A running debate for DTC eCommerce brands of all sizes is: What is more important, website traffic or website conversions?
If this seems like a trick question, that is because it is. There is no clear-cut answer because both are equally important; brands need eCommerce site traffic and conversions to succeed.
Traffic is important because it shows that people are interested enough in a brand’s website (and by extension, its products or services) to pay a visit. The more visitors, the higher the chances of converting traffic into customers. Conversion is important for obvious reasons. It turns visitors into customers who take an action of some sort, mainly buying a product or subscribing to a service.
Websites need as much traffic as they can get, so brands put great effort into driving traffic to their sites. Google Analytics and other tools are good ways to measure both the amount of website traffic and website performance.
Site traffic vs. site conversion can be compared to having many people shopping at a physical store but no one is actually buying anything. Ultimately, it does not matter how many people are visiting an online store. The bottom line is that traffic does not bring in revenue — only customers do that.
So, how do DTC eCommerce brands turn visitors into customers? Let us take a look at how DTC eCommerce brands can optimize website traffic.
It Is All About the Website
Having a large number of visitors means a site already has people’s attention. For many DTC brands, getting eCommerce site traffic is not the problem; it is converting that traffic that is the tricky part.
Ultimately, conversion rate is an indicator of the effectiveness of both a brand’s website and its marketing efforts. If people are not converting, eCommerce brands need to identify the hurdles that are keeping visitors from becoming customers.. To do that, brands need to take a hard look at how well their website is working.
The Importance of Website Optimization for Better Conversion Rates
For DTC eCommerce brands, their website is a powerful sales tool and should be treated as such. In order for a brand’s website to drive the highest possible number of leads and sales, it needs to be optimized for conversions.
Website optimization is important because it improves user experience. People visit a site hoping to answer a question, find a solution to a problem or complete a task. An optimized website makes it easy for site visitors to achieve those goals. So, user experience should always be at the heart of an optimized eCommerce website. Here are a few user-friendly website design tips that help can increase conversion:
- Design a Website That Is Easy to Navigate. When it comes to website design, keep it simple. This means having a clean website that is easy on the eyes. Use three colors, an average of two fonts and appealing graphics that serve a purpose. If customers have to click around a chaotic website, they are not likely to stick around, let alone buy anything.
- Deliver Strong CTAs. Calls to action (CTAs) must evoke a sense of excitement, be easy to find and be cleverly written and designed. If not, visitors probably will not click on them. Never underestimate the power of a strategically placed, optimized CTA to boost conversion rates. Go the extra mile with personalized CTAs, which convert 202% better than generic CTAs.
- Make It Fast. Loading time is one one of the most important aspects in conversion. If a website’s loading time is longer than three seconds, 32% of visitors are likely to bail out. Website conversion rates drop by an average of 2.11% with each additional second of load time. An optimized, fast-loading website goes a long way in improving customer experience, conversion rates and sales revenue. Simply put, when it comes to page load, you can never be too fast.
- Optimize Products Pages. Giving customers all the information they need on a product page dramatically raises the likelihood that they will buy something. Well-written, descriptive copy, insightful photography and videos and a clean, uncluttered design are all the hallmarks of an optimized product page. Testimonials, strong keywords and consistent branding are other important elements that can help with conversions.
- Create Targeted Landing Pages. Rather than one page that details all of a business’s services, it is better to have individual pages that focus on each of those services. Targeted landing pages will help visitors find what they are looking for quickly and easily. This can increase the chances of converting someone who is looking for a specific service. Targeted landing pages also help optimize keywords to increase SEO and ultimately drive traffic to the website.
These tips are just a few ways smart website design can help with conversions. But what exactly is conversion rate and how is it measured?
What Is Conversion Rate?
Website conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to a website that have taken a desired action. That action could be anything from purchasing a product, clicking on a CTA button, subscribing to a newsletter or downloading an ebook. In short, anything that brings a favorable outcome to a brand’s website.
Currently, the average eCommerce site traffic conversion rate ranges between 1% and 4%. In the U.S. the average conversion rate for eCommerce websites is around 2.12% with average global figures standing at 4.31%.
How to Calculate Conversion Rate
To calculate conversion rate, divide the number of people who took a desired action by the number of visitors. Then multiply the outcome by 100 to get the conversion percentage.
For example, if 1000 people visited a website page and 50 of them took action, the outcome is .05. Multiply .05 by 100 and the final conversion percentage is .05, or a 5% conversation rate.While these calculations are fairly straightforward, most eCommerce websites get an enormous amount of data on a daily basis. Brands should use an analytics platform to organize it all and reveal deeper insights, including the conversion rate of individual products.
The Importance of eCommerce Data Analytics
Analytics is the best way for eCommerce businesses to gain insight into the online habits of their current and potential customers. eCommerce analytics look at a number of factors, such as a website’s bounce rate, the keywords that attract the most customers, where customers come from and what they click on.
Here are some of the data analytics methods eCommerce can use to analyze website traffic and increase conversions rates.
Product Page Optimization
Product page optimization analyzes data gathered by customer actions on eCommerce website product pages. Its goal is to look for patterns that can uncover deeper insights into customer behavior. These insights can often help determine what keeps a customer browsing but not actually buying.
Heat maps can greatly boost the effectiveness of product page optimization. Heat maps show specifically where users are clicking on a website page. As well as singling out the hot spots, they can also identify bottlenecks and dead areas that may be hindering conversions. They can also provide crucial information about customer purchasing habits and interest in products on an DTC eCommerce site. With all this in mind, businesses can design optimized product pages that can lead to more conversions.
One key to better engaging customers and responding to their needs is through predictive analytics. It uses software to analyze previously collected data regarding past consumers’ decisions to determine why they take a specific action. These actions can include engaging further with a brand or making a purchase from its store.
This data can also help eCommerce brands determine what customers expect from the site and how much they’re willing to pay for products. Based on what customers have looked at and purchased in the past, brands can determine what a specific customer would likely buy in the future. Predictive analytics help brands recommend products that are more likely to resonate with customers and lead to a purchase.
Price optimization uses customer and market data analysis to understand how customers will react to different prices for any given product. Implementing ongoing price optimization helps eCommerce brands maximize sales and increase profits by pinpointing the most effective price point for a product or service that will lead to the most conversions.
Google Analytics is great for uncovering important eCommerce data, but it may not be enough to effectively grow your brand. Check out our new eBook to learn how to get the full picture of site performance by using UX Analytics. It is the second of Scalefast’s “By Experts for Experts Series” of eBooks.