While it’s important to craft a website with increasing traffic in mind, it’s equally, if not even more vital, to build a site that can successfully turn that traffic into hard sales. Since your website will often double-up as your store, after deciding on an overall theme or look for your website, it’s worth dedicating the time to incorporating some ecommerce features to ensure that once you’ve attracted the visitors your site is conducive to sales.
Below are a few useful tips for turning website views into conversions, culled from Wix’s experience with over 37 million users, a large number of whom have created eCommerce sites.
1: Guide, Don’t Push
First of all, it’s important to understand that most visitors to your site will be pre-disposed to buy. For the most part, they’ve ended up at your site because they were intrigued by an advertisement, a recommendation by a friend, through a Google search or a social media post. Either way, they’ve been enticed enough to want to check you out, and they’re already interested in what you’re offering. Since most of your visitors want to believe in what you’re selling them then, there’s no need to aggressively push them into buying your product. Instead, it’s more effective to passively confirm that they were right in wanting to buy it in the first place, and then making it easy for them to do so.
2: Make It Easy
The quality of eCommerce wares are only as valuable as the ease by which they can be purchased. When it comes to web sales, it is critical to live by one simple mantra.
Make. It. Simple.
Nothing is more off-putting than having to fill out tons of personal data before being able to proceed to the checkout. It can feel invasive, and if it’s obviously not relevant to the sale, the user will abort their sale immediately. Equally important, your website should be simple, clear and easy to use. In the highly-competitive world of Internet sales where the going currency is attention, if you lose their attention, you will lose the sale.
3: Have A Clear Call To Action
Potential buyers shouldn’t have to look too hard for the checkout option. It seems obvious, but never underestimate the power of subtly changing your language from just having a ‘checkout’ button, to having a button that says, ‘add to cart’ or even better, ‘buy now’. Similarly, simply writing ‘mailing list’ or ‘more information’ isn’t nearly as effective as having ‘join our mailing list!’ or, ‘click here for more information’.
4: Keep Things Connected
eCommerce is about word of mouth, or perhaps more accurately, word of type. By including social sharing buttons prominently in your site you enable your users to recommend the site following a positive experience. Consider including a Facebook, email, Pinterest, Google+, Fancy or Twitter sharing button on each product page. That way, enthusiastic visitors can easily share your product with friends and family, thus driving even more traffic to the site. By fostering recommendations you are spurring the most organic and effective means of marketing, and turning your consumers into your promoters. Additionally, you allow them to easily consult with friends and family on a given purchase.
5: Keep Users Informed
It’s an industry truth that many buyers won’t click the checkout button without first seeing shipping and tax displayed. Give the buyer as much information as possible as early as possible, so that it’s as easy as possible for them to jump ahead to actually complete the sale.
It’s also a good idea to keep in touch with your users even after the sale has been completed, like with updates on the status of their shipment. This way, consumers will know that their satisfaction continues to be important to you even after you’ve gotten their money.
6: Product vs. Service
Depending on what you are selling, your marketing/conversion strategy will change. If you are selling a product, then your ‘storefront’ is the most important part of your sales funnel: your website pages need to be highly visual and aesthetically appealing with videos, multiple pictures and text descriptions for each product. If, on the other hand, you’re selling a service, like personal training or life-coaching, you need to sell the person who is offering the service. In this case, it’s critical to include their personal story and portfolio, and to offer content like seminars and videos which will work to validate the experience and expertise of the individual.
7: Make Buyers Feel Secure
The more independent, or boutique-like your e-commerce site, the less reliable it can appear. Give customers a greater sense of security by allowing them to use a payment service they are familiar with, such as Paypal.
8: Engage Your Visitors
Find a way to be memorable. Just putting up a photo gallery – no matter how beautiful your product photos – will not distinguish you to your visitors. Include video as a way of making your content more engaging; if you’re selling baked goods, embed a product demo video showing one of your cupcakes in the flesh – or dough, or if you’re selling clothes, have a model walk down the street wearing one of your garments.
You could go even further by including polls and encouraging user feedback, which will make your visitors feel more personally connected to your brand as well as helping to improve your product.
Finally, coupons are often a perfect way to generate conversions, as they draw people in by promising them a good offer. By putting a time limit on it, you also encourage people to buy now instead of going away to think about it and inevitably forgetting.
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