Ellen Julian

increase online conversionsThe latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey reveals that 40 percent of all American adults search Amazon always or most of the time when shopping online. A staggering 50 percent of those Americans who search Amazon most frequently actually make a purchase.

A 50 percent conversion rate–the number of visits to the website that result in a purchase–is massive when compared with the widely cited retail industry average of a mere 3 percent, notes CNBC. How does Amazon accomplish this?

Take a Page from Amazon’s Playbook

CNBC asked what Americans value most in their Amazon experience. When asked to rank the importance of Amazon’s various attributes, respondents ranked their level of security for personal information highest and price a close second. After security and price, shoppers ranked product selection, site navigation, and shipping about the same.

Given Amazon’s remarkable conversion rate, it makes sense to optimize each of these attributes on your own site. You can use A/B or multivariate testing to determine which website changes quantifiably improve the experience. Let’s look at a few examples:

  • Security. Nothing is more important than how you manage users’ privacy and help customers feel secure about their data. Address these concerns head-on by stating that your site is secure, that customer information is private, and that you adhere to ethical business practices. Vegas.com found that providing security assurance to visitors not only on the billing page but also on the home page made a significant difference. 
  • Pricing and Shipping. Use pricing experiments to discover the optimal percentage or dollar discount and time frame that converts visitors to buyers. Test your free-shipping threshold to see what motivates your customers. One of our clients tested four different free-shipping threshold prices and the winning threshold resulted in a 23% lift in average order value.
  • Site Navigation. The best product, price, or promotion is useless if visitors can’t grasp where to click to complete an action. You can optimize site navigation by testing how the user experience is sequenced, what each item is labeled, how inline text links look, among other things. Skinner Auctions tested navigation changes to increase the time visitors spend on the site, resulting in a 40 percent increase in number of items viewed and a 22 percent increase in catalog downloads. As well, Skinner ran tests to optimize the placement of sign-up links, copy, and buttons, resulting in a 590 percent increase in opt-in registrations.
  • Check-out experience. As with navigation, if the check-out experience is complicated and lengthy, the result is lower conversions. Quill.com saw a large lift in overall site conversions when it optimized its check-out flow.

Now’s a great time to update your offensive game plan. Why not borrow from one of the biggest rivers in the world to find out how to get your conversions flowing?

 

Tags: Optimization Trends Best Practices A/B & Multivariate Testing

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