Between 2004 and 2014, the total annual value of e-commerce sales in the U.S. grew from $74 billion dollars to just short of $305 billion dollars – an upwards trend that has continued since and shows no sign of stopping.
Sure, more of us have greater access to the internet than ever before (in 2005, 66% of adult Americans had access to the internet; by 2014 this number had risen to 87%) and our shopping habits have changed beyond recognition (why travel to the stores when you can order whatever you need with a few taps on your phone?)
That means more customers for you, which is great. Unfortunately there’s also more competition – to the point of partial saturation.
To make a long story short, if you want to survive in e-commerce today, you need more than a website and something to sell. You need a site that stands out and that people want to buy from.
These 6 conversion-boosting tools will help you to win the e-commerce battle.
Split tests, when done right, help you establish exactly which variation of your site works best on your customers – not someone else’s. Every e-commerce store owner should be performing them.
There are lots of options for e-commerce marketers looking to begin split testing, but Optimizely is up there with the best. It’s ideal both for beginners and those who are ready to get serious about split testing.
2. Crazy Egg
Crazy Egg tracks what your users are doing when they’re on your website (or in Crazy Egg’s words, it’s “like a pair of x-ray glasses that lets you see exactly what people are doing on your website”).
The software creates heat maps that show you where your visitors are clicking on your pages – that means big clues as to the user-friendliness of your site, and whether or not your visitors are able to find what they want.
If you’ve been wondering what’s stopping visitors from converting, Crazy Egg might have the answer. Best of all, it’s seriously affordable. If you get less than 10,000 visitors a month, and want heat mapping on less than ten pages of your site, it’s just $9 a month. Even the most expensive plan is still only $99 a month – well worth it, considering the insights and value it provides.
This is a Shopify-only app that helps you optimize the placement of your products. For instance, you might have high-performing products that aren’t performing as well as they could be on account of their placement deep inside a category.
Scout is designed to identify those products for you, so you can give them more prominence on your site, and reap the rewards when they start performing even better.
4. Magic Zoom Plus
You probably don’t need a statistic to tell you that product images in e-commerce are damn important, but just in case:
“In an online store, customers think that the quality of a product’s image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%), and ratings and reviews (53%).” Jeff Bullas, JeffBullas.com
Now that I know we’re definitely on the same page, Magic Zoom Plus lets your customers get up close and personal with your products by expanding and zooming in on imagery (so long as your images are hi-res, of course).
It’s compatible with most e-commerce store systems including Shopify and it’s cheap, too: there’s a single-time fee of £49 (about $64) for installation on a single site. Big savings are available for store owners who want to use it across multiple sites.
There’s not much else to say about this one except install it – it’s pretty much guaranteed to boost conversions. You can’t really afford not to.
Not every customer is willing to call up or email a company when they’re unsure about a product, or the company selling it. That’s time-consuming and, frankly, often unnecessary – especially if that product is available elsewhere.
That sucks for the vendor, but there is some good news.
Many of those customers who are unwilling to pick up the phone or type out an email will engage with a company on live chat.
This makes live chat an excellent tool for increasing conversions – especially if you create proactive greetings that trigger automatically following a certain action or series of actions – say, when a visitor spends longer on a product page than expected.
You have plenty of choice when it comes to live chat software. Some systems, such as Zoho, include it as standard. Comm100 is a great choice for vendors that are looking for a simple live chat-only solution without the bells and whistles. It’s easy to use, intuitive, and really affordable – from just $29 a month per user.
An average of 68.81% of e-commerce shopping carts are abandoned. That’s a massive percentage, so it makes sense to implement a system that can help you “save” sales where possible.
Rejoiner sends personalized, multi-stage abandonment emails that engage potential customers in real time. It claims to be able to turn around up to 15% of cart abandoners.
It can even email customers about products they’ve been looking at but haven’t added to their cart.
It’s pricey – from $1500 a month – but the benefits (especially for bigger sites) should well outweigh the costs.
What other e-commerce conversion-boosting tools are you using?