5 Actions You Must Take Today To Improve Your Conversion Rate
Whether you have only recently started tracking your ecommerce conversion rate, or you've been watching it for a long time and are now feeling slightly hopeless - I want you to know that improving your ecommerce business growth does not have to be that difficult or expensive.
There are some basic actions you can easily implement today, that will start to improve your conversion rate and help bring in more sales to your online business.
Step 1. Streamline Your Checkout
The buzzword is frictionless, and you are dealing with the instant gratification generation. Put simply, customers have no patience at all, so if they see something they want to buy the process needs to be quick and easy, or you are VERY likely to lose them. Their tolerance for any kind of "friction" is zero.
So what is checkout "friction" - well, its any kind of hurdle the customer has to over come to move forward - so think creating customer accounts, asking for loads of personal info when you don't need it and generally making your customer "work"- these things will go against you.
Payment method choices are a significant factor too - so make sure you offer choice on ways to pay. Links to trusted payment methods like PayPal and Stripe mean that your customers can head through the basket and onto checkout in a few clicks. App integrations with payment services like Klarna who offer buy now, pay later services are essential in some industries like fashion and furniture. Customers expect these options to be available or they will walk away. So review your checkout and go the extra mile to serve.
It is also work remembering that mobile users are the dominant force now in ecommerce, and as user of your website there is nothing more satisfying than being able to purchase your beautiful products with a few clicks of the auto-fill button and with facial recognition to authorise the payment.
Not all of this technology comes from your own website, you will need to integrate with the right tools to make this happen, but your responsibility as a product-based business owner is to do everything you can to streamline your checkout process.
Step 2. Build Trust
By adding trust indicators and social proof to your business, you can increase your conversion rate.
So how do you do this? Start by offering clear guarantees on product pages, and working with sites like TrustPilot, to capture reviews systematically. This way you can easily show your potential customers that you deliver and provide a good experience for them.
Remember online customers don't know you, they can't see you and to be honest in most instances they don't care that you are a really nice person behind the scenes!
What they want is proof, hard evidence that they can move forward and buy from you without it being a complete disaster or worse, a waste of time, energy and hassle to fix it when it goes wrong.
It helps to be able to show endorsements in the form of customer testimonials, and social proof can be screen captures from your social media with customers comments or User generated content of your customers using your product and enjoying the benefits of the product in real life.
Make sure these trust indicators, guarantees and reviews are easy for customers to find throughout your website.
Finally have your customer service contact details clearly available throughout your site too in the headers, footers and appropriate points throughout checkout. Add Live chat if it's suitable for your business and you can serve it. Do not hide from customers that want to talk to you! You need to give customers confidence you are a real, professional business and worth buying from if you want conversion rates to soar.
Step 3. Split Test Headlines and Product Page Layouts
Red or Blue? Square or Round? Up or Down? You should be A/B testing everything on your website. Get the hard data, the facts from your audience - don't guess!
A/B testing is a vital marketing tool that lets you further understand what customers are actually looking for. For example, by trialing the same product pages on two different page layouts, you can see where you are enticing and where you boring your target market.
You can also test which products in your range are landing best with customers, you see how your customers use your website and with enhancements to user experience and journeys you can radically improve your Add to basket rate and your ultimate sales conversion rate.
There are many great split testing tools out there you can implement onto your website. Like Visual Website Optimiser (https://vwo.com/) who have packages to suit all types of business and easy to use step by step guides to implementing this tool across your ecommerce site.
Step 4. Stand In Your Customers Shoes And Really Look!
If you are not converting well on your website, your customer doesn't want what you are selling, in the way you are selling it. It's that simple.
If you've worked through the basic ecommerce issues above, resolved the issues and proved that you don't have any technical reasons why a customer can't physically checkout on your website quickly and easily, then it must be what you are offering them.
I want you to ask yourself one very important question to challenge your basic value proposition...the value you are offering customers. The question is this - "Why in the hell would the customer buy your product at that price today?"
Do you give them enough of a reason to say yes?
Is it a truly compelling offer, are you urged to take action and buy it right now, in this very moment?
If not, why not?
Don’t be arrogant and assume you have an excellent product. You probably do, but you need to head back to basics and check what you are offering, review HOW you show up and offer that product as the customer walks into your store and make sure the product is actually what customers want.
Many new product based businesses struggle to get this right from the outset - it's called Product / Market Fit - and to be a successful business you MUST nail this one.
Have you asked real customers (who don't know you personally) if they actually want or need your product?
If they say they want your product, would they be willing to actually pay for it? There is a BIG difference - lots of research reveals customers love product ideas, but when it comes down to it will they give up part of their hard earned wages to buy it over something else that month?... now that's a different question altogether!
- Are you competitively priced?
- Should you be offering more value, a bundle, an add-on, a unique colour?
- Can you provide an incentive to return to the site?
- Can you incentivise referrals and get your existing users to bring a new customer in?
I recommend you take some time out and imagine you have a physical shop, and go and stand on the other side of your Till desk!... stand at the customer side of your business, start at the doorway to your shop, walk in and see what you notice, see what you feel, see what it really looks like.
Would you happily and confidently shop here?
Step 5. Create An Abandoned Cart Email Sequence
First, see step one! If your customers abandon their cart and didn't complete their order, ask yourself why?
Why did they get stuck, stop and leave? Become the detective and really investigate what might have caused it to happen. And it will happen on all ecommerce sites - alot.
Sometimes it can be as simple as the doorbell, or wi-fi dropping out because they're on a train or even a child needing attention - nothing you have done.
Sometimes it's part of the shoppers own behaviour - they add some things to cart because your product is a possible "option", then they go off and look around the internet for alternatives, research some more, then if you are luckily they *may* come back to you ...but it's unlikely.
This is where your abandoned cart functionality comes into it's own. Most ecommerce websites have this functionality built in as standard, you just need to set it up and make the series of emails your own.
The abandoned cart functionality simply sends a series of emails communicating with your customers that are triggered when a shopping cart is abandoned without checkout completed and has the sole purpose to bring them back to your website and help you recover the sale.
In many cases - I see in clients up to 20-30% of customers legitimately forget to pop back and finish their checkout process or may have thought they clicked to pay when they didn’t and the abandoned cart sequences saves the day.
A well-timed abandoned cart sequence can help recover that potential sale and make it a conversion. It's an essential, so get it implemented as soon as you can.
Make It Happen In Your Business
Work your way through these 5 practical actions you can take today to improve your conversion rates and you will make a change in your product based business. These are all projects which need time allocated to them to get them right, but the investment of your time and energy or delegation to your tech team to do it for you, will be worth it.
- Review which of the above 5 steps you can take on yourself and which you may need to get technical help to support. If you are using Shopify or Woocommerce as your ecommerce store platform, them all of the 5 actions above are simple and easy to perform yourself without technical know-how.
- Don't skip Step 4 - stand in your customers shoes because from my experience, this is the number one most likely reason why your conversion rates are low. Your product offer is not yet compelling enough for a customer to say yes.
- Remember low conversion rates don't necessarily mean your product is awful and you should give up just yet... it just means you need to do a much better job of creating an offer and marketing it well. If we look for examples of who does market their products well... one can argue that McDonalds clearly don't serve the best hamburgers in the world... there are a million gourmet style burgers globally that are far superior .... but no-one can argue with the fact that McDonalds sell alot of their burgers! They REALLY know how to present their specific product, to their exact audience. They get that customer journey to convert to a sale time and time again. We can all watch and learn that one (!), so don't give up hope, look for how you can improve the presentation of your product offer.
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