by Fabio Porta, alias Nemo1
This article is the fourth in PrestaShop’s Guest Blogger series. Its content was created by PrestaShop Expert Fabio Porta, a valued Community member (Nemo1) and the owner of Nemo’s PostScriptum.
Let’s see how to do enable properly SSL in PrestaShop, especially when they have custom themes! Read more
Conversion Rate – Turning Visitors into Buyers
The Ecommerce conversion rate is a key metric. Once you understand the conversion funnel, you are better equipped to make small changes that will surely increase your conversion rate. What is the Conversion Funnel? Put simply, it is a model that illustrates a potential customer’s journey towards the purchase of a product. In Ecommerce, it describes a customer’s experience through homepage visit, adding to cart, account creation and final sale. The metaphor of a funnel is used to describe the decrease in numbers/clicks that occurs at each step of the order process. The starting number is the amount of visitors that get to your homepage. This number decreases when you look at amount of people who actually added an item to cart. It will decrease again as you go further down the conversion funnel into account creation and final sale.
Now that we know what a conversion funnel is, the next question is how can we design this customer funnel to increase Ecommerce conversion rate? It’s obvious that a poorly structured customer order funnel will result in many lost customer accounts, and more importantly, customer sales. PrestaShop’s default theme is already designed with a streamlined customer order process. With options such as Ajax cart, cart re-direction, multi-shipping, 5 step checkout and guest checkout, you have all the tools you need to optimize the customer funnel. That being said, there are always things you can do to make this process even better.
Bounce Rate Off Homepage
The dreaded bounce rate, what is it? Bounce rate refers the number or percent of visitors that only visit your homepage and then, well, they bounce. They leave to another website or they just exit out. This is a Ecommerce conversion rate killer simply because this new visitor did not even give the website a chance. How could this happen? It could happen for a lot of reasons. Maybe you are not selling the products they are looking for, maybe they accidentally clicked on your link, maybe their boss sneaked up behind them and they had to act like they are working. Those are things that are hard to control. However, maybe your homepage did not catch their attention or engage them. That is what we can avoid. Some tips for effective homepages include:
- Showing your main product on the homepage – If your main product is sombreros, you better be sure you have the grandest of all sombreros on your homepage.
- Testimonial/Credibility aspects – Make your customer feel safe knowing that people are happy with your products enough to write back.
- Unique Call to Action – Don’t be bland in your Buy Now button, get creative and see what works best for your conversion funnel.
This beautifully crafted homepage is from US based PrestaShop store Whispar Design. Once your visitors are interested they will start clicking some products that they might want to buy. You must have an effective product page. For information about what makes an effective program, read this blog.
From Cart to Checkout
So now that you’ve engaged your customer enough to have them add a product to cart, what’s next? Well, there are things you can test to see what works for your conversion rate. Do you take them straight to the cart? Or do you ask for them to register to gain valuable customer information? My personal opinion, which is shared by many others in the Ecommerce business, is to ask your customer if they want to keep shopping or go straight to checkout. This is another call to action that you want to design in your online stores. Having a clear call to action will increase Ecommerce conversion rate. We are almost home; your customer is at the cart. Now, how do we design an effective cart to maximize your conversion rate, and keep your customer coming back?
- Have an option for guest checkout next to an option to create account – 8 out of the 10 top internet retailers have guest checkout. Every sale counts and although customer information is important, finalizing the sale is essential.
- Shipping and Return Policy links visibly shown during checkout process – This will calm your customers’ nerves knowing that you are not scared to show them this information, even if they don’t click it.
- Shipping Estimator – Before you customer goes through filling out the fields of addresses, let them know what the shipping might cost. With PrestaShop, a shipping estimator is already installed at the first page of checkout.
- Clearly show what is required and Form Errors – Clearly show your customers what they missed and what is required by using contrasting text and asterisk.
- Visually reinforce secure payment- Use SSL seals, Credit card seals and contrasting color borders to give the impression that your website is safe and secure for non-technical customers.
Vusion Glasses uses PrestaShop and has crafted this excellent security seal. With this type of visual trust, you will increase the Ecommerce conversion rate. Use these tips to maximize your conversion rate. Taking the time to design an effective homepage, product page and check out process is integral for the success of your store. With advance technology like responsive design and improved browsers, it has never been more important to engage your customer throughout the whole experience. Do the basic things first and move on to more advanced design aspects.
It brings us an overwhelming joy to see our merchants come from nothing more than a great idea, all the way to a full-fledged international business corporation. Sometimes it is hard for them to fathom just how far they’ve come. No more, we wanted to do something different; we wanted to give our customers a way to track just how much they’ve grown and progressed over the days, months and years. That is why we’ve created the new Merchant Expertise module, installed on every new PrestaShop version.