On average, companies report that only 3 percent of Web surfers actually buy, according to a survey by Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation.

Fortunately, there are new tools that can help companies convert browsers into buyers. A company can design several versions of its website and use one of many new software packages to track how each design affects the conversion rate. It's called multivariate testing, and many consulting firms specialize in it. But free tools also are available, including Google's Website Optimizer.

Inc. magazine takes a look at how two companies boosted their conversion rates.

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