You have created an online store with a great design and perfect functionality. So now you need the traffic to generate a profit. To attract customers, you allocate a budget for SEO and contextual advertising and start working on SMM. It looks like the strategy is effective – people visit websites. However, for some reason, they are holding off with a purchase. So the money spent on advertising doesn’t bring income, and the growth of visitors doesn’t turn into a real profit.
Does this sound familiar to you? Then you have probably started to realize that it’s not enough to create an appealing website and attract an audience. This is just the beginning, the first steps that will entail further actions. High website conversion won’t appear out of anything. You need to optimize it and work really hard to reach some growth.
Low conversion is the most vulnerable spot of any e-commerce website.
What is website conversion?
In online business, there is such an illustrative metric of effectiveness as “conversion.” Conversion is the ratio of people who made a target action on a site to the total number of visitors (during some period) multiplied by 100%. In other words, if only 1 out of 100 visitors has placed an order, the conversion rate is 1%. The formula is simple.
A macro conversion, namely a purchase, is the main goal of any e-commerce website.
Yet there are micro conversions. These are other target actions of website visitors:
- Visits to a certain page of a website;
- Getting a quote through a contact form;
- Adding a product to a cart.
A macro conversion means that a potential customer is already involved in the process but hasn’t made a purchase yet. Thus, tracking micro-conversion rates is very important. Later this will allow you to segment visitors and use remarketing to show them customized ads.
What conversion rate is good for e-commerce websites?
The success of e-commerce depends on the ability to turn passive buyers into active ones. That’s why a conversion rate is one of the most important indicators of business performance.
Even if you compare the conversion of websites related to the same field, the results will be misleading. This is because different online stores have different sources and volumes of traffic. Customer relations and brand image differ.
We have researched the Ukrainian market of 2016 and defined the average conversion rates based on the topics of categories.
|Smartphone spare parts||1,87|
|Women’s leather goods||0,3|
Website conversion greatly depends on the type of online store. It varies based on the traffic channel. In addition, conversion is influenced by a properly collected semantic kernel of a site.
What are the possible reasons for low website conversion?
- Untargeted traffic. Your website may have low conversion because it isn’t properly targeted at its right audience. Many online store owners focus on getting cheap traffic. But such kind of traffic doesn’t guarantee that visitors are potential buyers. Blame untargeted traffic advertising slogans and “favorable” offers of discounts or free shipping that hide some extra expenses (for example, a discount is given only for $200+ orders).
- Inappropriately presented information, bad navigation, and poor usability. The frequency with which users complete target actions greatly depends on the logical structure, simplicity, clearness, and accessibility of a website. Well-thought-out usability, favorable prices, reliable information, proper search options, high-quality images, and diverse filters – everything you do to make resources more convenient to users will bring you higher conversion.
- No competition monitoring. It’s extremely important. If direct competitors have more appealing offers, better prices, and more exciting content, but they will promptly leave it.
How to find out the reasons for low website conversion in case?
The web has numerous useful tools to complete this task. Let’s take a look at the most prominent of them.
1. GOOGLE ANALYTICS AND WEBMASTER TOOLS
This service offers great opportunities for user behavior analysis on a website. It will help you to check:
- Real-time location
- Bounce rate and exit pages.
- Number of new and returning visitors.
- Devices used to access a website.
- Conversion paths.
You can spend time pondering why the bounce rate is high and why users leave websites so quickly or solve this problem once and for all by installing a click heatmap. This map will show you how understandable and convenient an online store is for users. Usually, creating a website, its owners and marketers rely on their own or competitors’ experience. Yet the audience is unique, so usability should be created based on its individual needs.
This picture shows that the “Book with us” call to action gets the most clicks, not the search button. But this area with the highest user activity doesn’t have a link to a separate page for booking.
3. A SERVICE FOR AUTOMATIC COMPETITOR PRICE MONITORING
Almost all actions to attract visitors to a website will fall flat if competitors offer better prices. Or maybe they have some special promotions now? A manual competitor monitoring is absolutely ineffective (a high risk of mistakes, a 5-7 day delay with data, a large volume of work, etc.). However, special services make the monitoring process automated, simple, fast, and accurate. They will allow you to:
- Receive structured and already processed arrays of information for analysis (several times per day).
- Detect flaws in pricing .
- Plan and run successful promotional campaigns.
Using the listed analytics methods you will be able to clarify all the reasons for low website conversion to immediately eliminate them.
Steps To Increase Website Conversion
1. ILLUSTRATE YOUR PRODUCT PAGES WITH HIGH-QUALITY IMAGES
One of the greatest drawbacks of online shopping is the absence of an opportunity to take a product into hands and examine it. The only way to make up for this flaw is to offer users product photos as good, accurate, and detailed as possible. Preferably you should use several photos that show the product from different angles. A zoom option is an additional advantage. If you can demonstrate the real dimensions of the product (a clock on a hand, a purse on a shoulder), do this. Remember that high-quality images increase the chance of purchase by 30%.
2. MINIMIZE THE NUMBER OF STEPS NECESSARY TO MAKE A PURCHASE
Try to step into customers’ shoes. Check how easy it is to purchase in online store. If the purchase process takes too much time or requires some extra effort from users, you risk losing the customers who already want to place an order. A one-click buying is what you should strive for.
3. DECREASE THE NUMBER OF ABANDONED CARTS USING SPECIAL SOFTWARE
Have you noticed that when customers have added the chosen products to a cart, started placing an order (for example, indicated email address) and after that abandoned the cart and left online store became more frequent? Well, don’t hesitate to remind them to finish what has been started. Some e-commerce platforms offer automatic reminders of abandoned carts. To reduce interrupted transactions, display the list with cart contents and a discount coupon for additional motivation.
4. USE ONLINE CHATS FOR SUPPORT
This way of communication with website visitors has many advantages. An online consultant of an e-commerce website directly interacts with customers in real-time, removing the barrier of face-to-face communication. But there is a pitfall here. If you cannot ensure that online chat works smoothly, you’d better not add it. Questions left unanswered will do more harm to the site than the lack of online consulting.
5. SHOW CUSTOMERS THAT BUYING IS SAFE
This is a complex but crucial task. Within a short time, you have to build a high level of trust in a website. For example, show users that you are certified, include references to partners or suppliers confirming business reputation, provide contact information and store address, and be sure to offer different payment methods, including cash on delivery.
6. ALLOW QUICK PURCHASE WITHOUT THE REGISTRATION
The creation of an account is an insurmountable barrier whereas the pressure to do this makes them leave an online store.
7. LET BUYERS LEAVE REVIEWS
This isn’t a recommendation but already a life-critical requirement. Take a look at market leaders, for instance, Amazon. Why do they sell so actively, and the sellers’ conversion skyrockets? It seems like no one will buy anything without studying the product beforehand.
8. CHANGE THE COLOR OF THE BUY BUTTON
Make this button big, appealing, and bright. The one that will definitely be noticed. The style, beauty, and harmony are great, but we aim for a high conversion rate.
9. ADD PRODUCT REVIEWS
Have you heard the saying “Facts tell, but stories sell”? It’s really true. Please include a detailed description of product, compare it to its analogs. This works better than a boring listing of main characteristics.
10. SHOW CUSTOMERS, THEY CAN RETURN A PURCHASE
Do you think that a return policy doesn’t really stimulate conversion optimization? You’re mistaken. More than half of users will read return conditions before buying a product. This gives them additional security guarantees and increases trust.
11. OPTIMIZE WEB RESOURCE FOR MOBILE
Today, when mobile devices have conquered the world, the contempt to optimize online stores based on audience’s preferences is a crime against conversion.
12. DON’T LET CUSTOMERS GO
You cannot literally grasp the customer’s hand and make him stay. The chances to return them are scarce. The last thing that can keep users is popup windows! They must be activated right when a user is going to close a page.
13. CHECK YOUR CONTENT FOR MISTAKES
Orthographic mistakes can harm sales. This is already a proven fact. Buyers intuitively feel that a seller who hasn’t managed to create an error-free text doesn’t deserve to be trusted. Ask an editor to check content to avoid damaging the trust of the online stores.
14. IMPROVE YOUR DESIGN
There are numerous examples when redesign has resulted in a 2-3 times increase of conversion. Obviously, all these changes aren’t done blindly. One must use tools for usability analysis of an online store and rely on the exact date of this analysis since low-quality changes can be counter productive conversion.
Make customers loyal
A conversion increase is not a one-time action but continuous work. As soon as you get new customers, you start turning them into buyers, and an occasional buyer must be transformed into a loyal one.
According to the research, the chances to sell something to new customers are 5-20%, while the probability of sale in loyal customers is 60-70%.
How to keep a customer? There are three components of this process:
- Satisfy customers’ needs.
- Motivate to make repeat purchases.
The first interaction with a service plays a key role. If it turns out to be negative, you will lose a chance to continue cooperation. Content is equally important. To clarify customers’ exact needs, create a portrait of a typical user.
Conversion optimization is one of the most pressing issues in the field of online marketing. There are no methods that would guarantee 100% success. Each of the listed 14 steps taken separately won’t make you a market leader, but together these recommendations will create a foundation for building an effective and profitable e-commerce business.