March 19, 2017

Top 10 Problems I Observe In My Projects: #5

Problem #10 = New Items Are Too Expensive
Problem #9 = Discounts Drive Down Price Of Existing Winners
Problem #8 = Relying On 1-2 Customer Acquisition Channels
Problem #7 = Has To Be Right
Problem #6 = Seasonal Misalignment
Problem #5 = Email Clicks And Online Clicks Not Linked To Purchase Database

Why is this a problem?


I continually read articles talking about optimizing the online experience ... removing friction ... pushing customers toward a purchase. And I continually witness clients who do great work using traditional analytics tools to optimize the customer experience. Really good work!

And then sales don't increase.

But folks argue ... "I don't care if sales didn't increase, conversion rates increased, and so we can prove that if conversion rates increase and average order stays the same then sales had to increase."

One problem.

Did you measure traffic from existing customers?

Here's what happens ... when we remove friction and/or improve the conversion process for existing customers, we frequently reduce visits. In other words, the customer was likely to purchase after 5-6 visits ... but we improved the process and the customer now purchases after 4-5 visits. We reduced friction ... but we didn't change the outcome.

By linking visits to purchases (across all channels), we accurately measure customer behavior. There are numerous actionable optimization tactics available.
  • Stop sending so many catalogs and print/direct-mail to customers who click on email campaigns.
  • Start sending hotline direct mail pieces to visitors who had not visited the website in "x" months but suddenly appear.
  • Fully understand the conversion process (usually takes 3-6 visits and 1-3 marketing channels).
  • Identify channels that inspire first-time visitors.
  • Understand the entry paths and entry channels that lead to offline/retail purchases.
  • Measure online cannibalization of offline channels.
Big companies can do all of this stuff.

It's time for the rest of us to catch up.

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