August 23, 2004, 12:00 AM boosts conversions to 18% using WebTrends analytics

The vacuum cleaner site aims to raise conversions to 25% this year. Analytics monitor tests to its shopping cart and point the way toward improvements that get results, including free shipping and beefed-up language on transaction security.

Brand vacuum cleaner site has boosted conversions from its shopping cart process to 18% using WebTrends’ Enterprise analytics product, and aims to raise that figure to 25% this year, according to Michael Crowdes, manager of interactive marketing and e-commerce for Royal Appliance, the Dirt Devil’s maker.


Contributing to the increase are ongoing changes to the site, which the analytics tool monitors to determine their impact on conversions. Among them, for example, are several alterations to the shopping cart process on, including tests on the effects of various shipping costs and promotions. The site originally charged a $3 flat fee for shipping on all purchases, but experienced no change in conversion rates when that fee structure was changed to offer free shipping on purchases of $20 or more. Raising the standard shipping rate to $4 from $3 likewise produced no effect on conversions, but offering free shipping on all purchases increased conversions by 3%.

Additional changes to the shopping cart tested and validated through web analytics included adding language about security as well as the VeriSign seal to each page, and introducing a step indicator to show shoppers where they are in the checkout process and what steps remain to complete the transaction. “I have made a lot of little changes to the shopping cart scenario over time, looking at each step in the process,” says Crowdes. “Taken together, these changes have had a big impact.”

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