Online shopping grew again last year. As more of us enjoy the convenience and feel comfortable with buying online, so the competition has increased with just about every big retailer now offering online as well as in store.
Of course, there is still a place for the small, independent ecommerce business. But you do have to work hard to get those customers. So remember that getting visitors to your site is just half the battle – you have to get them to buy. Here’s 5 areas to watch to get your conversion rate up and your sales flying.
With your competition just a click of a mouse away (or should that be a touch on a tablet), your prices have to be spot on.
But that doesn’t have to mean the cheapest. People are looking for more than the lowest prices online. What else do you offer that your competitors don’t? Tell your customers – this is no time to be shy!
That said, if you sell popular brands and items which are widely available elsewhere, your prices need to be competitive.
However, if your products are unique to you, then it’s harder for customers to do exact comparisons. So make sure you are not under charging. How often do you search for a gift and see items that look nice in the photos? And then decide not to buy because the price is lower than expected? It happens to me a lot! We equate price with quality – don’t undervalue your worth.
I like buying from small independent shops – online and offline – but when I come across a brand I don’t recognise, I want to know that I can trust them and that they won’t disappear with my cash.
So using widely known payment providers like WorldPay or SagePay helps. And PayPal is even better as I don’t need to hand my card details over. Having secure payment logos on your site really build that trust.
I also want to know a bit about you – where you are based, your phone number. And I want to be reassured that you have not gone out of business, so make sure your news/events/blog entries are up to date.
Know what I’m getting
Online shoppers can’t see and touch the product – we rely on your pictures and description. So make these as comprehensive as possible.
Apart from great quality, clear images, photos that you can zoom and shots from different angles give the buyer extra confidence.
And check you haven’t missed anything from your description – dimensions, colour, material, special features.
Ah, delivery charges – every online shopper’s pet hate. Make sure yours are visible (no, I don’t want to register to find out how much it costs to deliver) – and reasonable. If you offer free delivery, say so.
Nowadays, most shoppers expect next day dispatch and fast delivery. If you can’t offer this (your items are personalised for example), then make this clear. Of course, some items require special delivery arrangements – do explain these up front. I still remember being extremely unhappy when I was rung about delivery of a piece of furniture and told “we only deliver in your area on Thursdays”. The one day of the week I am always out at meetings! I live in Manchester, for goodness sake, not Lands End. Cue bad review on Google!
Do I Like You?
Many purchases are emotional and the decision to buy may come down to whether I like your website and what you say.
Little things like a returns policy that’s written in a friendly tone and plain English. An “About Us” page that tells the story behind the business. A comprehensive Q&A section.
Pay attention to all these details and you’ll build trust and the confidence for your visitors to get out the credit card! And as your conversion rate improves, so will your profits.