Fix your eCommerce store. It’s broken.

by Jim September 20, 2021

Mobile revenue has been the big winner since switching our client example from last week to Cloudflare. Traffic dropped in areas and that’s where you’ve got to be careful when judging ECR. Don’t get caught up trying to juggle conversion rates from different areas. Instead, focus on fixing what’s wrong with your site as a superior customer experience will lift conversion rates naturally.

  • Why ECR can be misleading.
  • Don’t try and fix ECR.
  • Improve the customer experience.
  • More traffic doesn’t equal more sales.
  • Understand your successful channels.

Transcript

Hey, welcome back, Rankers. How you going? We’re getting closer to the warming part of the month. Yeah, they might let us out soon, if we’re good. But only if we’re good. Which, let’s face it, we’re not very good. I want to talk to you about a few things today. These are the numbers from last week. So, this is the client that we moved to Cloudflare a few weeks ago, start of the month. Now you can see there, the numbers look great. Mobile revenue is the big winner there. And you can see we’ve got a drop there in traffic. Now, sometimes when you talk about conversion rates and these sorts of things, it can be very misleading, as we’ve explained before. Because what can happen is, if for instance, let’s just take organic. If your organic conversion rate is, let’s say it’s 1%, and you switch off your blog traffic, which represents, maybe 50% of your traffic, well, that traffic is not going to convert as well as the traffic that is coming there to the shop.

How ECR can be misleading

So if you switch all that blog traffic off, you’ll probably get a much higher ECR from the traffic that’s left. Right? Makes sense, because you’ve got rid of the non-buyers and now you only have the buyers. So it’s very easy to influence ECR, in some respects, by the volume of traffic that you have and where it’s coming from. And you don’t have to do a lot on site for that. So you’ve got to be careful when you look at these numbers that you haven’t had a big traffic drop and that’s why you’ve got a great ECR. Or all your sales are made at the start of the day and you do an ECR check at midday, it doesn’t account for the people who are logging on at night that don’t buy. So it’s all these little different ways of looking at ECR. So we tend to look at it as an after effect and go, oh look, well, that’s good too. Yeah, it’s a nice bonus and it should happen, but that’s not what we’re trying to fix.

We’re trying to fix the access and the speed issues for the site, and we know that will help ECR. We know that will help ECR because it’s a better experience for the customer. So for us, it’s a measurement to make sure we’re on the right track. It’s not a goal, if that makes sense. And every channel is going to be different. Right? Every channel will perform differently, as we’ve explained before. Quite often, your emails should be performing best, or your ads might be performing best. It depends on the category, it depends on your audience, it depends on your brand. All of those things are influenced. Now, when I managed a Douglas Hi-Fi store, for those of you who are old enough and remember that brand name, back in the 1980s, one of the things that I would never ask management or regional management to do is send me more traffic if we’re already getting good foot traffic through the shop, but we weren’t getting the sales. Right?

Fix what doesn’t work first

That’s exactly what we expect with e-commerce, though. We just keep throwing more and more traffic at it, but there’s a fairly clear example that you don’t need more traffic to make more sales. You just don’t. But we are obsessed with getting more ECR traffic, more paid traffic, more EDM traffic, more social traffic. How about we fix the shop? How about you have the best shop around, so people want to tell their friends to come and shop here, because it was great? People want to tell their colleagues to go and shop there because you’re a good supplier. People want to tell their friends and their family to shop there, because it was fast, easy, convenient, great service. All those things are far more important than getting more traffic to your site if your conversion rates are under 2%. Seriously, you’ve got something wrong. Even if they’re under 3%, and we’ve got some clients that are under 3%, we’re working continuously on them. Not in every channel. And that’s the thing, understand those channels.

At Douglas Hi-Fi, when I was working there, if you were a new trainee, or whatever, you would go and work and get shadowed by one of the senior sales people. That’s what happens. You know why? Because you learn from the senior sales people, you couldn’t learn from some of those data channels. Learn and understand why your EDM traffic might convert better. Or if it’s not, why is your ads traffic converting better? Understand that. And the reason these channels convert better, usually before any of the others, or over and above any of the others, is because it’s more relevant. The channel’s more relevant and it’s more targeted. Organic is not targeted. You might say, oh, it’s targeted in the keyword. Not really. You don’t have an option of what Google’s going to show. You do with an ad.

So there’s all these different things, and your EDMs might suck because you’re not doing it properly, or you’re not measuring it properly. Or you’re using terrible subject lines that no-one wants to open or don’t capture us, or it’s too wordy, it’s too hard to read, I can’t observe it. By the way, your homepage of your website is not the shop window, but the email, the EDM that is definitely the shop window. Hopefully, that’s helpful. Please like, share, and subscribe. If you’ve got any thoughts, if you want to explore some of these things, let me know. But I’m just surprised with our industry wanting to throw more traffic at things that don’t work. Fix the things that don’t work, and then see if you need more traffic. Anyway, tell your friends, subscribe, stay free. And we’ll see you next week.

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