12 proven tips that can raise ecommerce store conversion in 2016

How can you operate an online store successfully? If we could answer this question easily, there would not be any need for experts who build their career in this field. But we can give you very useful tips: we are going to show you such tricks that have proved to be successful in increasing customer conversion and thus income as well.



1. Make your visitors feel welcome

If someone visits your website for the first time, obviously you cannot greet them with a broad smile. But still you can make something appealing: you can greet them with a pop-up window. Here you can show a special offer right away, a small discount or free shipping, for example, going with the first purchase.

Online store conversion welcome

Since achieving the very first conversion is the hardest, and customer retention requires a lot less effort, it is well worth enriching your visitors with a positive experience right at the first time. Needless to say, it is wise to ask for a subscription or email address in return because you will be able to reach your new customers later via newsletters or electronic direct mails.

 

2. Don’t let your visitors leave you!

One of the major challenges with online stores is that even if visitor numbers are high, conversion rates can be really low. Reasons for it may be that visitors simply abandon their carts, just look around without buying anything or make shopping lists (and not purchases) by putting products in the cart.

If you want to get hold of those who consider making a purchase, you have an immense number of options in online marketing that help you do that. Remarketing is one of them. If the user takes a look at a product, but does not buy it, you can offer him or her that same product via AdWords, even with a discount.

You can also show a special offer to your visitor just at the moment when he or she tries to leave your store. It can be an attractive, one-time-only discount deal in a pop-up window. It is best when you tailor your message, focusing on that particular product or category, which the customer has just viewed.

 

3. Simplify your checkout process

Many case studies mention that lots of customers abandon their shopping cart in the last moment, just before they are about to pay for the products. There can be several reasons for this. A complex checkout process is a typical case.

If too many click-though’s to other pages are necessary or too many customer details are to be given, the chance of rejection is quite high. Don’t make registration necessary for the customer if he or she wants to make a purchase.

You can encourage him or her to do so with deals or discounts, but don’t make it compulsory. Minimize the number of steps so that the purchase process takes only a few clicks and as little time as possible. Place the shopping cart and the CTA (Call to Action) payment button in a very visible spot, for example in the upper right corner or in the sidebar where people usually look for it.

Always show the number of products in the cart and the subtotal. Never hide any additional costs. Indicate the cost of shipping right on the product page.  A vast number of customers decline their purchases at the very end because they see the charges for shipment, as an “unpleasant surprise”, only on the last page of the checkout process. 

 

4. Always run A/B tests

That moment when you can lay back and say “Finished at last!” will never come. You need to optimize your online store on a continuous basis, watching all the time how your customers use it.

A B test conversion 

Conversion rates can largely depend on where you place different buttons, what colour they have or what kind of text they show. By guessing, you will never be able to tell which will generate the best results. Therefore you need to monitor the data of your pages, in terms of changes in efficiency, proportion of visitor types, how much time they spend on a page, what they click and what they don’t (ignored sections of pages).

When you have specified the fields that need to be improved, prepare two (or more) new versions of the page in question and show the different versions to your audience in a random way. Try to gather as much information as possible that shows you which version performs better and from then on use the winner page. 

For further tips read: A/B testing in ecommerce: 10 things you really need to test

 

5. Use many good quality images

Your credibility increases considerably if you make the effort to display your customers the items that they are about to buy as precisely as possible. So the first thing you need to do is get or take pictures of your products.

Online store image use

Forget about copying or importing low resolution images from other websites. You’ll need professional photos that show the products from every angle, so that the customers can have the experience similar to holding the products in their hands, inspecting them closely and viewing their details.

Make your design clear and make it focused on the products, grab your users’ attention with high quality images. Your written content and videos are perfectly suitable for directing your visitors to your site or help answer different questions. But in the case of your home page or additional product offers, you will definitely need eye-catching pictures. You may ask: why is it SO important?

According to a survey by Oneupweb, 70% of visitors are more likely to make a purchase if images of products are shown on the home page of a website. A very effective approach can be presenting your most popular products on your main page. At first thought, it may seem controversial: why should you promote those items that are doing fine, why not trying to sell more of the less popular ones? Because popular products have proven their worth and thus will more probably win the masses.

 

6. Let your shopper customize the product

Of course, this possibility largely depends on what you offer on your online store. If you have the opportunity, give a chance to your customer, whenever you can, to choose the product which most satisfies his or her needs.

Offer options to select colour, style, shape, size etc., ideally on a product page with a nice user interface where only a few clicks are needed to get the desired product displayed. Also, make it possible for the users to add some extras to the product.

For example, if a customer spends half an hour to configure his or her ideal laptop computer on a state-of-the-art page of an electronics ecommerce store, he or she will feel that it is his or her own creation. It is now more likely that he or she will buy this product, even if this custom product is more expensive than a standard one (maybe with similar performance qualities).

 

7. Be reliable and show that you truly are

Although there is nothing really revolutionary with online shopping nowadays, a large portion of customers still have doubts about it. They are afraid of data abuse, theft or failed delivery. If you want these doubts to disappear, there are a couple of things you can do.

In the first place, publically available reviews and ratings can significantly strengthen trust. It gives confidence if the shoppers can rate the seller and the products, can ask questions, send complaints (which are answered) on the dedicated pages of the online store.

The users can give “rating stars”, write opinions, send questions seen by other users etc. When visitors can read useful information sent by other visitors has a massive advantage: an opinion sent online by a “real human being” can almost have such influence on others just as if some friend made that remark or recommendation.

This is especially relevant in such cases when the customer has some doubts about online shopping right from the start. E.g. the costume won’t fit, the facial cream won’t work as expected etc. In the case of those types of products that we would normally try and test in a brick-and-mortar store, you should leave the opportunity open for the online shopper to step back if he or she wants to, after making a purchase.

If you have faith and confidence in your products, if product quality is truly high, if you do everything in your capacity to help your customers choose the right thing for themselves, there won’t be a lot of returned products. And, on the other hand, you will have more and more shoppers because they will feel secure with your e-store. Using some additional visual elements is also recommended. Show the certificates you have or the payment options the customer can select from, display the store’s business address and phone number.

Communicate that your online store is not some “obscure money-sucking” business, but a responsibly operating company, to which customer satisfaction is the highest priority. Another useful hint is that you display your phone number on every page in a highlighted spot so that users of mobile devices can call you immediately just by tapping on the number.

 

8. Use weather-based segmentation

Most online stores monitor whether the visitors arriving to the website are new or returning ones, where they have come from, what their previous history is, and so on. In addition, of course you may know geographically where the visitor is located by city and country. Still, there is a trick that few ecommerce stores apply: segmentation based on actual weather.

Online store conversion weather based segmentation

Since you know the geographic position, with a minimum effort you may as well check the weather at the location where your visitor lives. And you can make use of that in lots of different industries in order to make shopping more personal.

If you sell cars, you can emphasize the advantages of their use in cold weather for those who live in locations where it is winter. You can grant discounts in case of various articles of clothing if there is a rainy period at your visitors’ location, you can offer them raincoats, umbrellas in addition to their actual carts. If you also sell wine, you can draw your visitors’ attention to this in case the weather is not nice at their locations, in which case they are not likely to go out, but would prefer having a drink at home.

It is only your fantasy that may limit the possibilities: you can use weather-based segmentation in case of medicinal products, DIY items, garden products, cosmetics etc.

 

9. Shoot videos that convert

Video content may be of good use for you not only in acquiring new visitors, but it may also help you increase the conversion rate.

Shoot video online store

It is worth measuring what the customers are most curious about in case of each product. It is worth monitoring what questions they send in or what keywords they enter in the search fields. Make a list of the most frequently asked questions and make short videos showing how to use the product based on those questions.

It takes only some little effort to produce these, you can shoot even a dozen different videos a day and all you have to do is to give information to the users in a concise and comprehensible manner about what they are interested in, to present the product features, how to use it, give tips etc. This substitutes the experience when one asks the shop assistant in a store how a certain product should be used, whether it has this or that function and so on.

 

10. Launch a blog, write a lot!

We will write about this in detail in a later article, but let us have a few words here about the importance of a company blog. What plus does written content give you when you operate an ecommerce store? Online store blogging Content marketing can help you answer the users’ questions even before they ask them. Likewise, you may blow away their doubts in connection with a product: simply with text that describe how to use a product, who it is important to, why it is worth buying it (honestly, though, not with an aggressive sales objective), and you have immediately won over lots of users who would not have asked questions otherwise, they would have simply rejected the purchase.

You can have links to relevant content on the product pages, too, like a sort of FAQ-teaser mixture. And speaking about products – do not skimp on the characters here either. Try to include all significant details in a well-structured description of the product including the characteristics, the available options as well as the potential types of uses.

However, do not write the text as a list – rather as an interesting article with subheadings, dynamics and a message. Typically the most popular advertisements on the advertising pages are those with superbly written copy next to them.

 

11. Follow your customer!

Remember the advertisements in the movie Minority Report? The ones that called the customer by name and asked how the product, purchased the previous week, worked out? If you are smart, you need to strive to achieve a similar experience and concept only without the pushiness.

Monitor your customers, their habits and grab them discretely! You can lead someone much more easily towards conversion if they have already purchased from your online store especially if they “left” with a pleasant experience. Send them an e-mail offering different products of the same category they previously selected.

Promote similar products to them on other platforms with remarketing. If they visit you, greet them with a personal pop-up window, offer them some kind of a discount if they purchase again. It is also important to keep track of who bought what in your store. If you sell for example premium mattresses with a ten-year guarantee, there is no sense in promoting the same kind of mattress to the customer the next time – this is simply useless. What can you do instead?

You can offer them relevant things even on the product page – e.g. bed linen that is ideal for the given mattress type. You can present, in an email, other products of the manufacturer that they may very likely need. Furthermore, you can monitor who purchased in your store and when he or she made that purchase.

If you sold a product that the given customer probably uses for, let’s say, two years, send him or her a personalized (automated) e-mail after two years. Ask whether the product worked out and make a personalized offer to him or her to get a new piece of the same product with some discount.

 

+1. Forget about your own “e-merchant mindset”

You should always focus on the things that are good for your customers. Think with the head of your customer. Think about what makes you feel good during a purchase and what makes you frustrated. How do you look for information? How do you decide what to choose? What would make you happy in the long run?

Conversion: abandon e-merchant mindset

 

tips It does not matter if you personally do not like some of the solutions, focus on efficiency: Choose a system for your ecommerce store that is flexible and cost-effective, with which you can make different changes to optimize the website – into which you can easily integrate e-mail marketing tools or even different kinds of content if these prove to be the most efficient way to achieve better results.

Do not be afraid to change even your most cherished solutions because there is always some extra little thing that can increase conversion by a few percent – bringing you additional income.

 

 

Gábor Imre

Gábor Imre

Digital Marketing Manager

Gábor started working for AionHill as a Magento eCommerce project manager. After 6 years, he joined the restructured Marketing Team. His main responsibilities are content strategy and communications partnership management. Gábor has two kids, likes cooking traditional Hungarian meals and playing strategy and online role playing games.


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