What drives shoppers to your Web site? Is it an e-mail they just received announcing a sale or free shipping? Were they pointed there by a search engine? Did they find the site through word of mouth?
Based on research collected and compiled by ForeSee Results over the 2006 holiday shopping season, the methods that drive the most first-time visitors don’t necessarily drive the highest quality shoppers
• Promotional e-mails work. One-quarter of online holiday shoppers went to a site because they received a promotional e-mail from the retailer. This group had a strong satisfaction score of 76 on the study’s 100-point scale, leading to a high likelihood to purchase again, return to the site, or recommend it to a friend. Satisfaction as measured by the University of Michigan’s ACSI (the methodology used y ForeSee Results to conduct this study) is a proven driver of these desirable future behaviors.
• Search engines and shopping aggregators drive traffic, but not satisfaction or loyalty. A large percentage (28%) of first-time Web site visitors came through a search engine or shopping aggregator. But, this group had very low satisfaction (64), leading to a low likelihood to purchase in the future.
• Word of mouth drives satisfied first-time visitors who buy. Fifteen percent of first-time visitors came to a site because of word of mouth marketing, and this group had the highest satisfaction and rate of purchase.
In short, you may want to try focusing a little more of your resources on your e-mail campaign. And perhaps work on organic SEM as opposed to spending all your marketing budget on paid SEM. While the search engines get ’em there, they don’t guarantee a sale by a longshot.
This research surveyed more than 10,000 site visitors to the top 40 retail Web sites in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more: www.foreseeresults.com