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Ecommerce conversion is tricky.
On the one hand you know that improving conversion on your ecommerce site can be a big win for your company. The more you capitalize on your traffic, the better off you'll be today and in the future.
On the other hand, you know that every ecommerce website is different. Each company has certain characteristics which require a unique strategy.
In this post you'll find 10 tips you can make that can improve your conversion. These tips can convert more customers by effectively communicating the real value your company offers.
1. Showcase What Makes You Different
Figure out what makes your company different than the competition. Ask the executives in your company for their input. Also reach out to your customers and ask them why they feel you are different.
Once you have your answers, promote those differences in areas like the homepage and other common landing pages on your site.
For example, if you're an online shoe retailer your customers might appreciate the fact that you have a new promotion every week. This is a reason certain customers choose you over the competition. Promote the fact that you offer promotions on your site to let new customers know what they can get by choosing you as their shoe retailer.
2. Share Expert Suggestions
Some call this social proof. When a customer is debating a purchase they often look to others for input.
Imagine the real world scenario of buying a new pair of running shoes. Most people would look for trustworthy sources of input in running shoes. They will ask their friends that run or maybe they'll look for an expert on running.
Companies have great success with endorsements because people trust experts. A basketball enthusiast may buy a Nike basketball shoe because they figure Lebron James uses Nike and if one of the best basketballers in the world uses it then it must work.
This is one reason customer reviews work too. Keep both good and bad reviews on your site. Even the poor reviews can work to your advantage in some situations. In fact, a recent study suggests that consumers trust reviews more when feedback is mixed.
3. Remove Unnecessary Calls-to-Action on Product Pages
The tendency for most online stores is to offer too many options for action.
When a customer is on your product page they should only see the necessary calls to action. The most visible call should be the option to add the item to the bag or to the cart. This is the ultimate action and even if the visitor isn't ready right away they should know where the option is when they are ready.
A recent trend in design on landing pages today is to remove navigation links and other distracting calls to action. Remove any call to action on the product page that isn't necessary for the sales process.
Looking at the issue in a different way also consider that you might not be asking for action enough. The key is to ask for the right conversions, which is to add an item to the shopping cart, and focus on getting that action instead of others like print page buttons or social sharing buttons.
4. Keep Call-to-Action Colors Consistent
The color of your website buttons is important, but not the way you think. There is no right color. The trick is simply keeping your action color consistent.
Start with the add to cart button on your product page. Let's say it's blue. Your customer will understand that blue means they should click. Wherever possible use this color to get visitors to take the action you would like them to. When they know that blue means click they won't be confused and they'll be more likely to take action.
5. Provide Full Description and Details
Continuing on the sales process think about the way you would sell your products in person. The conversation would likely take several minutes.
The online conversion works in much the same way. Visitors are looking for information. They can easily choose to add the product to the bag right away if they would like, but before that they need to be convinced.
Provide full descriptions and details about each of your products. The product page is not a place to cut back on content.
Also focus on answering objections. Here is a closer look at a product page on Amazon:
Your visitors have questions and those questions or objections should be answered. Think about the in-person conversation you would have with a site visitor about your business and the products you sell.
Answer their questions on the relevant pages on your site. They'll ask about your business and maybe ask what the recommended products are. Those answers can go on the homepage. Visitors will ask about the product details. Provide those answers with your own knowledge, vendor knowledge and customer feedback in the form of reviews and testimonials.
6. Highlight the Most Important Benefits
Customers are looking for full descriptions, but they also scan your product pages. There are specific benefits your customer is looking for when they are shopping.
In the example above you can see that Amazon includes quite a bit of copy in their description for the Kindle, but there are key benefits called out.
- Small, light, and perfect for reading (top left)
- Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display (under the title)
- Kindle - Small, light, and fast (in orange on the right)
Call out the main benefits of your products for customers. They will scan your page first and if the callouts are interesting they'll dive deeper into the description.
People can be scared off by large blocks of content. Breaking it up with callouts and headings makes the page easier to digest. You'll keep more people interested in the product on the page.
7. Use Customer Language
Customer reviews are great for understanding the mind of the customer. You have your knowledge when it comes to your business and your products, but your customers often speak a different language.
If you're selling shoes you might understand what a Rollbar technology is for a shoe, but to your customer it just means they have more stability when running. Focus on the benefits for the customer and speak their language. Use reviews and testimonials when possible.
You can use customer language on your most popular pages like the home-page and favorite product pages to really improve conversion and increase revenue.
8. Improve Site Search
What are the top three actions on your ecommerce homepage?
Chances are that one of the top actions is site search. Customers come to your homepage to start their shopping. They might glance at the nice image your designers have created, but often they'll go directly to the search bar and type in their search.
Do as much as you can to make your site search as relevant as possible. You want your customers to find what they're looking for because if they do they will purchase and if they don't they'll leave.
Solutions like Google Commerce Search can use the best search engine technology to convert your visitors.
9. Communicate Value, Not Price
Some ecommerce retailers think price is the biggest issue with customers. In reality, customers want the best value and there is a difference.
Think back to your product description. Communicate the value in the product. If you're selling a $200 pair of shoes you need to make sure the customer understands they are getting good value. Communicate the benefits like high ratings from other customers. Make sure the image is clear and large enough so the customer can see the details.
10. Provide Reassurance at Checkout
Guarantees are a big part of making a purchase. Nearly every ecommerce company has a return policy. If you guarantee your products make sure your customer has reassurance before they make their final decision.
A person is more likely to hit the checkout button if they know they have 30 days to return with no additional cost.
Ideally it's best to focus on conversion specifically for your ecommerce website. It's one of the best ways to grow your company.
Signup for tools like these to start evaluating the way visitors use your site and what they think about your company:
Conversion rate improvement can be a focus for 2013.
There is money to be made with conversion rate improvement. All the money you invest in PPC, Email, Affiliates, SEO and other sources of traffic is worth nothing without conversion. By improving conversion you're getting better return on all of your marketing programs.
Get out there and improve that website!