Read on for 7 smart and simple eCommerce strategies that will increase conversions and make a difference to the metrics that really matter on your eCommerce site.
What are the key metrics that contribute to the success of your business?
Too often we see marketers focusing on potentially damaging vanity metrics. They implement eCommerce strategies and campaigns that entirely focus on increasing traffic, gaining social shares or increasing the number of raw page page views for each visitor.
These all have their place within marketing, but they shouldn’t be your primary focus.
Because these strategies don’t directly correspond to the metric that at the end of the day really matters: your bank balance.
Vanity metrics offer no guarantee of an increase in revenue. You could increase traffic by 50% but see no increase in sales, and sure, Facebook likes and retweets are nice, but until they become legal tender they’re not going to drastically affect the success of your business.
Smart eCommerce businesses focus on eCommerce strategies that directly impact the metrics that correlate to what we all want. Cold, hard, cash.
An increase in conversion rates, average order value or a reduction in cart abandonment all directly increase your revenue. But they’re also some of the more elusive to nail down.
While you can increase traffic with a well placed advertisement or piggyback your way to social media success by attracting a customer with a large following, increasing conversions requires a far more scientific approach and a hell of a lot of testing.
Fortunately for you, we’ve put together a few smart and simple eCommerce strategies that will quickly help you increase your conversions.
Never Stop Testing
OK, so this isn’t really a strategy. It’s a mantra you need to adopt.
Split testing is the backbone of any conversion rate optimisation campaign. The only way you’re going to improve your conversion rates and sales is by testing different pages, copy elements and layouts.
Split tests enable you to test different variants and accurately compare the results from one test to the next. You take the highest performing test, implement it as your new control and start the process over. The result is an iterative process that continues to improve the success of your individual pages and eCommerce strategies.
Add a sense of urgency
Your site visitor’s attention is constantly being pulled in 10 different directions.
The constant distractions and sheer selection available to customers has led to incredibly low attention spans and a reluctance to take action. Why buy now when you could find a better deal on any one of the hundreds of competitors?
Many of the most successful eCommerce businesses out there don’t offer the best deals, they’re successful because they use eCommerce strategies that coerce the consumer into thinking they have to take action right now. This provides a lower churn rate and a higher number of sales.
The simple addition of a countdown timer or stock limit (which have to be honest) has proven countless times to increase conversions. It’s effective because it plays on basic human psychology, more specifically, the fear of missing out. Adding a time limit to an offer or product suspends the rational thought processes of a consumer in favour of immediate action.
As we’ve just covered, the internet is a busy place and attention spans are short.
If a user has to click dozens of times or can’t understand your confusing site navigation, they’re just going to leave. Simplification of your site is most important in two primary areas.
1 – Navigation
You’ve got to combat those short attention spans. Allow users to quickly and easily find exactly what they want or risk losing the sale. Underwater Audio increased conversions by 261% after implementing a simpler landing page.
2 – Product Selection
eCommerce managers often think that supplying the largest range possible is the best solution to increase conversions. More products, more opportunities for a sale, right? Wrong. Too much choice leads to analysis paralysis. Your consumers spend too long comparing products and talk themselves out of the purchase.
Smart use of images
A picture speaks a thousand words, right?
When you’re selling products online consumers want images because they give them a better idea of what the product is. But you can’t just slap up any old image on your site.
The best product images:
- Are high definition
- Show the product in use
- Offer a sense of scale
- Offer multiple views and angles
Presentation is a huge factor in increasing your conversions. Ensure that your product images work in concert with your copy to improve customer understanding and increase desire.
Focus on the benefits
Your product copy is a vital element in convincing your prospect to buy your goods.
Poor copy that fails to inspire can undo even the best product images and perfectly optimised purchase journeys. It is your sales pitch.
eCommerce managers have a tendency to focus on the features of the product. They list all the technical specs and design features that comprise a product because that’s what they view to be most important.
But your customers don’t care what the manager thinks. The majority aren’t looking for the technical specs of a product, they want a solution to their problem.
The rule of thumb when writing copy is to focus on the benefits. Highlight how the product will enrich the life of the shopper, not how much memory it has or how many quality checks you put your product through. Apple’s copywriters are masters of this skill – they played a massive part in the original iPod’s success by advertising its benefits in such a succinct manner, rather than it’s features.
If customers don’t trust you, they’re not going to click that purchase button.
No one’s going to hand over their bank details to a potentially untrustworthy site. You need to demonstrate that you’re a trustworthy brand who’s not in this game for a quick buck or to rip people off.
In fact, 70% of customers will end their purchase because of a lack of trust. But building trust online isn’t easy, so what can you do?
Include and prominently feature real testimonials from previous customers. Shoppers trust the word of their peers. Also utilise trust seals like the one below to show that all financial information is handled by a trusted third party.
Demonstrate the value of the product
“Pay me £500 for my product/service”
Convinced? Of course you’re not. If you’re spending cash on something you want to know exactly what you’re going to get. Telling anyone to spend £500 to get something isn’t enough. Consumers want to know the ins and outs, every last detail and benefits they’re getting for my cash.
Don’t take any shortcuts, properly explain your product in full detail and your consumers will thank you for it.
Want more tips?
eCommerce optimisation is a complex task. There’s so much to consider and test – this article is a start – but really only scratches the surface of what you should be looking into.
For more eCommerce strategies that will help you improve your customer experience and boost revenue through onsite optimisation, read our free guide to Customer Journey Optimization.