We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, “Believe half of what people say, but trust what people do. Every time." That’s why things like surveys can be problematic. When you ask people questions – about anything – they will filter their answers through a bunch of stuff:
- Peer pressure – what they think the cool kids will say.
- Values signaling – prove that they are a “good” person.
- Identity signaling – how they want you to see them (smart, savvy, sexy, etc.).
- Aspirational association – what their favorite celebrity or hero might think (idol).
- People pleasing – what they think you want to hear.
No matter who you are or how careful you are, each and every one of us has all of these confusing motivations swimming around in our heads all the time. Cutting through all that is hard.
But to a certain extent, we’ve already learned a LOT about human behavior and great design principles that we can apply on our eCommerce pages to make the shopping experience better for our customers. But even with all of that experience and research and data, sometimes we are still guessing a bit as to what works and what doesn’t. That’s why things like A/B testing are so popular.
Ways to Maximize Your eCommerce Marketing Dollar
Time For More Real Data
We did a post last month that was focused on scarcity (you should read it). And in that post we cited a report by Qubit that covered a serious amount of data. The data comes out of their work in eCommerce personalization – so they have access to major players in the market – and they coupled this real data with detailed surveys.
The data was gathered from 2 billion customer eCommerce journeys covering 120 million actual purchases. That is what we call a “statistically relevant sample.” And the surveys came from 1000 actual customers and 250 senior marketing teams whose job it is to attract those customers.
From all of that, we know that digital marketing managers are already investing in website testing. In fact, 34% of major eCommerce brands spend over $50k on it each year. They do all of that because the “rules” of great UX and design are not always the “best” things to do in every case.
All that's good, but once your have your design set, there are ways to get even more value. Let’s look at the data.
Building Revenue Per Visitor (RPV)
Total Revenue doesn’t tell you the whole number. If you are looking at really building an effective eCommerce presence, you want to focus on RPV, just like the big names do. This way you measure the effectiveness of your efforts on everyone coming to your site. That means both new visitors and repeat customers.
So How Do You Get Even More Value?
Again, the answer is in the data. The “Big Four” improvements that you can make to your eCommerce site that have the highest return on your marketing investment are ….
Scarcity – RPV up 2.9%
As we’ve said before, communicating scarcity is the number one improvement you can make to increase conversions. This includes things like showing inventory levels or the number of people who’ve viewed the product.
Social Proof – RPV up 2.3%
There are five kinds of social proof – Peer/Customer, Crowd, Expert, Celebrity, and Trusted Friend. Social Proof deserves a blog post of its own. But suffice it to say, getting those testimonials on your site and on your product pages is important to your bottom line.
Urgency – RPV up 1.5%
Yes, “limited time offers” still work. So do things like “first 100 purchases” and “limited quantities available.” Communicating urgency is something you should do before it’s too late! (pun intended)
Product Recommendations – RPV up 0.4%
This makes total sense, right? When they are looking at a product – and when they click to buy that product – show them a selection of two or three more related products that they can buy now.
Coupled with these “Big Four,” statistically proven techniques is a fifth one – Segmentation. The RPV of each of the Big Four techniques listed above was multiplied 3x when Segmentation was added to a website.
Leveraging Up the “Big Four”
Segmentation means displaying specific products or different product descriptions based upon things you know about your visitor. Some larger eCommerce sites use very sophisticated data analysis to do this using all kinds of data gathered from social media, browser histories, and big-data vendors. They use this info to refine their eCommerce messages to a razor-sharp edge.
That can be expensive and impractical for most merchants. But there are some segmentation basics that you can do too. You can start by using things like gender, location, and previous buying history to help you segment your customers and give them a more personalized experience. The point is that applying segmentation to your eCommerce leverages up the “Big Four” and maximizes your return.
Boiling It All Down
Most eCommerce merchants don’t have a huge marketing team to help you with their eCommerce site. But even if you do, investing more in the right places has the best chance of delivering a positive return.
Step 1 – Start With a Good Design
Launch your site and spend the time and energy to get things just right.
Step 2 – Add the “Big Four”
Then focus your efforts on adding the “Big Four” movers of RPV over time. Add them as soon as your budget allows, in the order of their potential impact. First Scarcity, then Social Proof, then Urgency, and finally Product Recommendations.
Step 3 – Develop a Segmentation Strategy
Once you have the “Big Four” in place, develop a strategy for customer segmentation to leverage up the value of your investment in the “Big Four.”
Thanks for reading! As always, if you have any questions or need more info, just let us know. We are always happy to help.