How do you feel when you hear the phrase “conversion optimization”? Or “boosting conversions”? For the not-so-marketing savvy, these words can make him or her cringe. There are so many elements to keep in mind that it can feel overwhelming.
However, once you understand the very basics, the goal will suddenly feel more achievable. It’s really all about psychology—the same kind you experience on a daily basis while making online and offline decisions. You may be a business owner, but you’re also a customer. Analyzing the triggers and processes behind your decision-making and those of others will provide you the foundation necessary to make smart conversion optimization decisions for your eCommerce site.
In this article, I’ll use the psychology behind dating, which is very much like buying, to walk you through 10 simple ways to boost conversions for your online store.
1. Have Good-Looking Product Photos
Usually, before beginning a relationship, you’ll find yourself attracted to another person. Something catches your eye. In a similar way, product photos can help you attract your visitor’s attention and increase conversions.
Make sure your images are consistent throughout your site. In general, you want your products to be the center of attention, so don’t have busy backgrounds. Also, provide multiple images of your products from different angles.
Your images should be big enough to see product details, but they shouldn’t be big in file size since this can slow down your website.
A study done by Czech company Optimics shows that larger images and product description viewable on mouse resulted in a straight 9.46% increase in sales (96% chance to beat original).
2. Tell a Story
After a good first impression, you’ll want to know more about the person that caught your attention. How is this person? Can I identify with him or her? Does this person match with what I’m looking for?
In a similar fashion, potential customers will try to assess if you are what they need and what they are looking for, and there’s nothing that sells better than a story. People buy from brands that they feel identified with, and telling a story is the perfect chance to create a bond with your customer.
As Neil Patel states, “Stories have the power to increase your conversions from potential customers, to carve out a place for you in the social media channels, and to enhance visual communication – if you master the art.”
Some points you may want to address are: how is your company helping customers? What can people expect from buying from your products: quality, good price, speed?
3. Anticipate & Tackle Pain Points
Your potential customers are still trying to figure out what they can expect from your brand. At this point, you haven’t gained their trust, so ease their decision-making process by tackling pain points before they arise.
Customers’ top pain points are: return policy, payment security, quality of products, and shipping. To address them, add badges at the top of your site that show your policy. Also, add these badges to the checkout page to remind customers that they are safe.
Another way to reassure customers they are getting a good product is to have good copy. Indicate materials (cotton, spandex, wool), and clear size and fit measurements. You don’t want to disappoint someone because the photo gave a customer the wrong impression. By adding good copy, you’ll increase the chances you and the customer are on the same page.
4. Consider Adding an Online Chat
Just by knowing that someone is there if you need it helps build trust. It will also help you close the sale, cross-sell, and maybe even up-sell. In addition, you’ll learn more about your customers’ concerns to address them and make changes as necessary.
5. Build Trust with Testimonials and Reviews
We are more prone to date or to be friends with people we are familiar with or people recommended by friends. In a similar way, your store will have a higher chance of converting with good testimonials or reviews.
“61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, and they are now essential for eCommerce sites” and, according to Reevoo stats, “50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.”
Knowing that others have tried your product, and they like it, instills trust to potential customers and eliminates doubts. Use tools such as customer surveys and social media feeds to help you increase reviews and build social proof.
6. Organize Your Store
How easy it is for your visitors to find what they are looking for? Add easy-to-use filters so people can find what they are looking for fast. Some common filters are price, color, and size. It’s also a good to have separate menu links for products that are new and on sale.
7. Provide an Easy Checkout Option
This study shows that by removing the button that forced visitors to register before checking out, and replacing it with a “continue” button, sales increased by $300 million dollars!
People want an easy and fast way to check out before making a commitment. Once they go through the process, and you have gained their trust, they’ll be more prone to commit.
8. Create Urgency
Everyone loves to procrastinate. Part of the reason we procrastinate is because we think that that the product or situation will be the same tomorrow; otherwise, we would make an effort to get it now.
Create urgency by adding label counts for products that have small quantities left (e.g., Hurry! Only 2 shirts left), adding a banner with a countdown for a promotion (e.g., Sale ends in 10 minutes), and adding a special popup with an offer.
9. Capture Visitors’ Information with Opt-In Forms
As you already know, many people will not be ready to buy on their first visit. That’s why you need to capture their email address to nurture, follow up, and convert them.
There are many affordable plugins to help you install a lightbox for an email signup. Make it pop up after a couple of minutes of being on the site or when the visitor is about to exit from the website. Offering a discount code will increase your chances of getting the email.
10. Send Targeted Emails
Similar to following up after a good date, you want to follow up with your customers to remind them of your products, come back to make a purchase, or urge them to make their first purchase.
There are various types of emails you should consider: cart abandonment email telling the visitor to come back, repurchase email so they can buy again, and a custom email to show them what they are missing.
Using these emails will help you be top-of-mind for your customers and, eventually, save the conversion that you couldn’t make, at first, or create another conversion (repurchase).
When applying these tips, remember to think about your ideal customer, what they are looking for, and what problem(s) they are trying to solve. It is best to target a defined segment of people, rather than to be so general that you can’t make an impact.
In addition, make small, measurable steps to analyze the impact of your changes.
About the author
Ronald Dod is a partner and CEO of Visiture, LLC. After founding Grey Umbrella Marketing, an internet marketing agency which focuses on Search Engine Optimization for eCommerce businesses, he merged with Visiture to create a full service search marketing offering for eCommerce businesses. His passion is helping eCommerce business owners and marketing professionals navigate the search marketing landscape and use data to make more effective decisions to drive new traffic and conversions. He holds a Masters in the Science of Marketing from Florida State University and is certified in Google Adwords & Analytics.