Field Test: Conversion Strategies Part II

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.

The responses of three of six participants were published previously. Here are the responses of the three remaining participants, published anonymously to maintain candor.

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

  • FIELD TESTER 1: 8,000.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: Average 300 visits per day.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: 1,000 unique visitors per day.

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

  • FIELD TESTER 1: 250.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: Average 1.2 orders shipped per day.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: We process 150 orders a day combined over all the channels we sell on, including our website, eBay, Amazon, etc. The conversions on the website alone average about 50 per day.

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

  • FIELD TESTER 1: High quality in-house product photography and extensive rewrites of product descriptions.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: Writing better copy, offering discounts, experimenting with checkout buttons, offering products that are higher quality than others.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: Free shipping over a certain amount, and a weekly audit to compare our prices with that of the competition.

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

  • FIELD TESTER 1: We test all site changes and additions until we find the top performer, so nothing.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: My business is seasonal, but so far I have not had problems. I only do improvements that are proven to increase conversions.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: Believing in the blind idea that simply spending more money on things like our Google AdWords budget would result in greater conversions.

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

  • FIELD TESTER 1: 13,000.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: Approximately 780 at this time. We are always adding new products, which helps conversion rates.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: Approximately 5,000.

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

  • FIELD TESTER 1: Reproduction and antique period home hardware.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: Outdoor and recreation, sporting goods.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: Everything for your dog except food.

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

  • FIELD TESTER 1: Omniture and Google Analytics.
  • FIELD TESTER 2: We use Google Analytics and Yahoo! Analytics, which is provided with our store.
  • FIELD TESTER 3: Google Analytics.
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