One might think an e-commerce business would have more visitors making purchases than brick-and-mortar stores, where merchants need to deal with foot traffic and window shoppers. It makes sense in theory, right?
But in reality, online window shoppers are more difficult to convert.
Global conversion rates for e-commerce sites were as low as 2.48% in 2017, according to Monetate. And that’s the overall average. On mobile, conversion benchmarks dip to 1.25%. That makes sense too when you think about it.
After all, window shopping and browsing is a proven boredom buster, so is surfing the internet. When a lot of your site visitors are window shoppers, it takes a lot of strategic work to squeeze a sale out of them.
Thankfully, when you have a WordPress e-commerce site, you have virtually endless integration tools and plugins available to make conversion optimization as easy as possible. Below are some of our own favorite strategies to help with the process.
1. Offer live chat to answer customer questions
First of all, a simple way to speed up the sales process is to offer assistance, in real time. Live chat right on your WordPress e-commerce site lets casual browsers interact with your support team, without having to place a phone call or send an email.
Tools with comprehensive WordPress e-commerce site integrations like Drift will also let you customize the live chat experience for different stages of the e-commerce sales funnel.
For example, you can create specific messages targeted at different pages, which you can use to prompt a conversation and engage casual shoppers to increase conversions. Perhaps you use a live chat prompt encouraging users to ask questions about the product details on product pages. But switch it to something more focused- something on the shopping experience, on the checkout page.
2. Address pain points and questions
A crucial part of the sales process is addressing any objections or questions an interested customer has. You don’t want a hot prospect to leave your website just because they’re not completely sure if you offer free returns or whether a shirt needs to be dry cleaned, for example.
Creating formatting styles to call out common questions on your WordPress e-commerce site, or displaying answers in FAQs, lets you highlight and overcome roadblocks between your customers and their sale. In WordPress, you can take advantage of features like custom fields and widgets to easily create and manage sections of content like this-
BigCommerce’s WordPress integration lets you combine your e-commerce store with your content in new ways, to create conversion-based user experiences throughout your entire WordPress e-commerce site.
3. Bring people back with abandoned cart retargeting
Another conversion tactic that can be started fairly easily is setting up abandoned cart web push notification campaigns, emails and ads to remind shoppers of products they want, but haven’t bought yet. Baymard Institute reports that the average reported cart abandonment rate is 69.23%, so recapturing just a small percentage of those sales can make a significant impact on revenue.
You’ll likely want to send cart abandonment emails through your e-commerce platform itself, as long as the tool you use supports it.
You can also use retargeting ads on social media, the Google Display Network or your own website to draw people back into shopping mode.
4. Display trust signals to show credibility
There are a lot of scammers out there on the internet, and they, unfortunately, make consumers more skeptical of all online transactions, even with trusted brands. And that’s not the only trust issue: data breaches and other technical errors likewise keep shoppers worried. A 2016 study showed that 29% of households surveyed were still wary of conducting any type of financial transaction online.
To demonstrate that you, your product, and your WordPress e-commerce site technology is trustworthy, display messaging and imagery that builds trust in shoppers, especially if your target audience is less tech-savvy or you are a new or unknown brand.
You can test displaying different third-party options, like technical security, SSL info to accreditations to payment options using a tool like Google Optimize or the Nelio WordPress plugin. In addition to those, elements like product guarantees or return policies can make shoppers feel safer buying from you.
5. Allow multiple payment options
This might seem obvious, but people can’t shop with you if they can’t pay you. With e-commerce, and with tools like WordPress that make localization easy, you have the opportunity to reach global audiences, all of whom have different payment preferences in their region.
By accepting multiple payment options – including all the major types of credit cards, PayPal, and mobile wallets – you can increase conversions by making your products available to a wider portion of your worldwide shoppers. Thankfully, this is something else that comes more easily as a WordPress e-commerce site user.
Many WordPress-compatible payment processors and plugins, like Stripe’s official plugin and the Simple PayPal Shopping Cart plugin, let you accept multiple options without building the different gateways yourself.
6. Use push notifications to retarget shoppers
In addition to more common tactics like social media, advertising, and email marketing, web push notifications are an increasingly popular tool for engaging and retaining customers. They can be personalized, targeted, and segmented just like emails and social ads, but won’t get lost in the clutter of a social media feeds and email inboxes. This allows stores like StreetStyleStalk to earn conversion rates of up to 10% from web push notifications.
Once someone opts for push notifications, you can reach out to them for multiple reasons- increasing the conversions on abandoned cart campaigns, seasonal promotions, cross-selling initiatives, and more. Grab shoppers’ attention with a bright and enticing image along with personalized copy and a call-to-action. Personalized and triggered messages make sure that you reach out to the right person at the right time. And because notifications create less digital clutter for your visitors than email, you can also communicate with them more frequently.
7. Show social proof from previous customers
As discussed above, credibility signals can help convince skeptical buyers to shop from your WordPress e-commerce site. But that’s not the only objection you need to overcome: why should they buy from you? Why buy the product they’re looking at instead of another one you offer? How do they know which one is best for their circumstances?
Showing social proof like customer testimonials, ratings, comparisons, and reviews helps shoppers make their purchasing decisions. For example, reviews explaining how different customers use your products, help prospects decide which one will be the best solution to their own problem.
And with WordPress, it’s quite easy to add, display, and manage different types of social proof. You can either do so within your WordPress e-commerce site itself, look at themes with different widgets built in, or install a dedicated testimonial plugin, which will usually have advanced styling and formatting options.
8. Focus your calls-to-action
Add to cart. Add to wish list. Check out now! Pin to Pinterest. Share on Facebook. Tweet! Email your mom! There is a lot of different calls-to-action a product page can contain.
But one of the primary rules of conversion optimization is to focus on your primary call-to-action.
In e-commerce, you want users to add to cart and convert. That’s what is the most obvious call-to-action, hence any other CTA needs to be chosen carefully. It should stand out more than any other button, with many e-commerce companies creating different “hierarchies” of actions a user can take.
Most noticeable is the primary add-to-cart button. Next, shoppers should notice something like “Add to Wishlist,” if you have it, to increase chances of them buying it later. Finally, sharing it with their friends creates the chance someone in their network might buy it.
9. Personalize recommendations and site content
These days, with all the different tools you use, it’s easy to learn a lot about your customers. But are you using that information to your advantage, to increase your chances to sell to them again?
For customers and visitors alike, you can personalize website content, ads, web push notifications, emails, and other marketing messages based on what you know about prospects.
E-commerce platforms you integrate with your WordPress site can take care of things like creating personalized recommendations for different shoppers. Additionally, tools like RightMessage let you personalize other aspects of your website for different audiences.
10. Optimize images for site speed
The overall shopping experience of your WordPress e-commerce site is also an important factor in converting customers. It needs to be well-designed, both aesthetically and technically, easy to navigate, and fast.
For example, Skilled found that 47% of customers expected a webpage to load in two seconds or less, and just a one-second delay can reduce conversions by 7%. In fact, AutoAnything increased their conversions by 9% by cutting page load time in half.
And while redesigning your whole WordPress e-commerce site will take quite a while, increasing your website speed can be an easier project to tackle. Once again, being a WordPress user makes it even simpler. Kinsta has a great WordPress-friendly guide to optimizing your site speed.
11. Write captivating product descriptions
Regardless of where you’re selling your products and what technology you’re using, you need a solid sales pitch. In e-commerce, you usually have a single web page to pitch a product, containing few but important elements like your product images and description.
That product description is your pitch. While usually brief, it’s your chance to drive home the value of the product. You’ll want to talk in the voice of your customer, mention benefits and results most important to them, and make your product stand out among competitors.
And because the customer can’t see it in person, you also need to provide an accurate description of things like size specifications.
12. Generate leads to sell later
Finally, sometimes casual shoppers just aren’t ready to buy from you yet. That’s fine, as long as they’re interested. However, you need to make sure you have a way to bring that customer back later to convert them. There are so many different marketing tactics you can use, but email remains popular and profitable for e-commerce companies.
Building your email list should be a priority for most online businesses. Whether you offer a discount to new subscribers, run giveaways, or find another tactic that works for you, creating subscribers to email promotions and recommendations to will help bring more eyes and credit cards to all of your future offers.
WordPress plugins like Sumo also make the technology side of list building fast and easy. Whereas web push notifications, also help in building the marketing list, as the users need not share any personal details.
Don’t just create a pretty storefront
A well-designed website and high-quality product images, to an e-commerce site, are like a pretty storefront. Nothing more.
To really make things work, you need to build trust, have an amazing customer service, and so many other elements that are mentioned in the article. By making all the different parts work in tandem on your WordPress site, you can increase more of the customers coming through your door.