Tips to Improve Your Online Conversion Rate
Converting a higher percentage of their website visitors is a goal shared by all cross-channel retailers. With the retail industry conversion rate average hovering around 3 percent, the opportunity is certainly there. In a session on the opening day of the NEMOA Spring directXchange conference in Boston, Brett Bair, senior director of strategic services at Monetate, a technology solutions provider for online retailers, offered several ways that online merchants can leverage data and testing to become more relevant to consumers, ultimately resulting in increased sales.
Being relevant is the holy grail of marketing, Bair said. For online retailers, that relevance manifests itself by taking actions that are informed by knowing your customers, including their past purchases and browsing history, their location (via IP address), and what device they used to access your site (e.g., PC, tablet, smartphone). Retailers benefit from offering relevant online shopping experiences in the form of increased customer satisfaction, engagement, conversion rate and customer loyalty. No artificial incentive can outperform relevance, said Bair, quoting a vice president of e-commerce from a top 20 U.S. retailer.
There are three steps that retailers need to take within their company to begin offering visitors a more relevant, and thus satisfying, online experience: have a plan, define the metrics that matter and empower a team to make decisions. The era of one-size-fits-all websites is dead, Bair said.
Retailers need to focus on the following four aspects of their website when devising their plan to become more relevant to consumers:
1. Landing pages: This isn't always going to be your homepage, Bair was quick to point out. It's any entry page to to your website — the homepage, a category page, a product detail page, etc. Bair cited some companies that are doing innovative things to make their landing pages more relevant to consumers. Destination XL calls out the address of its closest retail store location specific to each visitor; Urban Outfitters has begun displaying pop-up boxes with the message "You Have Items in the Shopping Cart" to return visitors who have abandoned their shopping cart on a previous visit (it's tracking a 3 percent increase in conversion for these visitors vs. those that don't see the message); and RevZilla uses a pop-up box on its landing pages as an email acquisition tool. The motorcycle apparel and gear retailer is offering consumers the ability to get the latest company news and special deals by signing up for its email program. It's realized close to a 100 percent uptick in email acquisition from this tactic, Bair noted.