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Can conversion optimization help my online store?

Can conversion optimization help my online store? It may seem enticing to start an online store. After all, you just need a programmer to customize that web design template you've had your eye on, add some products and the website will handle itself. Right? Wrong. eCommerce has grown into a much more sophisticated industry that moves at lightning pace. Now, if you truly want to be successful you must have unique product offerings, a strong marketing plan, a healthy budget and the right talent to pull it off.

A major part of being successful in ecommerce today is ongoing conversion optimization. If you do not know what conversion optimization is and you run an online store, this is for you.

Why aren't people buying anything from my online store?
Say you open your online store and you get some traffic, but nobody buys. You think, this wasn't how this was supposed to happen. Why is nobody buying from my website? Why do they leave my site after viewing a few pages? This demonstrates a problem with your website's ability to convert traffic. If your website is not converting well you can have all the traffic in the world but the percentage of people who buy (your conversion rate) will not increase.

Why are conversion rates so important?
If 100 people go to your site and 1 person buys something you have a 1% conversion rate. So you think, I'll hire an seo professional to send more traffic to the site and increase sales. But alas, now you have 1,000 people go to your site and 10 people buy something which leaves your 1% conversion rate unchanged. You did not help your situation and quite frankly wasted money on search engine optimization.

In this case, not knowing what you are doing is most likely costing you time and money while your competitors continue to gain strength and diminish your competitive advantage.

Start with the traditional barriers to conversion.
Begin with user friendly site architecture so shoppers can find what they want in as few clicks as possible. Address questions that shoppers may have about each product with informative product descriptions and images. Test your call-to-actions, your offers and then document their effects on your conversion rate.

Now think about this scenario. You do some testing where you provide better product images that show more details of your product. You also begin experimenting with free shipping. Upon reviewing the resulting data, you now see the same scenario with entirely different results. The same 100 people go to your site, but this time 5 buy something. You now have a 5% conversion rate. That's an increase of 400% just by making some simple tweaks!

Conversion optimization increases revenue.
You want to be thinking about increasing your conversion rates before you begin to push more traffic. If you are not paying attention to your conversion rate and instead just trying to get more traffic it's like slinging mud at the wall and hoping some of it sticks. In many cases, your online store is your only place of business so it makes good business sense to market it, optimize it and maintain it. You owe it to your customers, just as you would if you had a storefront. Your customers get a better experience which keeps them coming back.

Need help with your website?
To talk to an experienced web design professional you can call (909) 393-6363, email us or use our quote request form.

If you liked this blog post, you may also be interested in Could You Benefit From A Website Audit? and How To Create An Informative and User Friendly Website.

Heath Meyette
, Web and Graphic Designer at Think Tank Designs, Creative Director at Think Tank Designs

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