You’ve set up your eCommerce site. You’ve written your snazzy “about us” text. You have a plethora of products for the choosing.
But then… digital tumbleweeds.
Sales are so slow you find yourself testing the “buy” button on your site, just in case. The thing is, online shoppers are wary about doing business with an unfamiliar vendor. And let’s face it, with 180 million websites out there, most vendors are unfamiliar.
So what do your visitors want? They’re after evidence that you’re trustworthy, that your prices aren’t wallet-threatening, that your products are top-notch, and that they’ll have their purchase on their doorstep ASAP.
Here are our insider tips for assessing how your customers feel about you – and the whys and wherefores of your conversion rates.
Getting into an Analytical mindset
The first step to getting a handle on your customers’ unspoken opinion of your site is to set up goal conversion tracking.
Before you get started you’ll need to open a Google Analytics account and add the Tracking ID/Code to your eCommerce store. You can do this by following these quick steps.
While you’re waiting for your confirmation email to arrive, why not brush up on some frequently misunderstood analytics terms?
The next time you log into Google Analytics you’ll be able to view the sales data for each of your products. By comparing your stats over time you’ll be able to assess whether sales are going up, staying consistent, or dropping off.
Whatever the case, you’ll want to know why. If your products are selling like hot cakes, knowing what’s behind those sales will help you replicate that success. And if they’re not selling? Well, that’s something that needs addressing.
Where are they all coming from?
Now it’s time to look at the data behind your conversion rates.
When putting together conversion stats, you’ll want to vet your inbound traffic data, highlight any problems, and set goals.
- Commuter traffic. First up, you’ll want to figure out where most of your traffic is coming from, and how well this traffic converts. One thing to note is that the conversion rates for each type of traffic can vary between sites. That’s because different sites have different purposes.
- VIP convoy traffic. On the other hand, “referred” traffic – traffic waved along via Google Adwords – converts at a higher rate because they’ve landed at a different point during the buying cycle. They’re past information gathering and ready to click “buy”.
- Carpooling traffic. These rates are something to keep an eye on if you were to run a social media competition or campaign.
Know your ABCs: Always be closing
Next up you’ll want to see whether any of your pages are slacking on their conversions. You can do this by clicking on Channels > Landing Page in Google Analytics. Here you’ll find your top-ranked landing pages for users who are stopping by via search engines.
To check whether a page is slacking on conversions, compare the popularity of the page with its conversion rate.
For organic traffic, a good conversion rate is around 2-5%, so if your hits to conversion ratio doesn’t reflect this, it’s time to take a look at why that is.
Often you’ll find that the pages with low conversions have a primary goal of providing information about the product or the company – rather than actively trying to get someone to put in their credit card details.
Pop in a simple “call to action” – a link, button or similar that tells the customer what to do – to boost conversions on these pages.
Just browsing, thanks
The follow-up question you should be asking is: if people are coming to your site, but they’re not buying, then what exactly are they doing?
Using Google’s In-Page Analytics tool, found in your Analytics account via Reporting > Behaviour > In-Page Analytics, you’ll be able to track exactly what your visitors get up to when they land on your site.
Use it to see where people click once they’ve landed on your page, or if you want to get really fancy, sign up for a site like crazyegg.com for extra insights and tips on improving conversion rates.
Preaching to the almost converted
Although it’s easy to think of conversions and purchases as synonymous, don’t forget that there are other types of possible conversions.
Perhaps your page is fine and dandy – people arrive looking for a specific piece of content or answer to a question, they find it, and then that’s that. Perhaps they’re interested in learning all about your widgets, but they’re not ready to put up the cash for your product. At least, not yet.
These are the future customers you’ll want to entice to sign up for your newsletters, or to follow your widget-themed Twitter or Instagram pages.
Water your tall poppies
Take a look at the pages on your site that have the highest traffic to conversion ratio and see if you can find the secret to their success.
If a low-trafficked page is seeing higher than usual conversions, then you’ve found a prime opportunity to increase your sales simply by increasing traffic.
Boost your SEO for that page to increase traffic – and conversions.
Shopping when you’re all thumbs
As anyone who’s tried to input credit card details into a mobile phone can attest, purchasing patterns vary if they’re surfing on their phone, their tablet, or on their laptop.
Depending on what you’re selling, and how, your users’ preferred device can influence conversion rates.
High-cost products with varying specifications or configurations can be a challenge to purchase when you’re typing with your thumbs on a tiny screen.
Third-party check-out systems can similarly cause would-be buyers to throw up their hands (but hopefully not their phones) when trying to make a purchase.
Run the reports described above for mobile and tablet users. If your pages aren’t converting, or they’re making mobile users bounce, your site is probably not the most mobile friendly.
To keep mobile users on your site, ensure that your site is easily viewable on a mobile device, make sure that your images are of sufficient quality, and that the way your site is designed lends itself to mobile consumption.
Sometimes it’s not them: it’s you
Now it’s time to dig a step deeper into your product pages. You’ll find what you need by heading to Google Analytics and navigating to Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages.
Kong users should filter using “/products/”, keeping an eye out for pages with low conversion rates. You’ll have to put on your sleuth’s hat here. What’s stopping people from buying?
Maybe your prices are too high, or that your competitor offers free shipping. Perhaps your product photos are too small or too few. Or maybe your product description just isn’t pulling its weight.
If your individual product pages aren’t doing it, consider beefing up your Collections.
Taking a close look at these pages can give you some handy info on which of your products are most popular – letting you tweak your listings or promote them for even better results.
One thing not to fret over is how long it takes buyers to actually make the decision to hit the buy button. Big purchases, complex purchases, or unfamiliar purchases can require some thinking over and research. If someone’s taking their time, that doesn’t mean they’re not interested.
To see how long your customers are taking to convert, head to Conversions > eCommerce > Time to Purchase.
And if some buyers are converted from the get-go, that’s no reason to neglect them. Follow up with offers or useful tips or content to keep them coming back.
Treasure trove of data
Google Analytics offers a treasure trove of data for conversion-seeking eCommerce site owners.
Using Analytics you’ll be able to determine the sources of your traffic, where your visitors are landing, and what kind of actions your visitors take when they arrive on your site.
By keeping an eye on your traffic to conversion ratio through Analytics, you can tweak your site to ensure that it draws the right kind of traffic, provides the right kind of information, and offers an easy-to-use purchasing experience that gets people buying – and coming back again.