Bringing a customer to your company's website is important, but it's only the beginning. Especially if your business hinges on e-commerce, it's imperative that you're able to not only encourage visits and page views, but that you can convert those who are just browsing into loyal customers.
In the current environment, this is more of a challenge than ever before.
"There's never been a time in history where it was harder to sell something to someone for the first time," marketing consultant Perry Belcher pointed out. "But there's never been a time in history where it's been easier to sell something to someone the second time."
So how can you push your customers toward this next step? Let's examine some of the most proven conversion strategies that you can put to work for your brand:
1) Set a tripwire
Belcher, an expert in conversion rate optimization, is a firm believer in putting tripwires in place. Despite the mental images of booby traps that this word may conjure, a tripwire in this context refers to an incredibly enticing deal or discount. This offer is so good that customers simply cannot resist buying, quickly bringing shoppers from the browsing stage to conversion.
"That means those people are no longer 'cold leads' to you," Marketing Land contributor John Lincoln wrote. "More importantly, it means that they no longer view you as a stranger because they already have a business relationship with you."
This strategy works best when the tripwire appeals specifically to your core, target audience. Going too broad here can lessen the impact, and may just bring in a lot of one-time buyers. The right tripwire, however, can not only help spur conversion, but brand loyalty as well.
2) Streamline the checkout process
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are still many brands with overly complicated transaction systems. If customers are forced to input a wealth of unnecessary information, or complete multiple steps before their purchase goes through, the chances of cart abandonment only increase.
TechWyse noted that some leading contributors to a poor checkout process can include unexpected product or shipping fees, problems with website performance, time out notices and prices being displayed in foreign currencies. In addition, requiring shoppers to register and not enabling guest checkout can cause consumers to leave without completing their transaction.
Overall, it's imperative to have a simple, short checkout process. Ask for only the most essential information and eliminate any unnecessary steps.
3) Follow up with a friendly reminder
If a cart abandonment still takes place with a streamlined checkout process, fear not – you still have the opportunity to draw these customers back and encourage conversion. Sending a follow-up message, or recovery email, to shoppers after abandonment can serve as a friendly reminder and spur a purchase.
One company used this strategy to increase their overall sales by more than 10 percent, ensuring that customers didn't forget about the items that initially struck their interest. TechWyse noted that this business used a three-pronged recovery email strategy, where customers received a message reminding them of their cart, a second email encouraging them to purchase and a final email that included a discount on the specific item in the abandoned cart. In this way, if the first or second message isn't quite enticing enough, a special deal aimed at the customer is sure to do the trick.
4) Provide location-specific content
"A more tailored experience fosters a stronger connection."
Personalization in e-commerce is all the rage these days, and it's not hard to understand why. Instead of being another face in the crowd, a more tailored experience makes customers feel a stronger connection to the brand and shows that you've listened to their needs and interests.
As Lincoln pointed out, personalization including the use of location-specific content can be a winning way to encourage conversions.
"One way you can give your customers the warm and fuzzies is by displaying a landing page specific to their area," Lincoln wrote. "People tend to be impressed with landing pages that look like they were designed just for them."
Taking this a step further with location-specific discounts on merchandise that appeals to shoppers in a certain geographic area will only increase the chances of conversion.
Today's customers can be a finicky bunch due to the sheer number of options available to them. Spurring a conversion can be a bit tricky, but with the right insight into your customers' shopping habits and product interests, you can lead consumers to the next step and support brand loyalty. Give a few of these tried-and-true conversion strategies a chance, and better connect with your target audience.