Internet in Business Mentor Jakob Nielsen responds:
Measuring Return on Investment (ROI) for a traditional e-commerce site -- a company that exists only on the Web -- is rather simple. Calculate the investment by asking, "How much does it cost to run the company?" and calculate the return by asking "How much did I sell?"
The difficulty in measuring ROI takes place when a company sells on the Web and through other channels. Customers may browse on the Web but buy retail. A Web site may contribute to an off-site sale -- the user looks at what's available, the price, customer reviews -- but buys elsewhere. Trying to determine how much the Web contributed to a purchase is a nebulous situation.
A company with strong on-site customer support offers good potential for ROI. In practice, customers prefer to find answers on their own rather than contact customer service, but most sites are designed so poorly that answers are difficult to find. While a Web site can't solve every problem, if you can minimize the number of support calls you're receiving, the customer is happy and you save money. And, a company that is always there for its customers generates repeat business.
Ways to track ROI:
Copyright © 2001 Inc.com LLC