Do we really understand what we want from our website or online channel?

The State of Play in Australia.

We are now more than half way through 2011. The digital reality is upon us and the realisation that when it comes to online, things are changing rapidly and retailers need to react quickly. Just look at the rapid rise of group buying sites.

With the Aussie dollar now so strong, Australian’s are benefiting from a global perspective when it comes to online shopping and it’s an area that is clearly booming. But with this potential comes fresh challenges and in the digital world, where expectations are high, retailers can’t afford to fall behind the online curve of innovation. However, we are still finding cases where retailers still haven’t quite grasped what it is to be online. Some major brands are still yet to launch online shopping!

If I had $100 every time I heard someone tell me; “We have to get more serious about online” I may not be writing this post. So what does getting serious about online mean? And if you are already serious about online could you be more serious? I often have people tell me; “I have an 8% conversion rate of visitor to order, and that’s really high. I’m pretty happy with that”.

So what I am hearing is that you think it’s ok that 92% of people visiting your website don’t buy something from you? Why don’t you multiply that 92% by your average order value to see how much business is leaving your site and tell me you still think it’s ok. Example: Take 50,000 total visitors per month, at an 8% conversion rate and $100 average sale value. 92% of visitors don’t buy which is 46,000 visits multiplied by $100 which equals $4,600,000 per month. Puts it in perspective right?

Would you adjust your target conversion rate if you knew there are businesses in Australia converting browsers into buyers at over 20%? And in the US there are sites converting at almost 50%? So what would you be happy with now?

I speak to many retailers who set an objective to have their website turn over as much revenue as a bricks and mortar outlet, yet many of them are not prepared to invest as much into that website as they do into establishing a physical store. It’s a mindset that will shift but beware; many websites you have never heard of before are doing more business online than many large brands you know very well.

The opportunity is here today to draw the line in the sand and get serious about growing your business via your online channel. I see it every day and know how possible it is, no matter who you are. If you are not focused on increasing conversions, sales and leads via your website it’s time you seriously looked at it.