It’s no secret that competition on the web is fierce. Now, more than ever, your competitors are jockeying for first page positions, leaving you to wring every drop of great customer experience out of your website.
But how can you do that and what’s the best way to get started?
The answer is three simple letters: CRO.
What is CRO?
CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimization. It’s part art and part science and all about getting actionable, trackable results. Each time a visitor takes the action you want them to take on your website, whether it’s buying a product or getting a quote that counts as a “conversion”. Your site converted them from casual browser to interested shopper. The number of these conversions you have to the ratio of overall visitors to your site is your “conversion rate”.
The optimization part is where things get interesting. There are hundreds of ways to optimize your conversion rate, and each one differs for each company. What works for your competitors may not necessarily work for you, and vice versa.
How Can I Increase My Conversion Rates Today?
Conversion optimization, much like pay-per-click bid management or search engine optimization, is its very own field of marketing specialty, which means there are any number of conversion optimization professionals out there willing to help you get the most out of your site. That being said, there are still some things you can do on your own to improve your conversion rates, like:
- Implement a Call-to-Action – Ask yourself, “what is the most important thing I want visitors to do as a result of coming to my site?” Obviously, they may not be ready to order a product at the very beginning. Depending on the price and other factors, they may still be in the research phase of their purchasing decision. What would you want those visitors to do on your site? Request a quote? Download a free white paper? Whatever it is, a call-to-action asks them to do this very thing, and gives them a clickable button or link that encourages them to take that action. Too many calls-to-action across your pages can leave visitors confused and scattered.
- Maintain Clear Policies – One of the biggest issues that customers have when ordering from e-commerce sites are what happens if the product doesn’t perform as expected. Wrong size? Wrong color? Faulty product? Where can they go for help? Be clear about your shipping, refund and exchange policies up front. Let customers know precisely what they can do if they run into problems. You hope it will never happen, of course, but taking care of the customer before, during and after the sale speaks volumes about how you do business.
- Offer Free Shipping – This is one of the biggest “conversion clinchers” and can encourage customers to complete checkout rather than leaving the items languishing in their cart. If you need to make up the difference by raising prices slightly, people really don’t mind – it’s the free shipping that often seals the deal for them.
- Recommend Related Products to Previous Purchasers – If someone bought an item from you that has accessories, upgrades or other features, why not let them know about it? Customers appreciate being “in the loop” and knowing how to maximize their purchase to its fullest. By letting them know about these items, you’re seen as helpful rather than trying to pressure the customer to buy just to inflate sales numbers.
E-commerce is an ever-changing business and you have to take proactive steps to stay ahead of your competition. But by implementing a few simple techniques to optimize your conversion rate, you’ll be well on your way to cementing a great first impression with customers both new and old.