Leveraging the power of product data to drive conversion rate optimization
Put in simple words, conversion rate in digital commerce is the percentage of online visitors that purchased something from a website, against those who just visited and left. Apart from direct sales, organizations may also consider products added to cart, products added to wish lists, email signups, social media shares etc. and other KPIs to define success. At its core, conversion comes down to this simple formula:
Conversion rate = Number of conversions / Total no. of visitors x 100
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) refers to a series of steps taken to improve the online experience and meet specific KPIs – which usually comes down to sales. Conversion rate optimization can be carried out on the front end (on landing pages, category pages or other touchpoints), or more organically with SEO, product data optimization, site search optimization etc.
What does a good conversion rate look like?
This is where we get into the business end of understanding conversion. On average, digital conversion rates round up to anything between 2.5% and 3%. From this point of a view, a 3% conversion is something you should consider as a starting point for your CRO activities.
What you can consider a good conversion depends on a whole variety of factors. One of them is product verticals.
Online shopping conversion rate in selected verticals worldwide in 2nd quarter 2022 (Source: Statista)
As you can see in the above numbers from Statista, the average conversion rate differs from category to category. In some instances, you will see higher conversion in products that have a natural propensity for high demand; for example, food. In others, you will see a fluctuation in average values depending on the time of the year, seasons, trends, and a whole lot of other variables.
Then again, another relevant variable to consider is geography. Conversion rates may be higher in some countries owing to a more robust supply chain system, easier access to affordable logistics, higher internet availability and so on. Here’s a breakdown of conversion by country, which gives a better understanding of the above point:
Other metrics that impact conversion
Beyond the core principles of conversion, there are other metrics that impact overall conversion. They include:
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors that leave a website after viewing a single page. This is usually indicative of customers not finding what they’re looking for, and not gaining the confidence to further their search on a website. This could also be impacted by cluttered design, slow loading time, too many popups, SSL warnings and so on.
- Exit Rate: This refers to the percentage of visitors that leave a particular page after browsing a few pages on a website.
- Click-Through Rate: This metric refers to the proportion of visitors that click a hyperlink to a website. The more the clicks on the hyperlink, the higher the click-through rate.
- Average Session Duration: The engagement metric gives an idea of how long visitors spend on a website. A high bounce rate usually converts to low session duration which is indicative of a lack of engaging content or relevant information.
- Average Page Depth/Pages Per Session: This metric gives the number of pages a visitor lands on before exiting. It gives the total number of page views per any given session. Higher pages per session is a double-edged sword, as it could either indicate better engagement, or a lack of clarity (especially if these views lead to no conversion).
The basics of conversion rate optimization
At a higher level, websites can be optimized in various ways to drive conversion. Simple yet effective, these steps are based on basic buying behavior and habits.
- Design your website to grab visitors attention instantly
- Improve site speed
- Offer competitive pricing
- Offer free shipping if possible
- Test and tweak the checkout process for the best results
- Use live chatbots
- Use SSL certifications and let your customers know your site is safe
- Be transparent when gathering customer information
- Focus on SEO and better on-site findability
- Design the checkout process to be uncomplicated
- Show shopping cart contents clearly
- Give customers the option to checkout as guests
- Leverage testimonials and reviews
- Ensure that CTA buttons (“add to cart”, “checkout” “pay”, etc.) are easy to spot
- Use CTA buttons smartly, when they matter the most
- Have a clear and supportive policy for returns
- Optimize for mobile
- Offer personalized buying experiences
- Test, test, test again
However, as mentioned, these steps are mostly superficial low-hanging fruits. They are easy to implement and achieve but don’t always necessarily hold the key to conversion optimization. And this is where sound product data comes to the fore. Have the most attractive website with good speed, secure browsing, clear CTA – the works – and yet, if your product data is lacking, the buying journey is sure to fall flat at some point.
Leveraging product data to drive conversion rate optimization
Maximizing the value of product data is at the core of all conversion rate optimization activities. Why? Because it gets to the heart of the matter and drives a better customer experience organically. While high quality data may not seem directly attributable to high conversion or low bounce rates, product data is really the foundation on which all conversion rate optimization activities can be built on. Here’s how:
- Higher Quality Content: Conversion is nothing more than a quantifiable metric that represents customer trust. And this trust is built on complete, clear and up-to-date information that best describes a product. Sound product data management enables organizations to put their best foot forward with product data, irrespective of the number of stakeholders and touchpoints in the buying journey. With the right flags and standards in place, businesses can easily deliver compelling, high quality product stories each time, every time. And this is achievable with minimum manual intervention.
- Improved Data Modelling: The organization of product data is just as important as product data itself. And this is where site structure, taxonomy and attribution play a key role in driving customer experience. Site structure defines how users interact with a website, taxonomy defines how they navigate through a website to find a product, and attribution further refines the process to find products with particular attributes. With data management, organizations can optimize all these aspects to streamline the buying journey and, in turn, improve the rate of conversion.
- Better Engagement: Once core data-related issues are taken care of, organizations can then focus on improving engagement and value. The best example of this is engagement and conversion optimization with digital asset management (DAM). DAM allows organizations to take things to the next level with value-added engagement points such as 360-degree images, videos, AR experiences, and lots more. Good product data management ensures that these assets reside in a centralized repository with version and access control, and easy access to teams across functions.
- End-to-End Control Over Product Data: Automated syndication ensures that irrespective of the number of players in the data journey, product data adhere to preset standards and rules. Incorrect data, incomplete data or insufficient data – it is all flagged automatically and dealt with at source, so when customers finally interact with the product, it is up to the mark, irrespective of the channel of interaction. Automation ensures that organizations can achieve cross-channel data quality with lesser manpower, and that this quality is maintained in upstream and downstream operations.
- Improved Time-to-Market: The faster your customers see your product or service, the more likely they are to buy it. And when speed at scale becomes the norm, this has a direct impact on expectations and loyalty. So, most naturally, improved time-to-market impacts conversion as well. From artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to robotic process automation (RPA), the world of product data management is buzzing with opportunities for innovation and improvement. These advancements have a direct and measurable impact on both, time-to-market, and eventually, conversion as well.
How product-data-driven CRO helps your business increase conversion
Product-data-driven CRO enables businesses to improve their website functionality towards better conversion rates. It enables businesses to:
- Improve ROI : Even with the same amount of traffic, improving product data quality can go a long way in converting existing visitors to buyers.
- Enhance UX: Product-data-related improvement made at every touchpoint of the buying journey culminates into better user experiences.
- Lower Cost Per Acquisition: Getting more customers to convert with better product data is an organic process, so finding new customers and increasing conversion is a direct by-product of these practices, not an additional cost factor.
- Boost SEO: Better product data management aimed at CRO is also beneficial from the SEO point of view. Search-centric product data that works well with customers on a website, will also naturally show better results on search engines.
- Increase Customer Lifetime Value: Reliable, relevant and accurate product data builds trust. And when this quality of data is delivered consistently, it also boosts customer lifetime value.
If you’re wondering how to get started with better product data management for CRO, get in touch with our experts at Amaze PXM!
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