With the rise of ecommerce platforms, such as WooCommerce and Shopify, selling online has become more popular than ever before. Both companies and consumers have been adapting to online transactions, enjoying the convenience and savings from doing business digitally. In 2017, nearly 95% of Americans purchased something online and 51% of Americans actually prefer online shopping to in-store.
So, with all of this excitement and traffic heading to our ecommerce stores, how to we effectively convert our customers? Without the traditional in-person sales strategies to implement, ecommerce businesses have to identify new ways to convert the customer. We’ll be covering some fundamentals in this blog post, if you are straight-up looking for a list of tactics you can check out this article from Big Commerce and others like it.
Start by Understanding Your Audience
Getting clear about who your target audience is will help direct your decision making across all of your marketing communication. If your not sure who this audience might be, take a moment to segment all of your customer types and answer this question: “Whose problem is solved best through our product/service?”. Once you have that important step figured out, every decision made moving forward should keep that audience in mind.
If you are looking for more detailed information about your target audience, such as behavioral insights, try using a tool like Google Analytics to get a better understanding. Looking at metrics like your top trafficked pages, avg. time on site, and device breakdown will let you know how your audience is using your website. To supplement the data gathered from analytics platforms, we recommend spending some personal time with your target customer to really understand their needs. Customer interviews, user testing, and open ended surveys can be great ways to receive more qualitative feedback on your product and ecommerce store.
Lastly, it is important to keep the buyer’s journey top of mind when driving paid traffic to your online store. Whether through Facebook Ads, Social Media Influencers, or something else, try to keep the content of your promotion as relevant as possible. For example, users who are not familiar with your product are likely to behave differently than those who have taken the time to browse your product pages. The first audience may be better served with a blog or piece of content, while the “non-converting” shoppers might be more prepared to consume a “buy now” type of sales messaging.
Aside from having the right product for the right audience and at the right price—reducing friction for the user is one of the most important things you need to think about for increasing ecommerce conversions. Start by asking yourself questions like:
- Does my site navigation make sense to a new user?
- Are there clear calls to action throughout the site content?
- Do my product pages answer all of the customers’ concerns?
- Can the customer easily receive support? (Chat, Contact Forms, FAQs, Etc.)
After some of the basics are resolved, consider installing heatmap and video tracking software, such as HotJar, to better understand how your specific audience navigates your site and where improvements can be made. Want some data to support your decisions and keep track of your improvements? Feel free to check out our post on event tracking through Google Tag Manager. If you think that you may be on to something with your research, why not put it to the test with an A/B Testing tool like Google Optimize?
So your target audience is on-lock and your user experience is seamless, what’s next? We recommend looking for opportunities to kindly persuade your customers to take the next step. How can you persuade your customers? Let’s reference Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion:
While all of these principles can apply to your ecommerce store, we’d like to turn our focus today at scarcity, consensus, and authority. Here are some examples of the three principles in action:
Scarcity: Have you ever noticed when you are purchasing tickets for an event there is a countdown clock ticking until your session expires? That’s not just functional, it’s psychological! A countdown timer may not be right for every website, so consider special offers that are for a “limited time” only or make note of inventory when it is getting low on limited edition products.
Consensus: Adding social proof to an e-commerce store is one of the easiest and effective ways to persuade your customers to convert. You can achieve the principle of consensus by adding reviews, testimonials, and customer stats to the website. An interesting customer stat could be “90% of customers like you saw their common problem disappear in a matter of minutes with our product” or “10 out of 10 doctors recommend our product”.
Authority: Don’t be shy about your company’s accolades and accomplishments. Adding certifications, security badges, and partner logos are all options for improving your sites authority. In addition, make sure you have a clean and responsive website with high-quality graphics and imagery.
So what will you do to improve your ecommerce conversions over the next 3 months? Learn more about your audiences? Clean up your content? A/B Testing? Improve authority?
We challenge you to dive deep into one of the conversion optimization strategies mentioned in the blog post. Need some help or want a second opinion? Drop us a line.