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Generate 52% more revenue with these 3 optimisations
*note: while this article talks about ecommerce and uses terms such as average order value, the idea behind this article can apply to almost any business; ecommerce or SaaS.
When I speak to other marketers, and business owners, I tend to hear the same thing again and again.
‘We need to spend more on ads and find new channels’
‘We need our ads to perform better’
‘We need to send more emails to our customers’
Now, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, everyone wants more traffic, or wants their ads to perform better, and to drive more sales from emails.
But where people get it wrong, is that they identify one individual problem, and focus their efforts on massive improvement in that space alone.
They treat it as if it’s the only problem.
These ads aren’t performing, it must be the targeting, or the copy.
Our conversion rate isn’t as good as I’d like it, it must be a problem with our checkout.
We don’t drive enough repeat business, let’s install a popup giving everyone 10% off and then hammer them with emails.
The problem needs to be broken down properly. The real problem is a lack of revenue, a lack of sales, a lack of return customers.
What drives these metrics?
Yes it’s adverts, yes it’s emails, but you need to go deeper.
You need to look at the entire Customer Journey.
You need to consider every touchpoint a customer has with your business, and how you can make that experience better.
With a strong Customer Journey strategy you could:
Increase conversion rates (further increasing ROI on your ads)
Increase Average Order Values (again, further increasing ROI on your ads)
Increase customer lifetime value - further increasing your revenue, and your profitability.
The problem is rarely solely your advertising, or your email marketing.
The problem is your website, and the solution is Customer Journey Optimisation.
So how can Customer Journey Optimisation help you? Well...
Let’s consider the Fashion & Apparel industry.
Assuming for the purpose of this article a 50:50 split, companies will be spending on average $15.14 per purchase.
We can then combine this with data from Yopto, and we see that the average order value for a fashion store is $97, with 1.74 items per purchase.
So, for every $15.14 you generate $97. If we take a gross margin of 47% (although online average is around 30%), then that $15.14 has brought in $45.59, leaving you with just $30.45 to spend on running your business, and more advertising. This doesn’t take into account any promotion you might have run for a first purchase either.
Only 31% of your revenue generated from advertising driven sales is actually available to you to spend; to pay staff, pay rent, bills, and well...profit, that's why we’re here isn’t it?
What if we optimise the Customer Journey?
Now, what happens if we think more about the customer themselves. We focus on their on-site experience, we give them personalised product suggestions, live chat for if they need support, better payment options, and all the information they need.
Optimisation 1: Conversion Rates
Using the same data sources, we see an average conversion rate of 3.45%, which, depending on your benchmark source is either average or pretty damn good.
What if, through a little bit of optimisation, we could improve our conversion rate by 15%, and give us a new, better conversion rate of 3.97%, well that would have the effect of dropping our CPA down to $13.16, and increase the number of customers we get.
It may not seem like much, but for every $1,000 you spend you’re now making $502 more in revenue (or $236 after cost of goods).
How can you work towards this 15% improvement?
- Product pages
Optimise your product pages. This is what the customer is here to see, so this absolutely needs to be clean and informative, with great images, clear call to actions, information on stock levels, shipping & returns, the lot. Just think to yourself ‘if i were going to buy this product, what would i want to know?’
- Live chat
I love live chat, it’s great isn’t it! It’s gives you the best of both email and phone support, without having to keep checking your inbox, or pray your phone signal doesn’t cut out. More people than ever are turning to live chat for their support needs, and the positive experiences they are having there is boosting conversion, and increases the chance of repeat purchase.
- Free shipping (comes at a cost)
Ok so by offering free shipping you’ll add cost, and therefore cut into your margins. BUT free shipping works! 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping is the number 1 incentive to shop online more. Consumers want free shipping, and if you can offer it you should easily make the money back from the uplift in conversion, but why settle for that, when you could be making 30% per transaction by putting a minimum spend in place?
- Guest checkout
Pretty simple really, I think we’ve all been through the ordeal of having to create a whole account, verify your email address, and then login just to complete the purchase you were almost done with. Guest checkouts make first time purchases much quicker, particularly on mobile, resulting in fewer cart abandons (which is a big problem if these are first time buyers). Let them complete the purchase, and give them a quick option to set a password and complete their account. You’ve got the relevant information anyway...
Optimisation 2: Average Order Value
What’s next? We can look at Average Order Value, and linked to this is Average Items Per Order, but for the purpose of this we’ll look at AOV as there are various other factors to take into account if we just look at the number of items.
So we’ve got an AOV of $97, and we need that bumped up 15% to just $111.55, just $14.55 more. A quick look at the accessories section on Oasis tells me that any pair of sunglasses fits this criteria.
Buying a summer dress? Hasn’t the weather been great recently? Add some stylish new sunglasses to your basket and look your best when we’re all out of lockdown.
Can you get your customers to buy another t-shirt? Or socks, or sandals (but never together, that should be actively discouraged).
Can you push it a little further and say well actually if you spend $125 we’ll give you free shipping? Then you’ll have managed a whopping 28% increase in AOV!
So, lets say we’ve got our conversion rate increase which is now 3.97% and we have a new AOV of $111.55.
Now for every $1,000 you’re making an additional $1,079 ($507.25 after COGS), and revenue is up 32%.
The reason I’m ignoring the number of items here is because you can add 5 more items at $1 each and you’re still off that 15% AOV increase, even with a 287% increase in items. But arguably, if you can do this properly then by increasing the average number of items in an order by 15%, the order value should go up by roughly the same amount.
So where do we go from here? Conversion rate is up, AOV is up, what’s next?
Marketing Automation & Retention
This is where you win big. You can almost run this on autopilot and it’ll generate you tens of thousands of dollars every month.
Email has by far the biggest ROI of any marketing channel, according to Campaign Monitor it can be as high as 4400%! Thats $44 revenue for every $1 you spend on email marketing, and when you consider how cheap email is, this is absolutely achievable.
But how can you use it?
- Welcome Series - Offer a discount on a first purchase, or if they’re already a customer simply welcome them to the brand, give them a taste of what your brand stands for, and some other valuable content. A download of some sort, an invitation to your exclusive community.
- Basket Abandonment Emails - Huge numbers of people browse sites, add items to baskets, and for some reason end up abandoning the site without paying. Basket Abandonment Emails help you recover huge amounts of this revenue. According to Klaviyo’s data, you can expect to recover up to about 14% of people who abandon your site.
- Browse Abandonment - Lower intent than with cart abandonment, but if people are spending a bit of time browsing products (especially if they’ve already been a customer), you can expect to convert a number of them.
- Winback emails - These are a great way to automatically reach out to people 3, 6, 12 or more months after their last purchase and you’ll see a trickle of customers through here. The numbers might be low, but it’s still revenue that you’re not having to work for.
Other opportunities include things like birthdays, I’ve had particular success here using a customers year of birth as the coupon amount (e.g. $19.88, or 19.88%), it looks personalised and due to the year range available, even someone 100 years old is still getting basically the same discount.
But I digress, I promised you 3 metrics and 3 metrics you shall have!
Optimisation 3: Email Performance
All you need to do is improve one of your email performance metrics by 15%.
The average eCommerce open rate is 15.68%, you need to get it to 18.03%.
The average click through rate is 2.01% you just need to get it to 2.31%
Get both of these done and you’ll have ended up with an incredible 75% revenue increase.
Bonus tip for you - if you can find 1 more area where you can get a 15% increase, it all compounds to generate a 101% increase overall. That means doubling your revenue.
This is all still easier said than done, but the point is, small improvements here and there throughout the experience can drive significant improvements to your revenue.
Test your subject lines, find out what works and improve on that again. Phrasee is a fantastic tool for spitting out dozens of subject lines for you to test, and they remove the human bias which can be limiting to performance. I’ve seen uplifts of 25% in open rates by quite significantly changing subject lines, while staying on brand.
Personalise and segment your emails. Make sure that you’re actually providing product suggestions that make sense. If you have Mens' and Womens' fashion on your site, make sure you send the correct suggestions across. Use the data that your customers are giving you to provide highly personalised suggestions, and you’ll get the sales.
If you’d like to chat about how your business can benefit from these optimisations and grow revenue by a huge 52%, just book a free consultation with me today.