Friday, January 23, 2015

Turning Clicks Into Conversions: 3 Tips to Recover Revenue

ecommerce-conversions-clicks
Getting customers to your website is one thing, but converting their clicks to purchases is quite another.
Happy New Year! So here we are with the approved budget for 2015 that we wanted. You fought hard for the budget. "The traffic is there," you told your boss. "We just need to convert it… and then the revenues will fall from the sky." 


Your online shop looks great, prices are right, the product catalogue taps on the right trends and offers great products, the shopping journey is short and optimized, payment gateways have been checked, the advertising machine works, and you’re getting your traffic from social, affiliation, paid and organic search, mobile, etc. 

Good job buddy, getting this far ain’t easy. 

And then it hits you. The advertising money has been well spent, but visitors just won’t convert into buyers. You’re staring at your analytics dashboard, pulling your hair out (if you have any – I’m bald myself), thinking to yourself: "What do I need to do, and how do I meet the KPIs I have been committing to?" Tick-tock, tick-tock… 

Here’s the thing – conversions on e-commerce are low, really low. Research shows that conversions in many e-commerce shops are in the range of 2 percent and below, and if you’re looking at 5 percent, hey, that’s not bad at all. But that still leaves us with a whopping 95 percent to 98 percent of visitors showing us their back.

marketingsherpa-ecommerce-benchmark-study
So, if your acquisition machine works, and your retention strategy works, then we need to talk about fixing your conversions. 
The good news is that you can adapt these three real-time actions in order to convert your clients. And pay attention – our world is moving steadily toward real-time actions. This should be a well-oiled, fully automated machine.

1. Real Time: On-Site

Converting visitors while they are still on the website should be a priority for you. It gets much harder to do once they have left your shop and conversions then tend to decline. 


Behavioral overlays allow you to do just that. And to illustrate this, here are some examples:

  • A visitor browses your shop and their cursor movements indicate that they are about to leave (e.g. moving toward the upper right side, preparing to enter a different URL). Trigger an overlay with recommended best offers and incentive to buy now. 
  • A would-be customer fills the basket with goodies and then takes no action for the next few minutes – you can trigger an overlay that offers free shipping if they pay now. 
  • A visitor spends a number of minutes on the website without adding anything to the basket – shoot an overlay with a discount for any purchase made during this current session. The key to using these tactics is to run it automatically, preferably linking it to your unified profile if it is available, and to offer it to customers who really need it and not the ones that will abuse it. 

2. Email and Mobile

It didn’t work and the customer left the shop. What’s next? Now we check (automatically – see the workflow diagram for this journey below) in the unified profile if this visitor has an app. If they have an app, woo-hoo! We can now send a push notification with the products reviewed. 


Email can work as well, again showing the products reviewed, with more recommended products and an incentive to complete the purchase. It is important that you do it real time and, in the case of abandoned cart, as close as possible to the visitor leaving your shop. 

3. Retargeting

No contact data or purchase from the customer? No problem! If the visitor filled a cart, offer an incentive to purchase the products in that cart. If they were only browsing the website, offer recommended products with an incentive. The risk here is that your profit margin may be affected if you offer it to all visitors and they understand your game plan. 


The next level in optimizing revenue recovery efforts is to collect what works best for each of your clients and first-time visitors and avoid offering incentives if there is no need. 

If I had to draw this revenue recovery blue print, it would look something like this:
revenue-recovery-journey
And before you go, there’s one last point to make: the journey doesn’t stop there. We’ve talked about conversions to purchase, and I have intentionally continued the journey with "add to retention program." 

Remember, even after all these conversion efforts, about 70 percent of your clients will still only purchase once. Retaining them will enable you to increase the lifetime value of your existing clients, and sell in higher profit margins.

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