Driving more people to your website through SEO is great – but turning them into customers once they get there is even better. So what can you do to increase the chances that a website visitor takes the next step and buys something while they’re there? We’ve identified three tried-and-true techniques to apply to improve your conversion rates.
Let Other Customers Sing Your Praises
Don’t just tell potential customers how great your product or service is – let your other customers do it for you. Customer reviews are powerful tools for increasing conversions. Because those customers are speaking from their own experience of having tried your product or service for themselves, they can provide persuasive first-hand evidence of its benefits. So make it a point to get their feedback and share it with others. A good ratings-and-reviews program will enable you to systematically collect reviews and publish them on your website – as well as share quotes from them through other channels such as ads, direct mail and in-store signage. Look for a solution from a reputable vendor who can help you establish best practices for a successful effort.
Worried that you might get bad reviews? Don’t be. You’re bound to get some negative reviews when you invite customers to comment. But rather than looking at a less-than-stellar review as a liability, think of it as an opportunity. You may discover there’s a problem with a product or service that you didn’t know about before, and you’ll have the chance to find a way to fix it. And when you do, you may very well convert that customer into a fan and an advocate for your business. That’s almost as good as – or maybe even better than – converting a visitor into a customer.
Fill in the Information Blanks
It should come as no surprise that providing shoppers with sufficient information about a potential purchase is an important step in converting them into buyers; after all, would you buy something online if you didn’t have all the information you need to make that decision? Of course, you can’t possibly address every single point of information a customer might want right there on your web page. You have to find other ways to be sure customers can get all the information they need to choose to buy your product or service. Two effective approaches are Q&A content and Live Chat capabilities.
Adding Q&A software to web pages is a great way to provide a potential customer with additional information to make a buying decision. As this example shows, Q&A content typically appears on a product web page as a link to existing Q&A content that’s been built up over time as people have asked questions while looking at the product. Shoppers can either browse through that content or ask a new question, which you can in turn add to the Q&A content to enrich it even further. This way, if someone is poised to hit “Add to cart” but won’t be comfortable doing it until they know for certain a particular point of information, they have a place to go to find the answer or ask the question.
There are times when a customer wants to have a question answered by a live person – either because that’s simply their preference, or because they’re experiencing an immediate issue that they need to resolve before they can complete their purchase. For example, if a customer is trying to use a coupon code during checkout and it’s not working, opening up a live chat window to ask a service representative to resolve it may be the way to go. Getting the issue resolved on the spot can mean the difference between going through checkout and abandoning the cart. According to at least one survey, live chat was the deciding factor in making a purchase for 38% of the respondents.
Make It Easy to Make the Purchase
Overly complex, time-consuming processes for buying a product or service online can stop customers in their tracks. From using too much jargon to requiring too much customer information, anything that frustrates a potential customer or slows down the purchasing process can result in a lost sale. According to Statista, two of the main reasons people abandon website shopping carts are navigation that’s too complicated and purchases that take too long.
Do yourself a favor, and keep it simple:
- Include simple, prominent “order now” buttons that are optimally designed and placed.
- Provide flexible payment options, including all major credit cards and alternatives like PayPal.
- Allow customers the option to buy without having to register on your site.
After you’ve worked to get people to your website, don’t risk losing them when they’re so close to buying. Tell them what they need to know to keep moving toward a purchase, from other people’s opinions to specific product information, and then make it easy for them to take the next step once they’ve made up their minds to buy.