The jWAG team has had a very busy weekend at the JCK Las Vegas show! We've been recording video questions for a Web TV series we've been planning and interviewing many vendors that are forward-thinking, tech savvy, and willing to help the retail jeweler with their online marketing.
It's been a great show so far!
We attended several seminars relating to online marketing and e-commerce on Friday and Saturday. From those seminars there was one question that retailers were asking over and over again:
How do you track conversions from the internet?
To answer this question you need to first understand what a "conversion" is. This is the work we internet marketing folk use to refer to the casual website visitor that takes some action and then becomes your customer.
Every website is different, every retail store is different, and every sales process is different... That means every conversion measurement is different.
Some stores track soft conversions as a simple signup to their email list, while others want some hard conversions in the form of an actual sale. A few vendors have told us they consider a conversion to simply be when they've passed a sales lead to a retail jewelry store.
Online lead sources come from everywhere now: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email, AdWords, Pinterest, referrals from friends, and of course your website. How can all these methods be tracked?
Through Google Analytics you can measure how many people arrive on your website from every referral source, but without e-commerce on your site you can't actually track the hard conversion.
By far, the hardest conversion to track is whether or not the customer will ever come into the store and make a purchase. There is not magic bullet method of tracking that type of conversion. We can hold our breath all we want over here at jWAG, but getting your in-store sales people trained to ask how a customer found out about you is tough.
Some POS systems have the ability to force a "lead source" question to pop-up before the customer can pay for their purchase. But even then, a customer might simply say "from Google" or give some other mundane answer like "online." Sure, you'll want to pull your hair out because of these answers! Doesn't the customer understand that you need to track your ROI?!
Let's face it, there's no real way to make the customer remember if they searched for "engagement rings" or "2ct peridot earrings." Maybe they saw an ad on Facebook, or their friend Liked one of your items online.
Sadly, until a magic bullet method of tracking is created, you still need to keep asking; even if the answers are frustrating. So please, get your staff trained to ask that lead source question and maybe someday soon we can report on the magic bullet answer for you.