How To Convert More Sales On Your Website

by : Matt Eliason

One of the biggest mistakes that most online retailers make is they do not take into account typical buyer behaviour. The conversion from real world to online provides many benefits to the retailer, but present some real challenges for the customer because their buying decision is made more difficult in an online environment.

This means having a website needs to be more than having just an online catalogue.

What to I mean? Lets take the example of a recent client of mine who sells sterling silver jewelry.

Their site that was well structured; the items pages were neatly laid out, images were clear, add to cart button clearly visible and there was a short description of the item. There was a page with a 14-day money back guarantee, and a privacy page saying your details would be kept secure. But still sales were slow.

What was missing? What could be done to encourage visitors to purchase?

The answer is we need to stop and think about buyer behaviour. Lets think about the buying process when we are in a physical store.

If the sales person handed you a card with a picture and short description of the item, would you buy? What if they went one step further – even let you look at the item through the glass counter top. Would you buy? Already we are providing more than the average website, but I bet you still have not said yes to buying.

What are the steps that we follow in our purchase decision process? First we would ask to hold the item. Even without asking the sales person a question we will be making evaluations based on the weight and feel of the item. Does the clasp look strong? If there are any gems, does the setting look well secured? How does it look against skin (fair, olive dark complexions)? These are just some of the subconscious questions we ask and answer during our appraisal, as we turn the item, hold it up against our skin or place on a finger.

If the answers are not instantly evident, we ask the sales person, who also provides encouraging comments about the item and your good choice.

So how does this translate to a web site?

Simply by addressing the natural flow of consumer assessment onto your web site.

Here are some basic steps you need to take:

  1. Enhance your product descriptions; don’t expect the image to sell the item for you. Describe how the item feels, smells, its weight. Are all items highest grade?

  2. Make best use of images. If people try it on (jewellery, clothing etc) as part of the normal appraisal process, how can you best meet that need online? Do you need pictures of the necklace being worn on different skin types, or if clothing how does it look on different complexions and hair colours?

  3. Tell people how they will feel by owning this item – that they will they look a million dollars in that dress, they will attract admiring glances, that it will enhance off the colour of their eyes – all designed to reassure the customer that they are making the right choice.

  4. Make the returns policy statement with each item. Include it in the text perhaps like; ‘we are so confident that you will be delighted this ‘productname’ that if you are not 100% satisfied, return within XX days for a full no questions asked refund".

Implement these steps and you will see your sales rates increase.

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