A great deal is made about the importance of driving traffic to your website. From advertising to SEO, many companies focus their efforts on getting people to their homepage. Having invested heavily in traffic generation, these firms then forget to focus on maximizing conversion rates – the primary function of most ecommerce websites.
There will always be a proportion of website visitors who are merely browsing, as well as a few rivals scoping out their competition. A 100 per cent conversion rate is unfeasible, but there’s always scope to improve existing transaction levels. Knowing how to achieve conversions on your website involves a combination of bluff, selling expertise and ingenuity. From identifying unique value propositions to streamlining the checkout process, many elements will help.
Here are our ten tips for increasing ecommerce website conversions, many of which also apply to form completions and content downloads…
- Generate a sense of urgency. From the landing page or homepage to the checkout functionality, ecommerce websites are all about driving sales and promoting your expertise or USPs. Identify items approaching sold-out status and promote limited-edition products. Run short-term sales with prominent end dates, and use emotive CTAs like “be quick” or “grab yours before it’s gone” to instill desire and urgency.
- Describe products in detail. If you want to know how to get conversions on your website, view it from a customer’s perspective. What might they want to know about your products and services? How much detail could product pages contain? Can you provide embedded videos, photo slideshows, customer reviews or testimonials? Every page needs a CTA, with powerful adjectives and action words in the headline.
- Offer related items. Algorithmic databases suggest complementary products, often encouraging people to complete a purchase and get everything they need in one order. This can be done when an item is added to the basket, or before entering payment data. Many people will add suggested goods almost instinctively, and having multiple items in a basket means customers are more likely to complete a purchase.
- Minimize number of form fields. Knowing how to get conversions on your website involves understanding your customers, and endless form fields are one of the main obstacles to completing a transaction. Allow people to check out as a guest using basic name and address details, with other fields listed as optional. Encourage purchasers to sign up once a transaction has been completed with repeat custom incentives or invitations.
- Streamline the site. Flashing GIFs or sidebar adverts will confuse visitors and distract from any core propositions. Keep everything clean and clear, so the products take center stage. This is crucial for landing pages, which are the pages people see when they first arrive on the site. Value propositions and compelling headlines are tools worth utilizing, while the site should be extensively beta-tested on various browsers.
- Adopt a responsive framework. Most web traffic is carried on mobile devices, where small screens inhibit desktop-style browsing. Use hamburger menus and single-column designs, with compressed graphics helping to minimize loading times. People are time-poor, and they’ll defect to a competitor platform if your site takes ages to respond. As an added bonus, fast-loading sites perform better in search engine results.
- Provide assurances. Giving financial data to a new company involves a leap of faith, so employ HTTPS and display security seals or trust badges. People might worry about returning an item, so explain how the original packaging can be reused with a pre-paid returns label. Alleviate concerns about getting money back by publishing a no-quibble refund policy, and display your firm’s contact details on every page.
- Don’t patronize. These last steps need to be addressed in plain English, without laboring the point. Online shoppers will quickly identify if content is overly ‘sales-y’. That extends to product descriptions, too: avoid hyperbole or sensationalist claims in favor of layman’s advice and bullet-point feature lists. Use one photo with an expandable slideshow, and consider dropdown text to save space on small screens.
- Track audience behavior. Consider dedicated landing pages for any pay-per-click advertising campaigns, so you can monitor which ads are performing well. Use packages like Google Analytics to study how people use your site, and where they depart. If a high volume of visitors leave on a particular page, there might be a specific issue scaring them away. From stealth charges to limited stock, investigate and resolve.
- Offer a multiplicity of payment options. It may be a stretch to offer bitcoin or Ethereum, but there’s no excuse for ignoring other payment methods. Regardless of the merchant costs involved, you should be offering a full array of credit and debit cards, plus payment providers like PayPal. Again, think about how to get conversions on your website from the perspective of a customer, to ensure their needs are being met ahead of your own.
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