Improve online conversion rates

Improve your online conversion rateDo you lose sleep figuring out how to improve online conversion rates? Have you ever wondered why your site is attracting lots of visitors but you still aren’t achieving the sales you’re expecting? Are there bottlenecks on your site preventing potential customers from placing an order? Are you attracting the right kind of customer? Are customers confused by what they’re seeing when they reach your site?

These are some of the most common questions that web merchants ask themselves on a regular basis – or if they don’t, they should be. There’s no simple answer to these questions but there are certainly steps you can take to improve online conversion rates.

The starting point is always to be able to know what your current conversion rate is, whether it’s measured in terms of sales, downloads or contact form completions per visit. If you’re not measuring it, you can’t work out how to improve it. Don’t forget to distinguish between new customers and returning customers – returning customer conversion rates can often be more than twice as high as new customers.

What affects online conversion rates?

Whether or not a customer ends up buying from you is a result of a number of factors. Here are our top 5 considerations to improve your online conversion rates:

1. Do you trust my web site?  

This is particularly important for e-commerce sites. Customers are asking themselves “Can I trust these guys with my personal and card details – and will I receive what I’m paying for?” Learn how to improve your site’s trustworthiness. Take a look at this article from eConsultancy with 44 reasons why people don’t trust your web site.

2. Site Usability

Take a close look at how customers are interacting with your site. Check that visitors aren’t getting stuck on certain pages and that all links work correctly (it’s amazing how many are broken but there are tools available to check this). For ecommerce sites you may want to make sure that customers aren’t being asked to provide information that’s not vital to complete the order.

Always provide a phone number that customers can call if they get stuck. Your analytics package will highlight the pages that visitors are leaving your site – we can help stem the flow.

Simple web tip: ask a friend to process an order and ask them to feedback on their experience. What YOU might think is user-friendly may actually be confusing to someone who hasn’t previously used your site. PS Make sure you refund their order!

3. No Delivery Surprises

77% of visitors have abandoned their basket in the past year, with 53% quoting high delivery costs being the main reason (e-Digital Research/IMRG November 2013). Be very clear on your delivery charges and promises and don’t hide them in the terms and conditions.

4. Is your pricing competitive?

This may sound blatantly obvious but when did you thoroughly last check your competitors’ pricing on your best-selling lines? The internet is great for getting your products in front of a huge audience but it’s really easy for visitors to compare your prices online, too. Can you add extra value to your offer to beat the competitors (such as free gift wrapping)? Is free delivery an option? Right Direction Marketing can suggest ways to improve conversions without necessarily being the lowest price.

5. Have you given your site visitors a reason NOT to order?

Web sites can often fall at the last hurdle by adding that extra uncertainty just as they are about to hit the Order button. Instructions such as “Go to xxx if you’d like to receive a VAT invoice” or “Have you signed up for our newsletter?” shouldn’t get in the way of someone submitting an order. Keep it simple at this stage – once you have their card details it should be one simple click to confirm the order.

If you’ve already done a good job on attracting visitors to your site, don’t let all that good work go to waste. Contact Right Direction today for a chat about how we can help you convert more of your visitors into valuable customers.

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