eCommerce Case Study
How We Helped An E-Commerce Site Increase Their Sales By 1,025% In One Year
That seems like an insane claim, but the data bears it out. We were approached by a company that had added an eCommerce business channel to their company two years prior, but were seeing almost no online sales. The month before we launched their new site (August 2017) they only had $1,572.13 in revenue through their website.
It did not take us long to identify the problem. They had decent site traffic, but the design and User Experience was preventing sales. A user had to click through four pages of information before they could add a product to the cart and make a purchase. We needed to create a website experience that promoted user engagement and made it easy to make a purchase.
DATA DRIVEN UX
After reviewing their Analytics and website user date, we put together a user experience based on the content that site users were actually engaging with. Sometimes the content we create that we think our users want, is not actually the content they are interested in. By designing the user experience based on actual user data and actual usage statistics, you can capitalize on your website traffic.
A NEW WEBSITE DESIGN
This is the brutal, honest truth, which the Company’s previous web company were too scared to tell them. All the marketing spend in the world will not make users buy your product if your website sucks. You need to make your site as easy to use as possible. Make sure you are not preventing your customer from buying your product or using your service, no matter how well meaning your intentions are.
When you are creating your website, you need to first determine what the purpose of your website is. Are you trying to increase sales? Are you trying to recruit new clients? Are you trying to disseminate useful information about your brand? Whatever that purpose is, will determine every other aspect of your website, from the design, the content, and the calls-to-action, to ensure your website is accomplishing your goals.
The Old Website
We had a couple of very frank, very honest discussions with the client about their site design. We were delicate, and we were not unkind, but we value honesty and forthrightness. We pointed out a couple of important data points:
- Their bounce rate was terrible. It was very obvious that a user would come to their site, spend about 2 seconds scrolling/reading through a page, and leave the website. Because they couldn’t find what they were looking for, and couldn’t see how to make a purchase, they simply moved on.
- The company was extremely certain that there were no overlaps between their established customer channels. They had in their mind that the three markets their business came from had no overlap, so they wanted to make sure that the user experience spoke to each group very narrowly and specifically. This inadvertently created barriers to purchase, as users first came to the homepage, then clicked which market they were. That brought them to a landing page with information about their market, with additional links to pages for each product category. This brought them to a product category page with even more information about those products curtailed to that market, and links to the product pages. It wasn’t until the product page (4 clicks into the site!) that a user was able to make a purchase.
- None of the pages had clear calls to action to help a person make their purchase. It was text heavy, and the links to the product pages were small text links.
- The site images were very small, and did not do a good job of showcasing their products.
The New Website Design
Like many people, they had missed the mark on both the site design and the user experience, and were shooting themselves in the foot when it came to their online sales.
The site needed a complete overhaul. In addition to the bad UX and Design, the site was not mobile friendly, their page load times were in the 4-5 second range, and their organic search ranking had been steadily declining as a result. They also had really beautiful images of their products, which they had been using in their physical marketing materials, that were nowhere to be found on the website.
Our first step was the homepage. We understood that they had three business channels, but after looking at the usage data, there was a lot of overlap in the types of products these channels purchased. We kept the channel landing pages, the information presented was good, but we de-emphasized them on the homepage, only including a short one paragraph blurb about each, along with a link to the internal page. We also made good use of their amazing images, which completely opened up the homepage design.
We then added beautiful images for each of the eight product categories they had to the homepage. We included a short description and a large button that appeared when a user hovered over the category image, to make it very easy and interactive for users to get to the products.
We then set up the category pages so that users could easily filter through the results to find exactly what they were looking for. We also made sure users could add items to their cart directly from this page, so that if they did not want to go to the product page, they didn’t have to.
Our guiding principal through all of this was always “make it easy for people to buy your products”.
The results of our redesign were absolutely astonishing! We firmly believe that a beautiful user experience and smart marketing spend will help your business grow, but the proof is in the data. And boy did this site build yield a lot of valuable data on the effects of improved user experience.
- The average time spent on the site went from under 1.45 seconds, to over 6.8 seconds.
- The Bounce Rate (which measures the number of users who come to one page, and immediately leave) dropped by 32%.
- The Pages per Session rate went down by 21%. Initially this was a concern, but we soon realized this was because users were able to make their purchases far easier, with less clicks.
- The site load times were reduced from an average of 4.35 seconds, to 1.25 seconds.
- In the first year, the site traffic grew from 4,553 unique visitors, to 10,545 unique users.
- We launched the site in September of 2017. In August 2017, they had $1,572.13 in online sales. In September 2017, they had $8,320.09 in online sales. That’s an increase of 429% in sales revenue in the first month with their new website, all because of the improved site design!
- Their sales continued to grow steadily over the next year. In August of 2018 (one year after launch) they had $17,696.42 in online sales. That’s an increase of 1,025% in one year!
- Even though the site traffic grew significantly over the first year, the average revenue per user went from $0.34 to $1.69. That meant not only were more people going to the website, but users were spending more money on average.