Nothing is worse than carrying the ball 99 yards only to fumble on the one yard line, and perhaps that’s the first thing we should discus. According to the Baymard Institute, nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned before a customer completes a purchase.
Seventy percent. Take whatever your conversion rate is now and understand that it’s only a tiny fraction of the people that were waiting in the checkout line with the intent of putting money in your pocket.
That lost business is the difference between your company being a source of supplemental income versus a full-time job. It’s the difference between a full-time online entrepreneur skyrocketing from a five figure to a six figure salary. Even for those who are already making a great level, a slight “tweek” to their conversion strategy could make them into millionaires and provide them with an early retirement.
Here are ten, common sense steps to help drastically boost your conversion rates..
1) Less is More – It isn’t simply that too many advertisements can give your customer the impression that you’re a used car salesmen (which drastically decreases your sales conversions because of the distrust it creates), advertising too many products can also actually lower your conversion rates as well.
As Neil Patel at QuickSprout points out, lowering the options in your form fields from 6 to 3 can increase your conversion rates by 66%. Too many bells and whistles, coupled with the “Buy! Buy! Buy!” sales strategy not only turns off customers, but it also disorients them through too many purchasing options.
2) Getting their email is vital – Of course we all dream of the first time visitor who falls madly in love with our site, makes a purchase, and becomes repeat customer. But the fact is it will often take a client five or six visits to your site before they build up enough trust to make a purchase. That’s why it’s so important to try to add them to your email subscription service in order to help build that initial trust (as well as turn them into a repeat customer), and to make sure you stay on their mental radar when it comes to online shopping.
Now with that stated…
3) Make the checkout process as quick, easy, and painless as is humanly possible. Demanding your customer give you their personal information (such as their email address) before they can check out is a sure way to sabotage your conversion rates.
I understand you want that information in order to turn them into repeat customers, but don’t let greed blind you from recognizing that one in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Above all, harassing and coercing them is a sure way to get negative, word-of-mouth advertising to spread about your website, which will lower your conversion rates even further.
Another valuable tactic for simplifying the checkout process is…
4) Offer as many checkout options as is humanly possible. Don’t simply be content with credit card transactions. Embrace the 21st century economy by allowing people to use PayPal as well as alternative currencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin. Even better, when a profitable opportunity presents itself, you should never shy away from bartering with clients for goods and services. Maybe you need your website completely overhauled, rather than paying for it, talk to your customer base first and see if a bartering agreement can be reached.
5) Know your products inside and out and be prepared to answer customer complaints, concerns, and inquiries. This has always been a problem for affiliate marketers that get into a niche because of high commissions, but they don’t actually take the time, effort, and energy to actually learn about the products that they’re selling.
Newsflash, customers can pick up on that ignorance pretty quickly, and it immediately destroys any trust or credibility that they might have had towards your site. Always respond to customer inquiries, complaints, and questions as quickly possible with in-depth and authoritative responses. Good customer service is one of the cornerstones to increasing your email subscription service as well as your repeat customer base.
If you want to take your customer service to another level…
6) Incorporate instant customer service with Skype. It’s one thing to take pride in your customer service, quite another to provide an instant Skype service where a customer with questions can actually see and speak to a real person.
You know as well as I do that the internet is stuffed to the gills with scammers, con artists, as well as internet entrepreneurs who could honestly care less about customer satisfaction so long as they make the conversion.
Any step you can take to enhance your site’s credibility and reputation should be adopted without question, and having a real person to talk to (and see) could drastically shorten the number of times a customer has to visit your site before deciding to commit.
Another great way to enhance your site’s reputation is through…
7) Use customer testimonials and reviews to boost your site’s credibility and reputation. If you can get satisfied customers to make YouTube clips for you, that would be the most potent form of customer testimonial. But written reviews (which are also prominently featured on your website) also work well.
Now the million dollar question is, how do you earn those customer reviews?
8) Don’t just offer sales pitches, offer concrete research that proves the value of your website. You’re not simply selling products and services; you’re selling value, and one of the best ways to provide your customers’ value is to imagine your site as an extension of Consumer Reports.
Your first job is to educate the customer, and in educating them, using quality quotes and citations to prove that you’re not just feeding them a line of horse manure. In the eyes of your customers, purchasing a product from you is just icing on the cake; it’s the engaging and authoritative content that keeps them coming back. Quality content that’s anchored on trust, loyalty, and respect is the principle way you build up a solid funnel of customer referrals.
9) Watch your competition like a hawk. When it comes to watching your competition, we’re not simply talking about ensuring your price point is competitive, but also keeping an eye on any new advertising, marketing, and sales strategies that have boosted website traffic, Google rankings, and sales conversions.
10) Don’t forget brick-and-mortar advertising. This is one of the most common sense pieces of advice that so many online businesses ignore because they’ve completely adopted an ecommerce mindset.
What’s one of the best ways of increasing sales conversions? How about walking out the front door and shaking hands with your neighbors? Attending Chamber of Commerce meetings, business socials, and handing out business cards in your local community is one of the easiest ways to increase the profitability of your company.
Conclusion – If you’re just starting out with an online business, the more you can incorporate these tactics into your conversion strategy, the quicker you can hit the ground running and convert your company into a full-time living. For those that have been in this game for years, a slight tweeking of your conversion strategies could lead to $10,000s in increased profits and an early retirement condo.