20 Oct 2017 18:56 IST

Seven ways to get more conversions on your e-commerce site

A clear website design and well-written product descriptions will persuade visitors to turn buyers

The first challenge in establishing a successful e-commerce site is to get as many visitors as you can to view your page. The higher the number of people who visit it, the more popular it becomes. However, your website’s conversion rate is more important than the number of site-visits. There’s no point in having people visit if they leave without making a purchase. Your conversion rate is the ultimate signifier of your e-commerce site’s success.

Here are seven strategies that will help you boost your website’s conversion rate:

1. Emphasise what you’re selling

If you want visitors to turn buyers, you need to start thinking like them. Within the first three seconds, can your shoppers make out what you’re selling them? The best way to showcase your products is by using a clean, uncluttered design throughout your website that makes the images stand out. Use large, high-quality images to appear more professional.

Unnecessary information and graphics distract customers from the actual products, making them less likely to purchase something. One study discovered that 70.8 per cent of shoppers felt they were more likely to make a purchase if products were displayed prominently on the homepage.

2. Anticipate your customer’s reservations

If you can predict factors that might make your shoppers hesitant to make a purchase, you can address them immediately. Most customers want to know how easy it will be to return a product, if they can get their money back easily in case of a return, and if you have free shipping.

Don’t give your shoppers any room to doubt what your policies are. Instead, display them prominently on your website, so their concerns will be addressed. Have clear icons saying you have free shipping and an easy return policy.

3. Encourage reviews to build trust

If you want people to spend money on your products, they need to be able to trust you. If you’re a new e-commerce brand, there are a number of ways you can help your potential customers develop trust in you. By displaying well-known brands that you’re selling or the names of trusted organisations you’re partnering with, you can extend some of the trust people have in them to your brand as well.

Another way to build trust is to display customer reviews. Shoppers are more likely to make a purchase if they know that other customers who have bought your products are happy with them.

4. Make sure your product descriptions are well-written

Many e-commerce brands focus solely on images while ignoring written product descriptions. This could translate to low conversion rates. While images are important to show people exactly what the product looks like, descriptions are equally essential. The description needs to speak directly to the customer, highlight the features of the product and let them know just how it could benefit their lives.

It might even need to include a detailed ingredients list, product specifications and materials used, depending on what you’re selling. Shoppers almost always put plenty of thought into making a purchase, so you need to give them all the information they need to influence them in your direction.

5. Display your prices and shipping costs prominently

Nothing can make a shopper abandon their carts faster than hidden prices. One survey found that shipping and price issues made up 91 per cent of the reason for customers not completing their purchase. To avoid this, make sure you’re honest and up-front about your prices and shipping costs.

If you have free shipping on orders only above a certain amount, make sure you state that, instead of putting out a misleading claim. Prices for each product also need to be displayed clearly. Under every product, make sure the price is displayed prominently so your customers don’t encounter any hidden costs later on.

6. Showcase promotional offers on your homepage

Everyone loves a good deal. Promotional offers are especially effective in attracting new customers. If you’re offering a discount on certain products, people are more likely to purchase it. If they like your products, they will be more willing to make another purchase and pay the full price for it the next time.

Make sure you display all your discounts, promotion codes and offers prominently on your homepage, so no one can miss them. You will also need to link the product page to the promotional offer page so it’s easy to complete their purchase. Another tactic that will help is if you add an end-date to your offer. This will create a sense of urgency and push people to make a purchase.

7. Encourage customers to share on social media

As soon as your customers have completed a purchase, ask them if they would like to share it on their social media profiles. If customers have liked your site enough to go through with a purchase, they’re more likely to recommend it to their friends. This will help bring in more site visits but, more importantly, it could also help increase your conversion rate. When someone they know is recommending your site, new customers will trust you more and maybe even purchase something themselves.

With these steps, you’ll soon be on your way to building a successful e-commerce website. Once you start getting more customers, it’s important you encourage them to make more purchases through techniques such as email marketing. Check out the article Nine ways to make email marketing work for tips to help you build your customer base.