This afternoon, some of the marketing team from Spark Response and Spark Etail attended a lunch time eCommerce marketing event run by North East digital marketing agencies Silverbean and Communicator Corp.

The topic of the event was ‘Optimising Digital Performance’ and covered the all important areas of conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and advanced email marketing, both with the intention of increasing eCommerce conversion, and ultimately, driving sales online. Whilst there was a load of great content covered, here’s our 5 favourite points:

1. Quality, not Quantity

Before even thinking about CRO, it’s important to understand your eCommerce site traffic. Who are the visitors, where are they, are they male or female, where did they find your site from, what do they buy online? All too often, eCommerce and marketing teams focus on driving traffic to their sites, as they see site traffic as a key, measurable metric. Instead of focusing on quantity, focus instead on driving quality site visitors. Those who meet your buyer profile or persona.

2. Create buyer personas

A buyer persona is the ideal representation of your target customer. To target your ideal customer, you need to know what these people are interested in, where they go online, who they like, who they dislike, and who they’re influenced by. Only by really understanding these details can a marketer create a compelling message to appeal to these customers.

3. Landing Page Optimisation

So once you’ve researched your customers, created your campaigns, and got your message to them, where do you send them? To your homepage? No. Send them to a landing page relevant to them. Don’t make the customer search through the site to find the products or services you want them to find. Make it easy. And once they reach the page, test, test, and test again with layouts, calls to action, forms, and content so you’re continually optimising the page, and ultimately the conversion rate, whether this is a purchase, contact form completion, or download.

4. Avoid these 3 conversion killers

  • Slow page loading speed. As a rule of thumb, make sure your site pages load in under 3 seconds. Anything more, and you risk losing the customers attention. Use Google Developer tools to check your page load speed.
  • Hidden charges. If you offer free delivery, tell people. If you charge for delivery, tell people, early on in their journey. Don’t wait until the checkout page before adding £3.99 for delivery, or a £1.50 booking fee. We recently wrote a blog on how the UK’s top 50 online retailers display their delivery propositions, which gives a range of ideas.
  • Trust. Trust is easy to lose, but difficult to earn. To help, add phone numbers, addresses, photos of staff, store photos, or use an external review tool such as Feefo or TrustPilot.

5. The way you communicate with customers will soon change

Thanks to the recent EU Data Protection Reform, the way eCommerce retailers communicate with their customers will change. Within 12-24 months, new legislation will come into force which seeks to further protect customers from illegitimate direct mail operators. For a full breakdown on what you need to know, read Communicator Corp’s blog post on the subject.