Turn browsers into buyers with a website makeover
Small business owners are pretty robust in the face of rejection. But even the hardiest soul might feel a bit glum if they had to make twenty-five unsuccessful cold calls just to make a single sale. Spare a thought for your website, then: according to an annual industry benchmark study from Monetate, retail websites in the UK typically make fewer than four sales for every 100 visitors1 . This is known in the e-commerce business as your conversion rate.
The flip side of this is opportunity. An improvement of just one percentage point in your conversion rate, from four to five sales for every 100 visitors, equates to a 25% increase in online sales! Here are ten things you can do tomorrow to improve the performance of your website.
- Clear “calls to action”. A call to action (CTA) is a request for website visitors to take action. It might be “click here”, “add to shopping cart” or “sign up to our newsletter”. Whatever the call to action is, make it very clear what you want your visitors to do and make sure the button stands out clearly. To test how clear your CTAs are try adjusting the zoom on your web browser down to 50% when looking at your website. You should still be able to tell where the “click to buy” button is.
- Clean, simple designs make it easier for visitors to find and buy your products. Keep the amount of information on each page of your website to a minimum so visitors can quickly find what they are looking for.
- Think social: Social media is an excellent platform for consumers to browse, buy from, and schedule appointments with their favourite brands. Offer social network sharing features from your website to encourage existing customers and browsers to share your content on their social networks. These can be easily added by using searching for relevant third-party apps or check out whether your website provider offers this feature as an add-on.
- Put important information “above the fold”. When people bought newspapers from newsstands, “above the fold” meant anywhere on the front page that was visible when the paper was folded up on the news stand. This is where newspaper editors would put the most important information – the most shocking headlines or beautiful photos – to attract the attention of people walking past. The online equivalent is what can be seen on a single screen without scrolling down. This is your prime real estate so use it wisely by placing your most important and attractive information here: eye-catching pictures of your most impressive products and a clear call to action button.
- Display shipping terms prominently. Close to 1 in 4 people who abandon an e-commerce site half way through making a purchase do so because the shipping terms were either higher than expected or were not displayed properly2. Help your visitors out by displaying shipping terms prominently on your website to avoid unpleasant surprises part way through the purchase process.
With the retail industry moving towards offering customers a more connected, digital experience, your business is in an exciting position to grow and connect with consumers in a meaningful way. A focus on building a strong online presence provides the opportunity to outpace, outsell, and outrun the competition.
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