Stephen Netzlaw
Author Stephen Netzlaw
Posted in Digital Commerce
November 13, 2014
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3 Questions to Find Out if Your E-Commerce Site is Performing

Hello business owners and other important people! Yes you, the person who has an assistant. Yes you, the person who is always busy or at least defines themselves that way. Yes you, the person who will read this blog on their iPhone during their single bathroom break in between meetings.

Today I’m going to challenge you to find out how well your e-commerce site is performing. I’m going to be asking you 3 questions and if you don’t know the answers and/or you don’t know how you stack up versus the e-commerce standards... I encourage you to panic and act irrationally.

Let me quickly define a couple types of customers before we begin:

Direct to site customers. They at least know your company name, and ideally would know your company’s website address.

Search customers. Yup, you guessed it. People who had to use a search tool to find your company. Such as performing a search through Google.

OK. You ready?!? Lets go:

Question 1. What is your website’s bounce rate?

If you don’t know what bounce rate means, don’t worry. I’ll whisper it to you while quoting Wikipedia. It is “the percentage of visitors who enter the site and "bounce" (leave the site) rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site.

I bet you just smirked and thought to yourself, “my company or product is the best… therefore my bounce rate is very low.” OK hot shot. Before you read any further go look at your bounce rate.

The average in the world of ecommerce is 35%. What does this mean you ask? It means that for every 3 visits, 1 person is leaving (or bouncing) rather than viewing any other pages on your website.

Direct to site customers average bounce rate will be quite low as these visitors know your brand or product. The real important stat to measure is the bounce rate from Search customers. These are the people you worked HARD to obtain. You don’t want to lose these ones. So take a look at your site’s bounce rate and if its failing to perform at the average, begin panic session number 1.

Question 2. What is your website’s conversion rate?

Lets quickly define conversion rate. Conversion rate is how many times a goal is completed divided by how many visits your website received. In the ecommerce world, the goal we are referring to is a sale.

So if 100 people visit your website and 1 person makes a purchase, you have a 1% conversion rate. MATH!

The average CAN/US e-commerce conversion rate floats around at 2%. Suprised? Not surprised? How do you stack up? Are you missing out or are you ahead of the game?

Direct to site customers are typically over 2% while Search customers are typically under 2%. If your conversion rate is below 2%, begin another panic session and get ready to start acting irrationally.

Question 3. Where do your traffic and sales come from?

Knowing how your visitors make their way to your website is a big deal. Or at least I’m claiming that its a big deal. So deal with it.

On average, about 15% of sales are Direct to Site customers. WOAH! Yeah you read that right. That means 85% of buyers didn’t type your website address into their browser. They found and bought through alternate mediums such as Search, Email, Social Media, etc.

To put a nice bow on this stat → Search customers make up about 60% of sales.

If you are finding that your direct traffic is vastly higher than your other mediums… then I will assume you are facing one of two scenarios.

Scenario One: You have such great brand recognition and brand allegiance that OF COURSE people are going to your website direct all the time!

Scenario Two: Your marketing is lackluster. :(

Test Results

Relax this was not a pass/fail test. This was a pop quiz designed to learn about your skills and determine areas for improvement. Classic teaching technique!

First off, if you don’t have access to the the stats I’ve been referring to… thats a red flag. By installing Google Analytics into your website, you can begin tracking what I have been outlining in this blog as well as much, much more. If you are relying on your own internal marketing department or web agency that aren’t working from REAL statistics to make your business successful online, I would encourage you to re-evaluate your online strategy.

8-principals.jpgOnce you have the statistics required to understand where your business is at, my advice would be to start researching what other successful companies are doing and begin to understand where you could be improving. This can be an arduous task, so let me get you started. Last year our CEO wrote an article, the 8 Principles of Online Success. While it may not solve your problem directly, it may give you some insight in what you should do next.

And heck. Here’s my own personal plug. If you thought this blog was useful and you happen to be a business owner who has an underperforming website or team. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us… we don’t know everything… but we may be able to point you in the right direction.

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