Note: This is a guest article by Jake Anderson. More details about him after the post.
Post recession, there has been a major shift in the way shoppers buy goods and services from stores. This applies equally to online as well as in-store buying habits. Studies across several demographics bear this out clearly.
One of the ways in which success is measured is to get information that will show how many of your visitors actually buy products. Remember that there is huge crowd out there who will come in as visitors but not all will actually make a purchase; hence all this hype about conversion rate analysis/optimization (CRO).
If you are managing a business, especially an online store and have of late been doing some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tricks to bring in more visitors, you may also be dejectedly looking at the low conversion rate. SEO and conversion are two different aspects to marketing you stores, whether it be online or in-store. To get a superior conversion rate during holidays, you need to do something more – give value for money, unless you are selling something exclusive.
Here are some little things that you can do to prop up your sales figures on the conversion rate front even during the holidays.
( 1 ) It has come to notice of market researchers that people across several strata are increasingly looking at value for money, and that they hope to get from coupon purchases. Depending upon the profitability, businesses will have to consider circulating coupons in a big way, not just for those new customers, but for keeping your existing clientele as well.
( 2 ) Shipping charges are skyrocketing through the roof and it is one of the major causes for concern for online business. It is not uncommon to see customers paying money that sometimes is even higher than the value of the product itself. A good way to romp in customers therefore, and improve the conversion rate is to offer either a shipping discount or a straight free shipping service.
( 3 ) It is not enough if you give big shipping discounts or a straightforward discount on the products. More important you need to tell that to the customer in no uncertain terms. The best way to do that is to include that information in the catalog itself. It usually has some psychological effect on customers, even though the amount involved may be meager.
( 4 ) The days of monopoly have simply vanished. You can no longer depend upon your own strong points to get higher conversion rate. That means romping in others to bolster your sales, and the best way to do it is, have an affiliate program and share your profits with them. Remember that however hard you may try, you can bring a crowd to your website, but then they may simply be visitors and nothing more. A reference from another site often means that the buyer has already been prepared to finally make the purchase.
( 5 ) Another way to target customers is to go full steam ahead at deal sites. There is no dearth for such sites, but remember that unless you are going to give real great deals you will not get a good conversion. Deal sites give you a lot of publicity, there is little doubt about that, but at the same time customers will be comparing your prices and services as well, don’t forget that. For most part, you will have to depend on large volume sales with low margins.
( 6 ) Put a major part of your efforts into coupon selling sites. Do away with the necessity for carrying printed coupons if you can. Digital coupons can work wonders in bringing about a major increase in conversion rate. Too many conditions and riders can be a turnoff for customers. Make your coupon deals as simple as possible.
( 7 ) If you have data on your existing customers, keep in touch with them through emails, but not too much of it either. One of the best ways to use your existing customers to bring in new ones is to leverage their good will. Offer your existing customers discount coupons that they can use for transferring to a referral and link it to a successful sale and see your conversion rate shooting up.
( 8 ) Finally, your own website is one of the best places to increase the conversion rate. You can do that by placing a discount banner on every page.
*** Image courtesy of Simon Howden at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
What conversion tests have you experimented in past years during the holidays sales? How are you organizing your campaigns this year? Share your tips/comments below!
Author name: Jake Anderson
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Tags: affiliate marketing, attract customers, best deals, business innovation, conversion rate optimization, CRO, discount sales, ecommerce, email leads, holiday sales, increase CRO, internet marketing, marketing tips, online business tips, online shopping, sales prospecting, socbiz
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