As a statically orientated business person, what I love about e-commerce is the ability to measure and understand every part of the process.
Google Analytics and your own site statistics package will give you a good starting point to understand visitor numbers and interaction with your website and I’ll do some more detailed articles on these later on but sufficient to say that the ability to measure the impact of your online and offline marketing in terms of visitor traffic and to measure changes to your website and product offering are incredibly powerful.
However, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of all aspect of the product mix. I saw this with one client where we’d added PPC activity and done a lot of work with regard to keywords, SEO and also process optimisation.
These had served to increase visitor numbers significantly and drive conversion rate. However, I felt there was still considerable scope for improvement.
When we isolated specific data periods and looked at the data in depth we saw that brief promotion periods where seeing significant extra numbers of site visitors, whilst other metrics stayed relatively consistent, other than dropout between basket and checkout which also fell.
The hypothesis we drew was that customers where doing price comparisons before clicking through to the website, and therefore choosing to buy from other stockists. And those who were visiting before doing that were price comparing after adding the product to their basket (acting like a bookmark) and before moving through to checkout.
We then ran a test over a fortnight, moving to an EDLP pricing position on specific products, which enabled us to compare data on specific items to prove/disprove the hypothesis.
The test period showed a 50% increase in site visitors on the selected SKU’s and a reduction in basket dropouts. As a result they moved to an EDLP pricing position across the full product mix.
The end result of combining site optimisation with price optimisation saw monthly visitor numbers after a 12 month period increased by 400% and monthly sales by 193%, whilst basket dropout reduced by 2.5% too.