5 Ways to Increase eCommerce Conversions

5 Ways to Increase eCommerce Conversions

Amanda Grace
Written by Amanda Grace
August 19, 2015

Having started your eCommerce site, it can often get difficult to get as much revenue as you’d ideally like. In most cases, site owners believe that it’s a traffic problem. What if I told you that the problem isn’t traffic but rather optimization? You can generate more revenue with existing traffic if you optimize your eCommerce site. Here are the 5 best ways to do that:

1. Implement product videos on ecommerce sites

Videos are easier to rank on Google. Search for anything and you will more than likely find a video on the top ten results.

Research reveals the following stats regarding online video:

  • 96% of consumers find videos helpful for making online purchase decisions
  • 71% of consumers said that watching a corporate video left them with a positive impression of the brand, service or company
  • 73% of all consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching videos explaining a product or service

There are even more benefits to adding videos to your website. Videos are easier to rank on Google. Search for anything and you will more than likely find a video on the top ten results. Secondly, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. You will get a lot of traffic from your videos uploaded with YouTube alone, and there are additional channels like DailyMotion and Meta cafe that can be used as well.

Here’s how brands use videos

Online product demo videos act as sales assistants to help customers make the right choice. It allows them to see the product in action and understand how it looks in real life. Amazon always does product demo videos for new launches in the Electronics category.

Another example is of VAT19 in the gifting niche. This retailer curates and sells weird and funny objects. Despite stiff competition from other online retailers, often selling similar products, VAT19 stands out due to their storytelling. On every product of every page they have educational videos that present their products in an interesting way.

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The ReelSEO study that we referred to at the beginning of the post also reveals that humorous videos are shared the most. You can easily see that video marketing has paid off for them. With over 500 such videos and 1,533,566 YouTube subscribers, the site gets hundreds of thousands of targeted visitors with every new video.

[Tweet “Using humor is one of the best ways to attract visitors. #ecommerce #cro”]

BlendTec is another company that markets its products with a humor-filled entertaining approach. Their video campaign series “Will it Blend” had videos where they attempted to blend innocuous items like an iPhone. These stunts paid off as people began to associate BlendTec with power. Here’s an example.

On Dodocase, visitors are taken through an in-depth overview of the product along with a video that shows how to use the product. This is something that only few manufacturers do.

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Here’s another example from the fashion industry. Returns are the highest in the online fashion economy. Most customers return the products if they find them not to be good fit.  Labelle Mafia Clothing took on a simple approach of shooting and presenting videos of models wearing their products. While most clothing retailers don’t go beyond pictures of products on their page, this was something novel and it helped sales in a big way.

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Now visitors could see exactly what they stand to get, they could see how the dress fits the model, and they could decide if it’s a good fit for them.

2. Make forms simpler, combine addresses by default

Combine addresses by default on forms – Making customers type their addresses twice is as close to e-commerce suicide as you can get. Most customers have the same address for billing and shipping, so instead of giving them both fields, offer an option to select the same shipping address as the billing address.  

Combining the addresses right away also provides consumers with the option to differentiate if needed, and it can save time during the checkout process.

This becomes especially difficult on mobile devices where typing something is made doubly difficult with auto correct and the touchscreen. This is one of the reasons why people love Amazon. Once the customer creates an account, all it takes is clicking on “Buy Now” to purchase the product. Combining the addresses right away also provides consumers with the option to differentiate if needed, and it can save time during the checkout process.  

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3. Free shipping

Free shipping incentivizes people to buy from you.

During the initial few months of Amazon’s launch in India, they offered free shipping on every product. Biscuits, cookies, batteries, almost everything was shipped for free, and it reached your home within days. They ran special promotions where they offered products for less than a cent and that too with free shipping.

With the traction they built, they were easily able to carve a niche in the space erstwhile occupied by other online retailers. It also gave an advantage because of the advertising they eventually achieved from customers spreading the news. But here are few caveats:

  • Calculate how much it will cost you: The first thing you need to do is determine if you can offer free shipping and still be profitable. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by getting carried away with free shipping. If your product sells at $10, you wouldn’t want to ship it for free. The margins are too low.
  • Keep a minimum threshold: That’s the reason most retailers like Amazon and Toys R Us keep a minimum threshold for free shipping. For Amazon it’s $25.
  • Free shipping only for nearby areas: Another tactic you can employ is to offer free shipping to nearby regions from where the items are shipped. If your base is in California you may provide free shipping to California and nearby states.

[Tweet “With #free shipping you can attract thousands of new buyers. #ecommerce #cro”]

4. Offer Coupons, deals and discounts and special shipping

Coupons are an effective way to track offline and online sales. There’s no doubt that coupons are immensely popular. Who doesn’t want to save a few dollars when shopping? Sites like Groupon and stores like Walmart have built their entire fortunes on coupon offers. Here’s an example:

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  • Offer free shipping/free shipping only for a season: You can conduct short marketing campaigns that offer free shipping instead of offering year round free shipping.  You can also offer free shipping for a limited time if your eCommerce site has just launched and you want to get the word out just like Amazon India.
  • Offer bundled products on discounts: Bundling is when you group together some items and sell them for much less than their original value. Visitors see bundling as a steal deal and are often excited about purchasing bundled items.

5. Effective email marketing including optimizing transactional emails

Transactional emails are a big opportunity to re-engage your customers. But the truth is, most marketing teams ignore this.

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Research indicates that emails like order confirmation and shipping confirmation emails have 8 times to 9 times more open rates of marketing mails. 

What do transactional emails consist of?

These are the emails that you send right after someone signs up or places an order or wants to return something. These emails confirm that the particular action intended by the user has taken place. To make the best use of this opportunity you should place cross-sells based on buying behavior. ABC styles, for instance, places dynamic cross-sells on transactional emails along with personalized language like “we” and “you” that talk directly to the user.

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Farecompare also offers personalized dynamic transactional emails. On the site you can set up alerts to inform you if the fare for your desired flight drops by 20%. Since such alerts are specific to different customers, and each customer can set up alerts with different combinations, a lot of technology goes into it to deliver personalized results each time.

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Ecommerce conversions ultimately boil down to understanding and offering what your customers need with an assurance that they are getting the best deal possible. Whatever niche you are in, don’t forget to offer value and quality products. Only these things make a brand stand the test of times.

Originally published August 19, 2015 - Updated September 06, 2019
Amanda Grace
Amanda Grace shares small business advice and deals on her site CouponMeld.com
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