It is one thing to attract people to your website; it is another thing altogether to entice them to buy something.
Conversion optimization, or conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a strategy for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert them into customers.
These days, conversion optimization efforts are part-and-parcel of most digital marketing. Why? Since you may have only opportunity to make a good impression with potential customers, it's vital to make the most of that impression.
Here are five ways to optimize ecommerce conversions and capitalize on existing visitors, while more effectively target new ones:
- A/B Testing. Use A/B and multivariate testing for every important conversion step on your website, especially all call-to-action buttons, buy buttons on product category and detail pages, and any buttons present on shopping cart and checkout pages. A/B testing allows you to get data on what your site's casual browsers (potential customers) are attracted to and what gets their attention.
Tip: Test only one variable at a time by comparing results of the current version against the new one you're considering to see which version converts best.
- Search. Depending on which study you look at, anywhere between 40% and 60% of ecommerce website visitors use the site search feature. So, with half or more of your would-be customers relying on it, it's vital to test and optimize it.
Check site search query results for accuracy. Do searches return accurate and relevant results? Are the search results presented in the best order for conversion? Do the results provide shoppers with the necessary information to make an informed purchase decision?
Tip: Allow users to choose from search results in 'list-view' or 'grid-view.' Be sure to optimize searches for synonyms and misspellings (a typo could cost you a sale). If users don't find what they're looking for, to make it easier for them to do so, set up the search box to leave the initial search term in place so they don't have to re-type it again to conduct another search.
- Products. Use an A/B testing strategy to optimize product headlines, descriptions, images and even the detail page layout.
Tip: Conduct testing on every aspect of product presentation you can think of, including the positions of merchandise in photos and how models are posed (from hand position to eye contact). You'd be surprised at how slight changes can make the difference between increased sales and higher rates of abandoned carts.
- Live chat. Providing customers with a live chat option gives your visitors fast and easy access to customer service. Being on call to quickly answer shoppers' questions can have an immediate impact on your conversion rates; it can also act as a source optimization feedback, since live customer service agents can track pain point locations on your website. Identifying where shoppers experienced navigation problems or other issues can make the shopping process easier, leading to increased sales.
Tip: Considering using an AI (artificial intelligence) live chat bot. This cutting-edge technology can instantly determine when a visitor on a certain page and send them a personalized message in real time, tailored to their browsing behavior (i.e. product interests).
- Net Promoter. A Net Promoter Score is a customer loyalty indicator that indicates how willing consumers are recommend to your product to someone they know. Ecommerce business owners and marketers can use this metric to improve customer service, encourage loyalty and increase sales and growth. Your Net Promoter Score (also known as NPS) could be the single best measure of overall performance, making improving your score one of the most important conversion optimization tasks.
Tip: Send a Net Promoter Survey via e-mail that asks customers one important question. It could look like this:
How likely are you to recommend our [company, product, or service] to a friend [colleague] on a scale of zero to 10?
NOTE: A zero represents "very unlikely" (or "not at all likely"), while a 10 is "very likely" (or "extremely likely").
Respondents generally fit into one of three categories:
Promoters (scoring 9-10). These are consumers who are extremely likely to recommend your company. They will be repeat customers and cheerleaders for your business or brand.
Passives (scoring 7-8). There are satisfied customers who are uncommitted and lack enthusiasm. They may turn to a competitor.
Detractors (scoring 0-6). These are dissatisfied customers who can potentially harm your reputation. They are likely to leave bad reviews and negatively impact your bottom line..
To get your Net Promoter Score, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters over a given period of time. Results are as whole numbers between -100 and +100 (not as percentages). For example, if you have 25% Promoters, 55% Passives and 20% Detractors, your NPS will be +5.
Borrowing these tactics from high-converting websites has the potential to result in big conversion gains. Best of all, these strategies offer tremendous upside potential with little inherent risk.