4 in 10 purchases are made online—but this doesn’t mean selling online has gotten any easier.
In fact, with more and more e-commerce stores popping up over the internet and Amazon dwarfing all other sites by a huge margin, the entrepreneurial dream proves to be quite difficult for most.
The one mistake retailers make is that they never look at their own site from the point of view of consumers, and the first question you must ask yourself is—Would I buy a product from my own store, if I landed on it as a customer? What doubts would I have?
Once you shift your perspective and address the concerns that customers might have upon reaching your site, half of your problems vanish into thin air. Facebook advertisements might bring you traffic, but converting it into sales is the job of your website—and these three important questions might be cause a blockade in your funnel.
Answer these 3 questions, and watch your conversion rate soar!
1. Do I need this product/Is the product worth buying?
Your product hinges on your marketing—your job with the marketing is to convince your audience that the product will improve their life. There are more than 1.6 billion websites on the internet, and chances are, quite a few of them belong in the same niche as you do.
To stand out in the crowd, your product needs to do more than have amazing features—it needs to connect to people, emotionally. What problem is your product solving?
Hit them in the feels: products we like have an emotional aspect to them!
Marketing aside, the question—’Do I need this product?’ can stem from a number of doubts that an audience has.
These can be resolved by smoothening out the following parts of your business:
1. Define The Audience
Selling a lawn mower to apartment owners in New York would hardly be the best business plan. The answer to the question—’Do I need this product?’ is a definite NO for this section of the audience.
Target an audience who is most likely to convert, and the best way to go about defining your audience is looking at your current audience! Viewing which sections of visitors convert best by going over your social media analytics and store history.
The second step to defining an audience is competitor research. Competitors that are performing fairly well in the market can be great sources for data!
The last step to creating a custom audience for your brand is creating customer personas. These are profiles of people who will definitely be interested in your product.
Consider the following factors when creating a persona:
- Age: What ages are interested in purchasing your product?
- Gender: Which gender would my products most appeal to?
- Location: Where is your customer located, and which regions would not be interested in the product?
- Interests: What interests do your customers have?
- Job Position: What does your ideal customer do, professionally?
- Income Level: How much do your customers earn?
- Buying Motivation: Why would your ideal customer want to buy your product?
For example, GayPin’ knows its target market includes members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies, and this audience would convert best for them:
By defining the audience, you ensure that the people who come to your site have a basic intrinsic interest in the products that you sell!
2. Add quality-tested, fast shipping products to your store
Quality shows. Product that subscribe to high standards of quality and are sourced from reliable suppliers can be easily differentiated from cheap, poor quality products.
If you wish to prove the reliability of your brand in the long term, you will need products that guarantee customer happiness. Customer reviews are essential to the growth of your brand, and the only way to them is through amazing products.
Finding dropshipping suppliers that are trustworthy and ship in less than a week is difficult, which is why we recommend apps such as Spocket. Spocket has an inventory of over 300 suppliers, mainly from the US and Europe, to ensure you have access to amazing products that ship fast—the two requirements for a successful e-commerce business.
From pet products, jewellery and apparel to furniture, homeware and bags—Spocket has products for over 20 categories.
3. Write Engaging Product Descriptions
Product descriptions are key to proving that your product is worth it: showcase the benefits of the product, not just the features!
Sure, the essential oils you sell have lavender and rose in them, but what does it add to my life? Speak about the changes your product can initiate in a customer’s life: the problems it solves and the ease it creates.
Death Wish Coffee make a strong case for their coffee by writing about ‘awakening the inner rebel’ and ‘being the best you’.
This is where you plug in emotions—as is rightly said, you are selling people more than a product. You are selling them a better version of themselves!
4. Add high quality, in scale images
Most people first head to the product images upon landing on a product page—and low quality, blurry images do not make a good first impression. Visitors also spend the most amount of time browsing the product images—after all, visual data is processed 60,000 times faster than text.
Research by ClickZ, showing the amount of time spent on element on a product page
Product photography creates trust, but to do so—you need pictures that touch on customer doubts, and clear them.
Photos should allow users to zoom in on them, and be optimized for SEO! Plus, lifestyle images that feature your product in action are always a big bonus!
For example, Nudie Jeans feature lifestyle images of their product:
But also, pictures of the product against a white background:
This allows for complete transparency about the product, which is sure to gain your store points in trust!
Why should I purchase it from this site?
Once the product itself has made a mark on a potential customer’s mind, the second thing to tackle is the brand itself. Why are you better than your competitors? What makes your store the right fit for the customer?
Each of the following factors play a crucial role in separating you from the crowd. You don’t have to score a perfect 10 on each of them, but these will help you understand your brand better, and how you can craft your messages to highlight your strengths!
Is your product cheaper than what it costs on Amazon or other competitor sites? You can also compare your product costs to the costs of similar products found in local stores, as 80% shoppers check prices online before making a purchase from a brick-and-mortar store.
Prices may not be the ultimate qualifying factor, but play a more important role than you think. Make sure you source your products from suppliers that provide you with at least a 30-70% discount from retail prices, so that you can make profits while staying competitive in the market!
This is one instance when the product price may take a backseat. If you’re offering a product that is not readily available in other places, and has a dedicated audience, your store can aim for higher profit margins!
Spocket suppliers are often artisans who make their products by hand—whether it is exquisite soaps and oils or customisable art, the uniqueness of the products ensure that you make the most of your dropshipping store, with minimal effort!
But even with products that are not as rare, with proper branding, you can appear as a unique brand that has a solid USP.
For example, Femme & Fierce sell apparel, but their strong modern-feminist core and powerful design set them apart from other stores:
If your store comes across as a scam, visitors might bounce off your site without even considering your products. Here are some measures you can take to build trust with your audience:
- Have a returns policy outlined, with details on how, where and when you accept returns or give refunds. This shows that you have policies in place in case a customer is unhappy with your product.
- Have an about page that helps people associate a face to your brand, empathise with your story and build a relationship with your brand beyond the transaction.
- Have proper grammar, in the language that is comfortable with your target audience. Grammar and copy are great indicators of how much effort a brand has put in to look reputable.
- Have responsive customer support to answer and aid your potential customers. This shows that you care, and will be available for the customers.
2018 witnessed a rise in people’s environmental consciousness, as well as socio-political awareness. 2019 continues to show the same pattern.
It grows more important every day to sell environment-friendly, fair-trade products from manufacturers that you can trust. The more information you can provide about the products’ materials, manufacturers and the processes of production, the better.
However, this goes beyond the product. Your brand’s vision can be a strong catalyser of a sale, but this wheel turns both ways: Nike received strong criticism from a faction of American society, with many boycotting their products right after they revealed a controversial ad featuring Colin Kaepernick.
Despite the backlash, Nike saw a 31% increase in sales post the ad. This goes to say that if you cater to a certain audience and your brand vision aligns with theirs, you have higher sales opportunities!
Is it easy to buy the product?
The product is awesome, and your audience loves it. They click on it through a social media ad, or find you through Google. They land on your site—and it’s all downhill from there.
Your site could have the most glamorous pictures and the loveliest copy, but if it does not incorporate user experience into its skill set, it is failing you terribly.
User experience basically means the interactions a customer has with your site—and how those interactions fare. Do they frustrate the customer, or does your site provide a seamless experience? If the product is not easy to buy, then the customer can easily take their business elsewhere!
Here are a few factors you might want to consider in order to make your site easy to use, for teenagers and cute grandmas alike!
1. Site Speed
No one likes waiting for a century for a site to load—3 seconds is the maximum a visitor will wait for your page to load, and if it takes any longer, the visitor is going to scoot off to a more accessible competitor of yours.
There are multiple ways to improve the site speed, and the following a few suggestions:
You need distinct, actionable calls-to-action on your site. Right from your homepage, where you need to invite visitors to move further down the funnel to your product page where you need the customer to make the purchase.
Here are a few rules for your calls to action to be effective:
This is Sleep uses an innovative quiz to get you invested in the product with a ‘Start’ call to action. The CTA stands out, and is almost irresistible!
3. Checkout Process
If your check out process is wonky, does not have the right payment options available, has multiple fields to fill out or suddenly announces a huge extra shipping cost, don’t be surprised when you’re hit with a case of abandoned carts.
Here are the reasons for cart abandonment, as found in a study conducted by Baymard.com:
Check-out processes need to be simplified to the basic minimum if you want to convert a customer, and the total cost of the product, complete with taxes and shipping must be visible to the customer before they fill out all their details!
Make sure your customers can choose to check out as a guest, and reassure customers that their card details are safe.
If the products are too difficult to find because your site does not separate them into categories and simply lists products in long infinite page, you have only yourself to blame when the customer leaves your store without a single purchase.
Make it easy for your customers to find your products! Sort them into categories and add a drop-down menu to your front page to allow visitors to go to a particular category right from the landing page.
Your navigation bar must link to your categories, your About page, your FAQs, your blog and the cart at the very least. Do not crowd the navigation bar, but ensure all the important information is accessible!
And most importantly, make it sticky. Unless you’re on mobile—then, hamburger menus are your saviours!
Won Hundred, the clothing brand, has a clean and systematic navigation bar that makes the site easy to use:
As an eCommerce entrepreneur, you have to anticipate every customer concern before it crops up, and find a way to address it in a way that improves your brand perception!
While it is a long road, it is absolutely necessary to make sure you and your customers are on the same page! What are some questions you've had as a buyer and how would you address them? Let us know!