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Critical Reasoning: Investigation Questions

Website Optimization Analyst: Although the website of Sellalot Inc. enjoys abundant Internet traffic, which could potentially contribute to increased sales, the large scope of this traffic actually damages the company. While it shows good customer retention statistics, the company's website suffers from poor design and content which reflects poorly on the company, thereby deterring many potential customers from choosing Sellalot.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the analyst's argument?

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice attempts to provide a solution to the problem presented by the analyst. However, Sellalot's capacity to solve the problem does not help us evaluate whether abundant traffic is, as the analyst claims, the root of the problem.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

The factor suggested in this answer choice is not enough to evaluate the analyst's claim, as it only represents one side of the coin - the lost customers. We do not know whether the number of gained customers is also proportionate to the number of visitors (and in what proportion), so we cannot determine whether the abundant traffic is damaging to the company or not.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

The factor suggested in this answer choice is not enough to evaluate the analyst's claim, as it only represents one side of the coin - the gained customers. We do not know whether the number of lost customers is also proportionate to the number of visitors (and in what proportion), so we cannot determine whether the abundant traffic is damaging to the company or not.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice is irrelevant to the evaluation of the argument as it is presented. This factor has no bearing on whether the website is damaging the company, because any potential customer that is lost can be considered as damaging, regardless of earnings. More importantly, this cannot help us determine whether the abundant traffic is the cause for the website problem, as suggested by the analyst.

Great!

[[snippet]]

The analyst concludes that the abundant traffic damages the company because Sellalot's inferior website deters people from becoming Sellalot's customers. In other words, the more new visitors pass through the website, the more potential customers are lost. 

If most of the traffic is that of new visitors, then the analyst may be right; however, if most of the traffic is of existing customers who are using the website, then this abundant traffic is not a problem.

Whether Sellalot can provide significantly more attractive marketing content to publish on its website
Whether the great majority of traffic is new visitors or existing customers using the website services
Whether the number of new visitors who do not become customers is directly proportionate to the number of visitors on the website
Whether the number of new customers generated by the website is directly proportionate to the number of visitors on the website
Whether the potential earnings from lost customers exceed the website's earning