This is a guest post by Ron Dod.
Finally finishing setting up your Shopify store and getting your first streams of traffic can be an exciting moment, but this excitement soon turns to apprehension if you are not getting the conversion rate you desire.
But the site looks good. I’ve got a wide selection of products that people usually want. What’s going on?
You start to doubt whether the time and money you’ve spent on attracting visitors is worth it. You might be getting visitors on your site and navigating through your pages, but, ultimately, they come and go without making a single purchase.
Don’t worry; this is a common issue that both beginners and veterans have to deal with. Shopify is an amazing platform for eCommerce and guiding your visitors on their journey to becoming customers. Here are a few simple ways to fine-tune your website to make sure you are making the right impression on all your visitors with the goal of converting them into customers.
Integrate Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are an excellent way to help visitors validate your business and products. Visitors ultimately want to see if they can trust your website and whether or not your products and services are worth their money. Learning these two things on their own is viewed as a risk, and, inherently, an obstacle to conversion.
Shopify allows users to not only integrate reviews but, also, to moderate and choose which ones to put on their site. While it may seem tempting to prune your reviews of the most negative ones, having a product page with flawless 5/5 reviews may seem suspicious. People want to see organic, real reviews that provide the pros and cons. Allowing them to view their concerns externalized on your product pages helps to make the decision much easier.
Seeing that your business welcomes and showcases reviews gives customers the peace of mind they are dealing with a transparent company. Additionally, integrating reviews into your product pages will bring your reviews to search engines.
A study by Bazaarvoice found that, by adding customer reviews, Figleaves.com was able to boost conversions by 35% compared to pages without customer reviews. When it comes to collecting your reviews, you should encourage shoppers to do so organically. If the reviews don’t come trickling in, you could follow up to see how they liked the product and encourage them to leave an honest review.
Emphasize Your Site’s Copy
Your site’s copy primarily refers to the text it contains. Specifically, for eCommerce and conversion oriented sites, copywriting is the content on your various web pages aimed at eliciting an action or providing a visitor enough information about your business to make their next decision.
What trips up many business owners is they underestimate the copywriting dilemma: having to be descriptive enough of your business but in succinct to-the-point content. Many merchants will try to explain everything about their business and end up creating a gigantic chunk of text that won’t provide any value to readers who will likely only briefly skim over it.
Every word in your copy matters. Additionally, your copy must match your audience and communicate the value and benefits of your service or products. If your copy wanders toward being rambling, you could be missing out on traffic that gets bored or confused.
Simply put, good copy will lead to more sales and bad copy will confuse or turn away purchase-ready traffic. Every page on your site should be written in a way that gives the most amount of valuable information relevant to that point in the buyer’s journey. Everything from your lead pages down to your individual product page descriptions should be made a point of pride for your site.
Showcase High-Quality Images
Every portion of your website must reflect high quality, but few sections are as important for conversions as your images. People are visual creatures, and for you to have lackluster stock photos for your products would be a huge miss.
Hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of your products might seem like a big investment up front, yet having a series of beautiful images that separate you from the competition could be just the edge you need to not only create a great impression on your site but, also, to stand out in front in your social media and PPC campaigns.
If using a professional photographer isn’t in your budget, there are some free stock photos sites that are full of high-quality images. While you may not find one that exactly matches your product, there are significant amounts of stock photos that can be used throughout your site and still be relevant to your product lines and services.
Include Product Videos
To take the visual preferences a step further, you could include product videos on your product pages to help visitors better conceptualize what you are offering. While your product pictures are great and have their own functionality, they are limited. Videos do a much better job to help fill in the gaps.
A study by Internet Retailer found StacksAndStacks was able to increase the number of customers adding a product to their cart by 144% after watching a video. Shopify has some great eCommerce product pages video integrations, such as Dynavi, that allow merchants to place their videos so they are easily accessible for curious visitors.
Create a Frequently Asked Questions Page
Your website may be your number one salesperson that works around the clock, but what good are salespeople if they can’t answer any questions?
One of the main reasons customers are hesitant about completing a purchase is they might have unanswered questions.
Do these shirts run small? If I’m a medium, should I order a large?
Is this shampoo made from animal products?
Can I upgrade to the premium version if I buy the basic version today
There might be a handful of questions your customers always ask, and adding a handful of the most popular to your product page is a great way to inspire confidence in your products.
It doesn’t make sense to answer every possible question in your product page descriptions, but it does make sense to provide a link to a FAQ page with dozens of potential questions your customers may ask. This not only removes the barrier preventing people from making a purchase, but it allows them to make an even more informed decision. This means your conversion rate will increase, and your return rate will decrease.
Additionally, you will receive fewer questioning emails and be able to spend the saved time further improving your site conversions.
A study by Optimizely found that Roller Skate Nation was able to increase their conversions by 69% by adding a FAQ section to their product page.
A good way to find which questions should make your FAQ list is by looking at the common questions that end up in your inbox, asking your customers if they have any questions, or coming up with a handful of questions you anticipate will come up in the future.
Use Customer Live Chat
Providing your customers with the ability to get live recommendations and answers to their questions is an easy way to add a useful element to your Shopify site to boost conversions.
Shopify is loaded with apps such as Tidio that allow visitors to connect with a live human being who can assist them with any questions they may have. Whereas the FAQ page provides a static page for popular questions, the customer live chat can be used for personalized recommendations that would otherwise be relegated to an email contact form. The customer live chat reduces the amount of time spent between interactions and can help visitors make a decision while engaged and on your site.
A study by Forrester found that Wells Fargo was able to spur a double-digit increase in conversions by adding a live chat functionality to their website. This live chat not only allows your visitors to make better, more informed decisions, it also helps your business appear more trustworthy. Adding the human element of chat, accessible at any point on your site, helps to make visitors more at ease when getting familiar with your site.
When it comes to optimizing your site for conversion, look at it from the perspective of one of your shoppers. It might even be helpful to ask a friend to navigate your site while you watch their actions over their shoulder. This will help you get out of your head and add some objectivity to your site’s conversion process. This feedback can be exceptionally critical to figuring out which steps need to be clearer and which steps could be removed altogether.
If you want to focus on conversion optimization on a larger scale, you should A/B test different variations of updates to your copy and processes to see which ultimately work best, and then continue to iterate from there.
Boosting conversions on your site isn’t a one-time project. It’s an organic process that continuously evolves, stemming from iterations you make based on real world results.
Ronald Dod is a partner and CEO of Visiture, LLC. After founding Grey Umbrella Marketing, an internet marketing agency which focuses on Search Engine Optimization for eCommerce businesses, he merged with Visiture to create a full service search marketing offering for eCommerce businesses. His passion is helping eCommerce business owners and marketing professionals navigate the search marketing landscape and use data to make more effective decisions to drive new traffic and conversions. He holds a Masters in the Science of Marketing from Florida State University and is certified in Google Adwords & Analytics.