You’ve put in a ton of effort to drive traffic to your eCommerce site.
Maybe you optimized for search while promoting like crazy on social media? Or perhaps you went the paid route and have been endlessly tweaking your landing pages?
Either way, getting visitors to your store is only half the battle. The other half is actually converting these visitors into customers.
And that’s easier said than done. 99% of visitors won’t purchase on their first visit.
This is the first time they’re aware of you and your products. And at this stage, they lack the trust to buy from you.
But you can take steps to ensure that when they are ready to purchase, you’re the one they’re coming to!
And that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. Here are five tips to convert your store’s first-time visitors into leads and eventually customers.
1. Use promos to make an excellent first impression
As the saying goes, “first impressions are lasting impressions”.
Think about it, when you visit a retail store, there’s usually someone right at the entrance to greet you.
And you want your eCommerce store to be delivering a similar welcome. And nothing says hello like an irresistible offer.
Discounts and coupons put visitors in a purchasing mindset. It can give visitors the motivation they need to complete a purchase.
You want to make sure that your offer is personalized and feels exclusive to minimize the number of people who bounce.
It also makes sense to gate your promotion with a form requesting visitors for their emails. This might reduce your initial conversion rate. But it allows you to reach out to a highly relevant audience with all your future offers and releases.
So if your marketing efforts are on point, you can convert them into long term repeat buyers with high lifetime values.
Package Free, the sustainable beauty and household product brand, offers a 25% off sitewide discount. They’ve prominently displayed it across the first fold of their website so that it’s the first thing a new visitor sees. Once the user clicks on ‘unlock the code’, they’ll need to give their email address to access the discount.
Bailly, the fragrance company, on the other hand, has a promo pop up after a few seconds prompting users to fill the form to receive 10% off their order.
2. Leverage Social Proof to gain trust
One of the biggest reasons that first-time visitors don’t buy from you is because they don’t know you. They’re not familiar with your products and don’t trust you yet to complete a purchase.
So what can you do about this?
Gain their trust with Social Proof. A whopping 84% of people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family.
This will add credibility to your business, increase your brand presence, and simplify the customer’s purchase decisions.
Here are some different types of Social Proof you can use for your store:
- Customer ratings
- Brand and product reviews
- Case studies
- Expert proof
- Influencer endorsements
- Certifications and badges
It’s a lot easier to convince people to take action when they see other people doing the same thing.
Saved by the Dress, the online fashion boutique does a great job of leveraging Social Proof to gain trust. On their homepage, they display brand reviews, user-generated content from Instagram, and brand mentions in well-known publications. Additionally, customers can view product-specific reviews based on what they’re browsing.
You could use a tool like Nextsale to show how busy your website is and orders made recently with Social Proof notifications. These pop-up notifications are effective because they appear on whichever page the user is on and instills in them a fear of missing out.
3. Win back exiting customers with pop-ups
Exit-intent pop-ups are used as a last resort to get an exiting customer to stick around on your website. This is done by detecting when a customer is about to leave the site and showing them one final message.
There is a notion that pop-ups are annoying and overly intrusive. While that might well be true, the data shows that they work well. Pop-ups can convert up to 40% of your website visitors into subscribers and leads. And if done right, you could see similar results in your store.
You’ll want to make sure that the copy of your pop-up is short and demonstrates a clear benefit. These users were just about to leave and won’t stick around to read lengthy proposals. You should even consider A/B testing different versions to see which works better.
Equally important is not showing the same pop-up to every single visitor. As mentioned earlier, you want your offers to feel personalized and exclusive. And to do this you’ll need to break down your audience into different segments. For example, a pop-up only for:
- new customers
- certain product pages
- users coming from certain URLs
You can create your exit intent pop-up using a tool like Nextsale to keep visitors on your site with promotional content. And with their emails collected, you can have them coming back again and again with efficient email marketing.
Hidrate Spark, the water bottle brand, is a great example of exit intent pop up done well. They offer a clear value proposition in ‘free shipping’ and use a countdown timer to instill a sense of urgency.
4. Reconnect with people who don’t complete purchases with emails
There’s nothing more frustrating than having someone move through your funnel, only for them to abandon their cart at checkout.
And this is a huge problem prevalent across the eCommerce industry. The average shopping cart abandonment rate is 69%, with eCommerce stores losing $18 billion in revenue annually.
So, this is where collecting their emails (like we’ve suggested above) really comes in handy!
You can use the information you’ve collected to automatically send follow-up emails to remind customers that they’ve left items in their cart.
Here are some best practices for sending abandoned cart emails:
- Send the first follow up about an hour after abandonment. And schedule 1-2 more follow-ups over the next couple of days.
- Keep your emails simple and clutter-free. Don’t overload it with information.
- A/B test your subject lines to find the right one that encourages opens without looking spammy.
- Show the products left behind in the cart along with reviews and ratings.
- Use time-bound incentives like offers, discounts, or free shipping to create urgency.
- Include your eCommerce helpdesk details so that customers can reach out to you if they’re still facing issues.
Both Cali Fabrics and The Old Farmer’s Almanac keep their recovery email process simple. They send a follow-up email an hour after the cart has been abandoned. They remind the customer to complete their purchase by highlight the products left behind in their cart.
5. Optimize the checkout process
In the last section, we spoke about the problem of cart abandonment. More often than not, the issue lies with the checkout process. Here are just some of the reasons why it happens:
- The checkout process is unclear or too complex
- Additional costs and charges
- Limited shipping options
- Forced account creation
- Limited payment options
- Performance issues with the website
And here’s what you can do to combat these issues:
- Optimize for mobile and keep the design clean and distraction-free.
- Provide as many shipping and payment options as possible.
- Don’t ask for unnecessary information and allow for guest checkout.
- Eliminate surprise costs and fees.
- Feature security seals and badges.
- Use a progress indicator to guide checkout.
Additionally, having a live chat option on your checkout page is a great option. 76% of customers want to chat with an agent about checkout problems.
The right eCommerce customer service software will allow your agents to jump in and guide stuck customers through the checkout process in real-time, which will significantly reduce cart abandonment rates at your store.
Allbirds, the footwear company, have a chat option included on their checkout page. Customers can search for answers to their questions independently or speak to one of their support representatives. Providing self-serve and personalized eCommerce customer service allows your customers to opt for the kind of support they prefer.
Measure and use data to constantly improve the customer experience
So there you have it.
Converting first-time visitors into customers can certainly be a challenge. But implementing these five tips is a step in the right direction.
Remember, it’s important to select the right software to help you get the best results from the above strategies. And look no further than Nextsale for a tool that specializes in converting visitors into customers.
It also goes without saying that this isn’t a one and done process. You’ll need to find the methods that best work for you by experimenting and measuring the results of your efforts.
But, if you’re constantly trying to improve the overall shopping experience at your eCommerce store, you’re well on your way to converting your visitors into loyal customers.
About the author:
Name: Jayanth Padmakumar
Designation: Content Marketing Manager
Author bio: Jayanth Padmakumar is the Content Marketing Manager for DelightChat, the omnichannel customer support tool for small eCommerce brands. He’s spent the last half-decade living across Egypt, Peru, Colombia, Vietnam, and India. When he’s not geeking out on all things copywriting and content marketing, you can find him at the nearest watering hole watching sports and talking philosophy. Connect with him on LinkedIn or @jaypadmakumar on Twitter.