Most online businesses focus on increasing traffic to their webpages. They succeed in drawing a good amount of traffic, but surprisingly, very few convert. This is in large part because they don’t spend a substantial amount of money converting that traffic into customers. According to statistics, approximately 35% of businesses report that they have conversion rates of less than 1% and spend less than 5% of their marketing budget on increasing their eCommerce conversion rate.
This obviously leads to substantial wastage as many visitors to online businesses never purchase anything. eCommerce businesses should, logically, spend money on optimizing conversion rates. But approximately 95% of their budget is invested in attracting traffic to their website with a minimal 5% devoted to converting those visitors into paying customers.
As important as eCommerce conversion optimization is, it is one of the most neglected areas of digital marketing. Consumers are now more confident about sharing payment details online and technology has considerably changed the forefront of online businesses. Still, eCommerce conversion rates remain somewhat static and at around a very low rate of 1.5%.
Perhaps there is a lack of understanding of consumer psychology and the importance of balancing this investment. Driving traffic through SEO and other tactics is only the first step. This imbalance makes it challenging to generate high eCommerce conversion rates. Fortunately, businesses can hire an inbound marketing firm that can help them with this eCommerce conversion dilemma to increase their sales and define and understand their consumer segments. There are also several ways that low-budget and bootstrapped startups can hire a remote workforce to implement the strategies below to increase their ROI and bottom line.
To generate sales, it is essential to ensure that the visitor experience is pleasant and trouble-free. This means that the product pages must be easy to understand and navigate. The design and layout must be arranged in a manner which is both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly, allowing even amateurs to swiftly navigate through your website.
Alibaba.com does it perfectly by listing product categories on one side and giving the visitor options across the screen to sign in, search for products/services, or look through the help guide.
Another way to enhance the customer experience is by making sure to list fair prices. Competitive and clearly visible pricing is highly attractive to shoppers. No hidden fees should be included which might take the shopper by surprise at checkout. Make sure you clearly show how much each product is priced, the additional taxes to be charged, and the shipping and handling fees, so that you do not lose a customer who’s about to convert. According to statistics, 28% of customers abandon their carts when they are presented with unexpected shipping costs.
Also, you can add information such as price comparisons and reviews to allow your customer to understand the value that your product offers, how it compares to competitors’ products, and what other users think of it. Providing customers with ample information is a means to convince them to purchase the product and ensure that they are fully satisfied and go on to make the purchase.
Beautybay.com is a good example of this in how it gives the customer all the basic information. The page includes the price, shipping and handling charges and availability on top of the usual picture and product description.
Similarly, Imageskincare.com provides customer testimonials regarding its skincare products in order to keep new and existing customers informed of the opinions of other who have purchased the product. This is important as 55% of shoppers have stated that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions.
What else can you do to enhance customer experience? Make sure you include information regarding payment methods, delivery methods, and delivery time so that no aspect of the purchasing process is ambiguous. The more a customer knows, the more likely he is to purchase the product.
It is imperative to provide open communication channels and to perfectly synchronize processes in order to provide customers with the best service. In order to do that, you can use sales CRM software. This can help you manage customers, communicate with them more effectively, and generate more leads by organizing all relevant information in an appropriate manner. The system will help you understand customer profiles, preferences, and order history. You can then provide customers with customized offers, discounts and product choices.
Another way of converting visitors into potential customers is by giving them the live chat option. 29% of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase if a live chat option is available and they are able to get required assistance immediately. Many customers want to get answers as they browse. Live chat allows them to converse with a representative instantly regarding any queries they may have or any information they require. Quick resolution to their concerns increases the odds that they will convert.
A live chat function is more effective than an FAQ section. Live chat makes visitors feel that they are being catered to properly and are being given exclusive attention. Moreover, the FAQ section may not contain answers to specific questions that customers may have. With a live chat function, your customer service can provide immediate and specific assistance.
Alternatively, you can add a phone number on your website. This will substantially increase trust amongst customers and will give them a way to communicate with you easily. Providing a free phone number may add a bit to your costs but it is likely to go a long way in maximizing eCommerce conversion.
Is it enough to say that this is the best hairspray in the world? No. Customers need to know why the product is considered the best, what it offers, and how it compares to other products in the market. It pays to be descriptive and to add plenty of detail to your product descriptions.
Be creative and thorough by providing substantial information regarding product use, its unique characteristics, and quality. Give your customer a visual description as well with professional images and great copy. If you think you can’t do so efficiently, you can always hire experienced help to do it for you. It will be well worth the investment as it greatly boosts your eCommerce conversion rate.
You can also add plenty of pictures showing before/after effects, how-to processes, and the results of actual use by several customers. If the type of product you are selling does not offer a visible effect upon those using it, such as an easy chair, these use images will come in very handy. You can also add other pictures that show the product in different settings, and its different modes and ways to use it.
Video has become a very popular way to showcase products. Add videos of your products in use to enhance the customer experience and allow them to more deeply understand what the product is all about. Your videos can also be testimonials describing the experience that previous users may have had with the product or they could be demonstrations showing how to use the product.
The checkout process should be exceptionally simple and de-cluttered to ensure that people get through it quickly. Complex checkouts often discourage shoppers from completing their purchases. You don’t want them to give up before they reach the payment stage. Having a one-page checkout system would significantly simplify the process and enable customers to make a smooth purchase.
Another nuisance is asking customers to register on the main page before continuing to check out. Making customers register may be beneficial for you in terms of collecting information. However, it often proves for the customer or visitor to your website. As a matter of fact, many visitors refrain from shopping on sites which require them to register before making a purchase. If you must have them register, a short explanation of what value this provides them can help ease their minds. You might tell them, for example, that signing in secures their shopping sessions or that you can be eligible for coupons as a registered shopper.
Attempt to automate the checkout process by limiting the amount of information that the customer needs to type in. For example, automatic address recognition and the ability to get purchases shipped to the address attached to the customer’s Paypal account can make the process considerably simpler.
Remember to provide your customers with the best and ensure that your products make their lives simpler. Giving them more information, an easily navigable webpage, smooth communication channels, and a simple checkout process to increase your eCommerce conversion rate.
Start implementing this on your website today and see how fast business grows!
Erica Silva is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Currently, she is associated with Spectrum. Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1.
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