Traditional Methods of Raising Online Sales are No Longer Enough
In today’s ultra-competitive online
environment, many companies are still
adopting traditional methods to try and improve
user experience and increase conversion rates.
Some of the obvious ones are utilizing clear,
relevant calls to action and limiting the amount
of clicks in a single user journey.
But to really stand out from the crowd, you must look
after your online visitors better than your competitors
do. Here are five additional tactics with which you can
propel your Web property to the highest level.
INSTILL PURCHASING CONFIDENCE
Most of us seek reassurance in whatever we purchase,
whether from independent reviews, detailed specification
sheets, friends’ opinions or a slick marketing video.
We need that purchasing confidence at the point of sale
to support our decision-making in choosing that particular
Providing users with the tools to do this increases
confidence at point of sale. Rich media such as videos
can be powerful in turning a browser into a buyer.
Allowing users to share information via social networks
or email and providing impartial reviews all help,
too, and must be included at the product-page level. If
the user has to go elsewhere to get this information, then
the commercial intent to buy has been lost and one of
the fundamental laws of e-commerce — never let a customer
navigate away from the site — has been broken.
PROVIDE SEARCH ALTERNATIVES
Most websites present their product catalog through
some type of filter-search technology. This filters results
that are relevant to requirements, but it limits the choices
For example, if a shopper selects products that
range from $10 to $30, they might miss a highly suitable
product that was $31 because it would be omitted
from the results. This reduces conversion rates and lowers
There exist many alternatives to filter search technology
that sort and display all results in order of relevance,
rather than eliminating them. This will improve
user experience and increase conversion rates and ultimately
USE TARGETED BANNERS
Banners often just take users to a generic product page or
even to a different site. Using banners that target a specific
product, genre or brand will definitely increase conversion
Use lifestyle and choice messaging. An outdoor grill,
for instance, could be labeled ‘Perfect for Dad this summer’
rather than ‘Latest model’ or ‘New’.
Banners should be on key landing pages, providing
choice and alternatives. Being creative and using A/B or
multivariate testing is paramount to a successful banner
PRIORITIZE PRODUCT DATA
You can have the best-looking website with huge volumes
of traffic, but if product data is inconsistent, limited
or incomplete, then many potential customers will leave
your site. This is even more important for technical products
where features are complex and important, such as
mobile phones or washing machines.
There are companies that can take a retailer’s product
data, then enrich, standardize and augment it to ensure
that all data, attributes and values are recorded. This
means that the website, and the user experience it offers,
both have strong, reliable foundations.
ANSWER TO ANALYTICS
There is no ‘expert’ out there who can predict consumer
behavior accurately and consistently, so don’t even try.
Follow the best practices used across the Web but, more
importantly, refer to the analytics captured for your users
and on your site.
The answers are in that data, as long as the correct
information is gathered. Look for trends, relevancy, conversions,
behavior and events prior to purchase.
Build a journey so you know what led a customer to
a particular event, be it a purchase or a site exit. Then
work to either ensure or prevent that similar journeys
About the Author: Kevin Sparks is a senior account manager at PrismaStar, a
company that develops multi-channel consumer guidance
technologies to help people make better, faster decisions online.