So you’ve nailed attracting visitors to your site, yet your sales are not where you’d hoped they’d be… If you have an online store, it’s not enough to simply get people to your site. You want to turn passive shoppers into active shoppers. But how do you do that? Conversion rate optimization is a structured and systematic approach to improving the performance of your website (Qualaroo.com). It can be as subtle as getting a customer to click on a link, sign up for your newsletter or make a purchase! We’re bringing it back to basics with a look at how to make the most out of your current website traffic.
What is Conversion Optimization?
The percentage of people that complete whatever action you desire is known as the conversion rate and the method of maximizing this rate is known as conversion optimization.
According to eConsultancy, conversion optimization is seen to be the top digital-related priority, only second to ‘targeting and personalization’.
Why is conversion optimization so important?
Well the obvious reason is to increase sales; the more people that actually buy something, the more money you generate. It also increases your ROI. It is a cost effective way of acquiring customers since it doesn’t require you to attract more visitors. Most likely, you are already paying for some sort of advertising. By capitalizing the traffic that it brings you, you will get a better bang for your buck.
Here are 5 ways that you can optimize your conversion rate:
1. BE CLEAR ON YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION
Your value proposition summarizes all the costs and benefits of buying your product. If a consumer perceived the benefits to outweigh the costs, they will be motivated to become a customer. In order to optimize your conversion rate, you should emphasize the most important parts of your value proposition. Show why you are better than your competitors!
Do you have low prices? High quality service? Most comfortable workout wear? In the example above, ASOS’ value proposition is to provide a one stop destination for all things related to fashion. Their competitive edge is that they sell various products including clothing, accessories, and beauty items from several brands. This allows their customers to do all of their shopping at one site. It is important that you understand what you’re offering as your value proposition and make that clear to consumers.
2. USE EFFECTIVE AND RELEVANT VISUALS
A picture really is worth a thousand words, so the right visuals can be effective in conveying a message regarding that value proposition we just talked about – it can explain why consumers should buy your product. For example, if the aesthetic of a product is a selling point, it will be helpful to have a picture of it rather than just a description.
For many furniture shoppers, it is usually very important to actually see what they are buying so that they can envision it in their homes. Ikea does a really great job of using images to showcase their products. For example, the image above not only lets shoppers know that the couch is grey, but what shade of grey it is and how it would look in a room. Images can also create a perception of ownership. You can learn more about creating product images on your Magento site here.
3. HAVE A CLEAR CONVERSION FUNNEL
The conversion funnel is the pathway that a visitor takes to complete a conversion. A typical conversion funnel involves:
Viewing the site
Viewing a listing
Viewing a product
Adding product to basket
As the name suggests, at each stage of the funnel there is usually a reduction in volume. In order to optimize the number of people that get through the funnel, make the selling process as easy as possible for the consumer.
You can see in the photo above that Mackage makes the check out process super simple. It shows what is in your cart while you are still shopping and doesn’t redirect the page when you add items. They also allow you to checkout as a guest which don’t require you to register an account. Guest checkouts speed up the process and are great for retaining customers that may have otherwise left.
4. CREATE URGENCY
Why should the consumer buy the product now? Consumers can be encouraged to complete a purchase through incentives or perception of rarity. Examples of how to create urgency include; free gift with purchase, limited time offer deals, promotional discounts, or a free delivery option.
Ardene has done a great job of creating a sense of urgency with the use of flash sales. Since the sale is only live for a few days, it encourages consumers to purchase their products sooner rather than later. By creating urgency in the mind of consumers, their emotional reactions will override rational buying behaviour.
5. Optimize your landing page.
A landing page is any web page that a user lands on after clicking a hyperlink. As you can imagine, it is often the page that visitors form their first impressions on, therefore it is important to optimize it. This is the page where many of the techniques discussed above should be applied.
The Lavalife homepage above includes all of these elements. As mentioned earlier, visuals can really add value to your product/service when aesthetics are important. Physical attractiveness is definitely a factor in dating, so the images of actual Lavalife members verifies to their customers that meeting attractive singles is a real possibility. The website also has their registration form on their homepage which makes the conversion funnel much shorter. You want to captivate your visitor so that they stay and eventually converts into a customer.
Experiment, Measure, Grow
These are just a few tips to optimize your conversion rate. There are definitely plenty more out there, so experiment and figure out what works for you. Every business is different so not every technique will necessarily work for you. Optimizing means making the best out of what you have, so don’t use these techniques just for the sake of using it, use them effectively! Make sure they add value and encourage conversion! Also, continue to measure and analyze your efforts to continuously grow and keep up with the ever evolving eCommerce industry. Good luck!