Driving Online Sales
How can you drive online sales through measuring the right activity?
Research ‘marketing’ or ‘sales funnels’ on Google and you’ll find a vast range of terms to describe how you get somebody to visit your web site, evaluate your product or service before buying or requesting a quote. We can summarise these as raising awareness, developing an interest, considering your offer and deciding to purchase. So lets looks at the key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics you should request from your marketing and sales teams to focus on the right activity and drive online sales.
If you collect KPIs at each stage in this journey you’ll get a better idea of what’s working and what isn’t. Armed with this, you can focus on activities that are working, develop those areas that need to work better and so ultimately drive growth in sales.
Your web site should act as the core to your digital marketing activities that create awareness:
- Being found. (Inbound Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Content Marketing, Earned Content)
- Attracting attention. (Paid advertising – Pay Per Click Advertising on Google, Banner Advertising on popular web sites, Paid Content, Social Media advertising)
- Raising awareness & engagement with prospective customers (Social Media Groups, Blogs)
- Brand recognition and referral. (How many people search for you using your brand name or simply type in your web site address?)
- Number of your top keywords on the first page in Google. (Can you be found?)
- Goal conversions (How much does it cost to bring a visitor to your site and convert them to an action that will lead to a sale?)
- (How many people have seen your latest blog/news/case study on social media?)
Once your potential customers are aware of what of you do, you need to develop their interest. Prospective customers may show interest through the following:
- They find you through the search engines and then spend time browsing your website.
- They subscribe to your email list and click on the links in the email to go to interesting articles on your site.
- They see an article from you on social media and go to your site or blog to read more.
- Number of website visitors.
- Bounce rate. (Do they go to another page after landing on the page they found?)
- Email subscriptions. (Do people want to hear from you again about what you do?)
- Engagement. ( this shows how many people were interested in the latest information you sent out, be it a post on Facebook, video on Youtube, article on LinkedIn, etc. The focus here is to find out how many people reacted to your content.)
Now that your prospective customers are aware of what you do, you must ensure they have everything they need to make a buying decision.
This is an important phase in the customer journey. With so much information on your competitors’ products and services at their fingertips, prospective customers can look around until they find what they want. You need to really project how you are different and are the right choice.
Does the customer have sufficient information to make a decision in your favour? On e-commerce sites it can come down to the quality of your filters, whether the customer can compare features with those in the range, and how easy you’ve made it for them to evaluate which of your products or services would best meet their needs?
- Product views. (How many times are your products being viewed?)
- Email open rates and click-throughs. (These KPIs measure the response rate to an email shot sent out though systems such as Mailchimp as part of your email marketing.)
- Using special software you can see what visitors look at on your web site. This helps you determine whether your web site is easy to use and which parts are the most popular, and which part of the page is being viewed.
- How many people have downloaded more detailed information about what you do? This implies you have created detailed documentation or comparison charts for prospective customers to evaluate your products and services.
- Message response rates. (Facebook, Amazon, eBay etc. measure how quickly you respond to messages. Fast response times are critical for online sales and engaging with customers through social media.)
- When you receive an enquiry, get your customer service team to ask where the enquirer heard about you. They won’t always be sure but better to collect the information.
- Online quotations. (Can you provide an online quotation system so your prospective customers get an immediate answer, or somebody can come back to them with a detailed response?)
- Live chat with a customer representative is now popular. How many chat conversations have there been?
- For e-commerce, look at percentage review scores; for others, the number of positive referrals. (This is called Social Proof and is becoming increasingly important as you are judged sometimes harshly by this and it can dramatically affect sales.)
For most businesses, using digital marketing effectively to convert interest into sales is the end goal. You’ve invested hard-earned cash into your digital marketing and are expecting a return on that investment. Not all businesses can complete the whole customer journey online but the process needs to do all it can to ensure that sales result from the investment.
Along the customer journey, encourage your visitors to take action, either to buy a product from your site or download information that will help them select your product or service; and collect their email address so you can provide them with further information.
- Number of orders/month (e-commerce site)
- Total value of orders/month (e-commerce site)
- Number of requests for quotations/enquiries (for products and services sold off-line)
- Total value of quotations received (for products and services sold off-line)
Your Next Step
Sit down with your digital marketing team and identify which of the KPIs in the table below are appropriate to your business to help you drive online sales.
Then working from the number of sales required, establish how many visitors you need to generate that level of sales.
If you would like help in determining what KPIs you should be expecting from your sales and marketing teams, go to digital marketing management.