Ecommerce Exclude Offline Conversions

15 May 2019

Originally posted April 15 on

I want to take a quick second to explain how website visitors who call your stores are diluting your eCommerce data.

Your SEO and PPC game is strong and you are bringing in two-digit growth month over month; however, you conversion rate is staying the same, or worse, declining. It’s easy to say off the cuff that you are simply bringing in too many unqualified visitors to the site who are bouncing. But is it true? I want you to consider that it could possibly be that a visitor is shopping you, searching for one of your locations, and then calling the store to complete the purchase.

Here’s how to tell:

  1. Go back 3, 4, or 6 months and take the ratio of total sessions vs sessions that your locations page is visited.

  2. Now look at the current month and take that same ratio. Are they equal? Maybe the current ratio is larger. Do not forget to use your Organic Search and Paid Traffic segments to help identify the traffic visiting your locations page.

  3. On your monthly metrics dashboard - manually remove the locations visits that do not have a eCommerce checkout. Add a footnote on how many sessions were removed and simply state why. Look how much better your conversion rate looks, and it probably more accurately reflects your gut feeling.

For validation, search your ERP system for how many new customer accounts have been created over the same timeframes. A larger number of new clients since starting the SEO and PPC efforts could validate offline purchases. Also, it never hurts to call the locations and speak with a couple of CSRs to get their view on new customers and calls that mention the website.

A word of warning, I have seen some analysts create views removing any sessions with a locations pageview to “make it easier to calculate the true conversion rate”. DO NOT DO THIS! That traffic is important to include in all sessions reports as a whole to understand site search terms, product popularity, and maybe geography to help with marketing and content efforts.

Only you will know if your customers are prone to call in orders rather than checkout on your eCommerce site. As the workforce gets younger, the ratio will tilt towards the latter, but in the meantime, consider using this method to get a better gauge on your Conversion Rate.

Tags: analytics ecommerce

Published on 15 May 2019 Find me on LinkedIn!