Blog - Virid: People-Powered eCommerce

How to Increase Conversions on Your eCommerce Site

Your eCommerce site is a journey, leading potential customers up the path to purchasing. They've traveled to your site from faraway places and stand at a crossroads. Here are a few elements you can use to show them the way:

Shopper-Focused Product Pages

Is the product described accurately on the page? Do the images grab attention and highlight the features of the product? On any eCommerce site, you are ultimately driving customers to product detail pages where they will either add an item to their cart or continue shopping. First impressions they receive on that page are among the most important aspects of the buyer journey. The design of the page should be detailed, benefit-focused, and show a clear path for purchase. Using default manufacturer descriptions, while efficient, is not the best long-term path. Compelling, unique product descriptions not only engage customers but also enhance your product's SEO, so they can serve to bring even more shoppers into your site.

Competitive Pricing

Pricing is one of the most significant factors affecting online purchasing decisions. What are customers willing to pay for your item? How are competitors pricing similar items? If you notice an increase in cart abandonment, your prices may be too high and you should adjust accordingly. Remember that a low price isn't the only way to compete—incentives, coupons, and a strong brand culture can all make a difference in what customers are willing to pay.

Quickshop

Quickshop on category and search results allows customers to receive basic product information or add a product to their cart without having to visit a product detail page. Offering a way for customers to expedite the purchasing process ultimately leads to fewer abandoned carts, but can be a mixed blessing. Their abbreviated format provides fewer opportunities for cross-selling or other 'romance' aspects of selling. To ensure this feature is having the intended impact, baseline your average order value and conversion rate before implementing Quickshop, and track changes after. (For more on eCommerce KPIs read 5 Key eCommerce Metrics to Track as you Grow)

Upselling and Cross-selling

Upselling encourages customers to purchase a similar, higher-end product than the one they were considering. If a customer adds a laptop to their cart, you may try to entice them to buy a newer model of the same laptop at a higher price point. Cross-selling encourages a customer to add complementary products to their initial purchase. If a customer adds a pair of sneakers to their cart, you may suggest adding a pair of socks or additional colored shoelaces to their order.

Upselling and cross-selling can both increase average order value, making them essential components of your eCommerce site. To make these features effective, it's important to consider what products you're going to offer, and when you'll present them to customers. While artificial intelligence can be a big boost for smart cross-sell and upsell recommendations, it is not a cure-all. Some cross-sell styles such as 'Complete this outfit' or 'Stylist Recommend' are best handled by a merchandiser and can highlight products an automated system would never suggest. Plan deliberately when you offer these additional products, and take into account your shopper demographics and habits. For example, adding new choices into the checkout flow can cause friction in the checkout process, resulting in a higher cart abandonment rate. However, if your higher average order value makes up the difference, lost shoppers may be a trade-off you are willing to make. Ultimately, these features should serve your customers—not annoy them.

Return Policy

With more than 96% of Americans shopping online, it is increasingly important to provide a convenient and transparent return policy for consumers. Even with compelling, detailed product descriptions and images, customers may still have hesitation about purchasing—and for apparel and shoes, size is always a concern. Giving customers clear reassurance of a returns safety net can help persuade them to make the purchasing leap. An inconvenient return policy deters 80% of shoppers, but 95% of online shoppers who make a return will make another purchase if they have a hassle-free return experience.

Mobile Optimization

About half of all shopping journeys include mobile, and mobile traffic this past holiday season surpassed desktop for the first time. Needless to say, mobile matters. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile so that customers have a seamless shopping experience no matter how they access your site. This includes everything from the layout of the page and page size optimization to mobile-friendly payment options. Mobile shoppers interact very differently with your site than desktop users, and it's important to keep them in mind at every step of the shopping experience.

Ratings and Reviews

92% of customers read reviews before making a purchase, making them a crucial part of the customer journey. Social proof offered by reviews from other buyers can be the little push your shoppers need. Many ratings and reviews services include a question and answer feature, allowing customers to get clarification on specific issues from retailers or fellow customers—maybe providing the exact details they needed. Additionally, ratings, reviews, and Q&A have a deep impact on SEO rankings, as they provide natural language descriptions of products that are friendly to both search engines and shoppers.

Keep these factors in mind when reviewing your progress in Q1, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for more eCommerce insights.

Topics: conversion rate optimization, mobile, Merchandising, CRO, General, mobile optimization, ratings and reviews

Written by Rachel Hobble