This video from the Google Analytics YouTube channel is a hilarious satire on the difficulties many customers encounter on their way through an online checkout process. Ideally, your checkout process should result in a win-win situation. If customers are not converting as you hoped and your company is not meeting its expected goals, it’s time to investigate your funnel for where customers are dropping off.
In order to identify the parts of your checkout process that are driving customers away, set goals in Google Analytics. Then examine your traffic sources, prioritize your stronger channels, address those issues you see leading to significant drop-offs in conversions, and meet regularly to review your progress (For more details, read “4 Steps to Use Analytics to Increase Revenue”).
So, why are customers exiting from critical pages on your conversion path? It could be for any number of reasons.
For example, in this video, the customer is forced to:
Authenticate himself through a challenge-response process
Try to understand why various delivery charges are added to his total payment
Accept unintelligible terms and conditions
Start the whole process over when his connection times out
All this, for a simple product he can find almost anywhere. While you may think that all these elements are necessary from an organizational standpoint, as a whole, they frustrate visitors to the point of abandoning cart.
We are pleased to have Melinda Byerley as a guest blogger for Building Keystones.
Melinda is an e-commerce marketing and general management veteran, having held roles at eBay, PayPal, Check Point Software, and Linden Lab (Second Life). Most recently, she was the VP Marketing and Product for PlantSense, an internet device startup in the gardening space. She holds an MBA from Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management.
There’s a saying, “Climate is the contents of your wardrobe; but weather is what you put on today.” When it comes to web analytics, long term trends represent the “climate” and daily performances represent the “weather”.
Now, we all love launching new products, testing their performance, improving marketing efficiency and staying on top of our numbers. We don’t have to wait weeks for market data; we get it immediately, almost in real time.
So, which side of this situation have you been on?
Big VP: (sending email at 6 AM on Monday morning): “Hi! I’m on a flight to New York this morning and preparing for exec staff; and was checking our web analytics dashboard. Why is traffic down 10% today? What’s wrong? Need to know ASAP!!!”
Web Analyst: (pre coffee, checking email from bed, muttering to self): “Oh no! I was planning on spending this morning with the weekly dashboard and fixing some tags on marketing’s landing pages. Crap. Looks like another long day at work. Better get going early!”
Web analytics providers make it easy to monitor your metrics from anywhere, even from your mobile phone in bed (admit it, you do it too!) They can send automated alerts that would make a derivatives trader envious. The graphics are crisp, clear and gorgeous. It’s like a real world video game.
But, in many instances, the web analytics data that looks so credible is inaccurate. And even when it is accurate, focusing too narrowly on data can be an utter distraction from your company’s long term strategic goals.
The online shopping extravaganza that occurred on Cyber Monday reconfirms e-commerce as a lucrative, growing field. Since Building Keystones is passionate about empowering people to succeed in this ever growing industry, we continue our mission to bring you digital e-commerce expertise on a wide range of topics with the November Blogger’s Digest.
As always, we encourage you to take part by asking questions or sharing your experiences in the comment section.
Occam’s Razor – Smarter Data Analysis: This is a complicated read that requires some active participation, but it is well worth it. Google’s recent changes to their Analytics service now lists a significant amount of your keyword traffic as (not provided). Although we cannot determine what keywords comprise this new group of traffic sources, Avinash Kaushik has provided a few handy custom reports to help us understand how that traffic is performing.
Practical Ecommerce – Google + Launches Pages for Business: Earlier this month, Google opened their social networking site to businesses. This post examines the benefits this change brings to message segmentation and SEO, as well as the challenges of monitoring and updating yet another social networking site.
Hubspot – Why YOU Are Your Business’ Most Qualified SEO Expert: Don’t assume the keywords you target are optimal just because they seem natural to you. As with many business decisions, you must test your hypothesis against actual results to ensure they are correct. One key take away from this article is that even similar keywords can yield vastly different search results, so go ahead and start googling yourself.
GigaOM – With Friends Like SOPA, Who Needs DMCA & IdeaLab – Why Backers of SOPA Say It Should Pass:Without taking a stance on either side of this debate, I felt it was important to draw everyone’s attention to an important piece of legislature that is currently being debated in the US Congress. If this bill passes, it will certainly change the way individuals and companies interact online, so we encourage you to take the time to research this issue and formulate your own opinions.
We hope you all had a terrific Black Friday / Cyber Monday week and that your successes carry on into the holiday season and beyond!