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ilya

[Case study] How we increased sales by 150% in less than 2 days

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This case study is based on a short-term project.
We ran it in late December 2015 until the 2nd of January 2016.

I have been given the privilege to publish the entire case study on our forum.

The entire project was managed by a good friend and partner in business.
All credit goes to him, LinkedIn.

How it all started

A new law was being introduced in Slovenia starting on January 2nd 2016.
It required all businesses who used cash registers or card processing systems, to display a special message about issuing and taking a receipt next to the cashiers.

A client of ours decided to sell labels with the required message and we had to act quickly as January 2nd was approaching fast. They asked us to help them with this business venture.

Since the law was well known by public, we didn’t need a long and enticing copy. People understood they needed these labels or they could receive a €2,000 to €50,000 penalty. Which is insane!

We decided to make a simple one page website with the ease of purchasing. We had an email list of Slovenian businesses and decided to segment it into smaller parts. We then sent 1000 emails to our first version of the website and monitored closely.

After we got some data, we redesigned the landing page and sent another 1000 emails to the new version. We did this 3 times and finally got a winner, to which we sent the rest of the list (50,000 emails).

*Our client asked us to remove all specifics such as profit / revenue and costs.

The difference was humongous

While the starting website had a conversion rate of only 5% (a conversion in our case is a sale). The final version's conversion rate was over 12% !

How did we know what to improve?

We started with a simple one page design that had one goal in mind: making the sale.
Here you can see how it looked:

v1.jpg

 

By using a heat map and session recording software, we were able to see exactly what people do on the website and where they’re stuck. It was like standing behind their backs and watch them navigate around.

We quickly found out there was a confusion in the navigation menu.

about.png

The “About label” button was confusing people so we decided to remove it. All the required information was visible on the page itself. Now only left the “Naročilo” (order) button remained in the menu.

This alone helped a lot of visitors complete the goal of making a sale, our conversion rate increased!

We also noticed that a lot of visitors were clicking the demo label image (which was not a button nor a link). They then wandered away as it didn’t do what they expected. We figured out, people clicked on this image, because they wanted to see how the label looks like. Even though you can see it in the 1st version (the green image on the left), visitors didn’t understand that this is just a demo image, not a button.

demo.jpg

We did a very simple fix and instantly saw an uplift in conversion.
Above the image, we simply wrote:

“This is how label looks. We made a very high quality self sticking labels following government guidelines for you to simply place in designated area and avoid any penalties.”

We’ve also added a red arrow pointing to it so there really is no confusion what this is all about.
The new image looked like this:

demo2.png

 

Our page was ready for a new testing round.
Here's how version 2 of our page looked like:

v2.jpg

In addition to the changes made above, we also added one more button, saying “Buy now button (and avoid penalties)”.

Side note: We mention penalties a lot as we use fear as strong motivational factor for buying. We didn’t made up these penalties, you can really get fined if you don’t have this label at your cashier.

Many times underlying problems emerge when you fix surface ones as people get further down sales path.
Before, they didn’t really understand what they’re buying. They didn't understand that the picture up there was a picture of the label, so they didn’t get to the checkout form in the footer.

 

We sent the second batch of 1000 emails to this new version. While conversions increased due to previous fixes, we now saw a huge problem that was hidden before.

While the form is very self explanatory, our visitors didn’t quite understand how to properly complete it. It asks for the size of the label you need (A5 or A7) and then for your personal details for shipping. However, a lot of people simply gave up somewhere in the middle and left the website, never to return.

That’s when we decided that we need to simplify the form as much as possible and present to our visitors as little information as possible. We had to take them by their hand and guide them through the whole process.

This was done by showing only one step at the time. The next steps automatically revealed as the user progresses through the order process. This helped eliminate any confusion and overwhelming feelings.

The new form was very clear on what they have to do.
We used questions to directly ask what was needed from the customer.

For instance: Which size of the label do you need? How many labels do you need? And so on….

This is how version 3 looked like:

v3.jpg

 

A close-up on the order form:

f1.png

 

We not only made it much easier to understand what they have to do (pick a size of the label), but we also used visual representation (a different size of the label) for visitors to quickly understand how they differed.

Once a visitor picked their size / option, it took them to the next step, asking how many labels they required:

f2.png

 

These steps may look redundant, but they helped eliminate all of the confusion.

Before these changes, we had quantity and size joined into one “action”. We saw that more than 50% of the visitors left the website simply because they didn’t understand how to fill in the form.

But by simply breaking the form into two steps, we increased sales by 50%. The rest of the form then followed as before.

We also noticed that some people had problems entering their postal code, but we sadly ran out of time to improve on that too. The postal code fix could in the end result in 15-20% more sales.

Let’s see how form looked when visitor completed order:

v4.jpg

We added one last thing that in the end resulted in only around 1-2% of sales, which in this case wasn’t much, but imagine this on a multi-million dollar business. The last improvement was live chat. While the form was extremely intuitive now, there were still visitors who didn’t know how to order, or had additional questions.

By having live chat on our website, we were able to close 90% of visitors who contacted us. And best of all, they were all EXTREMELY happy by the quick and professional response they received. :)

Conclusion

In the end, it’s really simple to increase your sales and conversion rate.
We optimized the website on the go. This was because time wasn't on our side, we had to do things really quick. Next time we'll be using A/B testing tools for testing the details, and not just analytics (such as heat maps and user recordings).

----

Let’s us make a fictitious scenario, to see how much more we can earn by applying “little” changes, like the ones shown in this case study:

We spend $10,000 per month on acquiring customers.
We get 10,000 visitors for that money ($1 per visitor).
Our website converts at 0.5% -- we earn $500 per sale.
That is $25,000 pure profit.

Now let’s monitor this traffic to find out where people have problems.
Once we have identified and fixed the “pain” points, we manage to raise conversion rate from 0.5% to 1%.

Suddenly, spending the same $10,000 to acquire same amount of visitors will in the end earn us $50,000.

This is fictitious example, but it’s very possible to do this in reality, by using technology and techniques I just demonstrated above. The goal of this case study was to show how “easy” it is to increase sales by properly understanding what traffic is actually doing on your website. Without proper monitoring and testing, we’re literally throwing away tens of thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

These tactics can be applied to any business / website that receives at least 1000 visitors per month and most of them would benefit greatly from them.

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