Two things to start getting customers online

By Cole Atkinson

Two things to start getting customers online

If you sell online, it's a given that you'll always be looking for ways to get more sales from your website. We've been doing some of our own background work lately on RubberTree's website - a lot of it is just having a play around to see how things have changed now that our store is starting to get well established, but a lot of the work gives us highly valuable insights into what we can be doing to increase our conversions and get more people to buy from us. So here's two of the highest value (and easy to execute) tips our experience has taught us to get more sales from your website.

1. Get people to visit your site more than once

I know I know, it sounds silly and straightforward, but hear me out. I want to (hopefully) surprise you with a statistic that absolutely blew me away. Now this isn't something I've pulled out of some online research and regurgitated to you - this is real life. This is a theory confirmed by statistics from our very own E-Commerce site that I hope blows you away like it did me.

Nearly no one will buy from you the first time they visit your website. And when I say nearly no one, you better be ready for it: in the past week, 98.4% of people who bought from us were return visitors. That's right, a mere 1.6% (2 people) of all of our orders came from people who were visiting our site for the first time. Click on the screen grab from within analytics to see what I'm talking about:

(If you have your own E-Commerce site, access this information buy logging into your Google Analytics account and going to Conversions > Shopping Analysis > Shopping Behaviour Analysis.)

As you can see, we got 121 orders (transactions in total). 119 of those were from people who had already visited our site one or more times, while only 2 of them were first time visitors. Our conversion rate for second time visitors was over 7%, while first time visitors converted at a mere 0.05%. I knew if you got someone to visit your site more than once, their chance of buying went up, but how important this is actually blew my mind. The moral: get people to come back to your site, and they will be more likely to purchase.

1a. Two tips on how to actually get those people to come back

Google Remarketing: If you're already advertising with Google Adwords, chances are you'll know what I'm talking about, but if not - read on. Google Adwords Remarketing allows you to specifically target people who have already visited your website and display ads to them as they make their way around other sites on the internet. Cool! For instance, if you wanted to display advertising to people that visited your site but didn't purchase anything, you could create an audience that didn't visit the page /purchase (i.e. whatever the URL after completing a purchase is on your website). What this translates into: someone who visited your website, but didn't buy anything, would be shown ad's in Google's display network that you specify.

Facebook Custom Audiences: If your business is advertising on Facebook you cannot go past Custom Audiences. Working on a similar principle to Google Remarketing, Custom Audiences lets you specifically advertise to those people on Facebook who have already visited your website. Facebook will give you a relatively straightforward copy-paste piece of code which needs to be inserted into your site. You might have already encountered this yourself without knowing it - can you recall visiting a website, and then scrolling through your News Feed afterwards only to find you are now seeing advertising from the very website you were on? Magical!

Both of these tools mean you are no longer casting your line out into the open ocean - you've now found the hottest fishing spot in town! When you have visitors that have previously engaged with you, they are far more likely to purchase when visiting your website for a second, third, fourth time. Acquiring new customers is obviously important, but if you can guide your customers through the sales process using remarketing, your conversion rate and your ROI on your advertising spend will increase.

2. Show credibility: display reviews from your customers!

When I speak to people they are often apprehensive about reviews on their website - I'm not sure why. Sometimes it's out of fear that people will write bad things about them, other times it's because they think customer reviews are cheesy or untrustworthy.

Let's tackle the first point: people will write bad things about you and your product.Say what?! That's right. Get over it, and embrace it. Having 100% of your customers rate you 5 stars out of 5 is just impossible. Sometimes it's out of your control - the courier company didn't deliver their product when they were home, they ordered the wrong product and they want to blame you for that, blah blah blah...... But, genuine reviews (good or bad) will improve your conversion rate, and your customer satisfaction rate.

When we get a bad review, we immediately email that customer to see what the problem is. Almost every time it's a simple issue that we easily rectify, turning that customer's experience from a 1 star into a 5 star. What would have happened if that customer hadn't got the opportunity to express their opinion? Would they have voluntarily emailed us? Probably not. On top of this, now they've had a positive experience they are more likely to be a repeat customer as well as referring us on to friends or family. Don't be scared of getting a bad review, be thankful for them, and use them! If a customer has a bad experience and you don't get the opportunity to rectify it, you will never see that customer again. A bad review gives you the opportunity to rectify an issue that you otherwise wouldn't have had.

And when we get good reviews: we're adding credibility to our store and our products every day. 88% of customers will trust an online review from a verified buyer as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member - by displaying these reviews you're literally creating your very own referral network! We've now got over 260 reviews on our site from customers who have voluntarily given us a positive review. This has a huge impact on new visitors coming to our site - the reviews widget follows them around discreetly on the side of the page so they can click on it anywhere they are on our site. Although it's hard to measure the exact impact of showing reviews over the period of the last 6 months (we've more than doubled our order volume by adding new products, increasing traffic, upping our ad spend), we constantly get customers speaking to us on the phone commending us on our reviews and sometimes even saying the only reason they placed an order with us was because they could see other happy customers. Start collecting reviews and watch your conversions (and your positive customer experiences) sky rocket.

My tip: Get a reviews extension that sends automatic email follow ups to your customers asking for their review. For Small Businesses our E-Commerce store of choice is Shopify and within their App store is a reviews extension called Yotpo. We far prefer this over the native Shopify reviews as it gives us the ability to automatically follow up our customers 10 days after their purchase and ask or incentivise them to give us a review. I can't emphasise how important this is - leaving your customers to voluntarily come back onto your site and provide a review works about as well as waiting for your customers to email you about how fantastic you are. ASK for their opinion - the worst that will happen is they ignore your email.


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