You might have hired a marketing consultant or marketing agency, or you may be working hard yourself to bring traffic to your website. Well done if you’ve been successful at increasing your website visitors – it can be a long slog. However, if you find that after all that effort (and possibly money) you find that your visitors are not buying, that can be really discouraging. And we all need to make money!
Let’s talk about your conversion rate. This is the equation to work out your conversion rate: sales/website visitors x 100. So, if you have 100 website visitors and 5 of them make a purchase, that’s a 5% conversion rate. 5/100×100=5%. The global average is 4.23% but that varies massively across different industries.
If you don’t know how many people visit your website, you need to find out. Google Analytics looks scary but the basics are actually pretty simple. Find a video on YouTube to show you how to set it up. There’s a YouTube video for everything, right? Shopify has its own analytics programme which is a bit more intuitive. Once you have the tools, you have a better idea of where you stand. Look up the average conversion rate in your industry and see how you compare.
If you do find that you are struggling to make sales, don’t despair. Most of the time, there are minor changes you can make to your website to make you seem more relatable and trustworthy and your products look more desirable. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) sounds technical but a lot of it is really quite logical. So here goes:
Have good photography
Please, please make sure you have good images. Bad photography lets you down and lets your products down. Not only do your beautiful products just not look great but bad images make your business appear untrustworthy. I know that iPhones take OK pictures but you can so easily tell the difference between iPhone pictures and professional pictures. I also know that photography can be expensive but sometimes it can be the difference between selling and not selling.
Showcase your testimonials
Even if you sell the most unique bespoke products, you have competition. While your potential customer is browsing your beautiful handmade necklace, it is highly likely that they are looking at another beautiful necklace on another website. So share your customer’s experiences. Publish all the great things that they’ve said about you and that could be the difference between someone buying and not buying. Even if you’ve only sold to your cousin and your Dad’s work colleague so far, get them to write testimonials for you. Then upload them on your website. There are loads of different ways to do that, including plugins if you have a WordPress site.
Make the delivery costs clear, or offer free shipping
How many times have you abandoned your shopping cart because you only found out right at the end of the process that shipping was £7.99 for your £20 item? And you feel as if you’ve been conned and you’ve wasted your time. This is such a common problem – it makes people feel bad and they won’t return to your website. So if you charge for shipping, you need to give the customer an idea of the cost before the final step of the purchase. If you can, you should offer free delivery, either for everything or for above a threshold – say, free delivery for all orders over £30. Free shipping is never free – most companies raise the price of their products slightly to absorb the cost. Study after study has been done on the effects of free shipping and it’s been repeatedly proven that it warms people to a brand.
Show yourself and your business to be honest and trustworthy
There are millions of websites out there in Internetland. And we all know that a great many of them are “dodgy”. You won’t get your goods, or they will be inferior and there’s no way to return them. So every time we make a purchase from someone we don’t know, we’re taking a gamble. Here’s how to look honest and trustworthy:
a. Spelling really matters. Maybe it shouldn’t in these days where we recognise that good spelling and grammar isn’t a sign of intelligence – and a lot of people trade in a country not native to them. But it does matter. People don’t trust websites that are full of spelling mistakes. Use Grammarly and get your friend to read your copy.
b. Show on your homepage which payment types you accept. People are reassured by recognised methods of payment.
c. Have an easily accessible refund policy, along with instructions for returns.
Keep the journey to purchase simple
Think of your steps to purchase as a funnel. You pop everyone in the top of the funnel and only the most determined come out at the bottom. Make everything as easy and visible as possible and keep the number of clicks to a minimum. Count the number of clicks required from visiting your site to purchase. Then visit some well-known sites and count the number of clicks. Do you have extra clicks? You’re making your customers work too hard. Try and simplify the process.
There are loads of really great online resources on increasing your CRO. This is just a short list but there are many things you can try. It helps to take notice of the way you navigate the web in your daily life. Note down the things that you don’t like about other people’s websites and what factors put you off buying. A website is never finished – it’s always a work in progress. So, keep making changes and testing those changes. Ask people what they think of your website. Real-life opinions experiences and opinions are very valuable to you.