I judge a book by the cover, quite literally. I don’t really follow what’s going on in the book industry except for the headlines so unlike with music or films where I usually have an idea on what I’m about to listen or watch, I tend to go into books blindly. For the most part, I usually walk into a bookstore and look for books that look interesting. If the cover and synopsis sounds interesting or the blurbs on the book sound like something I’d be into, I wrote down the book title and author and buy them on Google Play Books. I’m also cheap.
Unsurprisingly, this shallow behavior of mine also translates to when I’m looking for things to buy online. It can sometimes feel as if the quality of the products or services on display is actually secondary to the quality of the website itself. It sounds silly and I might’ve exaggerated things slightly but it is in my opinion that the website itself is an important part of the e-commerce process. Even if you have a great product, it’s meaningless when it’s not accompanied by an equally top-notch web development skill.
Behind a great product is a great website
Mens sana in corpore sano is a Latin phrase that is most often translated in English as a healthy mind in a healthy body. Generally, that phrase is often used to espouse the mental benefits of exercise, which I can personally attest. However, you could also easily extrapolate that phrase into an expression suggesting that a great product resides behind great packaging. It’s true that great packaging doesn’t always contain great product but I think it’s still more likely than a great product hidden behind bad packaging.
All of the above is just a roundabout way of me saying that the quality of your website is a reflection of the quality of your products and/or services. However, the quality of your website isn’t just determined by how likely are your visitors to stick around but also by how much of those visitors end up as buyers. This is a common misconception regarding the practice of SEO where the mantra seems to be all about traffic, when really, the ultimate goal is about conversion.
Getting people to stick around in your website is far easier than getting people to open up their wallets for you. There’s a lot of people in this world that I’d be happy to help, as long as it doesn’t involve money (I am cheap, remember?) and you should take this philosophy to heart when it comes to the matter of conversion. It’s going to be difficult but not insurmountable and to help show you the way, here are some things you could to help increase your conversion rates.
Supply enough information on your products
This one time in 2017, I was going through a bit of a rough patch and in July, I decided to go on a somewhat last-minute trip just to get away from things temporarily. The problem is, I didn’t have travel bag on hand and it wasn’t the kind of trip that could be done with a suitcase. I found some good options online but one of them doesn’t come with a detailed specification on the size of the bag and the amount of available compartments and I don’t feel like asking so I decided to go with one that does.
Putting detailed specifications on your product page matters and for fashion items, showcasing the product from various angles and including shots of what the product would look like when worn, could mean a world of difference. In a related issue, including some background on your company and the product itself might help build trust between you and your potential customers. People normally would like to know who they’re getting in bed with before making a commitment, so to speak.
Include testimonials and reviews of your products
Even this far into the 21st century, I still regularly encounter a person who’s somewhat apprehensive with the concept of e-commerce and to allay these fears, you could add testimonials and reviews to your website. For service companies, adding quotations from your customers and their information is one way of achieving this while if you’re dealing with physical products, leverage the power of social media and get your customers to post pictures of them using your products out in the wild. You can even make a promotion out of this by promising a discount when they do this.
Add a time-sensitive element to the buying process
You might’ve seen this already depending on how often you spend your money online but making sure that there’s only a limited time and/or quantity available could give your customers an incentive to pull the trigger. I’ve seen this practice most egregiously when I’m booking hotel rooms. What you have to understand however is that you have to practice moderation when using this tactic as too much can make you look desperate so consider the matter carefully before going this route.
Don’t use spammy designs
I once encountered an e-commerce website where the website would continually show pop-up notifications whenever other users bought something from the website. I believe I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that has to be one of the most annoying things I’ve ever encountered. I sort of get the idea behind the thinking, it’s a bit like how a crowded store can fool passerby into being interested but it doesn’t translate into an e-commerce setting so don’t try to do this sort of thing.
In fact, I’d go one better and categorically state that in an e-commerce platform, the product should be the centerpiece and anything that might distract users from the appeal of the product itself should always be avoided. Pop-ups should generally be avoided unless it’s for a webchat and even then you have to keep it as seamless as possible. Don’t use obnoxious animations and let your product speaks for itself.