By Author Mark Binns

Conversion Optimisation: An insider’s Guide

conversion rate optimisation infographics
Conversion Optimisation

Hands up anyone who thought making money through ecommerce was going to be easy? Unlike Bricks and Mortar, your website is open 24/7, the overheads are low, and your differentiator was going to be a great user experience. No-one would care if you weren’t the cheapest because they were going to be loyal brand advocates. You had loads of Facebook fans, and all your friends told you what a great idea it would be to sell that product online.

As we all know, being successful online, is a little bit more complicated than that. At acidgreen, 100% of the sites that we build are ecommerce sites, and over the last 16 years we have seen it all. We have shared in the glory and mourned all of the failures. There are many reasons that an online business can fail and our initial consult would always be to try and test the waters with a Minimum Viable Product. Creating a beautiful site with custom features isn’t going to increase demand for a product at this stage. That money is better invested in marketing. Things like conversion optimisation, customer lifetime value, content delivery networks and onsite personalisation are all totally useless unless you have a product or service that people want to purchase.

For those lucky enough to have survived this initial stage, we have managed to identify some common themes that we feel have helped our clients to succeed over the years.

Keep in mind, there is no point investing in these until there are suitable traffic levels to justify the business case. Even the best sites who implement all of the below only have conversion rates of between 1 and 3%.

Looking for the Product

There is a lot of information out there about purchase funnels and buying cycles. Buzzwords like awareness and consideration come to mind. We are not discounting the importance of this research but when we look at our clients’ analytics, we find that the sales cycle is usually less than 1 day. By the time customers get to your site, they know what they want, and they need to find it quick.

“Sales Cycle is usually less than 1 day”

Search function

Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than the inability to find what they’re looking for. A good performing on site search facility is your most powerful asset in converting customers on your site. By analysing a cross section of our accounts we found that on average, sessions where the site search is used improves conversion rates by 465%. This means that on a  site with an average conversion rate of 1.5%:

Conversion Rates without on site search are 0.75%
Conversion Rates with on site search  are 4.3%

Search on mobile

According to Google onsite search is even more necessary on mobile. Long complicated navigation menus relying on hover states just don’t seem to cut it. Google suggests segmented search as per this example from the research:

conversion rate optimisation
conversion optimization guide

Worth Noting

Most inbuilt search engines do not have a good auto-complete or suggested search function. If you can afford it, then it is worth paying and investing for a 3rd party search function. We find that with the added ability to visually merchandise your results and add filters, the customer can get what they are looking for much quicker.

The Product Page

Design

Once your visitor has invested the time to get to your product page, you want to make sure that they can find all of the information that they need straight away.

The Nielson Group have conducted eyetracking research which shows that users speed scan content in the shape of the letter F. As you can see from the image below it is vital to put all of the important information in the right place.

The product name and image should be incorporated into the initial horizontal sweep, and then all of the important information like price, availability and short descriptions should be in the second, slightly lower, horizontal sweep.

When they finally page down vertically, as they are prepared to spend more time, you can add more detail and specifications.

conversion rate optimisation guide
conversion optimization tips

Best Practices

If you really want to make the most out of the product page then you need to go that extra mile with the product descriptions and interactive content. Try and picture what information you would need if you were about to buy this product. If you are stuck for ideas take a look at one of your competitors sites. In adding some dynamic features like stock locations in stores, pop ups to highlight scarcity, reviews, social media feeds, celebrity endorsements or even associated products, you are making your content unique which not only helps SEO but also enhances the customer’s experience.

Buying the Product

68.63% is the industry average for cart abandonment
(source: http://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate)

Keep in mind that no matter how good your site experience is, almost 7 out of 10 people aren’t going to purchase. This is a behavioural thing, most of them were never intending to buy in the first place! So how do we convert those 3 purchasers into 4?

The first step is to forget about that beautiful, creative UX that you have created. This may have made them add to cart, but from here you need to leave it all behind. The checkout process is all about measurement and data. This is where you need to focus on what psychologist J.J. Gibson called Affordances.  If something needs clicking make it look like a button. If it requires an action make it look obvious. Don’t rely on them to understand an SSL certificate, visually show them the checkout is secure. It’s about white space and functionality. Adding numbers to the different checkout steps and making sure that the tab order on the form is correct, has far more value than whether your button is green or orange!

Here is a list of what we find works the best for our clients:

  • Allow the user to purchase as a guest, it is perceived to ensure a quicker process.
  • Make sure that your one page payment process is compliant with WHATWGHTML. This means that where possible the browser will auto fill all of their details.
  • Autofill discount codes and provide a list of current ones in the banner at the top. This encourages trust and stops them from leaving the page to search for a better price.
  • Remove all forms of site navigation except for shipping FAQ’s, T&Cs and Privacy Policies which can be opened up in a new window (removes any form of distraction)
  • Make sure you enable cart reminder emails for abandoned carts

Measure Everything

Probably the most important aspect about all of this is collating your data. Without qualitative or quantitative data, how are you supposed to decide what to do next? Free products like Google Analytics offer enterprise levels of data, but unless you customize them and record micro and macro conversions it can be hard to pinpoint the pertinent information. With Analytics, you should just be reviewing one dashboard each day. That’s all you should need. When the figures are off then you can drill down into the other reports.

Did you know that you can still measure a one page checkout as a funnel?

For all of our clients we like to create a funnel for the checkout by using virtual pageviews (see example below). With this in place you can see if, for example, shipping rates are causing people to abandon their cart.

website conversion optimisation
conversion funnel optimisation

Record your users

Our second tip would be to supplement this quantitative data with some qualitative data.  Having both sets of data makes it easier to make a decision. Software like hotjar offers screen recordings of your users behaviour without sharing sensitive data like credit cards.

Loyalty and Re-engagement

With the cost of SEM increasing each year, the more mature ecommerce stores are focusing on the 80:20 rule: The more information that you can collect about your customers the better. With the ability to segment this data by things such as lifetime value, previous purchases and demographic, you can re-activate them by email (which should be your most valuable channel). By offering them personalised recommendations, discounts and the VIP treatment not just by email, but also on site you can start to inspire some brand loyalty.

This is not as hard as it sounds and maturer cms platforms like Magento Enterprise have this built in. For platforms that don’t include this we find the most affordable option is Barilliance.

Test

Like most things in life, you usually don’t get it right the first time.  After performing many A/B and Multivariate Tests on clients’ sites we have learned the hard way, that what works on one site doesn’t always work well on another. The key to success is to define the goals upfront. Formalise what you will count as statistically significant before the test has been deployed. Although it is very tempting, just because you like the look of the new version, don’t let it stay on the site permanently until it produces a statistically significant result. For more information on how to measure this, read this great article from Avinash Kaushik

Final Thought

As discussed at the beginning of the article, making money online isn’t as easy as some people think and it is only going to get harder as the market gets more saturated. None of the recommendations above are going to move the needle, unless there is enough traffic on your site.

Just like Bricks and Mortar, there needs to be an adequate demand for what you are selling in that location. If the footfall in the mall is high, so is the cost of leasing the property.

You need to greet the customer and then leave them to browse. If they like what they see, only then will they will listen to your recommendations. If they find what they want then they will buy the product so long as the queue isn’t too long. If you don’t offer free returns or you prices aren’t competitive, they will walk next door.

This article was previously posted in eWay in a four-part series.

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acidgreen is an award winning Magento Australian company with over 15 years of web design and development experience. Our certified magento developers, digital marketing executives and designers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing magento websites that generate the highest amount of conversions that provide the best ROI. For more information on how to get started with acidgreen’s magento design and development services, and to avail of a free quote on your magento websites, contact us today!

By Author admin

Game-Changing Features of Magento 2

The late David Bowie stated eloquently, ‘Changes… turn and face the strange’.

magento 2 features list
features of magento 2

While his statement was not consciously written to chronicle Magento and its recent remodel, Magento 2, the concept still inimitably applies itself.

Magento 2 is the latest release by the most popular open source eCommerce platform in the world. It assists B2B and B2C by providing omnichannel shopping experiences, enhanced performance and scalability with unrivalled flexibility.

Ultimately, the new and improved features of Magento 2 aim to provide higher conversion rates and ROI to all its clients.

The leading platform’s empowering self-declaration is to, ‘change the world of eCommerce’.

Features of Magento 2 13

Now, the question remains; does it deliver?

acidgreen was one of the first Magento partners in Australia, and we definitely believe it does… here’s a few reasons why:

If you’re reading this, there’s a high chance you’re a current client of Magento 1- after all, with the excess of 240 000 shops run by Magento out there, it comfortably dominates at 25% of the worldwide eCommerce market. It’s not hard to understand why either- it’s SEO friendly, easy to extend, rich in features with optimal functionality and above all, developers and site owners have full control.

Magento 1 has had over eight years of proven success and it still remains effective, however the new features of Magento 2 prove it to be even faster, better, harder and stronger.

Features of Magento 2:

No Wait Time 

One of its most obvious advancements is its improved cache system. In M1, optimizing caching was done so through extensions. Now, it is built in with support for Varnish caching- meaning no more third party installation. This reduces the amount of queries and instead relies on an internal database system

In simple terms, this means quicker loading times- content is delivered to customers faster, therefore maximising the user experience and ultimately leading to higher conversions rates.

Plus, the database actually features statistics of lost conversions due to time spent waiting for page loads- so you’ll know if something isn’t functioning properly.

If you don’t fully understand the benefit, just consider this statistic: a 1 second delay on your site can mean a 7% loss in conversion. 

Features of Magento 2 3

Streamlined Checkout

Think about when you’ve gone to checkout your items on an eCommerce shop. Ever been annoyed by the arduous sign up/’checkout as guest’ situation? As it turns out, this is a fatal flaw for many customers.  Luckily, this is no longer an issue.

The modern system has been broken down into two simple steps:

  1. Collect customer info,
  2. Collect billing info- billing address information is only needed if it is required by the payment method.

The system automatically assumes the customer is a guest and it will pick up on those already registered via the email field- they are then offered the opportunity to log in.

Its checkout system has further been upgraded through the integration of high performing payment gateways e.g. PayPal, BrainTree, Authorize.net, WorldPay (Enterprise Edition), CyberSource (Enterprise Edition) that weren’t previously supported.

M2 also features an improved order summary page by enabling the ability to incorporate product images and/or videos in the customer shopping cart, allowing for a more interactive, dynamic customer experience.

Features of Magento 2 1

SEO Maximisation

A crucial feature for a successful web shop is a high search engine ranking and M2 has incorporated new improvements to help make sure you’re at the top of the list.

M2’s new XML sitemap improvement means you can set the priority and frequency for any page type i.e. products, categories and CM pages. Plus, as well including Google Analytics tracking, eCommerce tracking and AdWords (much the same as M1) it has also added Google Tag Manager, which allows you to quickly and more efficiently update tags and code snippets to your site.

Moreover, with the help of Rich Snippets- an addition that allows you to add product labels without the hassle of third party extensions, you can take use of your site structured mark-up data which will inevitably make your product page stand out in Google search results.

Features of Magento 2 10

Other Benefits:

  • It has officially minimized and bundled JavaScript, thus reducing unwanted browser’s operations.
  • With its new image compression function clients now have the option to optimize images directly on the server using M2’s built in tools, rather than having to do it manually.
  • The M2 Admin Panel Dashboard displays statistics such as: Average Order, Last Orders, Lifetime Sales, Last and Top Search terms- therefore assisting you/the client in monitoring your state of business.
  • Magento 2 is in full support of the latest versions of PHP which comprise new security fixes as well as improvements on functionalities that directly affected the web store’s speed.

Features of Magento 2 4

Grasping an understanding of the new features of Magento 2 and its superior functionalities, it is easy to justify making the transition to the modern program, particularly when the said transition leads to higher conversion rates and larger ROI.

acidgreen is an award winning Magento ecommerce web design development company with over 15 years of web design experience. Our certified magento developers, digital marketing executives and designers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing magento websites – that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. For more information on Magento 2 and how to get started with acidgreen’s web development services, contact us today.

By Author admin

Conversion Rates: Increasing online business success

The success of your online business is conversion rates. Conversion is your ability to get people to perform some sort of action from your online store, whether it be making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, creating a wish list or starting a free trial. However it’s the transaction that you’d want to really focus on as it’s essentially what puts the money in the bank. This conversation rate is calculated by the following:

Screen Shot 2016-11-24 at 11.30.43 am

Why are Conversion Rates Important?
conversion

Your conversion rate is actually more than a mere measure of sales – it’s a measure of how well your store is being perceived by your customers. Your store is the gateway between your target consumers and the products you want them to walk away with. Just like retail assistants do everything they can to give customers a good shopping experience, your ecommerce site needs to do the same. Give them a seamless experience and they’ll walk away with a purchase. Give them a bad one and they’ll simply close the window without giving your brand a second look.

Because there are so many factors that can include conversion, it’s hard to pinpoint just one or two factors as the reason for low or fluctuating conversation rates. Your site analysis can give you clues as to why you’re not converting more customers – for example, if you’re losing customers at checkout, it could be that your customers have security, payment or price concerns. If you’re losing customers on your product pages, it could be that you’re not presenting enough detail or the right kind of information about your products.

But the good news is, there’s always room for improvement. Whether your conversion rate is 3% (the current industry average) or 13%, you can always implement new strategies to help increase your sales.

1. Help your customers find what they’re looking for

One of the biggest reasons shoppers leave an online store without buying isn’t because of the price. Rather it’s because they can’t find something they want and essentially give up. There and two easy ways to help your customers find the right products and increase your conversion rates – search and faceted search.

  • Search: Improving your product search capabilities is one of the best ways you can increase your conversion rate. Your search bar should be large enough so that it’s easily visible, and should appear consistently throughout your site. It’s also a good idea to enable autocomplete for search phrases, both to minimize typing for your customer and present him or her with related search options.
  • Faceted Search: Use faceted search options to help customers narrow their searches according to various product attributes, including category, size, colour etc. In addition, configure your search tool to include common misspellings and synonymous phrases to increase relevancy of results.

2. Merchandise your products

Once your customer finds a product and clicks on it to learn more, you need to ensure that they’re convinced enough to make a purchase. This means using quality images with zoom, detail views and even videos are great ways to merchandise your product. A big no-no is not to rely on canned or pre-written product descriptions – not only would Google’s algorithms pick up on this and reduce your search engine ranking, but it also looks generic and tacky. Create detailed and unique descriptions for all your products and tailor it to your specific target audience.

Customer ratings and reviews are also a highly effective way to reassure customers of its value and worth. By providing credible and social proof to support your own claims that it’s a product worth buying, there’s a higher chance of a transaction occurring. It also may reduce the number of customer support calls/inquires you get as customer reviews tend to answer a range of questions that would be on potential buyers minds.

If you wanted to take merchandising to the next level, you can implement upsell and cross-sell techniques. On the same page as your product, suggest more expensive items your customers might also like (upsell) or suggest related items other customers may have purchased along with the product they’re checking out (cross-sell).

3. Use clear and compelling CTAs

conversion3

Call to Actions are an essential part of your website as it’s what gets your customer interacting directly with your products or services. Effective CTAs direct users into taking a desired action through concise and visually appealing buttons and help your online business achieve its defined goals and increase conversion rates. A good rule of thumb is to start your CTA with a verb and be concise as possible. Register Now, Add to Basket and Proceed to Checkout are all familiar and efficacious examples. They’re prompt, they’re direct and they are the gateway to adding numbers to your conversation rates.

An additional note to consider is your use of primary vs secondary CTAs. Whilst your main goal is obviously for a user to make a transaction, some users are simply not ready to purchase anything. So don’t turn a blind eye on secondary goals such as newsletter subscriptions, social media interaction and wishlists and will allow you to be a familiar face to your potential customer.

4. Make your site fast

‘Slow and steady wins the race’ is a predominantly wise saying, but not when it comes to loading pages. Online shoppers can and will abandon a shopping experience with no hesitation because of pages that are too slow to load. In face, according to a 2010 study Gomez conducted, 25% of online shoppers will exit a page after 2 – 6 seconds of wait time. Utilising tools such as Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow which allow you to measure page load times and working with your technical team to pinpoint potential bottlenecks are good ways to QA your website and not compromise your conversion rates.

Other recommendations for optimising overall site performance also include:

  • Making sure caching is enabled on your site
  • Cleaning up any inactive CMS pages and remove out-of-date promotions and products
  • Archive old orders and limit your shopping cart lifespan
  • Using a global Content Delivery Network (CDN) to serve static content and HTML files
  • Limit the number of concurrent promotions and disable any functionality you’re not using

5. Be mobile friendly

conversion2

This aspect cannot be stressed enough. According to comScore, 4 out of 5 consumers use smart phones to shop, so it’s absolutely foolish to not design your website to be mobile friendly. Your site should be easy to navigate without having to pinch and zoom, with all images optimized for mobile so that they load quickly. A good recommendation is to make your site scalable. This means that it automatically detects mobile or smaller browsers and reformats itself into a simplified version with big mobile-friendly buttons and calls to action.

Failure to do this will definitely mean a high percentage of customer turn arounds from your site. No one likes to keep pinching to view your content. So keep those conversion rates high and opt for a mobile friendly site.

6. Offer multiple payment and shipping options

conversion4

Every individual is different. And so is their payment and shipping method. It’s important to accommodate for everyone who may have different views in the transaction process – some don’t mind entering their credit card details, others like PayPal for it’s security. Some would rather save money and wait out the average postal period, others would happily pay for a premium to have their package at their doorstep the next day. Withhold a preference and you risk cart abandonment, so the more options you provide, the higher your conversions rates is likely to be.

Acidgreen is an award winning Magento ecommerce web design development company with over 15 years of  web design experience. Our certified magento developers, digital marketing executives and designers are highly qualified to create aesthetically pleasing magento websites – that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. For more information on Magento 2 and how to get started with Acidgreen’s  web development services, contact us today.