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I worked with this enterprise client as a solution architect to help them re-platform to Magento from another framework. They are a household DIY store, with ~3 million page views a month but an abysmal conversion rate of 0.06%. Following are some of the considerations/features we took to help improve conversions on the site:

  1. Customer Journey optimization - As our CRO efforts during the implementation we would have reviewed the customer's purchase journey, especially in the checkout, to ensure that it was as convenient and user friendly as possible for a potential customer, especially in the checkout. An example of this was that while selecting a physical store for collection, the client uses a google maps integration powered form to search for the area they are looking for a store in, to collect from. At this point, they get a detailed view of which products are available in which store along with the stores appearing in ascending order based on distance of their search location from the stores. Click and Collect was a hard problem to solve but we did a great job of it within the budget.

  2. Checkout Optimization - efforts involved installation of one step checkout to make checking out as easy as possible. We also made sure that not too much information was thrown at the customer in checkout or steps that encourage them to go back to the catalog. For another client, we tracked a lot of drops in checkout because customer were clicking on the navigation menu so a decision was taken to drop off the navigation menu in checkout pages.

  3. SEO - We installed various modules like ones for creating canonical catalog URLs for products and categories to enhance SEO, and used Magento's in-built features to enhance SEO. We would have also reviewed the category structure. Also ensured that during the re-platform, 301 re-directs were well taken care of.

  4. Email Marketing - For easy email targeting - abandoned cart emails/newsletters etc. we setup an integration with Dot Mailer. There are loads of other interesting integrations available in the market like MageMail etc.

  5. Search Optimization - Search is a very important feature; we tweaked Magento's default OR search and converted into AND. If you search for RED SHOES magento will show anything that has the words RED and SHOES in the searchable attributes. However, in this cased, based on the kind of search experience the merchant was looking for we tweaked Magento Enterprise' SOLR search to look for the entire term - "RED SHOES". Other search features -Enterprise 1.14 comes with SOLR out of the box, whose one of the key features is that you can assign weights to product attributes. This comes in very handy in ensuring that the customer is getting results that they're looking for and not just results that "check all the boxes". We also integrated the blog search on the catalog search results page, so a search term went through content as well thereby laying the foundation for content driven commerce. For some of our other clients we would have installed a third party elastic search extension that shows categories in search suggestion and the search results page.

  6. Performance - Irrespective of the features on the site, it is important that the site performs well, with the page load times within an acceptable standard. We made sure that irrespective of third party modules, many of them community, we kept the enterprise Magento's full page caching in play and always functional. Also, made sure that all the out of the box features like SOLR search, Redis for caching and sessions, that help performance were used.

  7. Catalog Optimization - Another key aspect of the catalog that we paid a lot of attention to was the layered navigation or the left hand side navigation on pages. We installed a module to make these filters AJAX based. Another effort made on the catalog was that after the nightly product import, products on a special price were automatically assigned to a 'Specials' category linked to from the main navigation menu that let the customers quickly look for deals they were interested in. I would also review the social pages like on Facebook, twitter etc and for merchants that are stilling getting on their feet on social media, would recommend to remove social sharing buttons, since they can be a lot of 'noise'.

  8. Content Driven Commerce - The client in this case was in the DIY niche and so was falling back on content driven commerce to facilitate which we added product listings to tips and advice section - so a customer landing on a tips and advice page would watch a video or read points on how to do something yourself and then see a listing of products, purchasable from the same page, that are relevant to the content on that page. We also added product videos to product page.

  9. A/B testing - Magento has very convenient integrations with A/B testing tools like Optimizely. A/B testing is especially useful if you have considerable traffic and want to experiment with the customer's purchase journey to optimize conversions. Optimizely makes it all easy out of the box!

  10. Analytics - Last but not the least we also launched a full fledged google analytics e-commerce tracking integration with Magento that has specific features to let you track e-commerce specific purchase funnels. As with any optimization process, it is important that we measure, make changes and re-measure to see what works and what doesn't and then spend our resources on things that work. Analytics in this regard become incredibly important since GA is what makes it possible to measure the result of your optimization efforts.

In my experience, there is no 'one size fits all' in CRO and it is always a concerted effort between various stakeholders that take budget, ROI, value, timelines etc in consideration and try to review the site constantly to find and experiment with ways to improve conversions. As someone having a tech focussed background in Magento, I can guarantee that the merchant will almost never hear that something is impossible in Magento. Some things might take more effort sure, but there are always functional work-arounds that teams can agree on(Read MVP - minimum viable product). My Magento solution specialist certification also testifies that I am familiar with all the out of the box features that Magento comes with, many of which directly or indirectly impact conversions on the site. My technical expertise in Magento is a huge plus, because right on the outset, I can venture into thinking about custom features to help make it easy for customers to make purchases.

As a result of our efforts the client's new site is converting 3 times more without any extra spend on marketing- granted that their previous site wasn't all that great. 66% of their orders are prepaid click and collect orders whereas previously customer booked collections but didn't turn up.

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