In just a few short years e-commerce has totally reshaped the rules of the retail landscape, an institution that remained fundamentally unchanged for centuries.
Consumer expectations continue to escalate, often as a direct result of technological innovations. In order to succeed, it is crucial for businesses to have an online component that addresses consumer expectations. However, to maximize conversions and improve profits, businesses must look beyond the low start-up costs and relative ease in establishing an online storefront.
Once launched, online retailers begin to look for what is deemed as best practices to increase traffic to their site. As we have mentioned in past blog posts, these include the use of social media, exit pop-ups, blog posts and other tactics to increase brand loyalty.
But, in spite of all their best efforts, one of the biggest challenges facing e-commerce retailers today, is to boost conversions on their site. For example, even a top-performing e-commerce site only has a conversion rate of 3% which translates to only 30 out of every 1000 visitors making a purchase.
Clearly, boosting conversion is fundamental to success. Here are three easy steps to help turn your visitors into customers.
Write for Today’s Consumers
Forget lofty phrases; make sure the copy on your website is clear, concise and accurate. Practice word economy; don’t use five words when one will do. One of the pioneers of modern advertising David Ogilvy pointed out that “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. It follows that, if you don’t sell the product in your headline, you have wasted 80% of your money.”
This still holds true, especially in the digital age.
If Ogilvy was writing about advertising in the digital age, he would likely point out that readers tend to skim content, not read it. Practice “word economy” by using the least number of words possible. Make sure that all words have high-impact and high appeal. It is also critical that all claims are not only believable but also verifiable as well.
Another proven business axiom is that consumers buy from sellers they trust. There are a number of simple steps you can take to increase consumer trust.
- Provide a way for customers to verify the information you provide. Include links and cite third-party sources that verify your claims.
- Show customers that you are real. You can achieve this by simply providing a physical address, staff pictures and bios, and photos of your storefront or warehouse.
- Brag about your expertise. Let your customers know about the expertise and experience of your staff. Also, include any professional or trade organizations where you have memberships.
- Make contacting you easy. Don’t make customers search for contact methods. Make sure that your email address and phone numbers are prominent and easy to find.
- Hire a professional website design company. Make sure the site looks professional and is error free. The website needs to be easy to navigate and functional on all browsers.
- Update the site’s content. Websites that are current and updated inspire more trust. Make sure that announcements concerning sales are not out-of-date. If you have a blog it should be updated weekly.
Make it Easy to Buy from You
Brick and mortar retail shopping is the epitome of easy; the customer takes the product to the register, makes their payment, and walks out. The e-commerce experience should be just as easy and just as intuitive.
- Don’t offer too many choices. Consumers faced with too many options have a tendency to make the easiest choice; not choosing anything. If you have a large inventory, make it easy for customers to filter and find exactly what they want.
- Make the checkout process easy. Don’t ask for information that you don’t need to process the payment. Don’t require that customers set up an account in order to make a purchase; allow them to join or check out as a guest. For customers who want to sign up for an account, make it easy by allowing them to sign in with their Facebook or Google account. Just as with the payment page ask for only the information you need.
- Offer free shipping. Free shipping is becoming almost mandatory in today’s digital marketplace. Over 90% of customers in the US and UK state that free shipping is the most popular motivation for making a purchase. Online retailers that offer free shipping have a clear advantage over their competitors.
To continue to grow in today’s marketplace, e-commerce retailers need to employ proven best practices. Give these ideas a try and implement them on your website to maximize your site’s potential and boost your website sales and conversions.
As a retailer, if you have more ideas which can help boost e-commerce conversions, please share them in the comment section below, we would love to hear them all!
ConversionMonk understands your website visitors’ behaviour and responds in real-time by displaying targeted content, messages and offer to the right visitor at the right time. The result is better conversions and higher ROI. Find out more by getting in touch us or signing up for a Free 14 Day trial today.