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Improving the on-site conversions is the biggest challenge for e-commerce businesses, according to a new survey by SLI Systems.

Almost two thirds of respondents (63%) cited improving conversions as their biggest challenge, closely followed by attracting more visitors (62%).

Improving logistics came third with 22%, followed by international expansion (16%) and increasing advertising rates (11%).

It should be pointed out that this was a closed question that only had five possible responses, but it still highlights the fact that boosting conversion rates is a high priority for e-commerce sites.

Currently businesses tend to focus more energy on driving traffic than improving on-site conversions. Data included in our Conversion Rate Optimization Report 2012, shows that for every $92 spent on acquiring visitors, only $1 is spent converting them.

SLI’s survey also asked businesses what their top priority is for 2013. The most popular answer (18.4%) was to improve their overall e-commerce platform. 

This was followed closely by site search (17.9%) and SEO (17.5%), while 14% said mobile was their top priority.

It should be noted that the survey was conducted by SLI Systems, a site search vendor, but that doesn’t mean the results have been biased in any way.

Please rank the top priorities for your e-commerce site in 2013:

When asked about the most important priority for choosing a site search solution, 46% said relevance of results, while 19% said ease-of-use.

Our new E-commerce Best Practice Compendium includes a section on site search, with stats showing that up to 30% of visitors will use the site search box, and that use of the search box results in an average conversion rate of 2.4% against a site average of 1.7%.

Other interesting results from the SLI survey show that 35% of respondents already have a mobile optimised site, while 40% plan to build one in 2013. A further 20% plan to build an m-commerce app.

The survey interviewed 457 e-commerce professionals from a broad range of companies, 21% of which conduct all their business online, while just over a third (37%) of respondents receive less than 25% of their business through e-commerce.

David Moth

Published 12 December, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1690 more posts from this author

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Zouras@Online income solutions

Hello!

I think that it is true that the most difficult part for many online businesses is to improve the conversion rate but personally the most difficult part of this story for me is the traffic!

Thank you,
Zouras

almost 4 years ago

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Love Social Media

More and more companies are realizing that convergence is top priority in their online presence and it is one of the most important aspects of building a companies social media network as well. It's not just about having an online presence, but how many people are being directed to your website through the social media platforms. How did they use the $96 to acquire their visitors?

almost 4 years ago

Gemma Holloway

Gemma Holloway, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

I think sometimes people forget to look at the big picture with regards to online marketing strategy. You often here 'we're driving SEO this quarter' or 'we're focused on improving our conversion rate'.

Whilst each aspect is important, I don't think you can purely focus on one at a time. If you focus all your efforts on getting traffic to your site, but lose visitors on their arrival it's wasted traffic. Similarly, if you have a website with an extremely high conversion rate, however, your rankings are incredibly low, your visitor count is nowhere near it's potential.

I think it's important to carry out online activities simultaneously to reap the true benefits.

almost 4 years ago

dan barker

dan barker, E-Business Consultant at Dan Barker

I think much of this is caused by confusion. Here are 3 notes:

1. Conversion rates have naturally eroded a bit, as people now visit from mobile phones (as well as tablets/desktops), and this (sometimes falsely) deflates conversion rates.
2. Traffic itself affects conversion rate. If you increase 'high converting traffic' & decrease 'low converting traffic', your conversion rate goes up.
3. Looking at conversion rate at the top line is worthwhile, but far from the be-all and end-all. For example, if you're an ecommerce retailer with a blog, if you have a blog post that goes crazy & gets 100,000 pageviews, that will push your conversion rate down, but is (usually) obviously a good thing.

dan

almost 4 years ago

dan barker

dan barker, E-Business Consultant at Dan Barker

(on point 3: replace 'pageviews' with 'visits' :)

almost 4 years ago

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Nigel T Packer

"Visitors are for vanity, Conversions are for sanity"

almost 4 years ago

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Tristan

It looks like this website isn't interested in useful comments. It's only interested in people paying for their conversion rate optimisation report. More fool them I say!

almost 4 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Tristan, I'm not really sure what you're talking about. Why do you think we aren't interested in useful comments?

almost 4 years ago

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Paul Profitt

Not too surprised to find that most web-masters want a higher conversion rate on their sites. After all, It is the holy grail of Internet Marketing.

almost 4 years ago

Tom Howlett

Tom Howlett, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

I don't find this too surprising. It is generally quite time consuming to test and optimise, though something that can be really beneficial.

It is probably best to start with elements that are known to help improve conversions and work from there.

almost 4 years ago

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Paul Coulter

CRO will definitely become more important now that SEO actually involves hard work and CPC inflation is making paid traffic acquisition very expensive.

almost 4 years ago

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