Find Out Where Your E-Commerce Site Is Losing Money.
Imagine your site is a bucket with holes, and money is pouring out of it.
Table of Contents
How to understand where these leaks are?
E-Commerce Site: All sites lose earnings. One of the keys to optimizing for conversions and achieving your goals is identifying these losses and making hypotheses to test.
But how do you find these leaks?
Various software can help you do this, but it is important that you set yourself the goal of becoming an expert, a master. Today, knowing Google Analytics in depth can m ake a difference. My advice is to study, study and study.
If, on the other hand, you are starting now, I recommend the Google guide to the basics of Analytics (in English), or you can find material in Italian on youtube.
Let’s start by understanding which software can come in handy:
- Web analytics software such as Google Analytics or MixPanel
- Click and heat maps like Inspectlet, Clicktale or Crazyegg
- Online surveys like Qualaroo or Offline like Google Docs (Recommended) or Typeform
- Remote recordings of your users’ sessions as Inspectlet or SessionCam
The most useful software, however, consider that is your analysis skills. Software is programs that give you metrics, but no one knows your site and your target better than you.
Before measuring, knowing exactly WHAT YOU WANT to measure is important.
Let’s now analyze what information you can “pull out” from the abovementioned software.
- Where users connect from, which pages they land on, and which pages they “bounce” off the site (leave the site)
- Which specific categories or pages (product pages, for example) are high converting and which are not
- In which steps of the Conversion Funnel (we will discuss them in depth in other articles) are you performing successfully, and in which ones have you had a decline
Obviously, the tracking of the various objectives of e-commerce must be correctly configured. The main metrics (monthly traffic, pages visited, average times on site, etc.) can be interesting, but up to a certain point.
The fascinating data is the specific data for increasing conversions and achieving the pre-set KPIs.
Click and Heatmaps:
- What your visitors are looking at and what they ignore while browsing your site
- Where they click and where they don’t (and where they might click instead)
- Up to where they “scroll” the page
All this information is beneficial to understand your visitors’ behavior and creating hypotheses to test to improve the design/layout of your site.
- Who are your customers (get to know your target better)
- Why they buy from you (what benefits they find in your offer)
- Because they like to shop on your site
- Any problems they encounter in the purchase process
- The sites that compare with yours and what advantages/disadvantages there are compared to your competitors
- The perceived benefits
All this information will also be useful for improving your Value Proposition, copywriting, and user experience over time.
I want to point out two other tools, Qualaroo and WebEngage, useful for understanding why your visitors left the site without purchasing (through online surveys) by “interviewing the visitor” by recognizing the moment before leaving the site. I refer you to the official websites for more information.
- If the site is immediately understandable
- If there is content or pages that are not easy to navigate and understand
- If visitors find it difficult to check out or fill in forms
- If there is something that creates confusion and what instead is clear and understandable
Poor Usability kills your conversions. These four approaches to data analysis (Web Analytics, Click and Heat Maps, Online Surveys, and User Testing) will help you fix your losses!
What to analyze on the pages of your site:
There is no predefined scheme or list, or rather perfect, to follow.
Every time I carry out a consultancy for e-commerce, I set up an ad hoc framework according to my client’s type of business, target, and offer.
It is essential to do a lot of brainstorming and analysis in the initial phase and to define what you want to analyze and which KPIs to improve over time.
Once you have defined your goals, you can research the causes to produce the desired effects.
I won’t tell you about the micro points to analyze (I will do it in other insights) but about the macros, the reasoning to be done on individual pages. In fact, there are some recurring key points to be analyzed in every project and web page of e-commerce, and they are:
If you want to learn more, I refer you to the dedicated article; in short, it is the main reason a visitor arrives on your site and buys from you, not from one of your competitors.
What is it for:
- Explain how your product/service solves customer problems and improves their situation (relevance)
- Provides specific advantages and benefits (quantified value)
- Says why potential customers should buy from you and not your competition (unique differentiation)
The Value Proposition usually consists of the following:
- Title: Must grab attention immediately. In a nutshell, you need to understand what the main benefit you offer is.
- Subtitle: In a couple of lines, you need to be able to condense a specific explanation of what you do, who you do it for, and why it’s useful.
- Three bullet points: A list containing the main benefits or characteristics of the service/product.
- Image: Communicate the essence of what you want to sell in a visual and, therefore, more immediate way. It must excite and be clear.
Every high-traffic (and converting) page must contain a clear and compelling value proposition, not just the Home Page.
A slogan (for example: “L’Oreal because I’m worth it) is not a value proposition.
The Clarity in Layout and Content
The time and attention span of a visitor on a website is drastically low; therefore, it is essential that in a few moments, he understands as much information as possible about your business, products, and offer and to do this, I advise you to use very well distributed layouts in the spaces between value propositions, images, and contents, but above all a clear, simple language within everyone’s reach.
Whether you sell luxury boats or hardware or B2B or B2C, whoever buys your products is always a person.
Avoid business language, catchphrases or redundant phrases that are difficult to understand, or generic phrases (such as “we are the industry leader”) that do not identify what you do, what you sell, and what the benefit is for your customer.
Try to be as clear and persuasive as possible. Your conversions will benefit.
The more choices you give your customer, the more difficult it will be for him to choose. In the indecision, you don’t buy either one or the other.
I’m not talking about how many products you can have on your site (actually, the more you have, the better, the important thing is that they are well filterable), but how full your layout is of useless “stuff.” How many qualitative design elements are there?
For example, if your visitor is on the checkout page, focus on eliminating all the distractions that can divert them from your goal, the purchase!
Another example: The social share button under the “BUY NOW” call-to-action on the product sheet is a distraction. Is your goal on that page to add the product to the cart or share?
Years ago, in a consultancy, I met a client who “complained” about the many, too many phones calls that his e-commerce received, how he couldn’t handle them, and how the staff was overwhelmed by managing them.
My answer was to insert a live chat for commercial and support information, to work on the value proposition and on the contents of the site, and finally on the images and the guarantees offered on the purchase (free shipping, free returns, 24-month warranty, money back guarantee, guaranteed payment methods SSL and Paypal, etc.).
Beyond this, I have designed a customer ‘My Account’ section packed with information and information guides.
He reduced incoming calls by more than 80% in just two months.
It is almost impossible to remove doubts 100%, as there will always be a percentage who will contact us or call us, but it is our job to drastically reduce these restrictions on purchases.
The first question to ask yourself is: If I receive so many phone calls or questions, is it probably because I need to be clearer, specific, and transparent in my purchase proposition?
Consumers ask themselves a thousand doubts before buying.
Know your customer, know his doubts, and provide him with as much information as possible, a clear and navigable site, and you will be able to convince him to buy.
Another point to analyze is whether, in your e-commerce, you are “exploiting” more or less with the sense of urgency to purchase. There are three ways to create urgency:
- Quantity Limitation (only two available!)
- Time Limitation (Offer valid until November 30th)
- Contextual limitation to an event (Mother’s Day, “Valentine’s Day is coming, don’t wait, give your partner an emotion,” etc..)
But be careful; use this strategy only on some products or offers and be credible; if all your products are “limited,” it will be easy not to believe you.
Call To Action
I’ve already talked about it in depth in another article; for now, know that the call to action is an essential factor in analyzing and improving your layout.
Your customer must never ask himself: What do I do now?
Your buttons should be clear, with an attractive design and text that convinces you.
I have determined the main factors for which a site loses money or does not convert enough. Data analytics is really important, and if you want to become a Master’s in e-commerce, I recommend you specialize in that.
If your site already has a monthly traffic of 50/100,000 visits, to increase your turnover, you don’t need to increase your advertising investment, or rather it can be useful, but only after having thoroughly understood which elements need to be improved, where “they are losses,” know your customers because if your strategy starts from an analytical approach, you will be able to increase your conversions by eliminating “losses” and above all not increasing or decreasing advertising investments.