More Conversions Month on Month
How we grew our conversions by 20% month on month
Andrew Jervis is the Co-Founder at ClickMechanic, an online marketplace where you can book a mechanic to repair or service your car. This is Andrew’s story on how he and the ClickMechanic team increased their conversions 20% month over month for 18 months.
Any entrepreneur will tell you they obsess about the health of their business. My co-founder and I are no exception. It’s only natural–we want to build a company that keeps growing. So from day one, we made it our mission to be data-driven and zero in on the right metrics.
Our complex funnel and growth metrics
The key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll want to focus on depends on your business model. Our customers use ClickMechanic to find a mechanic to repair their vehicle. Therefore, a conversion on our site is when someone submits a booking. But we only make money when the person shows up to their appointment, much like a booking site for hotels or salons. That’s why our funnel is quite complicated:
Funnel steps 1-4 happens all on our website by the customer. But in order for steps 5-6 to happen, the customer needs to complete their appointment. So whenever we see a dip on our website conversion rate, we go straight to Kissmetrics to dig deeper and find out why. A dip in this metric impacts the rest of the funnel–which impacts our bottom line. And that’s why as a CEO, I focus on these high level metrics:
- Lifetime value (LTV): Projected revenue a customer will generate during their lifetime
- Average booking value: The monetary size of each booking
- Close rate from placed bookings to completed bookings
And I challenge my marketing team to drill down and focus on slightly different KPIs:
- Lifetime value (LTV)
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC): The cost of convincing a potential customer to buy from you
- Conversion rate broken down by channel: How many customers each campaign is bringing in
Certainly there are more metrics beyond this that matter to us. But these are our primary areas of focus on a regular basis, at this stage of our growth.
How we analyse dips in KPIS and take action
In a recent funnel analysis, we found that step 4 of our funnel–our real-time quoting engine– wasn’t performing as well. In fact, we saw a double-digit drop off. And our real-time quoting engine has two components: parts and labour (the mechanic’s billed hours). But sometimes we can’t quote on all the parts needed. As an example, let’s say Dan needs to get his tail light fixed on his 2007 Audi A3, so he requests a quote on ClickMechanic. We don’t have the light bulb for his make and model, so he gets a quote for the labour only–£50 in this instance. Two days before his appointment, Dan then receives the light bulb price (£35). This is a surprise to him, so he cancels right away. Essentially, we got the conversion on the website. But we didn’t get the sale because Dan didn’t complete the booking. Recently, we added more pricing in our quoting engine, which meant customers could get price quotes on more parts. We hypothesised that if customers had a complete quote, they are more likely to complete the booking. To our initial surprise, we saw a trend down from visitors booking their appointment. That means people were entering their details, getting a parts and labour quote, then leaving the funnel.
Before we panic, we dig into the data to find the root of the problem
On the surface, this was a reason to panic. Instead, we drilled down into the data and compared our funnel before our new data set and after. And here’s the interesting part. With more price quotes, the close ratio from bookings placed to bookings completed increased–and we were generating more revenue. We can safely assume customers like Dan were not fully committed to their appointment. This happened recently, so we’ll give it another 2-3 weeks before we decide to change anything. We like to collect more data so we can isolate the issue before we make any drastic changes to the website.
Growth isn’t an accident
Understanding who our customers are and what they’re doing on our website helped us see a 20% month-on-month increase in conversions over the past 18 months. But we didn’t see this growth by accident or overnight. It was an ongoing effort of 1) setting our growth goals, 2) closely monitoring our funnel KPIs, 3) using the data to test our hypotheses. And that’s why we measure data at every step of our funnel before taking action.