The purpose of an online store is to sell aggressively. Not just show products in a better fashion. And when it sells, it has to sell better, faster and make more profits than an offline store would.
A conversion rate is the composition of visitors who actually translate into buying the store’s products, not just visit and abandon the cart.
To put it in a scenario, let’s assume you get 100,000 visitors to your store every month. Of that, 2,000 customers made a buy from your store. That works out to 2,000/100,000 = 2% conversion rate.
Higher the conversion rate, higher the profitability and vice versa. So, since you may not be very satisfied with a 2% conversion rate, it is inevitable to increase it somehow.
That brings us to the critical question of how to improve conversion rate for an online store. For a newly launched eCommerce store or for one that has been running since the advent of Internet, improving conversion rate can be a challenging ordeal.
We break down some of the most popular and some little-known ways to spike up your conversion rates. Grab a note and start jotting down observations.
From ‘Good’ to ‘Great’ with product videos
Videos have the power to increase your conversion rate by 80%, says a study by eyeviewdigital.com
Product videos can explain product features to customers better than manufacturer descriptions or curated content, they also rival multi-angle product images in terms of detailing. Moreover, videos are self-explanatory. You can enlighten customers about the product with no effort at all.
See how Lenovo used a product landing page for its latest smartphone:
Also, when you incorporate product videos on your homepage it will make your customer stay on the website for a lengthier span of time. When the average time spent on the page increases, it will be default improve search engine ranking as well as conversion.
Leverage mobility to strategic advantage
By 2020, 80% of online traffic originates from mobile devices, says a case study by Cisco.
Responsive designing and mobile apps help to reach the growing user base of smartphone shoppers. Mobile phones happen to be the first device where a potential customer searches and finds information about a product they want to buy. With deep linking technology and mobile app connectivity or responsive designing, it becomes easier to leverage such mobile originating mobile traffic to their advantage.
84% of online customers rely on social media recommendations and reviews before making a buying choice. Social media has leveled the playing field for eCommerce stores to reach and interact with customers.
Online stores can also create exclusive branded social channels like groups, pages, communities, forums, etc. where customer interaction can be maximized at zero cost.
Let them Review & Rate you
According to BrightLocal, the composition of customers who rely on online reviews and ratings have been on a steady increase since 2011. In fact, in 2014, at least 32% of users were found to be relying on online reviews and ratings as good as personal suggestions.
User reviews and ratings help build customer trust the natural way. The user-generated content used in reviews can also double up as genuine content with keyword density for search engine crawling. Moreover, rich snippets of star rating displayed in search engine results can also help increase click-through-rates and subsequent conversion rates.
Make them trust you
The only fear of online shoppers is the security provided by the store to their credit card and personal information. A secure and trusted online store will enjoy higher conversion rates than one which plays down on security.
Trust seals and badges go a long way in making your online store look secure. Trust seals are provided by SSL certificate providers as a default feature. EV SSL serves the best purpose in online industry to prevent outside attacks especially phishing and man in middle attack. The seal can be displayed in payment checkout pages or even anywhere in the product landing pages to make the customer feel more secured while completing a transaction.
Embrace AI based product recommendations
Product recommendations can spike your click-through-rates as much as 60%. A customer who is looking for a product might be interested in picking a similar product with slightly different features. Artificial Intelligence based personalized product suggestions can induce the customer to buy more from the same store.
North Face, the popular adventure wear company is experimenting with a “Your Personal Intelligent Shopper”, an Artificial intelligence-based tool to create personal product suggestions. The tool will help buyers narrow down on the exact product easily and with minimal steps.
Here is how North Face Personal Intelligent Shopper works:
With such a tool, there are higher chances for the store to gain more conversions through repeat customers.
Bringing the customer till the order page is a battle of its own. Don’t complicate it any further with a never-ending payment checkout form. Keep the checkout process simple and immediate. Adopt one-page checkout or one step checkout that will complete the payment with minimal information from the customer. You might also want to try using an auto-fill feature which will update all customer information like name, shipping address, etc. directly from their profiles.
Follow up email promotions
While cart abandonment is inevitable, it is always possible to win back those customers through follow up email promotion. A study by Expertian proves the same. Personalized emails sent to customers can garner up to 29% higher open rate and 41% higher click-through rates.
Email promotions remind the customer of products that they have abandoned for some reason. A personalized email settings things right can help boost conversion rate. In case you have not been deploying email marketing for promotions until now, now is the right time to begin it.
Improve page loading speed
Page loading speed plays a major role in making customers buy. Amazon estimates that it loses is millions for every millisecond of delay in page loading speed. Those minute seconds during which the customer has to wait for the page to load can make them change their decision.
It is always better to deliver a smooth and fast loading speed for your website so that customers can complete the transaction quickly without any glitches. Although it is not official, an eCommerce website which loads under 3 seconds can be said to be enjoying a customer-friendly loading speed.
Offer Free Shipping
“36% of online shoppers abandon their carts owing to high delivery costs.”
Free shipping and conversion rates are directly proportional. Higher the delivery costs, lower will be the conversion rate. The very fun of online shopping is in the free delivery that it offers. Take that way and a majority of online customers won’t come to your store.
Moreover, shipping costs can possibly bring the cost of the product equal to what it sold for in the open market. This can also lead the customer to abandon the cart than complete the transaction.
The Bottomline: Free shipping does pay off in improving conversion rates.
Use high-res images
A picture is worth a thousand words. For an online store, one high-res image of the image is good enough to convert the customer. A very easy and assured way to make your customer buy a product is by showing it from multiple angles with crystal clear clarity.
Unlike in a brick & mortar stores, your customers do not get to see the product until it is home delivered. And customers who are finicky about online shopping and the quality offered would rather abandon carts than making the purchase. Thus, it is inevitable that you use high-res images of products in the store that would lure customers into buying.
Some other features you can consider in the product image include:
- Zoom in and out
- Multiple angles
- Outdoor appearance
- Multiple colors
- Product videos
- User manual
Here is an example of how to show your product in an awesome way:
Create a sense of urgency
“Hurry Up! Offer valid until midnight only” has the power to make your customer buy than a hefty discount offer. Creating a sense of urgency will make your customer buy a product which they assumed can be bought another time. A time-barred offer will enjoy more conversion rate than one which cannot be availed later on.
Bonus Tip: You might also want to try placing these time-barred offers on the landing page so that customers see it as the first thing when they log into your store.
See how Amazon tweaks sense of urgency to its benefit.
Wrapping it up
Online selling is not easy. Improving conversion rates is even difficult. While there are plenty of paid ways to improve your conversion rates, there are plenty of alternatives that one can explore without breaking the bank, like the features we have explained in this article.