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Conversions suddenly drop?

     
6:43 pm on Jun 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I run a jewelry website which gets fairly consistent conversions of 1-1.5% out of about 10k visitors per month. The last few weeks, however, our conversions have dropped to closer to 0.3-0.5%. No major changes have been made to the website, no change in traffic/traffic source; is this normal? Any idea what could've caused the sudden drop in conversions? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
11:49 am on June 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There are a number of possibilities: New competitors, season, weather, website not working correctly, server downtime,... Or perhaps it's just a transient statistical deviation. As opposed to the times when you suddenly have 3 percent conversion without having made any changes.
1:06 pm on June 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A few questions:

1. do you monitor uptime on a general basis?
2. have you checked to see that nothing is messed up in the order process?
3. do you have statistical data from last year and beyond?

3:07 pm on June 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Discretionary spending seems to have dropped in many markets. People seem to be willing and able to pay for neccessities, but have eased back on purchases that are not.

Blame it on high fuel prices.

It looks like people are browsing, not buying.

4:23 pm on June 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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For our market (namely the 18-34 male crowd) drops in conversions in last month co-incided with:

(a) The release day of each of the 3 summer blockbuster movies

(b) The go-live day of an 3 week "online-only" beta of an anticipated microsoft video game (around 16-17th May). This involved over 900K invitees apparently.

5:37 pm on June 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for all the replies. I'd thought it might have something to do with school being out and the big movie released and whatnot, but really wanted some confirmation. Kinda making me sweat here... hopefully things pick up.

oziman - to answer your questions:

1. I got it set up on two popular uptime trackers the first week our conversions fell; hasn't been down thus far.
2. Good idea. I just went through and was able to make a successful purchase.
3. I do, though anything past the last 3-4 months is a bit shaky. I think I know where you're going, though, and it wasn't like this last year; we've never had such a large drop in conversions since we've started getting real traffic.

7:21 pm on June 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The summer is deadly for me and many firms I know nose dive until teh Christmas approach
9:36 pm on June 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Another luxury goods dealer here- Experiencing the same. Traffic is normal, conversions are way down.
8:03 am on June 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm in a completely different niche and experienced this sudden drop too . Same traffic number just MUCH lower conversions.

After weeks of pulling my hair and analyzing every possible aspect, turns out the drop was due to server problems as a result of the latest Cpanel update! Especially if you have addon domains, it will cause problems, at least that's what it was for me :)

Good luck

5:23 pm on June 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

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gabidi,

In what way did the cPanel update affect it? Was it just a slower server/server downtime that was doing it?

My sales are also down, but in the UK we are just getting some great weather and have had another interest rate rise in the last few weeks, so maybe people are cutting back.

5:41 pm on June 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We use Yahoo eCommerce solutions, so the cPanel updates didn't effect this (though it did effect some other sites I run!)

I guess it's just a dry time right now... hopefully things pick up soon. This is pretty painful as it is.

2:41 am on June 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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conversions always drop for me .... or at least way below expectations.
Why is it that i can have a couple $1,000 days in late may then only 30 dollar days in early june. Graduation gifts? Why is it that when you need a reason to buy (like a graduation / fathers day / CHRISTMAS) Is only when you hve a decent conversion, same traffic. sounds like a cop-out answer. If you have an increase in traffic before a holiday then youll have more sales. If you sell hard goods and summer stinks (high gas prices, whatever) then shouldnt your targeted traffic go down as interest go down. what happens is that traffic doesnt go down, sometimes gooes up, but sales drop. NO! Conversion should be consistant, a science, hence the start of this post.

id say that yes, traffic might change for the season, its just what to do about that. I dont know, wish i did. So perhaps if we really brainstorm, and think higher then "do you have a 1-800 number, *DUH) or that its summer. common, traffic is traffic, i bet if you were in a B&M store, and 1,000 people stopped by LOOKING FOR SOMETHING IN PATICULAR YOU HAVE IN STOCK) yet 2 sales, you would be pissed too huh...

1:27 pm on June 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Probably summmer.

Hot weather, noone wants to spend big bucks. $20 purchase is OK, but not a $1000 - no holidays, too hot to think, also vacation season, money spent in other places.

3:47 pm on June 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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gabidi,

In what way did the cPanel update affect it? Was it just a slower server/server downtime that was doing it?

Logrotate problems and duplicate entries in httpd for parked domains , causing very heavy CPU usage and Very long times for page loading.

Fixed them and boom .. back to normal! :)