-exclusive products, Creative Irish Gifts was able to offer a broader selection of products for those consumers searching for specific products, O’Connor said. These products generally come from four sources: