With more and more people becoming self-employed, the growth of ecommerce business is exploding. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The barriers to setting up shop online are practically nonexistent compared to opening a physical retail location. All you really need are some products, a website and some basic marketing skills and, bam, you have a store.
There are a few tactics that could literally make or break your online business…
While it is pretty simple to “set up shop,” it's not as easy as you'd think to actually sell the products. With the amount of competition that exists online, you need to make sure your online store is configured to take advantage of every conversion opportunity. There are a few tactics that could literally make or break your online business. To help make sure you're converting all of your potential customers, consider these six tips.
It's All in the Description
What would you say to your customer about your products if you were to talk to them face-to-face? Chances are you wouldn't tell them the weight and size of your product as the first thing. Instead, you'd focus on how that product could help your customer and what benefits they'll receive from using it. Well-crafted product descriptions can create huge conversions for you.
Not sure what to write? Think about your target consumer and what they would want to know. Help connect your customer with the product by telling a story. For instance, what's the history of the product? Who makes it? What obstacles were overcome developing the product? To get an idea of where to start, take a look at the product descriptions at ThinkGeek and RedEnvelope.
A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
People often decide whether to buy a product or not just by looking at the pictures. In fact, the product photographs are more than likely the first thing someone will notice when they visit your product page. High quality photographs are a must for making sure you are reaching your highest conversions online.
Customers don't have the ability to actually touch a product and see for themselves the quality or usefulness of it. Therefore, your pictures (and video) have to do this job for them. Help out your customers by having pictures that showcase the product from different perspectives.
Who Are You? What Reassurance Do I Have for My Purchases?
While consumer confidence in online shopping is strong, it doesn't mean potential customers are automatically going to trust each and every brand. Don't lose out on a sale because your basic store policies are not published or are difficult to find. Customers have a few basic questions that they want to know.
How much is shipping and when can it be shipped? What is your return policy? When do they need to order something by to have it be received by a certain date? This last one is especially important during holiday seasons. Not only will providing this information help increase conversions, but it will also save you time by cutting down on customer service inquiries as well.
What's New? What Should I Buy?
When consumers are in browse mode, they need a little help with what to look at. This is where organizing your products into seasonal categories can help increase conversions. This type of “bundling” can also be beneficial in providing extra ways to market your products through social media and other avenues.
What should you do if you don't have seasonal products? If you have items that could be perceived as seasonal, group those. For instance, a party supplies store could group orange and black colored items into a Halloween category. You can also group products based on seasonal sales. For instance, an online stationery store could offer back-to-school specials on certain products.
A good method for seeing how to do this is to look through your local store ads published in your Sunday paper. Notice what trends they are promoting and specifically how they are grouping their products to make them more attractive to purchase.
What's the Next Step?
If you want to immediately increase conversions on your site, you'll want to take a look at what you are asking your customer to do. In some cases, you may discover you're not actually asking them to do anything. Always make sure every page has a clear call to action. That means that the action you want them to take next is obvious and is the logical next step.
For example, if you have a product displayed on your front page that most customers would need to know more information about before purchasing, having a button that says “buy now” will not be very beneficial. While it IS a call to action, it's not the next logical step. A button that has the text “learn more” or “more info” would do considerably better at this point.
However, once they have enough information to be able to make a purchasing decision, you need to have some type of call to action to indicate this next step. “Add to cart” and “buy now” are examples of this type of call to action.
I Don't Understand How To Use Your Site…
It's easy to understand that you want your website to stand out and be a technical marvel. However, the best ecommerce sites are simple and straightforward. Don't get so caught up in adding every bell and whistle that you lose focus on the most important reason for having an ecommerce site — selling your products. Everything you add to your site should facilitate the selling of your product. If it doesn't do that, keep it off the site.