Practical Ecommerce

Field Test: Conversion Strategies

Practical eCommerce periodically gathers seasoned ecommerce merchants and asks each of them the same questions around a given topic. We publish their responses in “Field Test,” and the topic in this installment is conversion strategies.

The participating ecommerce merchants are: Dave Norris, House of Antique Hardware; Justin Hertz, MuttMart; Lars Hundley, Clean Air Gardening; Richard Kuipers, Windmill Trading; Chris Moleski, Wetsuit Wearhouse; and Bryon Tabor, Practical Sports.

Here are three responses, chosen randomly and published anonymously to maintain candor. We’ll publish additional responses in future installments.

PeC: Roughly how many visitors come to your ecommerce site each day?

  • FIELD TESTER 1: 1,500.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: 12,000 unique visitors per day, on average.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: On average, 350 unique hits a day.

PeC: Roughly how many orders do you ship each day?

  • FIELD TESTER 1: 60.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: Around 75. We also take phone orders, which make up about 10 percent of our sales.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: In summer, we average about 20 orders a day. Outside summer, orders average more in the 40-50 range.

PeC: What decisions have you made that increased your conversion rate?

  • FIELD TESTER 1: No login required at checkout. Detailed product FAQ is easily accessible. Expert in-house phone reps. Live online inventory, where the website knows exactly what we have in stock.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: Adding video has been a great way to increase conversion rates for individual products. We’re working our way through our products and trying to add more video for as many products as we can.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: Trying to make checkout easier and offer more vertical or related items.

PeC: What mistakes have you made that decreased your conversion rate?

  • FIELD TESTER 1: Lack of image options, such as zoom, rear view, multiple color shots, lack of smart site search, lack of “refining” options to organize search results based on price and other characteristics.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: We usually work on small, incremental changes, trying to improve what we already have. I can’t really think of any terrible mistakes we’ve made, because we don’t typically do anything drastic.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: Priced items too high.

PeC: How many SKUs do you have on your site?

  • FIELD TESTER 1: 3,000.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: Between 500 and 1,000.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: It varies, but usually only around 50. My sales come from a deep inventory, not a wide assortment.

PeC: What type of products do you sell on your site?

  • FIELD TESTER 1: Sporting goods.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: Consumer products for the home.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: Computer, parts and electronic gadgets.

PeC: What analytics software to you use to measure daily visitors?

  • FIELD TESTER 1: Omniture, but just switched to Google Analytics this month.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: We use Google Analytics primarily, but we also have Yahoo! Analytics installed because it comes with every Yahoo! Store.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: Simple site visitor numbers provided by hosting company on a weekly basis. I can see when visits spike when I have a sale on something and when I send out my monthly newsletter.
Practical Ecommerce

Practical Ecommerce

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Comment ( 1 )

  1. contactology June 26, 2009 Reply

    Very useful – thanks.