Five Basic Strategies to Drive Conversions of E-Commerce Websites

Nov 01, 2012, 09:00 ET from

GUANGZHOU, China, Nov. 01, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The e-commerce market is always alive and active with endless competition on prices amid companies. e-commerce websites employ all manner of strategies to achieve their ultimate goal which is nothing but traffic and conversions. However, many of them end up with very poor conversions. So here comes the question: What do we need to do in order to improve our conversion rate and turn visitors into customers?

Data Analysis

How does an online platform estimate a customer's needs and consuming level? Well, just let your data do the work in the below areas:

1. Visited Pages

Information like visited pages, viewed products, and stay time should be collected. If a user stays a long time on a page but doesn't end up buying anything, we need to think about what elements made him/her give up purchasing and work to modify and optimize the page. The targeted elements can be obtained by direct talks with users or through in-depth analysis. Of course, if a user often visits your website and stays long every time, he is probably one of your competitors.

2. Realization of Conversions

Specific analysis much be done to those items with highest conversions. Why do they sell so well? Do they have advantages in price, style, description or promotion? And do they have anything in common? The drawn conclusion should be applied on other potential products. Furthermore, products with big potential should be placed on the homepage as key recommendations.

3. Bouncing off A Page

Customers may bounce off a page because of negative comments, high shipping fee, poor after-sales service, long shipping time, payment problems or other issues. The bounce-off data thus should be collected and analyzed so as to solve problems.

4. Behavioral Pathway

It is very important to track users' behavioral pathway from the moment they start browsing your website. Which entrance gets most users? Which area of the homepage has the highest clicking rate? Which color system appeals to users most? What products enjoy best conversions? All these are worth attention and analysis as they can help us better adjust marketing strategies.

Product Pictures

The beauty and the loading speed of product pictures have great influence on conversion rate.

The design of an online store is like face of a woman, while product pictures are like features of that face. And this tells how important product pictures are.

The loading speed of pictures is easily ignored by e-commerce companies. At many online shops, it takes 10 seconds or even longer to load pictures. And that is the cardinal sin because data tells that users won't wait longer than 3-5 seconds during which they probably will browse other pages or websites. Users may bounce off and leave at any time. What we need to do is to reduce or even eliminate these possible losses.

Navigations and Related Sales

Let us start with navigations. Generally, there are two kinds of purchasing psychology: rational purchase and emotional purchase. The latter, also called impulsive consumption, has its foundation in product styles, prices, pictures and descriptions that aim to create real attractions at first sight and further lead to impulsive purchases. Rational purchase is very different. Winter comes, I need a sweater, and I visit websites to find one. And that is it. Therefore, we must pay attention to this powerful rational purchasing group.

As rational purchasing group are goal-oriented, the navigations of the homepage and inside pages must never be neglected. The searching box and navigations classified by prices, styles, materials, seasons, and color systems are of great importance. Navigations, just like guides of a website, help customer find what they want far more easily. Without good navigation, it is very likely to lose customers when they find it hard to find what they want. And that is probably not a website would love to see.

Related sales is another magic weapon to raise per customer transaction and conversion rate. For example, when you buy a dress, you may also need some accessories to enhance it. At this point, related pages will work like magic. So, it is more than necessary to put some similar or related products near one product as it will guide customers to browse and buy other products. The transaction rate of the whole website thus gets lifted. Take SooBest for instance, when a customer places an order at their website and proceeds to the final payment page, the site will display related products there – for example, ring jewelry or necklace jewelry for women clothing, chic watches for men clothing, and the like.

Brand Reputation

A user is about to place an order after browsing and comparisons. Yet, some doubts may linger in his/her mind – is this site trustworthy? Is it really 100% cotton? Is there any big difference between the pictures and actual product? It is normal to have such doubts unless you can prove that your products are great and that your site has good credit. To drive conversions at this stage, you need to do at least five things:

1. Be matter-of-fact about picture displays and descriptions, and present customers a sense of integrity.

2. Build a professional customer service team that could always respond to customers promptly.

3. Offer reasonable and user-friendly terms of return and exchange.

4. Encourage loyal customers to leave positive comments to enhance the purchasing confidence of new users.

5. Provide good after-sales service. It is very dangerous to do nothing after shipping.

Causes of User Loss

Why some of the users that have contacted customer service bounce off the site? You need to talk to the customers for the primary causes, and then do improvements and optimizations for maximum customer satisfaction, so as to seize back the lost customers .

The competition of e-commerce is very cruel. Although e-commerce companies work hard and fight intensively, many of them are still doomed to be eliminated. To increase sales, it is smarter to start with conversion improvements than going all out for traffic.