Ecommerce websites rely on high conversion rates and a solid performance in organic search results. Below we have listed 10 things that will help strengthen both of these KPI’s.
1) Unique Description
One of the biggest problems we commonly see on ecommerce product pages is duplicate content, which Google penalises by not including pages in the index or lowering their strength. Most small and medium sized businesses do not realise they are creating thousands of duplicate pages by copying and pasting product descriptions sent to them by the manufacturers and brands.
Let’s think about this for a minute. If you sell a fridge freezer on your website and use copy from the product description sent by the supplier, how many thousands of companies will have done exactly the same in the UK?
Make sure you:
- Always write unique descriptions to help your performance in organic search results.
- Only copy dimensions, weight, material, etc. from manufacturers’ product descriptions.
When shopping on the high street you have the advantage of physically interacting with items. These senses of sight, touch and smell will be among the main factors that impact your purchasing decision. Online we need to recreate this physicality with high quality images.
Having large hi-res images on your website will help to artificially bring the high street experience to customers’ screens. Include the variants below to increase your conversion rate:
- Various angles and positions of your item.
- 360 degree view.
- Zoom option.
Video is one of the most powerful and underutilised tools on ecommerce websites . Having a presenter describe an item as if you have walked into a high street shop has a profound impact on conversion rate.
If you have the right technical skills, or a digital agency who know how to properly optimise video, you can reap the benefits of augmented search results in the form of video rich snippets that can significantly increase your click through rate.
In the right type of video embed frame, your transcriptions (.srt file) can be read and indexed by Google. This will add lots of unique content to your page (notoriously hard on eccomerce pages) and help you pick up relevant long tail traffic. For example, if you sell baby cots and in your video the presenter says “this cot is perfect for a single mother in a small bedroom,” your page will rank for terms such as:
- “good cot for a single mother”
- “best cots for small bedrooms”
Below is an example from Appliances Online who have nailed the art of ecommerce video.
4) User Reviews
User reviews are one of the biggest trust signals on a webpage and are read by 61% of customers before purchasing. If you are hesitant to add reviews in case there are any negative comments, it may surprise you that bad reviews can improve your conversion rate. So what are the other benefits?
- On average reviews increase sales by 18%.
- Users reviews are 12 times more effective than manufacturers’ descriptions.
- hReviews in the form of rich snippets (below) increases click through rate from the search engine ranking pages (SERPs).
5) Live Chat
Live chat has had a resurgence over the last few years. Usually seen as a pop up in the right hand corner of the screen, live chat allows you to interact with customers in real time (like shop attendants) to help them stay onsite and covert.
Some advantage are:
- Standing out from your competitors.
- Transcription data can be used to improve and streamline customer service.
- Develop instant customer relationships.
- Cost efficient.
- Reduces customer returns.
6) Shipping Options
Many people’s purchasing decisions are influenced by shipping costs . If you only display paid shipping options on the payment page your abandoned basket rate will go through the roof.
Online shoppers are savvy and looking for a bargain, so if you offer free shipping make this a focus on the page (near the price and the ‘add to basket’ button). Not only does it act as a convincer, it also boosts your average order value.
You can also add a sense of urgency with a countdown to the nearest delivery date, as Simply Hike has done below.
Out of all the components that impact whether or not a customer converts, price is most important.
So how do we make it clear that the user is getting a bargain (or make it seem like they are)?
If your item is on sale, show the previous price to highlight the sale value. Even if there is no sale you can still give the perception of a deal. Most online retailers’ prices are below the recommended retail price, so you can display the rrp above your prices to give the perception that the visitor is grabbing a bargain.
Our price: £15:99
Showing your customers stock levels is one of the best ways to reduce cart abandonment rates as well as adding a sense of urgency to a purchase. If there are only ‘2 items left in stock’ the user knows they have a limited time to purchase.
If you do not show stock levels you could have a customer repeatedly coming to a payment page to see if the item has been restocked. If this is the case you will most likely eventually lose the custom to a competitor.
Call to actions are one of the main tactics used to generate conversions. If you show all the relevant information that the user needs but do not have a call to action to ‘add item to basket’ or to ‘buy now’, you have just lost a potential conversion.
There are a few simple rules to follow that can reinvigorate your current call to actions:
- Use the right language on your buttons. If you have an email newsletter sign up do not have submit on your button. No one wants to ‘submit’ anything. Instead use language like ‘keep up to date’ or ‘send me latest deals’ as the user feels they are getting some advantage by giving you their details.
- Split test everything. If you have the knowledge or software to split test or A/B test then do so. Slight variations in copy, size, colour and design could help to significantly increase your conversion rate.
Hubspot did a great blog post on ecommerce call-to-actions that you should use which goes in to more detail.
10) Trust Factor
Having strong trust factors are imperative to the customer feeling comfortable and safe to proceed with a transaction. A recent study found that 76% of respondents had not purchased something because they hadn’t recognised the logo.
The most recognised trust factor logos were:
- McAfee (79%)
- Verisign (76%)
- Paypal (72%)
- BBB (37%)
- TRUSTe (28%)
Logos that gave the most reassurance and feeling of safety were:
- PayPal (29%)
- Verisign (25%)
- McAfee (23%)
- BBB (7%)
- TRUSTe (3%)
We could have included more factors but we like to keep a few cards up our sleeve. If you think we have missed an important aspect leave a comment in the section below and it may just end up in a future post.