How to improve conversion in 5 simple steps

In today’s digital world, it’s increasingly competitive for online retailers. It’s a given now that most brands have an online presence whether they offer a bricks and mortar store or not. So with the marketplace growing and competition rising, it’s more important than ever to find ways to improve your conversion rate. Here’s five simple steps to help you increase your conversion, just in time for Christmas.

1. Product Images

You might be surprised to learn that not all online retailers offer sufficient product photography. High resolution, quality, product photography is so essential to increasing not only conversion but average sale cost, items per sale and overall revenue. Would you purchase something if you weren’t completely satisfied that you knew what you would receive? Product images should show every angle and feature of the product. They should also show the product in use in different settings. Giving the customer an idea of how this product can fit into their life through inspiring images is an effective tool in increasing conversion. In my work with online retailers I’ve seen a marked increase in conversion rate for products that include photos of the product in use. Gorgeous, quality product photography isn’t a luxury, it’s a must-have.

2. Product Copy

Product photography and product copy work hand-in-hand. The photo shows off the item while the copy speaks to the features and benefits of the product. Add in all the details – don’t leave the customer wondering or searching for more. Include the most important details up front, then if there’s more to include, add it into a drop down menu that’s easy to spot. Make your product copy inspiring and to the point – compelling and concise is your product copy mantra. Help that customer understand the value the product will bring to their life. How will it make them feel? What are its benefits? Every feature has a benefit. Communicate what those are.

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Mr Porter uses product videos on all items, adding to the product page after the images. This helps to remove doubt from the customer’s purchase decision and aid in conversion.

3. Videos

More and more ecommerce stores are using video as way to showcase products and help customers make informed purchase decisions. The wonderful benefit of videos is that they help communicate the tactile nature of the product which can be sometime be lost in a photo. Clothing brands seem to have really adopted the trend with brands like ASOS including runway videos of their products, Country Road offering videos of selected clothing and Mr Porter including video of items so customers can see how the item falls on a body instead of in a photoshopped photo. Video has been shown to increase conversion and average sale price so if you haven’t tried it, give it a go. Start simple and test out a few videos for your best selling or much-loved products. If you’re a service, you could look at interview style videos to sell a course or your skill or teaser videos for events. Don’t forget to promote your new content across all your channels so you make the most of the investment.

4. Call to Action Buttons

We spoke about this last week here. Strong, short and easy to understand call to action buttons can help increase conversion just by making the act of adding an item to a shopping cart simpler. Buttons that stand out on your pages, that spell out their action – ‘Add to Cart’ ‘Buy Now’, help remove distraction and confusion from the customer’s journey. For more tips, read my post on it here.

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Gorgeous Melbourne based business, Tanner + Teague offer free worldwide shipping on all orders, communicated clearly at the top of their homepage helping drive conversion via their online store.

5. Free shipping

Ok, so this is the big one and one I feel very passionately about. There is no substitute for free shipping. Not having free shipping is one of the biggest drivers of shopping cart abandonment – which is when a customer abandons cancels their order during the checkout process.

Free shipping continually sees the biggest lift in conversion and has also been known to increase average sale and items per sale – if done right. Many online retailers are scared to offer free shipping due to the worry that it will decrease profit margins. If this is a big concern for you, there are a couple of ways to manage it. The first is to add a minimum purchase to your free shipping, so customers can receive free shipping if they purchase over $X amount. This is a great way to manage the cost of shipping because by applying this technique, you’re increasing your average sale and items per sale. The second is to incorporate the cost of shipping into the cost of your products. This can be useful if your product offering is unique to your business.

Start to change the way you think about shipping and embrace is as a necessary cost of your business. Think of it as part of your conversion strategy and a key influencer in increasing revenue (because it is).

Have you tested different strategies for conversion for your online business? I’d love to know what your experience has been. Has anyone recently tested free shipping and seen interesting results? What’s been the top driver for conversion for your business? Let me know by commenting below!

Kylie, x

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