Conversions are the number one goal of anyone who runs an eCommerce site. After all, without any conversions, it’s extremely difficult to turn a profit. When your conversion rate is struggling, it can be difficult to see where you should improve so that this metric climbs. Making sense of all the metrics available to you can be confusing, and sometimes you just need a helping hand to point out a few areas you can focus on. So, not to worry, we’ve got your back on this one. Here are five primary focus points with ways to increase conversions on your Shopify-based eCommerce site.
1. Keep It Simple
When it comes to online shopping, almost every shopper wants one thing (besides the best deal possible): they want their shopping experience to be easy and simple. But when it comes to making your customer’s shopping experience smooth and streamlined, you can be your own worst enemy. Consider all the stumbling blocks that you can place in your customer’s path as they traverse through your sales funnel. These can be unnecessary distractions or steps in the process, or even expecting your customer to do something that you can do yourself.
For example, consider your primary landing page. What does it look like? Where are your calls to action? It’s natural that you should have one call asking for a contact email and showcase your sales, but what else is there to distract your visitors?
When it comes to unneeded steps, take a hard look at your checkout process. Do you allow for guest checkouts? Are there any steps in the process that aren’t needed? Checkout isn’t the time to ask your customer if they want to sign up for notifications. Making sure that their checkout is as smooth and easy as possible will reduce the number of abandoned carts.
One of the most frustrating parts of creating a new account is creating a password that fits in with some predetermined format. Don’t make the format too difficult or your customers will have a hard time either creating or remembering a password. While security is and should be a concern, the onus shouldn’t be on the customer completely. In a conversion-competitive world, who should bear the difficulty in the process? The customer, or you as the store owner?
2. Not Every Conversion Has to Be a Sale
In an ideal world everyone who comes to your Shopify store will make a purchase. But in reality, that just isn’t going to happen. And while that’s a little disappointing to be sure, you can still focus on other, smaller conversions that will turn first-time visitors into that important returning visit metric.
Don’t forget that conversions are all about getting your visitor to do something or interact with your website in some way. Not every process needs to be about making a sale. Getting an email address from your prospective customer is a victory in itself.
This site has a small process funnel at the bottom of their front page that asks for an email for a newsletter as well as deals and contests. This is an attractive ROI for someone who may have heard of their coffee but isn’t ready to buy just yet. And for Death Wish Coffee, they have a customer who is likely to return and make a purchase especially after receiving notification of an awesome sale.
3. Everyone Loves Free Things
Almost every shopper in your store is going to be interested in a bargain. This doesn’t mean that you need to be giving away your products for free. Instead, you can take your cue from some of the huge eCommerce giants of the day. Amazon offers free shipping for Prime customers, and most online stores offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount. But rather than restrict your free shipping to a certain price point, offer free shipping for everything in your store. Of course, this means you’ll have to price the delivery fees into your products, but that will reduce the number of abandoned carts due to sticker shock over shipping fees.
Along with free shipping, you should also be offering a guarantee for your products. After all, if it’s the first time a customer has purchased from you, they may have some reservations. What if this product doesn’t fit, doesn’t work, or they just don’t like it? Depending on your price point, this hesitation can lead to cart abandonment as the buyer talks themselves out of making a purchase.
4. Take Advantage of Technological Advances
Every year brings a shift in shopping demographics. This includes not just who your customers are but also how they are shopping. Consider that in the past three years there has been a tremendous shift in eCommerce, with increasing numbers of shoppers using mobile devices to make purchases.
This shift required that eCommerce stores take steps to make sure that they weren’t being left behind. That meant ensuring that pages are optimized for mobile browsing. As more time passed, more data became available to show the shopping habits of this new demographic, enabling online stores to tailor their sites to take advantage of this new information.
In 2017, a huge shopping trend began. Market penetration of voice-activated in-home devices began to grow significantly. (According to VoiceLabs, there are nearly 33 million new voice-first devices shipped in 2017.) Along with the presence of Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices, came the advent of voice search. While the Amazon Alexa naturally points toward the Amazon shopping ecosystem, Google Home does not.
This is significant because a study by Linc and Rakuten showed that customers who made purchases with the Echo tended to spend significantly more- in some cases, as much as 13.5% more. Additionally, people who voice-search for a product are more likely to make that conversion immediately.
So, while your site is probably optimized for mobile search and shopping, it’s unlikely that you’ve even thought about making it accessible for voice purchases. There are several developers’ kits available for both Google and Amazon that will let you optimize your site for voice search and shopping.
5. Research and Experimentation
When it comes to increasing your conversions, you can try to include all the bits and pieces into your store and hope for the best. But chasing the latest trick or technique is a futile game because there will always be a new tip. And quite honestly, what’s working for someone’s candle store may not work for your sneaker shop. Instead, you need to drive your conversion growth through the time-honored traditions of research and experimentation.
As a store owner, you have a bundle of metrics delivered to you all the time. When you get your metrics, you need to take a hard look at them to see where your problem areas are. Are you seeing an uptick in exits from certain product pages? Are customers landing on different pages and bouncing from them? Your specific situation is going to be unique, and you’ll need to identify what problem area you want to look at.
Once you’ve identified an area that you think can be improved, you need to make an experiment and test it. A great way to test changes is to do a simple A/B test, where half of your visitors see one thing and the other half see another. With that in mind, you can see which is generating better results and then roll that change out to the rest of your website.
Once you have data from your experiment, that research will allow you to refine your experiments, which will lead to more testing. It’s a never-ending cycle, but it will help you to grow your conversions steadily with results that will work for you, instead of chasing the next shiny nugget.
eCommerce is a fiercely competitive world and conversions are its bread and butter. Here are a few things you can do immediately to help increase your conversion rates by focusing on ensuring your customers are having the best possible experience on your site.
- Look at your bounce and exit metrics to determine where your customers are leaving. If you notice a page that has a high number of customers leaving, give that page a hard look to see why people are bailing at that point. It can be something as simple as a video that is delaying loading times.
- Do you allow for a guest checkout? If not, why not? While capturing an email and having someone create an account is great for return visits, it shouldn’t be at the expense of a current sale. A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.
- Get rid of the Captcha. This countermeasure is to prevent spam, but the same outcome can be completed with using a honey trap in your website’s backend. Having to decipher those fuzzy numbers and letters, especially on a mobile device, is a pain.
- Use Shopify’s ability to create a pop-up to your advantage. If your page recognizes that the customer is about to abandon your site, a pop-up that offers a discount may provide incentive to stay. At the very least, you can ask for an email address so you can notify them of future sales. Remember that any conversion is a good thing.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with your site. There should always be some form of A/B testing on your site so you can continue to focus in on what will help you capture and retain more customers. There is no such thing as bad knowledge in the world of eCommerce.
Andrew Maff is the Director of Marketing and Operations at Seller’s Choice (https://sellerschoice.agency/) , a full-service digital marketing agency for e-commerce sellers. Seller’s Choice provides uniquely personalized marketing and managed services for digital marketplace sellers, e-commerce merchants, and brand builders worldwide.
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