Online window shopping—totally a thing, right? I can only speak for myself here, but I have countless items in my product wishlists on each retail app that I use. Pretty Little Thing has 18, Revolve has 20, and Amazon is straight-up endless. I keep adding all these products I think I’d love to my wishlists, but I rarely end up making the purchase. Why? Well, for one, I’m not sure where I’d wear a 500 dollar sequined dress except for the Oscars, but also, it’s a fear of commitment.
Ask yourself this. What would drive you to make an online purchase? We might all have wishlists that keep growing expansively in size, but what would it take for us to make those “wishes” into purchases?
It could be a ton of factors, including free shipping, better search results, a seamless checkout process, and so much more. All we really know is that people are still shopping online, a lot, so now is a great time to make sure that shoppers feel inspired enough to start purchasing wishlist items.
Enough positing though, let’s just get into it with some tips for boosting conversion rates this year:
1. Enhance site search
Think about the last time you shopped online. Did you browse mindlessly for hours in optimism that you would find exactly what you were looking for? Or did you search for it? Come on, now, let’s be real. Catering to the “gotta have it now” mentality that a lot of shoppers tote, internal search engines have become an invaluable asset in the eCommerce space. Forrester Research backs this up with its finding that 43% of visitors to a site go immediately to the search bar. What’s more, is that it reported searchers are two to three times more likely to convert.
Despite these statistics, search engines are still seen as more of an afterthought than a strategic tool for boosting conversions. Let’s change that. How? Simple—by improving site search functionality. There are a few different ways to go about this. You can incorporate autocomplete, offer filtered searches, or opt for relevant recommendation pages instead of “product not available” pages when something is out of stock.
One of the most irksome things when shopping is typing in a search term and getting over 100 different results. Save shoppers some time by allowing them to narrow their search with sorting options, such as price, color, style, and more. Integrating an autocomplete functionality into your internal search engine is also a great call. By allowing your site visitors to type in the word “purple” and see 10 different product suggestions, you’re guiding them along multiple potential paths before they make a decision to continue. Planting those seeds is an almost effortless way to get more eyes on all of your product offerings.
2. Improve product detail pages
No matter how good your product pages are, the reality is that even the most engaging content will diminish in value over time and ultimately begin to drive less traffic. Digital Commerce 360 even reveals that 94% of consumers say they’ll give up on a site if they don’t find the product info they need.
What does this tell us? That we need to always be updating and improving our product detail pages. How? It can be as easy as writing more detailed product descriptions and adding higher-quality images. If you want to go all out, though, think about including product videos so potential consumers can see the product that you’re selling in action. Including a trust badge and indicating making an indication that your site offers diverse payment options is also an easy win.
3. Incentivize your checkout process
What would make that move from the search bar to the shopping cart even sweeter? Checkout perks and incentives. Shopping is already a gratifying experience—or an adrenaline-fueling one depending on when your last direct deposit hit—but seeing a site-wide banner that touts free shipping sweetens it even more. If you were 72% sure about a purchase, that free shipping offer just might make you a believer.
The other day, for example, I was thinking about signing up for Bon Appétit. At first, I thought, “Hmm, what the heck am I doing? I can just Pinterest my recipes.” Then I saw that this chic reusable shopping tote was included with every subscription and, just like Neil Diamond, I too became a believer.
The point I’m trying to make, besides the fact that I make 1980s music references, is that free gifts and shipping can really push a shopper to commit to checking out.
4. Accommodate international shoppers
Broaden your customer base by diversifying your eCommerce website and adding multiple languages and currencies. It might seem like a small thing, but what it means is that you’re enabling international shoppers to make purchases on your website. With worldwide eCommerce retail sales totaling 4.28 trillion USD last year, I’d say the opportunity is worth updating your website for.
5. Prioritize a good return policy
Say you want to buy a life-size statue of LeBron James, because why not? Sure, it doesn’t fit with your roommate’s bohemian aesthetic, but you want to make the purchase anyway. But, just in case you decide you don’t want to deal with your roommate’s snide marks, you see what your return options are. Except, shoot, there are no details about it on the website. Hmm… That’s an expensive purchase to make without knowing how to make a return, so you decide to wait until you have a roommate with simpler tastes.
Making purchases online without a good return policy is a big risk, and some shoppers don’t want to take it. According to a Digital Commerce 360 survey, half of participating shoppers said they like risk-free shopping with a straightforward and easy return policy. I mean, who doesn’t? Start by making your return policy well-detailed and easily accessible. To make it even better, think about offering free shipping for returns. That way, if shoppers “take the leap” with a purchase, they know they have a landing pad.
I hope that this is helpful for your eCommerce website and that it brings shoppers like me to start figuring out where to wear their 500 dollar wishlist dresses. Until then, you can start thinking about where on the world wide web you could purchase a life-size LeBron James statue.