November 20, 2016 Cindy Bendel

Converting Shoppers into Customers

Online shopping website on laptop screen with female hands typing

My prior post was about window dressing your store for the holidays and bringing visitors. Today we’ll talk about conversions –  turning shoppers into buyers.  This is a tough one and there is no easy formula. Generally for every hundred visitors just a few will actually buy.  There are many factors that can sway a customer, let’s go through a typical scenario and look at things from a customer perspective.

A customer sees your post on the Internet and clicks on it.  If they trust your website, they feel comfortable buying from it.  The operative word is trust. People are wary about giving their credit card  and personal information to a website, especially one they are unfamiliar with. So make sure your site has SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to give customers piece of mind about handing over their personal information. Shopify automatically comes with it as well as Etsy, it’s denoted by the lock symbol next to the website address.

Internet address protected showing on lcd screen.

If you do not have SSL installed for your store, small business blogger Steve Chou has a good tutorial on how to do it.

Other “trust badges” can help a customer feel secure about shopping your webstore. If you have a Shopify store there is an app called Trust.  I use the basic free one. It displays a Google map with my address, Satisfaction Guaranteed Return Policy and SSL Certificate information.

Label Quality,satisfaction,service

Once the customer feels a sense of trust they can look at your product page more closely. They look at items such as

  1. Price
  2. Product description
  3. Shipping costs
  4. How long it will take reach me?
  5. Refund policy
  6. Where the business is located
  7. Contact info if there are questions

Once they see this information they then decide whether to add the item to the cart. So make sure you’ve addressed all these areas, if something is missing a customer will not go looking for it. They’ll simply close the window and move on.

Create a Call to Action. Create a sense of urgency to nudge buyers towards the checkout. If you look at Zazzle’s site, they always have a promotion on their home page. And it’s available for a “limited time only” or “expires on a certain date”. Sometimes they’ll send an email with a one-day sale which requires you to act right away. These types of deals can motivate a customer to buy. If something is “Limited Edition” that can also be motivating to a customer.

Recover abandoned carts. A good percentage of shoppers add a product to their cart but will not check out.  We call this an abandoned cart. If you have a Shopify store there are many apps that can help with recovering abandoned carts. It’s usually a follow-up email reminding a customer that they have an item waiting in their cart.  I offer a small discount and it usually encourages the customer to complete their check out.

So what if you’ve done all of the above and you’re still not getting sales?

Troubleshoot. A customer may not be motivated to buy from your website, there are many contributing factors including:

  • Website design
  • Product design
  • Price (especially in comparison to competitor products)
  • Shipping costs
  • Turnaround and turnaournd times
  • Refund policies

What’s a store owner to do?

Ask for help. There are many Facebook groups, especially for Shopify store owners. Ask them to give you constructive criticism on your products and website. I belong to a lot of them and will list a few of my favorites below. I like these groups because there are experienced sellers who are veterans and have good experience with marketing and advertising. They are also active groups with many people contributing to thread discussions.

Shopify Store Pros

Shopify Entrepreneurs

Cener Shopify Mastermind

One word of caution about these Facebook groups. Some of them may be set up by someone who has a course to sell. They may claim to help you achieve six-figure sales quickly. Like that old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! The Cener group I mentioned above has valuable information by Justin Cener. He does have a course to sell and it’s priced at $500. I know it sounds like a lot, but if you will find Shopify courses that cost thousands of dollars. I don’t recommend any of them if you are starting out. Join Justin Center’s free mastermind group, he has a lot of video tutorials to get you started. When you are ready though Justin is the real deal and very affordable.

Another word of caution. If you are doing well with your store DON’T SHARE IT with any groups. There are around 20k people in these groups, you don’t know who is going to copy your designs and steal your work. Only share your store if it’s a flop and you need help with improving it.

One more suggestion if you are not getting sales – test your designs and products. Post it on your Facebook business page. Run an ad, maybe $5 for three days and ask if people would be willing to order. If it goes viral then you’re on to something. If you get little response, time to go back and reevaluate. Time to move and find a winning product. Research and find products that customers are passionate about.

Undoubtedly converting shoppers into customers is the biggest hurdle to overcome when you’ve launched your store.  You will make mistakes and there will be failures. There will be times of anguish and heartache. I am a living testament to that! But learn from your mistakes and move on, use your new-found wisdom to build a better store. Keep persevering and you will find success.  You will be so excited about that first sale. It will motive you to seek out more. And once you figure out a formula you’ll feel it was worth the struggle.

If you haven’t open a Shopify store I encourage you to give it a try. My affiliate link provides a 14 day trial which can be extended by another two weeks. It will be overwhelming at first and that’s ok. But once you familiarize yourself with their system you’ll be amazed. Let me know if you have questions by commenting below!

 

 

 

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