Conversion is arguably the most important metric you need to track and optimize for your online store. The conversion rate tells you the percentage of traffic that you’re engaging and bringing to the next step of your sales funnel, ultimately raking in leads and revenue.
“Conversion” can refer to different actions in different scenarios. In some cases, you’re converting new visitors into leads by getting them to sign up for an email list or to opt into a webinar. In other cases, conversion refers to a sale or consultation call.
The conversion is the fulcrum of the customer journey: how are your customers interacting with your brand at each touch point to engage deeper, move towards a purchase, and ultimately buy more.
A conversion rate generally tells you how effective your advertising and website copy is. If your conversion rate is low, it’s likely because you’re not effectively convincing your customer to take the next step.
So how can you optimize your website and/or landing page to increase your conversion rate and bring more customers through your sales funnel?
1. Frictionless Checkout
You could do an incredible job selling your product, service, or lead magnet, but if the process to take the next action is clunky, you’ll instantly lose visitors. In fact, most conversions are lost at the checkout point. If it takes too long, doesn’t seem safe or secure, or it isn’t what they expected from the ad copy, the customer will click away from the checkout cart.
It’s absolutely critical to ensure your opt-in page and checkout processes are smooth and streamlined. Take out the friction:
- Have as few fields as possible. Don’t make visitors fill out a lot of information.
- Allow auto-fill for fields, especially on mobile. This lets the customer’s computer or phone automatically input the information to speed up the process.
- Don’t require registration in order to buy. Offer guest checkout, and then you can follow up in an email later with an option to register.
- When directed to the checkout or opt-in, remove all other distractions. Give clear forms to fill out and buttons to push to get to the next step. Get rid of all other banners and CTAs that could pull them away from the desired action you want them to take.
- Test your checkout. Google Analytics can help you identify problem areas in the checkout process like load speed or the points at which most customers click away.
- Improve your mobile checkout process to appeal to the on-the-go customer.
- Include order details at every step. This gives customers peace of mind that they know exactly what they’re receiving. It ensures they won’t need to leave the checkout to double check or review their order.
- Use a progress indicator. This shows users how far along they are in the opt-in or checkout process. If they see the light at the end of the tunnel (and it’s not too far away), they won’t be as quick to click away.
Image via garthwest
2. Offer a surprise discount at checkout.
Another great way to pull them through the perilous checkout process is with an unexpected surprise in their cart. Discounts are a go-to for companies to advertise and engage customers. And it works. But here’s another way to try out the discount approach.
Rather than intriguing them with a discount at the initial touch point, you can surprise them with one at checkout. For example, you “reward” them with free shipping or a 10% off coupon.
This approach doesn’t always work. They’ve already found the products they want to buy. So offering an additional discount doesn’t really make sense, because you’ve already convinced them—right? In a lot of cases, that’s actually not the case, though. A strong majority of online shoppers are actually “window shopping.” They’ll add items to their cart without the intent to purchase. They may only purchase if something really stands out or they get an unexpected discount.
This surprise discount tactic works if you see that you have a high abandon cart ratio, with a lot of customers adding items to their cart and never returning. That means you have a lot of window shoppers who need encouragement with a last-ditch discount in-cart.
3. Provide and Promote Free Shipping
Customers care about free shipping. 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping is the top incentive to shop online, and orders with free shipping average 30% higher in value. Offering free shipping is hands down one of the most effective ways to pull in and convert customers.
Plus, not offering free shipping is a major detractor. If a customer fills up their cart and then sees they have to pay another $30 for shipping, a strong majority of customers will neglect the cart altogether. In fact, 61% of consumers are “somewhat likely” to cancel their purchase if free shipping isn’t available.
If you offer free shipping, you want to let the world know. Declare it in banners, on product pages, and in the checkout cart. Your customer wants to know that they get free shipping because they’re more willing to consider the purchase.
There are different ways you can offer free shipping, depending on your goals and budget. Some stats and ideas:
- “Free shipping on orders over $50”: 58% of customers will add more items to the cart to qualify for the free shipping purchase threshold
- “Free standard 5-7 day shipping”: 50% will choose the slowest option if it’s free
- “Entire code FREE for free shipping”: 47% will search on other platforms to look for promo codes for free shipping
- “Join our loyalists to receive free shipping on all orders”: 31% will join a loyalty program to qualify for free shipping
Psst… That’s one of the reasons Amazon Prime is so strong. 78% of Amazon Prime customers sign up for Prime because of the free shipping.
4. A Free and Easy Returns Policy
79% of consumers want free return shipping, and 67% will check the returns page before making a purchase. Customers don’t want to feel like they’re taking a “risk” on you, especially if you’re a small or new brand.
So implement a free and hassle-free returns policy. They’ll feel more comfortable making the conversion because they know they can return the item if it doesn’t suit their needs. You may also want to implement some sort of guarantee, like a 30-day guarantee, so they can return the product or try something else if they aren’t 100% satisfied. This tells the customer that you’re confident in their product and that their decision is low-risk.
Does this mean you’ll be getting more returns? Not necessarily. It just makes sure that your customer loves what they purchase. If they don’t love it, 92% of consumers are willing to buy something again if returns are easy. Providing top-notch customer service is of the utmost importance when building a strong brand reputation.
5. Display social proof
83% of consumers say they trust recommendations over any other form of advertising. Visitors want to see that others approve of (and love) what you’re offering. They don’t want to take a risk, especially if they’re making a purchase. Show social proof next to your conversion CTA button and they’re more likely to click through.
Examples of social proof:
- Client testimonials, especially video or linked to the speaker’s site
- Reviews displayed on product pages
- Reviews from experts or influencers
- Prominent client logos
- Links to other review sites, like Google Business or Amazon
- Press mentions
6. Be approachable
Customer service is actually one of the best ways to improve your conversion rate. Customers see that you care about them, so they’re more willing to take the next step knowing that you’ll be there to hold their hand and look out for them.
That means you need to show them that you’re available to them. That starts by including your contact information like email, phone, social media, address, and more. People want to know that they have a way of contacting you if they have any concerns, issues, or comments. They want to feel like you’re approachable and ready and willing to take their call.
Another great customer service tool is the chat box. Customers can ask questions to learn more about your offerings, so they can feel secure before taking the plunge. Best yet, you can offer 24/7 customer service by utilizing AI-driven chatbot software. Your bots are programmed to use your brand voice and tone to answer customers’ inquiries and pull them through the funnel. Learn more about chatbots for ecommerce sellers here.
7. Focus on urgency and exclusivity
The two rules of conversion are urgency and exclusivity. Customers have to feel like they need to make a purchasing decision right now or they’ll miss out on an incredible opportunity. Otherwise, they might abandon their cart to “mull over” the purchase or opt in—and most of the time, they forget about it.
How to boost urgency and exclusivity:
- Include stock numbers on product pages or landing pages. Show how few pieces are left in stock, so they have to buy before it’s all gone. (This requires active inventory management. Check out Skubana to make this simpler.)
- Clearly state the benefits of your product or service. Describe its uses, who benefits from it, how it fits into their lifestyle, and what makes it better than comparable products. Be confident and proud of your offerings.
- Use actionable language. Strong verbs can encourage more urgent action, such as “grab yours” or “reserve your seat before they run out.” Focus on language regarding time, speed, and scarcity. Play up customer FOMO.
- Your call to action should be especially strong. “Book now” or “Buy now” or “Act today” all drive people to make the conversion right now.
- Don’t go overboard, though. Use urgency and exclusivity in moderation to encourage, not hype up.
8. Personalize their experience
Customers expect and demand a personalized shopping experience online. Personalization isn’t just a trend anymore. It’s become the one and only means of engaging with customers online. Visitors know you’re taking their data, so they want you to use it to tailor content, communication, and product recommendations. In fact, even just offering a recommended or similar products section can increase your conversion rate and units per sale.
9.Include video and imagery
Landing page videos increase conversion rate by nearly 80%. It’s one of the most effective ways to demonstrate your brand, engage the audience, and show off the benefits of your offering.
High-quality images, especially product images, also boost conversion drastically. One of the most popular Seller’s Choice solutions is our product imagery because businesses see a major boost in sales with high-quality, professional photos.
Click to learn more about video, especially video for product listings.
Pro-tip: Even if you’re promoting an intangible offering, like a free eBook download or a webinar, create a mockup product image. Make it look like there’s a cover for your eBook, or create a graphic for the webinar. This makes customers feel like they’re getting a more tangible product, so they’ll be more willing to convert.
You want it to be easy and risk-free to take the next step in your sales funnel. Whether encouraging the visitor to give you their email or make a purchase, you need to convince them that the product is highly beneficial, your company is authentic and trustworthy, and the time and money they’re giving you will provide a valuable return.
What kind of conversion CTA do you have? What is your conversion rate? Leave it in the comments below or contact us directly to start a conversation about how you can boost your conversion rate by 1%, 5%, 10%, or 50% in the next sales cycle. Let’s take your customer’s journey to the next level.