Running an eCommerce store means that you have to constantly keep up with the competition. It feels like there’s a new one launching every day, each one snazzier, with newer widgets, or simply bigger and better than the one before it. That's why your best bet is working to increase your conversion rate.
If you want to give your online store a better shot at competing with the rest, maybe all you need is a redesign. There are some considerations you need to be aware of when giving your website a reboot, from functionality, the overall look, and even the user experience. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Select Your Themes and Plugins Carefully - start focusing on conversion from the get go
Themes for your eCommerce store are in found in abundance. They provide a graphical user interface that allows your customers to navigate your site and be productive in their shopping.
Typically, WordPress is the industry standard for professional websites, offering unsurpassed customization and personalization options. Virtually all themes are built around the WordPress engine, whether or not they’re free, subscription-based, or require a single payment to license.
Elegant Themes has several templates that can give plenty of personality to your site, offering stunning templates in exchange for your email address. The Divi themetheme, is without a shadow of doubt the most popular of their themes, but there are plenty of others.
Extra is a fully responsive and elegant theme, making it work effortlessly on any device and operating system. Building around the Divi Builder’s drag-and-drop interface, Extra allows you to create categories, story-driven posts, and pages within your site while keeping everything organized.
Foxy offers an all-in-one interface, integrating eCommerce with responsive design while using simple, striking elements. Its CSS web design implementation allows different layout sets to be triggered for a wide variety of screen sizes, making your site look just right across different devices.
- StyleShop boasts responsive and eye-catching design along with a unique mobile layout. A W3C compliant theme, StyleShop is subject to frequent security audits to ensure stability and peace of mind. Equipped with the necessary localization files, the theme is easily translated, eliminating the need to edit PHP files.
The aptly named eStore has the advantage of being easy to configure, with smooth integration of the most popular and widely used eCommerce plugins, such as integration with Simple PayPal Shopping Cart. This theme is ideal for anyone looking to sell products online to an audience of any size, from local to global.
If your industry has anything to do with music, then Harmony may be the right theme for your eCommerce site. Harmony features the ability to play audio content, manage and handle events and tours, upload photos and videos to galleries, and sell merchandise. Keeping in line with the music theme, Harmony embodies a bold presence and showcases large background images, allowing you to customize the look and feel to your artists, label or production company.
Aside from themes, your eCommerce site should be fully functional. This is where plugins come in handy, allowing your customers to browse, opt-in, make purchases, and otherwise interact with your website. Think of plugins as mini apps or widgets that add functionality, or at least make things work the way your customers would expect them to.
Bloom email opt-in plugin to increase email conversions
The Bloom eMail Opt-In Plugin provides a slew of tools that can help you increase conversion rates. Your visitors will increasingly become followers and eventual customers if you maximize this plugin effectively. Targeted content is especially important, and Bloom allows you to include or exclude specific posts or pages, or even display unique content based on the location of your visitors and how they interact with your website. We've also written an excellent review and use-case scenario of Bloom, if you need to read further.
Monarch sharing plugin to increase social media traffic
The Monarch Social Sharing Plugin lets you take full advantage of the benefits of social media. Socially active visitors are always looking for ways to share the content they find worthwhile, and Monarch allows you to place sharing buttons anywhere on your page that you deem appropriate. Even hovering over a video or image can prompt the appearance of a social sharing button, letting your visitors share your content on their networks.
Handheld plugin to ensure a responsive website
HandHeld is another must-have plugin, especially with the explosion of mobile device usage among the younger and more active demographic. HandHeld works alongside your usual theme, serving as an alternate layout that your mobile visitors can view on their devices. Coded in HTML5, it supports both Android and iOS devices.
Anticipate - setup a coming soon page
Anticipate is another WordPress plugin that displays an alternate version of the “Coming Soon” page. This is most practical and useful when you’re updating or building your pages in the background. The Anticipate landing page shows up when activated, but only to your viewers. On your end, you see your normal theme, which makes building your website a seamless and reliable process.
Create a Call-To-Action Button Which Gets Results
Choose A Button
Plain and simple, your eCommerce site exists for the purpose of getting conversions. Whether that means subscriptions, memberships, sales, or other forms of opting in, you still have to ask for it. Your Call-To-Action (CTA) button has to do just that.
These buttons come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and textures; and there are many ways to make them more noticeable. When choosing a CTA button, make sure you keep a few things in mind.
Presentation matters. Testing is important when it comes to buttons. One of these tests is the “Squint Test,” wherein you can notice the button immediately while squinting, and read the text on it quickly.
Things That Matter: Font, Size and Color
When choosing a font for your CTA, it’s important to keep in mind the text you’re planning to use. Use a font that is easily readable, looks good at smaller sizes, and one that is not too stylized. This becomes important especially when your customers are browsing your eCommerce site on mobile devices or smaller, low-resolution displays. Modern sans serif fonts like Century Gothic work best. However, if you must use fonts that have serifs, the simple ones such as Times are also good.
When choosing a CTA, keep a few considerations in mind. Sure, you’re probably thinking that the default neon green is a no-brainer, but there are other colors that work as well. Orange is another great choice. This is mostly because both of these colors tend to have stark contrast with the colors on the rest of the page. You could even opt for other colors, but keep contrast in mind as a priority.
Make Your CTA Clickable And Inviting
This goes without saying, but if your buttons aren’t clickable, they’re absolutely useless. From a functionality standpoint, check and test the buttons to make sure that they lead to the correct pages, load the correct plugins, and basically do what they’re supposed to do.
You can improve upon simple CTA commands such as “Sign Up” or “About Us” with a little creativity. “Try Us Out” and “Who We Are” are much more interesting to your visitors. And adding “Free” wherever appropriate is among the most inviting words you could use. You could even get a bit risqué by using stronger language that hits home, or using the fear of missing out (the dreaded FOMO) as a motivator.
Look not only at your webpage or your site, but also the brand and image as well. Keep in mind the motivations that would drive your audience to make a move and take action. These motivations can be used in your favor to make your CTA a lot more interesting.
Know Your Audiences and Their Devices
Knowing your audiences means knowing their devices as well. Customize your CTA according to their behavior. Are they more likely to use larger tablets, laptops and stationary desktop PCs? They’re most likely searching for information, so they’ll be giving your “More Info” and “Subscribe” CTAs more attention.
However, if they are searching for things on their smartphones, chances are they’re more likely looking for fast results or instant gratification. By fast results, we mean having a CTA that results in a phone call or an “Add To Cart” when clicked. Mobile users typically aren’t trying to read long articles or nerding out on tutorials on a 4-inch screen.
Make Your Audience Want To Take Action
This ties in with your unique selling point (USP). USP is simply your value proposition, and answers your customers’ burning questions “What’s in it for me?” and “What exactly do I get by clicking on your CTA?”
When it comes to acquiring new leads, your USP is indispensable. Creating a hybrid of your USP with your CTA is a highly effective way to increase clicks. For example, having a CTA like “Call today to melt the fat away” result in a phone call gives not only a fast result, but ties in the desired action of that phone call with the very reason for the call in the first place.
Of course, this works very well with FOMO. Provoking enthusiasm, especially in situations where there is at least a perceived deadline, can lead to more clicks and conversions.
Conversion Rate Optimization Tips
If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably got an idea on how to get your foot in the door, and into your customers’ heads. Of course you also already know that there’s more to it. Read on.
Why eCommerce Analytics Matters
Thanks to the Internet, selling products and services can be accomplished with unlimited potential of scale. Unfortunately though, this brought about unforeseen limitations in terms of feedback. Instead of knowing clients by face or name, eCommerce merchants may only know customers by tracking number, Facebook account, or email address. But those metrics only account for opt-ins, which may be a cross section of the actual makeup of your visitors.
Analytics give you the advantage of being able to measure every move your visitors make when they come to your online store. You can retrace their steps and see how long they’ve spent on the pages they visit. And you can make sense of these moves in terms of actual conversions. With such detailed information, you’re able to see what works, what needs improvement, and what’s hurting your business.
For example, let’s say that out of all of your visitors last week, about 50 percent of them spent more than 20 minutes looking around, and maybe 10 percent of that group actually made it to the checkout page. You can compare this number with the actual sales to see what happened to the others. Without eCommerce analytics, you wouldn’t know what actions to take, but armed with the right tools, you can use the numbers to your advantage.
Using the Right Image
Many Internet shoppers are impulse buyers, meaning that they are driven by immediate gratification or instant relief. Images that evoke emotions, memories, or ideas can lead them to act favorably, whereas neutral images tend to defeat this purpose. Once you’re tired of focusing on dimensions colors or textures, take it a step further by showing how your products make people feel. Contentment, accomplishment and desirability are powerful feelings, and by using them to your advantage, you win people over.
Don’t be afraid to bolster your branding by creating a mascot. Companies of all sizes, from small websites to eCommerce startups to large corporations have used mascots to bond with their visitors and give their company personality.
Still not convinced? Look at MailChimp and Reddit. Sanrio and McDonalds have some of the most famous mascots worldwide, and those companies aren’t going away anytime soon.
Optimizing Your Website’s Speed
Time is of the essence when talking about conversions. Even if your intent is to inform, educate, and entertain your visitors by bombarding them with content, if things take too long, they’re gone.
Removing clutter is a good start. Visitors like to scan for important details, and with a ton of clutter, they’re likely to miss your message even they’re doing their best to find it. Make your page succinct and easy to scan for the information they really need.
At the same time, the focus of your eCommerce site should be to lead your visitors to a conversion in the fewest steps with as little pain as possible. Visitors should be spending time on your website because they want to, not because they have to.
Internet users hate wasting time, especially when it involves waiting for someone else. Never underestimate speed. If you’re running a slow site, you’re leaving plenty of money on the table. Streamline everything from content, to code, plugins, and other assets on your site. Your hosting company should also have its act together, making sure everything works like a well-oiled machine. Every second counts when it comes to conversions, and when your visitors have to wait, they’re more than happy to leave.
Read more: 21 Actions to get a super fast WordPress website.
Collect Customer Feedback
As they say, “hubris will be your downfall.”
Let’s face it; we don’t always value the opinions of others. We tend to prefer our ideas because we came up with them, and not necessarily because they’re good. In fact, when we fail to process input from other people effectively, we miss out on the opportunity to learn from our mistakes.
Conducting surveys and collecting feedback may be a huge challenge for some, simply because they’re afraid to face their faults. They take pride in their work, and having mistakes brought to their attention can be humiliating. However, feedback is among the best ways to troubleshoot. Imagine how much more frustrating it would be to find out that the reason your sales were low was because a button didn’t click, or a plugin was outdated.
Another important detail regarding customer feedback: It is a valuable aspect in customer care because it represents energy expenditure on the part of your client. If an issue is interesting or important to your visitor and they take time to leave a feedback or comment, whether positive or negative, you need to address it promptly and clearly. This may not translate to an incentive or sale, but be open to what they have to say or offer as they may provide you with better project management ideas.
Settling For A Redirect Means Losing Sales
In line with immediate gratification, website visitors want to finish jumping through hoops as fast as possible. They want to pay for things with as few clicks, steps, and sites as possible. When they get bounced over to another site to make a simple payment, they may just as quickly and impulsively abandon their purchase simply because it “felt like it was taking forever.”
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. The thought of parting with your own hard-earned money is instinctively uncomfortable. You’d be surprised how many more conversions actually go to completion because you took the extra step to make the customer experience more convenient.
If possible, enable your website to accept billing information or integrate payment gateways without using any redirects. There are plenty of plugins and tools that allow you to provide a secure and speedy payment processing system on site.
Redesigning your eCommerce store may be the best thing you could do to boost your conversion rate. Let us know what tricks you may have up your sleeve, by leaving a comment below.