Consumers are now shopping online more than ever. In 2015 alone, U.S. consumers spent a whopping $341.7 billion online, a 14.6% increase from 2014 and these numbers are expected to keep growing with time. Yet, despite how many consumers are swiping their credit cards online, many retailers fail to do everything they can to convert more of their visitors into customers and their e-commerce conversion rates remain low because of this.
To overcome this, retailers need to aim for higher conversion rates to match their sales. And in a time where both online and mobile shopping continues to grow, it’s increasingly harder for retailers to stand out of the e-commerce crowd. But, by offering consumers a dynamic and intuitive site search, you’ll be able to convert more browsers into buyers and boost your conversions and sales.
To help you improve your site search and customer experience, we’ve put together 14 powerful e-commerce tips that will boost site conversions:
Create a Sense of Urgency
Nothing gets a shopper entering their credit card information faster than a sense of urgency. This can be achieved by including a low stock indicator, sale countdowns, time-sensitive shipping, and limited time deals. These actions will entice your customers to make an immediate buying decision as they’ll feel like they’re going to miss out on a good deal.
Include Live Chat
Regardless of what industry you’re in, chances are you have a pretty extensive product catalog which can be overwhelming for online shoppers. Including live chat on your site provides your customers with accurate answers in real-time. This not only enhances trust but also customer satisfaction, which will be reflected in your conversion rate. Live chat tells your customers you are available to help any time of the day.
Always Use Powerful Product Descriptions
There’s nothing worse than searching for an item only to be greeted with a manufacturer written description that does absolutely nothing to entice to you to complete the purchase. Taking the time to write interesting and informative product descriptions will help get your site visitors interested in your products, and ultimately boost your conversion rates.
Feature Customer Testimonials
Today’s consumers seek social proof to complete an online purchase – meaning they like to see how real people feel about a company’s products. A positive customer review can become the powerful social proof customers need to buy from your site. And considering 70% of online shoppers consult reviews or ratings before making an online purchase, customer testimonials need to be a feature added to all e-commerce sites.
Be Transparent and Upfront About All Costs
One of the quickest and most common ways to get a site visitor to bounce from your site is to price your products too high. E-commerce retailers need to be upfront and transparent about all costs – whether that’s shipping, delivery fees or promotional discounts – as early as possible, this way shoppers are fully aware of what they’re expected to pay.
Build Customer Trust
Have a Unified Experience Across All Devices
If your website isn’t optimized for devices, you’re missing out on huge conversion opportunities. Today’s consumers want to be able to shop whenever and wherever they please and this can be achieved through mobile shopping. In 2015 alone, 36.16% of all online sales were generated via mobile devices and this number is only going to grow. Consumers are now turning to their smartphones to research deals, products and reviews, and choosing to shop from the comfort of their homes rather than in a busy store. Make sure your product pages are optimized for smaller screens, your search box is easy to locate and use, and your site text and product images display correctly on mobile devices.
Use Intelligent Site Search
Search tools like Nextopia’s Autocomplete is a great addition to an e-commerce site, as it works by completing a word in the search box while the customer types and provides intuitive, relevant, and error-tolerant search suggestions. Autocomplete can also help detect and correct spelling mistakes, as well as guide consumers to the right product, regardless of whatever mistake was made. Retailers can also use autocomplete to promote certain products of higher margin, or products they’d like to sell quickly by pushing them to the top of their autocompletion suggestion box, as recommendations to shoppers.
Guarantee Search Corrections and Tolerance
Providing effective search results includes more than just presenting the customer with accurate results based on their query. More often than not, a shopper will make a spelling mistake, search for an item you don’t carry, or make a long-tail keyword search, which will yield no results. Regardless of what a customer inputs, retailers should be able to return accurate or related results. To handle misspellings or long-tail keyword searches, ensure your site search has fuzzy matching capabilities or an error tolerance margin. Fuzzy matching allows you to display the correct result despite incorrect input, for example, a customer could enter ‘couch,’ in the search box, but you list your couches as ‘sofa.’
When it comes to searching for your dream item, having an easy-to-use and intuitive site search helps, but offering product refinements can really go a long way. Refinements allow shoppers to filter down their search by a number of factors like price range, color, style, brand, rating, and even sale items. Without refinements, a potential customer could waste time searching through pages of available products in hopes of finding a very specific item.
Incorporate Social Shopping
If one thing is for certain, social media plays an integral role in our everyday lives – especially when it comes to shopping. Retailers need to start taking advantage of social shopping and embed a shoppable Instagram feed onto their website, as it presents a huge opportunity to convert more browsers into buyers. A shoppable gallery allows shoppers to engage with photos that feature your products being used in everyday life by your loyal customers.
Streamline the Checkout Process
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to complete your online order only find out you must fill out eight pages before you can submit your order. If your customers are required to complete a complicated checkout process, chances are they’ll abandon their cart and bounce to your competitor’s site for a smoother process. Make sure your checkout process is simple and there’s only one page to fill out. Get all the required shipping and payment details on the same page along with the submit button. This is a faster and easier experience for the shopper, and gives them one less reason to abandon their cart.
Send Abandoned Cart Shopping Reminders
When it comes to online shopping, a shopper can change their mind about following through with their purchase in mere seconds. Perhaps shipping costs are too high, the checkout process is complicated, a competitor is offering a better price, or the customer gets distracted and leaves the site – many shoppers just abandon their carts. To overcome this, retailers should send shopping cart recovery emails to customers to help recover sales that would have been lost.
Know Your Customer’s Behaviors
Ultimately, a retailer can boost conversions by building a strong relationship with its customers. This can be achieved by observing customer behavior and identifying why customers are leaving your site and abandoning their carts. By determining why these actions are happening, you’ll have the insights you need to create a meaningful relationship with your prospective customers and current customers which will in turn help drive higher conversion rates.
As a retailer, your goal should always be to exceed the wants and needs of your customers, and when you only provide your customers with basic site search and user experience, this cannot be achieved. By providing your customers with a more intuitive and dynamic online shopping experience you’ll be able to achieve the sales and conversion rates that you’ve been dreaming of.
However, another great way to improve the experience and boost conversions is to partner with an international IT services organization like Digerati Group, as they offer a wide range of multifaceted products and services that include hardware, software, network management, design, and marketing. Each of these services has been utilized to solve pressing problems which ensure their clients are getting the most out of their technology.
Mastering how to convert online browsers doesn’t come easy. While this post only touches on fourteen ways to increase conversions, you have been given some suggestions that you can integrate into your own e-commerce conversion strategy.
Blog by Nextopia