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The Essence of Conversion in Ecommerce

  
09 January 2017
  

The Essence of Conversion in Ecommerce

“…to each according to his need.” — Karl Marx

The bottom line in ecommerce is: if you cannot convert at a high-enough level, you cannot ever make profit.

So conversion is actually the keystone of success in ecommerce. As with other areas of ecommerce such as traffic generation and retention, conversion executed well — especially in an international sense — can be extremely complex to do.

There are core things that an article on conversion could cover — for example product data, UX, messaging, adapting the experience to the individual customer and so forth. Other areas such as price, competition, language, postage and payment mechanisms are also important. But, deep down, conversion is actually about something that is in one sense much more simple yet is actually more complex than those other areas…

The human element in conversion

The key thing to understand in conversion is that, on the other side of the transaction, is a human being. That person has a set of ‘needs’ that need to be met and a set of ‘objections’ (or blocks) that need to be overcome.

It is a simple fact that identifying needs and removing blocks is at the core of all forms of selling to the human race, no matter how simple or complex the product or the selling medium.

If you can identify the needs of the person, and remove the blocks to sale, you will convert the browser to a buyer.

The ability to identify needs and remove the blocks to sales is actually a deep and complex human skill that your ecommerce managers and account managers must have. It takes a high degree of experience, insight and empathy and 360 degree view of ecommerce.

What is required is that you can see things from another person’s point of view and that you can read their behaviour and interpret it in terms of their needs and their objections. Artificial Intelligence can help, but this is fundamentally a human skill that people, and especially technical people, often do not excel at.

Identify needs, remove blocks

When it comes to conversion, no one can tell you exactly how it is done. If you begin to get the insight to understand the core elements it can make a huge difference to sales and profits.

Most people will never make much headway if they try to dictate and not listen. How do you convert a browser to a buyer? — ‘Identify Needs, Remove Blocks, Repeat’. ‘Identify Needs, Remove Blocks, Repeat’. And so on.

It is simple … but complex.

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