How to increase sales of your online shop - Five recommendations to help you increase the conversion rate for your website - Interested in improving the performance of your online shop? - About the author
By Lotte Larsen
Partner, mindberry (partner in Delta Institute's expert network)
The Chief Sales Officer's question: How to increase sales of our online shop?
The answer: Increase your conversion rate
Conversion Rate Optimization(*)
Among e-marketers Conversion Rate Optimization(*) has become popular to turn more visitors into customers. Conversion Rate Optimization is one of the easiest and fastest ways to increase sales without spending more money on advertising. As an added benefit, it gives you the opportunity - when approached with a structured test plan – to better understand your visitors’ objections and needs. This makes it easier to make the right decisions for future investments for your online shop.
(*) Conversion Rate Optimization: the science of increasing the percentage of visitors to an online shop who take a desired action such as the purchase of a product, a subscription to a newsletter, or simply a click to another page.
Five recommendations to increase the conversion of your online shop
Recommendation 1: Analyze your conversion funnel(*) to detect the biggest opportunities
Where and why do visitors leave your website?
Often emarketers are surprised to find out at which stage in the conversion funnel visitors leave their website. With a few easy steps you can set up your conversion funnel to understand where visitors drop off during the path to completing an action on your website. This will help you find the biggest opportunities to convert more visitors into customers and to start working on the most profitable solutions to prevent users from abandoning your site. For example, you can use Google Analytics (a free web analytics tool) to track your conversion goals and gather data for your conversion funnel(*).
(*) Conversion funnel: The path a visitor takes to navigate through your website from entry to completion of the desired action. For online shops the last page in the conversion funnel is typically the “Thank you” page or the “Order confirmation” page.
Recommendation 2: Discover the hot spots of your visitors' attention
Which elements catch visitors’ attention on certain web pages – in other words what are the hot spots of your website?
There are many helpful tools to discover what is actually happening on your web pages. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_map and click maps can provide you with valuable insights. Providers such as CrazyEgg and ClickTale offer attractive services to help you visualize and understand user behaviour on your pages. Among others, CrazyEgg gives you the opportunity to see if visitors have clicked on areas without any links. This behaviour might indicate that people need additional information in order to complete the action they set out to do when arriving on your webpage. In addition to heat maps, ClickTale offers an excellent form analytics tool that helps you find out where people abandon your form.
Recommendation 3: Understand why your visitors don’t convert
Why can’t we persuade some of our visitors to convert?
Understanding why people don’t complete what they set out to do on your website is one of the most important steps to increase conversion rates. It is therefore surprising that most e-marketers don’t spend much time understanding this user segment better before they start working on solutions.
The best way to persuade non-converting visitors to complete an action is to understand their objections and address them. Either by eliminating what is preventing the user to convert or by providing reassurance that gives the user confidence to proceed. There are various possibilities to collect data from your visitors. Online survey tools such as 4Q, Kissinsights and Wufoo are easy to use and can help you to quickly capture your visitors’ objections.
Recommendation 4: Experiment with "out of the box" solutions
What should we do differently?
E-marketers sometimes put too much attention to small design changes such as the colour of buttons. Such revisions aren’t likely to increase your conversion rate significantly so don’t spend time on these. Instead, look for really big changes, such as dramatically reducing the number of fields in a form or displaying completely different information above the fold ( the portions of a webpage that is visible without scrolling) on your product page.
Recommendation 5: Systematically test alternatives to make the right decisions for improvement
How can we find out which changes improve our conversion rate?
Always systematically test all changes to your website such as new content, different layouts and new flows and you will soon understand what persuades visitors and what has a positive impact on your conversion rate. For this purpose you can use Google Website Optimizer, a free testing tool from Google, or tools such as Visual Web Site Optimizer or Vertster. Don’t get discouraged by tests that fail to improve conversion rates. Testing is an iterative process – you get valuable insights from good as well as bad results.
Interested in improving the performance of your online shop?
mindberry helps you detect opportunities in your conversion funnel, discover the hot spots of your visitors' attention, capture objections from non-converting visitors, create "out of the box" solutions and to systematically test new pages to understand what persuades visitors and what improves your conversion rate. To find out more please email us: email@example.com
About the author
mindberry is specialized in optimizing websites, web applications and other online activities. The founders - Nina Bordet and Lotte Larsen – have spent over a decade optimizing conversion rates for companies such as Procter & Gamble(R) and eBay(R). mindberry is located in Vienna and operates with SMEs and international companies worldwide.
(*) Procter & Gamble(R) and eBay® are registered trademarks of Procter & Gamble Corp. and eBay Corp.