This is a guest post from Michelle Strassburg, Head of Sales and Marketing at online wooden worktops vendor Wood and Beyond. Michelle has over 10 years experience managing online sales and today shares with us her top 10 tips for increasing online conversions.
It's a common practice nowadays for e-commerce website owners to focus on generating web traffic. Be it using paid advertising, social networks, affiliate marketing or banner display advertising they have one aim, to covert visitors into active customers. Sounds simple enough, but in our haste to drive web traffic we sometimes forget that more traffic won't always equal more sales. Here are 10 tips to help you increase online conversion rates for your B2B site.
10 top tips to increase online conversion rates for B2B sites:
1. Offer multiple communication channels - Even the best product or service descriptions might leave unanswered questions. Visitors who take the time to get in touch are close to becoming customers. Some might be using Twitter, some might be using emails and some like to hear a voice on the other side using a telephone. To increase your chances of converting, offer multiple communication channels.
2. Pay close attention to your pricing structure - Over 80% of customers start the buying process researching for the best deal before committing. Therefore pay close attention to your pricing structure and in particular for B2B sites ensure that large orders equal more savings.
3. Demonstrate savings to be made - Demonstrating savings is a strong e-commerce message. Don't shy away from naming names and demonstrating that you're cheaper than your competitors. Another option is to demonstrate savings using a message in the shape of list price and our price.
4. Build your credibility - To make customers part with their hard earned cash with you, you'll need to come across as a credible source. To build your credibility, list 3rd party accreditation if you have one, double check your spelling across the site and use an informative tone.
5. Build a trust level - Similar to building credibility, building trust with customers is essential. To achieve this and appear as a trustworthy source, consider disclosing your full company address on the site, list your phone number together with a privacy statement placed in clear view. Customers won't really read your privacy statement, but the fact that it's there is comforting enough.
6. Offer product promotions - The idea behind offering product promotion is to make your products irresistible. Some customer groups find free delivery offers appealing, some find buy 1 get 1 free appealing and some find sale items appealing. When ever possible try to cater for those groups by offering product promotions.
7. Use more than one payment provider - Using only one payment provider to take charge of your payment process might prove risky. Without having a fail-safe payment provider such as PayPal or Google Checkout you're running the risk of missing on potential sales if the primary payment provider is down.
8. Show complete price - Disclosing the full product price will help reduce drop off rates (customers who drop mid way through the checkout process). Try to show the full product price including taxes and shipping charges.
9. Demonstrate your benefits - The idea is to explain to the customer in plain terms why it's better buying from your site than your competitors. Your benefits could be from a simple 'we always have it in stock' message to 'we offer 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee' etc. If you don't list your benefits you'll find it hard to convert well.
10. Lead with customer service - Make customer service a business strategy for winning new customers and for retaining existing customers. Consider offering an online chat facility directly linked to your customer service agents or even on a basic level make a business decision to answer emails within a certain time frame.
I hope my tips will point you in the right direction.