Because I live in the optimization world, I sometimes assume that certain web site strategies are common sense and obvious. I sometimes forget that the only reason why they are common sense and obvious to me: Because I analyze and optimize web sites all day, every day. That’s a bit of an unfair advantage!
At FutureNow, we work with clients in a variety of industries and business models: e-commerce, lead generation and catalog. Lately, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some clients who are driving traffic from their web sites to physical store locations. These clients share some basic challenges, so I’ve decided to cover things you should be focusing on if you’re an online business trying to drive traffic to a physical location.
First, decide what action you want your visitors to take. We know that you want your visitors to come off your web site and visit your physical location, but what actions do you want them to take ON your web site that demonstrate their interest in coming to your physical location? These are what we call micro conversion points. “Micro” because they are stepping stones on the way to some sort of purchase, which we call a macro conversion.
Here are some examples of actions a site might want the visitor to take to show their interest in moving forward. The following points should be tracked as micro conversion points, and you should optimize to increase these individual conversion rates.
Tracking these micro conversion points is important, but it’s also important to follow through and track whether visitors who take these micro conversion actions are resulting in physical store purchases. Many companies track one or the other, but they seem to have a hard time tracking micro conversion rates on their web sites or they have a hard time connecting actions on a web site to actual sales in the physical store.
Here’s a list of questions you can ask yourself in order to get the right tracking in place to start seeing how your online efforts are resulting in ‘brick and mortar’ sales.
Tracking whether a store purchaser was originally a web site visitor:
Are you tracking all in-store purchases, asking each purchaser whether they went to your web site before they came to your physical store? This will help you find out general stats on how many visited your web site prior to purchasing.
Are you collecting email addresses and sending out surveys to in-store purchasers to find out how they came to your store?
Tracking phone calls from listed phone numbers on your web site:
Is the phone number listed on your web site unique from other marketing efforts so that you can track it separately?
Is the phone number you list on various pages unique from the other pages on your site? In other words, if you feature a phone number on the about us page, is it a different number than the one on your contact us page? This would help you identify what pages visitors are making a decision to call from, and will also help you identify what types of things they are asking after visiting specific pages on your site.
Are you collecting enough information from the caller on the phone, so that you can match this up if the visitor turns into a sale in the physical store location?
Purely “clicks and mortar” E-commerce sites see the importance of optimization before the Holiday Season because it directly impacts their sales online. “Bricks and mortar” companies that use their web site to drive traffic to their physical store don’t see the direct impact as strongly, but this could be because they aren’t tracking the impact effectively. If you’re in this situation, use some of the tips above to begin tracking and optimizing. You still have time to optimize for the holiday season and beyond!