Selling a product to a customer is not easy. There is a lot of effort involved in the whole process. With online shopping trend on the rise, you have to be very smart in making customers buy your product. It’s just like there is a never-ending tussle going on among the advertising agencies to get a slot on air during the prime hours. But only the agency with the best ad (and deep pockets) takes the advantage and takes the slot.
Most of the ecommerce websites are heavy with a large number of pages and they take more time to load. Remember! Heavier the website; longer the upload time, slower the speed. This is what makes customers unhappy and they leave the website without even navigating it in full.
Today customers tend to look for fast, reliable, and convenient shopping sites. In order to convert visitors into customers, your ecommerce website needs fast, reliable, and convenient platform, like Cloudways.
Your website’s homepage is the gateway for the customers. All you need is to convert these visitors into customers. It’s not an easy task! This is where the concept of conversion rate comes into play.
In this blog, I will elaborate about some of the common growth hacks for ecommerce that you can use to turn your frequent visitors into invaluable customers, thus increasing the conversion rate of your website.
1. Speed Matters!
Do you know what the consequences of slow loading ecommerce websites are? You will see a loss of 7% of sales. The image below shows the effect of slow loading on Walmart’s website? (Source: Radware)
By decreasing the website load times, the revenue generated was increased by 7-12% and the page views went 25% up.
Not only slow ecommerce website affects your revenue stream but it also affects your search rankings in Google. As in ecommerce industry where the competition is fierce, if your load time is slower than 95% of other sites, it will negatively affect the page indexing in Google thus drop in rankings.
Andrew B. King, founder of Webreference.com wrote in his book, Speed up your website: Website Optimization:
There are two exceptions to the general rule on which users disagree; two questions where the answers are the same for virtually all users, year after year. Since my first web usability studies in 1994, I have heard the following two comments in almost every test:
- I don’t like to read a lot of text on a computer screen.
- I don’t want to wait for slow pages to download.
Yes, don’t let them wait too long.
How can you fix the website load times? The easiest and most important fix is to go with the fastest hosting around. A hosting that provides extraordinary caching system that can deliver different types of content with blazing speed and enable your website to load in less than 2 seconds. I recommend Cloudways, as we claim the fastest load times as our motto!
2. Use Trust Signals on Product Pages
Before selling your product, learn to develop trust with your customers. Trusted customers are the real asset for your website. Use “Trust Signals” on every product page of your website. These trust signals may range from but not limited to free coupons, money-back guarantee, free shipping, and so on.
It is a good option to use them when you are looking to build trust among the first-time visitors. These trust signals or icons will shun out any risk factors, while enticing them to buy your product and have a convenient shopping experience. You can also place these trust icons just beside the “Add to cart” button. Now that the customers are assured and convinced, they will not hesitate to complete their purchasing process.
3. Get your Product Reviews Published
One of the best tactics to increase conversion rates is to have your products’ reviews. Believe me product reviews play a vital role in boosting conversion rates of your ecommerce website.
Remember these reviews should be genuine. Fake product reviews will affect your ecommerce store negatively. Make it a practice to have your products reviewed periodically, and keep them updated. You should also pitch your trusted customers to write a review for your product.
4. Smooth Navigation
Facilitate your customers in buying process, once they have decided to your product. It means that you should help your customer navigate smoothly through a closed check out process. Just don’t populate your product page with useless links.
They tend to confuse the customers. Make the purchasing process as easy as possible. Help out your customers in filling out the purchasing details of their desired product.
5. Communicate with Customers
So, here’s the next ecommerce growth hacking. If you want to increase the conversion rates of your ecommerce website, interact with your customers. Talk to them directly. Having a Live Chat feature within your website will just do the job for you perfectly. Emails take time to get drafted.
Customers take their time to respond an email. Don’t use emails (very much). Live Chat helps you engage your customers and get the job done without any hassle, in a matter of minutes.
6. Answer Queries Consistently
We have to do our business everyday. We have to face questions everyday. There might be some customers who would like to inquire about some feature on your website (or some other product). Some of the questions may seem easy to answer, while some questions may take your time in order to convince your customers.
You need to clarify and explain each and every aspect of your product or service that you offer. Most of the visitors tend to look out for an FAQ section. So, you should include an FAQ page within your website. You can make your FAQ page a trust signal by including your shipping policy, returns policy, warranties, and other related policies. Answer as many customers’ queries as possible to build an ever-lasting and trusted relationship. This will surely help increase conversion rates of your website.
7. Provide Contact Details
What if a customer wants to contact you directly through email or phone? You would always like to help him or her. Providing concise yet comprehensive contact details is essential.
Place your contact details at a prominent place within your web pages so that the customer can access the details without any fuss. You should provide correct contact information. Remember, customers love to talk and interact with real person behind the scene.
8. Invite for Free Website Tour
Most of the online visitors perceive that there is a big risk involved in purchasing online. You need to change that perception. One of the best options is to offer a free tour of your website.
Embed behind-the-scene photos, depicting the whole production and packaging processes of the product. This really helps customers to build a trustworthy image of your ecommerce website. Be real and be true to your customers.
9. Use Videos
Videos tend to go viral at an instant. Most of the websites are now using videos to educate and entice their potential customers to buy their products in order to increase the conversion rates.
Follow the suit. One of the important advantages of videos is that you can use them for publicity purposes on social media. Just share a comprehensive video and enjoy the results.
10. Entice customers with ‘back-in-stock’ notice
Imagine a situation where you have a customer who earnestly wants to purchase a particular product from your ecommerce website and that product is out-of-stock at the moment. Now, you would love to retain your customer. What should you do then? As soon as the product is back in stock, send an email with a ‘back-to-stock’ notice.
It will surely increase the chances that a trusted customer will return to you and buy your product. You can also manage a waiting list for your potential customers. Remember! Be fast, be on your toes, and do not let your customer slip through.
11. Highlight Unique Selling Features on Top
Every product has some unique selling features. When buying a product, customers always look for these features. Count these unique features of your product and include all of them right in the top header of your website. There can be more than one unique selling features that differentiate your product.
You can include guarantees, delivery time, free of cost shipping facility, etc. as the unique selling features. These features tend to attract and help customers make prompt decision about purchasing your product.
>12. Use Attention-grabbing “Add to cart” button &”Call to action” statements
What is the most important “Call to action” for your ecommerce website? Yes you are right. It’s an “Add to cart” button.
Get this button placed at prominent positions within your web pages. It will make your life a lot easier. A blend of strong add-to-cart button with attractive web design gives you an opportunity to attract customers in large numbers.
Furthermore, one of the best ways to engage and entice your visitors into buying a product from your e-store is to get customers’ attention by placing a call to action like, “Hurry up”, “Last chance available!”, “Don’t miss the opportunity!”, etc. on your product pages.
These so-called catchy lines tend to force customers to give a thought about hitting the “Buy” button.
13. Include a section of Recommended Products
There are myriad of products online. To attract potential customers, you should help your site visitors to explore the full range of products on offer at your web store. It is not necessary that they will buy that product. But there exists a chance that they may look out for something similar within their purchasing power.
Do include a “Recommended Products” section or a drop down menu to provide different choices for your customers.
14. Keep a Wish List
If you are running an e-store with fashionable and trendy products, then it is a very good idea to maintain a wishlist of the products that customers are looking for. Fashion trends change quickly, so be ready to introduce new products in the wishlist of your e-store so as to entice customers to visit your site regularly for checking and comparing new fashion trends.
You can also use wish list to offer a discount for your returning customers who have already purchased a product from your e-store.
15. Offer Different Payment Options
What if a customer is interested in buying a product from your website, but there is no credit card available with him or her. Surely, you would not love to lose a customer just because he or she can’t pay.
Facilitate these customers by introducing various payment options such as wire transfer, Paypal, cash on delivery, etc. Customers will love you for this and will not hesitate to use their credit cards on your website.
16. Show your Presence on Media
Show your presence. Media—print, TV, or web—is a powerful tool to market your online store. If you have won any awards, do mention them on your homepage.
Use testimonials of your trusted media outlets and influential personalities to attract customers in order to increase conversion rates.
17. Reward Customers through Points and Discounts
Customers always love to be rewarded for purchasing a product they like. Customers often take it as if they are on a shopping spree and they would love to get recognized for the amount of money they spend to buy products.
If you want to retain your valued customers, introducing a “Points” system will surely encourage customers to remain loyal to your ecommerce website.
18. Maintain a Blog
Run a blog. And make it a regular practice. Publish new content about your e-store and the products available online. A blog is one of the most important sources to embed trust among the visitors who love to read blogs before deciding to buy a product.
The blog also helps you develop a brand persona about your ecommerce store, while increasing the website’s traffic by manifolds. Keep the search engine optimization factors in mind though.
19. Use Product Images
A single product image is not good. You can use, as many images as you like, of the product available at your e-store. In order to generate website traffic and build customers’ trust, you have to use a lot of product images.
The images used should be clear enough to make it easy for customer to make a decision to buy the pictured product. Do it consistently.
0. Put Suitable Product Descriptions
It is a fact that customers don’t have much time to read a detailed account of the product. Write a concise description of the product you want to sell. Many of us have a perception that a short description is enough.
Well, this is true in most cases, but not necessarily in all cases. I recommend you to provide a concise, yet comprehensive details about the product worth selling. The description should explain all the features and uses of the product in such a way that it should entice the customers to buy that product.
21. Introduce Coupons for new customers
If you are a first-time visitor on a website, you should have noticed they ask you to provide your email address, so that they can send you their newsletters. These newsletters contain valuable information about the company, its online operations, and various products offered by an ecommerce website. These also contain coupons.
Giving away discounted coupons to new visitors will be an added incentive for them and they are likely to purchase a product or two. Keep in mind not to offer an unlimited discount though.
22. Make Search Bar visible
Most customers, who visit a website, use search bar to get information about categories and products. Remember! They are in a rush and don’t have time to scroll the whole page down. So, it’s better to include a dynamic search bar at a prominent place within all the pages of your ecommerce website.
This will help customers remain engaged in searching their relevant product information with ease in one go.
23. Manage your Navigation bar
Online customers love to navigate websites with ease. If you have an online store, with a poor navigation, then be ready for high bounce rate. Make your navigation bar user-friendly in order to attract more online customers.
You can place the navigation bar anywhere on your homepage, but it should be fixed, so that there is no hassle while customers scroll down the page to look for more information.
24. Use Personalization Tactics
One of the most important things to do while you are running and managing an ecommerce website is to keep track of the website traffic, location, customers’ engagement time, purchased product, and other such key metrics.
This personalization practice will help you gain trust and loyalty of your customers and they will undoubtedly return to visit your website more often. This approach also helps you to get first-hand information about the customers.
25. Add a Dynamic Shopping Cart
If you want to increase conversion rates for your ecommerce website, then you should keep a close eye on your shopping cart. Make it a permanent practice.
It is a fact that about 24% of customers tend to use shopping cart at a later date after their first shopping experience.
26. Appreciate and Highlight Partners’ and Affiliates’ Contributions
Just like trusted customers, affiliates and partners are also an important asset for you. If you want to increase conversion rate on your e-store, highlight their contributions at a prominent place on your website.
This is a good practice when you need to engage more customers on your ecommerce website.
27. Use some Static Images
You always love to offer more products and more discount rates to your long-standing customers.
It’s always good to use some static images of most bought products so that customers can start communication, which may eventually lead that customer to buy that product.
28. Offer Free Shipment
You can extend a friendship hand to your customers. What you have to do? Shun off the shipping charges of products, and see the website traffic increase by leaps and bounds, thus leading to increased conversion rates of your web store.
29. Offer Discounts on Products
Customers love to buy discounted products. You can use discounted offers to attract more customers to your web store. It is really a good strategy for increasing customer conversion rates. Go for it.
30. Keep Homepage simple
If you are willing to boost up customer conversion and retention rate, then keep your homepages simple. Don’t clutter them with loads of content. You should use modal windows.
These modal windows will simplify users’ navigation experience, while shunning the burden off the homepage.
31. Use an Inspiring Historical Image
Using images on your website will also help your cause for increasing conversion rates. Most of the web-stores use a large number of images.
Sometimes using a single image on your homepage can do the job for you. You can use an enticing life-size image for this purpose.
32. Use Trust Icons, but don’t trust them blindly
You can use trust icons or we can say trust signals to your advantage. These icons can positively impact the visitors’ perception about your website, and they will find it easy to purchase a product. A study conducted by Actual Insights reports that 75% of the customers make their decisions to buy a product online only after seeing a trusted icon or logo.
But stop! Here is a catch. Approximately similar percentage of customers (75%) held the opinion that they did not buy the product because the icon was not clear. It means that you can’t trust the trust signals blindly. You can use A/B testing instead, as it will increase conversion rates by 32%.
33. Use A/B Testing for Selecting Products
A/B testing is beneficial for your ecommerce website. It gives you the liberty to choose and make decision about which products you should place on your e-store to attract more customers.
You can offer new products, seasonal products and most bought products to check customers’ inclination towards the types of products your website offers. It may be the case that customers might not like the new products and show interest in buying an old branded product that you are known to sell with success.
34. Highlight the Value Addition Aspect of Products
Customers do like to have durable and reliable products, known for their strong brand names. Make your efforts to highlight the unique selling points of the product that you want your customers to buy from your ecommerce website.
This is called value proposition of your product. This practice is guaranteed to give you the much needed boost in the conversion rates for your website.
35. Use Social Media Sites to Share
Social media is one of most important and effective tools, you can use to enhance the conversion rates on your online store. But how effective is it? Well, there is no rocket science in it. A recent study has shown that approximately 31.9% of digital marketers have emphasized on using social media sites in order to increase conversion rates on e-stores.
Moreover, in a survey, an overwhelming 84% of avid online users reported that they use at least one social media website to get information about the latest products available online. Spice up your social media marketing for beneficial results.
36. Highlight Important News at the Top of Homepage
One of the easiest ways to attract customers to your e-store is to highlight the most important thing right at the top of the homepage.
For instance, you are going to launch a new product, or you are offering a discount, take this information at the top of the website’s homepage. You can also use an attractive banner to do the same job.
Hack now or forever lose your chance of glory
In today’s ever-changing and ever-challenging world of ecommerce, converting curious visitors into trusted customers is the name of the game. A satisfied customer is your real asset. An online store with a loyal customer base is the real trendsetter within this fiercely competitive industry. If you want your e-store make phenomenal progress, try out these 36 tweaks and you will see the results within no time.
In this blog, I have provided a detailed account of some of the most common strategies for ecommerce growth hacking that you can use to boost up conversion rates for your online retail store. If you are aware of some other tweaks, do let me know. Your comments and suggestions will be highly appreciated. Share your valuable ideas in the comments section below. I hope you will enjoy this read.
Muhammad Saad Khan is a Director of Product Marketing at Cloudways (by DigitalOcean), a Growth Hacker extraordinaire, and a force to be reckoned with on the table tennis court. He's spent a decade building innovative customer-led growth strategies that helped Cloudways grow from 0 to 89,000 customers & is a regular at WordCamp events worldwide.