# 1: Let’s Start with the Home Page…
Take a good look at your home page. Does it include any or all of the following?
- Top-selling products
- Special offers
- Hot categories
Each of these is a means of encouraging site visitors to follow a very specific path on your website – giving you the opportunity to have greater control. By using these methods, you design their user experience, and optimize your revenue per user.
If your #1 goal is to increase conversions, make sure your home page urges users to DO something.
And if you’re looking for an example of an optimized home page, look no further than Amazon. You’ll notice Amazon’s home page has several distinct panes: In one section, it displays Amazon’s most popular departments; in a second, it advertises a popular dress store; and on the right, there’s a daily offer or special sale. Each section leads visitors to a carefully crafted path through the site.
# 2: Name Your Categories Wisely
Studies show that most website visitors find what they want by browsing through your site, rather than by using a search box.
It seems that most visitors do not know exactly what they want – or, they are interested in checking out the look of a product – so browsing is the most intuitive approach. You can help these visitors find what they want and make a purchase successfully by organizing your website’s product categories in a highly logical, easy-to-use fashion, making browsing easy.
To see this strategy in action, look at the some of the top retail stores online. Most of them do this fairly consistently.
Online retailers generally organize products by category name, and include a highly intuitive navigation bar that’s divided by categories. Just as an example: On the H&M website, the options on the navigation bar are located front & center and include Ladies, Men, Kids, and Magazine. It’s straight to the point – and helpful to the people browsing.
# 3: Provide Multiple Ways to Pay
On your e-commerce site, how many ways can a customer pay for an item? In addition to offering credit card options, you will want to add alternatives, such as PayPal.
If you are targeting specific regions (particularly, outside of the U.S.) where other payment gateways are popular, make sure to add them to your site as an easy and effective means of widening your customer base.
Alternatively, if you own a store that operates locally, consider allowing customers to order by phone or email, and provide in-store pickup and payment. If you are targeting an older, less technically minded audience that isn’t comfortable paying online, this simple service can have a dramatic impact on sales.
# 4: Content’s Still King
Is your copy good? Just how good?
Some companies have been successful in more than doubling their conversion rates by rewriting their copy, so never dismiss the importance of good writing. It could be that replacing your current text and upgrading to excellent copy that’s more personalized and engaging will have a real impact on your conversion rates.
Great copy focuses on benefits, not just product features, and uses key selling points.
Great copy also makes your return & refund policy very clear and obvious, and points out why visitors should specifically buy products from you.
Apple is a great example of a company that consistently leverages great copy and focuses on benefits. For one small example, look at Apple’s iPad Pro. The copy for the iPad Pro indicates, among other things, that with this product you’ll have “incredible power” at your fingertips – they state that it’s a tool that makes complex work “natural” and lets you “view content in spectacular detail.”
# 5: Leverage the Power of Video
If you haven’t done so already, consider generating a few product videos. Videos improve conversion rates by showing customers how a product operates and what it looks like in and out of its packaging, and describing design, usability, and durability.
Product videos can also be posted on YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine, where they can be linked back to your website and help you generate additional traffic.
# 6: Provide Very Useful Information
Sometimes a customer will find something online, but won’t end up buying it. This isn’t unusual at all.
Why? It could be lots of reasons…. Perhaps the customer was not sure about the product’s real size and weight, or else was not sure about the delivery time.
Bottom line: Don’t lose customers due to a lack of information. You can easily lower uncertainty and that gives customers fewer reasons NOT to buy.
Make sure your visitors can see clearly everything they want to know, including:
- In stock/out of stock
- Delivery time
- Shipping charges
# 7: Keep Checkout Quick & Painless
You can’t eliminate cart abandonment completely, but you can work on minimizing this common problem. Studies show that about 68% of customers abandon their shopping carts without completing a purchase. It’s important to simplify the checkout process in order to minimize the number of customers who abandon their orders.
Here are some ideas for simplifying your checkout process and reducing your cart abandonment rates:
- Make sure visitors can return to your site to check out, without needing to re-add items, using a persistent shopping cart.
- Where visitors are already registered, pre-fill their details into your checkout form
- For each field on the form, provide examples – particularly for addresses, phone numbers, and other fields where it’s likely users can make mistakes.
- Whatever you do, do not force visitors to register in order to buy, as this is likely to discourage them from completing the sale.