18 Lesser-Known Tips for Increasing E-Commerce Website Conversions
While many businesses have learned the lesson on the importance of transferring to digital platforms and having an effective e-commerce website, great UX-focused websites are still not that common and there is a lot of poor content being created.
We want to use our experience as a professional website design & development agency in Dubai to share some website conversion tips that we know work well and can significantly benefit your business.
Any experienced agency that does website design in Dubai should already know the basics so we won’t get into them here. Like we emphasized many times in our other web design blogs, you should never neglect the importance of quick loading speed (ideally a website should load within 2 seconds, but no more than 3), excellent mobile responsiveness, and focus on investing in SEO with a good digital marketing agency.
Let’s first define our goal – website conversion. To be clear, we are here focusing on macro conversions, which means having the visitors respond to your calls to action and behave in a way that furthers your business objectives – subscribing to your newsletters, contacting you about your services, or purchasing your products.
Here are some things many companies who do web development in Dubai tend to overlook:
1. Improve your copy
So many web development companies fail to recognize the link between good content and great UX, more effective SEO and increased conversions. Narrowly focusing on SEO, they often jam-pack the page with keywords without context and put off the visitor with a poorly written, unformatted, grammatically incorrect copy. Guess what? This ends up completely damaging their SEO ranking as well (see: things people get wrong about SEO).
You need great content to inform visitors, drive action and build trust. Make sure to work with excellent content creators who can combine website design knowledge and SEO competence with a unique ability to make an outstanding copy that will add to positive user experience.
2. Focus on the user experience (UX)
Think of your website from the user’s point of view. Does it quickly and instantly answer their initial questions about your company? Is it easy to understand and navigate? Is it well-formatted with compelling calls to action?
There are many ways to improve your UX and a professional website development company should incorporate them all into your website design.
3. Be visual
As much as possible, use excellent, high-quality product images and clean designs to tell your story through visual means.
The Internet is becoming more and more of a visual place, and while a good copy is crucial, so is having beautiful imagery and videos. Many of your users will find it easier to watch an explainer video than read instructions, and well-placed, appealing photos can emotionally resonate in less than a second.
Just make sure not to clutter your website, be selective, and have a design that complements the visual elements.
4. Make sure your search functions are seamless
Nearly ⅓ of e-commerce site visitors will use the site’s search functionality, and that group is also the one looking for something specific because they want to make a purchase.
You want to make sure they can find what they’re looking for intuitively and in no time. For that, you need a simple menu, visible calls to action, and a convenient product search functionality. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel, users will understand best that which they’ve already seen and experienced before, so changing standard arrangements to be creative will only confuse them.
5. Reduce your form fields
You might have contact or purchase forms that your visitors have to fill out to make a conversion. Tests demonstrate that the lesser form fields there are the more people submit them (without any drop in submission quality).
There are several reasons for that. The first one is obvious, many people browse from their phone while multitasking, and if it seems that the task will be too complicated or time-consuming (or even requires details they might not have at hand), they will give up or save it for later, at which point they might just forget or end up on one of your competitors’ websites.
But that’s not all. A lot of people feel uncomfortable giving out some of the requested information. Some companies dramatically increased their web sales by removing the field that asked for company names from the form. Shoppers might also misinterpret some fields, so the simpler the better.
6. Use appealing auto-responders
Most of the website visitors don’t buy, but you can still convert them, by using auto-responders which follow-up on their visit via email, teaching them how to do something of value to them or solving a problem they might have.
Giving your potential customers something they can use, whether it is a template, a piece of good advice or a demonstration of your product/services will position your brand as experts and increase trust. It is not only a great brand strategy (just ask any good branding agency in Dubai!) but it has been proven to increase conversions.
7. Highlight security but don’t add a security logo (such as McAfee)
Cybersecurity is very important, so having a reputable site security provider and an SSL certificate will play a role in your conversions – over half of customers only use websites with SSL security (plus, going from HTTP to HTTPS gives your Google rankings a boost).
But should you place security logos over your site? Different companies have tested this with similar results – using McAfee security logo ends up lowering the conversion rate in comparison to the same page without one.
It seems that overly emphasizing security ends up creating a sense of anxiety in buyers mind, whereas otherwise, this isn’t something they are actively thinking about. This is also a good example of how something we intuitively assume is helpful can be detrimental to success, and why we strongly believe in the importance of research, data and testing.
8. Social Proof matters!
People want to purchase products that have a proven track record of success. When making purchasing decisions, over 90% of people read online reviews and testimonials, and over 85% trust them just as much as personal recommendations. That is huge!
Some of the ways to create social proof are to use social share buttons with a counter, use optional surveys, emphasize high-quality customers reviews etc. But be careful – if people aren’t liking and sharing, remove the count. If your reviews aren’t amazing, or you’re showing off way too little, it can lead to negative social proof.
Take your customer’s comments seriously because, in the end, no effort will help to make a poor product sell. You might have to improve. If you’re just starting, try getting a few well-written reviews from clients whose word carries an impact. You might want to offer such customers a free trial or complimentary service.
9. Experiment with calls to action
While there is a lot of established knowledge about how to write effective calls to action, you can play around a little to see what works best for your product and services.
For example, some companies find writing their key benefits in the first-person point of view very effective (e.g. “Help Me Impress My Clients!”, “Start me on my free trial” … ) But occasionally, we had clients who didn’t benefit from this approach, and got way more leads from changing to second-person point of view (“Get more conversions now!”, “Let’s start your free trial!”)
Your target audience’s demographic will always respond better to some things over others, and so it’s good to research what works for them and measure the results to help you improve.
10. To get more email conversions, add more forms
Simple but effective, it is useful to add a few additional forms to several key pages on your website. Your page visitors might get inspired to sign up at different times, and even having a form placed on a page with lower traffic just might motivate a few visitors who would otherwise slip through cracks.
Of course, this doesn’t mean overflowing your website with repetitive forms everywhere, but strategically reminding the user the form is right there is never a bad thing. Pro tip – add an incentive with some of the forms, such as a free resource.
11. Allow for a guest checkout option
As much as you’d like to have registered customers, you’d benefit a great deal from allowing a guest checkout option.
One test shows that more than ⅓ of all people who abandoned their carts did it because they didn’t feel like creating an account, or had trouble with the overly complicated checkout process.
You can still include the option to create an account for faster checkouts, but don’t make it a requirement.
12. Recapture abandoned orders
Pay attention to your abandoned cart rates and try to understand why the sales aren’t being completed. Research shows that 35% of the abandoned merchandise is potentially recoverable.
You can follow up on abandoned carts with an email a few hours later, luring the customers back to complete the purchase. Perhaps the issue wasn’t with your site but something came up for the buyer, and you reminding them is just what they need to complete the process. Make it easy to go right back to the abandoned cart and complete what they started.
13. Optimize your pricing structure
If your website design is strong and your product is good, the reason for the low conversion rates might lie with your pricing structure. Look into your competitors’ offers and reconsider your pricing tiers and whether they are compelling to your audience.
Doing customer surveys and testing different structures is always advisable. Simply renaming the names of the plans you’re offering to the names of the customers you’re aiming at sometimes does the trick (e.g. “freelancer” vs “agency” plan instead of “standard” and “deluxe” plan).
14. Emphasize your return and guarantee policy
New clients making bigger purchases might second-guess their decision and procrastinate completing the purchase. By making it clear that you do offer a return policy and/or a guarantee, you will assuage some of your buyers’ fears.
Over 50% of customers do read return policies before buying, so make sure you are honest, clear and direct. Empower your client with confidence and they will gladly do business with you and complete their purchases.
15. Allow several payment options
Some people just don’t want to enter their credit card details online, and in fact, 50% of consumers shop elsewhere if their preferred payment method isn’t offered. That is why it helps to provide some alternatives.
Nearly half of regular online shoppers say they use PayPal as a fraud-prevention measure. Amazon Payments are also gaining popularity and for some industries, your clients might even like cryptocurrency alternatives.
16. Respond quickly to any support requests
If your user has an issue with your website or the payment process, they want a reply now, not hours later when someone reads their email. On the other hand, more and more people are put-off by the idea of making phone calls. That’s why a chat is great.
Many companies now have chats on their homepage, but the problem is that they fail to allocate professional staff to respond to enquiries so the messages are either ignored or the client gets referred to the email and phone number. This can lose you many potential conversions.
Make sure to only include a chatbot if there is someone regularly and efficiently responding to the customer, and include an automatic reply outside the work hours. Try to always offer your visitors a way to get a quick reply.
17. Offer free shipping if possible
Many customers will say that free shipping is something that will persuade them to buy the product. They will even prefer slightly increased product prices if they see that the website does free shipping.
Some brands have experienced up to a 50% conversion rate just by offering free shipping (and making sure they market it visibly!) And if for some reason you simply have to charge for shipping, make sure to mention it before checkout – this is one of the main reasons for abandoned carts.
18. Scarcity and value motivate sales
Customers can get easily distracted, so for closing the sales it is important to evoke a sense of urgency. Things such as limited offers, countdowns and similar motivate the buyer to complete their purchase. Just make sure to be moderate, as doing it too much looks insincere.
Also, make sure to promote the items on sale. Use your homepage to highlight the best recent offers, and even add a separate page that only showcases items for sale. Many buyers are looking out for a good deal, with about 45% online shoppers who want exclusively discounted products.
There are many ways to get the most out of your e-commerce website, but it takes experienced professionals to guide you in the right direction. This knowledge comes with extensive research but also first-hand experience, trial and error, and constant adaptation to the newest technology and target behaviours.
There is no time to wait. Your business depends on it, so reach out to a website development company in Dubai today and get your consultation.