Increasing the conversion rate is important for any online business, as it helps you to increase your sales with the same volume of traffic. Conversion Rate, as a key metric, tells you how many people out of 100 buy from you as a result of what you show them.
At the moment, the average conversion rate for eCommerce businesses ranges between 2-3%. Even if you are already doing a good job and are towards to top of this range, this average should not stop you from trying to increase it even further. Set goals for your online store and have tools in place to track your progress.
There are some important steps you can take to insure you get as many customers through the conversion funnel as possible. There are many conversion rate optimization hacks you can apply to help with this without breaking the bank. Here are some best examples that helped our clients become more effective in acquiring new customers!
1. Make Your Website Easy with Few Steps Required to Purchase
Understand what the consumer wants or needs and supply that in the simplest and easiest way. There is no reason customers should feel overwhelmed and find it more difficult to purchase online than in a walk-in store.
You want your customers to have a good experience when using your website to purchase an item. Don’t make it difficult to buy on your site because customers may get annoyed and leave. Test the purchasing and checkout process yourself, understand its functions and make it a habit to check the process recently. You may also want to ask friends and family members to test the process, in order to get a fresh and honest opinion from an outsider.
Create a quick and effortless user journey by reducing the number of steps required to place an order Be clear about what your business offers on the first page. On many websites it take at least three clicks to reach the products you are looking for. That’s before you even being to place an order, and with different choices and payment options the list goes on. Having a search button on your store is a simple change that allows the user to enter exactly what they are looking for, instead of searching through large catalogs.
Clarity and simplicity wins the game when it comes to the user experience. Of course buying online is more convenient as people have more hectic schedules, and appreciate the wealth of choices online. All you have to do to tap into this growing market is make the process easier for customers, particularly first time customers. UserTesting.com is a good tool to use, telling you how long it takes your customer to complete each stage of your buying process. This is a great way to start analysing how quick and seemless your purchasing process really is.
Be clear about your products and make sure your images reflect exactly what the customer will receive. Make sure the lighting is good and that your items are standardized, even changes in color can make for an unhappy customer. Put your returns and cancellation policy on your website. This should be clear and precise so you can avoid engaging in to and fro with a each customer who want to return an item.
2. Remember that the First Impression is Key.
Unfortunately, many consumers don’t make it past the first step in the checkout process, probably because many online stores make the process so complex. Just because you designed it and understand it, doesn’t mean your customers will. Be realistic, ask yourself if your customers can easily understand and use your store. Simplify as much as you can, to ensure a good first impression and user experience. You only have one chance with each consumer to make a good first impression and this is why the user experience is so important.
Ask every user to leave a review on your website. It may be frightening to begin with but you will learn an incredible amount. The goal is to have every user walk away with a good experience, and even if they did not, to learn from their feedback and improve your website. In particular asking for feedback, and acting on it, makes customer believe and trust your website. Most eCommerce businesses have great products pages, that make customers fall in love with the products, but what happens after that? Is it easy to add an item to the cart and checkout? Do you have too many steps before the product is finally ordered? Using a progress indicator is a good option to avoid customer frustrations, to tell the customers how many steps there are in the process and how many are to go.
3. Build trust
Building trust is the foundation of generating return customers. You can achieve this by making each and every interaction with your company a pleasant one. Email subscriptions are a great way to start, as you can send exclusive sales to your subscribers and previous customers to generate loyalty. Another great way to build trust with your customers is to be easily reached. How approachable do you appear to your customers? This is important because it gives customers peace of mind, knowing that if anything goes wrong with an order, you will be available to resolve it.
Some steps you can take towards building trust with your customers:
- Be accurate with prices - make sure you don’t surprise your customers with price increases or hidden increases.
- Ensure your product is consistent - what they see should be what they get.
- Be transparent at all times - provide your customers will all the information they may need.
- Get testimonials - recommendations from popular bloggers and journalists give real validity to your claims.
- Promote your successes - list any awards you have won in your industry.
- Avoid over-promising - it’s easier to make more promises later than to disappoint customers with over the overly-ambitious claims.
- Stick to the promises you do make - be clear about your promises to your customers and keep them.
With good products, gaining customer trust should not be a difficult part of your business. Once the basic framework is in place, you will be able not only to gain the trust of your customers, but you will also be better equipped to keep that trust in tact.
4. Set-up a testimonials page
Testimonials and word of mouth referrals account for 20 - 50 % of purchases made, and for many buyers are more important than price discounts. New customers are likely to look to the comments and reviews on your website and base their purchasing decision off this information. Adding an example of the product or service to the testimonial will be great reference for future customers.
Ask the customer if you can add a picture of them to the testimonials. Each picture speaks a thousand words and has the ability to improve your conversion rate by boosting customer empathy. It goes without saying that high quality images create more of a connection than blurry, poorly edited images. Remember, you want to attract, not distract here. In a 4 year study, analysing more than 6500 participants, professor BJ Fogg established that the prominence of various elements on a page, can have a direct impact on customers interpretation of the content. Thus, clearly featuring images of your customer can significantly improve your credibility, and ultimately will impact your sales. Therefore, a good place to build this rapour between your business and your clients, is through a testimonial page.
5. Humanize your brand
Humans relate to other humans, so see yourself as a publicist when it comes to humanizing your brand and remember there are real individuals behind all the numbers. More to the point, individual customers like being recognized by your business, so it is important to engage them, and make it known they are both seen and valued. Becoming active on social media is a great place to start. Simply having a website to showcase your products, and waiting for customers to come to you will not cut it. Get to know your customers, allow them to get to know your brand and the people behind it. Every brand needs a community to remain relevant and it is critical you invest in your primary target group. By creating a community, you are able to reach a large audience with a proven interest in your brand. Large organizations employ staff specifically to manage their customer engagement, but when you are first starting out it is easy enough to manage yourself.
Customers respond better when they know there is someone at the other end, ready to listen, as opposed to just a system processing their orders. The question then becomes, how do you humanize your brand?
- Add a picture of yourself and team members - add faces to the name.
- Communicate on social media. Hire a social media manager if you must.
- Promote your brand at events - engage your customers face to face.
- Let your personality shine - your interests and passion add to the brand
- Talk about your failure - it’s only human to make mistakes.
The crux of building trust between you and the consumer, is to show that there are humans behind the brand. Let the customers know why you started your business, why you’re passionate about it and how it can add value to their lives. Once your customers understand your vision and mission, they are much more likely to engage with your brand.
6. Create a compelling value proposition
Regardless of what type of business you are in, you will always have competitors. Within some markets, there may even be clear market leaders, who define the competitive dynamics. In order to challenge your competition, you need a clearly defined value proposition, and that can be difficult to achieve. So how do you develop a strong value proposition?
First, take a critical look at your business and reflect on what unique offering sets you apart from your competitors. What value do you offer your customers? Your value proposition is a well thought out list of reasons that consumers should pay attention to your products and take action. Simply saying your products are the best is not enough to persuade consumers to purchase them. Add substantial proof to your claims in order to legitimise your message and avoid your actions appearing like shallow marketing initiatives.
7. Offer Free Shipping
Shipping charges are always a sensitive subject but one you can use to your advantage. Offering affordable, transparent or free shipping will benefit your business in a big way. Although free shipping is very popular with online shoppers and appeals to their price sensitivity, some customers will pay a premium for faster delivery. Perhaps it’s a textbook for an upcoming exam or a last minute gift. Either way, understanding the interests of your customers is essential.
Many customers are dissuaded by shipping charges and end up abandoning their shopping carts. Factor the shipping charges into your pricing to avoid this type of situation. Through Easyship you can access affordable shipping options which allow you to maintain your margins, while offering free shipping to your customers.
Many e-commerce businesses choose to assign a threshold for free shipping services. In this way, some customers have to top up their chart in order to qualify for this deal. For the customer they see this as a win, as they avoid paying shipping charges, and for the business there is a clear benefit of enhancing sales volumes.
With Easyship, you can choose from more than 80 shipping companies to make sure you find the perfect fit. As eCommerce grows across Asia, it can be increasingly difficult to manage your logistics process which is where Easyship comes to help. Our process is simple. Tell us what to ship, which couriers you prefer and sit back, track your shipments with ease.