You have built a fancy website and are getting loads of visitors through the social media and other forums, but no one is buying. Happens often?
Online store entrepreneurs are often in a dilemma – which variable to look out for boosting conversion rates? While there is no clear-cut apples-to-apples comparison between sites, you can incorporate few parameters, which are sure to give a kick-start to your sales engine.
Images are the key
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Images are the first thing a customer will notice so use high-quality images with an option of zooming in and out. Show as many images as you can and provide the option of viewing the product from various angles. For websites selling consumer products, let’s say earrings or clothes, show your consumers how the product will look like when they wear it, by using models.
A sure-shot way of increasing conversion rate is to add a 360-degree spin to the images that rotate automatically. Adding an automated drop-down menu of textual results that appear when shoppers use the search feature of the website also helps.
Airbnb is one site, which is doing an effective job with images. Their listings with professional photographs are often booked twice as often as listings with amateur photos. Such is the effect of high-quality photos that Airbnb is now offering its customers a professional photography service for free.
Whatever you do, just don’t ever use cheesy stock photos. It’s so 90s and is a dead format. If you’ve to absolutely use it, choose the ones that are right for your site.
Video is the new king
More and more people are watching videos thanks to an explosion of smartphones. With attention spans shrinking below that of a goldfish, the text is no longer as appealing as a video. It is the new future now, so get there as quickly as you can. A research suggests that 64-85% of users are more likely to buy after watching a product video, uplifting conversion rate by as much as 80%.
But simply posting a product video on Youtube or Facebook or your website ain’t gonna cut it. You have to think of a creative angle, which will boost the shopping experience on your website. Check out Volvo Trucks’ videos. The company has made items like trucks attractive for the industry as well as the layman. They have tonnes of videos from educational and brand films to documentaries and product videos, constructing an entire video content marketing funnel.
For Indians, there can be no better example than Amul. Over the years they have always been there with an opinionated version of major events through creative texts, contests, and videos. Flipkart is another example of videos done right with creativity, sense of humor, messaging – all delivered by child actors.
Create a sense of urgency
All of us at one point have rushed to buy a product from a store after seeing their “limited stocks” sign. It’s a basic human psychology to be freaked out by an urgency. By limiting your items, you can create an illusion of a product being valuable, making the customers rush to that ‘buy’ button. You can do this via limiting time offers and free delivery, special discount hours, or stock meter.
All the websites from Amazon to Walmart employ this technique effectively. Remember Black Friday phenomena in the US? Every year it resembles more like scenes from a zombie apocalypse. Travel websites also use this technique to drive conversions. Booking.com and Expedia have all resorted to stock urgency, suggesting that the hotel room won’t be available for long due to popularity and limited stock.
Show people are talking about your product
Reviews from real people can help uplift conversion by as much as 10%. A study suggests that close to 60% of shoppers consult reviews before they buy. You must provide an option for shoppers to rate or review the product they bought from your site.
Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful. You can have as many reviews as you want. But, don’t just show all the good reviews as it paints a rosy picture and shoppers aren’t stupid. Give them a realistic picture by including negative reviews as well. The co-relation of good/bad reviews should be 9 to 1.
Asos do this better than anyone with their #AsSeenOnMe feature. Customers can upload pictures of them wearing their purchase.
Internet is a cluttered place with rampant fraud issues. Shoppers often favor shopping on the sites, which can promise them to protect their information. Trust seals give them the greatest sense of trust. Over 48% of customers rely on them as they’re said to uplift conversions by as much as 40%.
Trust seals can vary as per business. Some of the seals that are most favored are:
- Norton Secured Seal powered by Verisign
Shopping cart abandonment is a bitter fact of life for most in the world of e-commerce. However, adding few bells and whistles should do the trick for you.
- Reduce the number of clicks and keep forms simple for a quick checkout; use Google Autofill.
- Provide “continue shopping” option from the same page so they don’t have to add items again.
- Keep the page clutter-free; offer the shopper a visual indicator, in case you need to spread things on multiple pages.
- Skip the mandatory sign-up and provide the “create an account” option after shoppers checkout.
- Offer an option to email the cart purchases as a shopper might be buying for someone else.
- Give an option to save their cart or add an item to the wishlist so they can come back later and make the purchase.
- Give shoppers an option to save their card details for faster check out.
- Offer shoppers an option of related products.
- Play up free shipping, free returns, and secure payment gateways features.
- Use mobile-first design.
- Assist your shoppers to get better discounts.
- Use shopping cart recovery emails for those shoppers who abandon carts.
- Offer multiple payment options. Also, show the user the local currency to give them a more personalized experience.
Chatbots are in
A live chat support is a necessity on the websites today. Shoppers don’t want to wait for a call or an email to clarify their doubts while making a purchase. A chatbot or live chat support can offer instant solutions to their queries.
As per a study, 63% of shoppers return to a site with live chat support and 38% end up making a purchase. The numbers speak for themselves!
Website speed is the crux:
As mentioned earlier about our goldfish attention spans, a majority of consumers just leave the website if it’s taking too long to load. Numbers suggest 51% buyers in the US left a site for being too slow. 47% of visitors expect the site to load in 2 seconds!
A special section for sales: Majority of first-time shoppers are looking for only the discounted products on the sites. Around 62% of customers look for a sales & specials section while 47% choose only discounted products.
It makes sense then to keep a separate section where you can display only the discounted products or seasonal sale options. This helps reduce the search time for shoppers, creating a better experience. In the long-term, a shopper might decide to browse other sections on your site and make a purchase.
Which conversion strategies you trust?
Not all the strategies described above are applicable or right for all the websites. A perfect strategy to boost conversions should be a mix of what works for your particular business. Do you have any stories to share where you have applied a strategy and it has driven your conversions to the roof?
We’ve helped many businesses boost their conversion rates and are always eager to hear about what has worked for a business. Call us or drop by for a cup of coffee at our place to begin the transformation journey of your business.