IGNORE Marketing and
INCREASE Your Revenues?
want it quick and straight. You pull up to the window at
the fast food place. My voice crackles over the intercom,
"May I help you?"
Grok! Two burgers, large fries, a medium diet soda, and
what's the most important statistic I should pay attention
to in my e-business?"
rate. That'll be $4.59 at the second window,
can get as fanatical about your website metrics as
baseball fans do about player stats if you want1,
but the number one measure that is going to give you the
best indication of your success online is your conversion
rate. "Any serious company on the Internet should
have an absolute awareness of conversion rate. Small
gains on low conversion rates can have unbelievably
powerful effects on a company's performance,"
says J. William Gurley.2
what is a conversion rate, really?" you ask.
Conversion rate the number of folks who visit your site
within a specified time period divided by the number of
folks who actually do something productive on your site
(like buy or register or subscribe). These days, a
conversion rate of 2-4% is considered average, below 2% is
shabby and 10% or more is spectacular. (Notice, though, if
you compare these percentages to the bricks and mortar
world, they are all pretty tragic. Offline, the average
conversion rate is around 50%. So, your site can do
better than 2% or even 10%, and isnít that great to
has done the math for you:
assume you spend $10,000 [in advertising] to drive
5,000 people to your site, and your conversion rate is
2 percent. This means that 100 transactions cost you
$10,000, or $100 per transaction. Now let's assume
your conversion rate rises to 4 percent. The same
$10,000 buys you 200 transactions at a cost of $50 per
transaction. An 8 percent rate gives you 400
transactions at a cost of $25 per transaction.
seems so simple. Higher conversion rates mean more money
coming in and less money spent to attract a customer. Hereís
a flash: it
IS simple; donít make it complicated.
do you get those higher conversion rates? Hereís a recap
of a lot of the stuff Iíve talked about. For more
details, check out the archives.
your site to your visitor fast! Minimize download times
and don't bother with slow-loading graphics. If you can
get your site to download in under 10 seconds, your
visitor is far less likely to bail and up goes your
your value proposition, or unique selling proposition
really, really clear.
your visitor immediate and powerful confirmation that
theyíre in the right place, that you have what theyíre
sure your home page makes a crisp and professional
a site with super navigation that reflects an intuitive
buying process, superior content and delightfully clear
and simple checkout (with all the options, ma'am).
Easy-to-use sites have much higher conversion rates.
bugs. Test, test and then test again to make sure your
site is error-free. Folks simply won't tolerate your
inability to get it right. They'll vote by leaving and
never coming back. Watch that conversion rate drop.
to the visitor who knows what she wants right now. Give
your customers fewer clicks to complete a purchase and
your conversion rate will rise. The power of a one-click
purchase is sublime.
how folks buy on your site and then tailor your offers
to their preferences. You might find that people want
bundled products rather than individual offerings, or
vice versa. Listen to your customers, and be willing to
sure, before you go spending your advertising dollars,
that you invest in an excellent site. Don't do it
halfway, and don't design to please the designers or
programmers. Your customers reign. Keep 'em happy, and
they'll have you jumping up and down with higher
conversion rates donít just mean more sales, they mean
more sales without additional marketing expenses.
Plus, conversion rates not only determine how much youíre
selling, but also tell you a lot about whether you are
tuned in to the things that matter to your customers:
performance, convenience, quality, value and customer
follow the list above, and watch that wonderful conversion
Paco Underhill, "Conversion rate is to retail what
batting average is to baseball." Why We Buy,
Simon and Schuster, 1999, p. 36.
"The most powerful Internet metric of all." J.
William Gurley, Above the Crowd, 21 February 2000. <http://www.news.com/Perspectives/Column/Textonly/0,197,403,00.html?st.ne.per.col.pfv>