As we’ve covered before, WordPress is a great platform to use as an ecommerce solution thanks to its wide variety of plugins and high adoption rates across the web. If you’ve been using WordPress to power your ecommerce business you know how simple it is. But, as any business owner knows, you can’t just rest on your laurels. You always want to have a better month than last. If your sales have plateaued and your current efforts aren’t yielding the results you want, there are some changes you could start making today to drum up conversions.
None of these suggestions require developer know-how, but you’ll need to be good with creating visuals. Strong writing will go a long way, too. You may want to seek out a contractor to create your assets, but comfort levels are subjective. Here are some great ways you can improve your site to encourage more sales.
Professional Quality Images
High quality pictures of your products are the most important thing to have on your website. How big of an effect do images have on an ecommerce site? Well, it’s pretty sizable. Professionals have found that higher quality images can increase conversions by up to three times. Site visitors use images to establish a couple of things. First, it’s a trustworthiness issue. The more professional of an appearance, the higher the chances a customer will feel comfortable providing you with their private information. Shoppers are careful with their credit cards in these times of identity theft. Secondly, images provide critical information about what they’re purchasing. If relevant information is lacking, they will take their business elsewhere. But, a high quality image that shows the details of a product will encourage a conversion.
Of course, you might be asking “what does high quality mean?” While that’s subjective, good composition (the featured image being centered in the frame) and a crisp appearance (no stretching or pixilation) are the two critical things to strive for.
Make Sure Sales are Highlighted
This may seem obvious, however not every site has a dedicated sales section. Your mileage may vary depending on your specific business, but shoppers gravitate to a “sales” heading. Studies show 47% of people who make purchases online exclusively buy discounted items. And 62% of online shoppers claim when they go to a site they seek out the section that indicates sales or specials. Shoppers have been conditioned to be deal hunters. There are many email based businesses (think Groupon) that are constantly offering big deals, inspiring consumers to buy products or services they otherwise never would have considered before.
That’s not to say you need to have huge discounts. However, providing an easily accessible and prominent section of the site displaying what is currently on sale can trigger behavior that will increase the possibility of conversion.
Put Real Thought Into Your Copy
Great copy, like great product photos, tells a story. That is, they are tools of persuasion. However, good copy doesn’t make the “hard sell.” It’s simply clear, useful, and only as long as it needs to be. Useful copy allows your visitors to make an informed decision. It doesn’t tell them to buy. They come to that decision themselves.
Depending on the nature of your products, you may opt for concise product descriptions that are just the facts. If you opt for longer, make sure you’re using your space wisely. If you want to be thorough, then make sure you’re using your copy to answer every major potential question a customer may have rather than pitching them on the product.
Do You Charge for Shipping?
Maybe this one never occurred to you because it’s generally accepted that, hey, it costs money to send things through the mail. But consumers want no part of it. Free shipping is a make or break factor for the vast majority of customers. Many say if there’s no free shipping, they won’t make the purchase. But even more would agree that as long as there is a free shipping offer of some kind (spend more than $25, let’s say) they will make a purchase big enough to hit that threshold. Consumers have a fascinating response to free shipping offers.
You may have concerns that absorbing shipping costs will hurt your bottom line. Many businesses manage to make this work. The primary reason why so many businesses opt to just deal with absorbing the shipping costs is because customers will spend more on the items themselves, thus producing a value.
As you can see, improving your ecommerce site isn’t as daunting as you might have imagined. In fact, sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective ones. Of course people like seeing nice pictures and not paying for shipping! But there are tangible results showing just how important it is to have these things. If you’re having issues updating your site or dealing with traffic spikes, contact your web hosting company to see what solutions they can offer you.