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e-Commerce Industry News

July 28, 2014
Three tricks to bolster online store conversion rates
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July 28, 2014
Converting browsers to paying customers is one of the biggest challenges online merchants face. Converting browsers to paying customers
is one of the biggest challenges
online merchants face.
Conversions are king when it comes to creating a successful online store. It does not matter how much time retailers spend picking the perfect products or executing engaging marketing campaigns: If shoppers do not become buyers, nothing else matters.

Of course, maximizing conversion rates is no easy task - if it was, then every online store would be successful. That said, there are a few different approaches merchants can use to get people browsing and purchasing their wares.

1. Offer more payment options
Offering a broad array of payment options is essentially a way of eliminating barriers to entry. If you have ever shopped at a store that only accepts cash, you know how frustrating it can be when all you have is a credit or debit card. The same holds true for online shopping.

For example, Multichannel Merchant pointed to PayPal as a popular payment tool. According to the site, PayPal accounts for an estimated 20 percent of all eCommerce transactions. For some people, it may be more convenient to simply enter their PayPal account information at the point of sale than to fish their credit cards out of their wallets.

When offering multiple payment options, merchants need to ensure they have an eCommerce platform that can integrate with secure payment gateways offering a variety of payment types.

2. Capitalize on scarcity
There is no greater motivator than scarcity. If people understand something is limited for one reason or another, they may be more willing to buy now instead of later. This is why sales are so powerful, but retailers can also capitalize on scarcity by broadcasting inventory quantity.

For example, Amazon does this effectively by letting people know when quantity of a specific product is low. In some cases, the merchant even gives customers specific numbers of how many items are left in stock. If people are thinking about making a purchase and they see there is only one remaining, they are less likely to sleep on decisions because they run the risk of the item being out of stock.

While merchants should always aim to keep items in stock to maximize sales, adding notifications of low inventory can be an effective tool for encouraging conversions.

3. Improve consumer trust
After some of the recent security breaches that affected retailers, consumers are a bit wary. Retailers need to demonstrate that they can be trusted. Earning this trust starts with some easy first steps. For example, including the VeriSign checkmark on payment page conveys that the merchant has put measures in place to prevent their data from being abused.

Another thing merchants should consider is featuring their returns policy more prominently, particularly on checkout pages. This shows customers that the merchant isn't trying to pull a fast one by hiding strict returns policies that make the shopper's life more difficult if they want to make an exchange.

Developing trust isn't something accomplished overnight, but taking small steps such as incorporating the VeriSign checkmark and returns policies into checkout pages is a great place to start.

Although there may be any number of reasons for low conversion rates, implementing these three simple strategies should bump the needle in the right direction.