The answer is often, “there are too many unknown variables* at least that is my typical answer followed by some suggestions of places to take a closer look at.
So what exactly are these “unknown variables” that would help us understand what may be hurting your conversions? Let’s take a look at all things OPTIMIZATION.
When I say too many unknowns, I really mean that! For sake of starting somewhere, we are going to start with a product you are selling. Does this product have a history of sales?
Whether a competitor sells it, you seen it sell on market sites like Amazon or Ebay?
And just an FYI, not everything is as it seems from the outside looking in unless you have sophisticated tools to help you do your research.
If the product has proven sales, you’re likely in the clear as competition is generally a good sign…
But ladies and gents, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but just because you have a proven product listed on your site, does not mean it will sell.
There is such thing a BRAND LOYALTY. Often electronics tend to fall into this category as phones, laptops, tv’s etc tend to have major brand loyalist. So don’t expect to sell half ass no name phones.
How is your product copy or description? If you’re using the default manufacturer or supplier descriptions, chances are that you are leaving a lot of money on the table.
These descriptions are typically boring or provide only technical information that could very well be irrelevant to the customer.
Look, I’ve personally seen sites take off just because they changed their wording. Even I take the time now to write my own descriptions to appeal to peoples emotions.
Remember, your site’s job is to sell not bore potential customers to death. Remind them why they are on that page, and why they need that product in their life. If its a passion based product, you better appeal to that passion.
If its a high ticket item or gives the illusion of being “fancy” then you need to appeal to their STATUS.
Lucky for me, my High School drilled us in English class and had us pumping out college level papers weekly. So writing has not been hard for me in my E-commerce journey.
But if you’re not skilled at this, I highly suggest learning the art of copy writing.
This skills makes you money! I can only imagine if I walked into my high school teacher’s class and told him how much money he could be making from words alone I’m certain his jaw would drop to the floor.
We all know k-12 don’t make a lot even though they deserve much more than they make!
Anyways got a little side tracked there! Back on topic, ever heard of the phrase pictures speak louder than words?
Well they do, and combined with the right words you got yourself a killer high converting combo assuming your product is PROVEN!
Having low resolution pictures can seriously harm conversions, or simply bad product pictures in general.
What potential customers want to see is a mix of professional looking photos in real life situations and or a combination of customer photos.
Which brings me to the next subject, do you have testimonials on your site? Its one thing to have word testimonials, but having PICTURE testimonials puts you in another league.
I know if you are starting out you’re not going to have any but this is a MUST implement strategy for better conversions.
Even if you don’t have picture testimonials for all of your products, simply plastering the ones you do have throughout the site or in the footer can go a LONG long way!
Guess what? You can even beat pictures with I’m sure you already know… VIDEO. In case you have been living under the rock or simply not observant (This includes me sometimes)
Video is the way to go! Seeing a product in real action is great for potential customer confidence and has the potential to interact with them on a deeper emotional level.
So if you got a video of the product and even phone shot videos do well, you’re bound to see an increase in conversions.
Now… Combine with customer video testimonials you’re GOLDEN right?
Hang on, not necessarily. You still the need the previous elements to be all in good order too! And I’m not even done…
So let’s discuss the theme you may be using on your site. Believe it or not themes can make a big difference.
Nowadays you want your theme to be built for mobile first and then desktop can follow. I’m not here to recommend any specific themes but here are the 7 things I personally look for in a theme.
1. Does it load fast?
2. How do the product pages look like? Do the photos stack on each other or do they have a nice scroll option? *Hint you want the later*
3. Do the product pages have a related products section? And does it allow you to take customers immediately to the cart? (You are losing customers if you are not doing this)
4. Does the theme allow you to easily place trust signals? Things like secure payment icons or various forms of payment options offered. Definitely don’t forget to have REVIEWS on your site!
5. Ability to use the footer effectively for opting in to your email list. As a bonus, you may be able to plaster some testimonials there too
6. Colors and fonts, you want the ability to use google fonts. In my personal and ahem professional opinion, I think some Microsoft fonts should be banned forever! On the color note, ideally you should be able to change your button colors easily to stand out while having the rest of your site match with the colors of your logo.
7. Gimmicky stuff. While some of it is overkill, some of it can be incredibly useful for conversions such as things that create a sense of URGENCY. But it has to be a real sense of Urgency! Don’t just say a 30% off sale. Give it a name! This advice could save you from a trip to the shopify app store. Less apps = better speed and less money spent.
But there’s more!
Undoubtedly speed is a big factor. No one has patience anymore these days for pages to load slowly.
Luckily platforms like Clickfunnels and Shopify are pretty good in terms of speed but you can reduce with a good theme or simple layout.
In addition to this the one thing you absolutely have control over is properly resized pictures either using 3rd party apps or simply uploading to TINYPNG a free service in which you can reduce image size without sacrificing quality.
Even beyond speed… Platforms like shopify do not have the greatest layout for product pages. The design is not really optimized for conversions especially on mobile.
Ideally there would be at least two add to cart sections instead of having to scroll all the way up after reading a product description. Or a button that takes you directly to the add to cart.
Speaking of which, how is the cart experience? Do you even need a cart?
If you’re using primarily clickfunnels like I am for selling then I don’t even have a cart experience.
Just a simple two step order form that works wonders instead of using 3 to 4 separate pages like Shopify is doing (so many unnecessary extra steps!)
So for those that do know me well or have taken my course, know that I am big on BRANDING. Yes even if you run a dropship site you will want to be very strong with your branding.
That means the logo should be CLEAN and easy to identify. And by identify, I mean easy to be remembered which includes your site name.
Your name of choice can definitely play a role in conversions. A unfortunate name like example.com would not be a good name to choose for your store. Reasoning?
Cause you would associate it with just examples. Imagine if example.com started selling cat socks?
Wouldn’t make sense right? You want something brandable, something either kool sounding or clever. Not too specific or with a keyword in it.
Okay it’s finally time to jump outside of your site now. So lets talk about the traffic you are getting and how you are getting it.
Its definitely no secret that ad copy does matter. Whether you are using facebook ads like I am or other platforms, what you say affects the user to click through or to say BYE FELICIA
Again just like I mentioned for your product or landing pages, you want to appeal to peoples emotions or status.
I won’t deny that too many marketers are using the exact same type of language now, so you’ll want to find a way to stand out when you write your ad copy. Also make sure you have a strong call to action! No call to action = no action. Simple formula.
And we most certainly cannot forget about the pictures or videos you use, to get the best results I suggest split testing to see which ad creative performs the best.
You can even look into the different sizes of creatives and test those out as well. Then only after that, throw more money at the best one.
Finally, your targeting. This is a complex subject as is and your ad platform can further complicate this!
Bottom line, your targeting needs to be spot on, unless you are on Facebook ads and have ridiculously trained and intelligent illuminati level Facebook pixels like I do. If your targeting is off, why would people be buying or even viewing your product in the first place?
Exactly, cause it doesn’t appeal to them. Make sure you know your audience well before advertising, because if you do not, you’re gonna have a bad time wasting money. I find when I go based of my gut instincts, it usually does not go so well!
There you have it ladies and gents. Just about all the basics I look for when it comes to converting better.
So the next time you wonder what could be the reason why your store is not converting, look into some or one of the many unknown variables!