Many e-commerce website owners work diligently on search engine optimization (SEO) to drive massive amounts of traffic to their site, only to discover that their sales aren't keeping pace with their web traffic. These business owners learn the hard way that selling online is not just a numbers game. Raw web traffic does not necessarily translate into e-commerce sales.
So what more can you do after your SEO effort is starting to pay off, and your website has a steady stream of visitors? Enter Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)! CRO is those techniques that convert your visitors into paying customers.
Here are essential 5 e-commerce tips & tricks that can help you improve sales:
Use web analytics
This is an important first step. Using web analytic tools can help you get the answers to the following important questions:
- Who is visiting your site?
- Where are they coming from?
- How long do visitors stay on your site?
- Which pages are they visiting?
- How far are potential customers going in the buying process before abandoning their carts?
Many e-commerce platforms include these tools with their service. You might have already used the famous Google Analytics to track your visitors. There are also free web analytic tools available like PIWIK open source analytic software, or paid tools like MixPanel.
Whichever tool you use, it’s wise to regularly review your site’s analytics to help discover areas where you might need to improve. Once you have a good handle on your analytics, you can use the remaining tips to help increase sales. Here is an excellent article to help you quickly get started on using Google Analytics for conversion rate optimization.
Engage your visitors
Avoid the common temptation to just publish what is essentially an online catalog. Certainly you want to provide specific information on the products you sell. But don’t stop there. Instead, provide some useful content that’s related either to your overall industry, or each individual product you sell.
According to SmartBugMedia.com, 61% of consumers feel better about a company that delivers custom content. They’re also more likely to buy from that company.
For example, if you sell finish carpentry tools to residential do-it-yourselfers, your site could include a library of how-to videos that demonstrate how to fabricate and install new trim woodwork. Or in the case of Zappos, producing sales video for each and every product has proven useful in CRO!
Upgrade your site
If your website is more than a few years old, there are probably new and better design and functionality options that can make your site easier to use. Internet access via mobile devices is increasing every day. So, if your site isn't mobile-ready, you should make that a priority by incorporating responsive web design.
You should also add social media integration to your site. This will allow your visitors to easily share your site on their social media pages. That's is like word-of-mouth on steroids. According to a social impact study, 75% of shoppers who read comments shared by their friends clicked on the product link contained in the post.
Even just updating your photos and tweaking your copy can make a big difference in the quality of your visitor’s experience. The simple rule? Make your site looks credible, and make it easy for users to find information - be it on desktop or mobile.
Make it easier to buy
If you’re finding that visitors are leaving your site after having placed items in their shopping cart, it may be a sign that your shipping charges have given them a case of sticker shock. Statistics published on FactBrowser.com show that 45% of consumers abandon their cart, and 46% of those cart abandoners do it because of high shipping costs.
To mitigate this, you could provide information about your shipping rates earlier in the process. Another option is to have a pop-up offering a discount when visitors try to abandon their cart and leave your site without buying. You should also implement some kind of cart recovery mechanism to convert those abandoned carts into sales.
PS:/ Checkout our very useful nopCommerce plugin that deals with cart abandonment.
Conversion rate optimization is an interesting field to study, and you should really invest in CRO like how you've invested in SEO. Below are a few resources to get you started: