Do you wish to increase the conversion rates for your e-commerce site? You cannot afford to skip or overlook even a single step if this is your goal. Every step the visitor takes while on your site has to gravitate towards making the final purchase. Yet this is easier said than done. It’s quite hectic to strike a successful balance between providing a path that clearly leads to conversion while also ensuring that the user enjoys the shopping experience maximally.
But, have no worries. We're here to help you. The following is a list of the best practices in helping optimize your e-commerce website for a targeted conversion path.
1. Use strategically placed CTAs
To be able to convert site traffic into sales, you need to create strategic call-to-action (CTA). CTAs are actually what enables you to change a site visitor to a client with minimum effort and time. Ensure that your ‘Add to Basket’ or ‘Buy Now’ button can be clearly distinguished from the rest of the content on a page so as to attract the attention of any guest. You can achieve this through the use of design elements or colors that contrast.
You will also need to keep the CTA wording as brief and attractive as possible. Make use of such phrases as ‘Checkout Now’, ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’. And while you are at it make a point of aligning the guest’s interest to the appropriate CTA. You could, for instance, use the ‘Read More’ caption on your content page while the ‘Buy Now’ button does well on the Product page.
You could also have a lot to gain if you created a sense of urgency on your site. This can be accomplished simply by changing the wording of your CTAs. For example, ‘Shop Now’ can accomplish a lot in getting the visitor to check out. Research has actually indicated that you can increase your conversion rates by a value of 332% by creating a sense of urgency in your site visitors.
2. Go for One-Click Checkout buttons
Website visitors are in the habit of abandoning their carts – if the checkout process proves to be too cumbersome and time-consuming. You might want to check this issue out if you hope to increase your conversion rates. Instead of putting a CTA on every item on your site (Properly placed) you can as well make use of the single click checkout button. This step is so effective that it has been implemented on Amazon with amazing results, although they lost their patent for it recently. But this is good news: you can also get to implement it without the risk of a copyright infringement.
By going for the one-click checkout system, you will drastically reduce the time taken by visitors to place their orders. And this is bound to work in your favor since it encourages them to keep coming back for more purchases.
By getting rid of the unnecessarily cumbersome traditional checkout steps, you will be able to increase the number of successful checkout conversions. You may also decide not to do away with the traditional checkout system, but ensure that the entire process is streamlined so that very minimal data input is required from the users.
3. Adopt the use of the Greenbar SSL
You can also drastically reduce instances of shopping cart abandonment by displaying the greenbar SSL on your site. This is usually employed in encrypting the users’ payment information so that hackers and scammers have a hard time stealing their information.
All major websites have the greenbar SSL. It is an indication of the website's trustworthiness and reputation. It is not only a crucial security detail for such sites but also a great visual cue to the would-be clients. Once they see it, they can trust that their private data is secured at all times when using your website.
This step is so important that Google has begun incorporating the websites with SSL certification in their SEO rankings. Such a certification will earn you a 5% increase in your SEO score with Google.
4. Incorporate proper payment channels
Bank transfers, direct debit e-invoices, digital wallets and digital currencies (e.g. Bitcoin) are among the numerous payment options available to online shoppers today. And you need to think of this market when coming up with payment methods to incorporate on your site. A report by Global Payments predicts that by the year 2019, such online transactions will take up to half of all e-commerce payments.
But it is virtually impossible to capture well over 200 payment methods on a single website. This can, however, be overcome by trying to understand your target market and then incorporate those that work well for them. The value of the products, for instance, may determine the payment method adopted. You can’t expect a site selling clothing with an average purchase being $100 to offer the same payment method with a software website whose average purchase is more than $500.
Research on the top three payment methods in your industry and use them on your site. This can guarantee you an increase in conversion by up to 30%. You will also need to put in place a mechanism to collect and analyze the data at the checkout point so that you make the necessary adjustments.
5. Go for company and/or product reviews
Do you want to convert those interested in your products to buyers? Then do a product or company review. The reason why potential buyers trust reviews so much is that they come from other buyers. And they get to know about the product and the service they reviewed from you as well.
The reviews can, therefore, be one of the greatest conversion tools. If you get to display reviews jest next to or below the product visitors can instantly see that you are a reliable seller and create in them a willingness to buy from you. Through research, it has been proven than 87% of online visitors actually believe as true the reviews they read from other buyers. And client recommendation has the potential to influence between 20 to 50% of all decisions to purchase.
All these are intended to lay the customers’ fears to rest. If there are no reviews, visitors tend to be suspicious. You can actually make it even better: get your customers to give immediate feedback regarding the quality of service rendered. And if you can optimize this so that it is the very first thing visitors see when they search for a product, the better it will be for you.
6. Incorporate Well-Selected Images
‘A picture is worth a 1000 words.’ The importance of this saying cannot be gainsaid. When trying to increase sales on your site, you would rather use excellent photos of the product than trying to describe it with so many words.
We all (humans) are visual beings by nature. We tend to check out the graphic elements before reading the accompanying text. Photos, pictures and other graphic aspects of a website are what actually attracts your attention in the first place.
When putting up a product on your site, ensure that you get the best quality photos from as many angles as possible. This will go a long way in guaranteeing the buyer that the product is genuine and of the best quality.
Badly developed images, lacking in detail and without a zoom function, in contrast, tend to raise more questions in the visitor’s mind. They are left wondering whether you are hiding something or whether the product is even genuine in the first place. And you can be sure that they will turn off even the most enthusiastic buyer.
Of all the visitors who browse through your pages, only 16% will actually read through the entire page. The rest (more than 75% will just skim through it). And there is another benefit: good quality images have higher chances of being circulated through social media as people share. Over 74% of those who make online purchases depend on their social media networks to provide them with information. So you need to take seriously the kind of images you use on your site.
7. Optimize for Mobile
Mobile gadgets are literally taking over the world. More than 50 percent of all internet users access it using their mobile handsets. You, therefore, have a lot to gain if your site is as mobile-friendly as possible.
The mobile handset is the definition of convenience. With it, users are assured of accomplishing tasks on the go. A larger part of the shopping carts abandoned was form mobile devices. Users generally expect pages to load faster on mobile than desktop gadgets. This means that if your page does not load up within 3 seconds when users want to check out, chances are high that they will discard the order. If you can optimize your website for mobile, you can be assured of higher conversion rates.
It would be even better if you simplify further the checkout process for mobile than for desktop. Because users are working with smaller screens, they will need as minimum distractions as possible. Make it simple so that visitors can visit your page, add their desired item to the cart, pay up and leave. You will have to get rid of all the unnecessary elements so that the user has a simple process to follow when checking out.
Think also of ways of reducing the page size when optimizing for mobile. The phone network is sometimes unreliable with the download speeds changing in a split second. This means that the pages will load faster even with the slowest internet connection. And the result will be a high rate of conversion which then increases your sales.
8. Well-crafted product descriptions.
You need effective product descriptions to be able to increase purchases and click-through rates. With the current exposure that users have so much information, clients may easily switch their attention elsewhere if your product descriptions are dull and boring.
You need to focus all your attention on your ideal client and speak to them in a language they can relate to. You want them to feel that you completely understand whatever they need, thereby attracting them to purchase from you.
To accomplish this, you need not burden yourself with those cliché phrases like ‘genuine’ and ‘excellent quality.’ All these should be captured by your amazing product images, efficient checkout system and proper website design. Trying too hard to convince a potential client may actually have the opposite effect: they may become suspicious of your intentions.
Remember to always keep your product descriptions sweet and concise. Website visitors will hardly spend a long time reading through bulky content. They will just skim through the first few lines and skip over the rest. Consider using the ‘Read More’ button if you really have much to tell them about the product. Alternatively, you can choose to go for bullet points.
9. Go for the minimalist design
The visitor to your website needs to have an easy time as they navigate from the homepage to the checkout. This will significantly reduce bounce rates and enhance conversion rates. Websites with complicated designs tend to have higher bounce rates and low conversion rates.
You might be wondering how you can go about redesigning your e-commerce website for minimal layout. Well, these simple guidelines can help you accomplish just that:
Remember, LESS IS MORE. If your product page can still function without the additional elements, then get rid of them.