Your business is dependent upon people converting. If you’ve started researching the question, “how to boost conversion rates,” you may have found dozens of ideas. However, much of what you find could take weeks, if not months, to complete and implement, like A/B testing on your landing pages or building a subscriber base to nurture with automation emails.
While those strategies are valuable and should be part of your overall business plan, there are many small changes you can make to sell more products from your website. Use these simple tips to start driving more sales tomorrow.
1. Promote Testimonials
Reviews are one of the most underutilized tools for optimizing an e-commerce site, with only 33 percent of businesses actively seeking consumer reviews. Not only do reviews allow you to add new, unique content for your site, but they can persuade potential buyers to convert.
In fact, testimonials have been shown to increase conversions up to 50 percent. Why? Testimonials act as social proof: when someone’s buying from you, they like to see that other people like them have purchased from you too.
Encourage customers to leave reviews by sending post-purchase follow-up emails. Simply build the request into your automation flow templates and make it easy for them to submit their review. You can also incentivize customers with a discount on their next purchase, which gets you the testimonial and a return customer.
Don’t forget you can use these testimonials in a variety of ways. Put longer or video-based testimonials in blog posts, in addition to your landing pages, home page, and even checkout pages.
2. Optimize Images
Low quality, pixelated, or poorly-sized images impact your conversions, even if your products are the most high-quality options in your industry. Rachel Jacobs, Head of Content for Pixc, explains: “Imagery continues to be the catalyst of our era—the communication vehicle through which people understand value or disregard and move on to the next.”
While there are few recent studies directly connecting image quality with conversions, experts including Neil Patel, BigCommerce and Practical Commerce agree this is critical. Why might that be? Practical Commerce makes the point that customers can’t touch or experience a product before they buy it when shopping online; photos, and for many retailers, videos, bridge this gap.
As such, it’s important you invest the time and energy into making all your product images consistent, on-brand, and high-resolution. If you can’t invest in professional photography, use your smartphone to take high-res photos. Check out this guide from Hubspot to get better at taking high-quality product photos with your phone.
If you already have professional images, consider adding features and functionality that make them more user-friendly and valuable. For example, you can add a zoom function to your site, allowing customers to zoom in on the details of each product. Better yet, test video to see how that affects conversion rates.
3. Don’t Discount Content
When you think of content, your mind likely goes to blog posts or media, but creative copy plays an important role in sales too. Product descriptions should speak to your audience and be developed with your unique brand voice.
A great example of the importance of product descriptions is Overstock.com, who saw an 84 percent increase in conversions when using freelancers to update copy on 10 percent of their highest performing pages. What makes great product copy? Here are a few tips from Booststrapping Ecommerce:
Tailor them to your niche audience.
Make them easy to read.
Highlight the benefits of product features.
Be consistent with your voice.
Resellers should also avoid copy and pasting descriptions directly from the manufacturer’s website. Not only will this content be bland and un-original, but Google may flag it as duplicate copy which will heavily impact your site’s rankings.
4. Simplify the Shopping Cart Process
This is the most important part of your customer’s experience. This is where they’ll finish the process, and click “buy” or abandon the cart; the former of which e-commerce retailers are all too familiar with. Baymard Institute estimates the current cart abandonment rate to be 69.89 percent, and the checkout process has a significant effect on this.
One way to reduce cart abandonment is to simplify the checkout process, which can increase conversions by 28 percent, according to OptinMonster. If you haven’t already, start by buying an item from yourself to test ease-of-use of your check-out. Better yet, have a friend buy something and provide candid feedback on the process.
When you’re ready to make the necessary changes, keep these three golden rules in mind, from the guide, 5 Secrets to Selling Products Online:
Don’t force visitors to register on their first purchase; allow for guest checkout.
Don’t make the navigation complicated. Keep your main navigation bar at the top of the page with style and formatting consistent with drop downs and submenus.
Keep the check-out process short. “The more steps and information requested, the greater the friction, and the more sales you will lose as buyers abandon their purchase,” the guide explains.
Use the three golden rules as the foundation of your changes and then modify based on what you found in your testing.
5. Build Your Email List
The reality is that most people won’t buy from you before knowing your brand. When you turn a website visitor into one of your email subscribers, however, you can nurture them into purchasing with automated emails.
The key is setting up an automation flow that shows the value of your products. The idea being that, once they sign up, they’re on an email track that sends them specific emails at specific times. For example, a new subscriber flow might look like this:
Immediately post-sign up: Welcome email and fun freebie
3 days post-sign up: Introducing the brand and a new line of products.
6 days post-sign up: Featured testimonials or reviews + links to join the “community.” i.e. your social media channels.
8 days post-sign up: Sale or offer to encourage them to purchase
Sell More Products Now
In many cases, the smallest changes can have the greatest impact. Updating product descriptions and images, simplifying the shopping cart process, and remembering to get potential customers into an automation flow will all help you sell more products from your website. Soon, you’ll be focused on optimizing and refining to find a rinse-and-repeat formula that works every time.
Jessica Thiefels is a small business owner and organic content marketing consultant. She’s been writing for 10 years and you can find her work on more than 500 websites worldwide, including Virgin, Forbes, RetailNext, and more. Follow her on Twitter @JThiefels and connect on LinkedIn.