It's All About Conversion

Your online sales conversion rate could be what’s stopping you from becoming the next big thing in retail.


It’s all systems go for your spanking new online business. Snazzy landing page and cool social media functions – check. Intuitive and SEO-ready website – check. An online shopping cart that’s simple to update – check.

But there’s a problem: while your website is seeing increased traffic, your sales numbers are dismal. No one’s buying, preferring to window shop instead.

So what can you do to boost your flagging conversion rate? Besides old-school marketing techniques, you can turn to technology to help.

One tactic that drives conversion rates is “hyper-personalised retail”, with the customer having a completely customised and targeted shopping experience in real time. VentureBeat research showed that the simple act of adding personal data – such as the customer’s name –in the email subject line bumped up the open rate by 41 per cent.

Retailers are using a slew of technological tools to bring consumers closer to this “holy grail” of one-to-one personalised shopping. These days, they are now better able to offer real time hyper-personalisation thanks to a combination of transactional, search, profile, social, contextual, device location and other data.

In March this year, beauty brand Lancôme partnered with omnichannel personalisation company RichRelevance to create a hyper-personalised experience online. Instead of an in-store makeover, makeup looks were suggested on the website based on a shopper’s personal style and taste as well as regional trends and shopping behaviour.

Also in the beauty realm is UK supermarket chain Tesco, which earlier this year launched one-on-one beauty consultations with beauty bloggers and experts via Google Hangouts.

Another strategy to lift your conversion rate is to make sure your website is optimised for sales. In plain English, that means using your website to generate sales or improve your sales leads. As they say, build it and they will come. Useful tips include making your website optimised for mobile or adding testimonials and reviews.

There are other high-tech methods to help you optimise sales, too. An American email intelligence startup called Voxa offers software that is integrated with customer relationship management solutions like The software mines, measures and monitors company emails, alerting staff to activity such as potential sales leads and customer service problems.

Co-founder David Cummings told Atlanta Business Chronicle: “A huge amount of corporate email is sent and delivered and there’s very little intelligence and analytics around the emails. Responding to emails in a timely manner is one of the best ways to make a good impression with a (sales) prospect.”

In Singapore, cashback website ShopBack was launched in last September to help retailers with conversion. When a shopper buys from an online store linked from ShopBack’s platform, the merchant that gains from the purchase gives a commission to ShopBack, which in turn returns a cut of its commission to the shopper as cashback. Among the company’s 500 merchant partners are Zalora, Taobao and Expedia.

shopback solution

Image Credit: ShopBack

Said Mr Henry Chan, Co-Founder of ShopBack: “For merchants, we ensure that they earn before we do. With the pure commission-based model in place, it is pertinent for ShopBack to not just drive traffic, but also deliver sales to sustain the business flow.

“Apart from online marketing, ShopBack goes offline to cast the net far and wide to bring in new converts as well. Best of all, merchants get to nail the final amount of commission to peg to each successful transaction secured through ShopBack.”

These are just a handful of ideas that could lift up your conversion rate. At the very least, they are a starting point to getting your ecommerce site ready for tomorrow.

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