If you’re a company that’s got something to sell online, then let’s face it, converting site visits into actual sales is pretty much your raison d’être.
Of course, you need to drive people to your site just as much as a shopkeeper needs a healthy quantity of footfall through their door, however, once inside, how do you get the customer to pick a product and, more importantly, buy it?
Conversion rates are everything when it comes to online selling and if your website looks more like a jumble sale than a designer boutique then you really need to do something about it.
Below are just a few helpful hints on how you can avoid killing your conversion rate and if you can aim to give potential customers as enjoyable an experience as possible then you should be heading in the right direction – now get sweeping that floor!
Easy on the eye
First and foremost – do you have any branding guidelines that make you easily recognisable and help you stand out from the crowd? Getting your colour scheme, fonts and tone of voice to match up with what you’re selling and what your customers would hope to find is definitely key to making your online store a positive and pleasant place to visit and will do your sales no harm whatsoever.
Takeaway: over 90% of buyers are influenced by what they see with colour being a very important factor in how they choose a product and relate to a brand.
What are you selling?
Now, you know what you’re selling, hopefully, but do your site visitors? It may seem fairly obvious in most cases e.g. the name of your website or a few choice images however, when it comes to product descriptions, getting the: wording, style and tone of voice correct for your target audience is essential for increasing the chances of a sale.
Takeaway: don’t feel that you have to write reams of copy and always avoid jargon and tech speak where a simple layperson-friendly description would suffice.
If you feel that your online store can happily function without having an interactive community then good luck with that as you can rest assured that while you’re working hard in trying to attract customers your competitors will be sitting back and letting social networking do the work for them. User reviews, positive/negative comments and good old fashioned conversations are exactly what’s required to engage and learn from your customer base which is always best practice.
Takeaway: real people buy real products so make sure you include relevant social buttons on each and every one of your product pages.
It’s all very well having something to sell online but if your customers are let down by your site’s lack of tools, e-commerce engine and platform functionality then you’re pretty much sailing without any wind. Using the best technology that your budget allows is exactly what you need to be doing at the design, development and operating stages and scrimping on technology is not what you should be thinking about if you’re selling online.
Takeaway: technology needs to be treated as just as important a facet as any other element of your online marketing mix.
Song and dance
It maybe a bit scary to take a peek at just how many other online businesses you find yourself up against but keeping your site under the radar is definitely not the best way of attracting potential customers. Get involved, get social and just make a song and dance about your site and your products because there’s nothing that beats good old-fashioned marketing so get out there and shout from the rooftops.
Takeaway: get back to basics and make sure you do a little every day to get your name, your brand and your product to the right people.
What’s left to do?
Once you’ve got your site up and running in terms of design, content and e-commerce technology then you may think that the only job left to do is to sit back and wait for the cash to come rolling in however, of course, you’d be quite mistaken. Now is the time to analyse, tweak and test new methods of converting visits to sales and if you don’t like experimenting or you fail to see the point of comparing what works and what doesn’t then employ someone who does.
Final takeaway: improving a customer experience is an on-going process and will inevitably lead to more sales and help to expand your online business.