A good business website generates traffic. However, it’s what you do with that traffic that really matters. Why? Well, businesses rely on sales to succeed. And if you run an e-commerce website, where all your interactions happen online, you need to turn your flow of visitors into purchases.
This leads us to three important aspects of a typical business website; conversion, conversion rate, and conversion rate optimization (CRO).
- Conversion refers to when a site visitor successfully undergoes the whole process, from entering a website to purchasing.
- The conversion rate is the number of customer purchases relative to the number of potential customers visiting the website. For instance, if you have ten sales for every 30 visits, your conversion rate is 33%.
- Finally, conversion rate optimization (CRO) refers to the process of improving the conversion rate.
Unfortunately, online stores with a high flow of visitors but few sales (low conversion rate) are not uncommon. In fact, you probably own one, which points to mistakes in your conversion process and CRO efforts. In this article, we will be discussing these mistakes and what you can do to turn your store’s fortunes around and generate more revenue.
99% of your potential customers will probably never see your face or shake your hand to close a deal. So, what lends your store credibility is its design and usability. Is the design appealing? How responsive is the UI? How cluttered (or not) are the product pages?
Customers subconsciously go through these questions as they browse your website. And if they don’t like the answers, most will exit the site without making a purchase. Here some are stats to aid in understanding statistical significance of website usability;
- 47% of people expect a web page to load in under two seconds.
- 39% stop browsing a website if images take too long to load or won’t load at all.
- 38% will leave if the layout is unattractive.
- 40% of visitors never return to a site because it was hard to navigate
Website usability is a complex process that depends on many variables, including the user interface, design, load speeds, and mobile responsiveness. Therefore, to improve the usability and website performance;
- Modify the website’s code and switch to a faster server to optimize the speed
- Use a simple design with a convenient and user-friendly interface.
- Develop a mobile-friendly website since a significant proportion of your customers will be visiting on mobile.
Customer registration allows you to collect information vital to marketing campaigns. These include the customer’s details, contacts, and shoppers’ preferences. And while most customers don’t mind creating a store account, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they enjoy it. So, they won’t hesitate to exit your store without buying when they encounter an over-complicated sign-up.
Many stores, especially those where user registration is mandatory before making the first purchase, push away potential customers this way. To avoid making these types of CRO mistakes;
- Use a simple and clear registration screen that asks as few questions as possible.
- Alternatively, allow your visitors to sign up using their social media accounts. This method is the most convenient and eliminates the need for boring questions.
- You can also make the sign-up process optional and allow unregistered customers to purchase as Guests.
- If losing the customer’s valuable data seems too big of a trade-off, prompt unregistered users to create an account based on the provided information during checkout.
Shoppers in an online store can neither touch nor try the products on sale. Therefore, they rely on images and videos to give them a visual representation of the goods they are about to buy. The better the images, the more likely a potential customer is to make a purchase.
So, if you’re having trouble getting sales, it may be because your product images don’t quite capture the appeal of your goods. Therefore;
- Don’t take the product photos if your photography is average. Rather, employ a professional product photographer to do it for you or seek image enhancement services for existing photos.
- You can take this a step further and photograph the product in an environment that’s associated with the product. For instance, cutlery products will look natural in a kitchen setting. This psychological trick increases the appeal of your images.
- As a bonus, provide well-shot and edited short videos of some of your products.
While images attract customers to the product’s page, descriptions give them a brief idea of what it offers. Thus, product descriptions are an important conversion tool, especially if the visitor is unsure about buying or comparing products from other brands.
However, many e-commerce stores don’t get their product descriptions rights. In most cases, they will either post an incomplete product description or not post one at all. This is bad because statistics show that 98% of shoppers have on multiple occasions been dissuaded from completing a purchase because of incomplete or incorrect product descriptions.
- Provide short product descriptions (around100 words) next to the image of the product. Each description should clearly communicate the benefits of the product and any other key features.
- You can also include a more detailed description, but this is not a must.
Unless your store is as big as Amazon, you’re not selling to everyone. There is a specific demographic that is most likely to buy your products or services. Therefore, running an e-commerce store without knowing your buyers is a huge mistake. It means that your marketing efforts, social media promotions, and SEO are not resonating with the correct audience. Thus, they may give you good traffic, but the conversion rates will remain low and the bounce rate high.
If this is killing your sales, you need to step back and find your target audience. To do this;
- Asses which demographic benefits the most from your products based on their features. Is it school-going children, working adults, sportsmen, and women, or youngsters?
- Research on their typical behaviors. Then, use this information to craft your customer profile and develop content and marketing campaigns that help you reach this customer base specifically.
You probably ask your customers to leave a review after every purchase. The belief here is that customer reviews and ratings lure more prospective customers to the store and convince them to purchase. But here is where a pretty common mistake creeps in.
Many business owners assume that reviews are only there for the customers. Thus, they don’t pay close attention to them. And if they do, it’s only because of a negative review, and their response will be particularly hostile.
Fact: From a sample size of pretty much the whole world, only 25% of businesses engage in social listening. Such businesses enjoy an excellent reputation that gives them a big competitive advantage over ventures that dont listen to their customers.
So, if you want to join this elite class and improve your customer conversion rates;
- Read and respond to all reviews, whether positive or negative. Then, with the positive reviews, respond and show gratitude to the customers.
- As for the negative reviews, respond to them promptly and admit to the mistakes you’re responsible for. Don’t retreat to the company policy; rather, add a human touch to your comments and provide proper solutions to problems posed.
Marketing campaigns are all about getting your customers to do something. This is typically done using a call-to-action button at the end of blog posts, landing pages, reviews, product descriptions, or hot-to guides. However, many small businesses, around 70%, don’t have clear CTAs on their websites. This is a rather surprising fact since CTAs have an enormous statistical significance; statistics show that 83% to 93% of each post’s leads come from call to actions within the post.
So, it’s quite probable that your low conversion is due to the lack of clear CTAs in your posts and marketing campaigns. To boost your conversion rates;
- Place the CTA in a visible location, like at the bottom of the landing page, just above or below the fold.
- Try to make your CTA as convincing as possible by using the right language and persuasive colors.
- If you have video content, make sure to use Verbal CTAs to persuade your site visitors.
Few customers want to browse through categories of products manually. This is especially the case if you have a relatively large selection of goods. Therefore, the search tool has become an important feature of any e-commerce store out there. It eases the shopping experience of visitors, increasing the online store’s conversion rate.
On the flip side, poor onsite search dissuades many visitors from purchasing products. It may be that the tool takes too long to display search results or doesn’t display meaningful results at all.
If you notice such issues with your store, you should introduce;
- Search autocomplete, which allows your site to display results based on the entered text instantly.
- Search suggestions that display products similar to the desired one if it’s not available.
- Search autocorrect, which ignores common spelling mistakes when typing.
The checkout process is the last step of the sales funnel. However, it is just as important as other steps and can cost you significantly if not done correctly. This is usually the case with checkouts that have long drop-down menus and request unnecessary customer information.
To avoid this, try to simplify your checkout page. Don’t ask for unnecessary info; provide the most common payment methods and incorporate automatic detection where possible. If you want to add a couple more payment options to allow for flexibility, make sure to provide clear instructions and requirements.
Speaking of payment methods, there are many hackers and fraudsters waiting to get their hands on your payment information. Therefore, online shoppers are cautious about providing such information, even to e-commerce stores. You may be the most trustworthy of persons, but if your store doesn’t reflect that, you’re likely to experience high cart abandonment rates.
So, how do you establish trust with your website’s visitors? Well;
- Have an expert test your website’s security. Fix all the failed tests until your website passes everything. Then, add security badges to the checkout page. This communicates to the store’s visitors that each transaction is secure.
- Only use reliable payment options.
Another conversion killer and a leading cause of cart abandonment is the lack of adequate shipping options in many e-commerce stores. For instance, stores with few shipping zones or those charging separately for each shipping method typically experience reduced conversion rates.
As such, you need to optimize your shipping options as much as possible. To do this;
- Provide an option for free shipping alongside the paid options
- Split the shipping service by zones and diversify your shipping schedules and pricing according to these zones.
Customers typically have questions about your products and the operating policy of the store. And if they can’t find the answers or have to wait for a long time to receive one, they won’t be buying anything from the store anytime soon. Therefore, you must provide the necessary materials or support to answer these questions.
You can do this by;
- Having a FAQ section that addresses or the commonly asked questions in high-performing pages.
- Incorporating a live chat space where customers can ask questions and get quick answers.
Make sure that both the FAQ section and live chat prompt are placed within the customers’ view.
The lack of promotions and special sales doesn’t do your conversion rates justice. If you display the same fixed prices all year round, your sales are likely to remain constant or even drop in some cases. Therefore;
- Use promotions and offers to attract the attention of shoppers who regularly come to your store and leave without making a purchase.
- You can also use personalized promotions to add a special personal touch. This will help retain regular shoppers.
These common CRO mistakes may be killing the sales of your store. Fortunately, you can do some optimizing by yourself. Start by conducting some preliminary research to identify the common mistakes in your store. Then, make small changes to your website and use google analytics to track your progress.
But, if it proves too hard to get your store to pass all the key metrics, you can always hire a freelance CRO expert from Legiit to guide your CRO process.