Converting Visitors Into Buyers

Aug 21, 2007 - 6:20 pm 0 by

Getting visitors to your web site is only half the battle. To be victorious, you need them to convert into customers by making purchases, signing up for services or fulfilling whatever are your goals. Learn about making this conversion. The latter part of the session takes volunteers from the audience and examines their web sites live to provide general feedback about changing them to improve visitor conversion.

Moderator: * Allan Dick, General Manager, Vintage Tub & Bath

Speakers: * Nigel Ravenhill, Director of Marketing Communications, Scanalert * Bryan Eisenberg, Co-Founder, Future Now, Inc.

Quick intro right to Nigel. Let's hear from Nigel!

Nigel The business model of Scanalert is predicated on trust. Trust is one of those things that gets in the way of users converting on your site.

Trustmarks - Seeing growth on the internet which has room for growth. Various trustmarks (certificate symbols, hacker safe) Ran A/B Split tests with marked versus unmarked sites - Used 30 day cookie - Tracked conversion rate - Captured: cookie type, date, date and time of sale, order key and IP address Compared conversion rates across these tests. Ran 140 tests and found that the average delay from cookie to purchase was >19h hours.

What affected delay - Competitive scope - Price - Demographics - Brand recognition - Number of competitors online The more competitive the market, the delay is longer because the user is shopping for the best price.

2007 Ran another test - 480 tests on 470 sites - Sales 2.6mm - Visitors 128mm - Conversion 2.06% In 2007, users across all sites took longer to buy. 26% took more than 3 days to buy. 57% purchase within 1 hour.

Random sampling of sites shows that delay changes by vertical. The range of the 12 or so vertical is Flowers at 3:31 to 92:50 for small aquarium supplies.

Verticals that are more competitive show weaker conversion rates - Paintball (very competitive) 0.43%. Aquarium supplies

Move your cart abandonment to site abandonment and look at it over more time.

Influence the conversion rate and retention by: - Appearing to be real - Publish hours - Eliminate garage startup stories - Don't wait until shopping cart to give comfort Extending cookies to 30 days will help populate returning carts.

Make related products easy to find - Use search box to refine search - Meaningful site navigation - Related products cross-sell - Bestsellers list

Help the customers choose - Employ a variety of things to bring comfort - customer service, FAQs - Answer customer questions - Help the customers share information - Enhance the shopping experience with Buy Now changes and save cart type options.

In Closing - Find reports at - If you make it difficult to find what the user wants - they will leave. - Marketing Experiments tested cart recapture through email and had a 240% conversion rate on those recaptured carts. o If you can capture the email, you can resend the cart to entice the purchase.

Brian Bigger challenge - has written many columns and books on conversion and now has 30 minutes to sum that up. Trying to provide the real core in seven quick tips.

What is it that makes us not give people money? - Trust maybe? What sort of trust factor has been created? - Customers need to know what's in it for them. - When people focus on conversion they think about usability, they use analytics and other tools. In 1880's Frederick Winslow Taylor began studying usability - how to work more efficiently. They were rewarded to being part of the test - his focus was about users and tools. People think about the web as a tool but it's really a communication vehicle. "No one wants a user"

Moving to analytics Web analytics is great for understanding something happened on your site. - What happened - Why did it happen - When did it happen - It's like CSI - you need to analyze data and see what happened.

The tools tell you what happened - funnel reports, exit reports, complex scenarios. - Let's figure out how that information can help us make money. - Analytics is about the people not the numbers. - Either you help them get what they want or you don't.

Eisenberg's Hierarchy of Conversion - Must be functional - can I take an order, process a lead. - Can people get to it - do they get 404's, is it readable for users with disabilities? - It is usable - useful and not too clunky we'll still buy. - Intuitiveness - is it engaging - does it feel right? Only 26% of visitors report an e-commerce experience as engaging. - Persuasion - is it convincing?

Buyer Behavior and Modeling - Which type of person are you and what stage are you on in the buying cycle. - Determine angles of approach and then help people buy by solving their problems. The name of the game is Opportunity Cost - Visitors are ready to spend money and you're not taking it. Testing alone is not going to solve conversion problems. You have to know what you're testing.

Look at your page from various perspectives - buying a movie. - Spontaneous - will these types of users find what they want immediately? - Humanistics - is the data structured for this type of user. - Methodicals - can you search/buy by genre? - Competitives - search by actor and/or title.

Learn to cheat the process - Use the 4 basic characteristics and work for each of them. Ask yourself how each of these perspectives are being met with your pages. - It's hard work so people invest in traffic, but conversion rates are dropping. - People are spending 10% or less on what people are doing once they get to your site.

Study the funnel and know what causes users to fall out. - Users are forced out by friction - you scared them away! - You've paid for the traffic and then scared them away.

The 3 Cheats - Who are we trying to persuade - use the 4 perspectives? - What action do we want someone to take? - What do they need to take the next step - build their confidence and give them a reason to click?

How to Cheat - Define your basic profiles. - Define the conversion goals. - Give them what they want - do the creative testing - A/B or multivariate tests.

What to Do? - Product images tell a story - use them to sell the product. Give them the detail they need. Don't use standard photography - be different. - B2B needs merchandising too - persuade people to read what they download - Pictures appeal to different personality types. - Test headlines and hyperlinks - spend a lot of time testing headlines. - Test using fractions instead of percentages - it worked but we don't know why - Test sell versus customer focused words. - Get them to click on the call to action. o If you have one that "is not good" - test them - use shadowing, provide assurances. - Don't copy people who you think know what they're doing. - Add assurances at the point of action - return policy, customer service information, guaranteed response times. Lands End does a nice job at this. - Do what people expect from you - don't hide what people need to do. - Watch what you say on your buttons - test "Buy Now", "Add to Cart" etc. - Think small - keep the pages lean and mean. Optimize images.

Does your site stink? - Are you giving your customer the scent of relevancy? - When keywords appeared on the page, the page was 70% more successful. - A page either has the content the user is looking for or has links to that content. - The reason they leave is because you did not give them what they were looking for.

Drop-offs - 1 Click 9.56% - 2 Clicks 54.6% - 3 Clicks - 16.56% - Only left with 20% of the people you initially attracted

Figure it out: - Who is our customer - What action do we want them to take - What does the customer - Stop focusing on the user! - Cover the motivations of each type of buyer

Guidelines - Images tell a story - Test headlines and copy - Calls to action - Point of action Assurances - Make is obvious what you want them to do - Don't make them wait

Q and A Q - Do you use focus groups to uncover motivation? A - Bryan - Most of the data can be found in-house if you look. Anytime you can spend talking to people who talk to customers can pay huge dividends. Connect to the customers at all times - spend time talking to and listening to them A2 - Allan - Uses Bazaar Voice reviews and the

Q - Do you have to put all of your information above the fold? A - Nigel - Put as many assurances into your landing page as possible to establish credibility. If you cannot establish the credibility, they will not convert.

Q - At what point do you design persuasion into your web site? A - Bryan - Plan it into the merchandising. Early on in site design and the click paths that you are designing.

By Steve Krull


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