A few weeks back I attended an event #sswc (Sweden social web camp) at which there was a session called #emeetx (Think Tedx but a Swedish E-commerce event). During this session I realized that the definition of conversion rate is very different in people’s eye. Google defines conversion rate as: “E-commerce conversion rate is the percentage of visits that resulted in e-commerce transactions.” Now both mine and the other attendees interpretation of this works, but they are very different. For many conversion rate optimization was only about A/B testing, multivariate testing and user test and they argued that “you shouldn’t focus on conversion rate, you should focus on offerings”. To me this is very contradictive, as I work from the take that offerings is part of the conversion rate.
Lets say that the conversion rate has three levels:
First of all we have the core usability of the site. Do your visitors find what they are looking for? Do they understand how to buy something? Is anything making them hesitate? Will more people click if we change this color or that text? The very core of the website. Here we need to work with different types of tests, A/B, Multivariate and so on to see how we can improve the experience. However this optimization will only take you so long.
I see the offers, the product catalogue, the items, the sales, the campaign and so on as part of the conversion rate. Because after all this is what your customers are buying. Obviously this will have a huge impact on the conversion rate. If people don’t like what you are selling they wont event begin working through the checkout funnel. Thus to convert your customers, offerings will always matter.
Message – consistency
When it comes to the message we moving outside the website so some extent, which is definitely not part of Googles conversion rate definition but it still matters to it. Because if we don’t focus on communicating the same thing outside the website as we do on it, we won’t be able to convert them when they come to the site. If a customer is looking for an offer they saw and cannot find it, they will leave. If they read something and they don’t believe the website have what they are looking for because the description is different, they will leave. Thus the marketing and the communication is part of the conversion rate.
Looking at conversion rate like this, is it still not something to work on? No, because the conversion rate is your business. With that said I will also say that I believe that many are under estimating the power of the usability.