eCommerce businesses require a tick that other online businesses do not have. Customer experience is as important as the product you offer. Unlike offline stores where attendants can help customers round their way during the purchase process, online commerce businesses need to make their websites work for them. Getting customers to your eCommerce store is already hard and so, you do not want to lose them during checkout.
To improve your shopping cart conversions – check your product, eCommerce site design, and communication with customers. All of these aspects relate to consumer experience on your website and have to be constantly tested and tweaked to improve conversions.
Below are 10 ways that you can increase conversion on your eCommerce website.
1. Use High Quality Product Images
Unlike in offline stores where customers can see the products they want to purchase from various angles, eCommerce businesses rely on photos to showcase their products. Online consumers are visual in nature and high-res photos will go a long way in boosting conversions.
Below are the best practices for using images on your eCommerce site:
- Take photos of the product from various angles
- Use a good quality camera to get sharp photos
- Cut out the background or other assets not related to the photo. The focus of your photo should be on the product.
- Enable product photo zooming on your site
Ties.com is a good example of an eCommerce site that uses high quality photos.
2. Use Product Videos
Having videos is even better than images. Some consumers are wary of product photos that are enhanced. With video, you take product experience to the next level. Granted, it can be expensive to do videos for all the products you have. The situation is even more complicated if you drop-ship or buy products from wholesalers after your customers make an order.
Regardless, try to incorporate a few videos on different product sections and see if there will be an improvement in your conversions. Look for inspiration from product videos on Zappos.
3. Have Great Product Copy
Your product description should give the features and benefits of the product you are selling. Avoid using the product descriptions provided by the manufacturers. The descriptions are usually not tailored for customers and since many merchants use them, can make your website have duplicate content and this can affect the site’s rankings on search engines.
Great copy should convince the customer to purchase a product. It should indicate how consumers will benefit from the product and why they should buy it right there. Ensure your copy covers all angles about the product such that the consumer will not have to leave your store to search for more information elsewhere.
Apple does it really well.
4. Enable Product Customization
If you can, make it possible for customers to customize their products. Customization brings a sense of ownership and is fun. Moreover, it can also generate more revenues to your business. Customization can be enabled for simple features like product color and size or more complicated ones like type of video graphics card if the product is a computer.
If you are thinking that customization will be an unnecessary addition to your eCommerce conversions, you can learn from Gemvara, which is making a killing by enabling women to customize jewelry.
5. Offer Sales and Specials
People turn to online shopping not only because it is convenient, but also because they expect items to be cheaper there. Most customers look for sales and offers at eCommerce websites. The rise of group buying websites like Groupon and its clones have made consumers get back to the roots of online shopping where getting items at discount prices is a high priority. Have a sale and specials channels on your website to increase your conversions.
Your sales and specials channel should be active especially during the weekends and holidays. Understand your customers’ shopping habits and give them a special sale day to improve your revenues.
6. Reduce Cart Abandonment
One of the biggest headaches that online shop owners have to deal with is shopping cart abandonment. This is a situation whereby a customer that had put some products in the shopping cart fails to go through the entire checkout process or cancels the order during the checkout process.
Today’s online consumer is more informed and savvy and is likely to do comparison shopping before checking out. To reduce shopping cart abandonment, address things like slow website load speed, high product prices, shipping charges and lack on online live chat support.
You can also use services like Upsellit to trigger chats (automated agents) on your cart, run email campaigns, survey why they left the cart, etc.
7. Offer Multiple Payment Options
Consumers may prefer different payment methods from the primary one you have on your website. Offering different payment options will improve your conversions by reducing the number of lost sales. Most visitors who come to shop at your store for the first time may not prefer to use their credit cards due to credit card fraud.
Have a variety of payment options for your customers to use. On the minimum, ensure you support the major payment methods like PayPal or the new entrants disrupting the payments space. If you are targeting customers from a particular geographic region, find out the method of payment that the market is used to and implement it on your website.
If you run a store and you sell products as subscriptions, I would recommend to get a billing system in place which plugs into the payment gateways. Building or Buying, its your choice.
Here is a good read in StackExchange – Do users care about having multiple options for payment providers?
8. Offer Free Shipping
If you are not offering free shipping, you are losing customers. According to an article by TechCrunch, half of all merchants offer free shipping.
This has made most online customers expect not to pay for shipping in one way or the other. Some merchants offer unconditional free shipping while with others, customers have to purchase items of a certain value to qualify for free shipping.
Consumers are always looking for a way to save and offering free shipping will help to drive up conversions. A study by Compete.com showed that 93 percent of customers would purchase more if the merchant offered free shipping.
9. Address Uncertainty
Clearly indicate what your customers can or cannot do after purchase. Customers usually want to know when they will get the items they order, whether the items will be the same as those depicted in the photos, what happens in case they are not satisfied with the items, etc.
Address the most common questions or doubts that consumers may have about your product or company on a special page on your website or on the product pages.
Amazon does an excellent job of estimating the date of delivery of your order and also clear instructions on what you can do with your order.
10. Offer Live Chat Support
Live chat is a small thing but is known to boost conversions. If your brand is new or not well known, live chat will even be more important to you. Consumers are well aware of online scams and want to be sure they are dealing with a real and legitimate company. Chatting with your customers through live chat can put them at ease on transacting at your website
SupplyGeeks uses Live Chat to increase their conversions.
Apart from live chat, show your phone, email and contact information clearly. Customers should not work hard to get your contacts. Do not hide these important information from your customers. People would trust a face rather than a website.
Increasing the conversions on your eCommerce website is all about improving customer experience. You need to address your product, website design and customer issues. The above 10 ways will help you get started with improving your customers’ experience.
Which other ways have you found to increase conversions at your eCommerce website? Share your comments below.