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The TCR Lifecycle

Traffic, Conversion & Retention

Sales will not grow unless you understand, and have a dedicated approach towards, the key areas involved in Traffic Generation, On Site Conversion and Customer Retention.

Understanding the Traffic-Conversion-Retention Lifecycle

Sales will not grow unless you understand, and have a dedicated approach towards, the key areas involved in:

Traffic Generation, On Site Conversion and Customer Retention (TCR).

The IRP Commerce equation is the key to sales:

[Number of Visits] * [Conversion Rate%] * [Average Order Value] = TOTAL SALES

Ecommerce contains standard and high-level considerations for your web team such as buying, stock control, supply chain management, pricing, margins, staff resource, warehouse management, sales management, customer service and more. Ultimately, focus for your Ecommerce Managers or Marketing Managers revolves around three areas — the TCR lifecycle:

  1. Traffic
  2. Conversion
  3. Retention


Everything begins with traffic and traffic channels are the key to sales. Essentially, traffic is driven by marketing, and often most strongly by online marketing. Traffic is never free. It always has a cost, even if that cost is time. The main traffic sources are:

  • Search Engines – Organic traffic
  • Search Engines – PPC search traffic (paid)
  • Search Engines – Display network (paid)
  • Search Engines – Content network (paid)
  • Search Engines – Remarketing (paid)
  • Search Engines – Google, Bing, Yandex, Baidu
  • Affiliate Marketing & networks
  • Shopping Comparison and Review sites
  • Email Marketing and Remarketing
  • Referring sites, forums, directories & posts
  • Direct traffic (bookmarks, repeat customers)
  • Offline Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing (free)
  • Social Media Marketing (paid)
  • Desktop, laptop, tablet & mobile devices
  • Marketplaces
  • Offline Advertising (paid)
  • Other (a catch-all category for channels that currently have no name)


Conversion is key to profit. Conversion is a deeply-involved process and many factors influence the Conversion Rate. Without a good Conversion Rate a company cannot be profitable. Here are the main influences on Conversion Rate.

Top 20 — In a relative order of importance ... subject to debate:

  • Price
  • Shipping costs
  • Products in stock
  • Site navigation, structure & layout
  • Site search
  • On-site marketing & key USPs
  • Product range
  • Depth of brand & categories
  • Product information & quality
  • Product reviews
  • Site & service reviews
  • Company About Us & Contact Us information
  • Delivery & returns information
  • The checkout process
  • Product RRPs & any sale or discount display
  • Sale & clearance offers
  • Up selling & quantity discounts
  • On-site help & Buying Guides
  • On-site copy, news, events & engagement
  • Remarketing

From an international perspective, add the following:

  • Language translations
  • Multi currency
  • Country-specific on-site marketing & key USPs
  • All payment gateways covered

Optimisation Measurement & Testing:

  • AB, multivariant & usability testing, analytics analysis


Retention is necessary for profitability. Once you have a customer, you want to turn the Average Order Value into a Customer Lifetime Value. Without retention, online businesses are rarely profitable. Retention is a deep science and something that should be managed in a lot of detail. Essential strategies for Retention are:

  • Customer service
  • Prompt issue resolution
  • Effective delivery & fulfilment
  • Loyalty programs & incentives
  • Email re-order incentives & marketing promotions
  • VIP & private sales
  • New product sneak peeks & incentives
  • On-site help & knowledge base
  • Order tracking & information
  • My account information & usability
  • Returns management
  • Social media engagement
  • Customized content & offers
  • Remarketing
  • Maintaining a strong market presence


Traffic, Conversion and Retention are the basis for understanding digital commerce. After the basic IRP Commerce equation is understood, the TCR lifecycle should dominate digital commerce sales strategy in an organisation.

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