Conversion rates are like little money multipliers — the more you learn about them, the more you will find yourself daydreaming about their increased efficiency and rolling in a pile of money.  While it is tempting to sit and calculate your win fall, you don’t have time for that – you have work to do.  Every little thing you can think of surrounding your product can impact your conversion rate.  This ranges from product functionality to positioning, copywriting, available information, financing, and more…including your website functionality.  Some of these methods to increase your conversion rate will have costs associated, so you will want to be sure to calculate your risk with a break-even analysis before jumping into paid efforts.

The average conversion rate is 2.42% – certain industries have higher and lower conversion rates; the crafting industry has the highest of them all, landing at 5.08%. Holy cannoli, that would double the sales of company with a 2.5% conversion rate, literally, overnight.  Now you can see the multiplier and temptation to daydream with a sill example like that.  Now let’s focus on how we can incrementally increase your conversion rate with some tested tools and tips.

If your product is a couple hundred dollars or more, you want to be sure to offer one of the new pay over time services.  These are not credit cards, rather the new way of teaching financial responsibility by allowing a customer to pay over 6 weeks, and even payment amount with no interest.  The merchant, you, pay the increased credit card transaction fee to accommodate such a transaction.  More fees do not sound appetizing, but keep in mind this will increase your conversion rate, which will in turn provide more gross margin to use on new efforts and initiatives.  Some of the new services are Affirm, After Pay, Per Pay, Pay Pal 4 Payments, Klama, and Sezzle.

Accept as many types of payment as you can without causing undue burden or cost on your accounting department.  Starting simple with credit cards, you would be surprised by the number of folks with only an AMEX or Discover card.  And these often are not accepted at all places; Amex has a higher processing fee, so consider this, but even more, consider a 20% increase in your conversion rate…now consider again.  Discover used to be a lesser used card with easier approvals (thus my only college credit card – and why I know you can’t use it at a lot of places).  So be sure to accept all the regular credit cards and then consider the newbies, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, PayPal, and Google Pay.  All of these types of payments enable the prospect to checkout without digging into their wallet, without crossing the threshold of where budgets kick in mentally, pulling out the card or cash.  Most of us will buy something on our phone when we can simply use a known password to checkout versus getting up and grabbing your wallet to place the order.  Make it easier and your conversion rate will surely go up.

Add a loyalty program and now you have poured a little gasoline on your conversion rate. Not only are you offering benefits to your customers to return, but you’re also making it fun. You are essentially gamifying your brand with a loyalty program; gamification increases conversion rates up to 7X.  This is the greatest gift you will ever give yourself.  You pay your customers to engage with your brand and most of the activities are free to you.  Give your clients points for sharing your content, reward them for following you on your social channels, reward them for referring friends…it becomes addicting to think about all the self-serving things you can ask your customer to do in return for added value or a discount.  Remember added value can always be free – you can offer first access to new inventory, secret sales, closeouts, and even valuable content not available elsewhere.  It will take some programming to set up your loyalty program or you may use an off the shelf plugin and get a head start.

FREE Delivery – did someone say free? The most powerful word in the world… now say shipping.  People have been used to getting what they want the same day without a delivery fee all their life; now enter the internet where it has a hard cost to get your merchandise to you.  Again, remember we are increasing conversion rates, so we must give to get.  You see free delivery everywhere because it works. Merchants typically account for this in their margin – some offer free shipping over a certain amount so they know they cover it and under that amount they make profit on the shipping to help cover the free portions.  Let us not forget expedited delivery – this comes at a cost, and we’ve all been there where you will pay anything to have that special item delivered tomorrow because no price is too high for your Mom, but you’ve been busy.  Be sure to increase the prices on your expedited shipping so you may also use that as a profit center.  Though the winner for conversion rates has been the same since the beginning, FREE.

Free gift with purchase is another fantastic conversion rate optimizer. Sometimes this can be the video that accompanies the product and its a 1x cost and you’re done – everyone gets it and it adds value that you are providing free.  Peleton seems to be doing pretty well here when they were faced with a shortage of inventory, they focused on content.  Pay once and use a million times if you are lucky.  Selling a dutch oven? Send it with a QR code for a digital cookbook with award-winning family recipes.  When folks think they are getting more than they paid for, they consider it a good value and are more likely to purchase.

Product descriptions are more important than you may think. Another piece of trivia you may not know is that copywriters can make more than data scientists because it has that much value in selling your product.  What you write matters – it matters a lot.  Simple copy changes have resulted in 200% difference in conversion rates.   From product name to description, specifications, and warranty information, it all matters.  From brand affect to actual necessary data to decide whether to buy or not, this data is consumed in detail.  You do not want to overwhelm either.  The simple spot to start is to test a more detailed and less detailed page so you can see yourself.  Now set up another test where you write a lot more copy and spend more time detailing out the product name with specs.  You will continue with these tests and implementing the winner, your whole eCommerce life.  And you will incrementally change conversion while you are at it!

Product page layout is another animal that needs testing.  Where does the product image go? Well enough testing has happened that we all agree this image goes in the top left.  Now the rest of the items you will find a hodgepodge of locations across different businesses.  You need to find what works for you. Consider changing the color of your add to cart button – people universally like green, it may be a good test.  Test moving your SKU lower and your benefit bullets higher.  Be sure to show all payment methods accepted close to the product page – 4 even payments over 6 weeks may be just the push that prospect needed to convert.

When you set out to do your tests, there will need to be a technology piece to connect the dots above.  You can use Google Optimize, Optimizely, or VWO.  These are platforms that make executing your tests easy for the non-programmers among us – probably most of us.  The software simply splits your traffic in a percent you choose (you want most of your traffic going to a proven page) and then say, 20% goes to the test variant page; the software will report on the visits, bounces, conversions, and sales from the test variant page.

There are so many ways to improve your conversion rate that we will need to revisit this topic with another round of, “good ones”.  These should get you started and then you, yourself will find yourself marveling over the possible A/B tests you can do to improve your conversion rate.  Best wishes for crafting like conversion rates!



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