Web site traffic breakdown

April 21, 2010

You have worked hard and spent good money getting that online tire shopper to visit your Web site. But what does that Web traffic really look like? And what is your return on investment on that traffic?

At my previous job, I had the opportunity to work with a software program that analyzed Web traffic within our Web site. We could follow the Web visitors around, one customer at a time, and “watch” their actions.

These numbers, overall, were consistent, as we were really looking at consumer shopping behavior patterns.

The numbers below are approximate and based on a fully functional tire shopping Web site. Our example represents a single store location, and we used $400 for the average invoice.

Our research shows that large tire retailers with fully functional Web sites and online advertising programs are averaging just over 1,200 visitors per month per store. We used 1,000 visitors for our example.

Web site visitor breakdown:

Some 200 of your 1,000 visits are not real people, but software programs (like search engines) that comb Web sites looking for information.
These are commonly referred to as single-access visits, spiders or robots (bots).
There’s nothing here for you with these 200.

Estimate: Programs, not people.
Sales projection: No sales.

Think of the behavior of these 160 visitors the same as Yellow Page users from the past.
These are visitors who come to your Web site looking for store location/phone number information and then call or drive to your store.

Estimate: 20% of this group will show up at your store.
Sales projection: $12,800.


This consumer group’s behavior is molded from its members’ experiences reading newspapers, magazines and direct mail, etc.  These Web visitors will view your products and prices online and then call or drive to your store location.
It is very important here to understand what has changed regarding this group’s behavior. They want more. They wish to have their shopping experience online now rather than wait to visit your location.
You will need a fully functional online tire store application to meet this group’s online expectations.

Estimate: 30% of this group will show up at your store.
Sales projection: $76,800.

128 VISITS (subset of 640 VISITS)
Out of those 640 visitors mentioned above, 128 will continue beyond just viewing your products and prices or reading product reviews and will either view or print a total out-the-door price for tires and services and then visit your store location.

Estimate: 50% will show up at your store.
Sales projection: $25,600.

13 VISITS (subset of 640 VISITS)
Again, out of those 640 visits, 13 consumers will actually purchase online and make arrangements for installation. As you can see, most consumers wait and pay at the store at the time of installation. We expect this number to grow over time, but it really does not matter as long as they make it to your store location.
Consider just letting consumers make arrangements online for installation and pay for them at the store.

Estimate: 100% will show up at your store.
Sales projection: $5,200.

Total sales estimate for online Web site users for the month: $120,400.

The business of selling is moving online. It is clear that it’s time for you to review your online tire store strategy.    ■

Mike Bruce, president of VTS solutions LLC (www.vtssolutions.net), enjoyed a long career with Discount Tire Co. going back to 1967. He was a store manager in the 1970s, and started and managed Discount Tire’s Dallas/Fort Worth region in the 1980s. He was promoted to senior vice president in 1990 and moved to the Scottsdale, Ariz., corporate office to work in purchasing. Bruce started the Discount Tire Direct program in 1994, and created the www.tires.com Web site for the company in 1996. He was responsible for e-commerce and online advertising for Discount Tire through 2007. He can be reached at (866) 798-3523.