Conversion optimization is a way to make money. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at what other e-marketers have to say about it:
‘Why do conversion optimization? It is the cheapest, quickest way to increase sales online. Think about this: if you’re currently converting at 1%, but can increase that to a mere 2%, you’ve doubled your sales.’ Peep Laja, Conversion XL.
“No matter where your traffic is coming from, there is a way to make it convert. Instead of just focusing on building traffic, spend a portion of your time on converting it.”, Neil Patel, Co-founder of Crazzy Egg, Kissmetrics.
Though, conversion rate optimization is science and art in the same time, as marketers at Wider Funnel define it. Here are 3 signs that should make you consider approaching conversion optimization as a tactic to make your e-commerce website a star.
1. Paying too much for traffic
If you stop for a few seconds from your rush to get huge amounts of traffic on your website you’ll realize that there are other tactics to increase revenues. Paying for traffic is the way start-up e-commerce websites can get noticed, but once you have passed this phase it’s time to convince visitors to buy.
EMarketer reveals that more than $100 billion were spent in 2013 with digital advertising, with a share of 19% from the total media budget. The surprise comes from the tiny investments in conversion optimization: 53% of the companies surveyed by Adobe in a study spent less than 5% for conversion optimization.
Now, if we look at the conversion rate formula we can observe that it is a vital metric for any e-commerce website because it reveals the percentage of transactions from all of the visits on a website.
Conversion Rate=Transactions/ Visits x 100
Conversion optimization happens on site after the prospects landed on it, either by direct search, referrals, email, paid search or any other way that you’ve used to get a visitor on your site. Real-time interaction with online visitors and customers is the key in conversion optimization and there are smart software to help you to achieve that.
How do you deliver to your customers such an experience? Use A/B testing with no fears because it will offer you nothing but benefits. Instead of losing time, money and your creatives nerves to guess what could work in order to convince your customers to buy, just test your ideas. I’m not saying to test anything that passes by through your mind during a day, but to have clear objectives and a strategy.
Based on these, make a list of hypotheses either by running surveys on your website or by looking at your most important KPIs. Find the vital pages where you could improve something in order to stop visitors from running away.
I won’t miss to tell you again about one of my favorite tactics in conversion optimization and that would be to address to customers with interactions in the most strategic moments. Giving small pieces of what you already have to offer is a great way to have loyal customers:
- offer free shipping or delivery for just a few hours through a top/bottom ribbon(eg: NFL shop)
- remind to visitors coming from particular cities what a great experience another shopper form the same city had last week through testimonials
- offer small gifts, samples of your products or discounts if you can afford them when visitors want to leave the shopping cart by using exit interactions
…and I’m sure you can continue this list with many more words than I am about to include in this article.
2.Trying to be persuasive but prospects just won’t complete your tasks
Persuasion helps us to convince people around to say YES to our inquiries. In conversion optimization, not only copywriting persuades prospects to buy, but some other tactics too. I’m gonna enumerate 6 of them, according to the 6 principles of persuasion formulated by professor Cialdini.
- offer small gifts, free samples of your products, invitations, little pieces of attention to your customers and they will feel like they owe you>> RECIPROCITY
- limit your offers to a few hours or minutes, mention the stock availability or the lack of it>> SCARCITY
- ask experts, brand ambassadors, people with connections and exposure to media to be a part of your marketing plan. Find the person your community appreciate the most and let him/her interact with the audience >>AUTHORITY
- don’t make promises you can’t keep: the benefits that you’re emphasizing in email offers, display ads, facebook contests in order to drive traffic to your website have to be the same on the landing page >> CONSISTENCY
- use reviews, testimonials, show the number of likes, tweets, +1s to prove to your customers that others like them enjoy your products and recommend your website for shopping>> SOCIAL PROOF
- if your e-shop sells clothes, don’t hesitate to hire good looking people to wear them and `then upload the pictures on your website>> SYMPHATY
3. Owning a competitive advantage, but can’t get the most out of it
In this competitive environment, online retailers struggle to find a way to differentiate. Once the competitive advantage has been found and understood by all of the team members, the efforts should focus on it. But the most important thing is NOT to forget about customers. Constant feedback from customers is the key to maintaining this advantage and to lower the acquisition costs with the new customers>> find out more about the cost per customer aquisition from Hubspot
Although, personal communication and interaction with the online visitors of an ecommerce website is still a difficult goal to achieve, it is vital to listen to what customers have to say.
Modified image. Original photo
From what I’ve learned by running optimization experiments on ecommerce websites, I can recommend:
- use surveys to directly ask visitors and customers how they rate the most important aspects of your website, if they’ve found what they were looking for, if they’re pleased with your returns policy etc.
- ask for reviews
- ask for testimonials in return of a little gift or something you can offer to them-remember the reciprocity principle?
Or don’t ask them anything. You can find out information about your customers by A/B testing the most important pages. By running tests, people won’t lie about what they think, they’ll just take action. You can draw conclusions based on their behavior on-site. Though, ‘A/B testing is more about the persuasiveness of your webpages’, as Manuel da Costa is pointing out in his article on Online Behavior. So, using only A/B testing may not be enough to get to know your customers in depth.
Finally, I have to mention that these are just a few guidelines to start with conversion optimization. For any questions do not hesitate to contact me. If you like this post, i would really appreciate to share it with your community members, so they can benefit.