Live from ACCM: Kick Up Your Site’s Performance

May 20, 2008 8:57 PM  By

Orlando, FL – Want to boost your online sales? In his session, “A Better Understanding of Your Web Traffic = Increased Sales,” Greg Foglesong stressed four takeaway points for optimum online profitability.

First and foremost, Foglesong, former general manager of Home Depot Direct, told attendees there needs to be a holistic view of the online customer that requires multiple data sources, including Web analytics.

Second, focus optimization efforts on key performance drivers. Third, because broad adoption can be a challenge, education and simplification is critical. Finally, he said, know your tools because “results can be deceiving.”

Bill Bruno, a principal for Web analytics consultancy firm Stratigent, opened the session by offering some points about understanding the online customer. He says information sources such as Web analytics, customer satisfaction, transactional/customer database, usability testing, and qualitative/quantitative research can be used for performance dashboards, site optimization, marketing planning, merchandising strategy, and site enhancements. “Analyze (KPI) reports and get them in front of the right people,” Bruno advised.

What’s more, Foglesong said using these reports properly leads to understanding the online customer and “where they’re coming from, which is incredibly important.” He noted some of the top-level site performance metrics include:

* traffic (visits, traffic source)

* engagement (page views/visit; product page views; time onsite; home page bounce; content utilization)

* satisfaction (browser satisfaction, post-purchase satisfaction, category/section breakout

* online sales (demand, conversion, average ticket)

* buy flow (demand/search; product page conversion, cart abandonment, checkout abandonment

* store impact (store influenced sales)

With these metrics, Foglesong saids: “Highlight issues, measure ROI, and identify trends.”

Within product hierarchy optimization, Foglesong recommends adding “drill-down” attributes to refine selections. To increase sales (online and in-store), simplify the purchase process, offer a value proposition, along with visual merchandising and marketing integration.

To enhance the online customer experience, he adds, companies use Web analytics driven by customer satisfaction surveys and customer research, usability testing, and merchant, marketing, and vendor interviews. As a result, companies craft their strategic opportunities and marketing plans