THE small business owner would ideally love to have every visitor to his/her website become a paying customer.
The entrepreneur has done the hard yards by working with the web designer to make the website attractive. That is just a part of the mountain climbed. The other part is stickiness and earning decent website conversion rates.
What is website conversion rate? In online commerce parlance, it is the ability to convert a casual visitor to the website into a paying customer.
So how do you convert a site visitor into a potential client?
Here are some top tips.
Good, engaging content
Consider your website as a shop front. Just as you would take pains to make your physical shopfront as attractive as possible to welcome walk-ins, the same should apply for the website.
With an easy-to-use and uncluttered but not rudimentary website, there is a good chance they can be tempted to dig into their pockets.
One way to make the site attractive and rank high in search engine results is by offering engaging content on the page. This would push the website higher in search rankings and also keep a casual visitor on the site engaged.
The potential customer wants to have a fuss-free shopping experience. He or she does not want to waste time searching for things such as the “Buy” button.
Even simple things count, like having the “Buy” button stand out in a big font or a different and strong colour.
Easy navigation leads to a good user experience. And an enjoyable online shopping experience could mean that the customer returns.
When a product is out of stock, don’t be shy to say so. No one likes to jump through all the online hoops with choosing a product, only to be informed at the end that it is out of stock. If you don’t have it, then say so. Better that than an irritated customer who may not return to the website.
Also, it would be good to mention early in the piece if they will be charged for shipping the item.
Call to action
When getting the user to buy your product online, you need to have a strong call to action. What is a ‘call to action’? It is the nudge the visitor is given to take an action – for instance to sign up for a newsletter or to buy something.
All visitors may not know what to do once they have decided to buy the product. They need guidance. The call to action must be crystal-clear so that it guides the visitor easily.
Offer different pay options
Make your payment process simple. You may want to offer more than one payment option.
Allow some major credit cards, as well as an option like Paypal makes the purchase process convenient for users.
One of the reasons a customer wavers is personal satisfaction with the product. The only way to find out is if they have it in their hands.
And if it is not a right fit, they need to know if they can get their money back.
This hurdle can be overcome if they are offered a money-back guarantee.
Clear returns policy
One of the drawbacks of the online sale is that lack of ability for the customer to try on say a dress or a pair of pants or a pair of shoes - to see how well they fit.
If you have a good returns policy, your website would likely be preferred by online shoppers.
The steps to be undertaken to return items bought online should be laid out clearly. Give a generous time to return items. Also, if possible, free return shipping. That always goes down well with customers.
A buyer eagerly awaits their goodies. So keep them informed on the progress it makes from the warehouse or factory or wherever it is stored - to their doorstep.
Let them know, via email or SMS, depending on their preference, when the product has been dispatched. If possible, give them a tracking number – this will depend on whether the delivery service is set for online tracking.
If online tracking is not possible, let them know when the item has left the storeroom, whether it is in transit on the way to their city, when it has reached the dispatch house in their city and when they could hope for it to arrive at their door.