My company manages the online marketing for two florists. One of the florist websites has consistently outsold the other during the past two years, and I’ve driven myself mad trying to figure out why.
The better-performing site is actually based on a design done by another web company a few years ago (I put a new back end on the site but esssentially used their original design). The poorer performing site was designed by me from scratch.
I have tried all sorts of different banners on the poorer performing site to try to improve its conversion rate. We did get pretty good results in the week before Christmas but then it dropped right off again.
A few days ago, I decided to give up completely on banners, and just display the 20 best selling products on the home page – 4 rows of 5 products each. I intended to do this as a temporary solution until I could come up with a better banner.
But within 24 hours of making this change, the conversion rate shot up to a record level! It’s only been a few days but this site is now converting just as well as the other one. With no banner on it – no attempt to “sell” at all. Just presenting the best-selling flowers to the visitors as soon as they hit the home page.
I suspect the reason is, when people are looking to buy flowers online, they just want to be shown the flowers directly and make their own decisions, without any attempts to “sell” them in a banner.
I’m not saying this is going to work for every online store in every market. But if you are looking to improve the conversion rate of an online store, it’s definitely worth testing.