Web Optimisation Team – The Framework

I have developed a framework for the development of a retail web team. In this blog I have set the framework for how a retail team can operate in this environment and the activities that need to occur.

1. Define KPIs and Objectives

Primary objective – to increase web conversion rates from browsing to purchase to fulfilment

• Increase conversion rates
• Increase cross and up sells
• Determine when to manually intervene
• Analysis of where customers choose to exit the e-commerce parts of the site

• Close %
• % of customer acquisitions
• % of customer conversions
• % of bundled sales
• % of upgrades
• % of suggestive sells bought
• E-SERVQUAL Matrix:
o Efficiency – ability of customers to get to the site and transact
o Fulfilment – accuracy of service promises including products in stock availability and delivery on time
o Reliability – site availability & performance
o Privacy – data is protected, not shared and credit card payments are secure
o Responsiveness – ability to provide appropriate support to customers as required
o Compensation – returns facilities for refunds & return shipping costs
o Contact – ability to talk to a live consultant online

The benchmark will be current statistics with a growth in sales to at least pay for the team costs.

2. How will these be measured? A Data Plan.

Retail will need to define a suitable measurement tool that allows tracking of sales, impact of any changes and real time analytics.

Tools such as Google Analytics will be helpful. Web edit will also provide data. Marketing may purchase additional software.

Once defined the Reporting Co-ordinator will be responsible for developing the reporting mechanism and defining the reports to be used by the team. This will include:

• Daily exception reporting
• Weekly optimisation reporting
• Monthly management reports

Inclusive in these reports will be all the measures of KPIs and Goals along with the web optimisation scorecard as detail in section 4.

3. Daily Activity

On a daily basis the web analyst should complete the following activities:

• Review the daily exception reporting, something that it occurring on the site that needs immediate action or change.
• Review customer transactions that could be intervened such as:
o Missing underwriting information
o Missing sales opportunity ie under insured as compared to other houses in the area
o Lost sale – vehicle was outside the underwriting guidelines
• Determine which transactions will be referred to the outbound team for immediate follow up
• Determine what transactions will receive an email direct mail piece suggesting another product, up sell offer or coupon
• Run the lists
• Review the conversion rates of each campaign
• Determine optimisation to increase the conversion rate and test and learn

On a weekly basis review:

• The web optimisation scorecard
• On the basis of these results determine action items and areas to test and learn for the coming week
• Identify products that are not performing to budget and increase optimisation in these areas
• Check for usability – if it is not simple people will exit the site, so suggest better flows and ways of flowing the customer through to the checkout process & fulfilment

On a monthly basis:

• Prepare a report on the web optimisation for the past month
• Identify wins and areas for increased focused
• Compile the scorecard and provide detailed reporting against the goals and KPIs
• Submit the report for management review

4. Reporting Tools

The reporting tools are yet to be determined. Retail does have access to the following information sources and resources:

Reporting Co-ordinator:
• Will develop the reporting framework
• Will co-ordinate the data sources to ensure a quick and uniform way to report and action work
• Creation of the reporting platform for web optimisation and monthly management reports

Data for the web analysts will be gathered from:
• Google analytics
• Web edit
• Other software as determine in consultation with Marketing

The important key is to ensure that each area reports in similar ways using the same data.

5. Roles and Responsibilities

Both Marketing and Retail have responsibilities to drive the success of the ecommerce activity:

Marketing Roles & Responsibilities

• Promoting the web site through all levers including banner ads
• Web site look and feel
• Branding
• Landing pages
• Web site usability

Retail Roles & Responsibilities

• Reporting on activity
• Sales conversion
• Sales analytics
• Sales optimisation
• Test & learn
• Providing feedback on:
o Flow
o Usability
o Checkout process
o Exit points

While each area has specific roles and responsibilities to achieve a sales outcome will mean that a partnership between the functions is required. Providing feedback on the checkout process and an opportunity to increase sales conversion can only result in a change if the Marketing team agree and make the necessary changes. In requisite organisation language it means a TIRR responsibility.

To ensure success regular meetings between Marketing and Retail will need to be held as well as sharing information to ensure the best possible optimisation outcomes.


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8 Responses to “Web Optimisation Team – The Framework”

  1. Charisse Says:

    From a sales perspective, web optimisation is really about taking what you know about your consumer (Research & Segmentation should inform this) and using this information to inform the consumer purchase decision process and ensuring your website is structured accordingly, presenting the right information in the right way and at the right time.

    For example, Segment 1 may be frequent online purchasers and research, compare and then fulfil online. You will need a set of tactics to cater for this persona such as online comparison tools, short cuts and loyalty offers for repeat online purchase.

    Segment 2 may be less web savy, research online but then seek offline fulfilment. To have appeal to this segment, the website will need to overcome trust, security and procedural issues and include online offers that can be printed and re-deemed offline.

    Conversion funnels that meet the expected fulfilment process for each segment should be identified, developed and then analysed. At what point does each leave the site? Do they leave because they intend to purchase offline or because there is a usability issue with that page/process? Is the content structured correctly, is terminology right, is an action button not clear (ie. get a quote) or in the wrong terminology, should there be a ‘phone me’ option? Depending on whether the issue is brand, design or even technology related, the Retail team will have to determine where to initative change proceedings.

    Conversion funnels will allow for information to be fed back to Marketing such as entry points by segment (e-news, Adwords, organic search etc) and sales and fulfilment channels by segment. All of these points enhance consumer insight through which Marketing should base their communication objectives.

    Google’s Landing Page Optimisation tool allows you to create multiple versions of your landing pages and allow them to be tested concurrently.

    There may also be issues with the terminology used across SEM & SEO and for general usability. Eg. ‘child safety seats’ may not be the most commonly used key word ‘child restraints’ may be more common. ‘Child Restraints’ should then be used in SEM and carried through to all web content to maximise the quality score for the page (= higher Adwords position for less cost) and for increased usability.

    Retail will have knowledge around likely cross sells throughout the site, but may not neccessarily have the Marketing skills to effectively execute the brand and consumer insight to maximise the cross sell.

    Likewise, the boundary can be blurred for tools and functions that cross the ‘sales’ boundary. For example is a Membership comparison tool a sales tool? If so, should the Retail team have TIRR responsibility over the tool?

    While I think in theory the boundaries defined in your post appear clear, in practice this may be far from the case. Without clear TIRR and TARR responsiblities neither Retail or Marketing will achieve maximum success.

  2. Michael Kromwyk Says:

    Thanks Charisse. I think that you raise important questions around requisite organisation and TIRR & TARR responsibilities.

    What I think needs some consideration is that Retail are experts in closing off line, but may struggle initially with this online. However if Retail are charged with closing sales and increasing conversion rates (once there are skills in place) then surely everything from the landing page to the fulfilment page will need to have influences from retail.

    I agree that Marketing will need to control the look and feel as well as the offers, but retail has to be able to have ability to get the customer across the line as happens now off-line.

    Do you have any experience when Marketing & Retail created a ‘happy marriage’ on web sales and were successful. What were the ingredients that made it work?

    • Charisse Says:

      Michael I am not aware of any organisations that have created a ‘happy marriage’ on web sales.

      In my travels the web team has had full control over digital advertising, design, usability, functional briefing, content, navigation and tracking and analysis. The Retail team would simply pick up leads as delivered to them from ‘contact me’ type requests, as a result of an online application of some sort, or to follow up a quote or enquiry where fulfilment has not occured.

      I can provide insight into an experience I have personally had where my team lost control over the functional development (it went from an external 3rd party where I managed the relationship to an internal IT department who did not report within my structure) and the ensuing areas of grey caused great angst. Neither party was clear as to what was their area of responsibility, conflicting priorities meant development was often delayed which impacted on sales and needless to say the internal relationship suffered greatly. A great deal of finger pointing occured, all to the deteriment of sales.

      It is with this experience that I suggested there be very clear TIRRs and TARRs established from the outset.

  3. Alison Naigen Says:

    Great work. I like the idea of the constant review of processes and checking for speed and ease of access, etc. Delegating this to part of the department that is responsible for managing it has some possible issues. Is it not like the cops investigating themselves? Perhaps it would be best to use an outside market research (mystery shopping) agency or even students employed on a casual basis to run through a few purchases and enquires at home?

  4. Alison Naigen Says:

    I don’t see retail as having a part of an online process. Retail and online are both subordinate to the marketing department and should only have dotted line contact, in my opinion.

    No, I haven’t seen a ‘happy marriage’ between Sales & Marketing. Although I have seen several uneasy truces formed when the company is in a really bad way and Everyone Hates Management.

    Because Sales is one of the many functions of the Marketing arm of an organisation, they generally feel that they do all the work (bringing in the $) and are misunderstood. They usually receive ill thought out directionives and policies from those in ‘head office’ who they often (rightly) think have no experience in actually selling product or services.

    Even when these employees are earning hideous salaries (above that of the marketing team – ie: Yellow Pages) you will find these feelings emerging.

    I would dearly love to see staff rotated through other job functions so they gain a better understanding of how the other half live.

  5. Michael Kromwyk Says:

    Thanks Alison for your comments. Requisite organisation does suggest that people are given other opportunities to work in other functions as a part of their development. Clearly it is really important to have defined job roles as I continue to develop this team!

  6. Alison Naigen Says:

    Yes, Michael I agree with your thoughts on having clearly defined job descriptions. Although, human nature being what it is (Ref Maslow) we will always want to progress and ‘take the initiative’.

    So it follows that people will always step outside their job descriptions to get ahead, or catch the Boss’s eye.

    The true skill in management is gently reprimand, heaps of praise. and the X factor.

    A very wise client of mine once said: “Praise only works on three kinds of people”

    Yeah, which ones, Alison asks….. man women and children. Enjoy your weekend.

  7. seo companies Says:

    Using this analysis l can see that you definitely can help your site feature highly on the search engines

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