The next level of Conversion Optimization

What if conversion optimization is more about targeting than usability?

The average online cart abandonment rate is 67%. Is this because sites in general are so user unfriendly or is it simply because it is a normal online shopping behavior to add items to the basket while shopping around, comparing sites, and thinking about what you actually want, need and can afford?

Malcolm Duckett, CEO of Magiq Ltd, has written “Six ways to make abandoned baskets work for you“, a blog post worth reading, about targeting visitors after they have abandoned their baskets. Based on experience from customers using Magiq Lifecycle Marketing, he provides hands on recommendations for how to effectively bring back the customers to your site to, hopefully, finish what they started.

My experience is that conversion optimization have been very much about improving usability (and still is). But what if your site is actually quite ok, and that the reason for leaving your site, after placing X items in the basket, has nothing to do with the user experience. An average abandonment rate of 67% really indicates that there is something else to it than a complicated checkout process with the wrong color on the call to action-buttons. Maybe your potential customer simply needs more attention from you to buy the product, to buy it from you instead of someone else, and to buy it now instead of waiting until later.

If so, conversion optimization is more about targeting and retargeting than it is about usability. Having a user friendly site is increasingly becoming a necessity for being competitive at all. An advanced online crm will be the next area in which to excel to gain a competitive advantage. Conversion optimization will increasingly be about when (after abandoning the basket), in which channel (on site, email, phone etc) and with what message you can turn window-shoppers into customers.

Andreas Franson, andreas[@]internetintelligence.se, +46 733 56 41 51

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2 Responses to The next level of Conversion Optimization

  1. Thanks for the reference Andreas… As you say usability is an issue which has to be right, but then we can move on and think about other ways to persuade that elusive shopper that WE are the company they have been looking for… I do think that the ability to react one-to-one on-line is really important, and can be that differenciating factor.

    • Andreas Franson says:

      If you think about the abandoned baskets as a natural part of the shopping process it inevitably leads to a much broader approach to how to increase conversions. Even though many online retailers realize the importance e-mail reminders etc. I think it’s still not seen as the next step in the check out process. That mindset (or that insight) would place targeting of prospects, in all available channels, top of mind. Also; the more interactions a potential buyer has had with you, the more you know about her and the more relevant you can be in your communication. So if the initial landing page and checkout is generic, your subsequent follow-up/targeting can be more personalized (or one-to-one as you put it), and that’s an opportunity that should not be missed.

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