How to Score More Sales Conducted Over the Internet

BY Kathy Crosett
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Whether you’re serving clients who specialize in sales conducted over the internet or use ecommerce to score more sales as part of their omnichannel offerings, they should know the latest. While it’s still growing faster than traditional retail, ecommerce is becoming more competitive. One way to optimize sales is to draw traffic from a variety of online sources.

In the early days of online shopping, consumers learned to use search engines like Google to find what they wanted. Marketers responded by employing paid and organic search to get the best positions on search engine results pages. Is that still the best strategy? The results of Episerver’s B2C Retail Benchmark Report Q 1 2020 indicate that search rules, but social media’s power as a traffic driver can’t be ignored.

How to Score More Sales Conducted Over the Internet

Search, Social and Email

At the end of 2019, traffic sources for retail sites measured by Episerver broke out as follows:

  • Organic search 18.64%
  • Paid search 13.71%
  • Email 5.41%
  • Social 7.35%

Analysts point out that, over the past two years, organic search has gradually drifted lower as a traffic source to retail sites, resulting in more sales conducted over the internet. Paid search has also seen a slight decline. It’s no secret that paid search ad copy can be difficult to generate, especially with prices rising on keywords. But with a little effort, your clients can get better results and score more sales.

Other online traffic sources are also important for marketers. While email went from about 7% to 5.4% during that time period, social climbed from 4% to 7.35%. This trend holds true for brand and retailer sites.

Mobile continues to drive session and captured 59% of all sessions in 2019. What really matters to your clients, though, is the conversion rate. Desktop still rules with a 3.2% rate while mobile has been climbing steadily and is now at 2.1%.

Researchers also measured conversion rates by traffic source. These stats will prove interesting to your clients. Referral traffic holds the highest conversation rate: 3.0%. Organic and paid search are close behind at 2.6%. Email comes in at 2.5% while social is at 1.1%.

What about clicking through on display ads? This format includes online video. And while consumers do watch these messages and click through to the website, the conversion rate is 0.3%.

Using the Website to Score More Sales

Once consumers get to your clients’ websites, they’ll either stick around and place an order or they’ll bounce. The bounce rate measure is based on whether visitors go past the first page. In the Episerver study, the bounce rates were lowest for paid search (35%) and organic search (30%). This result is not surprising according to Episever analysts, as consumers have taken the time to look for a specific product or service and likely intend to make a purchase. On the other hand, display ads, with a bounce rate of over 70%, may be getting clicks because of curiosity.

The bottom line for vendors who utilize sales conducted over the internet is that effective digital marketing campaigns must encompass a variety of channels in order to lead consumers to a site and generate clicks. You can learn more about consumers who respond to email marketing messages and search engine results by checking out their profiles on AudienceSCAN from AdMall by SalesFuel.