Ecommerce has grown to be a highly competitive field, with online stores popping up like mushrooms. Under these rough circumstances it’s no easy task to run a successful business online. However, if you apply a few CRO tactics, you’ll be able to boost your ecommerce sales and become a strong competitor.
Before diving into CRO tactics for boosting sales, let’s take a moment to think about what makes a customer buy from certain stores and ignore others. There are a number of factors leading up to a definitive buying decision, but I will reduce them to three main areas: easy navigation, customer loyalty and USP. Let’s quickly go through them:
- Your website needs to be functional and user-friendly. This means that before you start throwing a myriad of offers and discounts at your customers, you need to create a flawless user experience. Make it as easy as possible for users to complete certain tasks on your website, such as: filling out a form, subscribing to your newsletter, placing an order, contacting customer service etc.
- Create your own loyalty program. Keeping customers close and constantly offering them reasons to come back is another major factor that stands at the core of successful businesses. Recurring revenue is what actually keeps your store afloat, not the profit you make during peak season and holidays (although that’s also nice to have!).
- You need a strong value proposition. Ok, so you have a nice website, and you’ve made it really easy for users to go about it. You’ve even managed to create a pretty solid base of loyal customers. So far, so good. The only problem is: your competitors have also checked these boxes – and even more! This means that you need to do something that truly sets you apart from the crowd. You need a powerful value proposition that translates into unique product benefits, the lowest prices on the market or an offbeat communication process.
In other words, in order to sell more, your website needs to meet the basic requirements of an ecommerce store. Then add some extra spice!
Keep reading as we unfold some of the most effective CRO tactics to help you increase sales:
1. Optimize the Checkout Process
This is one of the most basic CRO tactics. The checkout is a crucial step in the conversion funnel. Usually, users have two issues with it: they either find it too complicated, or not safe enough. This is what you can do to address these pain points:
- Add trust badges to increase credibility. Customers are often afraid that their transactions may not be secure. This is often behind a high abandonment rate. You can put their minds at ease by making sure that your payment provider is PCI compliant, by encrypting all transactions, and using strong authentication. Feature the logos of all these third parties. This way users will know they’re in good hands and they will feel safer spending money on your website.
- Offer express checkout options. Some users simply don’t have the patience or the time to create an account just to be able to place an order. This is where express checkout comes in handy. Make sure to integrate third party payment processors with your store to make it easier for everybody to checkout. The most popular options are PayPal, Amazon Pay, and Gpay.
- Let customers know they can reach out. Add a phone number, an email address or a live chat on checkout so that users could easily get in touch if needed. They need to know they have someone to turn to in case they’re experiencing technical issues. This is more important than you might think, as it builds customer trust and reinforces brand credibility.
On top of all these suggestions, you need to optimize the checkout for mobile. Wait, scratch that! You should optimize your entire website for mobile, but I’m assuming that you already know this.
Offering visitors a quick and easy way to go through the checkout process will generate a higher conversion rate, thus more sales.
2. Improve Site Performance and Speed
Nothing is more nerve-racking than a slow website. In 2019 if you don’t have a fast website, most of your traffic will bounce, which will seriously affect your conversion rate.
The truth is that people are not as patient as they used to be. Nowadays, most of us are accustomed to quickly get things done – especially online.
The threshold for ecommerce is 2 seconds when it comes to website loading times. You should strive to achieve it, because a fast site offers a good user experience, which leads to higher conversions.
Use this tool to check your website’s current loading time. Then ask a developer to help you with speed optimization in order to increase site performance on all devices.
3. Use Urgency and Scarcity Techniques
Once you’ve made sure your website works properly, you can move on to the fun part! There are loads of digital marketing tools that can help you get more sales by motivating your audience to take action.
Urgency and scarcity techniques are well known for their capacity to boost sales in a short amount of time, as well as get those who are still on the fence to finally convert. Countdown timers on checkout, sales notifications, low stock warnings and limited time offers are just a few of these tactics. If used properly, they could become a great addition to your marketing strategy.
People nowadays are consumed by the fear of missing out, also knowns as FOMO in marketing. This is why urgency situations can push us to act fast: ‘Order now for a 50% discount! Offer expires at the end of the day’. What would you do if you read this call-to-action? You’d be afraid to miss out on a great deal and you’d place an order in the same day. That’s what you’d probably do.
Let’s assume that you’re browsing a clothing store and you suddenly see a t-shirt that’s available in limited quantity: ‘Only 5 items remaining in stock’. Your first instinct will be: ‘I gotta have it now!’. Then you’d think: ‘A lot of people bought it, which means this product is in high demand, which makes it amazing, thus irresistible to me’.
If you don’t act now, you’ll forever lose the chance to own this awesome t-shirt. At least, that’s what you think in the heat of the moment. So, you act on it. And you act now. This is just the effect of the FOMO tactics. If used correctly, they could bring you a substantial increase in revenue.
In reality, not everybody knows how to use them. As a rule of thumb, you must never abuse these techniques. Avoid creating fake urgency and scarcity. Don’t leave products on sale for a long period of time, because at some point people will start thinking that everything is a bargain. The perceived value of your products will change and these tactics will have a reverse effect.
4. Personalize Recommendations with AI
‘Make the customer feel that your product was made especially for him/her’. I’m sure you’ve heard this line so many times that you can’t bear to hear it once again. The truth is that until recently, this wasn’t so easy to achieve. So many have tried, but few succeeded.
Well, thanks to today’s advanced technology, it has become easy to understand what customers really want and act accordingly. More and more online stores are starting to use AI and machine learning to tailor their content around individual preferences, thus delivering an excellent customer experience while increasing profit.
According to a study conducted by Mc Kinsey, brands that excel at personalization deliver five to eight times the marketing ROI and boost their sales by more than 10% compared to companies that don’t personalize.
While this is one of those innovative CRO tactics that are not so easy to implement (nor cheap for that matter), it’s definitely worth keeping in mind.
5. Create Product Upsells
Upsells and bundle offers are great ways of increasing your average order value. Upselling a product implies offering your customers a product that is better (thus, a bit more pricey) than the one they’ve initially considered. Sometimes clients are simply not aware that an upgrade is available on the site, nor that it could be a better fit for them.
When creating an upsell, make sure to choose a product that is highly related to the product the customer wanted to purchase in the first place. Secondly, don’t exaggerate the price! Your customer already has an anchor price in mind, so avoid going over the board, or he will immediately dismiss your offer.
To boost your sales even more, you can also create cross-sells, downsells or bundle offers. Read more about it here.
These are just some of the CRO tactics that were proven to be effective in increasing sales. Come to think about it, some of them are really basic, but at the same time mandatory. Bottom line is that they are all worth trying!
Make sure to try them and let us know how it went! If you need any help with implementation or CRO advice, you can always write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to help out!