Big claim right — 10 ways to increase conversions. Listed below are surefire ways to give your ecommerce sales a kick.
I’ve painstakingly compiled a list of 10 ways you can increase conversions on your WooCommerce store today. These are field-tested, guaranteed to work tips from the trenches. It’s not just for WooCommerce either, it’ll work for any ecommerce store.
It’s more than likely you’re doing 2 or 3 of these, so have a good read, put a few more into production and see the improvement in sales. There’s always room to improve – ecommerce is a forever moving target.
Abandoned Cart Recovery – increase conversions 12%
67% of your customers visit your store, add some items to their cart, and then leave, never to be seen again. (Baymard, Jan 2017)
These customers are standing at your checkout with their trolleys, and something has caused them to walk out of your store. Dinner is ready, price comparison websites, can’t find their password.
If your ecommerce store doesn’t email these lost customers reminding them of their cart, you’re giving away up to 12% of sales. (Peak Design case study)
Capture Emails & Likes
This one might not look like it will increase conversions today – it definitely will. When your customers like your Facebook page, you have a quick and cheap method of reaching out to them. Let them know about sales, new products and general news about your business. The best way to proceed here is a simple homepage popout asking a user to like your page and join your mailing list. A small benefit like a $5 off coupon will ensure every visitor follows through. That $5 coupon makes sure this new visitor is on your mailing list AND they hurry up and convert today.
These are cheesy and never work right? They are cheesy, and they do work.
Cheap tip: Make sure you have a section on your homepage (near the bottom of the fold or just under the fold) and again at the bottom of each page for users to submit their email address if they feel like it.
Remind customers you exist
Nearly all ecommerce stores, even when starting out, remember to capture customer email addresses and ask them to opt-in to a newsletter. Almost none of them carry out the important next step and ever send an email! The first is definitely the hardest. You should be reaching out to your customer base regularly with specials, new products, and maybe a little coupon.
It’s a good reason to remind your customers you exist, and you can drive sales without resorting to adwords or waiting for organic traffic.
Not sure if it’ll work? Make it your task today to send a coupon to your entire mailing list and see what happens – you might be pleasantly surprised! For my clients it’s a surefire way to get a bump in sales. This needs to be a regular part of your marketing strategy. The first time customers buy from your site, you are long forgotten once they checkout. Send them an email next week!
Remind them you exist and tell them about a few other things you have. And another the week after! Now they know who you are. You could step this up and send 4 or 5 a week, but that’s getting big time.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking the emails have to be any good. Get your branding on there, a section for products they may not have seen, a section for new customers, and a sweetener to bring the customers in. Discount a random category a week by 10% if it gives you something to talk about.
If you make it a mechanical process, based on a template, you’ll be able to knock it out in an hour or two. MailChimp is the go-to here!
Retargeting means online advertising to target advertising to shoppers who have previously shown an interest in your products. You must have seen this before. Google a pair of shoes, visit a few stores, then close all the tabs. You’ll receive ads for shoes in your news articles and favourite websites for a few days.
Retargeting automatically displays your ads to relevant buyers for a period of time after they showed interest in purchasing an item – it’s an effective way of reminding the customer that they visited your store and getting them back in the mind-set of closing the transaction.
You’ll need to engage a retargeting platform to display ads to your users — common platforms are AdRoll, Criteo, and Google Remarketing.
It’s easy to overlook payment options by enabling PayPal and calling it a day. Enabling the right payment methods for your target audience can remove friction at checkout and keep customers coming back to make purchases. In Australia, AfterPay has taken eCommerce by storm by allowing customers to pay off purchases in instalments when they have already received their order. It means your customer is not waiting for pay day (and.. visiting another store to make the purchase) or abandoning the cart because of sticker shock. (AfterPay)
Needless to say, you’re now losing customers if you don’t offer this as a payment option. In eCommerce stores where we’ve implemented AfterPay, it’s now responsible for ~10% of transaction volume (and it’s very sticky, to keep customers coming back!). The transaction fees are expensive (~5.5%), and in our opinion worth it.
If your customer base skews to mobile, it might increase conversions to have Stripe and Apple Pay available at checkout, both help ensure your user isn’t messing about trying to remember passwords at checkout.
This one is controversial, and I’m not suggesting you should do it. Free shipping is a trigger for users. It tells them that they are getting a great deal and will help to move them through the checkout. There’s nothing worse than justifying spending $49 on something, visiting the checkout, and seeing another $19 whacked on for shipping. Of course this costs you conversions. Try free shipping for a few weeks and see how your conversions adjust vs your profit margins and make a decision for yourself based on your store.
Don’t forget you can use this to encourage up the average cart values on your store as well. People are only spending small amounts at checkout? Encourage them to spend more! In the example above, imagine if instead of slapping me with $19 for shipping, you gave me a notification that said “Spend another $31 to enable free shipping!”. Suddenly I’m looking around for something else in your store I like, instead of bouncing from your store and googling “(item name) free shipping”.
The stores that get it right are the ones that taper shipping off to free when you spend more money.
Spending $49? Shipping is $12.
Spending $100+? Shipping is $6.95.
Spending $150+? Express shipping is free!
Now at each price tier, you have something extra to throw in if the user spends just a little more. Increase conversions – let the user decide if they want to spend so much on shipping. They can always purchase more, win-win!
If you want to see just how many customers you lose to shipping costs, install HotJar (mentioned below) and cringe when they see the shipping price and head to your competitor.
Optimise for Mobile
With any luck, you have a great theme on your store that you haven’t messed with too much, which is perfect for mobile out of the box. In the real world, themes and default setups usually suck for mobile unless someone’s been over them with a fine toothed comb.
Personally, I find I’m always researching and reading on a desktop PC, but all the buying is done on my mobile device! The key here is if you can capture the customer while they are browsing on mobile instead of annoying them into finding a laptop around the house, you can increase conversions.
We’re still working through this with a few clients but found HotJar is a fantastic tool to see just how frustrating life can be when on mobile.
How about an example?
A client of ours regularly sends out emails with a randomly generated 8 digit coupon code for the user to apply at checkout. So the user taps the link, fills a cart, gets to checkout, and … Has to go and find that coupon code. How many people do you know who can copy and paste proficiently on a mobile device? So, this user goes back to the email in their mobile, writes down the coupon code, goes back to your website, and types it in. Who knows how many sales they lost there!
This would piss a customer off so much that they would leave and never come back. So our improvement here is if we send out a coupon, it should automatically apply if the user taps it. Sounds stupid right? I bet you can find 10 of them on your website if you browse on your mobile for a while. Or install HotJar, and feel the pain your customers are going through. Be warned though, this hurts!
Don’t create another password
A good tech-savvy customer will have a great password manager like LastPass. LastPass saves them a unique password for every site they visit, and they never have to remember another password!
This is exactly 0 of your customers. They use one of about 5 passwords for every single site they access. They’ll cycle through all sorts of variations trying to remember how they checked out last time. Some have a # or a 01 on the end.
Make sure there’s a way for these customers to get to the checkout without stuffing around with passwords for half an hour. This will measurably increase conversions for repeat customers. The easiest way I suggest is enabling and integrating Facebook Login.
Tap “Facebook Login”, authorise your store, and proceed to checkout. Much better. It’s entirely possible some of your target demographic doesn’t even have an email address — it’s almost certain they have Facebook.
Ask for referrals
If someone purchases from your store, and they are super happy with their items, the postage cost and the shipping time, who can they tell? How are you enabling them to do that? It’s hard work to drive new customers to your store. Whether through advertising, SEO, or any of 100 different ways. Word of mouth is a powerful tool that can make or break your website, so help your customers talk about you.
This is easy.
- Drop a note in the box when you ship your order. It can be personalised if you’re a small outfit, but it can just be a printed thankyou note.
- Give them a number to call or an email address for feedback so you can hear what they thought.
- For one client we go a bit further and give each customer a unique referral URL. If they share the URL, new customers receive 5% off their order over $100. The referer receives a $10 store credit. It’s a cheap and effective customer acquisition strategy.
- Encourage your users to discuss you on social media. Offer up your Facebook, Instagram & Twitter handles and engage with them like a human being!
The secret to increase conversions
It’s probably obvious now, after reading through our cheat sheet for increasing conversions. There’s an underlying secret message.
Use your website, on the devices your customers use, and work out what pisses them off at checkout.
That’s what lost conversions really are. Every positive change you make for users who have their wallets out and are ready to buy will increase conversions on your ecommerce store.