How to improve e-commerce conversion rate without design changes.
Easily the best way to increase the revenue of an e-commerce business is to raise the conversion rate. But how can this be achieved without running a conversion rate optimisation campaign and implementing costly design changes to the site? Check out below for seven tips to manipulate your conversion rate without altering the design of your site.
It is simple consumer behavior, offer free shipping and your conversion rate will increase. Obviously this could mean eating into your profits if shipping is coming out of your margins. The solution is to build the shipping into the product price.
Two retailers A and B sell the same product. Retailer A sells it for $80 + $15 shipping and retailer B for $100 free shipping. If the product is a ‘need’ product then retailer A will win out. However, most e-commerce stores sell either a hybrid of need and want or just want products in which case B will get the sale.
The reason behind this is the attached value a consumer puts on a product due to its price. Customer’s shopping with retailer A sees an $80 product with a $15 fee perceived as dead money. Though customers shopping with retailer B see a $100 product. This means if they are comparing they would see retailer B as having a 25% better product whilst only having to pay 5.2% more.
Get now pay later
In the history of e-commerce, there have been momentous changes impacting business owners. Abandon cart emails, dynamic remarketing, etc, though not much has changed the industry as significantly as get now pay later platforms such as Afterpay, Clearpay, or Klarna.
Afterpay claims on average e-commerce sites see a conversion rate increase of 20%. Whilst including their service will cost you a small percentage, the total number of increased orders will far outweigh the loss.
It again comes down to simple consumer behavior. These platforms are a form of reverse saving. If a customer wants to make a purchase of $80 they could every two weeks put $20 aside and after 8 weeks have the sufficient funds available. Though, it’s all too easy to spend money on take away or a night out rather than save the $20. Of course Afterpay and others force consumers to ‘put away’ $20 a week.
Reviews and consumer-generated content.
Hands down the most effective marketing is word of mouth. If someone approaches you and tells you to buy a product, and they receive no benefit from you purchasing, then it must truly be a great product. Whilst nothing will compare to a user’s own trusted friends and family, creating social proof online can help nudge customers into a purchasing decision.
This can be done by generating reviews from happy customers. Koala mattresses’ entire marketing plan is based on their tens of thousands of 5-star reviews. They do this by swiftly following up with the customers after purchase. An email is sent to every customer asking them to rate Koala on a few key metrics.
Using simple automations they are able to send customers with positive things to say towards third party sites such as Google or Facebook and unsatisfied customers to an internal form so that further action can be taken.
Another way to make a user feel comfortable with their purchase is to display user-generated content throughout your site. For example a customer is browsing a product page on a furniture site deciding on a couch. If they can see a feed of images from other happy customers who have posted images of the couch and their socials and tagged the retailer, they are going to feel far more comfortable with their purchase.
“If you are not happy with the product you can return it” is such a common phrase because it is powerful. Often businesses are hesitant to offer money-back guarantees as they don’t want customers changing their mind post-purchase.
To truly give customers confidence, offer them a money-back guarantee and offer to pay for return shipping. Yes it is likely you may see an increase in refunds being issued and perhaps an increase in shipping costs. However much like the other points listed so far, the increase in consumer confidence with your brand/site will increase conversions overall.
Encourage communication with your personable brand
Retail customers can be frustrating when they’ve got the confidence of being behind their phone screen or keyboard they are even worse. Though if you took e-commerce and applied it to the purchasing experience of traditional retail it would seem incredibly depressing. You would walk into a store with nothing but products, no one there to greet you, no one there to answer your products. Perhaps a speaker projecting impersonal ‘no-reply’ messages.
Traditional retail managers have always known that personable (but not pushy) happy retail staff improve sales. Business owners should replicate traditional stores in their online stores. Of course there are many ways of automating that experience with bots and FAQs. However, to truly replicate the traditional experience.
You should set up a live chat with a message on your landing pages “Hey 👋 I’m a real person. Let me know if you need a hand with finding the right size or where products are.” though it may be time-consuming customers will feel far more attached to your brand.
Another simple way to make users feel your brand is more authentic is to set up an email address with a first name for communication purposes. Nothing says I don’t care about my customers more than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let customers check out as guest
Collect as much data as possible. The more information gathered the more knowledge you have for making decisions. But this shouldn’t be at the cost of someone making a purchase. Obviously, buying products is exciting, nothing kills that excitement like having to fill out a form, create an account, confirm an email as part of a checkout process.
If site visitors want to create accounts for unique benefits great, but if they just want to make a purchase and leave let them. You will still be collecting their email for order confirmation and name for shipping. But allowing potential customers to check out with as little friction as possible will further increase your conversion rate.
The common trend amongst the above tips is to put the customer first. Make sure they don’t have to pay for shipping out of their end. Allow them to choose their preferred payment option. Let them see other people have purchased. Ensure they know if the purchase wasn’t right they won’t be out of pocket and be approachable.