3 Ways to Turn Your Online Store Visitors into Customers

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3 Ways to Turn Your Online Store Visitors into Customers

Marketing your ecommerce site and converting your visitors into paying customers is harder than you think. A number of ecommerce sites fail to convert their visitors into customers even though there are more buyers online now than ever before.

What is it that these sites are lacking? They’ve probably tried SEO, PPC, social media, email and content marketing. But while all these techniques have the potential to drive traffic, there is another factor repeatedly being overlooked: conversion optimization. Here are top three strategies for boosting conversion rates.

Make Your Site Lightning Fast

This is an old one. However, it’s still the bane of webmasters and marketers alike.

Two different studies conducted by Akamai and Gomez.com are often cited when it comes to determining the effects of site speed on web conversion rate.

The Akamai study found that:

  • 47 percent of the 1,048 online shoppers interviewed expected a web page to load within 2 seconds or less, while 40 percent abandoned pages that take more than 3 seconds to load.
  • 52 percent said they are more loyal to websites with faster loading speeds.
  • 64 percent of shoppers were dissatisfied due to slow page loading and were ready to switch loyalties to another site for this reason.

The Gomez report interviewed 1,500 online shoppers. The findings:

  • More than 75 percent of shoppers interviewed accepted that they left for a competitor’s site at peak traffic times due to loading time delays.
  • 88 percent are unlikely to return to a website where they suffered delays.

It’s easy to see that a few extra seconds of page load time can cost you a lot in terms of lead generation and sales. Besides, delays in page load time also affect your search engine rankings.

Start optimizing your website for maximum speed now. There are several load time analyzing tools available. Pingdom’s Speed Test, Google’s Page Speed Insights and GTmetrix are good ones to begin with.

You’ll need a fast Web server to handle your traffic’s bandwidth, especially during peak traffic hours. Streamline your code to reduce the HTML and script file sizes. Finally, optimize image formats and sizes. Online stores by nature need to include a lot of images and videos, which often slow down loading speed.

Chat Them Up

Having a live chat option on your ecommerce store is a good strategy to increase your average order value. It has been proven to improve your overall customer conversion rate.

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44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a Web site can offer.

It helps build trust and confidence with your customers by providing answers to their questions and concerns quickly in real-time. This plays a significant role in removing doubts concerning your product(s), encouraging your potential customers to make purchase decisions in your favor. Read how Virgin Airlines successfully used online chat to drive sales.

Live chats also add a “human face” to your online store while cutting down on phone expenses and employee task time. LivePerson, Comm100, Olark and Kayako are some of the better known live chat services.

Offer Discounts Where None Is Expected

Not so long ago, the only way to lay your hands on Chanel perfume or a Hermes bag was to visit the flagship store or a luxury outlet. Not anymore. Emerging players are bringing Bond Street to the Internet by letting customers create bespoke luxury products from scratch.

The icing on the Ecommerce Cake is that you can offer the same exclusivity and style at – hold your breath – a lower price! Take the case of Ownonly, a men’s fashion retailer selling bespoke suits. Customers specify the fabric, cut and dimensions on the website to get a made-to-measure suit of Saville Row quality.

However, custom-made doesn’t mean expensive here. Ownonly runs a markdown in conjunction with a referral program. The gain-and-retain tactic is to entice price-conscious shoppers with the discount, encourage them to refer the site to friends, and then come back to shop again with rewards earned from the referral program.

What’s stopping you from doing the same, promoting your schemes on social media, and building content marketing strategies around them?

Your Turn

Converting your visitors into customers is challenging. It needs time, effort and dedication; but more importantly, you need to be humane in your approach.

Why do people buy online? Of course, to save time and money (online retailers are known to offer heavier discounts). Now think of what you are offering. Are you fulfilling those needs? If yes, you probably don’t have to struggle to make sales; if not, start incorporate these strategies and you’ll be on your way to ecommerce success!

And finally, you might want to check out how our friends at Web.com can help!

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Tracy Vides does content marketing for OwnOnly, a new-age apparel retailer offering customized suits and blazers for the modern man. Digital marketing is Tracy's passion and she’s keen to explore the dynamics of ecommerce and social media in fashion retailing. Follow her on Twitter at @TracyVides