Website clinic: Tips for increasing online sales

If your website is already taking orders online (ecommerce), the next challenge is to increase your sales conversion rate.

AndyChemneyBy Andrew Chemney, managing director of Ignition CBS.

One of the most effective techniques is to add some form of 'social proof' to your site. Put simply, people tend to believe that the decision and actions of others reflect the correct behaviour.

Used in an online retail context, social proof taps into this same consumer psychology. If customers can see how others are using a site, which products they are buying and whether the site can be “trusted”, then this provides them with a cue to buy.

We’ve used a simple plug-in service called Trustpilot with a number of our clients’ ecommerce sites to great effect. Trustpilot allows consumers to review their purchase and rank the site using a 1-5 star rating. Our clients have seen sales increase dramatically just as a result of adding this element of trust to their site.

Equally important to conversions is the design of your landing page. Make sure you are constantly testing to improve your results.

Test colour, size and placements of buttons. Test how different images perform. Even small tweaks to the headline can have a big effect on sales. For example “Support our cause” may not perform as well as the more aggressive phrase “Donate Now”. Unless you test the options, you will never know!

Ecommerce research has shown that the more choices you offer people, the longer they take to make a decision. So think clean and simple.

Do you really need a navigation bar? Take it off or minimise it, and remove things that can be clicked on that aren’t your call to action. Do you really need to talk about your company philosophy? Move it to the “About” section and limit content that doesn’t serve the purpose of moving people down the sales funnel. Do you really need to collect all that data? If you’ve got a form on your page, keep it short. More form fields equals lower response.