4 Steps to Increase Online Conversion Rates — Catalog Success Webinar Recap, Part 2
* items judged as good sellers but not financially justified to be in the catalog;
* marginal-selling items dropped from seasonal catalogs;
* line extension of products (e.g., “for more Belleek China, go to our Web site”); and
* all drop-shipped items discontinued from the catalog, which are particularly attractive because there’s no inventory cost associated with them, O’Connor noted.
Web-exclusive items have provided strong profit contributions, O’Connor said, because “there’s virtually no direct selling expenses.” For Creative Irish Gifts, Web exclusives have increased line items per order and average order value. He further advised other marketers to cross-merchandise Web exclusives in their catalogs through the use of box ads and referencing line extensions.
2. Recognize that mass e-mails enhance your overall contact strategy. O’Connor cited the following techniques Creative Irish Gifts implemented to improve its interactions with customers and prospects:
* it sent one e-mail per week, and more preholidays;
* conducted A/B split testing to refine promotions (e.g., minimum order for a discount vs. no minimum);
* promoted the benefits of the e-mail campaigns in its catalog (e.g., sign up to receive 10 percent off …); and
* at the start of every e-mail promotion, the offer is prominently displayed at the top of the company homepage in a banner ad for the duration of the promotion, a technique that generates twice as much revenue as the clickthrough revenue that Creative Irish Gifts gets from the e-mail, O’Connor said.
3. Build traffic to the site by means other than the catalog. Tactics used by Creative Irish Gifts include affiliate marketing, paid and organic search, and shopping sites. “We studied the back-end profitability on this, and it’s very low cost,” O’Connor said, noting that upon testing, the two-year lifetime value of prospects acquired through these channels matched those of catalog-generated customers.