As a business coach, I work primarily with service-based businesses as well as e-commerce businesses. Regardless of your business, improving your sales conversion rate is important. In this blog, I wanted to specifically look at improving your sales conversion rate on an e-commerce business website.
Here are Some Tips to Get You Working On Your Own Improved E-Commerce Site:
Have a great website.
I do often recommend you get a professional website designer to build your site. This doesn’t have to cost $20K, unless you’re asking them to add thousands of products. If you’re on a budget, you can get an exceptional site setup for $3-5K (by an Aussie) and then add your own products yourself. Don’t believe that the more you spend, the better the result will be. The site should have easy navigation, look good, load quickly and have all the other components that make a great website. I cannot reiterate enough the importance of quick site speed. Additionally, it’s critical your site is mobile responsive.
Visuals are critical.
If you’re selling products online, then visuals are incredibly important. Your products should look great, be easy to see, allow for zooming in and have a few different angles to show different aspects of the product. Even better, have a video of the product, so people can see it even more.
Be super clear about the benefits of your products and your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
But just as importantly, have clear descriptions of your products. Everything from colour options, to dimensions, weight, features, benefits, functions and more. Ideally these are listed as dot points, so easy reading and digestion. You don’t have salespeople to answer questions, so make sure you give every ounce of information a buyer may need. List the details in order of importance.
Many sites hide their postage costs.
Personally, I HATE this. You have to go through the whole thing of giving your email address etc before getting to the end to discover the postage is horrendous, or very reasonable. If a site isn’t open about their pricing, I’ll often leave; you’ve lost me. If I’m super keen, then I’ll proceed with a fake email (eg firstname.lastname@example.org). If the price is horrendous, I don’t want to be marketed. IF you’re not offering ‘free postage’ which is the ideal, then next to the product have a postage calculator. If you are offering free postage, then make this super clear and really promote it; it’s a great selling point. Shout it from the rooftops.
People love discounts and promotions.
One way to do this and introduce a customer is to have them sign up for your newsletter and get $10 or perhaps 10% off their first purchase. This is a great way to encourage a new shopper. I’m not a huge fan of discounting, but absolutely consider value-adding. It might be get free postage over $50 in sales, or buy 2 products and get 50% off the third, or perhaps buy something and get a free gift. Sites which alert you as you get close to free postage are very effective, eg “Only $19 to go for your free postage”. This definitely helps customers spend more on your site.
Another feature on sites to help customers spend more is a suggestion of other products.
You might also like … or ‘other customers also bought …’ It’s somewhat like the old adage of McDonald’s’ “would you like fries with that”. It definitely is effective.
Update your content and catalogues regularly and be always looking to keep things fresh and new.
One strategy that some sites use is to not have an ‘end of list’ once you’ve looked at everything, but rather to start rotating again through the list of products, so you never really get to the end.
Don’t forget marketing!
Just because you’ve got a website with products, doesn’t mean people will find it. SEO will help. You will need to do some paid promotion, including Google Ads, as well as promoting and paid ads on Facebook or Instagram. When it comes to social media, know your customer. Even if you’re more comfortable on say Facebook, but your customers are on Instagram, then that’s where you need to be!
Showcase your social proof.
Great reviews really make a huge difference, both increasing the likelihood of a buy, plus the value of the sale. When someone sees a heap of great reviews, not only about the product but about the company, it gives them the confidence to buy. If you don’t offer a written warranty, then social proof is especially important.
Speaking of large ticket items, whilst many e-commerce stores often hate to have anyone ring them, consider having a phone number and person answering it, if your ticket prices are up there.
Sometimes before someone spends thousands online, they want to be sure it’s a ‘real business’ and not a scam. Alternatively, they may have a question which isn’t answered on the website and for a say $5K sale, why wouldn’t someone chat with a person on the phone for a few minutes?
FAQ (Frequency Asked Questions) pages are great for all those questions people often have – so it’s great to have this.
I’ve seen some really great questions “Are our products expensive?” The answer, focused on quality, great results etc, is great. When it’s clearly a question people ask, then address it well and fully upfront. Some sites instead of a FAQ page will have a Chat Bot, which, when done well, can be quite effective.
Never make it hard for a customer to buy.
This rule applies across every business; not just e-commerce. Enable autofill and autocomplete functionalist in your forms. Some sites insist on a login, others allow you to buy as a ‘guest’. As a shopper, I like this; I’m still providing most of the details anyway, but it’s usually quicker and doesn’t require a password. Sure, an account is great for repeat buying, but sometimes people don’t want to feel ‘locked in’. The trick here is to gently give them a few options to switch from ‘guest’ to ‘account’ … but let it be their choice.
Check out your strongest competitors online and via Google Alerts.
When you do sign up for Alerts, edit the settings to track how many competitors or the most important keywords to you. Take time to see what others are doing; because I can assure you, that your customers are likely seeing their sites too.
Offer Multiple Payment & Delivery Options.
Some people want to pay straight up with a credit card, others might want to make the most of a payment plan. Additionally, some people will happily pay extra for express delivery, whilst others are quite happy to wait a little longer for free postage. Let the choice belong to your customer.
Ensure you send confirmations and tax invoices after the sale.
If you’ve a quirky product or something a little different, you can be creative here. Make buying from your store fun. It’s great communicating what’s happening, but don’t go silly on this. People don’t want a million emails, but they certainly want to know the order was received, ETA on delivery, when it’s dispatched and when it’s about to arrive. Keeping them updated on the transit journey is important.
Finally, always test and measure your site.
Make sure everything works and be all over the sites to ensure nothing stops working.
Visit my Online & E-commerce page for more info.