Do You Have a 30% Conversion Rate? Why Not?

The Popcorn Factory does. Or at 29.5% it's close enough. Recent figures from Nielsen Net Ratings continue to show that a handful of sites are way ahead of the rest of the ecommerce world in terms of conversion rates.
The Popcorn Factory - 29.50%
L.L. Bean - 23.60%
Abebooks - 20.60%
Amazon - 17.60%
Hollister Co - 17.60%
Lands End - 17.20%
Coldwater Creek - 17.10%
Gymboree - 16.00%

Some of these sites such as Land's End, LL Bean, QVC have consistently been among the leaders for a long time. What's interesting is that they were all leaders in the field of direct catalogue marketing long before they went online.

Obviously they know something about how to sell, and how to transfer that expertise to the online world. Yes Virginia, the old rules still apply.

What's more these results are now starting to get close to the bricks and mortar average of 50%, so it shows that great sales results can be achieved online

How Does The Popcorn Factory Do It?


Well, as I've been telling clients for years, a lot of this stuff isn't rocket science. The Popcorn Factory has covered off on all the basics. The things that many marketers regard as common sense, and yet seem to go over the heads of others.

First of all they have a good design. A bit too Americana and apple pie for me, but given their demographic it's a perfect fit.

Next, great pictures. Lots of them. Yes, that does mean you will have to engage a professional photographer to do all your product shots. Don't skimp and do it yourself just 'cos you've all got digital cameras. You get what you pay for and reap the results.

Third: Great Copy. When you have lovable, luscious and chocolate all in the same breath, how can you fail? As above, pay for a professional copywriter to write "all" your copy. (Although I'm not sure how pigs and going Hog Wild relates to Valentine's Day. Maybe it's another American thing. I'm still trying to figure out Groundhog Day. Maybe one of our cousins from across the pond can enlighten us on this cultural oddity.)

Next, Good Navigation, based around special occasions, seasonal events and other elements of Americana such as NASCAR and Baseball. In other words, it's not based around internal business units, corporate hierarchy or product manufacturing lines. It's based around what matters to the customer.

It's fast loading because it uses Akamai, a Content Distribution Network. The faster a site is, the more sales you'll make.

The Checkout process is simple, although probably too many steps for my liking, but at least it guides the customer through every step of the process.

There's obviously a lot more fine detail involved, but this is just a brief analysis. getting the basics right is still the best place to start.

What Can We Do?

Get the basics right.

Examine all of the above sites and look art what they've done and how they've done it. I'm sure you'll see similarities between most of them.

Copy what they've done where you can. See if you can figure out what they were thinking when they did the various things on their sites.

Budget for the things that matter.

I know services like Akamai, professional photographers and copywriters will probably blow many of your budgets, but hopefully these examples help to illustrate where you should focus your online marketing efforts.

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