Guest writer Nishant Kapoor, Founder of PetProject.hk, LifeProject.hk, and entirecommerce.co, shares his 12 Steps to Optimise ecommerce Conversion Rates:
We broadly define conversion as those people that buy something, or perform a pre-defined action on our website, as a percentage of the number of people who visit our website.
Conversion is the holy grail of ecommerce. We work so hard to get the right traffic, only to lose almost all of it right away. Even a small percentage point increase in conversion can fundamentally impact the economics of our ecommerce business.
In the virtual world, conversion is about trust. There’s no physical shop or physical person in front of the computer. There’s no one to talk to. No one to give assurance, or comfort, or communicate the finer differences between two products. Its just a screen. How do you communicate trust though a screen?
Your website/app has to do the work of creating implicit trust, quickly. What follows is a checklist of items every ecommerce entrepreneur or marketer needs to take care of, to ensure that she’s not losing potential customers for things that are easy/ simple to fix.
12 Steps to Optimise ecommerce Conversion Rates:
1. Get the right traffic
The biggest question to answer is, not surprisingly, why the visitor landed on your website in the first place. No amount of conversion tweaks can compensate for bringing the wrong prospect to your site. Getting irrelevant traffic can be quite easy – the more your marketing efforts try to appeal to a broader audience the easier it will be to drive the wrong/ low converting traffic to your site.
On the flip side, the more tuned in your marketing is to the specific niche that want and need your product, the higher your website will convert. It sounds so obvious – get the right traffic so that you can get higher conversion – but very few people actually do it.
Everyone, at the beginning, tries to get as much traffic as they can. In fact, if you have a product that your niche really really needs and wants, they’ll put up with a bad website just to be able to get it. This, of course, is not easy to do.
Thinking about the audience that ‘really really needs’ my product is a very difficult, but ultimately the only sustainable and successful way to think as an ecommerce business.
If you are getting the right traffic, is your website doing an effective job of communicating to these visitors that they’re in the right place? Are you communicating with them in a language they understand? Does the copy communicate how your product/ products solve their problems?
The more you really know your audience and customer, the deeper this understanding, the easier it becomes to write effective copy on your site. Ask a few potential or existing customers if it is easy to understand what your website/ product is about. There could be some obvious gaps that you haven’t thought through.
And please get someone proof-read all the text on your website. Typos will cost you customers.
You know good design when you see it. The basic design elements any niche ecommerce site has to have are uncluttered clear white spaces, compelling images, easy to read copy which looks good an all devices. Good design instantly communicates trust. Bad design instantly destroys trust and kills conversion.
4. Brand awareness
Visitors who already know of your website, either through advertising or word of mouth will convert higher than those who have no prior knowledge. Time/effort spent in building brand awareness always improves conversion. But this takes time.
5. Site security
If you are a new website, getting a site security certificate from verisign or godaddy and displaying it prominently on the website is another effective way to communicate trust. This is more so for businesses shipping globally.
Step 1 of personalisation is making sure your landing pages correspond to your traffic sources. What that means is, that if you have marketed a specific product or service on Facebook, the landing page for that ad shouldn’t be your website’s home page – it should be that specific product/brand/category page. Or a landing page that corresponds to the promotion with the same or similar copy.
Beyond that basic rule, its getting easier to personalise product ecommerce sites based on buyer shopping history, browsing history and other more intelligent algorithms. Just google ‘personalisation + [your ecommerce platform]’ and a host of easy to implement and well priced options will show up.
7. Contact information
This is an easy one – make it easy for your potential customers to see how to contact you. They may actually not need to contact you, but having basic contact information prominently displayed in a header or sidebar goes a long way in building trust.
8. Live Chat
Live chat helps us get a few extra orders every day. Its incredibly powerful. Most potential customers have questions. If they see a live chat box where they can quickly type out a question, and get a quick response, a lot of those potential customers end up buying almost immediately after their questions are answered. Live chat builds instant trust and is a surefire way to increase conversion.
9. About Us
Most sites have a generic about us page talking about the business, services, products. Very few sites actually talk about the human beings behind the website. In an increasingly complex and competitive world, personal touch matters more and more.
People want to know the people they’re dealing with. The more goofy, weird and personal you can make your about us page, the higher your chances of building a real connection with your audience. Which means higher trust. Which means higher conversions.
Are there any industry certifications for the products you’re selling? Or business certifications? Having these certification logos displayed strategically will instantly convey trust, quality, reliability. All of these will go a long way in increasing trust and conversion.
Pretty much every ecommerce platform comes with built in user review functionality or an easy to install plugin. Incentivise customers to leave reviews by offering coupons and freebies. Get as many user generated reviews as possible.
Again – bribe customers with freebies and discounts, but get some testimonials and put them on your home page. Genuine customers will speak in a language that other customers will understand and connect with.
These 12 items are the big picture of conversion. Only once you’ve checked off these items, should you even bother with smaller details like button placements and box colours.
Read more from Nishant about ecommerce here at entirecommerce.co