The age old question:

“How can I increase online sales conversions?”

This is a healthy question to ask (we get asked this a lot, and will continue to be asked for years to come), it helps us to strive forward successfully in business online in an ever changing market. There are easy wins to be had here, especially in digital marketing and websites.

Let me try to explain…

Think of your website as a high street shop. The bricks and mortar type. What’s the process of setting one up?

The first thing the owner would do is choose the right location; the right high street and the right building. Then they’d get to work on getting customers through the door.

Choose The Right Location

What would you do to make potential customers want to go inside?

You’d try to make your shop front attractive to your target market, using your shop window to draw people in, right?

It’s exactly the same for a website. Your homepage is your shop front. Seems obvious now, doesn’t it?

It’s vitally important that you take a great deal of care and consideration over the homepage to draw people in, and look further into your products/services.

So, going back to the high street shop – they’d set up their shop in a way that they think potential customers will like and find easy to navigate. But, they’re not arrogant enough to think that they know best (or they shouldn’t be!). Once they’re up and running, they’ll be watching their customers.

How?

  • Observing their buying practices
  • Watching where they go in the shop
  • Which products do they look at and how do they interact with them? (do they look at the packaging, the label, the display?)
  • Which ones do they pick up?
  • Which ones do they purchase and which ones do they put back on the shelf?

Why?

They’ll be constantly evaluating what is working best; where their products should be on the shop floor, the lighting, even the carpets/flooring and the wallpaper make a difference to the general ambience. Also, how the staff are interacting with their customers can determine whether or not they make a sale. Ever been completely ignored when you walk into a shop? I hate that. Or been constantly pestered by the shop assistant? I hate that too! These things all combine together to either increase or decrease sales.

Working out what works best for the customer is a constant strategy. And a website is no different, you can’t set it up and leave it to make sales, it doesn’t work that way. The way you set up and monitor your website can be the difference between getting a sale and the customer leaving your ‘shop’.

Online Sales

Back in the day when there weren’t that many websites around (feels like a lifetime ago now), you could throw a quick website together and still make a sale due to the fact your online market wasn’t saturated. But those days are gone. People can buy pretty much any product or service online now, and competition is fierce. You could potentially have hundreds, or even thousands, of competitors all selling exactly the same thing as you. From all over the world. You’re also fighting against the likes of Ebay and Amazon as well, just to make matters worse (sorry). What does this mean? You need to put the time and effort into your website, whether you’re a B2B or a B2C company. We’re all human beings, and we all shop in similar fashions; your website should be a source of information to them, provide them with all of the facts and figures as well as imagery shot in every conceivable angle. Try to make your website be their first choice for answers, service, pricing and delivery.

A well laid out website will massively increase your selling potential.

I know it might feel like I’m repeating myself a bit here, but it’s so, so important to get it right. Especially when you’re selling products. Time and time again, I see product pages online where there’s one image and a few words about the product itself, and I think “Why should I buy it?” Why would anyone be happy to buy a product with hardly any imagery or information about it?! They wouldn’t be happy to, trust me. They’d end up bouncing off to a different website, or going to a physical shop to find the information and look at the product properly.

How do you combat this?

Good information and good imagery are the two main elements you need to attract and keep shoppers. A shopper usually shops for information before moving onto a purchase, they want to make their own mind up on which product or service best suits them, so it’s your responsibility to guide them and provide all the information and imagery they require. If you can provide all of the information and guidance they need, in one place, there’s no reason for them to leave your website without purchasing.

Good Product Photography

Here’s a handy list of the key features shoppers love to see on a website:

  • High quality imagery taken at every possible angle
  • 360-degree product image
  • A video of you presenting the product to the customer
  • A video of the product in action
  • A short description at the top of the page
  • Bullet points with facts and figures
  • A detailed description lower down the page
  • The price
  • Delivery details
  • Availability (in stock or out of stock)
  • Colour options
  • A buy now button
  • Reviews of the product
  • A wish list
  • FAQ’s
  • Returns policy
  • Social share buttons
  • Fact sheets (in some cases)

The Perfect Shopping Experience

Imagery – As I’ve already mentioned above, the imagery is critical. The shopper loves the experience of a virtual shop where they can see the product in the perfect lighting, from all angles. The 360-degree image is an often overlooked feature, many website owners mistakenly believe they’re too difficult or too expensive to produce, but it allows the customer to virtually hold the product in their hands and move it to any angle they desire, just as they would in a bricks and mortar store. Take a look at this guide: https://www.brookstonecreative.co.uk/in-situ-photography-for-ecommerce-stores/

Product description – The product description is critical to the purchase too. Usually the best way to get information over is to have a short description at the top of the page, next to the product, followed by bullet points of key features that are easy to read, then a more detailed description below with fact sheets if appropriate. Remember to keep the information clear and concise.

Presentation video – A video of you presenting the product allows you to move one step closer to that virtual shop experience. You shouldn’t be “salesy” on these videos, it’s just your chance to talk the viewer through the key points and typical applications for this product. Remember you don’t need to be an actor for this part, just be you, in the same way you would serve a customer in a bricks and mortar shop.

Action video – This should show the product being used, so the viewer gets a flavour of how it would feel if they had one in their home or work.

Product reviews – This is a huge selling point to customers, and many of them go straight to this feature as soon as they enter the page. Including customer images is very useful as well.

Wish list – Not every customer is shopping for today, many are browsing for tomorrow or next week, so by including a wish list you can keep them hooked and wanting to come back for more. You will also have their contact details as a result of them signing up for this feature, so you can send promotional emails or texts to them if they agree.

FAQ – There must be lots of regular questions you’re asked about the products or services you provide. A FAQ section helps you to cover these in a simple and engaging manner. It also gives the customer a sense of confidence as people have asked the same question before.

Delivery and returns – These should be on the same page as the product, otherwise you’re asking the customer to navigate away from the product they were just about to purchase, a big no no.

Social share buttons – A brilliant way to sell the same product to friends and family of the customer. A simple post on their social media gives their friends and family a sense of confidence and can often result in multiple purchases of that very same product. Talk about a snowball effect, right?

There are too many poor websites out there, take the time and care to stand out and you will make sales. The extra time you spend on your website will pay you back and turn you into a happy shopkeeper!

Happy Shopkeeper
For some guidance with e-commerce photography, click here!

Richard
Brookstone Creative