Online shoppers have way an incredible number many options these days, and that's both a good and a bad thing. For a shopper, it’s great. There are more options, so there’s no need to be limited to one online store alone. For online sellers, it means the competition is heating up!
Savvy online shoppers are not going to be impressed with boring, hard-to-use sites. If your site is anything short of user-friendly, expect shoppers to move on and make their purchases elsewhere. It's tough, but true.
So how can you deliver an exceptional experience for your users and convince them to make a purchase on your site? Here are seven recommendations for boosting conversions and creating a great experience on your site. And none of these will cost you a penny!
1. Get Emotional
A generic product or service description is just that: generic. If you really want to grab your customers’ attention, you need to appeal to their emotions.
Think about the problems and issues your customers might have and how your product is going to help them overcome this issue. How is it going to add value to their lives? For example, if you’re selling health supplements, it’s a good idea to address common health issues and how the supplements can help address these issues.
Take this example:
Do you attract colds like honey attracts bees? Clearly your immune system is letting you down. Try a daily multivitamin to give your immunity a boost!
The above copy addresses the problem and tries to relate to the customer from the get-go. If you had a bad immune system, it might make you want to consider these multivitamins too!
A word of warning though: don’t get carried away with the emotional descriptions. Don’t make up unsubstantiated claims or promise things that aren’t true. For example, don’t sell your product as the “cure for X, Y, or Z” unless it really IS the cure. Avoid the superlatives and focus on the emotional appeal.
2. Use Videos
Video is huge and has been for a while. We've discussed online video trends before but did you also know a video can be super helpful for conversions? Companies are using videos on their home pages or even on their product pages to help boost conversions.
A video on a home page is a popular online design trend and a great way to use your hero area. A short video will do a much better job of explaining your business than 250 words of text ever will. Copyblogger does this really well on its homepage.
For product pages, videos can be short and simple. All you need to do is demonstrate the product as best possible. I think Asos does this really well with its "View Runway" option that allows you to get an idea of what the clothes would look like on a real person.
3. Send Follow-Up Emails
It's not uncommon for shoppers to add products to their cart and right before it's time for them to pay, back out. This is called shopping cart abandonment. Instead of lamenting these lost customers, you should be taking active steps toward bringing them back to complete that purchase.
Remember how I said retargeting is the way of the future? Well here is a perfect opportunity for retargeting. Most likely you have already captured their email addresses. Use them to send out follow-up emails when a shopping cart has been abandoned. Your customers already want the product. There's no harm giving them a little nudge to encourage them to complete the purchase.
A study by email marketing firm Listrak found that fewer than 15 percent of retailers sent out follow-up emails to their customers. Don't become a statistic — start working on those follow-up emails!
4. Leverage Social Proof
Word-of-mouth marketing has always done great things for businesses. This hasn't changed in the online age. Social proof from other users who have tried and enjoyed your product or service is always helpful in establishing the value of your product.
You can leverage social proof in various ways such as user testimonials, features in the press, and advertising the number of people who have purchased your product. Additionally, Facebook integration can also help your users see whether any of their friends have used your product.
On the Affilorama home page, we like to use our social proof to prove the value of our services.
5. Simplify the Choices
You think more options would make your users happy? Actually, no. You'll just end up confusing them. Remember, less is more. Re-evaluate your site and see whether you can simplify it more.
For example, are you using too many calls to action in one place? This will just overwhelm shoppers. Use one simple CTA to get them to take the action you want. Keep the options limited and focused on the conversion, and this will lead to better results.
The Evernote homepage is a great example of a simple, direct call to action. Getting a new user to sign up for Evernote is the conversion goal and the CTA is in the middle of the page. Nothing else takes the focus away from the action.
6. Experiment With Colors
I've heard plenty of discussions about how the colors on a page, especially on call-to-action buttons, can greatly affect conversions. I think there is some truth to this, but I also think colors are very subjective. On one site, a green CTA button may be the winner, while on another an orange button could be the money maker.
In my personal experience, I worked on a site that for years had green CTA buttons. After attending a marketing conference where everyone talked about "orange being the new green," we thought we'd run an A/B test on the site. Interestingly enough, the orange did boost our conversions a fair bit. So yes, colors can have an impact on conversions.
My advice? Don't just change colors because you've been told it's the "right" choice. Test and test again to confirm that it is in fact the right color for your business and branding.
7. Write Great Copy
People aren't using much text on their sites these days, but when they do, it must be good. If you want a conversion, you better give your users all the information they need. On your homepage, make your text descriptive but concise, and of course always use active voice.
Additionally, don't forget to describe your products well. Don't just assume your users will understand what your product is all about. Anticipate any questions they might have and attempt to answer them in the product description. A good, thorough description is more likely to get you that conversion than one that leaves questions unanswered.
For example, Quest Nutrition does a great job of describing these peanut butter protein bars. The first section gives you the most important details.
But if you want to know more and are interested in the actual ingredients, just scroll down the page to find all the information you need.
Optimizing your website should be an ongoing task. To make the most from your site, you should always be thinking about how to boost your conversion rates even more. After all, your aim is to make as many sales as possible.
My final piece of advice? Don't forget to make your website mobile-friendly. A mobile responsive site has a big impact on conversions too!
What about you? Have you tried anything that has boosted your conversion rates? Do share.