Building an eCommerce store isn’t easy. There are several steps involved. From deciding on the products you’re going to sell to setting up a store and using various marketing strategies to send visitors to your site – it’s one hell of a ride. But now that you’re done and dusted with the initial set-up, think you can hang up your boots and chill?
Well, not so fast!
That’s because every customer who visits your store isn’t going to buy something. In fact, the average conversion rate for eCommerce websites is only 2.86 percent. So, for every 100 visitors that land on your site, only about three customers end up buying something. On the other hand, Amazon boasts a 13 percent conversion rate, which is phenomenally high compared to the market average.
Perhaps you think Amazon has deep pockets, and you cannot spend as much on building technology stacks to boost conversions. But you don’t need much money to convert more customers and increase sales. All you need to do is optimize your customers’ journey with your brand through hyper-personalization and recommendations, amongst other things, to boost your conversion rate.
You can understand this better by visualizing the buying process as a funnel. As you can see, a large percentage of customers get filtered out at every stage, and only a handful end up converting into paying customers.
Once you project each stage of the buyer’s journey in this format, you can also identify the stages where visitors get stuck and optimize them for a better experience. Additionally, you can follow some of these actionable strategies to convert a larger percentage of visitors on your site.
1. Create a Search-Friendly Site
A mobile eCommerce study by Baymard found that site search was the preferred method for finding products. Yet, 70% of the searches are unable to return relevant products to users. Thus, addressing this issue could significantly impact your conversions. Perhaps the easiest way to create robust search results on your site is by installing an advanced search engine. Additionally, you can look at some design changes, such as:
1.Shine the spotlight on your search bar. You may offset it in a different color to draw attention. Or, put text like “Enter keyword to search” inside a box to guide visitors. Additionally, it’s worth including a search button with clear text, like “Search” or “Find,” and some stylized arrows to draw user attention.
Here’s how Sephora’s search bar looks like, perched prominently at the top of their homepage.
Sephora also uses autocomplete to offer suggestions.
To make things simpler, the cosmetics major also includes filters to complement the site’s search functionality. With filters, users can narrow down their choices, making it easier to decide and complete a sale eventually.
2. Personalize the User Experience
According to an Accenture report, 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from companies that remember them and provide relevant offers. Furthermore, 83% of shoppers are willing to share their data in exchange for a personalized experience. Simply put, your users expect personalized experiences, as it makes them feel special. Here are three ways in which you can optimize the shopping experience through personalization. Also, read this post about how eCommerce personalization boosts conversions.
Personalize Product Pages Based on Location
Running Geo-Location Alerts
If you have separate stores for visitors from different countries, offer to redirect users when they land on the wrong site. In the example below, ASOS.com enables users to set their shopping preferences according to their location.
Curating Seasonal Content
Seasonality isn’t a criterion for all eCommerce stores. However, it’s vital for those in the fashion industry. That’s because customers will be looking for different products depending on the time of year they visit your site. If you know the location of your customers, you can accordingly include notifications and offers tied to specific seasons and even holidays like Christmas and Halloween on your product pages.
Displaying Location-Specific Delivery Information
It’s always a good idea to display general delivery information on product pages to avoid user frustration. Amazon is an excellent example to follow.
Create Personalized Campaigns Based on User Behavior
No two visitors are the same, and every visitor expects something different when they land on your site. So what do you do when someone lands up on your site for the first time? One idea is to offer them an incentive for signing up to your mail list. This will encourage them to revisit your site while you’ll gain some personal information to customize the shopping experience in the future.
Here are two examples from an online store that sells artisanal coffee.
It’s also possible that a visitor is already a subscriber but not a customer yet. In this case, you can personalize the message for them instead of showing them another signup form. Here are two examples of the type of personalization you can use at this stage. The first one creates FOMO through a limited-period offer, and the other offers expert help to improve conversions.
3. Create Personalized Email Campaigns
Email marketing is critical for any eCommerce business, but personalization can significantly improve your ROI and conversion rates. One idea to drive more sales is by sending follow-up emails and newsletters to visitors even after leaving your site. These collaterals can alert customers to deals or offers on items that they have seen. Here’s how Amazon does it:
You can also make your subscribers feel special by sending out emails on their birthdays and anniversaries. Add a small incentive like a store coupon, and you can also nudge them to shop at your store.
4. Invest in an AI-driven Personalization and Recommendation Engine
At its core, a personalization and recommendation engine is an information filtering tool that uses algorithms and data to recommend the most relevant items to users in any given context. By employing multiple algorithms and filtering techniques, a personalization and recommendation engine can also help overcome the cold-start problem for new users.
You can also read this post about how eCommerce personalization helps convert browsers into buyers. Of course, different eCommerce stores cater to a different set of people, but product recommendations work for every type of business. Whether it’s an OTT platform like Netflix using artificial intelligence and machine learning to suggest popular content to users or Amazon offering different kinds of recommendations at various stages of the user journey, personalized recommendations have proven key to eCommerce conversions and repeat purchases.
Here are some popular recommendation tactics employed by leading eCommerce sites. You can choose the ones that are most applicable to your business:
- Consider showing suggested products based on a visitor’s browsing history on your product pages (the “Recommended for you” section on Amazon, remember?). Personalize with the shopper’s name for more impact.
- Use “Frequently bought together” recommendations on the product page to increase average order value (AOV).
- Show recently viewed items on product pages to encourage users to add more products to their cart. Also, alert users if any of the products viewed by them have been updated.
- Send visitors updates regarding products they have viewed or purchased in the past.
- Feature best-selling items for each brand across various product categories.
- Create product bundles with special discounts.
- Show complementary items, like batteries for a remote.
- You can show upgraded versions of a product that a visitor is presently browsing.
- Create special product categories to remind users of upcoming holidays or any other special events.
There are multiple things you can do to improve your conversion rate. From simple design changes like improving your site’s navigation and searchability, increasing the page loading speed and making it responsive for mobile to integrating a chatbot for round-the-clock customer service, simple changes can go a long way in boosting your customer experience.
Besides focusing on design, it might help explore advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance your user journeys. Argoid’s AI-driven personalization and recommendation system can help you personalize user journeys across touchpoints with relevant and real-time recommendations that are likely to boost conversions. The AI-driven system also makes your site more intuitive by improving your site’s search capabilities through AI-driven recommendations. You can book a quick demo to learn more about our AI-driven product recommendation engine and how it can help your business grow.