The annual study provides KPI benchmark data which allow digital marketers analyze their 2019 performance and plan their 2020. The most popular section in the report amongst Moz readers has always been the conversion correlation, where we crunch the numbers to see what sets the high-performing websites apart.
We’re privileged to count a number of particularly high-performance websites among our dataset participants. There have been over twenty international digital marketing awards won by a spread of participant websites in the last three years. In these findings, you’re getting insights from the global top tier of campaigns.
If we take a five-year look-back, we can see the conversion correlation section acts as an accurate predictor of upcoming trends in digital marketing.
In our 2016 study, the two stand-out correlations with conversion rate were:
High-performing websites got more significantly paid search traffic than the chasing pack.
High-performing websites got significantly more mobile traffic than the chasing pack.
The two strongest overall trends in our 2020 report are:
It’s the first year in which paid search has eclipsed organic for website revenue.
It’s the first year the majority of revenue has come from mobile devices.
This tells us that the majority of websites have now caught up with what the top-performing websites were doing five years ago.
So, what are the top performing websites doing differently now?
These points of differentiation are likely to become the major shifts in the online marketing mix over the next 5 years.
Let’s count down to the strongest correlation in the study:
4. Race back up to the top! Online PR and display deliver conversions
For the majority of the 2010s, marketers were racing to the bottom of the purchase funnel. More and more budget flowed to search to win exposure to the cherished searcher — that person pounding on their keyboard with their credit card between their teeth, drunk on the newfound novelty of online shopping. The only advertising that performed better than search was remarketing, which inched the advertising closer and closer to that precious purchase moment.
Now in 2020, these essential elements of the marketing mix are operating at maximum capacity for any advertiser worth their salt. Top performing websites are now focusing extra budget back up towards the top of the funnel. The best way to kill the competition on Search is to have the audience’s first search, be your brand. Outmarket your competition by generating more of your cheapest and best converting traffic, luvly brand traffic. We saw correlations with Average Order Value from websites that got higher than average referral traffic (0.34) and I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but display correlated with a conversion success metric, Average Order Value (0.37). I guess there’s a first time for everything!
3. Efficiencies of scale
Every budding business student knows that when volume increases, cost per unit decreases. It’s called economies of scale. But what do you call it when it’s revenue per unit that’s increasing with volume? At Wolfgang, we call it efficiencies of scale. Similar to last year’s report, one of the strongest correlations against a number of the success metrics was simply the number of sessions. More visitors to the site equals a higher conversion rate per user (0.49). This stat summons the final wag for the long-tail of smaller specialist retailers. This finding is consistent across both the retail and travel sectors.
And it illustrates another reversal of a significant trend in the 2010s. The long-tail of retailers were the early settlers in the e-commerce land of plenty. Very specialist websites with a narrow product range could capture high volumes of traffic and sales.
For example, www.outboardengines.com could dominate the SERP and then affiliate link or dropship product, making for a highly profitable small business. The entrepreneur behind this microbusiness could automate the process and replicate the model again and again for the products of her choosing. Timothy Ferris’ book, The 4 Hour Work Week, became the bible to the first flush of digital nomads; affiliate conferences in Vegas saw leaning towers of chips being pushed around by solopreneur digital marketers with wild abandon.
Alas, by the end of the decade, Google had started to prioritize brands in the SERP, and the big players had finally gotten their online act together. As a result, we are now seeing significant ‘efficiencies of scale’ as described above
2. Attract that user back
What’s the key insight digital marketers need to act upon to succeed in the 2020s? Average Sessions per Visitor is 2, Average Sessions per Purchaser is 5.
In other words, the core role of the marketer is to create an elegant journey across touchpoints to deliver a person from two click prospect to five click purchaser. Any activity which increases sessions per visitor will increase conversion. Similar to last year’s report, another of the strongest and most consistent correlations was the number of Sessions per User (0.7) — which emphasizes the importance of this metric.
So where should a marketer seek these extra interactions?
Check out the strongest correlation we found with conversion success in the Wolfgang KPI Report 2020….
1. The social transaction
The three strongest conversion correlations across the 4,000 datapoints were related to social transactions. This tells us that the very top performing websites were significantly better than everybody else at generating traffic from social that purchases.
Google Analytics is astonishingly rigorous at suppressing social media success stats. It appears they would rather have an inferior analytics product than accurately track cross-device conversions and give social its due. They can track cross-device conversions in Google Ads — why not in Analytics? So, if our Google Analytics data is telling us social is the strongest conversion success factor, we need to take notice.
This finding runs in parallel with recent research by Forrester which finds one-third of CMOs still don’t know what to do with social.
Our correlation calc finds that social is the biggest point of difference between the high flyers and the chasing pack. The marketers who do know how to use social, are the tip top performing marketers of the bunch. We also have further findings on how to out-market the competition on social in the full study.
Here’s the top tier of correlations we extracted from a third of a billion euro in online revenues and over 100 million website visits:
To read more of our findings pertaining to:
The social sweet spot
Average conversion rates in your industry
In-store sales benchmarked
Why data is the new oil
2010 was the decade of the…
And much, much more
Have a look at the full e-commerce KPI report for 2020. If you found yourself with any questions or anecdotes relating to the data shared here, please let us know in the comments!
A lot of people forget that Amazon is a search engine, let alone the largest search engine for e-commerce. With 54 percent of product searches now taking place on Amazon, it’s time to take it seriously as the world’s largest search engine for e-commerce. In fact, if we exclude YouTube as part of Google, Amazon is technically the second largest search engine in the world.
As real estate on Google becomes increasingly difficult to maintain, moving beyond a website-centric e-commerce strategy is a no brainer. With 54% of shoppers choosing to shop on e-commerce marketplaces, it’s no surprise that online marketplaces are the number one most important digital marketing channel in the US, according to a 2018 study by the Digital Marketing Institute. While marketplaces like Etsy and Walmart are growing fast, Amazon maintains its dominance of e-commerce market share owning 47 percent of online sales, and 5 percent of all retail sales in the US.
Considering that there are currently over 500 million products listed on Amazon.com, and more than two-thirds of clicks happen on the first page of Amazon’s search results—selling products on Amazon is no longer as easy as “set it and forget it.”
Enter the power of SEO.
When we think of SEO, many of us are aware of the basics of how Google’s algorithm works, but not many of us are up to speed with SEO on Amazon. Before we delve into Amazon’s algorithm, it’s important to note how Google and Amazon’s starkly different business models are key to what drives their algorithms and ultimately how we approach SEO on the two platforms.
The academic vs. The stockbroker
Google was born in 1998 through a Ph.D. project by Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin. It was the first search engine of its kind designed to crawl and index the web more efficiently than any existing systems at the time.
Google was built on a foundation of scientific research and academia, with a mission to;
“Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” — Google
Now, answering 5.6 billion queries every day, Google’s mission is becoming increasingly difficult — which is why their algorithm is designed as the most complex search engine in the world, continuously refined through hundreds of updates every year.
In contrast to Brin and Page, Jeff Bezos began his career on Wall Street in a series of jobs before starting Amazon in 1994 after reading that the web was growing at 2,300 percent. Determined to take advantage of this, he made a list of the top products most likely to sell online and settled with books because of their low cost and high demand. Amazon was built on a revenue model, with a mission to:
“Be the Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.” — Amazon
Amazon doesn’t have searcher intent issues
When it comes to SEO, the contrasting business models of these two companies lead the search engines to ask very different questions in order to deliver the right results to the user.
On one hand, we have Google who asks the question:
“What results most accurately answer the searcher’s query?”
Amazon, on the other hand, wants to know:
“What product is the searcher most likely to buy?”
On Amazon, people aren’t asking questions, they’re searching for products—and what’s more, they’re ready to buy. So, while Google is busy honing an algorithm that aims to understand the nuances of human language, Amazon’s search engine serves one purpose—to understand searches just enough to rank products based on their propensity to sell.
With this in mind, working to increase organic rankings on Amazon becomes a lot less daunting.
Amazon’s A9 algorithm: The secret ingredient
Amazon may dominate e-commerce search, but many people haven’t heard of the A9 algorithm. Which might seem unusual, but the reason Amazon isn’t keen on pushing their algorithm through the lens of a large scale search engine is simply that Amazon isn’t in the business of search.
Amazon’s business model is a well-oiled revenue-driving machine — designed first and foremost to sell as many products as possible through its online platform. While Amazon’s advertising platform is growing rapidly, and AWS continues as their fastest-growing revenue source — Amazon still makes a large portion of revenue through goods sold through the marketplace.
With this in mind, the secret ingredient behind Amazon’s A9 algorithm is, in fact: Sales Velocity
What is sales velocity, you ask? It’s essentially the speed and volume at which your products sell on Amazon’s marketplace.
There are lots of factors which Amazon SEO’s refer to as “direct” and “indirect” ranking factors, but ultimately every single one of them ties back to sales velocity in some way.
At Wolfgang Digital, we approach SEO on Google based on three core pillars — Technology, Relevance, and Authority.
Evidently, Google’s ranking pillars are all based on optimizing a website in order to drive click through on the SERP.
On the other hand, Amazon’s core ranking pillars are tied back to driving revenue through sales velocity — Conversion Rate, Keyword Relevance and of course, Customer Satisfaction.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the key factors behind each of these pillars, and what you can optimize to increase your chances of ranking on Amazon’s coveted first page.
Conversion rates on Amazon have a direct impact on where your product will rank because this tells Amazon’s algorithm which products are most likely to sell like hotcakes once they hit the first page.
Of all variables to monitor as an Amazon marketer, working to increase conversion rates is your golden ticket to higher organic rankings.
Amazon’s algorithm is designed to predict which products are most likely to convert. This is why the price has such a huge impact on where your products rank in search results. If you add a new product to Amazon at a cheaper price than the average competitor, your product is inclined to soar to the top-ranking results, at least until it gathers enough sales history to determine the actual sales performance.
Even if you’re confident that you have a supplier advantage, it’s worth checking your top-selling products and optimizing pricing where possible. If you have a lot of products, repricing software is a great way to automate pricing adjustments based on the competition while still maintaining your margins.
However, Amazon knows that price isn’t the only factor that drives sales, which is why Amazon’s first page isn’t simply an ordered list of items priced low to high. See the below Amazon UK search results for “lavender essential oil:”
Excluding the sponsored ads, we can still see that not all of the cheap products are ranked high and the more expensive ones lower down the page. So, if you’ve always maintained the idea that selling on Amazon is a race to the bottom on price, read on my friends.
Create listings that sell
As we discussed earlier, Amazon is no longer a “set it and forget” platform, which is why you should treat each of your product listings as you would a product page on your website. Creating listings that convert takes time, which is why not many sellers do it well, so it’s an essential tactic to steal conversions from the competition.
Make your titles user-friendly, include the most important keywords at the front, and provide just enough information to entice clicks. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing titles on Amazon, in fact, it may even hinder your rankings by reducing clicks and therefore conversions.
These are the first thing your customer sees, so make sure to highlight the best features of your product using a succinct sentence in language designed to convert.
Improve the power of your bullet points by including information that your top competitors don’t provide. A great way to do this is to analyze the “answered questions” for some of your top competitors.
Do you see any trending questions that you could answer in your bullet points to help shorten the buyer journey and drive conversions to your product?
Given that over 50 percent of Amazon shoppers said they always read the full description when they are considering purchasing a product, a well-written product description can have a huge impact on conversions.
Your description is likely to be the last thing a customer will read before they choose to buy your product over a competitor, so give these your time and care, reiterating points made in your bullet points and highlighting any other key features or benefits likely to push conversions over the line.
Taking advantage of A+ content for some of your best selling products is a great way to craft a visually engaging description, like this example from Safavieh.
Of course, A+ content requires additional design costs which may not be feasible for everyone. If you opt for text-only descriptions, make sure your content is easy to read while still highlighting the best features of your product.
Images are incredibly powerful when it comes to increasing conversions, so if you haven’t tried split testing different image versions on Amazon, you could be pleasantly surprised. One of the most popular tools for Amazon AB testing is Splitly — it’s really simple to use, and affordable with plans starting at $47 per month.
Depending on your product type, it may be worth investing the time into taking your own pictures rather than using the generic supplier provided images. Images that tend to have the biggest impact on conversions are the feature images (the one you see in search results) and close up images, so try testing a few different versions to see which has the biggest impact.
Amazon sponsored ads
The best thing about Amazon SEO is that your performance on other marketing channels can help support your organic performance.
Unlike on Google, where advertising has no impact on organic rankings, if your product performs well on Amazon ads, it may help boost organic rankings. This is because if a product is selling through ads, Amazon’s algorithm may see this as a product that users should also see organically.
A well-executed ad campaign is particularly important for new products, in order to boost their sales velocity in the beginning and build up the sales history needed to rank better organically.
External traffic involves driving traffic from social media, email, or other sources to your Amazon products.
While external sources of traffic are a great way to gain more brand exposure and increase customer reach, a well-executed external traffic strategy also impacts your organic rankings because of its role in increasing sales and driving up conversion rates.
Before you start driving traffic straight to your Amazon listing, you may want to consider using a landing page tool like Landing Cube in order to protect your conversion rate as much as possible.
With a landing page tool, you drive traffic to a landing page where customers get a special offer code to use on your product listing page—this way, you only drive traffic which is guaranteed to convert.
A9 still relies heavily on keyword matching to determine the relevance of a product to searcher’s query, which is why this is a core pillar of Amazon SEO.
While your title, bullet points, and descriptions are essential for converting customers, if you don’t include the relevant keywords, your chances of driving traffic to convert are slim to none.
Brainstorm as many search terms you think someone would use to find your product.
Analyze 3–5 competitors with the most reviews to identify their target keywords.
Validate the top keywords for your product using an Amazon keyword tool such as Magnet, Ahrefs, or Keywordtool.io.
Download the keyword lists into Excel, and filter out any duplicate or irrelevant keywords.
Prioritize search terms with the highest search volume, bearing in mind that broad terms will be harder to rank for. Depending on the competition, it may make more sense to focus on lower volume terms with lower competition—but this can always be tested later on.
Once you have refined the keywords you want to rank for, here are some things to remember:
Include your most important keywords at the start of the title, after your brand name.
Use long-tail terms and synonyms throughout your bullets points and descriptions.
Use your backend search terms wisely — these are a great place for including some common misspellings, different measurement versions e.g. metric or imperial, color shades and descriptive terms.
Most importantly — don’t repeat keywords. If you’ve included a search term once in your listing i.e. the title, you don’t need to include it in your backend search terms. Repeating a keyword, or keyword stuffing will not improve your rankings.
Part of Amazon’s mission statement is “to be the Earth’s most customer-centric company.” This relentless focus on the customer is what drives Amazon’s astounding customer retention, with 85 percent of Prime shoppers visiting the marketplace at least once a week and 56% of non-Prime members reporting the same. A focus on the customer is at the core of Amazon’s success, which is why stringent customer satisfaction metrics are a key component to selling on Amazon.
Your account health metrics are the bread and butter of your success as an Amazon seller, which is why they’re part of Amazon’s core ranking algorithm. Customer experience is so important to Amazon that, if you fail to meet the minimum performance requirements, you risk getting suspended as a seller—and they take no prisoners.
On the other hand, if you are meeting your minimum requirements but other sellers are performing better than you by exceeding theirs, they could be at a ranking advantage.
Customer reviews are one of the most important Amazon ranking factors — not only do they tell Amazon how customers feel about your product, but they are one of the most impactful conversion factors in e-commerce. Almost 95 percent of online shoppers read reviews before buying a product, and over 60 percent of Amazon customers say they wouldn’t purchase a product with less than 4.5 stars.
On Amazon, reviews help to drive both conversion rate and keyword relevance, particularly for long-tail terms. In short, they’re very important.
Increasing reviews for your key products on Amazon was historically a lot easier, through acquiring incentivized reviews. However, in 2018, Amazon banned sellers from incentivizing reviews which makes it even more difficult to actively build reviews, especially for new products.
Tips for building positive reviews on Amazon:
Maintain consistent communication throughout the purchase process using Amazon email marketing software. Following up to thank someone for their order and notify when the order if fulfilled, creates a seamless buying experience which leaves customers more likely to give a positive review.
Adding branded package inserts to thank customers for their purchase makes the buying experience personal, differentiating you as a brand rather than a nameless Amazon seller. Including a friendly reminder to leave a review in a nice delivery note will have better response rates than the generic email they receive from Amazon.
Providing upfront returns information without a customer having to ask for it shows customers you are confident in the quality of your product. If a customer isn’t happy with your product, adding fuel to the fire with a clunky or difficult returns process is more likely to result in negative reviews through sheer frustration.
Follow up with helpful content related to your products such as instructions, decor inspiration, or recipe ideas, including a polite reminder to provide a review in exchange.
And of course, deliver an amazing customer experience from start to finish.
Key takeaways for improving Amazon SEO
As a marketer well versed in the world of Google, venturing onto Amazon can seem like a culture shock — but mastering the basic principles of Amazon SEO could be the difference between getting lost in a sea of competitors and driving a successful Amazon business.
Focus on driving sales velocity through increasing conversion rate, improving keyword relevance, nailing customer satisfaction and actively building reviews.
Craft product listings for customers first, search engines second.
Don’t neglect product descriptions in the belief that no one reads them—over 50% of Amazon shoppers report reading the full description before buying a product.
Keywords carry a lot of weight. If you don’t include a keyword in your listing, your chances of ranking for it are slim.
Images are powerful. Take your own photos instead of using generic supplier images and be sure to test, test, and test.
Actively build positive reviews by delivering an amazing customer experience.
Invest in PPC and driving external traffic to support organic performance, especially for new products.
What other SEO tips or tactics do you apply on Amazon? Tell me in the comments below!
It takes thoughtful work to scale an e-commerce store. I’m sure you’ve had a few growing pains of your own getting to the point where you are today. However, you’re reading this because you may not be content with where your conversions are at this precise moment. You may not even know if your conversion rate is good or not!
Today, I will give you 21 tips (yes 21!) on how to double (even triple) your current conversion rates.
But first, let’s determine what counts as a conversion.
These are the usual suspects for e-commerce conversion goals:
From this data, we know that the average e-commerce conversion rate is between 2 percent and 4 percent; but we don’t want to be average, do we?
Let’s break down some suggestions you can use to improve your site faster.
1. Fix your analytics
Analytics that are in tune to the needs of your business will give you real insight into how people are using your site, and show you obvious improvements that need to be made in your CRO strategy.
With most analytics, there’s usually something that isn’t tracking properly to give you full clarity into what your customers are doing. You need to properly track your goals to give you that insight and help you find out what your site visitors are doing. For instance, are you looking at what people who search your site are doing, or people who enter your site through specific categories, product pages, or information pages?
To find out which events are leading to a purchase, tweak your analytics by segmenting traffic that tracks repeat purchasers.
2. Use Hotjar or other qualitative data tools
You can make wild guesses based off of “best practices” all day, but you won’t know what your customers are doing unless you see it. By using qualitative data tools such as Hotjar or CrazyEgg, you’ll have real insight into what your customers are looking for.
You can achieve this by creating heat maps, session recordings, conversion funnels, and user polls.
Heatmaps will show you an average of where all visitors are clicking and scrolling in a static image. Session recordings will record the screens of visitors on your site so you can view the video and see exactly what the customer is looking at and what they are clicking on.
By creating a conversion funnel, you will be able to see where people are dropping off. For example, if you create a funnel from the homepage to the shopping cart, to the confirmation page, you may be able to see that about 75 percent of users are dropping off in the cart process.
Then, you can view session recordings of that step in the funnel and see where people are getting confused or frustrated with your shopping cart process. Pretty cool, right?
Lastly, you can leverage polls on Hotjar — they’re effective because they give your customers a chance to voice what they think of your site. Try asking questions like “What is keeping you from getting your [insert product name or offer] today?”
Often times, people respond with answers like “I need more information,” “I don’t need this right now,” “Too expensive,” or “I don’t know if I’ll like this brand.” If the majority of people are saying it’s too expensive, you may want to either reconsider who you are targeting or reevaluate your pricing.
3. Display your phone number prominently
Customer service is essential in online commerce. You want customers to feel that you are readily available for any questions or problems they may run into. Ensure your phone number is clearly visible in the header, footers, and the checkout process of your site at all times.
If nothing else, at least make sure you have a Contact Us page with all methods of contact options listed.
See the phone number in the top right on Selini NY’s website?
4. Clearly state unique selling propositions (UVP)
I preach this in basically all of my blog pieces. It’s essential to think in the mind of the customer: Why would I buy from you over anyone else? Are you cheaper, faster, do you get better results? Why are you so special?
I suggest placing your UVPs in your headlines as often as possible since that’s going to be the first bit of information a person will read on each of your product pages.
5. Grab visitors’ attention quickly
In reality, you have about three seconds to capture your prospective customer’s attention. This goes back to the UVP as you want to make sure your copy is captivating, but you also want to use quality images, GIFs, and videos to back up your claims.
For example, if you sell software, it could be valuable to show a quick and straightforward video of the software in action. Why? This way, people can get a realistic view of what your software does without having to leave your site or contact someone.
6. Optimize for mobile
First, let’s explain with some statistics from OuterBox on why it’s imperative to optimize your mobile site:
77 percent of Americans own a smartphone.
Over 230 million U.S. consumers own smartphones.
Around 100 million U.S. consumers own tablets.
79 percent of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months.
Almost 40 percent of all e-commerce purchases during the 2018 holiday season were made on a smartphone.
E-commerce dollars now comprise 10 percent of ALL retail revenue.
80 percent of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations.
An estimated 10 billion mobile connected devices are currently in use.
Keep in mind, these are just U.S. statistics! With the world turning away from desktops and utilizing their phones more than ever, your B2B e-commerce business must keep up with the times. Optimize your mobile site by writing concise titles and copy focused on the benefits that solve your customers’ pain points.
Make sure your site’s load time is acceptable by plugging your URL into Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Google will give you a score and recommendations on what you need to fix.
7. Give detailed product descriptions
Good news: You’ve captured your audience’s attention! Now, it’s time to keep them engaged.
When in doubt, air on the side of too much information. Too often do people bounce from pages because they weren’t able to get their questions answered.
Avoid unnecessary bounce by providing as much information about your product as possible. This includes all benefits, how it works, the features, what it can and cannot do, and anything else that is critical for a customer to know.
For example, look below at how descriptive Salesforce is about its B2B e-commerce solution. I’ve included a snippet here of a very long web page covering nearly 20 different benefits of using Salesforce for your online marketplace.
8. Add a product video or demonstration
Adding a product video or demo goes hand-in-hand with your product description. Your website isn’t a brick and mortar store where people can walk in, talk to you, pick the product up in their hands and ask all of their questions about the item.
So, ideally, you want to get as close as possible to the real experience digitally. Provide a clear walkthrough or demonstration on how to set up and use your product. Customers may be wary of buying if they don’t know how easy or difficult it is to use.
Make it as plain as day and make it so they can’t say no!
9. Build a structure to easily find products
To better assist your customers in finding the exact product or service that fits their needs, add filters to your category pages. For example, how many products do you have? If it’s more than a handful, can you filter them by size, price, color, style?
If you offer a service instead of a product, do you have separate services with different functions that fall under that parent service? You can see how Flexfire LED guides you to the right product with their structured product menu. Could you imagine if this was just one long list of all products with no categories? It would be chaotic.
10. Set up rotating banners of top products
Offer your champion products up front when new and returning visitors land on your homepage. This helps guide customers to a decision sooner instead of letting them figure out which product may work for them on their own.
Restaurantware.com has several rotating banners showing the top and latest products they have to offer, keeping their customers constantly in the know and wanting to learn more.
11. Obtain customer emails
Try to access targeted emails through a pop-up, or offer a coupon code where you continuously market to customers in the decision phase.
Zappo’s rewards program does a great job of getting people to sign up for free shipping and returns and exclusive access to 24/7 customer service.
Email marketing is a practice every B2B e-commerce company needs because business executives are constantly checking their email. In fact, those who use email marketing see an average of 40x more ROI from this practice as opposed to any other marketing tactic.
When writing email campaigns, focus on educating and informing your customers, which frames your company in a way that offers solutions to their problems. Let them know what your services are, why they work, and how your brand solves problems.
12. Allow customers to review products
Reviews are a critical part of determining a purchase. Why? The same reason so many people buy from Amazon — we want to know, from real people, if these products are legit. The social proof of reviews creates trust and helps people move forward confidently as they purchase items. It can be extremely beneficial to include top reviews on your product pages to ease your visitors’ minds into choosing you.
Additionally, you want the review to explain how your team works and what makes your brand different from competitors. So, ask previous clients, how did your brand make a positive impact on their business?
13. Provide product testimonials
Along with review star ratings, try to have written or recorded (video) testimonials spread throughout your product pages, landing pages, and homepage. Again, your prospects want to know what others are saying about your services/products, so show them!
Notice how each testimonial explains exactly how B-school helped them succeed. Sarah’s testimonial is especially notable because she has some solid numbers in her quote: $50,000 in one week is a great result and could prompt new customers to work with B-School as well!
14. Provide free shipping
Customers would rather pay $10 more to get free shipping than pay a $4.99 shipping charge. I’m guilty of this myself. But why is this?
“Most shoppers are still more accustomed to the offline store than the online environment. Because of this, we lack the context for understanding how shipping costs factor into online shopping.”
As a customer, if I’m shopping online for the sake of convenience, but then see “convenience” is going to cost me $10 or $20, you better believe I’m going to start crunching numbers in my head about how that money factors into the time it would have taken to go to the store.
Coupons can be beneficial to gain interest and encourage people to try your product or service out. However, it’s essential to use coupons sparingly, as always being the lowest price point could end up hurting your business.
For example, if you’re offering 50 percent off on too many different services/products, you are cutting your revenue in half. Although you may get some more new customers this way, you won’t have enough money to sustain your business. Plus, a coupon does not guarantee repeat business. How many times have you bought something just once because it was free or discounted?
Instead, focus on providing outstanding service and overall unique brand experience. Here are some appropriate ways to use coupons:
Sell “stale” inventory
You can’t make money if you can’t sell your inventory, so this is the best time to start utilizing coupons. Either give a percentage discount on individual items, a BOGO type of offer or offer a free item once a certain spending threshold has been hit.
For example: “All orders over $250 get a free wireless phone charger. Use coupon code: CHARGE250”
Show appreciation for customers
According to Business.com.: “Acquiring new customers costs 5 to 10 times more than selling to a current customer — and current customers spend 67 percent more on average than those who are new to your business.”
All the more reason to show your current customers some love! Email coupon codes to loyal customers to show thanks for their continued support.
Reward new customers with automatic discounts
For new customers, automatically apply discounts towards their first purchase with your business, but don’t try to sell this upfront. Surprise is a great tactic to make lifetime customers.
As you can see above, new customers at Check Depot get a discount off their entire first order. Little bonuses like that don’t hurt to try!
16. User personalization
Smart Insights reveals that one type of personalization (“visitors who viewed this also viewed”) can generate 68 percent of e-commerce revenue.
You can see how everything is broken by recommendation type and how each one increased revenue. Try these out on your own site to see where you get the most traction. Just remember, according to Shopify, good e-commerce personalization should:
Meet users’ needs
Avoid turning visitors off with poor recommendations
Be used only where the potential return justifies your investment
Amazon.com is a shining example of all of this.
Nearly every element on the Amazon page is personalized in some way, including the personal “Olivia’s Amazon.com” link, the personal hello, the link to my account, and my “Wish List”. All suggested items are based on my past searches so nothing is recommended to me outside my realm of interests.
Strive to be on this level for your own customers and you’ll start seeing your profits increase.
17. Competitive Pricing
If you have seven competitors, and they all offer their product between $200–$400, but yours is $1200, you may run into some friction from prospects who are shopping around. If you’re going to have a high price point, you must justify it.
The amount a customer is willing to pay boils down to their perception of your brand, and this ties back into your UVP. Let’s say you want a customer to pay three times as much for your product over your competitors. Think to yourself, what makes you three times better than competitors 1 through 7? Is your product of the highest quality?
A smart way to determine what pricing will be acceptable to your buyers is by keeping your buyer personas up to date.
“Create profiles for your customer types that identify their buying concerns, what motivates them to buy your product, their income, and other insights that will help you understand their willingness to pay. With this knowledge, you’ll feel secure in what you are charging for your product and more confident that you will make sales.“
18. Make your “Add to Cart” and “Checkout” buttons prevalent
How can a customer buy from you if your button to purchase isn’t accessible? It doesn’t have to be rocket science!
Keep in mind, in western countries, we read left to right, so you’ll notice in the image above that the add to cart button is in the bottom right corner after most of the important information has already been reviewed. This is a wise spot for these Cart and Checkout buttons since most people on Amazon are reading through product and shipping details before adding to the cart.
19. Use live chat or chatbots
What works better? Utilizing chatbots will help to avoid the overhead of staffing for a live chat. However, you will probably get a better response from customers through using live chat.
Why? Buyers want a personalized customer experience that fits their needs, just as if they walked into a brick and mortar store.
Today, we’re using all of these digital tools to find out why people are bouncing — Hotjar, Qualaroo, Rejoiner — but what if we just let visitors tell us right away what they need from us as businesses? Think of all the friction that has been removed just by having a quick conversation with your customers as they entered the site.
Look at how SiteGround proves you are talking to a real expert that can help you based on an actual photo, name, ratings and how many customers have been served. On another note, who is that lady on the right? I’m pretty sure her name isn’t Diego like it shows. When using live chat, make it clear to your visitors that they are actually talking to a live person.
If you choose to take the chatbot route, be upfront with customers and don’t try to trick them into thinking that a bot is a real person. See how the Facebook Chatbot Bitcoin Buddy deals with its limitations below:
20. Show that your site is secure
Cybersecurity is one of the most critical aspects of e-commerce. Without proper protocols in place, online sellers put themselves and their customers at risk for payment fraud. Yikes.
Trust badges, trust seals, logos of your payment providers, the little secure “lock” icon on the browser, and more add that needed security to get your customers to buy. Most importantly, you must set up your store with an SSL certificate (https:// pages). Lastly, require the CVV for debit and credit cards for added security.
21. Referral marketing tactics
81 percent of consumers say that a recommendation from a friend or family member heavily influences their buying decisions. Anyone can get reviews from consumers, but it takes skill to acquire a review from a satisfied business executive. To validate your company, use your networking skills on LinkedIn or Google to encourage previous clients to write positive reviews about your business. It doesn’t hurt to try, just make sure to keep it professional.
Regularly engage with your contented customers through an advocate marketing program. This will nurture your relationship and reward them for supporting your brand. Once your advocates feel connected to and valued by your company, they’ll be ready to submit high-quality referrals.
There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to optimizing your online commerce. B2B marketing is a different animal than B2C so there are various considerations that must be taken into account when targeted to your desired audience.
Business executives are much more discerning than consumers, so networking with these individuals and gaining their trust is imperative to increase your profit. Focus on your unique value propositions, and provide different offerings for new and repeat customers.
If you’re able to get happy customers signing up for your referral program and leaving positive reviews, you will be amazed at the impact that it will have on your ROI.
Did you find any of the tips helpful? What tactics do you use to help increase your B2B e-commerce conversions?
The latest Wolfgang E-Commerce Report is now live. This study gives a comprehensive view of the state of digital marketing in retail and travel, allowing digital marketers to benchmark their 2018 performance and plan their 2019 strategy.
The study analyzes over 250 million website sessions and more than €500 million in online revenue. Google Analytics, new Facebook Analytics reports, and online surveys are used to glean insights.
Revenue volume correlations
One of the unique features of the study is its conversion correlation. All website metrics featured in the study are correlated with conversion success to reveal what the most successful websites do differently.
This year we’ve uncovered our strongest success correlation ever at 0.67! Just to give that figure context: normally, 0.2 is worth talking about and 0.3 is noteworthy. Not only is this correlation with success very strong, the insight itself is highly actionable and can become a pillar of your digital marketing strategy.
These are the top factors that correlated with revenue volume. You can see the other correlations in the full study.
Click to see a bigger version
Average pages per session (.37)
Average session length (.49)
Conversion rate by users (.41)
Number of sessions per user (.67)
Percentage of sessions from paid search (.25)
Average website engagement metrics
Number of sessions per user
Average pages per session
Average session duration
Average page load time
Average server response time
Above are the average website engagement metrics. You can see the average number of sessions per user is very low at 1.5 over 12 months. Anything a digital marketer can do to get this to 2, to 3, and to 4 makes for about the best digital marketing they can do.
At Wolfgang Digital, we’ve been witnessing this phenomenon at a micro-level for some time now. Many of our most successful campaigns of late have been focused on presenting the user with an evolving message which matures with each interaction across multiple media touchpoints.
Is a social media engagement more valuable than a website visit?
What’s the true value of a share?
What’s the average conversion rate for online-only vs multi-channel retailers?
What’s the average order value for a hotel vs. tour operator?
Today I want to talk to you about the most important online consumer trend in 2018. The story starts in a client meeting about four years ago, and we were meeting with a travel client. We got into a discussion about bounce rate and its implication on conversion rate. The client was asking us, “could we optimize our search and social campaigns to reduce bounce rate?”, which is a perfectly valid question.
But we were wondering: Will we lower the rate of conversions? Are all bounces bad? As a result of this meeting, we said, “You know, we need a really scientific answer to that question about any of the website engagement metrics or any of the website channels and their influence on conversion.” Out of that conversation, our E-Commerce KPI Report was born. We’re now four years into it. (See previous years on the Moz Blog: 2015, 2016, 2017.)
The metric with the strongest correlation to conversions: Number of sessions per user
We’ve just released the 2019 E-Commerce KPI Report, and we have a standout finding, probably the strongest correlation we’ve ever seen between a website engagement metric and a website conversion metric. This is beautiful because we’re all always optimizing for conversion metrics. But if you can isolate the engagement metrics which deliver, which are the money-making metrics, then you can be much more intelligent about how you create digital marketing campaigns.
The strongest correlation we’ve ever seen in this study is number of sessions per user, and the metric simply tells us on average how many times did your users visit your website. What we’re learning here is any digital marketing you can do which makes that number increase is going to dramatically increase your conversions, your revenue success.
Change the focus of your campaigns
It’s a beautiful metric to plan campaigns with because it changes the focus. We’re not looking for a campaign that’s a one-click wonder campaign. We’re not looking for a campaign that it’s one message delivered multiple times to the same user. Much more so, we’re trying to create a journey, multiple touchpoints which deliver a user from their initial interaction through the purchase funnel, right through to conversion.
Create an itinerary of touchpoints along the searcher’s journey
1. Research via Google
Let me give you an example. We started this with a story about a travel company. I’m just back from a swimming holiday in the west of Ireland. So let’s say I have a fictional travel company. We’ll call them Wolfgang Wild Swimming. I’m going to be a person who’s researching a swimming holiday. So I’m going to go to Google first, and I’m going to search for swimming holidays in Ireland.
2. E-book download via remarketing
I’m going to go to the Wolfgang Wild Swimming web page, where I’m going to read a little bit about their offering. In doing that, I’m going to enter their Facebook audience. The next time I go to Facebook, they’re now remarketing to me, and they’ll be encouraging me to download their e-book, which is a guide to the best swimming spots in the wild west of Ireland. I’m going to volunteer my email to them to get access to the book. Then I’m going to spend a bit more time consuming their content and reading their book.
3. Email about a local offline event
A week later, I get an email from them, and they’re having an event in my area. They’re going for a swim in Dublin, one of my local spots in The Forty Foot, for example. I’m saying, “Well, I was going to go for a swim this weekend anyway. I might as well go with this group.” I go to the swim where I can meet the tour guides. I can meet people who have been on it before. I’m now really close to making a purchase.
4. YouTube video content consumed via remarketing
Again, a week later, they have my email address, so they’re targeting me on YouTube with videos of previous holidays. Now I’m watching video content. All of a sudden, Wolfgang Wild Swimming comes up. I’m now watching a video of a previous holiday, and I’m recognizing the instructors and the participants in the previous holidays. I’m really, really close to pressing Purchase on a holiday here. I’m on the phone to my friend saying, “I found the one. Let’s book this.”
Each interaction moves the consumer closer to purchase
I hope what you’re seeing there is with each interaction, the Google search, the Facebook ad which led to an e-book download, the offline event, back online to the YouTube video, with each interaction I’m getting closer to the purchase.
You can imagine the conversion rate and the return on ad spend on each interaction increasing as we go. This is a really powerful message for us as digital marketers. When we’re planning a campaign, we think about ourselves as though we’re in the travel business too, and we’re actually creating an itinerary. We’re simply trying to create an itinerary of touchpoints that guide a searcher through awareness, interest, right through to action and making that purchase.
I think it’s not just our study that tells us this is the truth. A lot of the best-performing campaigns we’ve been running we’ve seen this anecdotally, that every extra touchpoint increases the conversion rate. Really powerful insight, really useful for digital marketers when planning campaigns. This is just one of the many insights from our E-Commerce KPI Report. If you found that interesting, I’d urge you to go read the full report today.