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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 23, 2009

Internet Marketing 101: The difference between quality traffic and conversions

Whether you're a complete e-business newbie or you're trying to improve sales and profitability after a year or so, you may be mistaking a good-seeming metric for something else. Namely, the traffic metric. Marketers new and old continue to be hung up on the traffic metric: if there are 100 consumers visiting my site daily that's good enough. While 100 new consumers visiting is good, if only one or two of these are converting sales, it's not so good.

by Kristina Knight

runa.pngWhich is why marketers need to stop focusing on traffic numbers and start focusing on conversions. Relative newcomer to the online marketing realm is Runa, a platform which helps etailers take traffic from 'visits' to 'conversions'.

"The problem [etailers] are seeing is that the traffic is good but the traffic isn't converting," said Heather Dawson, Chief Customer Officer with Runa. "The actual conversion rate is very low so there is a tremendous need to help etailers convert the traffic coming to the site. We look at the conversion funnel. When you're looking at conversions, you have to focus on product selection, customer experience and price. Price is an important level in the buying process; if you use price - whether it is through online couponing, free shipping or rewards - there are a number of different options."

The first thing marketers need to do is look through their search engine optimization and search engine marketing strategies to determine which products or services are getting the most play from consumers. Which product ads are consumers clicking upon from the ad stage? Once on-site, which products do consumers click to? By knowing which products consumers are most interested in, marketers have a place to begin conversion marketing.

Marketers then set up an offer campaign through Runa's site, by choosing first the products they want to use to engage the consumer and then choosing the type of offers which will be given to the consumer through the conversion process.

"When a merchant sets up a campaign it is as simple as making a price-point for the offer, choosing the items which are accessible for the offer and they're ready to go."

From there, Runa's analytics engine takes over.

"The way that we're figuring out which offers to deliver is the pre-click information: which keywords did the consumer use to arrive on-site, what is the IP address, the demographic, what on-site actions are they doing, etc.," said Ms. Dawson. "We then put that through the analytics engine which bases decisions on the marketers rules [for the campaign] and from there Runa delivers the optimum offer and the optimum place to move the offer."

Marketers can even detail offers specifically geared to shopping cart abandoners. Research has shown that upwards of three-quarters of shopping carts are abandoned at some point during a potential conversion. While many of these shopping cart abandoners do return and do eventually convert to sales, marketers cannot rely on this statistic solely; they need to take action. For some consumers, multiple offers work, for some it is a single, personalized offer which will resonate and convert the impression. While multiple offers do work, marketers really need to figure out what makes the most sense for their business.

"It's like consumers are 'on the hunt' [when seeing marketer offers]. They would dramatically increase the amount of items in the cart as the offers become sweeter and sweeter," said Ms. Dawson. "[With Runa] the merchant logs in and can see shopping patterns for the past month. They can see how shoppers 'looked but didn't purchase', they can see which items are most abandoned and which items convert the best to better focus the campaign."

Runa works on a pay-for-performance model with low-touch SaaS platforms; for smaller campaigns, merchants can be ready to run within an hour. For more in-depth campaigns, merchants are looking at up to one week before the interface is ready.

"When there is an offer, about 15% of the consumers will come back in to the site and buy the product. The offer is the magic that the shopper needs to come back in. [Merchants] have to look at the profit metric rather than the conversion metric and sale dollars because they can increase revenue by spending the same amount on SEO/SEM traffic."

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce advertising, ecommerce strategy, etailing, online advertising, online shopping, organic search, paid search, Runa, search marketing, SEM, SEO

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  • I personally use Google Analytic to access my ROI and the conversions. As it is not only the traffic, but, the conversion also which is important.

  • Steven

    In order to ensure that your traffic is leading to conversions you should use a web analytic provider such as clicktale to show you where your website is defficient.



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