Conversion optimization is very important for ecommerce websites.
The higher the conversion rate, the higher the sales.
Aside from profitability, it seems that conversion rate also plays a role in future website optimization. This is because it is a predictor of sales based on your current sales data. If you combine that with your website visitor information, you have the data to predict the direction of your business which includes how many will buy, how many will visit and how much money you’ll make.
For example, you can take a look at why your customers are always abandoning their carts. You can use the conversion rate as a basis on making improvements on your website.
Conversion rates can vary by industry but it is a metric that is always worth optimizing.
Today, I’ll show you how successful eCommerce websites are boosting their conversion rates and how to apply this to your own site.
Step 1: Instantly Get More Sales by Putting Deals in Front of Your Customer’s Faces
People love deals.
But if they cannot see it. It is useless.
Some eCommerce website owners have this bad habit of putting all the sales, deals and clearance items on a separate category. While that may be good for organization, it is hardly as effective unless it is promoted.
The best way to funnel your traffic into your deals page is to promote it. You can do this by simply having an image that links to the deal page.
Take a look at what Althea did.
As you can see, they put a huge banner in their front page that has the discount. This entices potential customers to buy.
Also, notice how they highlighted the word ‘Sale’ at the top.
Now, take a look at all their sold out items.
All of these items are in their ‘Sales’ category.
Let us take a look at other eCommerce websites.
Take 6PM.com for instance. It also has the discount in the banner and navigation bar.
And they did not stop there. You’ll also see these deals when you scroll down.
This is a perfect example of putting all the deals in front of your customer’s face.
The goal of these ads is to show your customer your best priced items when they first visit your website. People do it all the time. They even do it in popular websites like Target, BestBuy and Amazon. The key is to put these deals right in front of people’s faces so that they no longer need to go through the trouble of finding them. This usually results to more sales.
Step 2: Boost Your Sales with Social Proof
Did you know that people are more likely to buy a product that another person has used?
In fact, user reviews (also known as User Generated Content) can boost an eCommerce website’s sales by as much as 207%.
Here’s a comparison on how sales are affected by user reviews.
As you can see, conversion rates are lower without it. You’ll be surprised to see a 161% gap in the average conversion rate of eCommerce websites that used user generated content and those that didn’t.
Here’s the thing.
“People tend to trust user experiences more than retailers” – Yotpo
People who visit eCommerce websites are usually already interested in the product. However, they still need that final ‘push’ to encourage them to buy.
Let’s take Vanity Planet as an example.
More than reviews, they also encourage people to tag them their photos as you can see in the photo carousel below their items.
This is very powerful because of two reasons.
First, it shows potential buyers that real people are already using the product and that they are happy with their experience.
Second, it promotes the product across social media channels – it is like free product promotion from users.
More sales for that particular product.
This may be the best time to take a closer look at your products and allow user generated content. It may be the final ‘push’ that you need to boost your conversion rates.
Step 3: Provide Free Shipping To Encourage People to Buy
If you want more people to buy from your site, it may be best to provide free shipping.
According to a study by the E-tailing group, it seems that free shipping is one of the reasons people are more willing to pay for the full price of an item.
According to TechCrunch, almost 50% of eCommerce website owners are now offering free shipping. And this comes from the fact that products get a 30% higher perceived value when it has free shipping.
You can see the drastic change in free shipping below.
Take 2BigFeet.com for instance. They provided free shipping for orders over $100.
A whopping 50% increase in sales.
This goes to show that providing free shipping is indeed powerful.
Let us go back to the example earlier, 6PM is also providing free shipping for those that purchased 2 or more items.
Again, the website does a great job in putting its offer in front of its customer’s face. It included the free shipping on top of its homepage.
And here’s another example.
Zappos.com is a website that sells shoes and clothing. It has a system called Zappos rewards that gives free expedited shipping.
This is another way to offer free shipping to your customers.
As you can see, providing free shipping can do wonders to your eCommerce website. It doesn’t really cost that much and your customers will love you for it.
So if you do not have free shipping on your website, it is time to have one. You don’t have to provide free shipping for each item ordered. You can even set limits like what 2BigFeet did or give is as a reward like Zappos did. It is all up to you.
Step 4: Improve Your Product Listings
The overall look of your product listings can have a massive effect on your conversion rates.
There are two items that you must look into: (1) your product pictures and (2) your product description.
First, you need good looking product pictures.
It is because it is the only element in your website that assists the customer in his decision making process. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. He will likely visit your website and take a closer look at the photo to see if the item is really what he needs. It’s his only basis for the physical appearance of the product. He cannot see the product itself.
This is the reason why it is very important to have amazing product pictures. Go for HD (High Definition) pictures if you must.
In fact, a study by UPS claimed that zoomable images is very important to 70% of eCommerce website users. Have you seen those images in Amazon that automatically zooms in when you hover over it? It seems that it is there for another reason. Zoomable images assists customers in their decision making process and ultimately encourages them to buy.
I think that there is a perfect reason for this. If you will take the time to observe customers in a physical store, you’ll notice how they inspect products.
They will not only look at it. They will touch it and move it around. They will look at every corner to see if the product is damaged.
However, they cannot do this online. They cannot hold onto the physical product to touch and move it around. All they can do is look at the product’s images.
A perfect example for this is Ties.com.
If you will click on one of its product pages…
you’ll get an ultra-zoomed image that shows the fibers of the tie.
This doesn’t look like the ordinary Zoomable images in Amazon. This is like zooming in 500% on the product.
But does it work?
Yes. In fact, Ties.com customers love the fact that they get to assess the fibers of the tie even if they are only buying it online.
If you can, go for images that are so detailed that it makes the customer feel as if the product is in front of them. You can never go wrong with that.
Another aspect that you should look into is the product description.
In this area, you should focus on showing your product’s benefits and features. I have seen so many eCommerce website owners who get too caught up with features that they forget to provide the benefits. Don’t do that. It will only destroy your conversions.
Instead, you should focus on creating a description based on benefits.
What are benefits?
I think that Brian Clark is the person who can explain that. He broke down the concept into three:
1. Features pertains to the characteristics of your “physical product” — what are the dimensions, content, and other measurable characteristics. Anything that can be sensed is considered a feature.
2. Benefits are the “functional product” or what the product is for — Think about what can change in your prospect’s life by buying your product. What problem will it solve? This is the benefit.
3. Emotional connection between product and benefits – The key to writing effective benefits is to see the emotional connection between the two. What feature elicits an emotional benefit? This may take some time to figure out but it can drastically improve your conversion rate.
This is where descriptions come in play.
Take Home Depot for example.
This is the description of one of its products.
As you can see, the description is like a story on what will happen once the product is purchased. It describes how the product can be used and how each feature plays a role in solving the prospect’s problem.
The same is true with Amazon.
Here is a description for its ergonomic chair.
Can you see how detailed it is?
It even has the features below.
So what should you do now?
First, create zoomable images.
Next, create longer descriptions and a feature list.
That is all there is to it.
Step 5: Watch Out for Cart Abandonment
Cart abandonment is one of the most devastating things that can happen to an e-commerce website owner.
You thought you had it in the bag. You managed to drive the traffic into your website and you even got them to add some items to their cart. They are just two clicks away from paying for what they have added until…
That’s cart abandonment. It is when your customer suddenly decides that they don’t want to buy from you anymore.
There are many ways to solve this problem but we’ll just tackle a couple in this article.
According to Invespcro, cart abandonment can get pretty high if it goes unnoticed.
Here are the most common reasons why people abandon their shopping carts.
1. 44% are surprised with the high shipping costs
2. 41% suddenly don’t feel that they are ready to purchase
3. 25% are taken aback by the price
4. 24% want to think about whether they really like the product or not
5. 22% are not even aware that there is a shipping cost
6. 14% don’t want to register an account and want a guest checkout option
7. 12% think that there is not enough information about the product
8. 11% think that there is not enough information about the process.
You can solve these problems through the following.
1. Provide free shipping – this will prevent users from being surprised with the shipping costs.
2. Don’t require an account – Allow everyone to buy.
3. Provide a step-by-step article, audio and video on how to check out.
4. Have a customer service representative who can assist your customers in checking out.
These are just some ways on how to solve the problem.
Zappos has an interesting way of approaching the matter. It seems that some buyers just forget to checkout so the website makes it a point to make them remember.
Upon adding items to the cart, you’ll see that you will be able to see a clear orange Check Out Button. I guess this is their way of reducing abandonment rates.