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8 tips to increase your ecommerce conversion rates

Release Date

24 April 2013

In today’s economic times it takes more than just a good looking website to convert visitors to your online shop into actual sales.  Here are 8 tips that will help increase the conversion rates of your ecommerce site.

1. Make your site easy to navigate

A clear layout is vital when it comes to selling a product in a retail store.  If a customer walked into a shop and found it was cluttered and messy it is likely that they will not make a purchase.

The same concept applies to an ecommerce site – customers need to be able to easily navigate the site to find the product they are looking for.  Cluttered, difficult to use websites will cause confusion and frustration to your potential online customer.

Ensure your site has clear and logical categories that are easy to navigate.  Include relevant pictures that provide a visual reference and a search function for added usability.  Finally, try to put yourself in the users shoes!

2. Include detailed information

Having detailed descriptions and product images is essential for an online store.  Customers are not going to buy a product they know nothing about and haven’t seen, so you wouldn’t expect someone to buy a product online with no images or information!

It is very important to include as much detail as possible about each product - the more the customer knows, the more likely it is they will proceed with the purchase of items from your site.

3. Give your customers reasons to trust you

The internet can be a scary place for business to take place.  Nobody wants to spend money on websites that show no reasons for them to trust them. If a customer has any doubt over the legitimacy of the store it is quite easy for them to take their business to your competitors.

Give your customers reasons to trust you! Include testimonials and awards on your page to show that your ecommerce store is a legitimate site; implement a certified shopping cart so your customers know their bank details are safe from hackers.

Using live chat software on your website to immediately respond to questions puts a personable face to your company and makes it easier for you and your customers to do business and further builds your customer relationships.

4. Ensure your site is mobile friendly

Avoiding mobile friendly ecommerce stores is no longer an option.  For ecommerce merchants it’s not good enough to have an ecommerce website, they also require a ecommerce mobile site too!

However squeezing pages down can create a terrible user experience and as a result it can cause a much lower conversion rate from mobile devices.

It is important to keep mobile ecommerce sites very user friendly, you have to  understand that most of the time a user will be using their mobile device for ecommerce while travelling. Minimizing the amount of input fields required  decreases the hassle of data entry which can be a pain on mobile devices.

Keeping your mobile site similar to the parent site is very important as it   makes both your sites recognizable.  Try and keep certain components universal so users will know where they can find what they are looking for.

Customers gain confidence from websites that follow the same design  conventions. Therefore consistencies in things such as colour, font and button  tiles are a must!

5. Include video’s to improve the customer experience

Photos are great for showing off the product, but everything indicates videos are the way of the future. Depending on your business type, video can be very unique and beneficial to include to describe your products.

Including video however can be costly, so when first implementing video use it on some of your best sellers and track sales to determine the change in sales volume for those products to determine if there is any change in sales.

It is also recommended to post your videos to a third party site (e.g. YouTube) rather than your own site and embedding the video as this will greatly reduce hosting costs and also give you social andSEO benefits.

6. Make the payment function easy

When a customer finally proceeds to the payment of an item it is very beneficial for your store to make it as quick and easy as possible, having short forms to fill out. Remember to stick to the essentials.

Tip: No fax, no salutation. Just stick with the basics!

A must have feature is the ability to check the box “shipping address same as the billing address”. Customers do not want the added hassle of filling out more forms than they are required.

7. Upsell, upsell, upsell

A great feature of ecommerce stores is the ability to upsell items with relative ease, however it is important to upsell products that are related to the product the customer is purchasing, the products should be at least 60% cheaper than the product they just added to their shopping cart.

Apple is a great example of a good way to upsell your products - when you buy an iPad, Apple will offer you the chance to buy a smart cover for a relatively lower price than if you purchased separately.

Tip: If the customer is buying a business shirt, upsell them with a tie.

8. Make sure there is a call to action!

Call to actions on your site should be something that your customer never has to search hard for.  If they can’t find your “add to cart” or “checkout” buttons, you’re failing miserably.

Tip: Add to Cart & Checkout are the two most important buttons on your site!

The call to action buttons need to be big, bold and prominent on your page. You should always avoid text links, the wording and colour are important, but you need to test to see what works best for your industry.

Ensuring your e-commerce site maximises its selling potential is easy as long as you ensure you have the basics in place.  Follow the 8 steps above to create a successful and well-structured website that provides the customer with all of the information and authentication they require to make an informed and trusted purchase decision. 

Jessica Blake is a Senior Marketing Consultant with Australian Business Consulting & Solutions Marketing team. If you have any questions, please contact her on 02 9458 7678 or jessica.blake@australianbusiness.com.au

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