State of the Union: We Survived October 2014!

State of the Union: We Survived October!


When you look at the big picture October wasn’t really as horrible as it seemed when we were in the thick of things. And it got pretty darn thick for a while!

During October the Valassis letter freaked everybody out, panic ensued when a couple of Facebook pages were shut down, and inserts were crap the entire month.

On top of all that, we had a major glitch with Paypal right at the beginning of the month that cost us around $200 in missed sales and another $200 in refunds. (Vendors were not hit with these refunds. THCM ate the whole kit and kaboodle.)

Fixing the Paypal glitch, tracking all of those lost orders and taking care of all the customers who were affected also cost us a big chunk of time, which meant we didn’t have as much time to spend on promoting the site, which also contributed to the drop in sales for October.

But, as I said, October wasn’t as bleak as it seemed.


Here’s the Breakdown


I’m going to include some numbers from the Total month of September and Sept. 6-9 for comparison. September because it was our top month across the board and 9/6-9/9 so you can see how we compare with a comparable weekend so far in November.

Keep in mind, too, that THCM is no longer selling 8-cent coupons. In fact, we have no listings up AT ALL. We quietly took all of our listings down on Tuesday October 25.


Sales Analysis


Total Site Sales

  • September 1-30: $9811
  • October 1-31: $8791
  • November 1-3: $1154
  • September 6-9: $1948


Average Daily Sales

  • September 1-30: $327
  • October 1-31: $283
  • November 1-3: $289
  • September 6-9: $566


Number of Orders

  • September 1-30: 1807
  • October 1-31: 1723
  • November 1-3: 224
  • September 6-9: 344


Average Order Amount

  • September 1-30: $5.43
  • October 1-31: $5.10
  • November 1-3: $5.15
  • September 6-9: $5.66


Vendor Sales

  • September 1-30: $8360 85% of total sales
  • October 1-31: $7447 85% of total sales
  • November 1-3: $1154 100% of total sales
  • September 6-9: $1624 84% of total sales


Traffic Analysis


Number of Visits

  • September 1-30: 8379
  • October 1-31: 8697
  • November 1-3: 1474 (801 on 11/3)
  • September 6-9: 1708 (620 on 9/8)


Conversion Rate **

  • September 1-30: 21.5%
  • October 1-31: 19.8%
  • November 1-3: 15.2%
  • September 6-9: 20%


We’re Super Excited About Conversion Rates


The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who come to your site and place an order. It doesn’t really matter how many people visit the site every day. We could have 100,000 visitors a day but if they’re not ordering then we’re not doing a very good marketing job.

Get this though…

  • The industry average for online sales conversions is only 2.35%!
  • The top 25% of websites polled only had a 5.31% conversion rate!!
  • The top 10% of website polled only had a 11.45% conversion rate!!!

A lot of things can affect your site’s conversion rate. The number one factor is promotion. Sure, we could pay someone to get us 25 bajillion Facebook followers but we’d never see those people visit the site, let alone buy something.

In the past we’ve run promotions where we give our customers free coupons every time they get someone to subscribe to our newsletter.  This promotion totally bombed.  Everyone had their friends and family members subscribe just so they could get the free coupons.  In August we deleted over 700 people from our subscription list because they never opened a single newsletter!

So, while it might seem like we have a small Facebook following compared to some of those coupon blogs you follow and our Newsletter Subscription list might not be growing by thousands every week, we must be doing something right. We may have fewer followers and subscribers but the ones we do have are buying from us!

Other key factors affect your conversion rate, including:

Page load times – This is why we ask you to keep your images at 250 x 250

Navigation – This is why we ask you to use appropriate categories and tags

Relevance to the visitor – This is why we only sell coupons and coupon-related items

Appearance – This is why we changed the site design. We wanted to appear more professional and trustworthy

Ease of Use – This is why we limit Tags and other links. We want to keep the site as clutter-free as possible. We’re also constantly working behind the scenes to upgrade the entire platform.


Most-Viewed Pages


After the Home, Account page and Shopping Cart pages, the most viewed pages on the site are the Category Pages. Most customers click on those Insert Links before they click on anything else.

The next most-viewed pages are the Tags pages (the Aisle by Aisle links) and the Shop Pages on that black box on the Homepage.

Note: I don’t have any numbers to show you but the coupons in the Hot Coupons section are definitely attracting attention.


Facebook and Newsletter Update


Jessica has been working to build our Facebook followers for about a month now. Our page currently has 796 Likes, with 48 of those Likes added just this past weekend.

Two months ago we were getting 10-15 visitors a day via the links we post on Facebook. Now, we’re getting 50-100 a day, and we added 193 new registered customers this past weekend.

We’ve also added 154 new Newsletter subscribers since October 4, with a 35% open rate – unheard of in the industry. The average open rate is only about 18-25%.


In Conclusion


I don’t know about you but I’m glad October is over.  The drop in sales wasn’t really that horrible but the record-keeping as a result of that Paypal glitch was horrendous.

If this past weekend is any indication it looks like we’re in for a heck of a ride this month – one we can enjoy!  Bring on the cotton candy and deep fried Snickers bars!

We really didn’t anticipate any problems once we pulled our 8-cent coupons out of the mix and so far everything seems fine.  We’ve had no customer complaints at all.  In fact, we don’t think they’ve even noticed because they’re so in love with you vendors now 🙂

So, the Marketplace is all yours now.  We’ll just stay behind the curtain and quietly work our magic.

Want a bigger piece of the pie?  Then follow the 30-Day Challenge to Double Your Sales.  And do it NOW!