Recent research shows that 53% of businesses spend less than 5% of their total marketing budget on conversion optimization. 35% of the businesses report a conversion rate of less than 1%. It is not surprising to know a good chunk of businesses don't even know their eCommerce conversion rates. For this reason, we will be highlighting some incredibly useful and actionable tips which will be almost guaranteed to help turn wasted visitors into paying customers.
Inform your customers when a particular product is about to run out of stock. This encourages them to purchase immediately, or they might miss out on the product. A low stock level also reassures the customer that the item is popular; this gives them confidence that they are making the right decision. If, however, you have data to suggest that customers purchase multiples of the item, showing low stock levels might have a negative impact on sales if there isn't enough stock to cover their need. This tactic is probably best when you are confident that you sell the item in singles.
One trick that works very nicely is having a countdown to the daily delivery time cut-off. If your courier collects at 4pm and your cut-off is 3pm for orders to leave your warehouse that same day, let your visitors know in a clear and precise way. Buyers are inpatient. You can take advantage of their impatience by letting them know if they order soon; they could get the item as quickly as the following day.
A growing proportion of customers look for free shipping when they buy products online. Having large shipping fees will scare visitors off and have a negative impact on your conversion rate. You have to ensure you have enough margin to cover the delivery fee but if you do have the margin, offering free shipping will certainly increase your orders. As ever, there is a balance. Depending on your margin, you will need a certain amount of increase in orders to cover the cost you used to receive from customers paying a delivery fee.
You could offer limited-time discounts, package deals to encourage customers to buy before the deal ends. Highlight the amount they will save by buying now, the time left before the deal expires, and the numbers of people who have already bought that deal to encourage them to click that all important add to basket button.
Conversion rates increase massively if you just make things simple and clean (and maybe even bland!). As long as you have a clear call to action (in this case, an add to basket button) there is little chance of confusing visitors. Make the button stand out and try to ensure minimal distractions. Look for areas of the product page that might draw the eyes away from where you want your visitors to look.
You have to make the price of the item very visible - it is one of the most important pieces of information on the page. Not only does it have to be visible, it should also be clear. Avoid adding fees and if your prices are excluding taxes make it obvious otherwise you might lose an order at the checkout when they realise it will cost them more than they expected.
Amazon have mastered converting visitors into customers by ensuring the visitor perceives value. One way to do this is to offer free delivery. Sometimes free delivery isn't an option but it's important not to seem too steep. Regardless of the cost of shipping, make it obvious early on. Transparency is important if you don't want to lose a customer when they find out that they have to pay unexpected charges when they get to the checkout.
Having lots of payment methods means you can match the expectations of a larger audience. As usual though, don't over complicate it.
Trust signals are hugely important. Try to offer guarantees and take advantage well known certification brands like McAfee Secure and Trusted Shops. If you have won awards, show them off. Another way of generating trust is by adding genuine reviews of your service. Display your phone number (try to get a free/ toll free phone number) and live chat icon clearly. This shows your customers they can reach you quickly if there's a problem.
A global consumer trend study found that 90% of customers consider live chat helpful, and another study indicates 63% of them were more likely to return to a website that offered live chat support. In fact, 38% of customers said they had made their purchases because of the chat support they had received. That's why many good eCommerce websites now provide instant live chat, and so should you. Your product pages should have a prominent instant chat icon so that the customer may ask any questions that they might have.
Don't just copy and paste manufacturers descriptions - try to give your visitors something unique and descriptive. If you are struggling to be creative or have writers block then you could always get a professional to write your descriptions. There are some great writing services out there - my pick of the bunch are Express Writers but you can also find good writers on oDesk (but don't be tight, good writers are worth their weight in gold).
Adding great quality and descriptive videos often has a positive impact on conversions. High value, technical products that require a visual demonstration should have video on their product pages. Video also conveys a better image of your company while helping to build trust and create a professional image for your brand.
Forget having a mobile version of your site, you should develop a responsive design. Responsive websites can have a monumental impact on converting customers as Google highlight in this case study. Nobody likes to squint at a small screen to do their online shopping so make it easier for them. In 2014 there are now over 125 devices with different resolutions. Try to ensure that your site has at least 4 different versions for varying screen sizes to you can cater for your entire audience.
Try not to give visitors too much information to fill out, they will get fed up. However much you feel like having your customer's fax number, mother's maiden name and dogs first lover might be useful - it isn't worth the loss of customers!
You might like the idea of locking a customer into having an account in your database, and some customers are happy to sign-up. Unfortunately, not all customers will be happy to register. Remove the register option from the checkout process and try adding the option to sign-up once the order is placed.