There is only one thing more important than driving as much traffic as possible to an eCommerce store: converting visitors into shoppers.
Even if your store attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors per day, you will not be excited unless a reasonable percentage are converting into paying customers.
With this in mind, there is one question you need to answer: what can you do to improve your conversion rate?
While you may think you have experimented with every strategy imaginable, there is a good chance you have overlooked a few tips that could help you improve this area of your business.
The Opportunity Presented to Online Stores
Before we get into the finer details of how to convert more eCommerce visitors into shoppers, let’s take a closer look at just how big the online shopping world has become.
Here is one of the most telling statistics, shared by Selz Blog:
“Online shopping and ecommerce is a huge multi billion dollar industry and is expected to grow by 20% this year to $1.5 trillion globally.”
Check out those numbers. In addition to robust growth, online shopping and eCommerce will reach $1.5 trillion globally. That is trillion with a “t” not billion with a “b.”
And according to Marketing Land, retail revenue generated via mobile was up 35 percent in the first quarter of 2014 over the first quarter of 2013, with mobile accounting for 18.5 percent of total eCommerce orders in Q1 2014 compared to 13.7 percent in Q1 2013.
As more and more people spend more time on their mobile device, including both smartphones and tablets, these numbers will only continue to grow (more on how to take advantage below).
Tips to Improve your Conversion Rate
Below are four actionable tips you can implement today (or in the very near future) to convert a greater number of visitors into shoppers:
1. Put your best foot forward
Display your best deals and special offers in a prominent location. For example, shipping costs are a pain point for many online shoppers. They don’t mind shopping online to save money, but the last thing they want is to lose these savings at checkout.
Fanatics, formerly known as Football Fanatics, is a great example of this. On the homepage, above the fold, you will find the following:
- Easy 365-day returns
- Free Shipping over $50 (along with a coupon code)
- Save up to 40% off clearance
Rather than make visitors search around for this information, Fanatics uses it as a hook. These hooks keep people on the site longer, while also giving them a reason to make a purchase. And when you give somebody the reason to make a purchase, it is only natural for them to spend more.
If your online store offers free shipping, make it known to visitors. Put it on your homepage. Add it to the top of every product page. Make it clear as soon as the person visits their shopping cart.
Don’t shy away from sharing your best deals in the best locations.
2. The power of pop-ups
No, we aren’t talking about those crazy pop-up ads that were so popular (and annoying) 10 to 15 years ago. It is the same concept, however, today’s technology allows you to do it much better.
With pop-ups, you can:
- Control what visitors see, as well as when they see it. Have a special deal you want to announce? Adding it to a pop-up will guarantee that every visitor takes a second look. You can promote everything from coupons to top sellers and much more.
- Welcome visitors based on traffic source, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google AdWords.
- Reward repeat visitors. It can be frustrating for the same person to visit your store, time and time again, but never make a purchase. Pop-ups allows you to display custom messages to repeat visitors.
But doesn’t it take a lot of time to get up and running? Not in today’s world. Solutions like WisePops allow you to create a pop-up in a minute or less. Best yet, you don’t need any HTML knowledge.
3. Don’t ignore mobile visitors
When you look at your site’s analytics what do you see? How many people are visiting on a mobile device? If you don’t know the answer to this question, head over to your analytics account as soon as you are done here. You need to know what type of device your visitors are using.
A mobile friendly eCommerce store is more important than ever before. In September 2014, StatCounter noted that the use of mobile devices to access the internet has increased by 67% worldwide over the last 12 months.
Simply put, if your website is not friendly to mobile visitors you are leaving a lot of money on the table. These people won’t take the time to navigate a site that is nothing more than a jumbled mess.
Revamping your eCommerce store to be mobile friendly may be a huge undertaking, but when everything is said and done you will begin to reap the rewards. Visitors who used to come and go within a matter of seconds will now remain on your site, improving the chance of converting into a customer.
Are you one of those people who still has a hard time believing that mobile shoppers can have a profound effect on conversion rate?
Data from Internet Retailer says that mobile shoppers convert 160% more often on sites optimized for smartphones.
What would a change like this mean to your business? How much more money would you make by creating a mobile friendly website?
Amazon, led my eCommerce master Jeff Bezos, is a great example of how a mobile online store should appear if conversion rate is of utmost importance. The “traditional” Amazon website has always been one of the best converting in the land, and its mobile version doesn’t miss a beat.
Here are the reasons why Amazon’s mobile website is the cream of the crop:
- Search box at the top of the page, giving visitors the ability to immediately type in what they are looking for.
- A wealth of information available without the need to click. As you scroll down the page, you will find everything from recently viewed items to best sellers to department links.
- Free of clutter. Your smartphone or tablet screen is not likely to be as large as your desktop or notebook computer. This is why a clutter-free environment is so important.
Let’s put it this way: if Amazon did not have a mobile website, but instead relied solely on its desktop site, its sales would not be as strong. Everything about Amazon is built to improve conversion rate. If you are going to study or emulate one online store, let it be this one.
4. Better images and descriptions
When a shopper visits a brick and mortar location, they can see the product with their own two eyes. In most cases, they can touch it as well. The same cannot be said for an eCommerce store. This means that images and descriptions are even more important.
The Red Dress Boutique is a great example of this. Rather than stick with the “same old, same old” photos, they took things to the next level by hiring models to show off their clothes.
Their descriptions are just as strong, including three sections:
- Model specs
- Size chart
Two of the three sections, model specs and size chart, only apply to clothing stores, however, there are others that can be substituted.
Yes, it will cost more money to take better images. Yes, it will take a bit more time and brainpower to create descriptions that sell. But again, once you make this change you will realize it was for the better.
Is your eCommerce store stuck in a rut? Are you attracting loads of traffic, yet not making nearly as many sales as you should? If you find yourself on this path, the four tips above are right up your alley.
Start by implementing one of the tips above, maybe the one that is easiest for you. From there, experiment with the others. With each change, take a closer look at your conversion rate. This will give you a clear idea of how each adjustment is impacting your bottom line.
Do you have any other tips or advice for eCommerce store owners who are hoping to convert more visitors into buyers? Be sure to share in the comments section below.