Category: Conversion Rate Optimization

Best Actionable Tips to Increase Travel Website Bookings

So, visitors land on your travel website, search for flights and accommodation, and then randomly leave without completing the booking — almost on a whim. If your website has been seeing a similar trend, then you are not alone.  

On an average, more than 95% of traffic coming on travel and hospitality websites leave without completing the purchase process. Why? Because travel eCommerce is one of the trickiest online businesses — thanks to lengthy marketing funnels, complex search parameters, complicated checkout processes, multiple forms, and massive personalization. 

The average conversion rate (% of website visitors turning into customers) of travel websites is a dismal 4% — far below the 10% conversion rate of financial and media firms.

But you can always improve this figure by optimizing your website so that more visitors turn into customers. Below mentioned are some best actionable tips you can implement to increase online bookings.  

1) Make Your ‘Site Search’ Smart and Simple

Source: Priceline.com

For no other industry in online marketing is the search function as critical as that in case of travel sites. Visitors in this domain typically operate in the ‘browsing and finding’ mode. 

Your visitors reach your site’s homepage through different channels such as search engine results pages, social media, and online ads.

Only when a visitor selects a location and a date, will he find relevant results from which he/she will make a choice. 

Help Visitors Choose

Most of the time, the results page of a search engine is full of hotel or flight and in some cases destination if he/she is planning a vacation, which most visitors haven’t used or explored before. Naturally, it is difficult for them to choose one from the lot. Here is when you should help your prospects select the best deal. 

Let us understand this with the below-mentioned example:

Destination

In a world where everything is accessible at a click of a button, travel websites also need to understand that their visitors also want instant results to their queries. MakeMyTrip.com is a travel industry giant in India that offers you vacation packages besides its popular flight and hotel booking business. 

When meandering, confused visitors get a well-curated list of such packages under his/her budget with beautiful and catchy visuals, day plans, and itineraries, MakeMyTrip (MMT) instantly relieves them of their pain points. Such services can not only save a lot of time and energy of your visitors, but encourage them to trust you and form a long lasting bond with your brand. 

An example of a vacation package. Source: MakeMyTrip.com
An example of a detailed itinerary. Source: MakeMyTrip.com

Pricing

Firstly, display your prices prominently. Price is one of the key criteria on which most visitors make their choice. When the price for different service providers is placed without a clear distinction on the results page, the usability of the website.

Discount

Also, when you’re offering a discount on a service, mentioning it only in terms of percentage can prove useless to some visitors. It’s always a better option to display the new or discounted price of the service below or after the original price, and the savings which they would make if they choose it.

Source: MakeMyTrip.com

Reviews and Ratings

Showing reviews and ratings on your website can act as cherry on top of the cake. Adding them can significantly work towards improving the chances of more conversions on your site. 

Why? Because in today’s day and age most individuals trust peer recommendations more than they trust they trust advertising. This is one reason why travel websites like MMT heavily advocate the use of reviews and ratings.  

Source: MakeMyTrip.com

You have to get your visitors’ attention really fast and make them act right away in order to score transactions. One of the ways to do so is by using the principles of persuasion – creating a sense of urgency and scarcity in the minds of individuals.

Employ Urgency

Urgency is when you ask prospects and customers to act quickly in order to receive an incentive. Many travel industry giants such as Booking, Makemytrip, etc., have been using effectively using this strategy to increase their conversions. Learn from them and employ the same strategies on your travel website to reap maximum benefits. 

Offer special deals with discounts or incentives to users for a limited period. The incentives that can only be redeemed in a specific time range will push users to buy it before the deal ends. 

Moreover, you can also display the number of people viewing a particular listing on the results page to instill urgency among visitors. Such a technique can not only increase the listing’s perceived popularity but urge individuals to act fast and grab the deal before someone else does. Here’s how Agoda.com does it:

Source: Agoda.com

Use Scarcity

Last few tickets available at a discounted price,’ ‘Book now to get a free hotel upgrade,’ ‘Book in the next one hour to get free wine on arrival,’ ‘Get complimentary breakfast if booked in the next 30 minutes.’

There are endless ways to generate urgency and dissuade the visitors to go on a website hopping spree. However, be reasonable and don’t make a promise you can’t keep because that will just tarnish your reputation. Booking.com constantly updates its booking status to create a sense of scarcity.

Source: Booking.com

Booking Form

Form optimization is equally important in your conversion funnel. When visitors have done all the research and chosen a flight, hotel, or a holiday package, you don’t want them to abandon the booking. 

Below are a few ways you can optimize your forms: 

  • Use intelligent forms
  • Put as few form-fields as possible
  • Test different form layouts
  • Use multi-step forms

Find more of such form optimization methods, and read more here

2) The Progress Bar is Your Lifeboat

Source: MakeMyTrip.com

Complex booking experiences make travelers switch to higher cost offline channels. However, it’s extremely difficult to cut down on the amount of information that must be collected during the booking process. 

Dividing the process into identifiable steps can make customers’ life much easier. These identifiable steps serve as road signs — the customer will know what lies ahead after they complete that step.

3) Go Mobile

Your users are spending more on the go instead of waiting to reach their computer to make a purchase. 

According to a survey conducted by Travelport, the average US leisure traveler uses between seven and eight different apps in his/her mobile. When it comes to hotels, 39% of guests would like to use digital room keys, and 36% would like to check into a hotel via an app.

In terms of last-minute bookings, Criteo’s Summer Travel Report found that hotel’s received just over 70% of last-minute bookings via mobile devices.

Investing in a responsive design for a mobile application, ensuring that it has the same functionality and features of your website could be a smart move. You can also leverage the native features of mobile devices (GPS, click-to-call, etc.) to offer a better user experience.

4) Feature USPs

If your company has unique benefits to offer to its visitors , then prominently display them on your homepage. Doing so can not only convince your target audience to use your services, but turn into repeat customers. 

Below is a screenshot from Expedia’s homepage, which presents its USPs prominently.

5) Upsell and Cross-Sell With Elan

Would they want to add on travel insurance as a package deal? Or perhaps, get flight seats with extra legroom at a little extra cost? Or maybe extend their trip by three days to get a steal of a deal? 

The options for add-ons, cross-sells and upsells are immense in the online travel business. Smartness is to use these elements to your leverage and present them to your target audience in a manner that they’re lured towards them. Provide offers which compel them to use your services and on the other hand help increase your average order value. 

According to a “Hotel Amenities Travelers Can and Can’t Do Without” TripAdvisor survey, free Wi-Fi is the most requested hotel amenity with 89% of travelers wanting it, followed by free parking and breakfast. 

However, you need to take care of two things when it comes to upselling and cross-selling. 

  • Don’t offer an upsell option when a visitor is at the checkout stage. Try and not tell them what they don’t have and confuse them when they are about to close the deal.
  • Don’t auto-check the add-ons as a customer might not notice them at that point but would get mighty pissed when they see the inflated cost at the checkout. 
Source: Makemytrip.com

6) Leave No Room For Ambiguity

Any information that is vague and open to a reader’s interpretation is a potential conversion barrier. The multitude of steps involved in the booking process is anyways a hindrance to smooth web experience. 

Review all the information throughout the funnel for ambiguities. For example, when you ask visitors for their age, you might be showing them three options to choose from — kids, adults, and elderly. 

Now you might think you have communicated yourself clearly, but what about someone who is 17? He definitely does not think of himself as a kid, and neither is he legally an adult. Or what about someone who is 59? An adult or an elderly? 

Here’s another study depicting ambiguity:

Looking at their analytics, Expedia found that many of their visitors were clicking on the booking button but weren’t completing the transaction. They also found that an optional field on the booking form called ‘Company,’ was confusing people. 

The visitors thought the field required them to enter their bank name. Having entered the bank name, they then went on to enter their bank address (not home) in the address field. This was causing the credit card transaction to fail. Expedia simply deleted the ‘Company’ field and reaped in higher profits.

7) Personalization is the Key

Personalization today has become a name synonymous to online shopping. And, that extends to travel websites as well. Irrespective of the fact that if a visitor is a first timer or your repeat user, everyone expects you to personalize their experience. You must make them feel valued, else they’ll leave.

Point being, personalization is the need of the hour. If you’re not encashing on it, you’re automatically losing out on a lot of potential leads.

To build a strong bond with your prospects and customers, you need to put in some extra efforts to show some gratitude since they entrusted you with their personal details.

  • As soon as a new user gets on board, you can send them a welcome email or push notifications and guide them on the most important sections of your site. The idea should be to make them feel like home. But keep it short, warm and actionable. 
  • Some of your users always book a hotel that offers free wifi and complimentary lunch. Whenever they search for a hotel on your website, you can display recommended hotels that offer free wifi and lunch. Such personalized recommendations will help users to choose a hotel of their preference quicker.
  • If a traveler has booked with you and if there is a lot of consistency in their booking behavior — sea-facing hotels, family trips, spa and recreational activities — you can assume they are a leisure traveler and accordingly recommend similar travel experiences. 
  • Using a personalization strategy to procure travelers’ booking history will help you offer relevant offers the next time they come to your website. The good news is that you could also track their in-session activity to understand their behavior and booking habits, a section covered later in this post.

8) Wear Nice Shoes

Men are judged by the appearance of their shoes. And, the authenticity of your business is judged by the appearance of your website. So, ensure your website’s UX is compelling and inviting rather than intimidating.

Furthermore, online frauds are the order of the day and visitors are ever more cautious about sharing their personal and credit card details online. Hence, it’s very important that your website oozes trust and authenticity. 

Marriott’s homepage has a minimalist classy design which evokes credibility. When you are asking for their credit card information, display a security seal along with it.

Use testimonials, customer reviews, media coverage, and privacy policies to win the trust of your visitors. 

Source: Marriott.com

Conclusion

The challenge for any online travel enterprise boils down to convince users persistently on each step of the conversion funnel. Tools such as heat maps, visitor recordings, and form analytics can help you in analyzing users’ behavior on websites effectively, which can become instrumental in increasing travel bookings.

So, there is never just one simple solution. You can improve your customer experience only through understanding the users’ pain points and providing them with the best solutions. Hopefully, they are never going to abandon you again.

The post Best Actionable Tips to Increase Travel Website Bookings appeared first on Blog.

Get your A-Game Up with These 8 Effective Lead Conversion Strategies

The notion that building a fancy looking website and investing into marketing activities are more than enough to grab the attention of web strollers to convert them into leads. But, that’s precisely where most marketers are failing today. 

Lead conversion is not just about ensuring these “fence-sitters” pay a visit to your site, it’s about changing them into an opportunity, nurturing them, and converting them into loyal, paying customers. More so, understanding the basic needs of your visitors and creating an experience that’s compelling enough for them to come back for more, is equally important. 

what means lead conversion

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of how to convert a visitor into a lead, let’s first talk about the importance of building a robust lead conversion process. 

Building a Lead Conversion Process

Having a robust and streamlined lead conversion process is essential for any business to survive in today’s highly competitive market place. A good conversion strategy can not only boost your business dramatically but help to get good leads aboard. Below mentioned are five steps to building an effective and efficient lead conversion process. 

1. Prepare Quality Content

Adding quality content to your website significantly increases the chances of getting more leads for your business. Write catchy website copies, create informative content such as blogs, ebooks, white papers, and work on product demos. 

When you generate qualified content, it develops the trust of your customers and nurtures a healthy relationship with them. Their trust and relationship can indirectly generate good revenue for your business. So, tell your content team to produce engaging and converting content

2. Build an SEO Strategy for Your Site

Visibility on Google can generate more leads to your business than you can imagine. So, investing your efforts in correcting your SEO strategies is essential.

Five primary SEO elements to focus your attention to include the page title, page URL, page header, internal links, and page content. Refer to Google updates to understand how to use SEO to rank high on search engines effectively.

3. Create an Appealing Landing Page Design

Your landing page design is the first and foremost element that defines the usability and success of your website. Having a good strategy of building landing pages can help to convert more leads. 

Strategically add images, videos, and call-to-action buttons on your landing pages to make them appealing and get more conversion. Further, make sure all your landing page links are clickable and directly or indirectly help to generate leads. You can also use pre-designed landing page templates to improve your site’s user interface.

4. Use Social Media Channels to Generate Leads

Today people are massively engaged on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many other ones. They consume more content here than on other mediums. Leverage social media to your advantage. Promote your business offerings here and grab the attention of your target audience.

A company generates 80% of B2B leads by using LinkedIn as a marketing medium. So social media is a smooth platform to spread awareness of your brand products globally and gain more customer engagements. 

5. Do Email Marketing in Your Relevant Niche

Email marketing is an age-old inbound and outbound marketing tool that still serves as an effective medium to generate leads. You can design various email templates and send them to your target audience on multiple occasions, such as festivals or birthdays, to nurture them regularly. 

The marketing tool not only helps build a strong relationship with your target audience but keeps them informed about your products and services as well. Furthermore, emails have proven to get more leads to a business than most other marketing tools.

Lead Conversion Best Practices

It takes nearly 0.05 seconds for a visitor to form an opinion about your brand and decide whether or not they’ll stay on your site. Capturing these micro-moments is what can convert your visitors into leads and customers. Below mentioned are eight effective strategies that you must use and implement to improve your lead conversion rate. 

1. Learn to Capture the Right Market

To capture the right leads, understand the market that you’re operating in, and the behavior of your target audience. Use demographics (age, gender, education level, employment), geographic (location, address, region, country), and socio-economic (life-style, social class, personality, attitude) data of your target audience to show them relevant content and even incentivize them to convert into leads.

2. Segregate your Leads 

As a business, you may generate tens and hundreds of leads every month. But, not all of them may qualify as good quality leads. So, as a practice, filter out all the leads that you think would be truly useful for your business and are interested in buying your products or services basis your business context. 

Conduct thorough research on these leads, study their intention and interaction with your platform, check their last sales activities, and then establish contact with them. This is important because if your sales team attends to every lead that your business gets, they will not only end up wasting a lot of time but efforts as well.

3. Leverage Lead Scoring to Your Advantage

The lead scoring feature enables you to determine the value and importance of a lead. The higher the lead score, the better it is. Moreso, lead quality means shortlisting leads based on their ideal profile that can become a long-time converted customer for your business. 

4. Establish Communication With your Leads as soon as they Convert 

Leads are a fresh commodity to your business, which means you must nurture them immediately. Even a day’s delay can make them lose interest in your brand and probably shake hands with your competitor. 

If you’re contacting them through a phone call, then be humble. Address all their concerns and queries, and ensure they leave satisfied. Ask them whether they’d be interested in receiving regular updates about your brand’s offerings, a demo call to understand your product(s) or service(s), and any other related thing. Show them that you care and are willing to do everything to get them aboard. 

5. Use Effective Communication Channels

Deep dive into channels that are used by your prospects to engage with your brand. Try marketing channels like emails, cold calling, social media platforms, etc. to communicate with them.

For example, if your goal is just to increase your brand’s awareness in the market, then use channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin. These are apparently the best channels to increase brand awareness and generating leads. Pinterest and YouTube are two more marketing channels that can prove beneficial here.

6. Regularly Follow-Up with your Leads

Follow-ups are necessary to stay connected with your target audience. This gives them a sense that you care about their needs and are willing to provide them all the necessary services they want. 

Don’t stop after sending one or two emails to your target audience or after that one-time demo call. Continuously follow up with them. Make them aware of your business’s offerings and highlight what makes you stand out. 

7. Speed Up the Work of your Sales Team

It is always good to divide your sales teams into two divisions – one that handles all your existing customers and the other that takes care of all the new leads your business generates. 

Also, make use of a good CRM system that helps you to monitor your prospect’s sales stages and other related activities. You can further have dedicated resources who can monitor and assign leads to different sales managers. This will help your sales team handle all your incoming leads and supervise their sales pipeline at every buying stage.

8. Highlight the Testimonials of your Happy Customer on your Site

In today’s digital world, 72% of people trust businesses with positive customer testimonials and reviews. So, use your customer testimonials to your advantage. 

Build the trust of your new customers by making them read through the testimonials of your existing happy customers. Add them on pages where visitors are most likely to read them, such as on the home page, pricing page, blog page, and so on.

Final Thoughts

To convert leads into loyal customers, you need to nourish and nurture them properly throughout their sales journey. Calculate your lead conversion ratio and be aware of their progress status to know where you, as a brand, are missing out in terms of converting them into customers. Be patient, work on your lead generation strategy, and make necessary amendments wherever needed to get positive results to your business. 

The post Get your A-Game Up with These 8 Effective Lead Conversion Strategies appeared first on Blog.

6 Easy Ways To Learn A/B Testing (Number 6 Is Our Favorite)

Note: This post has been recently updated.

Have you always wanted to introduce A/B testing into your marketing skill set but are unsure of where to begin?

Do you think A/B testing is for more technical marketers?

If so, you might be worried about nothing. A/B testing, also known as split-testing, is a common feature of almost every marketing tool these days.

Thankfully, many software products with built-in A/B testing functionality have made implementing A/B tests so easy that laypeople can learn to improve their marketing skills by using A/B tests.

To help you get up and running with your first A/B test campaign, here are 6 tools with built-in A/B testing features that are easy to implement for the average non-technical person.

Let’s take a quick look at what A/B testing is.

What Is A/B Testing?

In this guide to A/B testing from VWO, it is defined as “comparing two versions of a webpage to see which one performs better.”

The reason why you would want to run an A/B test on your website is to improve conversions. For example, you can A/B test the product photos on your e-commerce website to see if models with beards increase conversions compared to models without beards.

As you can see, with A/B testing, you can follow a process to slowly increase the number of website visitors that convert into customers. If done properly, you can be confident that you’ll always get the same results.

So now that you understand what A/B testing is and the potential benefits of doing A/B tests in your marketing, let’s look at 6 tools that make it easy to run your first A/B test.

  1. Google AdWords

Google AdWords may have been the first tool with built-in A/B testing, so it’s likely where most marketers launched their first A/B testing campaign.

As Google gets paid each time someone clicks one of its ads, it’s in Google’s best interests to help improve the quality of its ads. And to help you figure out which ads are the best, you can A/B test your ads by rotating them evenly to see which has a higher click-through rate (CTR).

To get started on A/B testing in AdWords, go to your campaign settings, click to expand the Ad rotation settings, and then select Do not optimize: Rotate ads indefinitely.

If you want Google to pick the winning ad, select the Optimize: Prefer best performing ads radio button. It’s a good idea to have Google rotate the ads indefinitely and then you can manually pick a winner. This would help you make observations about why some ads perform better than others.

top A/B testing tools

Next, make sure that you have at least 2 ads in each ad group, and then start collecting data.

top A/B testing tools

Unfortunately, AdWords won’t tell you if your data is statistically significant, so you’ll need to enter the impressions and clicks each ad received into a tool like VWO’s A/B split test significance calculator to figure out which ad won.

2. Sumo

If you’re not yet collecting email addresses on your website, you should be.

Adding a pop-up to your website is a great way to grow your email list. One of the easiest ways to install a pop-up is with Sumo.com’s suite of free tools.

Its “List Builder” tool makes it easy to strategically add pop-ups to your website to collect email addresses. But what if your pop-ups aren’t converting well?

Fortunately, you can easily A/B test your pop-ups.

To gradually increase the number of email addresses, you can create variations with different text, colors, or calls to action.

Within Sumo, under List Builder,  click the Tests tab, and then create a new test:

top A/B testing tools

Select the form of which you need to create a variation:top A/B testing tools

After creating the variation, Sumo rotates both versions of the pop-up and collects conversion data, which will be displayed in your dashboard:

top A/B testing tools

Give your A/B test enough time to collect statistically significant data. After getting a clear winner, you can delete the losing pop-up and create a new pop-up to compete against the winner.

3. Drip

Drip.com is marketing automation software that helps you send personalized emails at exactly the right time.

For example, if you want to send an abandoned cart email 30 minutes after your website visitor added a product to the cart but didn’t complete the purchase, you can create an Abandoned Cart campaign within Drip to send the email automatically.

But what happens if your recipient doesn’t open the email? That’s another missed opportunity.

So, to recover such customers, you want to make sure your abandoned cart email stands out in their inbox and gets opened. Fortunately, you can increase the likelihood of that with Drip’s built-in split test feature.

Within Drip, you have the ability to easily split test the subject line, “From” name, and/or delivery time of the emails in your campaign.

In the example below, you can see how easy it is to set up an A/B test of a subject line:

top A/B testing tools

Next, enter an alternate subject line, and then Drip automatically rotates the subject lines in your abandoned cart email campaign:

top A/B testing tools

Drip also tracks how many times the emails associated with each subject line were opened. After gathering a statistically significant amount of data, you can see in your dashboard the confidence level at which you would get the same results if you let the A/B test running.

top A/B testing tools

After you’ve reached a 95% confidence level or higher, you can stop the losing variation and continue with the winning variation, or create a new A/B test to try and beat the winner.

4. Intercom

Next, we’ll look at the ways you can A/B test chat messages. Fortunately, Intercom makes it easy for you to do this.

Chat messages are a great way to engage your website visitors to increase your conversion rate or just get their email address so that you can market to them in the future.

You can think of a chat message the same way as greeting people when they walk into your brick-and-mortar store. It’s their first impression of you and your brand, so the quality of your greeting can be the difference whether they make a purchase or not.

With most chat tools, you can send “proactive messages” to engage your website visitors. Examples of proactive messages are:

    • “Hello, I’m here to answer any questions you may have.”
    • “Can I help you find a product?”
  • “Do you have any questions about shipping?”

If your proactive message isn’t warm or engaging enough, the visitor may not reply and you may lose a chance to convert them into a customer.

With Intercom, you can A/B test your proactive messages to see which ones have a high open rate. Just create your greeting:

top A/B testing toolsThen use the built-in A/B test feature to create a different greeting for your proactive message:

top A/B testing toolsIntercom will then show each greeting 50% of the time and display the results of the A/B test in your message dashboard so that you can see which greeting has the best open rate:

top A/B testing tools

5. Title Experiments

Did you know that 80% of people who read a headline copy won’t read the rest of the blog post? This is why it’s so important to write great blog post titles.

But how do you know what’s considered a good title? Well, you can split-test your blog post titles to find out.

With a WordPress plug-in called Title Experiments, it’s easy to create 2 versions of titles for each of your blog posts.

Every time you publish a new blog post, just click Add New Title, and then you can write a second variation of your blog post title:

top A/B testing tools

Title Experiments automatically A/B tests both variations, and then you can see how well each one is performing until you eventually pick a winner:

top A/B testing tools

6. VWO

So far, I’ve shown you how to run A/B tests within third-party tools, but what about doing actual A/B tests on your website itself?

Increasing conversions by changing your website’s copy, colors, and layout are where the fun begins when it comes to A/B testing.

With VWO Testing, you can create a hypothesis about how to improve website conversions, and then easily create a variant of your webpage by using its WYSIWYG editor to test against your current page (also known as the control.)

The great thing about A/B testing with VWO Testing is that you don’t have to be technical so that you can do it yourself without the need to hire a developer.

Get started by clicking the Create on the A/B Tests page:

VWO Testing Dashboard

Edit the page you want to A/B test by using its WYSIWYG editor to create a variation to test against the control page:

VWO Editor

From your VWO Testing dashboard, you can view the results of the A/B test. You can see which variation resulted in more conversions and whether the data is statistically significant so that you can be confident of the results.

Just like the other tools mentioned above, VWO tells you when you’ve collected enough data to make a statistically significant decision about the results.

Conclusion

A/B testing isn’t as hard as it seems. It’s pretty easy to give A/B testing a try, thanks to the built-in features found in marketing software these days.

So if you’re ready to take the leap and want to run your first split test campaign, give one of the above-mentioned tools a try.
I think you’ll find that it’s easier than you expected!

The post 6 Easy Ways To Learn A/B Testing (Number 6 Is Our Favorite) appeared first on Blog.

7 Must-have eCommerce Marketing Tools To Supercharge Conversions

The internet, as it is today, can connect any business to its target audience, irrespective of where they reside in the world. Online retail, therefore, is an ever-expanding industry with promising profits, provided you master the art of driving traffic and conversions. Even so, many eCommerce businesses suffer losses from low conversion rates that are a result of ineffective sales and digital marketing strategies. Sometimes, even the right strategies can let you down, without the right tools for execution. 

To ensure that doesn’t happen to you, use these 7 eCommerce marketing tools that can help you grow your business: 

1) SerpStat For SEO and Website Optimization Research

What is SerpStat? 

SerpStat is a back-link and keyword research tool that can help you assess your website’s SEO status. Using SerpStat’s data, you can make changes to your website and SEO strategies and increase conversions.

Why do you need SerpStat?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important source of referral traffic for any eCommerce store. The better you get at SEO, the more high-quality traffic and conversions you are likely to generate. Getting good at SEO isn’t only about having the right skills, but using the right tools.
SerpStat helps you monitor the following parameters for SEO:

  •  Website ranking
  • Keyword ranking
  • Number and strength of back-links
  • Website performance
  •  Competitors’ performance

SerpStat collects data relevant to these parameters and presents it to you, so you can make the best decisions to improve your SERPs (Search Engine Page Ranks). Better SERPs result in higher traffic and better conversion rates. 

use SerpStat for ecommerce SEO

2) WishPond For Increased Lead Generation and Automation

What is WishPond? 

WishPond is a web page creation and optimization tool that helps boost your conversion rate. Using the tool, you can design landing pages, test, and improve them to increase conversions.

What do you need WishPond? 

Very often, you might find customers coming to online stores but leaving without making purchases. This could happen if your landing pages are not optimized for smooth customer experience. The content, design, and responsiveness of landing pages affect how customers respond to them. How you manage these factors is critical in boosting your conversion rate.

When creating landing pages, WishPond helps you ensure that:

  • The content on each page is relevant to the people who land on it
  • Your pages are designed to allow easy navigation
  • The conversion elements on your page are tested to optimize the conversion rate

The landing pages you create need not be focused on direct sales. They could advertise a webinar instead, offering your customers alternate means of interacting with your brand, without having to make monetary commitments before they are ready. Webinars, eBooks, and email subscriptions are all great ways to collect leads to increase conversions at a later point.

use WishPond for ecommerce lead generation

3) VWO For Delivering an Optimized Digital Experience

What is VWO? 

An end-to-end experience optimization and growth platform, VWO helps you identify key elements on your eCommerce website and optimize them to improve customer experience and engagement and thereby, conversion rates.

Why do you need VWO?

Providing a seamless customer experience is the key to improving conversions on your website. But how do you figure out what exactly makes for a seamless user experience? Or more importantly, which elements of your site don’t contribute to providing that seamless experience? 

The answer is simple. You let VWO Insights help you understand the visitor behavior on your website with various tools such as Session Recordings, Heatmaps, Form Analytics, On-Page Surveys, and Funnels. These highly effective tools help you work out the problem areas on your website, improve them, and make the stuff that’s working even better. 

Next, use VWO Testing to create and run A/B tests on your website that tell you what improvements you need to make to optimize user experience to increase conversions and tackle issues such as cart abandonment. Be it your CTA copy, headline font color or product images; VWO’s easy-to-use visual editor ensures creating multiple variations of your existing pages or modifying existing ones can be done efficiently without having to rely on a developer. What’s more, you are provided with an exhaustive library of widgets to work with. 

Your conversion optimization journey doesn’t end there. To improve customer retention and loyalty, you need to leverage new channels to engage with your customers. VWO Engage allows you to do so by automating your push notification campaigns. So, whether you’ve published a new blog post or are running a Black Friday sale, you need to rely solely on emails for promotions and to drive traffic to your website. 

Since these messages are sent as push notifications, your customers are more likely to notice them and act on them. Notifications can be your means of increasing customer loyalty by keeping in touch with the people who have already interacted with your website. This increased customer loyalty, in turn, will lead to increased conversions and sales. 

If you are new to the world of CRO, you can get started with a 30-day free trial of the VWO platform and watch how it can help you optimize digital experience and convert better.

VWO is world's leading experience optimization & growth platform

 4) DrumUp to Generate More Traffic via Social Media

What is DrumUp? 

DrumUp is an app that helps you schedule social media content in advance and ensure that your content is promoted extensively and consistently, over a period of time.

Why do you need DrumUp?

Social media is an important channel for eCommerce businesses that allows them to engage with their customers and provide excellent customer service. Social media is also an underrated way to drive traffic back to your website.

Using the DrumUp app, you can:

  • Schedule posts to go out every day.
  • Set certain posts to repeat on a schedule, so they are maximized to generate traffic.
  • Add best posts and promotions to content libraries so you can find and re-promote them from time to time.

Many businesses spend a lot of time creating content only to share them once and forget about them. Instead, they should be organizing their content and reusing them from time to time, maximizing the traffic and engagement.

use DrumUp for managing ecommerce social media

5) Canva For Creating Compelling Visuals

What is Canva?

Canva is a visual content maker that can help you create images easily, without having to understand the rules of design. The tool has pre-made templates that you can easily use to create quick images. 

Why do you need Canva?

Marketers prefer visual communication to text-based communication because it’s more powerful. People not only process visuals quicker than text but also retain visual messages longer. That’s why most marketing channels today are dominated by visually rich content. Using Canva, you can experiment with multiple types of visual content to boost traffic and conversions.

  • Infographics
  • Quote covers
  • Screenshots

Each of these types of visuals can be edited on Canva for consistent branding. You can save standard templates for each of these visuals beforehand and insert your content when creating them. Since Canva has pre-set canvas sizes for different uses, you can create optimized visuals.

Canva is an online tool for creating visual designs

6) MailChimp For Creating Impactful Emails

What is MailChimp?

Email marketing tools such as MailChimp help you write, design, and send out powerful emails that, in turn, aids your business growth. While they offer multiple plans to choose from, if your eCommerce store is fairly new, you can opt for the free plan that offers all basic features to help you set the wheels in motion for a successful email marketing strategy.

Why do you need MailChimp?

Needless to say, your eCommerce marketing strategy is incomplete without a comprehensive email marketing plan that encompasses the entire user journey. Running an effective email campaign is one of the most personal ways of building relationships with prospects, leads, and customers and driving them to your online store.

Using MailChimp, you can:

  • Send personalized emails recommending the right products and services to the right people
  • Retarget customers by sending follow-up emails about their favorite products and best-sellers
  • Create an email list, reach a wider audience, attract new customers and drive traffic using pop-up forms

All of this and so much more will make sure you’re always on top of your prospects’ minds. 

MailChimp is an ecommerce marketing tool for sending emails

7) Privy For Creating Effective Exit Intent Banners and Pop-ups

What is Privy?

Privy helps you create exit intent banners and pop-ups that help you change your visitors’ mind as soon as they decide to drop out. These banners/pop-ups could contain offers, promotions, warning, reminders about their abandoned cart, or simply a message that tells them why they shouldn’t leave just yet. You can also use these to ask for people’s information before they leave and use it later for sending newsletters, promotions, etc.

Why do you need Privy?

You can use the tool to find out exactly why your users are navigating away from your website and reduce bounce rates significantly. Thanks to analytics tools such as Google Analytics, you can also track and measure if the exit intent banners and pop-ups are really working for your website and later, customize them accordingly. 

To make the most of your exit banners and pop-ups, be sure to personalize them basis your visitors’ behavior to ensure you are offering them an irresistible incentive to stay on your online store.

Privy helps you create pop-up designs for ecommerce store

Shopping has already moved online. In the coming years, shoppers will only spend more on online purchases. And to make the most of this, eCommerce marketers will have to ace their marketing efforts.

If you haven’t begun your bid for a chunk of this business, now is a good time to get started.  This post offers a great start by discussing various areas of focus for eCommerce marketers and the types of marketing automation tools that can be used to achieve success in them.

The post 7 Must-have eCommerce Marketing Tools To Supercharge Conversions appeared first on Blog.

Evergreen Principles of Persuasion To Increase Ecommerce Conversion Sales

Imagine there’s a cupcake fair in your community, and you’re dying to relish a good, heartfelt Red Velvet cupcake. Of the many counters selling an exotic range, only two of them offer the kind you want – Counter A and Counter R. While Counter A has an animated bunch of customers digging into its delicacies and has a banner saying “last 20 pieces left,” Counter R adorns a deathly, almost funereal look.

Which one would you go for? If you’re thinking of Counter A, you’re not alone.

A study was conducted in 1975 where researchers wanted to know how people would value cookies in two identical glass jars, one of which had 10 cookies and other only with two. While everything remained the same, they found out that people preferred cookies in the near-empty jar more than the one filled up to the brim. This is precisely what the principle of scarcity states. It defines that people tend to give more value to objects which are practically scarce as compared to the ones available in abundance. When applied to the field of marketing, scarcity, along with urgency, can make for a potential weapon to significantly increase ecommerce conversion sales and revenue thereafter.

Principles of Persuasion – Scarcity and Urgency

Below mentioned are some examples of how different ecommerce websites creatively use these principles of persuasion – scarcity, and urgency – to their advantage.

1) Stock Scarcity

Displaying your stock meter on the ecommerce product page is always a good conversion practice. Not only does it ensure that there are no last-minute heart breaks for the customers, but it also speeds up the buying process. A user might be convinced to make a purchase, but they might not always be willing to buy products right away. They might want to compare the prices of their selected items on other sites, look for discount coupons, the right payment options or may simply forget about the products — thanks to the myriad distractions of the web.

Look how ModMomFurniture flashes a message stating ‘Only 3 items left’ on one of its product pages.

principle of stock scarcity on modmomfurniture.com
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Boticca too uses the same trick. It urges its existing and potential customers to complete their purchase right away to grab the last piece before the stock runs out. The use of an active call to action like ‘Act’ helps drive immediate action and increase conversions.

principle of stock scarcity on boticca.com
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2) Size Scarcity

Imagine you head to a shop to buy a pair of denim jeans only to find out that the last piece in your size has just gone out of stock. Old story? Well, if it can happen in the retail stores, it can definitely happen online as well.

Informing the buyers when a particular size goes out of stock is similar to killing two birds with one arrow. Not only does this help to inform the online shoppers that a particular product is unavailable, but works as a positive reinforcement as well.

See how Jabong, a leading ecommerce site, represents the unavailable size in grey.

correct size unavailability on Jabong.com
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Zappos goes a step further and even shows how many items are left in a particular size and color combination.

product size and color combination on Zappos
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3) Time-Bound Purchase for Next Day Shipping

If you are already offering next-day delivery, then ‘time-bound purchase’ won’t cost you any additional resource. You just need to inform your customers how many hours/minutes they have to complete their purchase process to qualify for next day delivery. Here, you can also offer free shipping schemes as well. Time-bound purchase strategy primarily solves two purposes – it makes customers more proactive towards completing their purchase process within the specified period and eliminates confusion as to when their purchased items will be delivered at their doorstep.

Zappos once had a permanent banner placed on its homepage and landing pages informing its customers that they need to place an order before 1 PM to qualify for next-day delivery.

next day free shipping banner on an ecommerce store.

Amazon, on the other hand, shows the exact number of hours/minutes within which a customer must complete their purchase process to get their order delivered the very next day. 

timer countdown for watching movies on Amazon
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Arguably, it’s one of the best conversion rate optimization tactics as well.

4) Make them see other buyers

Two women fighting over the same item of clothing in a fashion store is not just a devil’s mind’s fictitious construct; it’s actually a trick to prompt sales. People are much more inclined towards buying something when others desire them too.

Booking.com is an excellent example to quote here. When you look at a property at Booking.com, it shows exactly how many people are checking out the same property in real time. Social proof typically helps create a sense of urgency in the minds of shoppers.

number of buyers for property on booking.com
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Hotels.com even gives you information about how many people are viewing properties in a particular city. A modal box pops opens and shows you your virtual competition/companions.

modal box on hotels.com to show the number of users in a city.
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5) Limited-Period Offer

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a legitimate one. It is the anticipated regret of not being able to seize an opportunity. A limited-period offer works precisely the same way. It makes the offer look so tempting and fleeting that one is compelled to take the opportunity before it’s gone.

Amazon dramatically uses a running countdown to show how long the sale will last accurately.

countdown on Amazon.com to highlight the duration of a sale.
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MakeMyTrip.com shows an alert when the last few discounted airline tickets are left in stock. See how they use color psychology here to instill urgency. The use of the color ‘Red’ is not a mere coincidence, it’s associated with energy, increased heart rate, and often used in clearance sales.

alert notification on MakeMyTrip for discounted tickets demand.
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5) Limited-Time Discount on Abandoned Cart Items

Offering limited-time discounts on abandoned carts is a great way to use the urgency principle to re-market products. However, the risk here is not to overdo it. Doing this too often can affect how people perceive your brand and may be compelled to think twice to buy products from your ecommerce store in the future.

See how Miracas offers a 5% discount to abandoned carts to get them back on their site and complete their purchase process although their offer stands valid for the next two days only.

discount on abandoned carts on Miracas.com
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6) Shopping Cart Item – Sold Out

Seeing some items disappear from the cart works as a reality check for users – urging them to buy the rest of their selected products before they too run out of stock. See how Snapdeal shows a ‘Sold Out’ message next to items in the cart to prompt urgency.

sold out notification on cart on Snapdeal.com
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7) Limited-Period Free Delivery

Well, this is quite similar to limited-period offers. The desire to avail free delivery and not paying any additional shipping costs can plausibly offset a visitors’ tendency to procrastinate the purchase. This can further aid to a good user experience as well.

sold out notification on cart on Snapdeal

8) Special Discount Hours

A two-day or a weekend sale has its own charm. But, a special discount hour can be more useful in galvanizing excitement. Zivame sent out this mailer to its subscribers to build up craze for its hour-long sale.

special discount hours on Zivame.com
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9) Last Chance Emails

E-mails informing subscribers about last day of sale is another great way to get more attention. This is how Myntra makes use of Orange color to drive action on its website.

big weekend sale on myntra.com
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According to color psychology, just like red, orange too has an aggressive feel and creates a sense of urgency to take the desired action and boost ecommerce conversion rate.

Principles of Persuasion – Rules Beyond Scarcity and Urgency

Summing from everything mentioned above, conversions indeed are all about persuasions. And, they are just not restricted to scarcity and urgency, there’s so much more to explore and adhere to. Here, in this section, we’ll highlight the other four principles of persuasion and their relationship with ecommerce conversion rate optimization.

Reciprocity

The entire idea of reciprocity states that human beings by nature feel obligated to offer something in return to others for the favors they’ve received from them. They feel that it’s a gesture to show their gratitude – to make others feel special. This is exactly what happens in the world of ecommerce marketing as well.

As an ecommerce site, it’s always a good idea to offer your customers with something good that they’re obligated to offer something in return. It doesn’t have to be anything hefty, but just a discount coupon, early access to a new product or information that’s highly insightful and useful. In return, your customers may provide something that helps your brand scale up, either in terms of conversion rate enhancement, more product sales, drive traffic to your ecommerce site, and more.  

Commitment

This simply defines the concept of selling by involving. Meaning, make users feel they’re an integral part of your community. If you give them the liberty to share their thoughts and opinions about your brand, products or services, they’re more likely to become your loyal customers and even advocate your brand on social media platforms. 

Start small and you’ll see that once your customers begin committing to your brand, they’ll willingly help you achieve your business goals – increase sales, website traffic, and customer base as well. Commitment, in a nutshell, is nothing but the basis of a loyal relationship with your customer.

Authority

The essence of authority runs on the principle of trusting someone with whom you engage in business with. Meaning, if a person comes to your site, they confide their trust in you – to offer them nothing but the best. For example, if you’re a website that sells baby products, but there’s no certification to show that your products are safe for babies, your visitors are more likely to bounce off. On the other hand, if your website re-assures your visitors by showing them all the necessary certifications, they’ll trust your brand and even make purchases. 

The rule here states that if you look confident and successful, people are more likely to pay attention to your brand, engage with it and even become loyal customers.

Social Proof

One thing that this principle teaches us is that social proofing has the prowess to skyrocket your sales. All you need to do is figure out smart ways to brand yourself that people start advocating your brand. Use the right tactics such as showcasing the number of people who’ve bought your products. This gives customers a sense that you’re a brand that they can confide into.

example of social proofs on product page on ecommerce store
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Liking

One of the key elements to the principle of liking is to have something in common with your audience. Meaning, finding the right path to connect with your customers to grab their attention and make like you in every manner possible. 

A smart way to leverage liking in terms of marketing is to point out what your business has in common with its audience. For instance, if you’re an ecommerce site that sells fishing gears, a photo of your company’s CEO wading in a stream can instantly help build a sense of liking amid the site visitors. 

In its essence, liking is nothing but a way to build a strong relationship with your existing and potential customers, to further enhance your ecommerce sales conversions and grow exponentially.

Three Golden Rules to Cohere

So, before you set out to use any of the rules as mentioned above, adhere to these three golden rules

1) Don’t Expect ‘Scarcity’ to Create a Lot of Demand

‘Scarcity’ or ‘Urgency’ work as two of the best ways to motivate customers and quicken their buying process. But, they only work wonders if a customer is already convinced to make the purchase. They may be great procrastination killers, but they do not guarantee demand generation. If you go back to the initial example, it’s only when you’ve decided to buy a cupcake that you start considering whether to choose option A or B. If you’re not convinced that it’s Red Velvet you want to have, you’ll definitely not make an effort to choose any of the options at hand.

2) False Urgency can Backfire

Urgency is a subtle art and sounds oxymoronic as well. But, don’t go about faking urgency as it can whiff off your customers right away. Be honest. Don’t try to get rid of the stock that won’t move by flashing messages like ‘hurry, only last two pieces left.’ Customers will not only easily catch your bluff, but will also start questioning your genuineness. This can, in turn, also ruin their shopping experience. 

3) Don’t Overdo It

Even if you’re using the scarcity principle in all earnestness, don’t overdo it. You don’t need to employ all the practices with multiple countdowns breathing down a customer’s neck as you’ll end up being a pushy, shady, and untrustworthy brand in the eyes of your customers. Moderation is the key. However, testing gives you better insights as to what will work best for your brand and enhance ecommerce conversion rate.

The post Evergreen Principles of Persuasion To Increase Ecommerce Conversion Sales appeared first on Blog.

Important Ecommerce Metrics To Track For Increased Conversion Rates

It’s important to understand that metrics simply show symptoms, and different symptoms become visible through different metrics. Tracking these metrics can help you uncover different behavioral trends on your website. To understand how ecommerce metric tracking can help increase average conversion rate, let us study them by taking an example of company “X” that sells 2 products: one for $1 and the other for $100. 

Conversion Rate

A conversion is any desirable activity performed by a visitor on your site. From an ecommerce business’s perspective, conversion is checkout. 

Conversion Rate = Number of Checkouts/Number of Unique Visitors

If you have an average of 1000 visitors to your site on any given day, and 50 of them become customers, your conversion rate is 5%. Optimizing for conversion rate will make more visitors into paying and returning customers and help you:

  • Convert more of your current visitors, which is more cost-effective than acquiring new visitors
  • Generate more revenue at the same cost

Since you are already paying in some way to acquire traffic to your website — through PPC, SEO, Email, etc — it would be a great idea to convert more of those visitors into customers. It brings you more revenue for each dollar spent on acquiring traffic.

It made sense.

However, let’s say, company X conducted an A/B test on the product page and this is what was found:

breakdown chart of results of A/B test on an ecommerce product page

Average Order Value

Sometimes it may so happen that revenues can drop because of a dip in conversions among high paying customers. To avoid such obstacles and tackle them, Average Order Value is what you should be tracking. It’s a direct indicator of what’s actually happening on the profits front.

Average Order Value(AOV) = Total revenue/Number of Checkouts

Comparing AOV against Cost Per Order gives a great idea of the profits you make on each order. Consider your Cost Per Order (shipping costs etc.) is $1 and your AOV is $10, giving you a profit of $9 per order. By increasing AOV by 10% to $11, you stand to gain an additional profit of $1 per order.

There are a lot of simple ways to help you bump up the AOV of your ecommerce business:

Set a Bar for Free Shipping

The first tip is to offer free shipping on purchases which are slightly more than your current AOV.

value proposition of free shipping during cart checkout

I say ‘slightly’ because free shipping is a tricky subject. You’ll end up increasing the AOV, but the additional shipping charge could reduce the total number of transactions. In fact, there’s a lot of research to suggest that the lack of free shipping is the biggest reason behind cart abandonments. A/B test between completely free shipping and one that is free after a minimum order value, the metrics to track closely are AOV, the number of sales, revenue, and cart abandonment rate.

Offer Discounts on Minimum Purchase

So you are planning to extend that generous 20% flat discount to clear all your dead stock? Improvise. Tell them they will get the discount on a minimum purchase of $50 or $100 or whatever figure sufficiently makes up for your lost margins in giving that discount. Give some, take some.

discount vouchers for your next purchase

Give Limited Period Offer

Shoppers tend to procrastinate and mull purchase decisions. To continue the ‘special discounts on minimum purchase of 50$’ tip, adding a limited duration to the offer can create a sense of urgency among visitors and encourage them to buy more in one go. For example, ‘Get 40% off on all products’ might motivate the visitor to browse the products. But when you say ‘Get 40% off on all products for next 2 days’, it compels them to act right away.

the influence of limited period offer on average order value of ecommerce store

Try Volume Discounts

Offer discounts on bulk purchases of the same product. Paperstone, an office supplies company, used VWO to launch a bulk discount deal on its website. It ran an A/B test and found the bulk discount deal increased its average order value by 18.94% and revenue by 16.85%.

discounts on volume purchases of products on ecommerce store

However, remember that you have to determine the right discount value that helps you acquire a new customer, and at the same time, doesn’t throttle your profit margins.

Upsell

Upselling, if implemented intelligently, is a great way to increase the value of an order. If a visitor is eyeing that 320GB Windows 7 laptop, just throw in the gleaming photo of that 500GB Windows 8.1 laptop on the side. Simply put, upselling is offering a similar but more expensive variant of the product to the buyer.

product recommendations on amazon product listing page

However, don’t try to maximize every transaction, and throw in random products just because you have them. Don’t be like one of those aggressive salespersons trying to sell the entire catalog to someone who hasn’t even made their first purchase.

Cross-sell

Purchasing that 500GB Windows 8.1 laptop? Would you need a laptop bag with it? Or perhaps a USB drive?

cross-selling on amazon ecommerce store

This is precisely what cross-selling is known as – soft selling complementary or additional products to your customer base. Studies show that cross-selling, even though it has always played second-fiddle to upselling the former is 20 times more effective than the latter. What you need to keep in mind is that the suggestions need to be relevant. A person buying a laptop will need a laptop bag, not necessarily a DSLR.

Offer Package Deals

A package deal or a combo offer is a cool way of selling two or more related products at a discounted price through your online shop. It’s a convenient way to increase customer spends, to move your slow-moving goods, and most importantly grow your average order value. The Hut offers a pretty smart discounted price on clothing bundles. Going with the stereotype that most men don’t enjoy shopping, and prefer to get all their stuff quickly, The Hut’s offer is well-targeted.

package deals for complete outfit options on fashion ecommerce store

Incentivize the Purchase

Always give something to the customer, and they will merrily return the favor. Whenever they make a purchase, either offer them a great loyalty program, cash-backs, or anything that is redeemable on their next purchase of minimum order value. For instance, you can give a $5 cashback offer on their next purchase worth $40, or a free gift voucher worth $10 on an order above $60, points for purchasing, and so on. This works two ways. One, customer satisfaction, and second, repeat purchases.

Apart from ensuring a second-time visit and fostering customer loyalty, this increases the order value. Customers tend to buy more in order to experience that all-important gratification that comes after having bought something for free (intended oxymoron). It’s easy – see how Paperstone increased AOV by 18.94% using A/B testing

Revenue Per Visitor

Again, it may so happen that lesser people end up purchasing on your website as a result of bumping up the minimum order value for free shipping, even though it successfully increased your AOV. Your revenue could take a hit harming your profits while still showing a higher AOV.

If company X tracks AOV alone, it could make the company blind towards conversion rate resulting in a revenue sheet like the one below:

breakdown chart of revenue per visitor for an ecommerce store

Revenue Per Visitor (RPV): Revenue Per Visitor combines both Conversions and AOV to give the whole picture. RPV is deceptively simple – it tells you how much revenue each unique visitor is driving. The trick here is to understand RPV from a different perspective.

We already know that,

RPV = Total Revenue/Total Unique Visitors(checkouts)

So we can rewrite the RPV equation this way: RPV = (AOV x Conversions)/Total Unique Visitors

And since (Conversions/Total Unique Visitors) = Conversion Rate

RPV = AOV x Conversion Rate

What’s the most important thing for any online ecommerce store? Revenue. For revenue, you need traffic. Once you are able to attract traffic, increasing revenue is a two-dimensional process:

  • Convert more visitors into paying customers (Conversion Rate)
  • Increase customer-spend per conversion (AOV)

RPV involves both these dimensions leaving no blind spots. If there’s a drop in RPV, it could be due to:

  • A sudden increase in visitors without any buying intent (drop in conversion rate): Check if there has been any recent marketing, such as email marketing activity that brought a lot of unqualified visitors with low buying intent. Use segmentation to understand what channels are bringing the right traffic.
  • Customers are buying less of high-value goods and more of low-value goods (drop in AOV): Consider using a recommendation engine.

Now, after going through all of these metrics and recommendations, Company X may wonder why use only unique visitors and not total visitors (unique and returning). 

Of all first time visitors to an ecommerce site, 99% won’t make a purchase. The typical buying cycle involves a visitor first visiting your site to check out the products, leaving to compare prices elsewhere, consulting a few friends, reading reviews and eventually a trip back to your site for the purchase (if at all a purchase decision is made). There could be even more steps involved here.

Using total visitors bloats up your metric denominator considerably, resulting in small figures and giving you less credit than you otherwise deserve.

This is not to say it’s a bad practice, just sub-optimal. (In fact, if for some reason, you are getting many orders from repeat buyers it might even make sense to use total visitors instead of unique visitors.)

Using ‘unique visitors’, on the other hand, paints a real-world picture of what’s happening with your users, who are, of course, unique.

Surely you track some metric/s that help increase your brand’s conversion rate! What metric/s have you found most useful to track, and why? Getting your perspective as a practitioner would be invaluable.

The post Important Ecommerce Metrics To Track For Increased Conversion Rates appeared first on Blog.

Less is More: Why Providing Your Customers with Fewer Options Will Increase Your eCommerce Sales

You know the drill: You arrive home after a long workday, curl up onto your couch, and turn on Netflix to find a movie or show to lose yourself in. You end up spending what feels like hours browsing and reading various synopses, but still can’t decide what to watch. By now, it’s late, so you give up and decide to just go to bed instead. 

Sound familiar? 

If so, then you’re not alone. In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz claims that the abundance of options that we’re confronted with on a daily basis paralyze us and cause us to put off making a decision. 

On top of that, having more options causes us to be less satisfied with the decision that we end up making because we keep thinking about everything that we missed out on (the opportunity cost a.k.a. buyer’s remorse). 

The famous Jam Experiment proved this. Here’s what happened: Psychologists, Iyengar, Jiang and Huberman, went to a grocery store and offered one group of customers 24 different types of jam. To another group of customers, they only offered six different types of jam. 

In the end, the study with 24 jams attracted more people but resulted in far fewer purchases. To be exact, 30% of people bought jam when there were only six to choose from, and just 3% of people bought jam when there were 24 on display. 

But it doesn’t stop there: Having fewer options has also been proven to boost happiness, decrease buyer remorse and increase the probability of repurchase

One study by Shah and Wolford found that providing more choices helps to boost sales…up to a certain point. After a certain number of options, you’ll reach a point of diminishing returns. Here’s a graph from the study that demonstrates that:

graph from the study by Shah & Wolford depict more number of options boost sales

So how many options is too many? That answer will depend on your business and audience. The only way to find out is to test. 

Reduce Decision Fatigue to Increase Conversions 

Research has found that “decision simplicity,” which is “the ease with which consumers can gather trustworthy information about a product and confidently and efficiently weigh their purchase options,” is key to driving conversions and increasing customer retention. 

One obvious way to increase decision simplicity is to offer your customers fewer options and reduce the number of products in your eCommerce store. But decision simplicity goes far beyond that. 

Read on to find out a few other ways that you can reduce your customers’ cognitive load, boost decision simplicity…and increase eCommerce sales.

1. Have Just One CTA

You’ve probably heard this one before, but your emails and landing pages should have just one main call-to-action. 

Not convinced? 

NameOn, a Scandinavian e-tailer, noticed that they were losing a third of their customers just before checkout. They reviewed their checkout process and found that they had nine calls-to-action on the cart page. So they created another variation with just one CTA on the page, which directed shoppers to checkout. In the end, the page with just one CTA performed 11.40% better, leading to $100,000 more in yearly sales.  

Here’s yet another example: Whirlpool created an email campaign that had one primary CTA directing their customers to their rebate page, along with three other secondary “Learn More” CTAs. 

But Whirlpool wanted to find out if the secondary CTAs were distracting the recipients from the primary CTA. So they created another variation with just one primary CTA and no secondary CTAs.

Can you guess which email performed better? That’s right: The email with only one CTA had a 42% higher click-through rate

That’s because, with several calls-to-action on the page, it’s easy for people to get distracted and confused—even if your main call-to-action is the one that stands out. 

So consider eliminating secondary CTAs or anything that distracts from your main call-to-action-whether it is your checkout pages on your eCommerce website or your email marketing campaigns. Think of one specific action that you want your email recipient or website visitor to take, and make that crystal clear. The more that you have segmented your audience, the more personal you can get and the easier this will be. 

2. Bundle Your Products

Product bundling is when you sell several complementary products together, generally at a cheaper price than it costs to buy each product individually. 

It tends to work because not only do your customers feel like they are snagging a good deal, but it also reduces their cognitive load. Instead of having to browse through your entire store and choose each product individually, the products are already selected for them. 

Dollar Shave Club is one example of an eCommerce brand that does this well:

bundled product options available on Dollar Shave Club

3. Provide Social Proof 

Have you ever seen a line outside a restaurant and subsequently felt an urge to eat there? If so, then you know the importance of social proof. 

As you may already know, social proof is the psychological phenomenon whereby one’s decision is influenced by other peoples’ opinions or behavior. 

To add social proof to your store, you’ll need product reviews. You could also add “Best-seller” tags to your top-selling items. Or you could show user-generated content (photos taken by your happy customers), like the mattress brand, Casper, does on their homepage.

social proof on the homepage of Casper.com

Knowing that other people have purchased and been happy with your product will encourage your shoppers to make a purchase as well and feel more confident in their decision.

4. Provide Personalized Choices

Rather than presenting your customers with a bunch of random options and asking them what they want to buy, instead try presenting them with just a few handpicked or personalized options. 

In a post-purchase email campaign, the online retailer, Indochino, picked out three different shirts that matched the suits customers had just bought and then promoted them as a bundle.

post-purchase email sent from Indochino.com

Each email increased the brand’s revenue by 540% compared to their normal promotions. It worked because it presented each customer with just one highly personalized and simple offer. It didn’t make them have to think. 

If you don’t have that data to go off of, you could have your website visitors take a quiz to find out more about what they’re interested in. For example, the glasses and prescription eyeglasses company, Warby Parker, encourages their website visitors to take an eight-question quiz to find out what type of glasses are best for them. 

online quiz for buying eyeglasses on Warbyparker.com

Once the quiz is complete, they then provide them with a curated selection of glasses based on their answers.  

a curated selection of products on warbyparker.com

5. Simplify Your Website

It’s not only about how many options you provide your customers; it’s also about how you present them. 

Take a look at Bellroy’s homepage, for example.

homepage for bellroy.com
example of product layout on Bellroy.com

Notice how they don’t overload their website visitors with information and products right off the bat. Rather, just below the fold, they display their best-selling items, and below that, they show the different product categories, making it easy for their shoppers to find what they need. They still offer a variety of choices, but they present their products in a way that makes the shopping experience enjoyable and effortless. 

In addition to a beautiful, whitespace-friendly design, you should also make sure that your website is easy to navigate and use. As Bellroy does, categorize your products in a way that makes it easy for your shoppers to find what they’re looking for. 

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes; you could also think of your products that complement each other and categorize them together. 

6. Compare Your Products 

Don’t you hate it when you’re browsing a website and can’t figure out what you want to buy because you don’t know the difference between the products? For example, take a look at this Bose product page for headphones:

feature & detail comparison on product page of bose.com

A little confusing, don’t you think? It would be much clearer if they had a comparison chart showing the difference between the headphones. 

See how Apple does it, for instance:

product comparison of Apple mac models

Shoppers can pick the products that they want to compare and then compare them, feature by feature.

Bottom line? Make it very clear what your product features and benefits are. If you have products that are similar to one another, then create comparison charts, like Apple does, that clearly define the differences between them.

7. Offer a Killer Guarantee 

One of the problems with shopping online is that you can’t touch or try out the product. There’s more pressure on the decision-making process since you often don’t really know what you’re going to get, especially if it’s a first-time purchase. To reduce the pressure your shoppers are feeling, try offering them a return policy and guarantee that’s hard to refuse. For example, you could offer free shipping on returns and a lifetime guarantee. Or, as Warby Parker does, you could allow your customers to try out your products before committing to a purchase.

offer banner for products on warbyparker.com

But all of that aside, it’s also a hassle to return products. One survey found that 27% of shoppers dislike purchasing online because they don’t want to have to deal with returning it if it doesn’t turn out right. 

One way to address that is by creating a video that shows your potential customers how easy it will be to return the product if it doesn’t turn out right.

8. Highlight Certain Items in Your Store

There’s a reason why brick-and-mortar stores have displays in their windows. By showcasing certain products, they’re more likely to grab people’s attention and pull them inside. 

The same goes for your eCommerce store. Highlighting certain items in your store, like your best-selling products or recently added items, is effective because it draws attention to certain products, helping to make the decision-making process easier for customers. Here are a few badges that you could add to your products: 

  • Top-rated 
  • Best-seller 
  • Recently Added  
  • On Sale
  • Limited Edition 

In particular, highlighting your best-selling or top-rated items also works because it adds an element of social proof. You could simply display a “Best-seller” tag next to your most popular items or you could devote an entire page to your best-sellers. 

Amazon even has individual pages devoted to its best-selling items in each category:

bestselling items listed on Amazon.com

You could even get more specific with product badges and tell your visitors exactly what your product is useful for. For example, if you sell a variety of different jackets, you could add product badges to each jacket that tells shoppers what type of weather the jacket is best suited for (ie: freezing cold weather, torrential downpours, tornado-like wind).

9. Provide Them With Support 

According to eConsultancy, 83% of shoppers need support during the buying process. And they expect to get it quickly; 48% of shoppers will abandon the site if they don’t get the help they need within five minutes. 

So how can you provide them with that support? Make sure that you have a live chat installed on your website—and that it’s manned by personnel from your organization. You should also have your phone number prominently displayed on your site, so people know how to reach you.

Recap: Easing Customer Decision-Making to Increase eCommerce Sales

Your shoppers are overloaded with options on a day-to-day basis. Having many choices might attract them at first, but it will often result in decision paralysis and buyer’s remorse. 

To prevent this from happening, reduce your customers’ cognitive load and provide them with a limited number of options. Follow the 80/20 rule: Focus on the 20% of your products that are generating 80% of your sales…and get rid of all the rest. 

Also, remember that reducing cognitive load isn’t just about reducing the number of options you offer your customers; it’s also about making the shopping and decision-making process as easy as possible for them. 

To that end, increase “decision simplicity” and: 

  1. Have just one primary CTA. 
  2. Bundle your products that go well together so your shoppers don’t have to go around looking for them.
  3. Provide social proof of previous happy customers.
  4. Personalize the choices that you offer your customers; if you aren’t sure what they’re interested in, have them take a quiz to find out! 
  5. Simplify your website, so that it’s easy to navigate and find things.
  6. Provide comparison charts for your products that are similar to one another. 
  7. Offer a killer guarantee so that your customers don’t feel as much pressure on their buying decision.
  8. Try grabbing your customers’ attention by highlighting certain items in your store with product badges. 
  9. Provide them with as much support as possible during the buying process. 

And whatever you end up doing, be sure to test to find out what tactics are most effective for your store and audience. 
If you do all of that, then you’re sure to reduce your customers’ cognitive load, ease their decision-making process⁠, and most importantly, increase eCommerce sales.

The post Less is More: Why Providing Your Customers with Fewer Options Will Increase Your eCommerce Sales appeared first on Blog.

Email Marketing 101: Optimizing For Higher Conversions

Exceptionally popular among digital marketers, email marketing is an age-old strategy that still effectively helps businesses convert their prospects as well as engage with their customers. If used methodically, it can offer a massive return on investment. Used inefficiently, and email marketing can be a waste of time and money.

Since email marketing strategies can be such a hit or miss depending on the execution, the quality of the leads and email list, and plenty of other factors, it becomes imperative to meticulously optimize your email campaigns for maximum email marketing conversion rate. Following these tips can help you boost your email click-through rate and meet your conversion goal: 

Always Use A Landing Page

an example of a perfect landing page tied to your marketing campaign.

Don’t just send people to your website and expect the magic to happen. A good email marketing campaign should be tightly bonded with a relevant landing page. This will vary for different types of emails. For instance, abandonment emails should ideally lead the person to where he left his cart. When email recipients arrive at this page, it should be clear what you expect them to do. This will significantly reduce the bounce rate on your landing pages.

Landing pages are also your opportunity to offer incentives such as deals and ungated content, which can help you convert faster. They also offer the chance for personalization and for converting email subscribers for a specific or targeted offer. If your email directs readers to a generic site that doesn’t deliver a tailored experience or has nothing specific to offer, they’re not going to be enticed. You don’t have long to grab them with an offer before they inevitably click away.

Create A Persuasive Subject Line

persuasive subject lines in email copies.

It’s important to get creative when thinking of a subject line so as to ensure that it isn’t just clickbait, but persuasive enough to encourage readers to open your email. You want to appeal to their curiosity when the email lands in their inbox, otherwise there’s every chance they might skip to the one that catches their eye. 

Always be specific and direct with your customers, and never overpromise. Keep subject lines short, and try to use human psychology to come up with actionable, trigger words that make readers click. 
This article offers a great guide to creating a subject line to encourage opens. It discusses the need to avoid spammy words like “make money” or “winner”. It also highlights how you can use emojis to evoke an emotional response and pop out in an email inbox.

Use Visuals To Grab And Retain Attention

using visuals to grab and retain the attention of readers

Visuals can be vital to your email campaign. People respond incredibly well to visuals, and they are proven to significantly improve engagement and average conversion rate. In fact, a study has shown that adding images to any communication can result in a 650% higher engagement rate than text-only posts which is much higher than the average email conversion rates.

Take your chance to catch the eye both in the email itself and within the landing page. You can experiment with emojis, stock photos, illustrations, GIFs, and more. And you don’t need someone to generate these for you as you can get them for free from online image banks. Alternatively, there are also free tools available that can help you create stunning graphics. 

Below is a brilliant example of an email that provides a clear call to action and also makes use of appealing visuals to convey the desired message. 

an example of emailer from pizza hut

Different colors evoke different emotions and can help convey your brand message effectively. Do you want to instill excitement among your readers? Colors such as red can create this buzz. Do you want to give the feeling of elegance to your email? You should use colors such as white and black. 
Color psychology is important to your visuals; get more insights on how color choices can help you increase conversion!

Use An Effective Call To Action

While it sounds obvious; the importance of clearly stating what you want your readers to do can’t be stressed enough. People respond to calls to action; it adds a level of clarity and encourages them to go through with a purchase or at least move further down the sales funnel. 

Make sure your CTA is powerful, clear, short, and actionable. Apart from this, personalized CTAs have proven to improve conversions by over 200%. So, dig a little deeper, and customize your CTAs based on parameters such as your readers’ location, interests, demographics, etc. to grab readers’ attention and get them to take the desired action. Here’s an example of a CTA that truly stands out:

example of CTA of VIEW DEAL on Amazon local

Create A Sense of Urgency And Scarcity

This is one of the oldest techniques in the book. Creating a sense of urgency can help you convert better by encouraging readers to take action quickly. For instance, if you are offering a particular deal, you can have it for a limited time and add a countdown clock in your email to emphasize the urgency.

Scarcity is another great trick. If you’re using a promotion, why not offer a discount code which only the first 100 customers get to use? These methods give people the feeling that they are getting an exclusive offer while encouraging fast action.

Take a look at the below example. The messages ‘Online Only’ and ‘Hurry, ends Wednesday’ create a sense of urgency as well as the exclusivity that drives readers to go ahead and make their purchase quickly. 

example of email that creates a sense of urgency to make visitors buy

Make Your Emails Personal

If you collect customer data that help you know them better, you can send them more relevant emails that they would readily open and enjoy reading. You can target your readers based on their location, demographics, interests, whether they are a prospect or loyalist, and many other parameters that can help you tailor your email content better. 

This can be as simple as having someone’s name appear in the email. People feel more connected to a brand when it addresses them as a person, and hence are more likely to respond. 

Below is a snippet from an email from Just Eat, that uses a customer’s name to draw their attention.

screenshot of a snippet from an email from Just Eat

Focus On The Frequency Of Emails

frequency of email marketing campaigns

People often get annoyed and tend to unsubscribe if they are constantly receiving promotional emails. Therefore, getting the frequency right is essential to engage with your audience and maximize conversions while keeping the unsubscribe rate within control. 

This article talks about how different the ideal email frequencies can be when it comes to different industries and also highlights the various factors that can help you decide the ideal one for your business.  Since there is no ‘One size fits all’ solution, you need to base your email frequency on factors such as the goal of your campaign, your customer purchase lifecycle, your audience segmentation, industry best practices, etc. All you need to ensure is that your emails add value while achieving your campaign goal.The frequency of your emails is something you can A/B test to figure out what works best for your conversions.

Check Open Rates And Email Deliverability

Email addresses that have been collected don’t necessarily have value. If an email address isn’t in use, you may as well remove it from your database as there is no chance of it leading to any positive outcome. All it will be doing is skewing your campaign results. Smart email validation services can crawl the internet and data from email providers to see if the address on your list is active and in use.

Another figure to pay close attention to is the open rate. If your campaign has a high open-rate, but a low conversion rate, it could be time to tweak your email design and copy.

Split Test All Important Elements 

split testing email marketing campaign elements

Split testing is your best friend as a marketer. It is your opportunity to compare and figure out what works for your readers and business. You can split test elements as simple as the graphics on your landing page or within an email, or the way you have worded your CTA. If one variation is getting you a significantly higher conversion rate than the other, you’ll be sure about implementing the change. 

So, draw data-backed hypotheses, run effective tests, and use the insights you collect to optimize your email marketing campaigns for conversions. Split testing allows you to understand what works for your specific mailing list and whittle down your marketing efforts.

Optimize Your Campaigns For Mobile 

optimizing email campaigns on mobile

More than 50% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. If your emails are not optimized for a responsive design, you could be missing out on engaging with over half of your audience. 

If you don’t optimize for mobile viewing, you can see why people might click away. Text can become difficult to read, and things can be formatted incorrectly, which makes your email look unprofessional.

The image below shows how responsive design can make it easier to see the content, with no awkward squinting to see the smaller text. 

difference between scalable and responsive emailer designs for mobile

With these handy tips, you are all geared up to optimize your email marketing campaigns for conversions, So, get the ball rolling, create delightful emails that engage better and convert faster. 

The post Email Marketing 101: Optimizing For Higher Conversions appeared first on Blog.