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Compelling online experiences (not traffic) drive sales. Consider a company like BlueNile.com which is able to generate annualized web revenues of $169 Million through just 739,000 online monthly visitors. Translation: every customer that walks into bluenile.com (with or without an intention to buy) ends up spending $19 dollars (and change) at the store. That’s a really big deal and I believe it is heavily influenced by BlueNile’s ability to create a truly compelling and differentiated online experience. Instead of throwing money at just bringing people to their site BlueNile has chosen (quite wisely) to focus on making sure that those in their store end up buying.
Update: Since I wrote this post I received serious flack for my elders. They attribute this $19/visit to the expensive items at bluenile.com. I disagree. This figure was derived by a numerator (revenue) and a denominator (buyers). Because wedding rings are a high consideration item it follows people look around quite a bit. This inflates the number ‘just browsing’ visits (denominator) to bluenile.com thus effectively canceling the effect of the numerator. Comments? opinions? please share.