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Shoes of Prey: Shortening the time to purchase with Multi-Channel Funnels reports

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | 9:49 AM

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Multi-Channel Funnels are a new set of reports that show which marketing channels your customers visited your site from during the 30 days prior to a conversion or purchase. In this series of three posts, Michael Fox, co-Founder and Director of Operations of Shoes of Prey, shares how he uses these new reports to improve sales for the business. You can read Part 1 here. - Ed.

In our first post, I discussed why we like Google Analytics’ new Multi-Channel Funnels reports, and how we improved our website and our customers’ experience based on insights gained from the Top Conversion Paths report. Today I want to focus on another equally insightful report: the Time Lag report.

Time Lag report
The time lag report shows how many days passed between when the visitor first came to our site and when they made a conversion (i.e. in our case, sales). This provided us with useful insights into the length of our online sales cycle.

Insights: Make the design process easier for our customers

When analysing our sales cycles earlier in the year, we noticed that 40% of our conversions (and 37% of our revenue) happen one or more days after the first visit. Furthermore, we could see that 13% of total conversions happen 12 or more days after the first visit. This reinforced our conclusions from the last post that our customers take time to make a decision on which shoe design they would like to purchase. We need to take steps to shorten this for them.

Actions: Email campaigns to help customers make decisions sooner
These insights convinced us to put into action a number of email campaigns to help our potential customers make a decision sooner.

We first developed an email marketing program that keeps in regular touch with our customers over time. We knew from the report that for every day that a customer stays away from the design process, the more likely they will drop off without making a purchase. These emails were designed to remind them about their unfinished designs and also provided design tips.

We also tested another email campaign where we sent customers content related to their unfinished design. We tested offering free shipping or free leather samples of the leathers used in their design. The leather samples offer got a reasonable take up but hasn't shown a big uplift in sales yet. The free shipping offer didn't perform very well though. We hypothesise that our customers care more about the quality of the product over saving a few dollars on shipping. Moving forward, we’ll focus on the quality aspects of our products when doing this kind of outreach.

We also started an email campaign targeting visitors who abandoned their shopping cart. We ask for feedback on why customers abandoned their cart and offer to answer any questions they might have. We’ve received some great feedback, but most importantly, we were able to “re-activate” shoppers who abandoned the purchase process. This campaign has not only lead to a 7% increase in sales, but has also provided valuable learnings on how to fine-tune our purchase process.

Results: Shortening the time-to-purchase
In combination with what we have done here, and with our actions we shared in our first post, we have seen a decrease in the time to purchase. Over the course of 4 months, we’ve seen same-day purchases increase by 20% and 12+ day purchases fall by 8%.

Multi-Channel Funnels helped us understand the time lag between when a visitor first comes to our and when they complete a purchase. These insights helped us formulate a “continuous touch” strategy that has helped us increase sales. I would be interested to hear what your ideas are for reducing the number of days between a first visit and purchase.


mdg33 said...

It looks like more than 40% of your customers make a purchase in less than a day.

Obviously this large portion of your customers does not need time to make a decision.