We’ve all done it — a trip to the mall with no intention of buying anything.
We tell ourselves we’re just window shopping, until we see something we have to have. And then, faster than we can say “Do you take Apple Pay?” we’re leaving the store, shopping bag in tow.
So, what happened? Why did we buy something even though we had no intention of doing so? Although the answers to those questions can be as complex as the individuals at hand, the underlying explanation is simple: We had a gratifying interaction with an item we really enjoyed.
Thus, the challenge for an e-commerce store owner becomes –– how do I emulate that same sort of experience online? Because, make no mistake about it, just “throwing it out there” isn’t enough. Shoppers increasingly expect to have an online shopping experience that is every bit as enjoyable as brick and mortar.
Analytics company comScore estimated shoppers to have spent an estimated $70.1 billion buying gifts online during the 2015 holiday season –– a 14 percent jump from the year before. Mobile commerce sales were also predicted to increase by 47 percent from the previous year.
Although the majority of shopping continues to take place in retail stores (for now), these stats are great news for e-commerce entrepreneurs like yourself. It suggests the demand for online shopping will only continue to grow throughout 2016. Which brings us back to the question: How can we convert even more “window shoppers” into paying customers? Here are a few tips that will help you do exactly that:
Get Mobile Friendly — Fast
As previously mentioned, if you haven’t updated your site with a mobile responsive design you’re leaving money on the table. A whopping 66 percent of time spent on e-commerce sites is done via mobile devices. Surprisingly, less than 10 percent of e-commerce businesses have implemented mobile-friendly designs.
This is a prime opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and become a leader in your respective industry. Put simply, don’t wait!
Create a Brand Story
You know what everyone loves? A good story. It’s not a coincidence that some of the world’s most popular brands tell the best stories. Whether it’s a Chris Paul commercial for State Farm, a YouTube campaign for Old Spice or a clever online adventure series for Kate Spade, smart brands take the time to creatively package their core messages into stories.
You can do the exact same thing with your e-commerce business. The best place to begin is by creating an about page with a founding story that lets people know what you’re all about. The reason this works so well is that people want to do business with people they trust. Not only that, when done authentically, it’s a surefire way to separate yourself from the competition.
Use High-Quality Images
Obviously, there is no substitute for seeing and touching an item in person. But, until holographic computer imaging becomes a thing, your best bet is showcasing your products with high-quality images. Don’t have a physical product? Experiment with creating representative images of your digital products. Stock photos are great, but creating your own images will help you stand out.
The 3 most common types of images on e-commerce sites are full product photos (used for product and archive pages), various angle photos (used to show the front and back and every other side of your product), and zoom photos (used to convey greater details). Remember: Good lighting is key, even if you’re taking photos with your smart phone.
Include Customer Reviews
Many e-commerce businesses choose to forgo including customer review sections on their sites. The most common reasons being fear of bad reviews and intimidation of set-up. It’s true; managing a site review component is a large commitment, but we think it’s a worthy one.
It’s something many of us have experienced –– finally pulling the trigger after reading a stellar review of an item we’d been unsure about purchasing. There is perhaps no better way to build trust with your customers than embracing the transparency reviews provide.
Customer reviews are the strongest form of social proof you can have, and having social proof makes onlookers more comfortable to buy. According to a recent study, 63 percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site with user reviews. Including such a feature on your WordPress site couldn’t be easier; there are now tons of plugins available for setting-up review sections.
Just remember, you must develop a system for regularly managing reviews as they roll in! At IgnitionDeck, we do our best to follow-up with any grievances as quickly as possible. If you are able to come to a resolution, the customer may even remove or edit their unfavorable review. Providing your customers with speedy response times will help them want to stick around a lot longer.
Successfully implement any one of these solutions and you’ll be putting yourself ahead of the competition. Put them all into action – along with your solid marketing plan – and watch out! But remember: These are only guidelines to be molded to fit your unique business and personality!
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