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You've got a beautiful website. It cost a lot of money. But your e-commerce sales are almost negligible. Is your website working? And if not, why not? Due to the digital nature of the Internet, you can't just stroll in and see the problem. If you walked into a retail store that attracted very few customers, you'd have a chance of intentifying the problem. If the clerks were less than informative, or the merchandise was badly displayed, you'd recognize the problem immediately. But how do you get the information you need to find ways to maximize the effectiveness of your website?

  • Traffic & Conversion Rate - Are visitors getting to your site? Of potential customers that visit your site, what percentage actually make a purchase?
  • Site Audience - Are you getting visitors who are likely to want your product?
  • Usability & Navigation - Can people find the information they're looking for on your site? Is your content designed for the web so it effectively conveys your product's benefits?

Possible Problems:
Low Site Traffic - Not enough visitors to your website

Low Conversion Rate - Few visitors actually purchase

Discovery Method:
Web Log Analysis

The first possibility, that too few users are visiting to your website, is probably the easiest to assess. Your web master can use web logs to access the daily (or weekly, or monthly) number of unique visitors to your site. If you expect 50,000 people a month to visit the site, but you're only getting 5,000, you are now ready to address the problem of driving more people to your website. As this information, in a raw form, is already captured on your web server, it should be easy and inexpensive to get this information from your company's webmaster. To get your website's conversion rate, divide the number of purchasing customers per time-unit (day, week) by the number of unique visitors in the same timespan. Reasons for a low conversion rate will be discussed under Inappropriate Audience and Usability & Navigation Difficulties.

Possible Problem:
Inappropriate Audience - Many visitors to your site, but few potential customers

Site Audit

If you find that you have a high volume of site traffic, but a low conversion rate, your audience is one of the first areas to examine. You need to identify the demographics of the visitors to your site, and compare them with the target profile(s) for your products. The easiest way to do this is to offer an online site audit survey, which can also contain questions for use in assessing website usability.

Possible Problem:
Usability & Navigation Difficulties - Customers can't find the information they seek, or online content fails to persuade them to purchase

Usability Analysis

If you're getting a significant volume of your target customers to the site, but the conversion rate remains low, your website should be reviewed for usability. It may be the customers have to click through to many pages to access the desired information, or certain pages may take too long to download over a dial-up connection. There are many reasons people don't buy on the web. Usability analysis can help you find out exactly what those reasons are for your website - and what areas to focus on to best improve your e-commerce conversion rate.

A website log analysis should be performed to find out at what points visitors most often leave the website. This information can be used to target questions for a two-part online survey. The first part of the survey is delivered to visitors as they enter the site, and asks them about their expectations. The second part of the survey is delivered later, via email, and solicits their impressions of the site, including ease of navigation and why they did or did not make a purchase. These surveys deliver information that is crucial for your company in developing better content and navigability for your site.


Beautiful websites don't make money. Effective websites make money. At Compu-Solv, we enjoy finding new ways to improve the ROI of your website. Call us and set up an appointment to discuss how we can help your company make more e-commerce sales.

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