How do you convince a customer to buy your products?
If you have a brick-and-mortar shop or sell at retail stores, you might be able to offer your customers samples of your food items, or give them the chance to try on your products before they make a decision about what to buy. When customers can touch your product and try it out in the real world, they’ll be able to form an opinion on whether it’s something they want to buy or not.
That’s a lot harder when they’re just looking at pixels on a screen.
If you only sell online, customers won’t have the opportunity to talk to a salesperson, or to test out the product to see if it meets their needs. And your customer doesn’t even need to walk out of a store to end the shopping experience – they can simply click over to another site and that will be the end of your customer relationship.
It typically takes a lot of engagement with a customer to even get them to look at your product pages on your website or app. You might start advertising to them months in advance, and finally entice them to take a look at your products. But at that point, how do you get them to move from casual browsers to active buyers?
In order to put your product pages to work for you, it’s essential that they’re well-optimized to help you convert your customers. Here are some strategies for doing that.
Optimize pages based on the user’s device
Today, mobile commerce sales account for 44% of retail ecommerce sales in the United States – so if your site doesn’t offer your customers a shopping experience that’s optimized based on the device they’re using, they’re likely to click away to a more user-friendly competitor.
Make sure that your website automatically optimizes its font size, graphic elements, and other important elements based on the user’s screen size and operating system, with large buttons that enable customers to easily click through to different sections of your website, including the product pages and the home screen. Other mobile-friendly elements include the ability to click to make a phone call, or to click a large CTA box to make a purchase.
You can either build a mobile-optimized website, which will change the display based on a phone v. a computer display, or take the extra step of building a mobile-responsive design, which will automatically reformat based on the user’s exact screen dimensions, with a different layout for a phone, v. a tablet, v. a computer.
If you build your ecommerce shop within Shopify, the solution provides a variety of mobile-responsive web themes for you to choose from, enabling you to set up a mobile responsive store without hiring your own development team.
Incorporate a variety of multimedia
When displaying a product, a single image is rarely enough to give a customer enough to go on before committing to a purchase.
Instead, provide them with a multimedia experience that captures the essence of your product. You could consider incorporating elements such as:
- 360-degree product photography tours, where customers can zoom in or out on various elements
- Product videos (i.e., a model walking around in the shoes you’re selling)
- Customer reviews, with details on the product’s size and fit if applicable
- Multiple views of the same product, such as displaying the same dress on models of different sizes and body types
- User-generated photography, such as photos showcasing your brand’s couch in their living room, or makeover photos showcasing your foundation and lip gloss
- AR technology that enables customers to use your app to visualize an item in their own living space in 3D
By capturing your product from a range of angles, and even incorporating 3D imagery if possible, your customers will have a much better representation of how the product will look in real life. That gives them the data points they need to make a buying decision, increasing the likelihood that they’ll add an item to their shopping cart.
Simplify the check-out process
Don’t stop there, though: Of the people who add items to their online shopping cart, about 70% abandon the sale before completing it.
How can you optimize this dismal conversion rate? Consider switching to a one-page purchase model, where you minimize the amount of information a customer needs to fill out to complete a purchase.
For instance, while it would be ideal for a customer to sign up for an account so you can gather more data and give them the opportunity to log in to review their purchases, you can also give them the option to check out as a guest. By collecting only mandatory information, such as email, name, mailing address, and payment information, you can reduce the chances that a customer won’t complete a purchase due to a lengthy checkout process.
And in the event that the customer doesn’t complete the purchase at that point, you can store the details they’ve entered and follow up with them via email or a retargeting ad to encourage them to return to the site to complete their purchase.
Use A/B testing
It takes the right mix of copy and graphics and an intuitive, user-friendly layout in order to convince customers to convert.
But there’s no proven model: The right combination for your brand will depend on your products and your customers.
While you can draw from industry best practices, the best thing you can do to continually optimize your odds of converting your customers is to practice ongoing A/B testing and iteration.
With A/B testing, you can tweak a different element every time to explore whether there’s a lift in conversion – for instance, you might say, “buy now” on one version of the page or “add to bag” on the other, and explore whether customers are more likely to click on version A or version B. Or change the color of the sweater used in the first graphic to see whether more people click on it from the category page. Whatever variation you make, test it out on enough users so that you can get an accurate view of whether it’s statistically significant – if so, you can change it for all of your users to see it lifts sales, and then continue to test out and optimize against other elements on your product pages.
Optimize page titles and descriptions for SEO keywords
While you can use paid advertising to drive customers to your site, it’s far more sustainable, and valuable in the long term, to optimize for organic search engine optimization (SEO). Focusing on incorporating SEO keywords into your page titles, slugs, descriptions, and landing page copy will help you to attract customers through search engines like Google, who are looking for the exact types of products that you sell.
In order to do this effectively, you can use Google’s keyword research tool or a number of premium SEO tools to help you identify which key phrases are most commonly used to describe the types of products that you sell. With headline space at a premium and holding the most weight in search engines, it’s important to put the most common search terms first, and then sprinkle some of the other associated phrases throughout the body of the landing page.
Optimizing your SEO will not only help attract more relevant customers to your site in the first place, but it will help your existing site visitors more easily understand what you’re marketing, making them more likely to convert to a sale.
Showcase your returns policy on every page
Finally, what about your returns policy? With up to 40% of ecommerce sales ending in a product return, customers are rightfully concerned about understanding their options if they decide a product isn’t right for them. A UPS survey found that more than half of shoppers want a hassle-free return policy, and 60% want free return shipping.
By outlining the basics of your returns policy on every product page (i.e., “free returns within 30 days”), you’ll be able to attract customers to give you a chance by making a purchase, even if they’re not positive they’ll love the item. You might assume this would make your return rate go up, but that’s not likely to be the case: It just means that customers who might have otherwise decided not to buy will be more likely to commit to making a purchase, knowing that they can feel confident that they can return it easily if needed.
Optimize for exchanges
Don’t forget about the post-purchase conversion cycle. By using an automated returns management platform like Loop, you can empower customers to complete their return requests through a self-service platform that offers instant recommendations for one-click product exchanges: For instance, if a top is too small, Loop will offer the customer the opportunity to exchange it for the next size up through a one-click platform. This seamless process makes it more likely that a customer will commit to an exchange rather than request a refund: Loop customers retain an average of 40% of returns revenue.
Want to learn more about how Loop can help you optimize for higher revenue retention? Contact our team for a demo.