4 Ways to Close the Sale

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 17 Nov, 2015

Every merchant wants more conversions, the challenge is figuring out how to get them.

Often times, however, conversion rates can be increased with a few simple tweaks to a website and/or marketing plan. After all, most merchants already have customers who are shopping on their sites, but may need a virtual push to complete their purchases.

For some inspiration on how to close the sale on your site, check out the four tips for increasing conversions below:

1. Create a Sense of Urgency

Sometimes consumers simply don't convert because they are still in the research phase and are in no rush to make a purchase. To combat this problem, retailers can create a sense of urgency with limited-time offers or by highlighting scarce inventory. Both of these strategies can be implemented on the retailer's website and within marketing initiatives, including emails, social and display ads.

Pet retailer Doggyloot, for example, features an "ending soon" section on its site. In this section the retailer highlights (see image) how much time is left on each deal so that consumers feel a sense of urgency to convert.

2. Retarget

Every retailer deals with shopping cart abandonment, but not every retailer knows that some customers actually abandon on purpose - just to receive a discount from the retailer later. In fact, a 2015 Bronto Software study reveals that 44 percent of consumers expect to receive a shopping cart reminder after leaving items in their cart, and 37 percent also expect to receive a coupon as motivation to finish their product.

Retailers should consider this data when crafting their shopping cart recovery strategies. In fact, they can even conduct their own test by sending a coupon to some consumers who abandoned their cart and just a simple reminder to others. Once the test is completed, the retailer can analyze the data and adjust their recovery campaigns accordingly.

3. Incentivize

In addition to recovery emails with coupon codes, there are many other ways retailers can motivate consumers to convert. For instance, retailers can offer gifts with purchase, free shipping on orders over a certain amount or coupon codes at checkout. For example, Victoria's Secret is currently offering customers a free reward card for purchases over $10 (see image). In addition, the site features a "today's offers" section and includes a promo code section in its checkout.

To close the sale when it matters the most, however, retailers should leverage live chat. For example, retailers can set a proactive chat trigger for customers whose carts exceed the merchant's typical average order value ( AOV). By doing this, the retailer can answer any questions and provide an incentive (like free shipping, a coupon code, etc.) to ensure the customer converts.

4. Offer a Simple Checkout

Sometimes consumers simply don't have enough time to fill out lengthy forms, which is why they end up abandoning their purchase. Retailers can easily remedy this issue by simplifying their checkout and offering popular payment options, such as PayPal.

Macy's is an example of a retailer that recently added PayPal as an option at checkout, and the retailer let consumers know with an email announcement. This is a smart move as consumers who have previously shopped on the site may have been avoiding  the retailer because of its lack of checkout options. By alerting these consumers of its change, however, Macy's is able to win back customers and win more conversions at checkout time.