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Maximising Conversions and Building Customer Retention

People often think that creating the perfect landing page is the key to gaining a solid customer base. Wowing your clients with a great home page is simply the first step in securing customers for life, and you need to consider several different conversion strategies in order to convert clicks into customers.

Luckily, there are several simple things you can do to increase conversion with little effort.

Implement trust signals

Trust signals are the small but significant service features that you can offer to your customers. Many stores offer free returns or free delivery, but hide these perks in the terms and conditions of their site.

Be sure to be loud and proud about your perks, a large banner on your landing page will catch your customers' attention and make them feel that there is no risk when using you as a seller.

But also be sure to include these benefits in a summary form on each product page just to remind customers why they would be better off buying from you, and not a competitor.

Around 56% of customers abandon their cart due to unexpected costs being added before checkout. Removing these added extras will lead to increased sales.

Let them know what others are saying

Reviews are a perfect way to alleviate some of the guesswork involved when buying online.

Customers are more likely to believe the word of a fellow customer when it comes to appraising a product, so you can give a concise description of the item on your site and invite customers to read what others have thought of the purchase, giving them a real life insight into how it would suit their needs.

An estimated 61% of customers read online reviews, so make sure you implement them by the product to boost buyer confidence in your products.

Create a clear line of contact

One of the simplest ways to get customers is to communicate with them. It may sound obvious, but ensuring that you have a visible means of direct contact offered on your pages assures your visitor that should they need to, they can easily get in contact with a real human.

Placing your contact details prominently with an inviting tagline is imperative. You can also opt to go a step further and offer Live Chat, which is becoming increasingly popular among online retailers.

There is a range of outsourcing options if your own staffing levels can’t stretch to this, but offering visitors the ability to connect to an advisor without the fuss of phoning or waiting for an email response can make all the difference.

According to a poll by Andersen Consulting, almost 62% of consumers said they would purchase more products online if live customer support was available.

Another survey found that live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone.

Communicating your stock levels

It can be very frustrating for customers to order something and then get the dreaded ‘out of stock’ email. Help to set expectations by implementing a stock alert button if an item is out of stock, so that your customer can be informed when you have replenished your stock.

However, low stock can actually be an asset in sales, and if you implement a low stock warning you are likely to trigger the ‘buy or lose’ mentality in many shoppers. If they know there are low quantities of certain items left, they are more likely to purchase the product on the spot rather than risk losing out. Many large retailers, such as American Apparel, utilise this tactic with great success.

Once you have increased your conversions you then need to focus on retaining the customers that you have acquired, and again there are many simple and effective ways of doing this with very low impact to profitability. There are some surprisingly simple tactics to keep customers coming back for more.

Reward loyalty

Implementing a loyalty or reward scheme is a fantastic way to not only retain customers, but attract new ones too.

Offering a points scheme that customers can redeem against future purchases creates a rapport between your customer and your business, and will encourage them to return in order to accrue further savings.

You can extend this scheme to offer rewards when they recommend friends, which serves a dual purpose as the referred customer will already have a sense of trust in your company and product due to the recommendation of their friend. Providing your customer with updates on their reward balance provides an opportunity to keep your business in their life without appearing like marketing or spam.

Make it personal

Everyone likes to feel special. Believe it or not, personalising your site to your customer is not as technologically difficult as it sounds.

Examples of personalisation systems assisting online shoppers include recommending specific products on the website they are browsing, recommended product email alerts and targeted promotions to shoppers for whom they are most relevant.

When a shopper lands on a personalised landing pages such a page, the seller is able to show them not only the particular product they were searching for, but a range of alternatives and add-ons that they might not otherwise have been aware of.

Offering your customer a homepage packed with things they are likely to love is proven to increase browsing length and perhaps nudge a few impulse purchases your way when they are offered something perfect they never would have thought to look for.

Keep your promises

This is a given, but always stick to shipping expectations.

If you can meet or exceed expectations your customers will always come back. That’s not to say that problems won’t happen, but if they do be sure to handle them well and leave the customer feeling valued.

If you are aware of a service level issue be sure to communicate this with the customer at your earliest chance. Always offer them a gesture of goodwill in the event something does go wrong, and if you can do this before they need to complain you will be seen as a proactive and caring business, and a negative can become a firm positive.

Manners cost nothing

Be sure to follow up all orders with a thank you email, and possibly a gesture such as a small discount. Many retailers forget this fundamental gesture, and it is really so simple and effective that you cannot afford to.

As mentioned above, incentives such as reward points or money off the customer’s next purchase encourages them to return to the site, helping you convert them into repeat customers.

Banana Republic is example of an online retailer that has nailed this tactic, by sending ‘exclusive emails’ to customers inviting them to preview a sale.

If you don’t have the margin to offer a monetary incentive, a simple ‘follow up’ email offering thanks and maintenance advice is a nice gesture to engage with your customers and show them something extra. This is also an additional opportunity to slip in a call to action, social network profiles and even a request for user generated content or customer reviews.

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Topics: Linnworks News, Linnworks Partners