Online shopping may have taken over completely in the last couple of weeks, but many industries still remain in the dark. Growing your bottom line during this crisis means you’ll need to focus on increasing and optimising your conversion rate, which is far from simple in times like these.
Like most eCommerce businesses, you might be looking to optimise your conversion rates without spending too much money, and without looking desperate, because desperation kills conversions. You might be getting enough traffic right now, but boosting conversions doesn’t end at increasing traffic. If your conversion rate isn’t moving, or worse even, is dropping, these 7 tips will help you try new ways to boost your overall performance as shopping behaviours continue to change.
7 Tips to optimise your eCommerce conversion rate in this uncertain climate
1. Offer free shipping
Did you know that shipping cost is the number one reason for cart abandonment (25%)? 9 out of 10 consumers admit that free shipping is their biggest incentive to continue shopping online. If you’re charging for shipping in these difficult times, chances are you're losing some of your sales to your competitors. With shops being closed for the foreseeable future, we recommend offering free shipping to all customers, with no minimum order amount.
This doesn’t have to be forever, but whilst times are so uncertain and all shops are closed, offering free shipping is a good way to boost your sales.
2. Create a discount
Now more than ever, consumers have taken a hit financially. With so much job uncertainty right now, shoppers are more likely to buy from stores which offer discounts and promotional offers to their customers.
Discounts are perceived by consumers as a way to get a product of higher value and better quality at a lower price. Indeed, the feeling of getting a bargain or a good deal is likely to make consumers buy a product they wouldn’t necessarily have bought at full price.
This is because of the fear of missing out (FOMO). Most of the time, consumers don’t know how long the promotional offer or discount will last for. This creates urgency and will push people to make a buying decision quicker than usual. In other cases, retailers determine a certain amount of time for which the discount will be valid for (e.g. 20% for 48 hours). This also creates urgency, and pushes consumers to buy from your website before the deal ends.
Given the current situation, setting up discounts regularly or for extended periods of time, is likely to help you see a real change in your conversion rate.
3. Donate to charity
Times of hardship can bring out the best in human nature. Communities are coming together and people are going out of their way to donate money to those affected by the crisis or in real need of support. Many businesses have recently been donating some of their products or offering their time and services to help out the community.
If you’re looking for a way to help, why not give a small percentage of each sale to charity? Customers are more likely to shop if they know their online shopping is helping support key workers, patients, or people in need. Being a more human brand is a trait every company should embrace, and this could make a real difference right now.
4. Address uncertainty with additional information
In these difficult times, it’s important to address any possible uncertainty with as much information as possible. We highly recommend creating a COVID-19 FAQ page, with new information about shipping, delivery, extended returns, and more.
Providing additional information will give buyers enough confidence to trust that you are the right brand for them right now. Product description is also extremely important. Make sure your product copy is clear and reflects your brand image. Your customer should have no questions left once they’ve read the product description. Don’t forget to add visuals on there too. The more visuals you include, the more chances you have of converting consumers.
Companies that use custom imagery actually have 7 times more conversions than companies who don’t. And they don’t have to stop at photos. Why not add product demonstration videos, product reviews or customer testimonials directly on your product pages? This will help answer any questions your potential customer might have at this point of the journey, reducing the chances of them continuing their research elsewhere.
5. Optimise your checkout process
Did you know that having to create a new user account is the second biggest reason for cart abandonment (22%)? If you don’t offer guest checkout yet, this might be the right time to consider it. It can help keep all consumers stay engaged, whether they’re repeat shoppers or first-time consumers. Adding the additional step of account creation can create friction for the user, as they probably won’t want to create a new account every time they order from a new website - which is likely to be often right now.
Single-step checkouts are also one of the easiest ways for existing customers to finalise their purchase. Amazon or Shopify are two of the best platforms to use this system. Existing customers save their payment and personal details and can buy anything they’d either by clicking on the ‘Buy Now’ button, or entering a one-time passcode sent to their mobile. This saves them from having to fill in a lot of forms at checkout.
Do you offer any of these? Why not give them a try!
6. Accept multiple payment options
Did you know that 24% of consumers abandon their transactions at checkout because the retailer doesn’t offer their preferred payment choices?
Getting more traffic means your business needs to please different types of customers, with different needs and different expectations. Having multiple payment options ensures your larger audience is taken care of and that their expectations are met.
These uncertain times are affecting everyone, especially financially.
That’s why we recommend to offer your customers other payment solutions such as Klarna, a Swedish bank which provides customers with an easy way to pay in 3 times, or pay 30 days after their purchase, without affecting their credit score.
7. Leverage reviews
Lack of trust in advertising is seriously affecting the customer journey and the decision-making process. According to Trustpilot research, in 2019, we saw an 11% decline in trust globally, with 29% of people admitting they don’t trust consumer brands anymore.
Today, it’s getting easier for consumers to compare businesses by price, shipping cost, quality, and customer experience, which makes it harder for eCommerce sites to stand out, and therefore convert consumers, especially in times like these. Trust is one of those differentiators that can really help a company stand out.
Word of mouth is one of the most popular methods of recommendations today, and with 80% of people trusting reviews as much as personal recommendations, it’s safe to say that reputation and third-party validation are big difference-makers. A Trustpilot study found that 89% of global consumers check online reviews as part of their online buying journey, and 49% of global consumers consider positive reviews one of their top 3 purchase influences.
Leveraging trust and transparency through online reviews is key to increase eCommerce conversions. That’s why using customer reviews at key points of the shopping journey can encourage visitors to engage with you (now or later), rather than leave your website and keep looking elsewhere.
Luca Tagliaferro, Analytics Advisor, SEO Consultant, Lecturer & Speaker at Future Fit, explains:
"Future Fit recently ran an A/B test with Trustpilot's review carousel and saw a massive increase in conversions from leveraging reviews. The page with reviews converted at 22%, whereas the page without reviews converted at 14%. After seeing such results, we decided to implement Trustpilot widgets across the whole website. With results like these, adding reviews to the journey was just a no-brainer to boost our overall conversions."
Don’t be afraid of being transparent, and embrace both negative and positive reviews to build credibility with your consumers. Indeed, 64% of global consumers would prefer to buy from a responsive company over one that appears perfect.
Collecting reviews from an open platform, managing your customers’ feedback and leveraging it as social proof in the consumer journeys are great ways to build trust and increase conversions, even in uncertain times.
Even though these times are difficult for every business, try to keep your customer journey as frictionless as possible, offer free shipping and discounts to your customers, and most of all, don’t be afraid to be transparent: share more information and provide your customers with testimonials. We guarantee you’ll see a difference.
If you’d like to learn more about reviews and how they can benefit your business in difficult times, give our guide to reviews a read!