Spoke to that Oz fashion company yesterday, the one that asked if I can fix their conversions.
Had a close look at their site, and had the owner give me a description of their results since they started, two years ago.
What I saw was very interesting: A unique style, both in terms of the clothing styles as well as the overall branding.
A site with good design – much like a magazine, with a very strong and well-developed lifestyle angle.
A blog filled with well-written articles, complete with strong headlines and even some controversial topics.
Indeed the makings of a successful company – doing quite a few things very right.
But, people kept dropping out of the purchase funnel.
Abandoned shopping cart, over and over again.
Could I fix that?
I told him that yes, probably.
Explained that his biggest problem, the root cause of his lack of conversion, is that he isn’t building a relationship with people.
He’s sending ice-cold traffic at a catalogue page, and hopes that people will buy on first landing.
Which is a strategy that can work if you’re say, Nike – but if you’re a new player on the field, it’s hard to pull off.
Meanwhile, he’s got a professional SEO company pulling in traffic – that’s a cost for each and every visitor.
And each time someone lands and leaves, that money is lost.
And they have to spend another dollar to get another visitor in.
So the trick would be to focus the site on list building first, and getting sales second.
That way, he’ll retain names – individuals who gave permission to receive updates.
Next he sends those great articles at them, along with new designs or special offers.
Over time relationships form, trust gets built, and people start buying.
Top of mind, and all that kind of thing.
He saw sense in it and agreed.
But then he said: “Data doesn’t lie. We need someone to go over all our user data and statistics.”
To which I replied that I can have a look at reports, but that that I’m not an analytical mind: I’m about people, psychology, relationships – all those things that create trust.
He tells me that the first thing they need, is analysis of the data.
I counter: “It’s not the first problem you want to fix”.
And so, I didn’t get the sale and he didn’t get my help.
Sure I would have liked to have gotten the gig: He’s a fun guy to talk to, I really like what they’ve built, and their angle in terms of branding and identity is spot on.
But what he’s trying to do isn’t going to fix his problem.
I mean, if your car doesn’t start, is your first action to give the machine a new paint job?
Of course not.
You call in a mechanic to look at the engine.
But essentially, he was asking me to ignore the engine for the time being and quote him for putting on a new coat of paint.
Wouldn’t be ethical to sell him that.
See, your site is a tool designed to generate interest and to be the start of a relationship.
Sure the numbers matter, and of course the data doesn’t lie.
But the data won’t get better if he doesn’t fix the actual problem first.
And in his case, the problem was simply that there’s no possible way for people to actually convert into anything but a buyer.
Sales happen along a path – that’s why it’s called a funnel.
And that funnel starts before they land on your site, and it doesn’t end when they make a purchase.
You need a larger view on the whole thing.
A visitor is a human being, a guy or gal with his own situation, problems, mindset, preferences – it’s a psychological totality and you need to deal with that totality.
Not with a statistic such as ‘sale or no sale’.
Simply extracting a few statistics out of the behaviour of a group of people isn’t going to work.
No matter how many data analysts you let loose on the problem.
He says he wants to look at the psychology later on.
I say it’s the first thing he should be looking at.
Because sales are psychology, and nothing else.
Anyway, here’s where you can get my psychological understanding to fix your own conversions –> http://martinstellar.com/convert-your-site-into-a-conversion-machine/