Whilst e-commerce is very scientific in the fact that we use stats to identify trends, site issues and visitor behaviour, there is something that we can’t necessarily measure that affects conversion. That factor is EMOTION.
In such a busy online world where people are being bombarded with noise, you need to work hard to make your products and your business stand out from the crowd. Admittedly, you need to work hard technically to get people to your site organically (using SEO) but, once these people are on your site, you need to create an emotional attachment with them so they actually convert into a sale. Many shoppers need a few visits before they dive in and buy a product or service so you need to take advantage of that first visit so they want to come back. You only get one chance to make a first impression, as they say.
Do not copy Amazon
I still come across many online businesses that try to copy the likes of Amazon. They list tons of product features, put sales messages all over the site and continually drop the price or run promotions to get a sale. That strategy looks desperate and you lose any brand credibility. It’s true that Amazon is the perfect e-commerce business that is based purely on a technical approach to conversion. Pile it high and sell it cheap using the information extracted from tons of data. The only emotion involved on Amazon is the thought of how cheap you are getting the product for.
From a seller’s perspective, Amazon can be great for sales but it will never help you to build your brand because the platform is fairly limited in terms of functionality and any creativity is locked down. But, it can drive lots of traffic to your site and help you to capture the sale. Amazon is a fairly sterile experience so shoppers will often visitor the product owner’s website to find out more about the product, the brand, the origins, watch videos, read reviews, etc. They will use your site as a point of confidence that they are buying a quality product. That is the point when you need to instil that emotional bond.
Creating the emotional bond
Creating an emotional bond with a new visitor is about giving that immediate sense of confidence, quality and trust. You also need to show how great your products are and try to engage the visitor so they come into your world. You want them to buy into your brand, understand who you are, what you’re trying to achieve, what you believe in and how they can be a part of your community. People like to belong to something because it makes them feel safe. There are some superb companies out there that make you feel like you belong. Tom’s Shoes, Patagonia, Reebok Crossfit, Honest Tea, Warby Parker and, of course, Apple make you feel like you are part of a movement. Whilst these are large companies, they still stick to their core beliefs and they use this to promote their mission. Their sole aim is not about sales, but engagement. This engagement develops a closer bond which will then boosts conversion rate, generates higher value sales and creates greater social exposure.
OK, so how do I do this on my website?
Rather than waffle on for pages and pages (which I probably could) I thought it would be more beneficial to produce a checklist of suggestions to create that emotional bond with your site visitors. So, here it is:
1. Promote what you stand for – You need to get your message across at every opportunity. Sell your beliefs – not how cheap your product is.
2. Get your USP on your homepage – Your homepage acts as your elevator pitch for new visitors. Make your proposition very clear. Do not cram lots of offers on it to confuse the overall message.
3. Invest in great photography – Professional photography can really help to sell a product. Make sure you invest in someone with proven expertise. It can pay dividends because it makes your site look more professional.
4. Show the key benefits – Make sure you sell the benefits of your product and what pain factors it is addressing. Don’t just list features.
5. Use video – Video is powerful stuff. People don’t have the time to read lots of text but video is a quick way to tell a story. Use it!
6. Use a tone of voice that suits your product offering – Tone of voice carries across the personality of your business. Formal wording can often turn consumers off so make sure you reflect the type of business you are.
7. Promote PR coverage – If you have achieved some coverage on another site or in a magazine them show people. Familiar logos go a long way to building brand confidence.
8. Be available – Don’t just have a contact form. Have a telephone number or live chat where people can get hold of you and ask questions. Being approachable and quick to reply enhances confidence.
9. Show the quality of your packaging – Packaging is key and is worth investing in. Look at companies like Glossybox for inspiration.
10. Highlight your easy returns policy – Easy returns can really help conversion. It breeds confidence and can be a deciding factor to making a purchase. Make it clear!
11. Encourage people to sign up to keep in touch – Don’t promise lots of spammy offers. Get people to sign up to share your journey and learn about your beliefs.
12. Be social – Social media isn’t a sales platform but it is a fantastic way to tell your story and share it. Use it wisely and show people what is going on behind the scenes of your business.
13. Enable people to share your content – You have a great product and great site so just let people share it. If they like what you do then make it easy for them to tell the world.
Overall, your main objective is to build immediate credibility. If you can do this, then you will succeed in building that emotional bond that will boost your online conversion. What’s more, you will probably gain more sales from their word-of-mouth promotion too.
Need help with your Online Store?
If you want to learn proven strategies to grow your online sales then make sure you check out my e-commerce course. It’s perfect for e-commerce beginners and e-commerce businesses who need advice on how to convert more orders, create more loyal customers and scale their business.