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eCommerce Blog – Opportunities in US and India (by Darpan Munjal)

Increasing Online Conversion Rates on A Budget

Posted by Michelle On November - 7 - 2009
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Editor’s Note: We welcome this guest post from Michelle Strassburg who is head of Sales and Marketing at UK based online seller Wood and Beyond.

Having been an e-commerce manager for a while, it didn’t take me long to understand the name of the game. When it comes to running a successful e-commerce business, the name of the game isn’t so much about generating traffic, as getting whatever levels of traffic you have to convert. Online conversion can come in many forms. If you’re selling a product online conversion happens when a visitor makes a purchase and becomes an active customer, and if you’re offering a service your conversion might be getting visitors to phone-in. In order to increase your online conversion rates on a budget try my tips below.

1. Mention Your USPs Across The Site – Every online retailer has at least one unique selling proposition. It could be your prices, your level of service or anything of real value to the customer. Most online retailers will mention their USP only on their homepage, but truth of the matter is that many visitors especially those coming from Google search will land directly on a product page. Unless the USPs are copied across the site, they might never be seen so make sure your USPs are visible across the site.

2. Openly Accept Communication from Visitors – Veteran online retailers know that it is important to backup their online offers with a solid communication platform in the shape of telephone and email support. In today’s web reality this might not be enough. You might want to look at additional communication channels such as online chat, Voice Over IP providers such as Skype and online feedback forms to ensure you cater for enough visitors as open communication can help increase your credibility.

3. Compare and Adjust Your Prices On a Regular Basis – Statistics say that 80% of customers will first research before committing to buy. Based on this figure you should aim to ensure your prices are as competitive and as close to your direct competitors as possible because there’s no hidden it, if a better deal is out there customers will find it. When comparing and adjusting your prices, look at the overall price to the customer also taking into account any shipping fees and taxes.

4. Mirror Your Offers Across All Channels – From time to time you might have a fantastic offer on the site. The trick is to mirror your offer across all your marketing channels ensuring that no matter if visitors came from one channel or another the offer is highlighted. Even if on a small scale, you are very likely to employ some form of multi-channel marketing. If for example you are offering free delivery for a day, be sure to mention the promotion on the site for visitors coming directly, in your paid ads for visitors coming via the search engines and in your newsletter for existing customers.

5. Introduce New Related Products – To increase revenue many online retailers focus on two avenues. The first is an attempt to increase the number of visitors to the site and the second is an attempt to increase conversion rates based existing levels of traffic. Another avenue is the ability to increase revenue, to boost conversion rates and expose the business to more traffic by adding new products suitable to the business. As an online retailer you should always be on the lookout for new opportunities and closely follow customer trends and taste.

6. Diversify Product Offers – Over time we came to the realization that some customer groups find free delivery offers appealing, some find buy 1 get 1 free offers appealing and some find price drop appealing. To become an appealing proposition, consider catering for as many customer groups as possible by diversifying your product offers.

How did you increased your conversion rate?

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