When you’re building a website it’s all well and good embracing a fancy design and making plans for strategic SEO, however what’s also vital is that you ensure your site is built to convert.
Below we take a look at five high-converting sites and investigate what it is that makes them so successful.
In 2010, premium food retailer Schwan’s was reported to enjoy a conversion rate of nearly 42%. With most ecommerce sites reporting rates of around 3%, what is it that Schwan’s are doing that means nearly half of all their visitors leave having made a purchase?
- The layout is simple and attractive, with the categories and subcategories neatly organized towards the top of the page.
- Product information is highly detailed and includes nutritional information and the number of servings the product can expect to provide. In addition each product is accompanied by a high quality image and a flurry of genuine customer reviews.
- Towards the top of the page is a clearly placed banner citing an enticing offer – including the offer of a coupon book; great for encouraging return purchases.
Which brings me onto the next point: Schwan’s focuses heavily on ensuring those who buy from them once, come back and buy from them again and again.
- They make it very easy for customers of their catalog to order online: they simply need to search for a product number.
- They also offer a ‘rewards scheme’.
- Upon logging in, previous customers can see clearance items that are supposedly tailored ‘just for them’.
As well as the bright and enticing homepage, ProFlowers benefits from a clearly placed toll free telephone number, a stand out call to action, and a well organized menu. However ProFlowers has also utilized one huge converting factor – the option to buy without registering.
Whether it’s because of the hassle or a fear of handing over their details, many consumers have an inherent dislike of registering with websites. To put it into perspective, Forrester Research Reports stated that 23% of consumers abandoned their shopping carts upon being forced to register.
Despite the fact that Schwan’s does not currently offer the option to buy without registering, it’s safe to say that ‘guest’ purchases make it simpler for people to ‘impulse buy’ and will therefore give a much needed boost to any site’s conversion rate.
Seeing that Amazon is the biggest ecommerce site on the net there’s no doubt that they must be doing something right. But just what is it that helps make Amazon so successful?
- Free delivery on most purchases – cleverly called ‘super saver delivery’.
- The ability to refine product searches according to category.
- Highly detailed product descriptions.
- Product suggestions made in accordance with goods the consumer has shown an interest in.
However, they also use a few clever tricks when it comes to registering:
Since Amazon don’t offer the option to buy without registering, they make it appear as easy as possible to register.
In fact, they don’t even use the word ‘register’. Consumers simply enter their email address and select whether they are a new or returning customer. Either way, they click the button that says ‘sign in’. That same button also mentions their ‘secure server’; a very good way of increasing the customers’ faith that Amazon can be trusted with their details.
In addition, you’ll see that under where it says ‘I am a new customer’ it says ‘you’ll create a password later’; this is a very clever way of making the customers’ mind gloss over the act of creating a password – as if creating a password just doesn’t really matter.
Woman Within sells a vast range of plus sized clothes for women, at affordable prices, and enjoys an impressive conversion rate of around 25%. So what’s it doing that works so well?
- The homepage is very well designed, with the largest proportion of the page being dominated by bright images of clothing, accompanied by low ‘from’ prices. Showcasing their lowest prices is an excellent method of enticing the customer to investigate further.
- They also very cleverly embrace upselling during the buying stage. Before reaching the final stage of purchasing, the site brings up a number of ‘recommendations just for you’ for which were the consumer to choose any of the products, they (and supposedly, just they) will receive an additional 20% discount. This works thanks to the classic sales method of making the customer feel special; as if a ‘deal’ is ‘exclusively for them’.
- Once again, customers don’t have to register to buy, making online shopping as simple as it should be.
Debenhams’ website is one of the biggest and best performing ecommerce sites in the UK; something that comes as no surprise considering the detail that’s gone into designing a site that converts.
So what does it do that’s so good?
- A large proportion of the homepage is dedicated showcasing the site’s current discounts.
- Menus are well organized, with a highlighted ‘sale’ section in each category.
- Below the menus, we can see three vital conversion factors; ‘free standard UK delivery on all orders’, ‘free collect from store’, and ‘now delivering to 40 countries’.
- Towards the bottom of the page are images of every payment accepted by Debenhams – a proven conversion factor.
- Debenhams have also included an image of the flag of each country they deliver to. A great way for consumers to see at a glance whether or not they’re wasting their time going any further – brilliant for reducing shopping cart abandonments.
And to finish…
While there is far more that goes into creating a site that will convert at its best than we’ve discussed in this article, there are a few key points that can be taken away:
- People like discounts, so if you’re offering any, highlight them on your homepage.
- Include detailed product information and lots of high quality images; remember that people can’t see or touch an item like they can in store, so you need replicate the feel of hands on shopping as much as possible.
- Offer a rewards scheme to encourage repeat purchases.
- Make it as simple as possible for people to make their purchase. If you just aren’t willing to let people buy without registering, make the process appear effortless.
- Make delivery cost clear from the get-go and ideally, offer free delivery.
- Include customer reviews – it’s great for SEO and helps increase customer confidence.
- ‘Suggest’ products to visitors in a bid to upsell and increase the value of each conversion.