In ecommerce conversions mean everything. You can have millions of visitors a month, but if no one is buying, what is it doing for you? It is costing you money. When you increase your conversion, you actually get a two fold increase. Think of these scenarios. With these two sites selling the exact same products.
- 100,000 visitors a month
- 50,000 unique visitors a month
- 4% conversion rate
- $50 average sale before shipping costs
- 20,000 visitors a month
- 10,000 unique visitors
- 30% conversion rate
- $50 average sale before shipping
Traffic is meaningless
Site #2 gets far less traffic than site # 1, but the conversion rate is a lot higher. Most SEO companies tout numbers, they can get you to the top of Google, and they can get you so much more traffic. Traffic is worthless, it costs you money. Which site do you think has higher cost overhead for hosting? Site #1 does, while only having 4000 sales a month. Site number #2 gets 6000 sales, with lower hosting costs. If you have site #1, this article is for you, you will learn how to become a site #2.
How to increase conversions
If you have the traffic without the conversions, you are in a great position actually. With a few little tweaks and changes your conversions will start to rise and with your traffic numbers, a couple percent makes a huge difference on the bottom line.
You need to have a mailing list to keep in contact with your customers. How are your customers going to know what is on sale in your shop? How are they going to know about your new items? Have a mailing list signup on your site and also have a signup during your checkout. You can even offer a coupon to get people to sign up to the mailing list. Also, be diligent about sending the list. Send it on the same day and time every week, some people will actually look forward to it. I have always used Mailchimp for mailing lists, they are solid and they have some really nice pre-designed templates.
Control your social media
If you don’t control your social media your social media will control you. Don’t just merely post, engage your customers with social media. Have contests, do polls, make a reason for people to come to your Facebook page. If you do not, people will not come. One of the most valuable things that is often overlooked is handling customer service via social media. If someone orders xyz product from you and does not like it and posts to your Facebook or Twitter about it, what do you do? You can email the person and fi the problem or you can ignore. Or you can make the problem right publicly. Offer to send a new product, or offer a refund. The key is doing it where other people can see it. Doing that builds trust. Every company has issues with their products, but you can see a company’s integrity when they fix the problem publicly.
On your products page have suggested for your customers to buy and a lot of the time, they will. This is a great way to upsell other items to your customers. Make sure that the suggested products are relevant to the product and that they are visible. If you are selling Ipods, headphones and chargers are great upsells on the product pages. Think of how retail stores do business, they have suggested products placed right next to the major products. Cables are right next to TV’s, so are home theatre systems. Up sell your customers and increase your average order amount.
Take your site mobile
Everywhere you look people are using tablets, Iphones, Android phones, and E-readers. How does your site look and function on them? More and more people are buying from these type of devices, do not alienate this group of customers.
Use a social media login in conjunction with a normal login. People hate filling out fields, this can actually make a huge differences in your sales. We talked before about how guest checkouts increase sales, in reality; the only difference between a guest checkout and a regular checkout is the password field. That one field makes all the difference. Even with using social media login, do not drop your regular login, you do not want to alienate those folks either. Plus, when a social media site is down, no one can login to your site.
Use a Facebook Store
Facebook is a great avenue to try to sell your products also. With services like Beetailer, you can put your whole store in front of your social media audience. This will give you more chances for people to see just the right product an make a purchase, plus it makes featuring products on your Facebook page easier. Depending on the size of your store, Beetailer can even be free, so it is a win-win situation.
Free shipping coupons
Studies say that people love free shipping more than % off coupons. If you are currently offering coupons, you might thing about changing your coupon structure to free shipping coupons. When you offer free shipping coupons, products are looked at as not having a hidden fee. No one likes hidden fees why do you think customers abandon products when they get to the checkout, it is the shipping cost.
Professionally written copy
If at all possible use the copy that the product manufacturer supplies, because that is generally what people will search for. If not, have your copy written by someone that is a professional at not only writing copy but writing SEO optimized copy. There are hundreds of different ways to describe an Ipod, but there are only a few ways that will get you to rank higher in search engines. Spelling errors and improperly written copy turn customers off. Also be very detailed, list sizes, UPC or EAN numbers. Those are also relevant in searches too, especially when people are searching to price check a product.
Set up Google Analytics properly on your site and use that in conjunction with your server stats. You want to track where everyone comes from and what they are doing on your site. Are you getting more buyers from Twitter than Facebook? You need to know this, so that you can put more effort into Facebook and exploit your Twitter for easy sells too. It is invaluable finding your quality referrers, so that you can know what is working and you can exploit them. Analyze all of your numbers and see what is working for your site and making you profits. See which items are selling in conjunction with each other so you can upsell them together, see what day and time you are getting the most visitors, you could have a 2 hour sale. When you have all the numbers, you can make educated decisions about your site.
About the Author: Lesley Paone
Lesley has worked in e-commerce for over a decade, and is the founder of dh42. Starting out with PrestaShop and brancing out into other platforms like Shopify. He loves all things e-commerce and loves a challenge, in his spare time he helps moderate several forums on SEO, e-commerce, as well as the PrestaShop forum. If you have any questions for him about any of his articles just use our contact form to contact him.