For the purpose of this article, a conversion ratio is the ratio the number of online orders from your company website in relation to actual website visits. Let’s assume that 100 potential buyers visit your company website and only one person places an order, your conversion ratio is 1%. In a recent survey of 100 top ecommerce companies, 22% reported conversion rates between 1% and 1.9%, 20% reported conversion rates between 2% and 2.9%. You may be surprised to know that of the 100 companies; only 20 have surpassed the 5% conversion ratio.
Ecommerce is a tough business, with thousands of competitors who sell the same or similar products as your company does, with some able to do it at lower prices. However, the key to success is not dropping your selling prices or changing your business model. Success in ecommerce comes from the secret of great website branding, browsing and buying – the Three Big B’s. Get these right and you are on your way to quickly improving your conversion ratio.
Branding with Content – Most new business owners think that branding is all about the logo. I am here to tell you that this is just the beginning. Branding is anything that relates your company and products to the consumer. In the world of ecommerce, this specifically means your website. With your website, content is king. How your content is written, where it is placed, and the presence of keywords is critical to your success. Hiring a professional copywriter and SEO (search engine optimization) specialist can go a long way to increase your conversion ratio. These specialists know how to write compelling content for the Internet, what action words need to be included, and how the selective and potent placement of keywords will attract increased site activity and buyers. No matter how much money you invest in advertising, such as banners and Google Adwords, if the consumers are not buying once they get to your website, then the marketing money is wasted.
Browsing – Now that a potential buyer has arrived at your website and is impressed with the content, they will start looking around your website, eager to part with their money. The next critical element of increasing your conversion ratios is to get the buyer into the ecommerce section of your website as quickly as possible. The sooner you guide the potential buyer into the purchasing section, the faster the sale is made and the less likely they are to browse and dash. As well, this is a good place to implement cross-selling or up-selling – that is, offering a customer additional items that may be complementary. This gives you the opportunity to increase your per-sale dollar amount.
Buying – Another important aspect of conversion ratios is at the check-out stage. This is where the majority of sales are lost. I am sure you have read about businesses complaining about the number of carts that have been filled and then vacated at the check-out stage. There are numerous reasons for this which should be investigated to determine if there are any kinks in your system. First, check to make sure the check-out procedure is logical in its progression, taking the client from the shopping cart, to entering their information, and finally to completing the order. If the check-out procedure is complicated or intimidating in any way, the buyer will leave. Make sure your site is secure, giving buyers the utmost confidence in shopping on your website. If you use a third party credit card processing company, such as PayPal or 2CheckOut – make sure you advise customers of this up front. Many inexperienced consumers find it alarming when they are suddenly transported to a new website and asked for their credit card information so they leave. Finally, make sure your copywriter creates ‘call to action’ content for the check-out phase that encourages shoppers to follow through with their purchase. This is an excellent way to promote the transaction and gain a new customer.