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Rob Snell, Managing Partner, Gun Dog Supply
Khalid Saleh, President and Co-Founder, Invesp
Paul Boisvert, Director Product Management, Yahoo! Small Business, Yahoo!
Ethan Giffin, CEO & Founder, Groove Commerce

Khalid Saleh

Tests to go above and beyond to assure customers of checkout security actually can backfire and decrease conversion rates.

Process of CRO

  • Plan where to start
  • Implement optimization using a framework
  • Improve in iterations

4 No’s of Conversion Optimization

  1. No more “Start Anywhere” approach
  2. No more brute force optimization
  3. No more “best practices”
  4. No more “test, test, test!” (Testing is part of conversion optimization, but not the end of CRO)

Elements evaluated in a good CRO framework

  • Visitors (Visitors have categorically different personas: spontaneous, aggressive, caring, logical, etc.)
  • Trust (Value proposition, design, congruency, continuity)
  • Buying stage (Information/research seekers)
  • FUDs (Fears, Uncertainties, Doubts)
  • Incentives (Urgency, clarity, upsell)
  • Engagement (Stimulating return visits/purchase)

Paul Boisvert

Good design = right content, right place, right time, right treatment

Good design does 3 things:

1. Smells – when the visitor comes to the site, the “scent” helps users stay on the path and provides a very strong measure of consistency from start to finish to help them accomplsih your goals.

2. Tells

Content should address buyer personas, as offered by Bryan Eisenberg:

  • Competitive
  • Spontaneous
  • Methodical
  • Humanistic

New research suggests that people fall on several persona types, and some are activated more at different times. Depending on branding and intention, you may need to activate the “Captain Kirk” persona and stifle the “Mr. Spock” persona in your visitor to get the sale.

Get media mentions on your site. Let the reputation of other credible organizations rub off on your reputation.

3. Sells

5 Steps to Drive Sales

  1. Start with best practices (don’t let them get in the way of testing outside-the-box practices)
  2. Test before launching
  3. Measure after launch
  4. Run A/B/n or MV tests
  5. Implement winner, revise & repeat steps 2-4 until sale of business, retirement or death

Ethan Giffen

Focus on Site Search

Important facts about site search:

  • Visitors that interact with site search want to engage.
  • Conversion rates of people that use site search are 3-5X higher for good site search
  • Average Order Value of people that interact with site search are 25-50% higher than average customers
  • Much easier to double conversion rate of site search visitors than doing the same on product pages

Ways to fix your site search:

  • Use Analytics

Check the top 100 searches. Check top 100 searches with no revenue – plug them into your site search and see what you get. Check the top 100 searches with no results. Are similar products called something else? Are you missing important words from product descriptions? Do you not currently sell the product online when you could? Is site search not offering alternatives for last year’s or discontinued models?

  • Choose a Provider (unless you’re a big retailer, you should probably use a 3rd party product, e.g., Nextopia or SLI)

Don’t try to build it yourself. Does the SS have universal search for other forms of content? Does the SS offer filtered search through a navigational element? Does the SS offer solutions for spellings or synonyms? Does the SS offer auto-complete? What kind of reporting does the system provide?

  • Design
  • Configuration

What attributes do you want in the data feed? What attributes are important to visitors and can you integrate those into the search result feed? Don’t forget to configure for “Did you mean…” queries, synonyms, direct hits/boosting (where you always want a particular page to appear first for a given term)? What about when no result appears in SS? Is there more you can do to help the searcher?

  • Ongoing Review

Rob Snell

Their site’s position was:

  • We are experts
  • This product is what you want
  • You should buy from us

They did this by:

  • Humanizing the experts through pictures and content.
  • Adding the “expert” to product descriptions and PPC ad text so they appeared in search results.
  • Blogging (helped demonstrate expertise)
  • Publicizing the real testing results of product specifications
  • Telling things how it is and not being afraid to tick off manufacturers
  • Endorsing specific products over others
  • Being reasonably priced (this does not mean “cheapest,” but it does mean “competitive”)
  • Plainly listing the benefits of buying with them
  • Answering customer questions very quickly

Doing the above things resulted in $10M increase in sales.