The childhood lesson that explains why ecommerce conversion is so important

1 September, 2016

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re 10 years old again.

We’re smack bang in the heart of summer.

Your t-shirt is clinging to your back.

The smell of sunscreen seems permanently attached to your skin.

The temperature is pushing the magical heights of the send-the-kids-home-from-school level.

We’re talking fry an egg on the pavement hot.

You tell em’ Hans…


What an old fashioned lemonade stall can teach us about ecommerce CRO

School’s out, it’s stinking hot, and you’ve got some time on your hands.

The local pool is closed for renovations, the beach is too rough to swim, and all your buddies are out of town on holidays.

If you present-day-you is running an online store, chances are you were the little kid hustling soda out of your backpack in the schoolyard for a dollar a can. You were a business owner in training, even as a primary schooler.

So the boredom of this steamy summer’s day gives you an idea.

It’s time to live out every budding entrepreneur’s dream…

You’re starting a lemonade stand.


Lucky for little 10 year-old-you that I’m around.

I’m acting as your business mentor slash wish-granting genie.

I want to help you grow your new business, but you need to make an important choice…


The critical marketing choice all new retailers need to make

Here’s the dilemma…

You have two options:

Option #1.

  • I can guarantee you 800 interested lemonade drinkers will visit your stand on your first day of operation.

Option #2.

  • I can guarantee you 1000 interested lemonade drinkers will visit your stand on your first day of operation.

It’s not a trick question (yet).

You’re choosing option 2 every day of the week.

Even 10-year-old you can confidently make that decision.

Now, let me give you a little more insight to further inform your decision.

I’m willing to give you a ready-made retail service experience.

I’m willing to offer you a lemonade stand for free. You just need to choose which option you’d prefer…

Option #1.

  • You get stand number 1 from the image below, and I can guarantee you 800 interested lemonade drinkers will visit your stand on your first day of operation.

Option #2.

  • You get stand number 2 from the image below, and I can guarantee you 1000 interested lemonade drinkers will visit your stand on your first day of operation.


Still sticking with option number 2?

Sure, you get 200 more potential customers. But these customers are lining up in front of a ramshackle establishment. You’ve scored a crudely hand-written sign, a couple of plastic cups, and there’s no sign of a lemon in sight. Even if you’re intending to give your lemonade away for free, a large chunk of those visitors won’t even sample your brew for fear of contracting some form of bacterial infection.

Option number one leaves you with 200 fewer visitors. The benefits might just make up for this compromise. You’ve got a beautifully designed, portable stand, with a mouth-watering display of juicy fresh citrus to lure the gold coins out of those visitor pockets.

Stand number 1 might make you 10 pity sales.

Stand number 2 might allow you to turn 50% of your visitors into 400 delighted (and refreshed) customers, each with the full intention of returning to quench their thirst tomorrow.

Now you see what a kid’s lemonade stand has to do with an ecommerce marketing article about conversion rate optimisation.

You’re starting to pick up what I’m putting down here.

Why ecommerce conversion rate optimisation matters

Let’s crunch the numbers at $2 per cup for each of your two options.


  • You make 10 sales for $20 revenue
  • Your 10 sales from 1000 visitors give you a conversion rate of 1%


  • You make 400 sales for $800 revenue
  • Your 400 sales from 800 visitors give you a conversion rate of 50%

The moral to this fable of retail wisdom

More sales beat more traffic.

There’s no point investing all of your marketing efforts into attracting new customers if you’re attracting them to a store that won’t convert.

Take it away Marketing Aesop:

“You need to optimise your store for conversions before you worry about attracting more customers”

So, back to reality and your significantly older, wiser, more experienced self.

You’re not a primary schooler anymore. But you probably still want to know how to maximise the growth of your business.

I still want to be that business mentor/wish-granting-business-genie.

Sadly, I’ve lost my magic powers and I can’t give you a ready-made, perfectly optimised online store.

But I can give you almost 20,000 words worth of advice to help you maximise the revenue you generate from your online store.

Your ecommerce CRO helpfulness comes in the form of an exhaustive online guide.


You’ll find 41 ways to increase your ecommerce conversions.

For each tactic we’ve included:

  • A detailed explanation to help you implement on your online store
  • A relevant case study or brand example
  • A collection of the most helpful online resources and articles to help you learn more

If there’s a more helpful guide to improving your ecommerce conversion rates, we haven’t found it.

Oh, and there’s plenty more where this guide came from.

Subscribe for all 4 of our ecommerce growth guides

Our Conversion Rate Optimisation guide is the second in a series of four ‘Ecommerce Growth Guides’ we are releasing over the course of a four month period.

Each of the four guides is designed to help online retailers one of the four ways to grow an ecommerce business.

The only four ways to grow your ecommerce business

#1. Increase online store traffic

#2. Increase your conversion rates

#3. Increase your customer’s average order value

#4. Increase your store’s repeat sales

If you can find a way to pull each of these revenue levers at once, you can maximise the growth of your online store.

If you missed our first guide (focused on helping you increase traffic to your site), you can catch up now on 39 ways to attract new customers to your online store right now.

You also need to make sure you subscribe for our Ecommerce Jungle Gym updates to receive our next two guides over the next few months to complete your ecommerce growth playbook.

Next month, we tackle the third of four ways to grow your ecommerce business: increasing your customer’s cart size.

Sign up now to make sure you don’t miss out!

By James Dillon
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