Avoiding Call To Action Errors – A Small Business Trends Infographic

Our friends at Small Business Trends, created an infographic that highlights how call to action (CTA) is sometimes not much of  a call and creates little action.  CTA is an essential component in analytics. CTA is what creates a click, and drives the purpose behind an analysis.  What traffic actually clicked? What’s the significance?

Moreover, CTA must be optimized.  The phrases used as a CTA are tested in A/B tests.  Improving CTA is linked to driving downloads of an app or purchases from a cart. And there are a lot of factors to what makes a CTA successful.

Take a look at the infographic below to learn how businesses drop the ball on CTA.  For more small business news, follow Small Business Trends.

Calls to Action Data

Why the importance of monitoring cash has risen among small businesses

Square Card Reader
Credit / Debit Card Readers like this one from Square have accelerated how businesses receive payments from customers. But they also introduce urgency in managing cash flow in a business, one in which new entrepreneurs may not have faced before in their own personal experience
When small businesses are launched, owners are taught that cash is an important lifeblood for survival.  However small business owners are also consumers, and these days consumers are less concerned about retaining cash than they have ever been.

A Pew Institute report confirms this notion. 4 out of 10 Americans do not save cash.

This perspective describes consumers, rather than small business owners. But many  small business owners are consumers, and that non-saving tendency is why setting aside the consumer mindset when launching a business is critical.  Businesses need to think about how they spend on items within the business that reduces their capital or ties it up too much into an asset.

The rise of BOPIS (Buy Online Pay In Store)  and BORIS (Buy Online Return In Store), in which customers shop at home and then pick up their item (or return it), are another reason business need to think about their spend more critically.  Customer transactions are occurring faster, with digital options such as paying online at a portal and mobile payment readers from Square, Paypal, and other providers.  The faster rate means businesses must think about how to time their revenue and payments and ride herd how cash is flowing in a business over time.

A lot of times business owners try to purchase items for availability rather than examining how those items are really used in daily operations.  Having assets sitting around is bad, but so is not having those assets to provide a product or services to customers.   Striking a balance between scenarios is not easy, yet business owners must be wary of having too much capital tied into an asset. Doing so can prevent a owners from making strategic decisions with cash quickly.

The current decline with Sears is a great example that small businesses can learn from. Much of Sears’ parent company invested into real estate owned by the stores rather than the operations or products/services that Sears. While real estate is valuable, it requires upkeep to be made valuable and it can not be sold as quickly as stock. That can make converting into cash difficult to do, especially when time is limited to make a deal or purchase.

Ultimately businesses must figure out a number of ways of saving cash within the business, so that options become better.  One factor that must be kept in mind is making investments that customers ultimately see and feel when engaging a business through its products or services.

Digital Retail Tips: 5 e-commerce site sales mistakes to avoid

E-commerce has become an essential component to retail, but it also can introduce a number of missteps to allow a customer to make a sale.  These 5 tips highlight the flaws that can appear (and some tips in avoiding them with e-commerce analytics).

1. Making online activities difficult for the customer to complete.

E-commerce sites can get a bit complicated when tasked to carry a multitude of products.  Any commerce site will require some adjustment to ensure that customers can complete purchase easily.

Thus a key analysis is to examine the visitor flow reports to determine which pages keep the purchasing behavior simple. Highlight where visitors are exiting a page, and examine the content on that page for improvement ideas.

Page speed can also be examined, to determine if images or scripts are creating page load issues. Slowly loading pages can persuade visitors to leave a site. Page load service Yottaa discovered in its analysis that a 1 second delay in page load speed can lead to a 7% decline in conversion, which means lower sales.  Check out this Zimana post for more on page load tools  and this post on tips to improve page speed for e-commerce.

2. Not targeting the right customers

To attract the right customer to the site, use the Demographic reports in Google Analytics to monitor how site traffic best matches the intended audience.  The age group reported should reflect the expected customer base.  For example, a music site offering downloads should reflect younger customers if the bulk of its music sales are the hottest acts that appeals to teens and younger adults.

3. Advertising that eats into low margin products 

Selling low margin products online does not eliminate the risk of selling at a loss. If those items require paid search to be highlighted, then the advertising costs can exceed the margins from each sale.   For example, if an AdWords campaign costing $2-$3 a click exceeds a $1 margin of an advertised product, then a retailer is spending more than what it makes on that product.

Periodically analyze the average order value of each purchase, and examine sales by SKU.  Is there a better way to offer the product – by advertising a low margin product as part of a package rather than as a solo purchase.

Moreover, analyze conversions from AdWords campaigns – are the click throughs leading to sales? Use Smart Goals to help plan the identify visits that are “most likely” to convert.

Follow up with bidding alerts in the AdWords manager to stop campaigns when bid cost exceed a planned amount.

4. Not carrying what customers are looking for.

Using the site search reports can highlight the terms in which customers are constantly looking for.  The terms will likely be brands or products not offered.  Frequent appearance of such terms indicate potential interest; Time after search metrics can indicate if people are remaining on-site after a search, or leaving immediately after a query, implying a dissatisfaction and that the item should have been offered on the site.

This CMS wire post can explain more about how site search reports can be best analyzed.

5. Annoying your customers with hidden costs.

No customer like surprise details about a transaction when they shop online, so a good e-commerce site should highlight complete  purchase information at the check out stage.  A product page should set expectations of what the customer will expect when purchasing.

Monitoring the check out metrics in the commerce report can provide an indication if customers are consistently leaving the check out process.  There are two steps that can address traffic decline.

One way is to set up a survey to trigger at the shopping cart when the customer drops out of the cycle.

Another way is setting up an A/B test to compare content can highlight what images or descriptions better resonate with customers.