Top 10 Factors that Drive E-Commerce Conversions
There are many factors that are driving customers further into the online purchase funnel. The customer journey that once worked well on paper is now redundant in the eyes of the digital age. Your customers now have a wealth of information at their disposal thanks to mobile. Today’s online customer journey is omnichannel and involves a number of decisions outside of speaking to a company representative to get information. So, how can you drive your e-commerce conversions and optimise your buyer’s mobile journey?
1. Tailored content for the online customer journey
The customer journey is the map of your customer’s experience with your brand. The communication that you have throughout this process can navigate your prospect to become a lead and eventually a client. Let’s investigate the components to create nurturing content.
The importance of relevant website content
Companies with tailored content have better domain authority. But more than that, it provides customers with valuable information. It gives them insights into the company’s voice, opinions and expertise. Website content should be at the heart of your online consumer behaviour strategy.
In many cases, over half of all leads have viewed at least 6-8 pieces of online content before making a decision (Hubspot). The majority have emphasised the importance of relevant information. For example, if the information is not relevant, potential consumers will quickly leave your site. Your engagement and metrics in Google Analytics are a great indication to help you understand your website’s online consumer behaviour. It will also indicate if they find your website content relevant or not.
You can make your consumers’ online buying decision process easier throughout each of the online purchase funnel stages by providing information for each stage of the buying process. And you are also much more likely to see e-commerce conversions. This way, consumers will have answers every step of the way, which in turn builds their trust to exchange information and trade online.
2. Email marketing: notifications and nurturing
Email marketing is an important stage of the nurturing process. Notifications can be triggered through marketing automation software to guide prospects down your sales funnel.
Up your engagement and your sales
Utilising email marketing and sending email notifications will put your customers at ease when they are in the process of purchasing. Whether it’s a payment notification or a timely offer, maintaining communication with customers will improve brand engagement and sales. In 2015, almost half of email recipients converted into a purchase after receiving a promotional email (Campaign Monitor). So, make sure your email communication is strong to help drive e-commerce conversions.
Where should you start? Send the right message at the right time!
Start with the subject line – make sure it is relevant. And if you want to see a jump in the open rate, try personalisation.
Make sure you have a decent amount of ongoing content to nurture your leads. Email marketing automation allows you to send emails automatically based on the online consumer behaviour or interest. So the more emails you have for different scenarios, the better you will be able to nurture depending on your customers’ attitudes.
Try and incorporate a strategy that creates loyalty and increases lead generation via email marketing automation software.
3. Research is key to drive your e-commerce conversions!
When driving online activities, it’s important to be able to track trends. Aside from analytics data that can be gathered, it’s important to fully understand your brand, and your buyer’s persona (or ideal customers). Research is the way that this can be strategically achieved. Just like you research your aspects, your client base will also be researching their own decisions online. Let’s see how they do this, so we can move them towards making a purchase.
Define in detail your products and services
Customers will always research the product they have their eyes set on. More than half of your leads will be spending more than 15 minutes comparing your product with others. Only after researching will they be ready to make a purchase. For half of the shoppers, 75% of their total shopping time will be spent on researching (Hubspot). Making sure each of your products and services is clearly defined, from price to benefits, will give your brand better odds for e-commerce conversions.
Researching has become so easy with the advancement of technology and mobile. So much so, that by 2020, Glide estimates that 80% of all leads will make a purchase without any human interaction.
Reviews, testimonials and recommendations
Because so much time is spent researching, having no reviews or testimonials can be just as damaging as having bad reviews or testimonials. Asking your existing customers to post feedback is important. It will help convert potential customers who are in the final decision stages of the buying decision process.
When looking at your site, online reviews will weigh as much as personal recommendations for almost 90% of your consumers (Search Engine Land). This represents a 70% impact on online consumer behaviour to purchase (Search Engine Land). It is a crucial part of your online consumer journey. So don’t just rely on relevant content but also reviews and testimonials from existing customers to boost your sales.
4. Social media marketing and its role in your customer journey online
Social media can impact the customer journey. Within their research phase, clients will often review your social media, and those impressions can alter the image of your brand, and the speed of lead conversion.
Social media and conversions for e-commerce
Whether you love social media or you hate it, your customers expect at minimum a Facebook page with regular updates. Synchronising displays and social media ads targeted together with nurturing campaigns is a winning strategy for driving e-commerce conversions. It can result in over 60% additional e-commerce conversions from known leads (Search Engine Land). And for online shoppers who are not talking to sales representatives or have any human interaction, the best way to answer questions is to refer to social media sites. I have found that looking at a social site for recommendations is one of the main online buying behaviors. Almost 85% of online consumers will look at social media for recommendations before making their purchasing decision (Search Engine Land).
Social media marketing and generations
The millennials have grown up with technology and are accustomed with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. So it is no wonder that almost all of them expect brands to be on Facebook. What is surprising though, is that even for older generations such as the Gen X’ers or baby boomers, between 70-85% think a brand should at least have a Facebook page (Hubspot).
5. Keep track of your inventory
Clearly outlining how many items are left in stock could make or break your customer’s buying decision process. And, in as much as 15% of cases, customers will not make a purchases because the product they want is out of stock (Harvard Business Review). Failing to show out of stock items, or items that have limited stock left is not good. It could frustrate or confuse your customers and hurt your conversion rate. So make sure to invest, as most retailers do, in a P.O.S. system with inventory management capabilities included.
6. Know your pricing model
It’s important to have a basic understanding of your pricing model, and where you stand against your competition. Once this is set and established, things will fall into place more easily.
The importance of pricing
Not knowing where your prices stand in the market is dangerous. You could be doing everything else right, but pricing your products in an unrealistic way could easily hurt your sales and e-commerce conversions. Too high and people will scoff, too low and it seems to lower your product’s value.
The place of pricing in your e-commerce strategy
With so much time researching, it is no wonder that two-thirds of visitors will look for pricing information before making the decision to purchase or not. The importance of finding information regarding pricing is true for in-store shoppers as well as online shoppers. For your eCommerce website, a section for specially priced items, such as a sales section for example, could boost your sales. For non eCommerce websites, showing your prices is not always recommended. However, you should have information on how your consumers can access pricing information – via a Call to Action “Contact us for pricing information” for example. As long as your consumers have information on how to get insights into your pricing, it will increase their trust towards your brand and help them in their buying decision process.
7. Comparison data
During the buying decision process, a consumer will compare data between products on one website. For instance, if you were looking to buy a t-shirt, and several were available across one site, you would consider price, material, style, colour, availability, size and so on. It is so important that over two-thirds of visitors will spend at least 15 minutes comparing, and one-third will spend double that time before making a decision (Hubspot).
For millennials who grew up with technology, more than 70% will first go online to research and compare the product they want before actually purchasing (Hubspot). As generations keep growing up with technology, comparing products online will most likely become an even more important factor for e-commerce conversions.
It’s important to provide a unique selling point when showcasing you products and services online, but the trick is to do your homework on your competitors and how they display product information on their online stores or service pages. Keeping your features and benefits in sync with the competition allows your customers to compare and review with ease. It’s a fine balance, making it too similar will make it difficult for your customers to distinguish between your products and others. Making the proposition too unique may create a sense of unfamiliarity with your offering, which creates difficulties in the decision making process. People may find it hard to even distinguish the value of your product compared to the rest of the market. So be careful and try and stay with trend and with the market in terms of your descriptive content and features.
8. Accessibility of the product
Customers prefer to use online eCommerce sites to buy products, mainly because it saves time. And, if given the choice, more than half of Australians prefer to buy from local stores. However, staying loyal to Australian businesses is hard when there are limited local eCommerce websites.
Making your products and services accessible gives your customer more opportunity to buy from you and may give you the edge that your competition is lacking. Look at ways you can allow for customers to purchase your product i.e e-commerce store, Facebook store, landing pages etc. The more options and the more avenues customers can take to find you the more likely you’ll convert.
This also applies to advertising. By focusing on where the attention, brands stay relevant on social media. The path to purchase can often take some time, so nurturing your prospect as a long-term strategy on these channels can lead to e-commerce conversions if your execution of content and promotions is consistent, and most importantly relevant. Social media is about frequency and relevancy.
Speed is becoming increasingly important when it comes to the online world. Whether it is the speed of a website, going from one page to the next, or the loading speed, users will quickly leave your site if it is not fast enough. Speed is also very important for mobile websites. Consumers who tend to look at your website from their mobiles are usually on the go and will not have the time to wait for slow websites to load.
But when talking about speed, it is not only about your website but also about your response time. When it comes to e-commerce, same-day delivery is the new baseline. More than half of all consumers are willing to pay the price for speedy deliveries. To drive online consumer behaviour to purchase, companies have to ensure quick responses to emails or calls. High quality and speedy Customer Service is essential. It will not only ensure that your consumers have all the information they need but it will also build the reputation of a trustworthy brand.
10. Intuitive app and mobile websites
Ensuring that things are responsive (or mobile friendly) are crucial for user experience. However, Google also ranks this highly.
The importance of mobile
How good is your mobile website? Is it even mobile friendly? If not, Google will penalise your site (or give points to your mobile-ready competitors over you) and your company will probably see a steady decline in sales. Mobile is becoming so important that almost all users will stop using an app if it is too slow or its performance is too poor. So, make sure you take some time to create a great mobile website!
The role of mobile apps
With people engaging more on their mobiles, apps are where users can spend up to 90% of their time. So catch the maximum amount of consumers, and focus some of your marketing budget on mobile advertising. Some of the major brands already have invested in apps where users are able to purchase or get information on products. However, this does not mean that every company should develop a mobile app.
There are several factors to consider – is your company an eCommerce shop? What is the volume of your audience? For an eCommerce shop and websites with high volume of visitors, it may be wise to create an app for a unique app experience. It would also allow your customers not to have to go back to your website every time. Companies should consider creating an app when it is warranted: would your users open the app often? If the answer is no, it may not be worth spending time and money into a mobile app. If the answer is yes, time to jump on the mobile-app train!
These are some of the main factors that influence e-commerce conversions on a daily basis when considering which company buyers will purchase from. By investing in these components, you are providing a positive experience for your customers and influencing their purchase decision process. To stay on top of your competition, make sure you understand the marketing trends and include them in your marketing strategy.