Traffic with no sales is of no use. Your store’s conversion rate should reflect in your sales record and it’s not dependent on how much traffic your store is getting. Sometimes it has to do with targeted audience or the product itself, other times you’re missing important features on your website. Yet, with extensive study and reading, you can work on your eCommerce marketing strategies to convert your store traffic into sales. That’s why we, at ExpandCart, decided to give our readers the ultimate guide for a better conversion rate , along with eCommerce marketing secrets and tricks, showing how ExpandCart’s users enjoy exclusive services and features that help them greatly in this process.
Let’s explore the main problems that could most probably be the reason for a low conversion rate to an online store and how to fix them in a few simple steps where you can notice a major difference in a span of two weeks.
First: Traffic vs Conversion Rate
We’ll start by exploring the different cases where traffic affects conversion rate to your online store .
1. You Are Targeting the Wrong Audience
You should have targeted audience in your marketing plan by now, but have you looked well into that audience and thought if they are correctly sketched based on your products or are they based on mere guessing?
In the marketing world, an audience is divided into categories of personas.
A persona is a character you sketch out for your target audience based on age, location, industry, needs, and budget.
To draw the perfect persona for your business you should not only think of your audience but also of the features of your product or service and how these features appeal to the targeted personas and how much they are willing to pay for it.
So, your personas should go beyond generalities like age and demographic location, and it’s better to base your personas on real data instead of guessing and thinking.
Look into real data from your existing data base of customers. Find as much data as you can about your best customers and who your highest-value customers are, from whom you can earn more for your business.
Your goal is to find the characteristics and mutual details about each of these customers: industry, company size, family, how they spend their time and money, the problems they face that you can solve with your product, and what might be an obstacle in their journey of completing a purchase from you.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, how they find a product they need, where they get their news, who they trust, and what their values and goals in life are.
Hold on a second!
Do you know why people, why we, BUY THINGS?
Have you ever thought about what drives us to make a purchase of whatever is out there for sale?
Drew Eric Whitman, in his Cashvertising , believes that people are driven by their biological desires, 8 desires to be specific, and that they are inherently programmed to respond to. They are:
- Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension
- Enjoyment of food and beverages
- Freedom from fear, pain, and danger
- Sexual companionship
- Comfortable living conditions
- To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses
- Care and protection of loved ones
- Social approval
Now take some time and think about the product or service you are selling and how it appeals to one or more of these desires.
Every product should be advertised to an audience based on the desire it matches in them, in order for a customer to feel the urgency of buying it.
Before digging deeper into targeting the right audience, let’s understand the importance of “customer awareness” and the levels of customer awareness as systemized by Eugene Schwartz in his masterpiece Breakthrough Advertising. Levels of customer awareness are as follows.
- Most Aware: the best possible customers, who have the potential to be brand loyal and are enthusiastic about your kind of products.
- Product Aware: prospects who know what your product does but haven’t bought it, maybe because they’re not sure if your solution is best for them as they are familiar with your competitors’ offerings.
- Solution Aware: prospects who know about solutions like yours, but don’t know your specific product.
- Problem Aware: prospects who know they have a problem and have some idea of what that problem is, but they may not completely understand it. They’re unfamiliar with possible solutions as they haven’t dealt with this problem before.
- Unaware: prospects who don’t realize they have a problem or that a better way exists. If you have a new product that addresses a major drawback of previous solutions, most of your prospects may be at this level.
Then now you have a better understanding of what drives people to buy things and how a customer should be at a certain level of awareness before he/she decides to buy your product, your product that solves a problem they have, makes their lives better, makes someone they love happier, or satisfies a need they have.
Don’t think of your audience as just being “targeted;” you’re selling to someone’s relative, friend, or boyfriend.
Getting back to targeting, the more you understand and dig, the better you can draw your customers’ persona and have a better targeting strategy after knowing your audience well.
For example, if you’re selling motorcycles’ safety gear, you’re serving ads to people who are interested in motorcycles, but this is no really selling.
Because a traffic of people who are “interested” in motorcycles do not necessarily own one; they could be interested in watching races for instance.
From there, you can add to your targeting people who are searching for helmets, are in biker’s groups on Facebook, and are loyal to some known brands in the motorcycles’ world.
Your personas should also include quantifiable details like the features each persona values and how much they’re willing to pay.
Then share your new personas throughout your company so that everyone is trying to attract the kind of customers you’re after; i.e., your teams can work together to add new features or highlight existing features that are in line with different segments of your audience.
I do not know which features of my product are the most important to my customers :(
That’s pretty easy, and there are lots of means to get a better understanding of what your audience values the most.
- Send a survey
You can send your customers a short survey asking them to rank the features of your product on a scale from 1 to 10. After collecting the results, you’ll have a clear idea about the strength points and the weaknesses that need to be developed.
Another type of surveys which is more specific is asking your audience to differentiate between the features they like the most and the least. Thus, you will yield better conclusions and clearer results.
You want to always ask the right questions to collect even more feedback.
Try to make your surveys as short and fast-to-answer as you can. Researches proved that users usually drop off on a survey after 4 minutes only.
I know you’re thinking “I have many questions to ask in my survey and 4 minutes or less is are not enough.” Don’t worry, as long as your surveys are short, you can send periodic surveys to your audience and they’ll be eager to answer because they know it takes them no time to do so.
Don’t forget to mention in the message or email of the survey how easy and fast it is to complete it, because users don’t even bother to open a survey email thinking it must be as tiresome and time-consuming as the others.
As for tools to create a survey, they are so many and available for free.
There is SoGoSurvey, which is a great survey tool in the sense that it delivers so much value for a free tool. It offers 24 unique question types, the ability to embed the survey into mails and web pages, data export functionality, and more.
SurveyMonkey is one of the most well-known tools and it’s well designed with an easy-to-use interface. The only stinker is that in the free mode, there is no data exporting.
If you’re looking for creativity and the attractive style, Typeform is your go-to free survey tool. Your users will be engaged and interested to complete your survey; plus, the free plan gives you unlimited questions and answers, data export, themes to choose from, and basic reporting.
Make sure to track the responses based on personas, to notice which customers in specific industries value what features over others, and to shape your knowledge based on each persona’s core goals.
- In-page polls and feedback prompts
What other time more suitable to get feedback or comments from your customer than the real time they’re ON your landing page ?
Sometimes you’ll get great ideas and comments, many of which you may have never considered, from in-page polls and prompts.
This is because the visitor is ready to give a real-time comment based on a live experience; on top of that, he/she might convert into a prospect with your assistance.
Hotjar does the job nicely with a non-invasive popup that gives you room for improving the performance and experience of your website after understanding the reason behind your customers behavior.
So now you know all about your audience and are able to target the correct ones, just keep in mind that each of your customers has specific projects and goals to complete. How does your service help them accomplish their tasks more efficiently or with a higher level of quality?
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2. You’re Not Attracting the Right Kind of Traffic
If you complain of a high traffic to your website and low conversion rate, then you’re acquiring the wrong traffic .
How is that?
Google search engine is pretty good at getting back accurate results for people’s search queries, but if you’re using the wrong keywords to describe your product then you will attract the wrong type of traffic because your products will show up in irrelevant results to people who are not interested.
That means clicks with no conversion and a quick bounce rate.
Let’s take another scenario to show how a wrong traffic can affect your business.
Let’s say you are a biomedical engineer and you have a website that offers maintenance services for medical devices and machines.
You know that content is king and you decided to take care of your blog. You started writing killer blog posts and giving information about medical devices and common break downs and how to fix them so that clinics and hospitals could find you and hire your company.
You can see that your posts are getting huge traffic to the website, and the opening rate for emails is great, but still no sales!
After testing and analysis, you discover that your blog has been attracting the wrong type of audience: medical students and trainees who use your blog as studying reference.
This definitely means no sales as these are not customers.
At this point, you can either attract new traffic or try to change your product to match the audience you already have so that you can increase the conversion rate.
In the example above, you can think of offering a paid course for these students and trainees or put a subscription fee on the posts.
But since changing your product can’t be applied to many businesses, attracting more qualified traffic makes more sense.
So, How to Generate New Qualified Traffic ?
- Select better keywords and structure your content in a way that lines up with your conversion funnel.
- Focus on conversion-based keywords. Instead of targeting informational keywords that will attract users who are looking for information, target conversion keywords that will attract users who are looking to purchase a product that fits their budget and needs.
- Target keywords at every stage of your conversion funnel. Attract visitors in the awareness stage; these are visitors who arrive at your website after performing an informational search. Then target visitors in the consideration and decision stages (we’ll talk later about those in detail).
eCommerce secrets: Use Google Shopping Ads to create ads that show up on top of the results on Google to attract new customers and increase your conversion rate instantly.
You will like our Complete Guide to Google Shopping Ads.
What Are the Different Stages of the Conversion Funnel?
1) Awareness Stage
A very critical stage as this is where a consumer recognizes he/she need to solve a problem or meet a need and your brand is just one solution among many. Here, this stage requires a generous educational content from your side so that the consumer becomes aware of your service/product.
Words a user might type in the awareness stage: * reviews, which is the best *, * or *.
Take Fatimah for example, she is a junior copywriter who is seeking to enhance her skills to land a good job in a marketing agency. On one site, she finds a great blog post about the different types of copywriting plus a free e-mail template for e-mail marketing. She types in her email address to download the free template.
2) Consideration Stage
This is where you try to keep your audience hooked with more content and marketing messages on how the consumer will ultimately benefit. Do not talk about the product’s features, but its benefits. Include Call to Actions to direct the user what to do next.
Words a user might type in the consideration stage: * discount, best place to buy *.
Fatimah receives daily emails with tips of how to write an engaging marketing copy with a message at the bottom that says:
“Join the copywriting course today to enjoy the 30% discount”
3) Decision Stage
This is when the user takes action and time to close the deal. Hopefully, your customer adds products to the cart, types in payment and shipping information, and clicks Buy Now. Make sure that your checkout page is clear, simple, doesn’t include too many forms to fill, looks secure, and provides more than one payment option.
Words a user might type in the decision stage: * buy *.
Fatimah takes the decision to join the paid course for copywriting which starts in 3 days and is excited to start achieving her goal of becoming an excellent writer at the marketing agency of her dreams.
3. You Lack a Clear Conversion Funnel
Suppose you have none of the previous issues: your keywords match the kind of traffic you want and visitors to your site are looking for solutions and ready to make a purchase.
Still, no conversion and no sales!
It’s time to check whether you have a clear conversion funnel that guides users through your buying process or not.
What is a Conversion Funnel ?
A conversion funnel is the journey a consumer makes from landing on your page to finding a product to adding it to the cart and finally to the checkout. The conversion funnel guides site visitors from the very broad action of clicking on your site to the very narrow action of taking an action (to buy, sign up, subscribe).
The way your page is designed affects conversion rate directly. Your site must have a defined user flow that navigates users inside the website and directs them towards what they should do next.
Depending on the objective of each page, a user flow is established. On the blog page, direct your visitor to sign up; on a PPC (Pay per Click) landing page, guide them towards making a purchase and checking out.
The ideal user flow depends on
- The source of the user’s click,
- Whether the user was actively looking for your service,
- Or your ad popped up on the news feed on Facebook,
- Your industry,
- And your goals.
It’s extremely important that you figure out how to move users through one step to the next:
- provide all of the necessary information a user needs to move to the next step,
- provide helpful content,
- present a clear benefit for moving to the next step,
- and make it easy for all visitors to move through your pages.
Do You Know the Difference between Micro and Macro Conversions ?
Micro conversions are the small actions that get a visitor into your sales funnel , like when a visitor reads a post or watches a video on your page.
Although micro conversions do not result in immediate sales, they are the actions that drive a potential buyer into macro conversions .
Macro conversions are actions like form submissions or contact via a phone call or email ; they represent the big steps that get clear results for your business .
Give your visitors lots of opportunities to make micro conversions that will hopefully lead to macro conversions that will finally result in a definite conversion.
Track your micro conversions to see which ones are leading to macro conversions with your users (videos, tutorials, discount code).
eCommerce secrets: Check out our article on How to Attract New Qualified Prospects for Your Online Store.
Second: Product vs Conversion Rate
Let’s see how the conversion rate can be affected by factors that have to do with the product itself or its pricing.
4. The Market Is Already Saturated with Your Product
In 80% of the cases, you’re not the first one selling this product or a similar product to a previous one; you’re not the first one to tell the story.
The cons to that are:
- The first to tell the story usually wins,
- People get tired of seeing the same product over and over again,
- And users mentally block your product.
On the other hand, there are some pros:
- There’s a huge demand on your product in the market,
- You still have a chance to retell the story and maybe even better or from a different angel,
- And you get to collect a huge amount of data from the traffic visiting your site.
ExpandCart has integrated pixels within each store on their platform which enables their owners to collect data and track behavior of each store visitor.
The conclusion is, don’t get scared if you’re marketing an already saturated product; think outside of the box and take your marketing to the next level.
5. Product Splintering
Divide the offers you send to your customers over all the products you have, so that the marketing emails or messages you frequently send out are not repeated and cause boredom to your leads.
In case you do not have many products, you can divide the same product into smaller parts or modules (for digital products). The low price will definitely lure customers into giving the product a try and they may eventually upgrade to the whole set for full price.
Everybody loves a free product or sample or a free trial. To download or get the free product, a user is required to type in his/her email address.
That’s priceless information.
You get to show your target audience then the quality of your product and how purchasing the full version of it would help them accomplish a certain task or satisfy a pressing need.
6. Price Comparison
It’s no surprise that a product’s price is on the top of customers heads, and with a mobile in their hand, they can and do compare between prices of the same product from different stores.
But they also compare values; what added values does your store add to the same product?
Free shipping and installment?
Researches have proven that online shoppers are willing to pay more if they felt they are getting an added value than your competitor.
Careful: do not be tempted to undercut your competitors by offering the lowest price. Undercutting is a game where everyone loses. You should think of how you price your product that what you price it at.
7. Not Good Enough Images
A product image doesn’t ONLY have to be
- Of high resolution,
- Close up to the product,
- Or taken from different angels.
The perfect image to demonstrate a product online should speak the story of the product and tell the buyer how it’s going to benefit him/her or other features depending on the product itself.
The picture has the responsibility to convince the buyer of the product without even having to read the full description, because actually only 16% of online users read the product description word by word.
Why don’t you use videos as well?
With an image or a video, you convey the important information on which the customer’s buying decision is made, because people are visual by nature.
ExpandCart allows store owners to upload as many images and videos as needful with high quality easily on every page, which has helped them to increase conversion rate significantly.
Third: Website vs Conversion Rate
Most of the time, your own website is the part of the equation that needs to be worked on. Read on to put your hands on the problem and fix it as soon as you can.
8. Your Website Is Slow
No matter how much traffic to your website and how well optimized your store has become, with slow-loading pages you’re missing hundreds of sales.
Try out your site and think as a user; how long will you wait before you bounce back and shut the page?
Reports confirm that a user will hit the X button on a slow-loading page or site after 3 seconds only.
So, for every one-second delay in page load speed, your conversions will drop 7%. That’s a loss you can’t afford.
Run speed tests on your website with tools like isitwp and Pingdom. You might also want to run one for a competitor’s website to see where you stand.
Stores built on ExpandCart’s platform are fast and load quickly because they are hosted on the best cloud service out there “ Amazon Web Services (AWS) ” and are responsive on all devices regardless of their type or size.
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9. Your Website Looks Untrustworthy
People do business with whom they trust. For your website to look trustworthy so that an online buyer can easily trust on the second he/she puts an eye on, you need to take care of a few elements.
Make it easy for customers to contact you directly: phone number, live chat, contact forms, an email with the store’s domain, and the like. Even if they do not want to contact you, people trust a website that proves that there will be someone available to guide them or give them assistance when needed.
ExpandCart customers can reach out to customer care team via live chat, emails, and phone calls. That’s why thousands of merchants trust our platform and recommend it to others.
88% of customers will check out the reviews before making a final decision on a purchase, and 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Include reviews from real customers on every page of your store as suitable to the content. Use pictures and videos from happy customers as a social proof that your product makes someone’s life better.
Your store’s logo is an important factor in how your online store looks in the eyes of visitors. Make it memorable and put time and effort into creating one that reflects a trustworthy image to your brand.
ExpandCart’s store owners enjoy the “Logo and Brand Design” service, where they get a professionally designed logo and a well-built brand identity that easily reflect a credible image to their store.
To Sum Up,,,
Converting you store traffic into sales is not an easy job, but it’s doable. In this ultimate guide, we explored together eCommerce secrets and tips and tricks to help you increase your store’s conversion rate and drive sales significantly. Target the right audience to the correct landing page, take care of how you present your product to your customers, and make sure your store is optimized and up to users’ expectations.
We have also seen how ExpandCart’s users and store owners enjoy exclusive services and features that help them by default in the process of converting traffic into sales. Stores created on ExpandCart’s platform are built for success.
Build your online store with ExpandCart to enjoy marketing consultation, 24/7 customer support, and a full marketplace of apps & services tailored to every eCommerce business.
No credit card required and no hidden fees.