Are you struggling in driving sales to your online shop?
You have been working hard on social media promotion. You may even have invested in some paid ads. You see traffic to your website, but people often just leave without buying.
You are not alone. In fact, on average an eCommerce site has a conversion rate below 5%, which implies that many online stores struggle in turning website visitors into consumers.
In this article we will explore the possible reasons behind the low conversion rate, and offer you 14 actionable tips on optimising your eCommerce store, so that you can turn website visitors into paying customers!
What does conversion rate mean (and why is it important for eCommerce stores)?
The conversion rate for an eCommerce site is the percentage of website visitors who make purchases.
For example, if you have 1,000 site visitors, and got 30 sales.
Your conversion rate is:
30 ÷ 1,000 = 3% conversion rate
In the eCommerce world, most online stores have an average conversion rate between 1%-4%. If you can increase your conversion rate, even just for 1% or 2%, you might see a double in sales.
The reasons for low conversion rate
eCommerce has been a fast growing sector, and the growth has been fueled by COVID. The pandemic has drastically changed the consumer purchasing habit, and have turned the shopping habit of many customers from offline to online, even though they might be reluctant to online shopping before the pandemic hit.
However, because of the low barrier to entry of eCommerce, the growth in the number of online shops has surpassed consumer spending, and eCommerce has become an increasingly competitive battlefield.
Also, consumers sometimes use online shopping sites as a source of information and price comparison rather than making real purchases.
However, getting people landing on your website, no matter the reason, still presents a sale opportunity, and if you can successfully convert these casual visitors into serious buyers, you will be able to make a profit and grow your online business.
In this article, we will share with you 14 actionable tips to help optimise your eCommerce site and increase the conversion rate, with the first 2 tips on making your products more appealing to the consumers, 7 tips on building trust with your customers, and 6 other tips on the other ways which you can revamp your site and boost your conversion.
2 tips on enhancing the appeal of your products
1. Appealing photos
This may sound like a no-brainer, but don’t underestimate the impact of a good photo on sales, because this affects a lot on how customers perceive your product and your brand.
Professional-looking photos also help build your brand image. Hiring a professional product photographer, or setting up a small photo studio in your workplace will help produce quality photos for boosting your sales.
When you are preparing the photos for your store, make sure you have both product shots, and photos of people using your product.
Product shots present the details of your products, which are usually taken in a well-lit environment with a clean background to reduce distraction from your product.
Photos with people using your product shows how people engage with your product in real life. For example, if you are selling a portable coffee maker, you may want to show photos of people using it for making coffee when they are traveling. This will help your visitors visualise themselves using your product, say in their next trip, and trigger their interest in purchasing one for themselves.
2. Good copywriting
Copywriting is another important part which intrigues and engages the browsers, motivates them to learn more about the product, and convert them into customers.
When a customer makes a purchase, very often they are not looking to buy the product itself, but to pay for a solution to a problem which the product offers.
For example, when you are buying painkillers, I’m sure you don’t really want the pill itself, but what it can do for you-relieving your pain.
A good copywriting which highlights the benefit of your product and explains how it can be a solution to your customers’ problem, and improve their life is very powerful in convincing viewers to make a purchase.
If you are selling your products in the Taiwan market to local customers, having Chinese copywriting is a must, as most of the local customers read only Chinese content. Working with a Chinese copywriter who can help convey the benefit of your products, in local expressions which customers resonate with, will be a great help in converting Taiwanese audiences into buyers.
Why building trust is important for the success of an online store
If your website has a lot of visitors, but the conversion rate is low, one possible reason is your visitor may not have enough confidence in your online store, especially if they are visiting your store for the first time and unheard of your brand.
Comparing to a physical store which you can build trust with customers by in-person conversation, and customers’ first hand experience of the product, eCommerce store can build trust with their customers by the following 7 ways:
7 tips on building trust with your website visitors
1. Clear layout
An online shop with a clear layout will help customers to easily find the information they need, such as your contact information, shipping information, FAQ etc. The transparency will help boost their trust for your business.
2. Customer support
You should make your contact information as visible as possible. Consider offering more than one contact methods such as phone, email, LINE official account and Facebook messenger will help give them an extra layer of confidence, so they’d know there are more than one ways to reach you once they encounter any problem.
3. Detail information on payment and shipping
Offering a secure payment gateway will help increase client’s confidence. If possible, offering the option of “cash on delivery” will help motivate your customers to place an order as they’ll have the peace of mind of knowing they can pay only after they’ve received their products.
Customers are eager to receive their products once they order, so detailed information on shipment, and providing an estimated arrival date will also help build trust with them.
4. Reviews and testimonial
First-time clients are usually concerned about whether the product will really help them achieve the desirable outcomes. Therefore, seeing testimonials from other happy, satisfied customers are powerful in eliminating their doubt. Testimonials are also great content for posting on your social media page.
Having your customers leave reviews on the product page after their purchase will offer a powerful social proof to first-time buyers that you have been trusted by other customers.
How to motivate your customers to leave a review after their purchase? Offering incentives for leaving reviews, such as a free gift or a discount coupon for next purchase are effective means for encouraging reviews.
5. Displaying logos of collaborators
If you have worked with other businesses/organizations, especially well-known, international brands, or government bodies, displaying their logos on your website is a great way to help build your credibility.
6. Lab report and accreditation
After a few major food safety incidents broke out in Taiwan, Taiwanese became concerned about food and product safety. Displaying lab testing results from well-known testing labs such as SGS will help give assurance to your customers. Accreditation such as certificates from credible institutes will also show that you take food and product safety seriously, and offer an extra layer of confidence.
7. Secure payment and information protection
Online shoppers are usually concerned with data security and privacy, and showing them you are serious in protecting their sensitive credit card information and personal data will offer them a peace of mind in the transaction, and help increase the conversion rate.
Displaying a trust badge (such as the one below) will be effective in showing that you take security seriously:
Read more on how to build trust with your Taiwanese customers.
Other tips for increasing conversion rate
1. Simplify the purchase process
The more complicated the purchase process, the higher chance customers would give up placing their orders in the middle of the process. If possible, simplifying the ordering process into 3 steps will help retain your customers and lower the cart abandon rate.
2. Allow guest shopping
Some online shops would ask customers to create an account before they can make a purchase. However, this will lower your conversion rate, as first-time customers are often not ready to commit to your brand, and not sure if they’d shop with you again. Also, many customers already have too many passwords to remember. Therefore, allowing guest checkout will be a way for increasing your conversion rate, as you are making the ordering process easier for buyers.
Don’t force your customers to create an account before they can make an order. Once your customers become regulars, they’d naturally want to create an account so to make check out easier and faster.
3. Use FOMO for pushing sales
FOMO (Fear of missing out) refers to an anxious feeling of missing out something you can take advantage of, and is a powerful tactic for helping eCommerce to drive sales. eCommerces can run sales and promotion with a definite end date, and remind their customers the time left for discount to push them off the fence. A “low stock” sticker, or even a statement of “your item will be held in your shopping cart for 1 hour” are ways to let the shopper know it’s time to place their order.
4. Optimize for mobile
Many online shoppers browse for product information or even shop directly on the go, so make sure your online store is optimized for mobile. If your customers have a negative experience with your site on their mobiles, it’s easy for them to lose trust with you and this will cost you sales.
5. Retargeting ads
Having a lot of visitors to your website but unable to convert them into customers? Don’t worry, you can set up retargeting ads to get them back!
Most purchases won’t happen upon first visit, because customers may want to think about it, or they are distracted. Retargeting ads are ads that are shown to users who have visited your website, but didn’t order on the spot. By showing them your products on other websites or social media pages, you remind them of their interest in your product, increasing the chance of them coming back to complete the purchase.
You can learn more about how to set up retargeting ads here.
Learn these 6 SEO tips to up your Google ranking.
6. Send abandoned cart reminders
Most online shopping carts, as high as 60-80%, are abandoned in the middle of the purchase process. How can you recapture customer’s interest? Sending them a friendly email about the items left in their shopping cart can help reminding them what they already need and want. If possible, consider offering free shipping or a discount to motivate purchase.
There are many factors which affect conversion rate, and that can be something as small as the number of fields in the form, or the lighting in your product photos. All these details play a role in impacting the decision making of your customers, and whether they would place the order or leave the site.
After you have implemented some or all of the above 14 tips, you’ll improve the user experience and build trust with your customers, and you’re on the way to creating a profitable eCommerce business.
Need help in promoting your Taiwan business and driving sale? Fill in the form below for a FREE consultation with us and see how we can help:)
Guest lecturer of Hong Kong Polytechnic University on copy writing and digital marketing.
Guest lecturer and regular blog contributor of HD course (a leading digital marketing and SEO school).
Guest speaker on digital marketing and publishing for various organizations in Taiwan and Hong Kong such as Hong Kong Trade Development council, VolTra, Startup Group and Rotary.
Best selling author of book “Tango Spanish and Buenos Aires Travel Tips”.