Why conversion rate is as important as high web traffic

The importance of attracting a high volume of traffic to your e-commerce website cannot be overstated. However, focusing solely on increasing traffic without considering conversion rates may lead to missed opportunities and unrealised potential.

As e-commerce conversion rate optimisation (CRO) experts, we can explain why traffic and conversion rates should both command your attention and how striking a balance between the two can result in sustainable e-commerce success.

Understanding your traffic and conversion rates

Website traffic refers to the number of visitors your site receives. High traffic can enhance your brand visibility and reputation, but quantity does not always equate to quality. Not every visitor will turn into a customer, and this is where conversion rates come into play.

A website’s conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action. In e-commerce, this usually means making a purchase, but it can also include actions like signing up for a newsletter or downloading a brochure. If your traffic is high but your conversion rate is low, it indicates that you may be attracting many visitors, but few of them are engaging in a way that directly benefits your business.

The traffic trap

Let’s consider an e-commerce store that focuses solely on increasing traffic. They invest heavily in SEO, pay-per-click advertising, and social media marketing. These strategies do increase their traffic, but their conversion rates remain stagnant.

This scenario is akin to a brick-and-mortar store attracting large crowds, but witnessing very few actual purchases. The resources spent on driving traffic could potentially yield higher returns if directed towards conversion rate optimisation strategies.

Why conversion rate optimisation matters

Imagine you have an online store, and every day 1,000 people visit your site. Let’s say on average, only 1% of these visitors make a purchase. That’s 10 sales a day. If you want to double your sales to 20 per day, you may think the only way is to bring in twice as many people, i.e. another 1,000 visitors.

With CRO, you focus on making your website work smarter, not harder. Instead of increasing your marketing budget to attract 1,000 more visitors, you optimise your site to convince just 10 more of the existing visitors to make a purchase. If you can increase your conversion rate from 1% to 2%, you achieve your goal without spending a dollar more on advertising.

CRO is all about getting more value from the traffic you already have. It’s like turning casual window shoppers into enthusiastic buyers by creating a website that’s so appealing and user-friendly that more people decide to make a purchase. It’s cost-effective, efficient, and incredibly powerful.

We’re not talking about rebuilding your website, but making small adjustments like improving website navigation, enhancing product descriptions, offering free shipping, optimising the checkout process, or personalising user experiences.

That’s why CRO matters; it’s the key to making your website work harder for you and boosting your business’s success without breaking the bank.

Case study: MVMT Watches

A great example of a company effectively utilising CRO is MVMT. Despite having a strong Instagram following and significant traffic to their website, their sales were not reflecting the potential of their large audience. They decided to focus on CRO, enhancing their product pages with higher quality images, user reviews, and clearer calls-to-action.

These changes resulted in a 2X increase in their conversion rate. By focusing on CRO alongside their existing traffic, MVMT was able to substantially boost their sales and achieve a better return on their marketing investments.

Make traffic and conversion rate compliment one another

Yes, attracting traffic to your website is an essential aspect of e-commerce success, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Once they arrive, it’s about optimising the experience to convert your visitors into customers. Balancing traffic and CRO is the key to sustainable growth and prosperity.

Now that you understand the power of CRO, you can make the most of your existing traffic and significantly increase your sales without necessarily having to attract more visitors.

Director at Tin Soldier

Craig, Founder and Director at Tin Soldier lives and breathes digital. Being slightly geeky, since the late 90’s he has been involved and watched the internet grow from one page websites through Web 2.0 and more recently with the advent of AI technologies. Craig’s passion is ecommerce, in particular creating great customer experiences through personalisation, content and connected systems.