If you’re serious about making money online and operating a legitimate online business, then an ecommerce site is probably the way to go. If you can create an ecommerce store that attracts a lot of targeted traffic and sells quality products/services, chances are that you’ll make a substantial amount of money.
One of the problems with ecommerce websites is that they’re just so competitive. It doesn’t matter what you’re planning on selling, it’s likely that there are also a huge number of other businesses operating in your market and essentially, these are your competitors.
Clearly, marketing is an essential part of making an ecommerce site work as without visitors, you aren’t going to be able to sell any products/services. However, there is another hugely important aspect of creating a lucrative ecommerce store that is often overlooked; your conversion rate.
To put it simply, your conversion rate is the number of visitors that will convert to customers. So, if you had 100 visitors and sold 3 products, your conversion rate would be 3%. Obviously, the higher this conversion rate is, the more products/services you’ll sell and the more revenue you’ll generate.
But how do you increase your conversion rate? Here’s a few simple tips to get you started.
#1 – Give Free Delivery
One of the things that a lot of people look for when shopping online these days is whether or not the online store gives free delivery. Free delivery has become an increasingly popular selling point over the past few years and now, tonnes of online stores give free delivery on most of their products; Amazon is one of these stores (as you can see from the screenshot above).
If you aren’t giving your customers free delivery, you’re truly missing a trick. Personally, if I visit a website and the store doesn’t have free delivery, I will usually go back to Google and click a different result, with the hope of free delivery at the end of it.
Clearly, free delivery contributes towards your conversion rate. If people are getting to the checkout process on your website only to find that at this point you’ve decided to add on £4.95 for delivery, the chances of them clicking off your website are high.
Offering free delivery is a sure-fire way to increase conversion rate without much effort, although it might not suit every online store. For example, if you’re delivering big/heavy items, free delivery might not be a viable option for your business, although you could incorporate the cost of the delivery into the product cost.
Another option is to offer free delivery when the customer places a large order.
#2 – Guide The Customer Through The Process
Not all ecommerce stores are as simple as adding a product to a basket and clicking the checkout button; some require additional steps. For example, printing companies require customers/clients to upload artwork and make various selections to customise their product before getting to the checkout process and in some cases, this can confuse the customer.
One way to increase your conversion rate is to make the checkout/ordering process as simple as possible for your visitors. If they get confused and don’t know what to do, they’re going to waste no time in searching for another alternative.
A good way of tackling this problem is to actually guide the customer through the process. If you take a look at the screenshot above, you can see that this printing company utilises a “how to order” page that literally tells the customer exactly how to go through the process on their website.
It’s a pretty simple thing to incorporate into your website but it will definitely increase conversions.
#3 – Appear Trustworthy
Customers are only going to trust your website with their credit/debit card details if you appear trustworthy. What’s more, people are very aware of online fraud these days so if they can find any reason at all not to trust your website, they’re not going to place an order.
Obviously, to some extent, building trust is something that is done over time by building a brand and increasing the awareness of that brand but there are also certain aspects of your website that can increase trust too.
If you have well-written content, a great design and a clean/clear brand, visitors are going to put a lot more trust in your site. You can see in the screenshot above from the website Asos.com, the website looks extremely professional and most customers would automatically trust this site, simply because of this.
Adding badges to your website (e.g. VeriSign badge and other security-related badges) can also increase trust and therefore, your conversion rate.
#4 – Add Video Content
More and more online stores (such as Zappos pictured above) are starting to utilise video content on their websites as in most cases, they significantly increase the conversion rate for their product pages.
If you run an ecommerce store, you’ll likely have photos and other descriptive content related to the products on your site but truthfully, nothing compares to video. If you can show your customers a video of the product in action that explains the benefits/selling points of the product, they’re going to be much more likely to purchase it.
Clearly, investing in video can be an expensive process, so it won’t be suited to everyone. But there are videos available for free on the internet that could be embedded into your website free of charge.
Increasing conversion rates for any website is a difficult task and it’s one that generally doesn’t have a right or wrong answer. A tactic that might increase the conversion rate on one online store could decrease the conversion rate on another and therefore, split-testing is a necessity for anyone looking to improve their conversion rate.
You also have to consider whether it would be more effective to utilise your businesses funds to increase your conversion rate or increase traffic too, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Author Bio: Joshua looks after the website for a UK-based printing company specialising in stickers and banner: www.discountbannerprinting.co.uk