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Monday, Jan. 18, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Shopping Cart Optimization: Take This Step Today

By Melissa Burdon
January 18th, 2010

stepsIn my last post, I wrote about treating your various sources of traffic differently from one another.  Track the individual conversion rates of your CPC, organic/SEO, email, etc. so you can prioritize the opportunities you have to optimize your web site’s performance.  That is just the first step, though.  Next, you need to separate each traffic source into segments based on the various campaigns or marketing efforts in each traffic source.

Let me use an example. There is a climbing gym in Salt Lake City called “Momentum.”  [Note: This company is not a FutureNow client].  Let’s pretend that we know their traffic source mix:

  • 15% of their traffic is Direct
  • 68% of their traffic is Search
    • 38% of Search is Paid Search
    • 30% of Search is Non-Paid Search
  • 17% of their traffic is Email

At this point, we should break down each of these traffic sources into segments based on different channels or campaigns.  Let’s come up with a scenario for their Paid Search traffic (CPC).  Let’s say that we’re able to break down their campaigns into three different buckets:

1) Some of the paid terms sending traffic to their site are brand specific; for example “Momentum” and “Momentum climbing gym.”
2) Some CPC terms are non-branded, but are specific to the qualities that Momentum has to offer, or location; e.g. “Salt Lake City climbing gym.”
3) Finally, some of the CPC terms are very general; e.g. “climbing gym.”

From this list, we can tell what group is more likely in the “late stage” of their buying process.  By visitors searching for brand-specific terms, they are showing us that they have a specific interest in the company, their products, and their services, and therefore this traffic should be the easiest to convert.  This is where we should first focus our attention when trying to improve our web site’s performance.  Where is the first place we should look to increase results for the late stage traffic?  The shopping cart and checkout, of course!  Start optimizing your shopping cart today by tackling these 5 questions visitors have while they are in your shopping cart.  Or, use these 10 tips to improve your shopping cart performance for your late stage visitors.

The analysis you do before starting your conversion rate optimization efforts needs to be nearly equal parts Art and Science.  Don’t rely on industry benchmarks or the metrics from other case studies; your analytics data should drive the planning, prioritization, and implementation of changes to your site.

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Comments (54)

  1. i still think product reviews can help well for the shopping cart sites and the security. buyers buy when they need to buy.

  2. I have a close friend who knocks the socks off of everyone else I know because she has over 100,000 uniques per month traffic.

    And, yet, even with attracting that many new people every month, she is only able to convince advertisers to place ads on her blog for a total of $200 per month.

    You would think that just by accident someone with that kind of traffic would be in demand, but not so, unless my friend is kidding me.

    If 100,000 is a true number, what would you expect her income from advertising to be?

  3. To the poster above, with 100,000 uniques per month Im sure she would not have to worry about advertising, but will also depend on what the website is about, a popular product will demand a higher advertising rate that a information site..

  4. You are right on here. Improving your cart performance is nothing different than having quality cashiers or a sales person that can close. A necessity. Thanks for the tips.

  5. @Beth Charette
    If she really has got 100.000 uniques per mo. She could make at least 1000$-2000$ in ads.
    If she doesn’t she should think about the site design and the way she presents the site over the net.

  6. Excellent advice Melissa. Makes a lot of sense :)

  7. the scent of the title does not meet the content’s.
    but thanks for the other two posts link

  8. Well I agree.Separating the traffic sources and working on these sources separately will help in increasing conversion rate.

  9. very nice post with a lot of information.

  10. very good soucre of online information. thank you

  11. this is a nice site which hold plenty of good information- it makes very good reading and lots of posts- please keep it up, thank you for my comment

  12. Wel…Very nice yor information,thanks

  13. At least it’s one of the most easy parts of your website to start optimizing as it stands pretty much on its own. Security is definitely important but your visitors probably already had a good feeling with your website otherwise they would have never made it to the cart.

  14. This is a pretty good outline of the analyses that every webshop owner should do by heart – over and over again. Thanks for inspiring!

  15. Shoping cart optimization is great thing and this post gives alot about this. i am going to upgrade my cart with these tips.

  16. I know most of us need help with shopping cart issues.

  17. This is really a very interesting post.I enjoyed reading it.

  18. thanks for sharing us this informative post…I’m doing SEO and marketing and I’m really amazed with this strategy.

  19. “your analytics data should drive the planning, prioritization, and implementation of changes to your site.” Quoted for truth, I run into so many companies that employ “spray and pray” marketing techniques when all they have to do is analyze the data they already have! Knowing how to use this information is absolutely crucial to success.

  20. Thanks for the advice.I will really try this today.Thanks once again.This blog teaches so many important things.

  21. very good advice, but not an easy thing to do

  22. [...] full post on Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow, Inc Enjoyed this article?WebsiteWordpress [...]

  23. lots of information thank you.i will come back and read these blogs and comments time after time. abbanow

  24. Great article and advice just not always easy to do.

  25. Very nice strategy. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Good tips for all those interested in e-commerce. Enjoyed the article.

  27. [...] been following our blog, you have probably read by now that we start working with our clients by first understanding their data. We look at their top-performing marketing channels and segment each traffic source into early, [...]

  28. thanks for advice. good post.

  29. Security is definitely important but your visitors probably already had a good feeling with your website otherwise they would have never made it to the cart.

  30. shopping cart optimization is very important to get the desired sales you need and want.

  31. [...] been following our blog, you have probably read by now that we start working with our clients by first understanding their data. We look at their top-performing marketing channels and segment each traffic source into early, [...]

  32. traffic coming through brand name search especially organic traffic is easy to convert because they already know the brand and products and the only thing we need to convince them is the benefits of these products.

  33. A great product with fair price and excellent reviews can bring many customers, and they should be enlightened about the security of their online transaction even before they place orders, it helps a lot to build trust and repeat customers.

  34. Security has become a very important issue, especially with PCI compliance getting so strict these days. There are huge fines for not being in compliance.

  35. Nice blog – couldn’t agree more with whatever you said. Keep up the good work!

    David

    credit card processing fees

  36. “your analytics data should drive the planning, prioritization, and implementation of changes to your site.” Quoted for truth, I run into so many companies that employ “spray and pray” marketing techniques when all they have to do is analyze the data they already have! Knowing how to use this information is absolutely crucial to success.

  37. SEO was really powerful and intelligent now you can also find shopping carts that are optimized.

  38. Great reviews, great products this is how one gets the clients in and coming back for more. One has to always bear this in mind when looking to grab new clients to ones business. Having great business skills as well as the right SEO on ones site this all helps in making things better in the long run for your site.

  39. Well I agree.Separating the traffic sources and working on these sources separately will help in increasing conversion rate.

  40. Great reviews, great products this is how one gets the clients in and coming back for more. One has to always bear this in mind when looking to grab new clients to ones business. Having great business skills as well as the right SEO on ones site this all helps in making things better in the long run for your site.

  41. hen looking to grab new clients to ones business. Having great business skills as well as the right SEO on ones site this all helps in making things better in the long run for your site.

  42. [...] [...]

  43. Fantastic blog post! This would aid plenty of people learn about this matter

  44. Nice blog – couldn’t agree more with whatever you said. Keep up the good work!

  45. Direct email marketing is also good for a business because you are doing marketing directly to your prospected customers.

  46. This is a good step for those who want there stuff to be more visible in the market. your marketing should be good so that you can sell your product easily.

  47. Well it looks to me like the 100,000 people going to a site and the $1000-2000 figure mentioned that is only .01 cents per hundred vistors surely adsense alone would pay more than that? I would monetize it with a product or do product launches for others.

  48. I am impressed with all this useful information. Was WAY more than I expected.actualy you hold a few useful facts there in your Video Greeting from Ontario

  49. You are right on here. Improving your cart performance is nothing different than having quality cashiers or a sales person that can close. A necessity. Thanks for the tips.

  50. @Beth Charette
    If she really has got 100.000 uniques per mo. She could make at least 1000$-2000$ in ads.
    If she doesn’t she should think about the site design and the way she presents the site over the net.

  51. [...] Shopping Cart Optimization: Take This Step Today [...]

  52. [...] Shopping Cart Optimization: Take This Step Today [...]

  53. [...] Shopping Cart Optimization: Take This Step Today [...]

  54. Factors to consider when analyzing the traffic of a website are very many. And the conversions … what weight?

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

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