Converting Online Visitors to Sales
The Missing Conversion Factors Are "Why" & "How"
Revised September 11, 2019
Originally Published August 27, 2009
Increasing website sales without additional website traffic is known as improving the website's conversion ratio. Augmenting website conversion is an ongoing process for all online businesses whether retail, service, commercial, manufacturing, industrial, or hospitality oriented companies.
While much of this article is geared towards improving a website's online conversion, many of the methods are essential for improving offline, (traditional brick and mortar stores or offices) sales conversions as well.
Analyzing the Data
Analytical tools such as Google Analytics, make it easy to see past basic statistical trend reports and graphs on everything including:
- most popular days & busiest times
- most popular pages
- visitor trails
- products and services viewed most
- where visitors came from (referrers)
- among many other statistics
While all these historical statistics and trends are important, two of the most important factors to obtaining a paying customer are still missing; the WHY and HOW.
Investigating Consumer Behaviors
Most businesses have no idea why customers have certain buying behaviors, (what makes them buy) nor how to engage those visitors, and convert them to a paying customers.
This type of analysis requires additional market research for a business to fully understand any particular consumer buying behaviors. Website analytics are extremely important, but only give one piece of the conversion puzzle: static information as to what consumers have done in the past, and thus only allows for reactive analysis.
Consumer behavior research reveals how to be proactive, understand trends, anticipate consumer behaviors, accommodate the visitor, and increase the likelihood of converting that individual to a sale, (or for those using the website to generate leads) getting the prospect to request more information and engage.
To find out what consumers care about, businesses should employ some of the following market research techniques:
Follow-up Satisfaction Emails, Surveys & Contact
Polling visitors and asking about their experience on a website (or with the company as a whole) is an excellent method of obtaining valuable and pertinent feedback.
There are two standard methods to providing follow-up service to an online visit:
- Implement exit surveys on website pages:
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