Conversion rates. If you are a seasoned ecommerce entrepreneur, you know them well. On an e-commerce site, in its simplest form, conversion rate means “how often do people buy from your store instead of just visiting it”. This list will give you one or two (or eleven) ways to increase your e-commerce conversion rate:
- Charging for shipping can hurt conversions. 28% of customers will head for the exit at the first sign of unexpected shipping costs. Customers love free shipping. It is one of the mysteries of human psychology. Even if the price would be less with rate shipping and the price that you would have charged, people buy products with free shipping more often. One reason is that it removes just one more math problem from the buying decision. Simple sells. Don’t fight it. Let the free shipping lift you higher.
- Making your customers create accounts can hurt conversions. 23% of customer exit if you force them to create an account. Fortunately, Magento and WooCommerce both have out of the box alternatives (of course) to this unhappy path: Guest checkout as a standard feature.
- Use a tagline. Usability studies consistently reveal that absent taglines are a significant factor in high bounce rates (bounce rate is that phenomenon that occurs when someone arrives at your site, furrows her eyebrows, and leaves!). A tagline is just a short (think 5 words, not 50) summary of your site. “World’s greatest pacifiers”. “Doughnuts done right”.It says to the visitor: “You are in the right place.”
- Run with it. Your best selling products are often the reason that your visitor has come to your site in the first place. Make them very easy to find and you’ll sell more, and more people will find your site to but other products. Trust in the wisdom of the crowds on your website. You will thank yourself. “You mean…I just need to do more of what I’m doing well already. Woo!”
- Usable product search. Most e-commerce website searches are pretty awful. If you search for ties, you should certainly get a result for “tie”. Most often, sites that we produce will most often offer other relevant results as well, sometimes based on purchase history, geography or otherwise correlated products. Sadly, many e-commerce searches are not configured to answer the most basic customer needs and expectations. Don’t make your customer work to find your products. We can make it easy to provide a solid set of synonym search terms and aliases.
- Professional images. We have seen this many times. A client will finally get to the point in his website evolution that he can afford the time and expense for professional product photos and kazow sales go way up. It’s worth taking the time to get professional product photos. Is it so strange? You know that your products are wonderful, but your customer is in “trust, but verify” mode. So make it easy for her. Make it large and beautiful and save her a squint. She’ll thank you for it with a purchase.
- Build your email lists. Offer a “subscribe to specials” checkbox on your registration form. It is one of the most effective ways to build long-term growth in your online business. And when you send email, make sure that it is high quality email. Never send a text-only message or an awkwardly-phrased promotional email. Take the time to get it right. If you present the value proposition correctly, it is guaranteed to increase the rate at which people buy things from your online store. Mailchimp is an excellent place to start, and it integrates well with Magento and WordPress.
- Allow social media sign-in. More than a billion users on Facebook. Chances are good that someone visiting your website will have a Facebook account already, so let her use it to register and log in to your website. Simple makes sales, and it offers her a way to rave about your products to a bunch of people who trust her opinion a lot more than any advertisement.
- Keep initial product descriptions brief. We’re a busy, busy people. So offer a “more detail” link, but keep the initial description under 200 words (more than 75 is ideal). It just so happens that this works for search engine strategy also. Think dense and nutritious.
- Never let the little cart button out of your site. Usability converts. And an e-commerce website isn’t usable if it can’t give the customer information about his purchase at any time during the experience. Top right corner, with more information about the products when hovered or clicked. Think of it as your website’s odometer.
- Support / Contact / Help. Along with chat, an easily visible link that lets your customer know that help is a chat, email, or phone call away is just good manners. And good manners help to sell products online.
While this list is just a scratch on the surface of good practices that help remove the barriers to buying, each of them is tried and true, and we hope that they help you to get a better sense of how to simplify your e-commerce experience to the benefit of your customer and you.