24 Apr 2019

Top 5 Ways to Increase Conversions for Online Retailers

Top 5 Ways to Increase Conversions for Online Retailers

With online buying becoming increasingly simple and accessible, while everyday life becomes ever-more hectic, people are increasingly opting to do their shopping online.

Just look at services such as Amazon same day delivery, Tesco auto re-order, and Alipay by Ali-Baba. The biggest e-commerce companies in the world are constantly innovating and looking for ways to make life easier for consumers. In turn, they are increasing their market share and significantly building their brands.

In order to keep up with the changing market, over the last few years many high street stores are now also online retailers, often without any knowledge or understanding of how to make sure that their website is effective and optimised to generate results.

But bringing the in-store experience online isn’t as hard as you think. We’ve laid out our top 5 ways to increase conversions on online retailer's websites, while bringing that in-store feeling into the digital world.

1. Live Chat

chat bots

Live chat is one of the simplest and easiest ways to immediately generate an increase in conversions on your site. The figures speak for themselves. Here are a few stats on the difference live chat can make for online retailers:

  • A Furstperson study found that there was a 10% increase in the average order value of eCommerce sites that offered live chat. 
  • Emarketer found that 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website that offered live chat.
  • ICMI found that customers who engaged with live chat were worth 4.5x more than the average customer
  • Forrester found that there was a 10% increase in the average order value of a customer on a site with live chat.

However, a lot of websites don’t offer live chat. Very often, this is because the owners are worried that any queries coming through live chat won’t be answered if they are too busy to monitor it. This is a very short-sighted view of online chat.

Think about it, do you ever have more customers in store than there are staff? Would you rather that you had too many customers and not enough staff or the other way around? Do you eventually get to them all, or at least 99% of them?

Having an online chat facility on your site has never been easier. There are apps you can download directly onto your phone and auto responders that engage immediately with people when they come on your site. You can even add people into a queue to be answered, just in case.

In short, there’s no reason to say no to live chat because of resources!

2. Chat Bots

Resources need no longer be an issue for online retailers with the advancement of chatbots and A.I. Resources no longer need to be an issue when it comes to dealing with your customers online.

Have you spoken to Jenny on Amazon live chat recently? Or, ironically, Jennifer Moon at Netflix? Noticed that both Jennifer’s work 24 hours a day, EVERY day of the year?

These two dedicated customer support providers aren’t actually over-worked employees. Both of these “people” are, in fact, chat bots - artificial intelligence programmes, developed to return answers based on the buzz words you question or the query you have.

Here is an example of how they work:

User: “Hi, I am looking to get an engagement ring for my wife”

The chat bot identifies the terms ‘engagement’, ‘ring’, and ‘wife’. Based on the programming, it then moves into a set funnel of questions, with closed answers.

Chatbot: “What sort of ring do you like? princess, oval, pear, etc, etc”

User: “I like Princess”

The chatbot now moves into its next line of questions.

Chatbot: “Great! Do you like gold, white gold, silver, etc etc?”

… and so on.

Why is this useful? Well, the fact is, people just don’t want to think any more. If they can’t find the product they want from you, they’re not going to search your site to make you a sale. They will research on Google, find the results they want, and buy that product.

Having a chat function and bot on your site, helps you to engage with your customers the same way you would in-store, answering any queries and converting them to buyers.

How often do people come in store to buy something, and you work with them and guide them to making the right choice? All the time, I’m sure! Chat bots are no different. Just think of them as your on-line customer service team.

Gartner identified customer service as one of the most important use cases, stating that by 2020, chatbots should take over 85% of customer service interactions.

Be ahead of the game! Chat bots are not coming, they are already here. By starting to use them early on, online retailers can increase their sales and improve their site’s customer experience significantly!

online retailers

3. Retargeting

Retargeting on Facebook & Google is one of the cheapest and most effective forms of online advertising available.

Retargeting is pretty straight forward. When someone hits your site, a cookie is dropped onto their browser. As the user navigates to other sites online, they then see targeted ads based on what they’ve already looked at.

Retargeting ads work similarly on Facebook and Instagram, but are shown within the newsfeed, messenger, or in other specific places on the platforms.

It happens to us all – you’re shopping for something online and then everyday life happens, you get distracted and you forget all about what you were looking for. And you’ve probably noticed that, the following day, you begin to see adverts for the very company or product you were looking at. That’s retargeting.

Have you ever thought that Facebook or Google were reading your mind? Well they’re not. But they are tracking your movements online. Research has shown that customers who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convert.

CPG company Kimberly-Clark relies on retargeting so heavily, that they achieve 50 to 60 percent higher conversion rates among consumers who have been retargeted!

4. Social Ads

Facebook and Instagram have a combined 3 billion users. Granted some of those will be duplicates, but that’s still an incredible amount of users. And, with so many active users across the two platforms, isn’t it likely that some of them will like the product you’re selling but have never heard of you or your company?

Facebook and Instagram ads works. Why? Because they offer hyper-focused targeting, getting your ads seen by the people who count.

Facebook knows everything these days, how old you are, where you live… used to live, what you do, who your best friend is, if you are married, divorced, separated, if you have children, your likes and your dislikes...the list goes on. It’s even claimed that Facebook can anticipate when you are about to go into a relationship before you do, due to your posting and online activity!

When it comes to social ads, the key is to be specific!

Take these two ads for a mechanic, for example, which ad copy do you think would work better on Facebook?

Option 1 – Get your MOT at Franks today!

Option 2 – Birmingham BMW Owners, get your MOT at Franks for only £40! Including FREE vehicle pick up service.

The second post is, of course, stronger. Here’s why...

  • I have targeted a specific brand of cars (BMW)
  • I have targeted a specific area (Birmingham)
  • I have given them the information they would want (Price)
  • I have handled their objection (Free pick up service)

Now, while I can’t do advertising like that on Google, I can get that specific and targeted on Facebook.

Of course, many people will be worried that the ad is too specific and risks alienating other potential customers, in this case, Audi owners in Wolverhampton. For this very reason, Facebook also provides exclusion options, meaning we can exclude people who like Audi and are located in Wolverhampton.

All too often, online retailers worry about getting specific because they are concerned about what they could lose. In reality, it’s the other way round - sales should increase when you implement more specific targeting, because you’re whittling out the uninterested customers.

social ads

5. Abandoned Carts

The final and most obvious option for enhancing your store’s online experience is to implement abandoned cart functionality.

Abandoned carts happen for a number of reasons, including:

  • Lack of trust
  • Distraction during checkout
  • Limited payment options
  • Something unexpected
  • Poor checkout process

But imagine having a customer in store who got right to the checkout and then just walked out. They just drop their item and walk out of the store, without saying anything. It would be pretty strange, wouldn’t it?

Wouldn’t you ask the customer if everything was okay, and if could you do anything to help?

An article from Business Insider estimates that over $4.6tn is lost each year due to abandoned carts. That’s a staggering amount. And that’s where an effective abandoned cart system becomes critical. As Dan Shewan at WordStream points out: “If you’re not remarketing to the people who came close to crossing the line, you’re effectively restricting yourself to just one shot at getting visitors to convert in a single session”.

Looking for more retail insights? Check out our article on how customer behaviour is changing or visit Autumn Fair in September and take part in our workshops and seminars. 

This article was written by Cohesion Digital who spoke at Spring Fair. You can contact them on hello@cohesiondigital.co.uk or on 0141 249 0641, if you need more information or to find out how they can help your company. . 


Discover more retail insights

Our Partners