Most startups follow a simple marketing strategy. The first step is to drive as much traffic to their website as possible. They want volume, and fast. The next step is to get people converting, signing up for emails and so on. The final step is getting products sold and money coming into the business,
Going from the first to the second to the third step is fraught with various challenges. Sure, people might be showing up on your website. But if they’re not buying from you, they might as well not be there. Here we are going to look at how you can turn your guests into shoppers just from the design of your website. The following is the secret sauce recipe for getting your customers to click that elusive “buy” button.
Start With The Three-Second Rule
What’s the three-second rule, I hear you ask? Go to your site, click over to your home page, and pretend you are one of your customers. Can you tell what your site sells within three seconds? And do you think you’d trust your credit card details to your own site? If you believe that the answer is no to those questions, your site probably needs a rethink.
Fewer Words, More Pictures
When a customer turns up at your site, they should know straight away the type of products on offer. The first thing to do is to show a picture of the product you sell. If you’re in the business of selling bicycles, then have pictures of bikes front and center of your home page. Keep the text to a minimum, so that customers can easily see how to access different product categories.
If you’ve got featured products or are running special offers, it can sometimes be hard to fit everything all on one page. Many businesses get around this problem by using what’s known in the industry as a carousel. Ecommerce companies can show off all their wares on a glorified slideshow running at the top of their website. The cool thing about carousels is that they are embedded into the website design. That means that you can edit them should you need to promote any additional products.
Some ecommerce firms fall into the trap of having only product categories, rather than products displayed on the homepage. But according to the evidence, this is the wrong approach. A study by Oneupweb recently found that over 70 percent of shoppers liked the fact there were products displayed on the homepage. That’s despite the fact that those products were uncategorized.
Other e-commerce firms fall into the trap of promoting their least favorite products on their homepage to shift inventory. Perhaps they ordered a few too many wheel nuts for their motor vehicle parts ecommerce website. It might sound intuitive to promote your least popular products, but that’s the wrong approach. In fact, promoting your most popular products is the best strategy. Why? Because those products are proven crowd-pleasers. And they’re the things most likely to get people to stay on your site for longer and browse your stuff.
Custom Graphic Design
As a startup business, you want your website to be distinctive. But it’s going to struggle to have its own appeal if you’re using generic graphics on your site. You might have a great inventory system, but if your site isn’t convincing, it’ll fall flat. This is where custom application development comes in. You need people who can tailor your site for a particular look. If you’re selling women’s shoes online, for instance, a generic appearance won’t suffice. You need a design that will make you memorable. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have an image of a shoe as part of your logo? Wouldn’t it also be great if you could implement web 2.0 features directly onto your site? How cool would it be if customers could post pictures of themselves wearing your product? With run-of-the-mill website software, it’s unlikely you’ll find that level of functionality.
Reviews And Testimonials
According to data from companies like Trustpilot, hosting product reviews can boost purchases by a lot. The latest figures suggest that websites with reviews see 18 percent higher conversions than those without. And a study by Oneupweb suggests that around 40 percent of your customers will take into account reviews before hitting the buy button. If you’ve got some particularly good reviews, you can put them on your home page. You can even put them into a slideshow under your latest product deals.
Pick a bunch of reviews with different themes. Have a review on the quality of your service, the speed of your delivery, and the quality of your products. Make the reviews quite text-heavy, to maximize your visibility on search engines.
Clearly Display Your Prices – Including Shipping!
As an internet shopper yourself, you’re probably familiar with the following sequence of events. You turn up to an ecommerce site, see a great deal and click “buy.” It all seems great. Then, just before you hit the confirm button, you see an annoying little +$15.90 shipping. Companies that track the behavior of their customers on their sites abandoned this strategy years ago. They soon figured out that it was a principal reason for the dreaded cart abandonment. And they switched back to transparent prices.
Data on the subject also suggests that customers hate high shipping costs. Analysts have discovered that a whopping 44 percent of carts are abandoned because of shipping. To get around the problem of shipping, you can do a number of things. First, put shipping costs next to the products on the product page. Be upfront about your costs. Don’t annoy customers by making them think they’ve got a good deal on a product when they haven’t. Second, offer free shipping over a certain threshold, say $50. This will incentivise your customers to do all their shopping with you in one go, and net you a lot of extra cash.
The data suggest that shipping information is hugely influential in decision making. 95 percent of respondents to the Oneupweb consumer study said that it was the critical determinant of whether they clicked buy.