Conversion rate optimization is a mandatory procedure for companies that aim to be the best player in their industry and stand out from the crowded eCommerce market. Even though we first heard of conversion rate optimization back in 2007, it’s benefits only became popular in the last three years. It’s a digital marketing trend that will certainly be on the “what’s hot?” list for the next year: early adaptors will be ahead of their competitors, building their reputation as leaders and as a top of mind choice, while those who lag behind will lose the chance to innovate their business.
As studies have shown, only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their current conversion rate. So there is plenty unexploited territory and many ways to get the attention of your website’s visitors: 78% of companies are not reaching their true potential and aren’t happy with their conversion rate.
So, the question is what can you do to upgrade your business to the next level and be recognized as top eCommerce website? In this article, I’ll provide a list of top five tricks you can apply on your eCommerce website to boost your conversion rate.
Align the conversion rate optimization plan with the business plan
Considering that CRO is an important part of the digital marketing strategy, marketers are still not getting the results they want. This might be a direct consequence of not implementing and following an integrated conversion rate optimization plan.
It’s useless to create an A/B testing experiment without a proper research, without validating hypothesis, because you will test in vain and the results will not be conclusive. It’s like taking medication to improve your health, but you have no idea what’s causing the illness. Every CRO action you do should have a precise goal and be integrated into the business plan.
Start with the end in mind: what’s the purpose of this eCommerce business? What are my goals? How can I reach these goals? Once you have the answer to these question, you can drive up a marketing plan and include in it the conversion rate optimization plan.
Thus, for next year’s resolution, take a step back and analyze the current state of your business. Rectify your approach as you work to align all your goals, and build a proper conversion rate optimization plan for 2016.
Use weather segmentation
Segmentation helps marketers to discover the most converting type of traffic and, also, to display the right message, at the right time, to the right audience. Having in mind the purpose of building a successful company, entrepreneurs and marketers must identity the 20% traffic segments that bring 80% of results.
Usually, websites use segmentation data points such as: location (city, region, country), new vs. returning visitors, referring URL, previous conversion activity, cookies, purchase history. Yet, one efficient segmentation criterion is missed by eCommerce websites: weather segmentation
With this type of segmentation, you can promote products based on the current season, time of the year or simply if it’s snowing or not. It’s clear as a bell that people change their behavior depending on the weather outside. Think about yourself: it’s sunny, warm Sunday and your friends call you out for a walk. What do you do? Go out and have fun, or stay inside lurking on the window and picturing your friends having a blast in the park? When the weather it’s nice, people tend to spend more time outside. Therefore, less surfing on the web.
Weather personalization can be used in many ecommerce industries: automotive, pharma, home and deco, gardening, fashion and apparel, cosmetics.
For a more personalized approach you can combine two data segmentation points. In this time of the year, weather is colder every day and, if you have a fashion eCommerce website, you can easily combine the location of your visitors with the temperature in his city:
Or you can just remind customers of your newest fashion collection:
Increase the credibility of your business
Increasing the level of credibility will have a deep impact on your visitors by making them feel comfortable and safe on your eCommerce website. There are many ways to generate a human approach and let visitors know you’re not a cold, simple website. The most popular ways to do this are:
Secure shopping system
Even though it’s been more than 15 years since the first eCommerce website was launched, people still have doubts to buy online and give their credit card information. That’s way you need to remove those insecurities and assure users your check out system is safe and secure.
Asos does a great job on the shopping cart page, where they use the security logos:
Reviews and testimonials
Having loyal and happy customers will lead to an increase of your popularity. You know what they say, word of mouth is the best advertising. This aspect is highly related to one key metric in eCommerce: the net promoter score. The NPS will provide information on how likely is for visitors or customers to recommend you to others. They will answer based on their own interaction with your website, so make sure to give then a personalized experience and treat them properly.
On Maplin, an electronics eCommerce website in UK, besides the 5 star review sections, you can see what other question people have been asking:
Through testimonials you will show visitors the stories of actual customers that have had a good journey on your website. In this way, they’ll get the opinion of someone like them, that used the product they want to purchase. This type of social proof comes in handy because people feel the need to know as much as possible about that product, given the fact they cannot actually touch it or try it on (in the fashion industry, for example).
On benefitcosmetics.co.uk, you can read the two different stories for the same cosmetic product. Having details about the person who wrote the review (such as skin tone, eye-color and age) will help see if the product might be a good fit for your skin:
And, this takes me to the next two key ideas on how to increase your conversion rate: personalized communication based on welcoming new visitors and on-exit messages.
Launch on-exit offers
One of the main problems of eCommerce websites is that they have traffic, but the conversion rate is very low. You know customers are interested in your website, but, for some reason, they leave without purchasing.
In this case, remind visitors your promotions and make them on offer they can’t refuse. Attract customers to remain on the websites using the “under promise, over deliver” principle. It works perfectly for undecided visitors and it will give them an incentive to stay longer on the website.
Moreover, if you are using scarcity as an argument to persuade visitors in the most important phase of their journey, the pop-up triggering will become more effective, and you’ll have even more chances to make them act.
For example, you can give a discount, only today. You’ll create a sense of exclusivity, and visitors will be more determined to get that promo: it will drive them to place an order and don’t miss that special price available only one day:
Also, use the on-exit intent on visitors that are looking at a certain product category and want to leave the page. Using the magical dynamic text replacement, you’ll be able to show a real time interaction with your users: take your customers on a journey of your own choosing based on their actions:
Welcome new visitors
Welcoming new visitors will make them feel special from the start and they’ll have a much more positive approach to your website. Here’s a great example from Bobonos, a company that greets you from the beginning and, also, gives you a discount on your first order:
Also, it’s a simple way to capture qualified leads: you’ll build a list of people interested in your business and you can persuade them later with a smart email marketing campaign, send personalized offers, etc.
It’s important to engage with your audience depending on the time of the day. Using this type of personalization, OLX got an increase of 60% downloading rate. It’s almost 2016. It’s time to adjust your website to the latest eCommerce trends and be the best in your industry: innovate and bring more value. Using the ideas above will give you a head start and help you adjust your business to the needs and preferences of your audience.
Ioana Lupec is Content Marketing Specialist at Marketizator. She likes writing about digital marketing, giving actionable ideas on how to grow your business using conversion rate optimization. You can find her on Twitter and Linkedin.