Online Customer Conversion: Concepts That Increase Sales
The key to customer conversion is simple: Remove the word “no” from the equation, offer options to entice the fence sitters, and make it easy to complete the purchase.
After many years of online shopping, I can attest that these simple steps are VERY important for online sales… however, if my shoe buying habits aren’t enough to persuade you. Studies agree with me as well! ?
The One-Click Rule
You must make it easy for customers to pay you.
I see this mistake countless times on websites that I visit. And although I consider myself pretty Internet savvy, apparently, I’m not “intuitive” enough to know where to look to purchase something; or, maybe, I shouldn’t have to look.
In today’s fast-pace world, it is now more important than ever for the “flow” of the sale to be as easy as possible. Therefore, your order page MUST be accessible in one click regardless of where someone is on your website.
For a few products, a website should offer a prominent menu item which takes the customer to the order page where all of your products are available to purchase. If your website has hundreds of products, every web page that provides information on a product should include an “add to cart” button and you should be able to access the shopping cart from the top of every page of your website.
In addition, if you have a web page dedicated to a product or service that includes a lengthy description of the product, the description should include embedded text links leading to a buy now or add to cart window.
For every extra click it takes to buy your product, you will lose customers.
Keep the Check Out Process Simple
If possible, keep the check out form on a single page. Don’t force your customers through a series of pages in order to complete the check out process. Ask for the shipping address and billing address on the same page and always offer a checkbox to denote the same address for both.
While it’s okay to gather information such as an email address or ask how they found you, don’t get carried away and keep them filling out forms and answering questions. The longer your potential buyers are forced to linger in check out, the more chances they have to change their mind and abort the purchase. Keep it simple.
Bundle Products and Services to Entice More Sales
Bundling products and services for a discounted price is a good way to increase the sale. You earn more than you would from selling a single item and the customer gets a discount.
Buyers tend to shop on impulse and you should do everything in your power to make an additional sale while they are at your website with a credit card in hand. Once they leave your website, the odds of getting them back to make that additional purchase decreases.
This concept can also help you by offering an “add to cart” option rather than a buy now button for a single product that forces check out for each individual item. If they can add items to a shopping cart and check out all at one time you’ll increase your odds for multiple sales from a single customer.
Offer Choices That Remove the Word “No”
With a single purchase option the customer must make only one decision: whether or not to buy. This is a simple yes or no question for the customer. If you offer choices that change the basic question from yes or no to which option, you increase your odds of a sale.
For example, if you sell Widgets for 19.95 each and Widget Holders for 10.00, you can offer three different options to buy a Widget.
1. Offer the basic Widget for 19.95.
2. Sell the Widget plus the Widget Holder for 24.95 giving the customer a $5 discount for purchasing both together.
3. Partner with a company such as Trialpay to give the Widget away as a freebie while still earning 19.95 for the Widget.
This gives your customer choices, which is a proven method of gaining sales. The customer is no longer thinking in terms of yes or no, he is now focused on selecting the best option. (Amazon does a beautiful job at this.)
Provide Alternatives for Payment Processing
Not everyone is comfortable with the same payment options. Several years ago a prominent payment processor changed their method of detecting fraud. The end result was that some checkouts were asking for social security numbers in order to verify the customer. Sales took an immediate nosedive as people didn’t want to enter their social security numbers for Internet purchases and if that was the only option you were offering, your sales would have followed the downward spiral.
By offering more than one option at check out, you increase your odds of gaining a sale. If the customer sees an option they are familiar with and more importantly, comfortable with, they are more likely to convert to a sale. For example you could offer three choices: Paypal, Google Checkout or your standard credit card processing.
Get Paid to Give It Away For Free
There will always be customers sitting on the fence, somewhat interested but not fully compelled to purchase from you. They may believe there’s a better price or a product with more features. Perhaps they’ve never heard of you and would be more comfortable with a known name brand even if the product isn’t as good. It may be as simple as having an unprofessional website that turns them off.
You must motivate the purchase. For the fence sitters you need to offer some sort of enticement that brings them off the fence. One option is to offer a freebie with the purchase or put the item on sale. An alternative is to offer your product for free yet still get paid for it. They might hesitate to lay down $20 but the option of getting it for free might be the incentive that makes the sale.
Payment processors such as Trialpay.com offer innovative methods for you to partner with big name companies and gain extra sales. Your product becomes a giveaway that accompanies a more prominent product. The big name company pays you for the product and the customer gets it for free.
It seems simple, but it’s SO important to make it SUPER easy for someone to pay you. By simply avoiding these mistakes, you can dramatically increase your online sales. Happy selling!