Hope For Flailing Conversion Rates
The 2009 Omniture Online Conversion Benchmark Survey, conducted in July, reveals that most marketers miss opportunities to increase conversions. About 80% of the 1,000 online or interactive marketers responding to the survey do not serve up personalized content to Web visitors, not do they promote Web site content based on performance metrics.
Forty-two percent of marketers participating in the survey spend less than five hours per week optimizing advertising media. Less than one-third frequently test online content. And 70% of the content decisions that appear on Web sites are made by one person, unsupported by data.
Publishers and retailers continue to ignore an opportunity to personalize content related to information collected through computer cookies and site searches, according to Mikel Chertudi, vice president of demand and online marketing at Omniture. "Let's say you go to an ecommerce site looking for red stiletto shoes," he says. "You drill through the site, leave, and then come back to the home page days later."
Omniture, along with a handful of other companies, offers applications based on computer cookies that allow marketers to tie in data from analytics to serve up to consumers when they return to the Web site, but few use them. Based on "non-personally identifiable information," the merchant can offer the consumer a 20% discount for those red stiletto shoes.
Similar to the luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, Under Armour relies on an email retargeting strategy to lure consumers who abandon online shopping carts back to the site. Chertudi says some applications can also personalize news content on publishing sites. Based on the reader's historic Web site browsing behavior, publishers can tailor subject lines and content in email newsletters and on Web sites.
When it comes to personalizing content to display on Web sites, less than 2% of survey respondents admit to using an automated conversion application to make the decision, and the majority are not based on metrics, performance or previous site behavior.
Chertudi says applications will tap into analytic data when serving up content based on highest click-through and engagement rates, such as time spent on the site, for new visitors who do not have a history with the site.
The study breaks out missed opportunities for those who are not delivering personalized content. Nearly half of the Omniture survey respondents do "very little or no targeting." Less than 30% target consumers based on demographics and Web-site behavior, such as abandoned carts and purchase history. Less than 15% target based on specific categories.
When it comes to on-site search results and recommendations, nearly half of respondents do nothing to optimize their on-site search applications. Sixty-seven percent rely on simple keyword matching, and only 25% optimize internal search results on either margin or conversion. The study suggests that this is because only 30% invest in enterprise-grade internal search applications. Nearly half of respondents do not have a product or content recommendation application. And of the remaining half who do, 66% rely on a manual process.
Manual processes may contribute to many marketers not easily increasing conversion, according to the study. The research shows nearly half using manual processes to test promotional content. Of those Web sites that do target consumers, 72% use manual methods, and 66% have a manual product or content recommendations process in place.