HOW TO: Increase Your Site’s Conversions : Back To The Basics

Site ConversionOnline shopping has become a retail stronghold in the recession; in spite of falling retail figures offline, more and more shoppers have turned to the internet for wider selections and better deals.  A study by Forrester Research shows that 69% of European internet users over the age of 18 purchase products through online vendors; over half of those do so monthly.

Also check : 30+ Tips To Improve Your Website Conversion Rate

Nonetheless, online store owners are familiar with the many hassles of trying to get people to purchase from the internet.  In spite of the best intentions, many shop owners have a hard time getting conversions.  What are some of the reasons that a full third of internet users don’t want to shop online?

  • Security concerns.  Most customers who don’t shop online say they fear sharing their credit card information over the internet. 
  • Shipping issues.  Customers don’t like paying high shipping prices.  They also fear their items will be damaged during shipping, get lost in the mail,  or simply not be sent at all.
  • Returns.  Some users worry that returns will be a pain. This is due to having to schedule time to go to the post office, as well as having to pay the return shipping.
  • Customer service problems.  Some people are upset if there is no live person who can be contacted during a transaction online. They don’t want to wait for an email.

How can you, as the owner of an ecommerce site, address and remedy these issues?

  • Lower your shipping prices.  You may be surprised – check into flat rate shipping options if you haven’t already.  Or – if you’re already using flat rate shipping but your items are small and lightweight, consider switching to standard envelopes.  If you still can’t bring down your shipping costs, consider altering your item prices or offering free shipping as incentives during high volume shopping seasons.
  • Clear Terms of Service Page. Include a clear terms of service page for your shipping and returns policies.  Make sure people know exactly what to expect as far as how you will be shipping, when you will be shipping, and how long it will take.  Explain the reasons a customer can or cannot return an item and whether you will return their money or provide them store credit.
  • Security Matters. To address security concerns, add a guarantee of safe shopping; offer to compensate users for unauthorized purchases. Having a third party icon (like PayPal’s icon) on your page can help ensure shoppers that there is a third party arbitrating their transaction and thus protecting their interests.
  • Give customers a clear way to contact you.  Live help is best if you can staff it; if not, make it very obvious how to contact you and when customers can expect a reply.  Welcome communication and feedback.

As you might expect, people who don’t normally shop online are generally less tech-savvy. Consequently, there trust of online sales, something that’s relatively foreign, is limited – but they still have the same desires for security, convenience, selection and communication as everyone else.  If you cater to these people using some of the suggestions outlined above, you will not only convert more customers but increase your sales to the people who are already purchasing goods online.

This article is written by Spencer Belkofer. He is the founder of Lumin, a Birmingham, AL Internet marketing company. He writes about anything related to search engine optimization, social media, and pay-per-click (PPC) adverting.