From cheese to clothes, to estate agents, the purpose of every business’ website is to drive more business or sales. Whatever your site sells or has on offer, there are a number of ways you can increase and improve your overall conversion rate of the website.
Here are 10 key areas to focus on that will guarantee an improvement in that all important conversion rate.
One area where the high street still has an advantage over ecommerce sites is that when you go into a shop you can pick up the product, touch it, feel it, try it on or even taste it. It is, therefore, vital that an ecommerce site has the best quality images available. This also applies if you are offering a service, you need to allow your potential customers envision themselves using your facilities. Spend some time (and money) making sure your products have been photographed properly. Multiple views and photos of the product in context will also help users to make that final buying click. If possible adding the ability to zoom in adds a final touch that gives your site a feeling of authority. Don’t underestimate the power of the image, studies have shown that users like high-quality relevant photographs. The following event space in London utilises creative and high quality photography on all their landing pages and photo gallery to entice the user to enquire further.
Product videos go a step closer to that feeling of picking up the product. A well-made and short, product video will help the user to imagine owning the product. Videos are best when they are relevant. If you site sells high-tech electronic equipment then a video showing off the spec is great. If you are selling musical instruments then it would be a good idea to include a video of the instruments being played.
Great product images and videos need great product descriptions to accompany them. Here it is important to be as clear as possible. Details are great, but using too many words is enough to put users off. A brief summary of the product followed by clear details where necessary will give the customers the information they need. Again being relevant to your products is vital here. If you are selling clothes, include size and colour information. If your business is in food make sure to include all the necessary health and allergy details. With effective product descriptions that are not too long, you may have room to include customer reviews. Customer reviews are known to increase product conversion rates.
Building trust with your customers online will increase the conversion rate by removing any niggling feelings your customers may have about trying the site “down the road”. One way to build trust is to reintroduce the human connection. Make sure your contact details are clear and that these go straight through to a real person. Going a little further and adding a live chat option will allow customers to speak with a person without even picking up the phone. Live chat may not only increase conversions it could stop frustrated shoppers leaving bad feedback or even taking to social media.
It should go without saying that security on ecommerce sites are vital to a high conversion rate. If an online shopper has the slightest suspicion that your site is not fully secure then they will go elsewhere. The trick is not to litter the page with banners and messages telling customers how safe a site they are using. Instead be clear, keep everything up to date and include an easy to find section outlining your customer security promise.
Multiple Payment Options
While keeping you security promise in mind it is a great idea to offer multiple ways of paying. By giving a number of payment options, you will be removing the last barrier to that sale. As a standard allow your users to pay either with their credit/debit card or through PayPal. If you don’t offer at least these two options you could be losing as much as 50% of your potential customers
Shipping & Delivery Costs
Wherever possible free shipping is best. Studies show that the main buying criteria when looking to buy online is free shipping. If you are unable to offer unconditional free shipping then offering free shipping after a certain amount has been spent is the next best option. If you spend some time working out the numbers then this could even lead to more sales as people take advantage of the offer.
Rewarding your customers with offers and promotions is a sure fire way to get that shopping basket checked out, and those enquiries rolling in. With a little planning, page offers and promotions can lead to multiple buys. This can be interworked with upselling. Perhaps the best example of this is ecommerce powerhouse amazon’s “customers also bought section” Using your data correctly will enable you to tailor the offers on each page, increasing the chance of a sale.
Proceed with caution! Putting undue pressure on a user to buy is never a good idea, not when they have the whole of the internet to shop on. However, adding a sense of urgency can help with that the final push to the checkout button. As with upselling this can work well with promotions. Offering a “buy it today special price”, or a 10% off if bought before 5 pm promotion may be just enough to get the commitment you need. Make sure not to use this technique too often as customers will soon see through fake price reductions.
Shopping Basket Abandonment
Finally, a frustration for ecommerce sites worldwide: Shopping basket abandonment. According to some organisations, up to 97% of online shopping baskets are never checked out. Obtain the customer’s contact details before they can open a basket. This way if it’s abandoned you can get in touch to give them a gentle reminder that they are ready to checkout, a time sensitive offer at this point could be very effective
Give your customers every reason to buy or get in touch by following some or all of these techniques and you should see your conversion rate heading in the right direction before you know it.