Online shopping has revolutionised the way in which people purchase products and make buying decisions. The advantages are plain to see, not only can you make purchases from the comfort of your home, but you can also read reviews and compare competing products to ensure you choose the product that is most suited to your needs. However, online shopping can also be frustrating if the process isn’t user-friendly and effective.
Firstly, what is a conversion rate?
A conversion rate is determined by the percentage of unique website visitors who take a desired action, for example: purchase an item, click an advert, or sign up for your newsletter.
In this blog post I will highlight a number of ways that you can optimise your e-commerce website to increase conversion rates and make the buying experience as brilliant as possible for your visitors.
1. Place trust signals in prominent areas
The internet can be a frightening place for consumers to make purchases, especially if they’re unfamiliar with the process. Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned money on websites that don’t show any reasons for people to trust them. Think about it this way, if you were a consumer, would you purchase from your own website? If a potential consumer has any doubts over the legitimacy of your website then it’s pretty easy for them to take their business elsewhere, or in the worst-case scenario, to your closest competitor.
You can avoid losing potential sales and increase your conversion rates by giving your consumers valid reasons to trust your business. Below are five tips to create consumer trust:
A clear returns policy – This is an important one, mainly because consumers like to feel comfortable about what they have purchased, and most of that comfort stems from knowing they can contact you if there’s a problem. Your return policy should be unique, free from complicated jargon, and transparent.
Display your partners and affiliates – Having connections with other businesses and organizations will show potential customers that other people have trust in your business and the products you offer.
About us page – Websites with no information about their background are often regarded as faceless. The more information you provide about your business, the better! Tell potential consumers about your journey and core values, this is a perfect opportunity for you to show people why your business is better than your competitors.
Display Trustmark logos– It’s hugely important to display your payment gateway and SSL details as these are the first things that most consumers will look for. Some of the other trustmarks that consumers recognise are TRUSTe, BBB, Hacker Safe, McAfee Secure, VeriSign, Comodo and GeoTrust.
Contact details – Nothing raises alarm bells more than an e-commerce site without an address or phone number. A telephone number or consumer services email address should be prominent on the homepage so that visitors instantly know you are contactable.
2. Well written copy that is free from errors
Whether or not a potential consumer will trust the content on your website is largely based on whether the content is of good value and free of any spelling or grammatical errors. Potential customers may use this as a deciding factor as to whether or not they wish to give their personal information to you; websites with a poor standard of writing are often perceived as unreliable.
Also, well written content is an integral part of creating an engaging customer experience, as most website visitors will have very specific needs, requirements and information that they require before completing the call to action or making a purchase.
3. User-friendly navigation
If your consumers are unable to navigate around your website easily and intuitively they will quickly lose patience. Avoid using abstract categorizations but also try to avoid being overly specific. For a website with large amounts of products, consider offering a search function to improve usability. Try placing yourself in your consumers’ shoes, how easy is it to find what you are looking for?
Your goal should be to provide intuitive navigation via well organised categories that lead to the correct pages. User friendly navigation should effortlessly guide a visitor through the entire process of online shopping, whether searching or buying; your consumers should always know what their next step is.
4. Use Google Analytics to monitor the performance of each page
Google Analytics is great for monitoring your website's performance; it provides you with direct facts on what is happening on your site. Monitoring your website's performance via Google Analytics will allow you to highlight any weak points and target areas where changes are needed to improve conversion rates.
Check Google Analytics and compile a list of any pages that have a high bounce rate percentage. Perhaps one of your pages is ranking high for an irrelevant keyword, resulting in an influx of visitors. If this is the case, you will either have to amend the content or change the keywords that are optimized for that specific page.
5. Make the checkout process quick and painless
- Allow consumers to purchase without registering - you want to capture as much consumer data as possible, but many potential customers will want to abandon the checkout process, rather than fill out a lengthy registration form.
- All costs should be transparent – Be sure to show the consumer all costs that are included with the purchase such as packing, taxes, postage, etc. If a customer sees a multitude of charges being added towards the end of the buying process, they may feel cheated and abandon the shopping cart.
- Keep the ‘Back’ button fully functional – The back button is one of the most frequently used buttons in an internet browser, so it’s very likely that users will employ it during the checkout process on your website. Some websites disable the back button functionality using error messages and redirects; this is something that negatively affects the buying experience of users.
- Allow your customers to easily modify the order – Everybody makes mistakes, and very often people will add the wrong products to their shopping cart or change their mind. By making things easy to modify, you will avoid frustrating potential consumers during the checkout process, this will go a long way in winning repeat business.
Purchasing products online can be a daunting prospect for consumers, yet as shown above there are effective ways to create trust and make the buying experience as pleasant and straight forward as possible!
If you'd like some help with increasing your e-commerce sales, get in touch with one of our experts below!