If you’re selling on the Web, you’re most likely intimately familiar with a whole slew of metrics: conversion rates, cart abandonments, time on page, time on site, and more. And if you’re like most online retailers, you’re all too familiar with low conversions.
According to Fireclick’s benchmark index, only 10 out of 100 visitors at an average ecommerce website are truly interested in making a purchase, and only two of them actually make that purchase.
To combat this 2 percent conversion rate, most online marketers focus on pumping more and more visitors to their site…after all, 2 percent of 200 means more money than 2 percent of 100. But how about those remaining eight people who were genuinely interested, but didn’t make the purchase? While increasing site traffic is a worthy effort, it can be more effective to focus on improving the sales rate from people already visiting your site.
Improving your website conversion rate can be relatively simple. In this guest post, the CEO of LiveChat, Mariusz Cieply, offers nine ways to improve your ecommerce site and get more conversions. LiveChat provides software that helps you talk to your website visitors and convert them into customers.
1. Make life easy for your shoppers
A circuitous maze of pages, hard to find pricing, cluttered layout, a cumbersome checkout… these are all serious turn-offs to today’s online shopper. In short, the more difficult you make your site to use, the less likely people will buy from you.
Design your web navigation with as few pages as possible; be sure your action buttons are 100% clear; use tool tips to help customers; and make your checkout process quick and easy (a single page if possible). The faster you can make the transaction, the more conversions you’ll see.
2. Show what’s popular
Continually monitor search queries, both on your site and search engine referrals, to see what people are looking for the most. Then, be sure to feature these items or information prominently on your website.
3. Engage shoppers while they’re hesitating
The top way to reduce shopping cart abandonment is to engage customers at the point of hesitation.
Is someone spending three minutes on a product page? Are they sitting on the shipping section at checkout a little too long?
Savvy online sellers understand that engaging shoppers at these critical points increases sales. You can proactively initiate a conversation with these customers through an online chat that’s triggered to help customers right when they need it most.
4. Be as personal as possible
When inviting a shopper to chat, certain strategies are proven to increase the success rate. By and large, these strategies all boil down to being as personal and relevant to the shopper’s situation as possible.
If possible, a chat invite should address your visitor personally. Addressing them by name dramatically increases a chance for a conversation. The initial question should be as relevant as possible.
For example, if a visitor is browsing shoes or found your website through a search for shoes, the initial chat invite could be… I see you’re looking for shoes. Can I help you find a pair that’s right for you? Or, Can I answer a question about our running shoes?
And lastly, chat invites that display the name and photo of the customer service representative also increases the chance of uptake; after all, shoppers like to know there’s an actual person behind the keyboard.
5. Always be available
Most online service levels would never be tolerated offline. Think about it. Imagine walking into a store and there was no one around to help you. Most likely, you’d leave in frustration and never come back.
The same can happen in an online shopping situation, particularly when a customer has a specific question and can’t find help. Of course, having a great FAQ list and clearly laying out your pricing, shipping, and returns policies can go a long way toward happy customers. But, adding personal live support is what can separate a great online experience from an adequate one.
6. Remember that the Internet never sleeps
If you’re selling globally, keep in mind that the Internet never sleeps. To be serious in the global market, you’ll need to make sure a customer service representative is available around the clock.
7. Experiment to evolve
You’re never going to be able to predict which changes or strategies will have a positive effect. Sometimes you just have to try things out, see how it works, and learn from your experience.
Conduct some comparative A/B tests on your site. For example, compare two different landing pages, chat messages, or checkout page layouts. Measure the results and continually update your website based on what works for your customers.
8. Listen and learn from your customers
There are countless blogs and white papers outlining ecommerce best practices, but there’s no better resource on what your customers want than your customers themselves.
Implement some kind of customer feedback system where after an order, you ask customers what you can do to improve their experience. Specific questions like ‘Did our search function provide relevant results?’ tend to yield more insightful responses.
Of course, you don’t have to listen to every comment, but if there’s a recurring complaint, make that one is one of your top priorities to address.
9. Offer amazing customer service
Great customer service is key to increasing your conversion rates. All aspects of your website and shopping process should be built with customer needs in mind. Keep things simple for each web visitor, make essential information easy to find, and have a live person available to address specific needs.
If you do offer live chat/phone/email support, remember that the quality and time of each reply counts. Don’t just answer questions. This is your chance to be an adviser and expert resource for your customers.
Online sellers invest huge sums of money and effort to attract customers. But you’re in danger of losing them with a poor site experience and inadequate customer service. Remember 10 percent of visitors to an average ecommerce site are truly interested in making a purchase; strive to close as many of those visits as possible.
Latest posts by Allison Midori Reilly (see all)
- Why Bloggers Need Website Security - June 22, 2012
- QR Code Security Best Practices - May 2, 2012
- 3 Easy Ways to Prevent Your Data from Being Tracked - April 11, 2012