July 3, 2014
Turn More Visitors into Customers: 10 Tweaks
If you’re reading this you may simply be a digital marketing nut in the pursuit of digital marketing perfection, or you may be the owner of an eCommerce website looking to increase your bottom line. All eCommerce businesses should be aware of how many people actually interact with their site, as opposed to just visiting. In simple terms, everybody who runs a website should be able to answer yes to the following question… do you know your conversion rate? If the answer is no, you might as well stop reading this article, smash up your computer and fire all of your staff in a whirlwind of ignorance and smoke.
Whether the goal of your website is to make a sale, gather newsletter subscribers or raise enquiries, research by Google reveals that 96% of your visitors will leave your site without completing a conversion. Although people may flood to your website in high numbers this isn’t necessarily reflected in your profit figures.
It is not always about offering cheap prices, often the customer is ready to purchase but requires an extra ounce of reassurance. Browsers are constantly asking the following questions:
“Why should I buy from this website instead of their competitors?
Should I wait until next month?
Can this site be trusted?”
Optimising your site is a crucial way of turning an uncertain customer into a certain sale. We’re not talking about drastic changes, just a series of small alterations which could make a big difference. For our latest talk in the Reload Digital Breakfast Series we outlined 10 tweaks which will give your site more conversions, ultimately meaning more profits. And, because we’re nice people, we’ve kindly written-up our nuggets of wisdom for you to peruse at your leisure.
Tweak 1: Shout About Your USPs
Whether you offer unbelievable prices or incredible customer service, have your USPs front and center, ensuring they are the first thing your customer lays eyes on.
Examples are good so we’ve got lots of them for you. Surfdome know exactly what they’re doing. They make it clear they have over 900 brands, free delivery and free UK returns.
This is not so good. Although Two Seasons have a visually fantastic website, their USPs are much too hidden.
If your business is able to offer something free of charge- whether it’s free delivery, free returns, free samples/gifts, free personalisation, free gift wrapping, free consultations, free quotes or free upgrades – SHOUT ABOUT IT! If you won’t, why should anybody else.
Tweak 2: Shout About Them Again
Reiterate. Reiterate. Reiterate. USPs should be repeated on every page. Remember most people probably won’t arrive through your homepage, many will come through search engines such as Google. By including purchase-relevant information- customer service details, delivery costs, returns, contact information- throughout your website this ensures people will have the required trust to make a purchase.
Instead of bare white spaces, MacGregor Macduff should include business-level details- FAQs, stockiest info, T&Cs- in the footer. If it’s your ambition to have a clean site, you can include extra content through expandable/reveal functions.
Tweak 3: Unique & Useful Product Descriptions
It’s a must to bullet point product descriptions, including technical details, special features, suitability, sizing, words of advice and offers. Not only will this encourage a browser to buy from your site, it also benefits SEO and will increase your search rankings.
But don’t be generic. Don’t be tempted to stick to generic manufacturer/supplier descriptions like your competitors. This is your chance to play the role of online salesman. Make the experience as personal as possible for the customer. As Paul, our fantastic Digital Marketing Consultant, demonstrated in his talk, tennisnut.com do an excellent job of showing off their products in enormous detail, even suggesting that certain rackets are better for back-court sloggers, while others are great if you prefer serve-volleying in the mould of Tim Henman.
Tweak 4: Unique & Useful Product Visuals
There are so many rich content options out there to give your customers an extremely real experience. Whether that includes using video, as Watchshop does, or augmented reality to show a 360° view of the latest product in your range.
This may seem obvious for eCommerce sites, but even service industries can learn from this. A property developer could include a video of a house viewing, just another way to reinforce the idea that your company can be trusted.
Tweak 5: Be Personal
Don’t be this woman. Have personality. Be memorable. Don’t be generic. The biggest customer service problem websites face is lacking the personal touch you would find in a high-street store. Even if your brand is deliberately corporate and professional, people are convinced by individuals so provide multiple content methods to speak to real people (whether it’s call, email, contact form, live chat or video chat).
These two gap year websites offer an excellent comparison of what to do and what not to do. Geckos Adventures sell their trips to Brazil with the engaging introduction of “Unlucky in Love? Out for Revenge? Need a Cure for Hayfever?”
Whereas, STA Travel offer the forlorn and utterly drab, ‘From the heat of Rio’s nightlife to the chilled of Ilha Grande, discover the treasures of Brazil on this comfortable week-long adventure.’ If you’re trying to attract fun-loving students, a more personalised approach to website copy is unquestionably better.
Tweak 6: Gather and Show Off Testimonials, Case Studies & Reviews
People are persuaded by people. One of the reasons Amazon is immensely popular is because they have nailed the premise of user-generated content as social proof. Obviously we try to practice what we preach, therefore, our website offers an array of client case studies.
Luckily there are plenty of 3rd party tools which can help. Check out:
Tweak 7: Business Credibility
Although your customer might have no clue what being a member of the ‘British Accredited Professional Business Organisation Club Guild’ (this obviously isn’t a real thing) means, displaying a badge or an icon will subconsciously impress your customers. Always include awards, accreditations and secure payment badges.
Although DOSarchitects have two industry awards, mountains of press coverage and accreditations from governing bodies their aesthetically-pleasing website is poorer for not making them visible.
In comparison, Branded3 makes it obvious that they are a successful and acclaimed brand.
Tweak 8: Reduce Page Load Speed
Statistics are great. Especially info-graphics. Here are some here…
Whether you’re a digital marketing consultant or a teenager scouring the web for a new beanie hat, everybody knows that a slow page is infuriating. There are tools out their such as ‘Page Speed Insights’ which can rate the speed of your site and, importantly, offer feedback on areas that can be optimised. Don’t let potential customers become failed opportunities due to a slow site.
Tweak 9: Streamline Conversion Forms
Imagine for a moment that you are at the checkout in a high street shop purchasing a new pair of Lycra cycling shorts (possibly with the comfortable under padding which gives you the optimum cycling experience you crave). How long would it take you to leave the store in a huff, if the shop assistant barraged you with annoying questions…
“Are you a new or returning customer?
Would you like to create an account with us?
What is your date of birth?
What is your phone number?
Are your billing and delivery address’s the same?
What is the name of your company?”
It is vital that your checkout is as streamlined as possible. Although it would be great to have your customer’s phone number, the likelihood is, they will abort the transaction if overloaded with information. Tips to great a smooth checkout experience include:
- Offer checkout as ‘Guest’ or Login via Facebook
- Ensure the checkout process is clearly annotated with numbered steps
- White space should be used to reinforce the idea your site is safe
- Remove superfluous fields and avoid twin columns
- Automate as much as possible – utilise speed-up tools such as Postcode look-ups
Tweak 10: Test, Test and Test Again
Broken links and missing content are easy ways to lose potential customers. The only way to avoid this problem is too regularly navigate around your site to check it is functioning well; broken links and missing content can really discredit your site. All the tweaks we’ve outlined here can be perfected by:
- Performing split-tests to your landing pages to determine whether your changes have resulted in a greater conversion rate- even incremental changes to Call To Action buttons can have a big difference
- Using Analytics data to keep track of how your customers interact with your site- here you can also check how your site fares on mobile, ensuring all your customers have a great experience
And if you take one thing from this post, apart from the fact that the Reload Breakfast Series is an unmissable event (as demonstrated by Rick, our fun-loving Digital Marketing Consultant)…
… then takeaway this, your customers don’t want to buy from you but it’s your job to persuade them that they do.