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With shopping online becoming more popular by the minute, more and more people are capitalising on their hobbies and interests. This means that there is a boom of e-commerce sites like Etsy, eBay, and more, which only got louder and more widespread with the effects of COVID-19. Maybe you’re one of these online business owners who over the listlessness of the pandemic decided to have a go at generating a little extra income. Maybe your store is getting views but not many purchases and you’re not too sure why.
The above scenario demonstrates the dichotomy between leads and conversions. A “Lead” is the marketing industry term for customers or potential customers. A “conversion” is a desired action taken by the customer. In the case of e-commerce, a conversion is most likely a sale. While getting leads is important, it is just as if not more important to ensure that those leads convert, as this is what will earn your store revenue. But if you’re a young business, or unfamiliar with the CRO for e-commerce best practices, it’s unlikely that you’ll see much in the way of conversions. This is why we’re here to help.
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Why is CRO Important for E-commerce?
CRO is important for e-commerce because it is the factor that directly determines how much revenue a business generates. Not only is it practical, but it’s cost-effective too, leading to a direct increase in ROI.
CRO capitalises on the audience or clientele you’ve already generated, rather than focusing on gaining new customers. The best thing is that the requisite changes are relatively small compared to other marketing methods, and the results are fast and effective. Something as simple as slight changes to the wording on a product description can be all it takes to get a customer to click “buy now.”
Most marketing agencies that deal in conversion rate optimisation offer an e-commerce CRO audit, but with the following tips, you will be able to go to an agency well prepared with data, analytics, and some ideas of your own.
Tip 1 – Track Accurate Data
Everything to do with marketing is dependent on information regarding your audience or customers. If you can’t understand the way your customer thinks or feels while they’re browsing your store then you’re never going to be able to turn them into a conversion. To track this data, there are multiple useful tools online. Google Analytics should be the first consideration, as it’s one of the highest quality and most widely-used analytics tools available right now. Google Optimise is another tool that can sync with Google Analytics, and also allows you to track multiple forms of conversions, from sales to mailing list sign-ups. Heatmaps such as those offered by Hotjar are extremely valuable as well.
Tip 2 – High-Quality Images and Videos
Marketing is an incredibly aesthetic discipline. If brands aren’t representing themselves to the highest standards then it creates doubt and displeasure in the mind of the customer. Not to mention that this is your business selling your products and services, it deserves better than blurry images, and low-quality, unscripted videos. Take the time and spend the money to generate some really amazing, high-quality graphics and/or videos to promote your products and services. After all, if you’re not attentive enough to make your product look the best it can, then why should customers be attentive enough to your brand to convert? It’s the same philosophy as uniforms or wearing formal attire to business meetings.
Tip 3 – Detailed Product Descriptions
You can’t just slap a few words underneath an image of a product and expect that to fulfil your customer’s curiosity. Presumably, you’ve bought something before. You’ve wanted to buy a specialised item for some reason but you want a version that has some specific capability. And the search for this product is made difficult by the fact that no one seems to specify whether or not their version of the thing has that capability. Make your product descriptions as detailed as possible, making sure to note every possible function and feature so your customers can make an informed choice.
Tip 4 – State your Unique Selling Points (USPs)
There is a reason that you went into the business you did. There is a reason that people are coming to your website as opposed to your competitors. You have a good product but maybe there’s a better deal elsewhere, or maybe the turnaround time is better at another store. It’s important to tell customers, in no unspecific terms, why it is they should buy from you. Obviously, this should be as natural as possible, it’s important to avoid obvious wording like “BUY FROM US BECAUSE WE NEED MONEY!” and instead opt for the gentler, more casual “and with our satisfaction guarantee, your purchase is refundable for up to a year if you’re not happy with the item.”
Tip 5 – Show Security Badges and/or Certifications
Despite the prevalence of e-commerce these days, there are still some people that harbour misgivings about using the internet to make purchases. It’s easy to see why with the myriad privacy concerns online, and the fact that tech giants frequently get busted selling user data to unscrupulous companies. Try to alleviate the worries of these customers by prominently displaying any cyber security badges or certifications that you might have acquired. Alternatively, offer buying options that are famously secure, such as Paypal. Customers are invariably more likely to become conversions when they feel that they are getting what they want/need, and when they feel that they’re safe doing so.
Tip 6 – Test the Checkout Experience
Going through the checkout is the penultimate stage of making a purchase online, and while some people do it just to see how much postage on a certain item will be before abruptly abandoning the cart, it can often be the make or break stage in the process of buying something. Make sure that your checkout flows smoothly, from one process to the other. Make sure all the fields work properly, and the layout is easy to understand. Although checkouts typically operate in sections, it should be an overall holistic experience, and at no point should the customer ever feel that they’re being misdirected.
Tip 7 – Make Important Buttons Stand Out
There’s no reason that a customer should have to go looking for the button you want them to click most. A button is an amalgam of shape, colour, and wording. If your website uses a lot of hard, straight-edge angles in its design, try making important buttons rounder, softer shapes such as ovals or round-cornered rectangles. Colour goes a long way to enhancing the discoverability of your buttons, with the best bet to choose the opposing colour to the background that the button is going on. To find a colour’s opposite, simply look up a colour wheel, find the background colour, and see what colour is on the other side of the colour wheel. Finally with the wording, while there’s nothing wrong with “buy now,” as with any copy on your website it’s an opportunity to show some personality. Try something like “Buy the Thing!” or “Help Pay my Rent” or some such.
Tip 8 – Let Customers Check Out as Guests
How many times have you been looking for an item, found the perfect thing, and then stopped going through the checkout because the website requires you to be a member first? In this day and age, there is no reason to force people to sign up to your website before they can make a purchase. Unless what you’re selling has some kind of convoluted legal requirements that requires all purchasers to be easily identifiable, people shouldn’t have to be a member of your site before they buy something. After all, they’ll be giving you their email address so they can get their receipts from you as they go through the checkout. “Sign up for future deals” as a little checkbox under the postal details section of your checkout form is enough. Let people checkout as guests, and you’ll see conversions rise.
Tip 9 – Remarket Abandoned Carts
We spoke about carts earlier, and while they are commonly abandoned on purpose, the truth is a lot of people accidentally abandon their carts because they’re shopping as well as doing other things. Or maybe they had a blackout or their computer malfunctioned before they could head to the checkout. Whatever the case, an abandoned cart represents a possible opportunity. Use the customer’s email to send a reminder that their cart is waiting for them, that eventually it will be emptied if they don’t put the order through, and that if they do put the order through using that email, maybe they’ll get a handy 5-10% off? After all, 90% of a purchase is vastly better than no purchase at all.
CRO Services for your E-commerce Store
Traffic Radius is a marketing company in Melbourne. We’ve been in the industry for decades and have grown to be one of the biggest internationally reaching marketing agencies. We love what we do, and we love getting results for our clients.
If you’re experiencing difficulty getting your online store off the ground, we know we can help. Contact us at this page or call us on 1300 870 901 today.