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Reading versus watching a video
Some like to read. Others prefer video. For those of you who prefer video I’ve made a quick video walkthrough of this article:
As marketers, we spread our attention across various marketing functions:
Things like cross-selling and reactivating dormant buyers are important but guess what happens when the marketer’s attention is distributed across multiple things? Nothing is done particularly well.
We all have constraints. Budget constraints. Attention constraints. Therefore, one philosophy is to focus on one thing and do it exceptionally well. I would redistribute my marketing energy to focus on this:
There is a new subscriber to this newsletter who happens to be an uber expert in driving Customer Lifetime Value. No doubt, driving lifetime value is critically important. But, if conversions are viewed as a relay race then getting that first conversion is the first hurdle. You have 0 chance to drive lifetime value if you don’t get that first sale.
What’s your business model?
Some businesses are designed for repeat orders. Think health supplements, meal services, coffee, etc. For these businesses, it’s ok to not make a profit on the first sale. The idea is that once the buyer signs up they will likely continue buying in the future. The marketer has opportunities to monetize the relationship over time.
Then there is a whole other group. Things like dog wheelchairs, room air purifiers, steel plates to bake the perfect pizza, etc.
People don’t typically buy a dog wheelchair more than once.
These businesses don’t have the luxury to make a profit on the second order. They need to profitably convert the first sale.
This is why converting first-time buyers is so important. What’s your business model?
One chance to convert first-time buyers
According to a Databox survey, 68% of site visitors are new.
These are people who have never seen you before and they don’t know who you are. You may be the best choice on the market but these new visitors don’t know that, yet.
You can see new to return visitor rate in GA by going to the Audience –> Overview report. Here is mine:
The average return rate for new visitors
Let’s stick with my site. 88.2% of my visitors are new and 11.8% are returning. This means if I worked my tail off to bring in 100 new people and couldn’t convert them during their very first visit only 10 would give me a second chance. Those are terrible odds.
How first-time buyers behave
First-time buyers are a completely different species from repeat buyers. Repeat buyers display a lot of patience, first-time buyers don’t. The moment first-time buyers hit a roadblock, they bail.
Converting these new buyers is a specialized skill; one that the marketer has to focus on in order to drive better results.
Our entire product story development process is designed to influence and convert first-time buyers.
I do have a word of caution
When I say focus on converting first-time buyers I’m not suggesting you do it at all costs. Ultimately, we want sustainable results. If you can improve first-time conversions by 20% but that also leads to an 18% increase in returns or a 22% increase in negative comments then that’s a terrible outcome.
So the goal is to use this focus to nudge new buyers gently and address the questions holding them back. That’s it.
The hidden benefit of optimizing first-time buyer conversions
Converting first-time buyers is the tide that raises all boats. You see, if you can improve the percentage of people who place their first order you are also increasing the percentage of people who would be doing word-of-mouth marketing for you, you would also have a larger pool of shoppers to reactivate.
Converting first-time buyers increases the size of the whole pie.
First-time buyer visual
It sometimes helps to have a little visual to drive home a point. So we’ve made a two-step visual for you:
Driving sales by increasing ad spend is easy.
Mad skill is leaving ad budgets untouched and still managing to boost sales.
We (Frictionless Commerce) grow Shopify bestseller sales by 20% in 90 days.
If you like doing the hard work yourself, our founder Rishi shares ecommerce conversion ideas on LinkedIn every day. Connect with him here.
If you want to make your life easier and still increase conversions, jump on a call.