This is the fourth part in our series on “How To Increase Your Sales… Without Increasing Your Marketing Budget”, a series of articles we've put together to help you make the most of your existing marketing budget generate more sales. The other parts of the series can be found below:
Here's our fourth tip/tactic, we hope you enjoy it.
#4 – Increase Your Conversion Rate Through Optimisation
Regardless of how many people you can get to experience your website or retail outlet, if they have a poor experience when they get there, then the likelihood that they will make a purchase will be low.
This is an often-overlooked part of the sales and marketing process, businesses assume that if a visitor has come to their website (I’ll stick to website for simplicity) looking for their product, then they’re going to make a purchase, even if it’s not that easy to do so.
The problem here is that these days, there are so many alternatives when it comes to making a purchase, whether it’s another product or another retailer, if the customer gets frustrated when trying to make a purchase from you, then they’ll most likely give up and go elsewhere.
As a business owner, you have to remember that customers can be fickle and in many cases, they are trying to complete their task when they get a few minutes at work, or when they’ve got some spare time at home.
They don’t want to go through some arduous process for something they feel should be nice and simple. If you make them jump through a bunch of hoops or have a poorly thought out checkout process, then they can always leave.
So, your job as a business owner is to ensure that your website and subsequent checkout process is simple to navigate and easy to understand. If you are going to ask your customer to do anything out of the ordinary, make sure you explain why and provide assistance when it’s required.
Here are some tips for optimising your sales processes that you can implement and track to determine if they have made a positive impact.
Optimise Your Homepage
Make sure your homepage content is timely and relevant, if a promotion or offer is related to a particular season then make sure it’s gone when it has passed i.e. don’t talk about summer offers during winter.
Use people in your imagery, giving your customers someone they can identify with can lead to massive increases in conversion, as demonstrated in this case study about Highrise.
Get personal with your site visitors by showing them content based on what you already know about them. 59% of online shoppers believe that it is easier to find more interesting products on personalised online retail stores and 56% are more likely to return to a site that recommends products.
Make sure your navigation is clear and not overwhelming, make sure to show the range of products you offer, but don’t let it become overwhelming so that it’s impossible for a visitor to find what they’re looking for.
Fix Problems With Your Checkout
Focus on the common reasons why shoppers abandon their carts and make it fast, simple and satisfying to make a purchase from you. Review your checkout to see if you’re committing any of these mistakes:
Ensure Customer Support Is Up To Scratch
Regardless of how easy you think it is to make a purchase from you or your website, customers are going to need assistance along the way. The tricky part is they are going to want to access this assistance however “they” want it…
Not between the hours of 9am-5pm because that’s when you’re open, not by sending you an email and waiting a day for a response, and in most cases, not by having to pick up the phone and speak to someone.
So, you need to provide customers with options for getting in touch.
You can start by ensuring that your Contact page is easy to find by linking to it from “everywhere” on your website. And once the customer is there, provide them with clear options for solving their problem, whether that be through using your FAQs or completing a tailored contact form.
Support your customers through social media, most customers are on one platform or another so being able to interact with them on the platform that they choose is important and leads to an increase in customer spending.
Of course, if you are going to using social media to support your customers, make sure you invest in the resources to provide responses in a timely manner. There’s no point offering social as a channel if it takes hours to get a response (or worse still, longer than if they’d sent you an email).
And lastly, make sure your policies are clear and easy to understand, provide information about how to return a product and costs might be involved. Ensure customers are clear on shipping and any other costs that may impact them, the more transparent you are the more trust you are able to build.
We hope you'll agree that the advice in this tip/tactic will have a positive affect on your business and increase the performance of your website. Of course, you're free to share your opinion below and let us know if there's more that you'd add to this particular line of thinking.
Check back soon for the next articles in the series.