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Are you listening to your customers?

Need to make more out of your ecommerce business?

Going after better conversion rates is often more cost-effective than trying to chase after more web traffic. Here are some proven ways that you can make your sales funnel more compelling, and convert casual shoppers into committed brand advocates.

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Image credit: Stock Snap

1. Better product images & photography

Sloppy imagery is bad for your conversion rates, as well as your brand reputation.

Visually compelling imagery is one of the top expectations that ecommerce customers have of any store – make sure that you have plenty of meaningful and on-brand images. Visuals don’t just belong on product pages, they should be dotted around everywhere on your store –  from hero images to social media banners.

  • You want imagery that’s aspirational and tells a story, but at the same time you want imagery that’s actually representative of your products. Balance out the ratio between attractive storytelling images with detailed 360 degree images of products. The wrong kind of product imagery could result in more returns and bad reviews.
  • Image quality is super important for conversions – amateurish photos and sloppy photo editing will devalue your store and product offering.
  • Make sure that the customer images you use are inclusive – include a wide variety of customers that truly represent your entire customer base.
  • Product videos are great – an online video loop as a background to a web page is a fun way to engage the eye; whereas as an in-depth product tutorial can help you convince sceptical buyers. Just make sure that using video doesn’t slow your site down, and use video transcripts for search engines.

2. Frictionless checkout journey

Checkout is important – but the journey to checkout actually starts WAY before someone reaches for their credit card.

  • Make sure that your journey to checkout is as frictionless as possible, and that you’re using the right visuals AND copy to psychologically encourage sales. You can use plain urgency if you like – but there are plenty of other sales strategies that incentivize conversions like emotional language and personalization.
  • Have you heard of hedonistic shoppers? Many transactions don’t end up with a check out first time round. Don’t be disheartened by cart abandonments, some are only natural; but do try to investigate their root cause. Make sure you have a proper cart abandonment strategy with emails, pop ups, and saved customer data (migrate shopping cart items to a wishlist if you need to). These can help you dramatically improve conversion rates and sales figures.
  • Always provide guest and social media sign in options for those shoppers who don’t like to create accounts with you first time round. (Integrating with social media APIs is a great way to capture more customer data, helping you with retargeting and personalization).
  • Make sure that there is an easy way for customers to save payment details – including saving multiple addresses and payment cards.

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There is a reason why fast checkout works – just look at the big players. Amazon make buying from them almost too easy – their checkout is almost instantaneous, but event that’s not enough. You can default your delivery and payment options to make their super fast checkout even faster. Amazon is the gold standard of checkout speed you should aim for in  order to maximize conversions.

  • You need a checkout that works well on mobile too – test your checkout process on different devices.
  • Does your checkout become unusable when things go wrong? Be careful with this one – user studies have shown that web users don’t always fill in forms in the way that you’d expect. Any error messages that come up – make sure they are easy to understand and fix. (There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a fruitless checkout battle when you didn’t realize you had to drop your number’s area code).
  • Make it obvious how to modify shopping baskets, what final delivery fees are going to be, and whether the payment has been processed.
  • Use a custom landing page post-sale that thanks people for their business. Maybe include a personalized share incentive too – like our page for 20% off next time, share your purchase on Instagram for a chance to win, join our VIP subscriber list etc.

3. Targeted landing pages

A landing page is a page that’s designed to sell by offering targeted user value. It’s important that you’re speaking to users in their own language and on their terms. Landing pages are ideal for conversions – you’re talking to a captive audience.

Have you approached your landing pages strategically? Targeted landing pages are a great way to drive relevant search traffic, and they are fantastic for your user funnel.

  • No matter what you’re selling, a salesy landing page is definitely worth investing in. Whether your strategy is to drive traffic to an offer page, a seasonal product, or a category page – keep your language user-focused.

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 Shopify do a great job of selling their ecommerce product with targeted landing pages (their ‘flowers page’ pictured above). On the landing page, relevant imagery and keywords keep the user zoomed in on the task at hand – selling flowers online. There are no distractions or irrelevant content to distract and confuse the user. These kind of super niche landing pages are a great ecommerce conversion strategy that you can easily scale up or down.

  • Landing pages are often a must for PPC and email campaigns: they help you maximize campaign ROI.
  • Get good at sales-based copywriting, but keep things subtle. Don’t overdo your landing pages. Be careful with too many pop ups or interstitials – it’s something search engines are starting to crack down on.
  • Need a quick landing page solution? Instapage might be your answer.

4. Copy review

Many ecommerce stores are plagued with thin content and bad copy – upgrade yours to beat the competition.

  • Small copy matters. Terms & conditions, error messages, form fields – make sure all of this is on-brand and of a high standard. Don’t confuse the user with mismatched copy and content.
  • Review your calls to action – are they compelling and unique? ‘Buy now’ isn’t always the best thing to put into a button.
  • Bland and repeat copy is a conversion killer – keep things unique and don’t just copy factory descriptions of products – be more ambitious. Stuck for ideas? Go to social media and user forums to monitor customer conversations. (Unique product descriptions will not only help the user, but they will help you stand out in a sea of gray product copy).
  • Need help with writing? You can hire a professional copywriter, or then use tools like Grammarly to help you improve your own writing!

5. Build an email list

List building will help you create a brand culture around your store. Don’t just focus on converting people who are right in front of you – think down the line to how you can convert people over and over again for years to come! Long term relationships come down to offering value with great content, not just hard-selling. Here are some design ideas to help you create great emails.

  • When you build an email list, you are building a community. Approach it carefully and don’t fill your community with trash. Personalized offers are great, but don’t overdo promotional posts and emails.
  • Use email as a way to communicate with customers – send them birthday treats, ask them for reviews, and ask them how they’re genuinely finding their products.
  • Make leaving your list easy, but include a whimsical message to make people laugh when they unsubscribe! Dial down the negativity and create a positive brand culture with your emails.

6. Keep testing it

Conversion rates fluctuate, so it can be hard to find a sensible baseline for your store.

The key to conversion rate optimization is constantly testing your store and tweaking it, as well as analyzing user metrics on a regular basis.

  • A/B tests are a conversion rate optimization basic and an essential ecommerce strategy. Just make sure that you test things in isolation to keep the data clean.
  • Get to know your store’s analytics intimately – keep an eye out for sudden changes and dips in visits and engagement metrics. Could it be a problem with your design or copy? Has anything changed?
  • Refine your digital strategy and feed user data back into creating better buyer personas, segmenting your email list, and posting relevant offers at peak times.

 Summary

Conversions are something that you should always be refining and tweaking – they are your connection to your customer satisfaction levels. Learn how to listen to your customers better and use social media and real conversations as a basis for improving things. What conversion killer do you want to see eradicated?

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About the author

Patrick Foster

I am a ecommerce specialist. Whether it’s conversions, copy, or sales; I help ecommerce brands troubleshoot things that are important for their businesses.

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