This post will help you if you want to take your e-com business to the next level and start making thousands of sales per month.
A lot of people think that their business relies completely on their ability to advertise on Facebook or some other paid channel. While that is certainly a vital part of running a successful e-commerce business there are a lot more things that must go right in order for you to see serious growth and scale.
One of the most often overlooked aspects is your website conversion rate. All the sexy Facebook ads in the world won’t make a blind bit of difference if your site is not optimised to convert visitors into buyers. It can be a big driver in your ad costs, impacting your profit margins and slowing your business’s growth.
So if you’re sick of getting a ton of visitors and very few sales or frustrated your business is growing at a snail’s pace, it’s time to think about your conversion rate and how you can improve it.
This actually came up in our business recently. With Facebook going crazy and costs rising alarmingly we’ve taken a look at how to improve our website conversion rate, and managed to make significant positive progress, so I thought I’d share some ideas with you guys.
This may be an obvious one, but are you accurately tracking your conversion rate? Some platforms like Shopify have this feature built in but not all of them do, so make sure you have your Google analytics installed correctly so that you can not only see the conversion rate but ideally reverse the conversion path to see which traffic source is generating the most sales for you.
- Get Google analytics installed correctly on your website, Google analytics can be a more accurate system to track website conversions compared to some site builders’ analytics.
- Know and track your conversion rate because what gets measured gets improved.
- Reverse the conversion path to see which traffic source is generating the most sales for you.
I have to admit we were guilty of not even knowing what our conversion rate was for years in our business and it was only when we could actually accurately determine what it was, that we decided we needed to work on improving it.
So if you still don’t know what your website conversion rate is then at least take one thing from this post and get that sorted so you can see. Now that’s out of the way, let’s dive into some ways of actually improving it, so you can make more sales for less cost!
The first thing a customer sees will form the impression they make and ultimately their decision to buy. This all happens in seconds and you really have a short window in order to grab people’s attention and hold it.
So in order to capture the attention of your ideal customer and make a positive impression about your products, your header image should be a hero image with your products featured clearly and prominently alongside the hero.
Ideally the hero should be someone in your target customers’ demographic, I.E. – it should look like them. If you are selling make up to girls in their early 20’s it’s not good to have a 55 year old woman in the photo holding your products. If you sell dog collars you want happy dogs wearing the collars etc.
If you want you can leave the person out but you must have your products featured clearly in high res images looking beautiful, presentation and perception is everything. Invest the time/money in getting quality images and a strong header designed by a designer, there really is no substitute. Your website must look as good as the pros.
Clarity & Focus
Along with the hero image, you want to have what’s called a luscious one-liner (as my buddy calls it). What does your product or products do for your customer exactly. Why should they care? Why should they buy them from you and why should they be interested?
You need to make this crystal clear when someone lands on your site, don’t assume that ‘hey the information is there if they look around my site’.
People are busy, they’re scrolling Facebook and your ad grabbed their attention, that only holds for around 7 seconds nowadays, if you confuse people or don’t make it clear what they will get from your site and why they should want it, you will lose them.
That is solved by:
- Making the important information clear, mainly what they get and why they should buy it.
- Leaving out any unnecessary information that will clutter or confuse people when they are making their decision to buy or learn more.
- Answer the basic questions: How does it work? What do I get?
One thing here – DO NOT go and turn your site into a novel by plastering it full of text, that is a huge turnoff (remember 7 seconds attention span). You can say a lot with very few words and some nice pictures and illustrations, keep it clear and simple.
If you must include the granular details leave them further down the page because people buy on emotion and justify with logic, the top half of your website is designed to build desire, make your products look amazing & explain why, and the bottom half is for details, credibility and social proof.
One final point on focus:
You don’t want to have 6 menu items, blog articles & different call-to-action buttons all leading to different corners of your website. There should be one clear action to take and that is shop now, get started, place order, commence healing whatever it is.
That takes them along the path you want them to take, and that is placing an order and giving you money. Make it easy for people to give you money!
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You want to know what the biggest conversion driver is in our business? It’s the offer by a mile. We can send traffic at our exact same website one day to the next and get 5 times the sales & subscribers simply by changing the offer.
Why? People are not on Facebook with intent to buy anything, so when you are asking them to go to the point of taking out their wallet and paying you money, RIGHT NOW, that’s a pretty big step. In order to actually make people feel they want to do that you need to make them an offer that is so unbelievable they find it hard to pass it up.
We have found a discount is most effective, but it doesn’t mean you always need to do a discount, but you DO always need an offer.
- Here is my thing for $20 please buy it
- Here is my thing for $20 – Reduced to just 12.99 today
- Plus you also get:
- A free PDF on using this thing to save you time
- PLUS access to our weekly newsletter on things many other uses
- PLUS a free invitation to our community where other thing users hang out and share ideas
- PLUS if you order 3 of them you get a free gift AND 15% off all 3 (raising your AOV)
For us we use first sub box free (pay shipping) but you must choose a 6 or 12 month subscription. We only give a discount when we know its profitable over the 6/12 months.
When you actually crack this, it will be the biggest conversion driver in your business. Of course you must have all of the other elements on your website too, but creating an unbelievable offer will make your customers really want to buy and your site will convert like crazy.
Of course this is not easy in e-com with generally low margins and lack of control over your supply chain, but you can get creative, offer discounts for ordering multiple quantities, free bonus products with each order, maybe even a guide or video explaining how to use the product better? We found a discount works but see if you can find another way to get there.
People love to have what others are having. Social proof is one of the most powerful marketing tools out there, and no amount of other fancy tricks can seem to overtake it. It’s built into our psychology as humans to follow the tribe and when we see other people using and enjoying products, services or whatever, we assume it’s good and we want it too.
Say you go out for a meal and when you arrive there is actually 2 restaurants side by side, one has a man and his dog eating at it and 30 empty tables, and right next door the restaurant is jammed and has a queue outside, which one do you want to eat in?
Bringing this back to your website, you need to have clear, real and prominent social proof on your homepage showing visitors that what you offer is good and other people are enjoying whatever you’re selling.
It’s not enough to write 3 reviews yourself and stick them in quotes beside a fake name, people know that’s fake and its super easy to spot, you always want it to be completely real and look real otherwise it’s even worse than not having any.
You need real people’s faces (smiling preferably), screenshots of Instagram or Facebook posts, real names and 5 star reviews need to be on your homepage so people believe in what the reviews say and therefore believe what you say about your products.
Still got no good reviews? Try this:
- Send some free products to influencers or a big blogger in your niche. People usually say good things about what they got for free. There is no need to fake it when you can easily get people to say good things about your products.
- Screenshot their positive reviews (you need a minimum of 3 reviews)
- Get them on your site so people can trust what you say and convert to buyers.
Shopify vs. Subscription box
I want to end this article by clarifying one thing. All of what I covered so far is universal for all e-commerce businesses. Since we have a subscription box as well as a straight e-com store I wanted to make sure everyone gets the correct advice.
There is one major difference when marketing a product in a Shopify store/straight e-com compared to a subscription box. With straight e-com you are selling a product and with a subscription box you are selling a service.
So when you are marketing your products you will be going into greater detail about that one product, features, benefits, uses etc. This is what it does, why it’s great and how it can be used in these situations.
With a subscription box, the focus is on the experience, the excitement, the convenience and the service. You still need to tell them how it works and what kind of products they will get but you are not filling your site full of features and benefits of the actual products in the box. The benefits are getting this service delivering you these cool products every month.
I hope this post was helpful and help you to crush your goals for 2020 and any feedback is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions about Conversion Rate Optimization or e-commerce marketing in general just let me know and I am happy to help.