Conversion rate gives you the ability to measure how efficiently your website turns a visit into revenue or a sales lead, but should never be used as a key performance indicator without accounting for micro-conversions separately.
While we like to think that every visitor coming to our site is a potential sales lead, it’s just not true. The reality is that every site has a list of reasons for why people visit, and some have little to do with the almighty sales funnel conversion rate.
While it may be disheartening to think a portion of your visitors have a 0% likelihood of purchasing or providing sales lead information during a given session, you can still leverage that user interaction to your advantage.
Let’s look at a visitor who is trying to return an item they purchased.
When they enter the site they have one mission: to quickly find the returns page, arrange to return their product, and leave. Providing a clear and easy path to returning their product can produce some underwhelming web analytics numbers; time spent on site was low, only two pages were visited, and the site has driven zero incremental revenue. Your overall sales conversion rate takes a hit and you shed a tear.
But in reality you have built customer loyalty (and equity) due to the ease of the interaction. It’s fair to assume that your brand will be held in high regards for future purchasing decisions based on this interaction. In terms of customer service, your conversion rate is 100%.
This single event helps paint a picture as to why any website manager needs to think beyond the sales funnel conversion rate to identify and track micro-conversions.
Here’s how to identify and track micro-conversions:
Start by implementing Goals or Event tagging to help identify which sessions are made up of potential customers looking to shop and which sessions don’t demonstrate any intent to purchase.
Once you identify the different areas of intent for your visitors, called a micro-conversion, you will unlock a massive amount of potential, including the opportunity to:
- Get a clearer picture of what your true sales conversion rate is
- Offer personalized content to users as they move throughout your site
- Efficiently use remarketing ads to target users that only show intent to purchase
- Provide feedback to your customer service team
- Use traffic data to push for a larger customer acquisition budget
We all want to drive more revenue and capture more sales leads. While the main objective of your website should be to increase sales conversions, identifying and tracking micro-conversions will provide insight into the other tasks your website must be good at. This will also help calculate a more accurate sales conversion rate. It’s not uncommon to see upwards of 10% of total traffic be non-purchase related for ecommerce websites, which means your conversion rate is likely understated by roughly the same amount.
Developing an understanding and meeting expectations of the different segments that make up your visitor base will help boost your sales conversion rate while keeping non-purchase related visitors happy. At the end of the day, a positive user experience for all will improve your chances to convert visitors into customers at a later time.