As a digital marketer, your storefront exists on the internet. You have no way to create human connections by meeting customers face-to-face and no way for consumers to see the product first-hand, among many other online sales killing factors.
Since ecommerce companies face so many challenges like these, converting visitors into customers can be quite difficult. In fact, the average online conversion rate now stands at a mere 3% across the globe. In order for online businesses to survive, they must look outside-the-box for ways to get people to buy.
Let’s discuss three tricks of the trade that can help your ecommerce business start booming.
Make Personalization Front and Center
Personalized web content is no longer just optional; it is absolutely necessary if you are going to increase your conversion rates. According to a Swirl report, 88% of customers agreed that personalized content increases the likelihood of purchase and 87% agreed that it would affect their brand loyalty.
Consumers expect online businesses to use their data to curate content and shopping experiences that are tailored towards their needs and preferences. Figuring out your target market is the first step to creating this type of content. But, true personalization takes things a step further. Finding the necessary customer data and translating it into specialized content is challenging for most marketers.
One of the easiest ways to collect customer data is through information from previous transactions. POS consumer data can help you determine which products are bundled frequently or repeatedly purchased by the same customers. From here, that data can be used to drive marketing materials such as emails, special offers, or shopping recommendations on the site that are more personalized for past and future customers.
Amazon makes this look easy. The trick is knowing how to read between the lines of the datasets you see in your POS system to put the right content in front of the most susceptible eyes.
Look for Ways to Simplify Everything
Imagine that you walk into a retail store looking for some nice decorative candles for your living room. The store claims to have home goods items, so you decide to check out it. When you walk in, however, the walls are all painted bright, contrasting colors. There are tables and displays scattered throughout with no clear differentiation of what items they may hold. And rather than having aisles or pathways to follow, the store instead resembles a maze, leaving you confused and frustrated. There is little doubt that you would spend much time looking through the disorganized mess to just find the one product you need.
Organizational layout is just as important for online businesses as it is for brick and mortar stores, so ecommerce businesses must build a website that makes this concept a priority. Busy, disorderly, or just overall ugly webpages will turn customers away quickly, but so will boring, unimaginative ones. First impressions are very, very, important. Take this computer company’s website:
There really isn’t much going on in terms of colors or product pictures, and the text is extremely small and hard to read. Don’t be afraid to get bold with a little color and pizazz.
However, too much pizazz can hurt you. Overwhelming customers with call-to-action buttons and text-heavy product descriptions will push them away for sure. Check out United Airline’s old website as an example (they have thankfully updated to a more user-friendly design).
Rather than displaying a simple navigation bar at the top with all of these options, the airline listed them out in scattered boxes throughout the homepage.
The key here is to keep things simple, yet elegant. Every single step that a customer takes on your website should be designed with simplicity and ease, from newsletter sign-ups, to navigation, to checkout. One in four online shoppers have abandoned their cart because the checkout process was too complicated and involved multiple steps. Try to narrow down the steps by eliminating abandonment triggers, such as requiring customers to create accounts or fill in excessive information.
Unnecessary snags can stop a sale in its tracks. Additionally, if a customer is not able to navigate through your website clearly or has no option to search for their desired item, it is quite likely that they will look elsewhere. When in doubt, simplify. Organize your products into logical categories, include a clear search button, and keep text boxes and CTA buttons to a minimum. The simpler your website is, the better.
Instill Customer Confidence
Any hint of worry or mistrust will send your customers running for the hills (i.e. your competitor’s site.) Again, website design comes into play here because it signals the credibility of your company. Nearly half of all online consumers judge a website’s credibility on how well-designed the page is.
Including trust badges for security purposes can also make customers feel more comfortable when it comes to sharing their personal information, like credit card numbers or home addresses. In fact, you can boost your sales by up to 40% by adding trust badges to your website. Customers will be more likely to trust a site that is certified by a recognized company or displays a guarantee of security.
There is some interesting research regarding consumer preferences of trust badges, and the numbers vary greatly depending on the consumer’s demographic. For instance, male customers prefer badges from well-known companies like Visa or MasterCard, while females would rather see a BBB accreditation. Take a look at the numbers, and include the badges according to your target audience.
Keep the customer in the forefront of all of your sales strategies, in everything from your marketing content right down to the smallest details of your homepage. People have become quite numb to blatant, in-your-face sales tactics. Increasing conversion rates is all about using non-obvious tricks that inadvertently affect consumers. Offering personalized experiences shows customers that you understand what they want, and it can help them discover products they didn’t even know that they wanted. Simplifying your website will make the process easier and faster, and including small details that increase your customer’s trust and confidence will do wonders to boost conversions.
About the Author: Mostafa Elbermawy is a seasoned SaaS growth strategist. Over the past 9 years, Mostafa has helped brands such as American Express, P&G and Workzone refine their growth marketing strategies and tactics. Mostafa is also a regular tech contributor for Wired and BBC Arabia. He currently heads marketing at Harver, a leading AI recruitment platform.