The industry average for conversion online ranges between 2-3%.
If you're below this, in particular if you're below 1%-- there's an issue.
Many business consultants/coaches will sing the praises of driving traffic to your website, however they often don't highlight the importance of quality traffic.
In a cluttered internet world, attracting quality traffic will be your biggest challenge.
Converting that traffic is your second challenge.
I strongly believe it's easier and more cost effective to improve your conversion, than generate traffic in the short-term.
Think about it. Say your conversion is 1%. Your average basket is $100.
If traffic stays flat, but you increase your conversion 0.5%, on 5000 visits a month, that's an extra $2500 in revenue. Whoa.
1. SCRAP THE "HOME" BUTTON
Long ago, in the early years of e-commerce, it was not uncommon to find "HOME" as the first item on the navigation bar. You know, the first item, if you're reading LEFT to RIGHT on the main navigation menu of a website.
Nowadays, most websites have functionality such as "breadcrumbs" (a trail at the header of clickable links to lead someone back home if needed), clickable logos (to go back home), speedy caching (so you can easily go backwards in your browser to get back to the homepage).
More than 2/3rds of websites have scrapped the home button.
It inhibits conversion. If you're selling products online, your #1 first menu item when reading LEFT to RIGHT on your main navigation should be your SHOP. Or whatever you're calling it. Your boutique or your category headings.
So go ahead. Take that "home" button out. You'll have more people clicking (because most people in North America look left then right on a website).
Honestly, what's on your homepage that's not accessible via your footer or main nav?
2. SIMPLIFY YOUR NAVIGATION
Yes, still on Navigation!
Removed that "home" button? Cool. Now, have a look at your top menu items. How many do you have?
I'd say that 6 is the max that any brand should have at top level navigation. Otherwise, it gets overwhelming.
How are they named?
Have you added cutesy names like "Buzz" instead of "Press"? or "Hello" instead of "Contact Us"? "Get Styling" instead of "Look Books"?
Check your nav! If you don't have an objective view, ask a few of your friends or family to guess at what's likely under each of these menu headings. You'd be surprised at how many people bounce off a website just because they can't find what they're looking for.
3. MAKE SHOPPING WITH YOU EASY
This is a doozy! I could go on for hours about this topic, mainly because I specialize in customer experience BUT here's my short synopsis.
In North America, most sales are still done in store. Therefore, it is imperative that if you're an online-only brand, you are making it EASY to shop with you. This, of course, needs to be balanced with efficiency and costs.
A few things to consider...
Return policy: What is your return policy? Is it flexible? Who is paying the shipping? Is it long enough? If your return policy is 7 days, most consumers won't even receive their package before it expires.
Questions: Do you have an FAQ? Live chat? Ability to reach out via twitter with questions or an email form?
Shipping: Is it clear where you ship and how long it takes? Costs? Unanticipated ship costs are also a huge factor in abandoned baskets. If you can, build free shipping into your margins.
Sizing: Do you have a size chart? Does it make sense? Do you have real customer reviews? Do they touch on sizing? What can you do as a brand to make sizing and fit a priority? This will lower returns and exchanges. Win-win!
Which ONE thing will you implement immediately? Post in the comments below!
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Wishing you blissful retail!