Now that you have your ecommerce store up and running, the next thing that should be on your mind is sales and conversions. Conversion happens when someone goes from just browsing to buying. When a customer commits and purchases from you, then a conversion has taken place. To calculate your store’s conversion rate, divide the number of purchases within a time frame, say for example the month of April, by the total number of visitors to your store within that time (so the number of people who went to your site in April)––that proportion is your rate of conversion. With any good retailer, you should always look to increase your conversion rate, and in this post, we’ll go over three methods to do just that.
1. First impressions are the gateway to increasing conversions.
Whether it’s online or in a brick and mortar storefront, the initial impression a shopper gets indicates what kind of experience the store, and its product offerings, will provide. In both mediums, shoppers will take note of a store’s layout, its organization, whether or not they feel comfortable and safe to browse (imagine a back-alley pitched tent hawking designer purses versus the handbag department at Nordstroms, for instance), and if the shop overall is aesthetically pleasing.
These reasons are why it is so vital for successful ecommerce stores to have a clean, simple, and organized layout. Investing in an eye-catching, but uncluttered, website template such as Templatic’s Cartsy theme is the first step in increasing conversions for your online business. With a good site layout comes clearly organized tabs and navigation, visible contact information, and large product photos, encouraging your visitors to browse and making them feel safe to do business with your company.
What your store sells should be apparent to visitors of your site immediately. Do not take up valuable space on your homepage or product pages with text, miscellaneous items, or poor design––if a customer walks into Blue Jeans Boutique, how jarring would it be to not see a single pair of jeans in sight or worse if all the shelves were lined with unrelated items such as shoes? The initial photos on the homepage and on the top of each product page should be your most popular product. If your company is a blue jeans ecommerce website, then the first images a customer sees when entering your homepage are big, high quality photos of your best-selling jeans. If you happen to sell a few other accessories, such as shoes, don’t display them in prominent points of your site that might cause confusion for consumers as to what your main goods are.
Now, it may seem a little backwards to tout your most popular products––after all, doesn’t it make sense to promote items that get lackluster sales in attempt to boost their numbers? The answer is no. Your highest selling products drive traffic to your online store (and conversions!), so displaying them up front encourages shoppers to buy more. If someone likes the fancy pants that are modeled on your home page, their interest is piqued as to what else you have in stock.
If you aren’t sure what your best-selling products are, check Google Analytics. Along with prominently displaying those high-volume items, remember that the first impression a visitor gets of your site determines if they stay and shop. Keep it simple, clean, and organized.
2. The top banner of your website is prime real estate to secure conversions.
Many people forget the importance of their website’s top banner, and how it’s just oozing with potential for conversions. Sure, everyone has their store logo in that upper left-hand corner, but are you utilizing that prime space to its fullest capacity?
With your logo automatically drawing eyes to that corner, the top space is the first thing visitors see on your site. No scrolling is involved, so even the most apathetic will catch a glimpse of what there is to offer there. So why not offer them a lot? This space should be utilized for your biggest selling points. Here is where you can convince a customer to stay on your website and shop with you; here is where conversion happens.
Make clearly visible and prominent buttons or graphics touting buyer incentives such as free shipping, price matching, or free returns. Trustmark symbols and verification should go in this space as well, ensuring your customers that their credit card information is secure when shopping with you and allowing them to browse with peace of mind. Having your online store verified and trustmarked is essential for success. Nothing navigates a potential buyer away from a store quicker than feeling like their personal information is not safe.
Also, offering free shipping nowadays is pretty much necessary, even if it means setting a standard such as Amazon’s free shipping option with purchases over $25. Nearly half of online retailers offer free shipping; therefore, charging for shipping kills conversion rates. Plus, most consumers take to the internet to do their shopping because they can have their purchases delivered to them without cost. Tacking on delivery fees might just push potential buyers to head to a brick and mortar store or worse, an online competitor who sells the same products you do but offers free shipping.
So utilize that top banner to promote free shipping, store security, and other big selling points that would encourage customers to shop with you. Increase your conversion rates by using that space to set yourself apart from other outlets and explain the benefits of shopping at your online store.
3. Product reviews are a must in encouraging conversions.
A third method of increasing conversion rates is offering shoppers product reviews on your ecommerce store. There are several simple plugins that will allow buyers to leave their thoughts and comments regarding their purchases. Try Ahead Works’ Advanced Reviews Magento extension, for example.
When potential buyers conduct research for items they’re looking for, the number one thing they make sure to read are product reviews. Amazon’s massive collection of product reviews is one of the key things that pushes it over the edge as a leading ecommerce retailer; customers feel comfortable shopping with a retailer that other people have had positive experiences with. Nothing beats first-hand accounts with a product, and being able to read and gauge that experience before spending the money on an item is invaluable for a consumer. A Nielsen study found that almost 60% of online shoppers consult reviews before purchasing and 40% claim they wouldn’t commit and buy the product without any reviews.
And don’t let the possibility of negative reviews keep you from implementing a surefire method of increasing your conversions––that same study discovered that a few bad reviews actually gave the entire process more credibility, meaning when an item or store has all raving, 5-star verdicts, shoppers raise their eyebrows and question the legitimacy of those reviews and just who it is that’s typing them out. So don’t worry about negative reviews; as long as they’re not the majority, they may actually help you sell your goods and gain customer trust.
Having product reviews on your store in addition to a well-executed page layout, large product photos, and clearly visible selling points draw in more customers to your website, simultaneously encouraging them to commit and buy your product and upping your ecommerce store’s conversion rate. Remember these three methods as you work to increase your ecommerce stores conversions.