You can spend countless hours fine-tuning your SEO, polishing your content, and launching marketing campaigns, but if you do not capture your customers’ attention from the start, your conversion rates will continue to disappoint. The current average add-to-cart rate clocks in at 9.67%. If your number is lower than this, there’s no better time than the present to take action. Luckily, there are a number of hacks that will help improve your rates, while simultaneously saving you time and money.

1. Create a Sense of Urgency

Creating urgency on your website is not about pressuring people to purchase your products or services. Creating urgency is best done by creating a deadline to push your customers to act faster than they would otherwise.

If a sales event feels urgent, people will rush to purchase before the sale runs out. 2 great examples of this are Black Friday and the recent Amazon Prime Day sale. Also keep in mind that numerous studies have found that more people are likely to make a purchase during the tail end of a sale than the beginning since there’s FOMO by that point (fear of missing out). So be ready to step up your marketing game towards the end to really wrap things up with a bang.

A few ways you can increase sense of urgency outside of running sales include:

  • Adding countdown timers to your landing pages
  • Promoting email-gated content with limited time bonuses, such as checklists and templates
  • Offering free shipping for a limited time
  • Offering free upgrades for a limited time

2. Embrace the “Try Before You Buy” Principle

One of the most effective ways to affect purchasing behavior is through sampling. Regardless of whether the ‘sampling’ is in the form of a free trial of something or samples, the bottom line is that people love samples.

PDF Pro does a great job of this on the landing page, advertising a free trial with a “free upgrade.” Credit card companies use this extensively as well, offering credit with no interest for a certain period of time. A free sample with a strong sense of urgency can be an incredibly powerful way to push customers to try your services – and likely convert to long-term customers.

3. Transform Casual Shoppers into Recurring Customers Through Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are a great way to turn people into repeat buyers. Kohl’s is well known for its Kohl’s Cash Program, which rewards both in-store and online shoppers with $10 for every $50 that they spend during certain promotional periods. As simple as it may sound, Kohl’s has managed to successfully improve their customer loyalty through this initiative.

Any time you make reward your readers for returning to your website, you can improve customer loyalty in the same way. Rewarding customers for referrals, offering discounts for frequent purchasers, and hosting sales, discounts, and coupons on major anniversaries can all imitate the success of loyalty programs in brick-and-mortar stores.

4. Don’t Overwhelm People with Choices

For this to work, you have to give people the right number of options so that they are able to compare different products, but not to the point point of overwhelm. This sweet spot of choices eliminates distractions and, subsequently, increases conversions.

Often times, you’ll find that having tons of options will result in more traffic, but generally, you won’t see it converting into actual purchases. Plus, fewer options suggests that the options you’re presenting are the best options available, which can help improve customer satisfaction rates.

Amazon is a well-known ecommerce site that’s built an entire platform around offering customers a multitude of different options. While the amount of products that Amazon features is beneficial in certain situations, it can also lead to overwhelm due to the sheer number of choices for any single product. For example, if you type headphones on the search bar on Amazon, you’ll get 100,000 results. Within those results, you have sub-categories and sub-sub categories.

5. Write Compelling and Concise Calls To Action (CTAs)

If you’ve ever signed up to a subscription or email list online, then you have definitely come across some powerful calls to action. CTAs come in three different styles:

  • Simple and effective
  • Fantastic wording,
  • Great balance of text with multiple buttons

There are different ways to write compelling CTAs, depending on what you want someone to do on your website. For example, do you want someone to sign up for a free trial of something? If so, say so using powerful language like “Claim Your Free Trial.” As someone is leaving, do you want them to see a pop-up both that invites them to opt-in to your newsletter so that you can continue to market to them in the future? If so, entice them by using language like “Send Me Specials Now!”

As an ecommerce site, you need to constantly be refining your CTAs, since they just may be the deciding factor between someone buying – or abandoning their shopping cart all together. Evernote has a simple and straightforward one-liner: ‘Remember Everything.’ It’s short and easily remembered.

Test out different types of text on your buttons as well. Some of the most common include:

  • Get Started
  • Subscribe
  • Join Free (for a specified period of time)
  • Sign Up For Free,
  • Sign Up

Shout Me Loud‘s sign-up on the home page has a strong CTA that doesn’t feel too overwhelming. Microsoft’s simple but powerful “Shop Now” links are a strong motivation as well.

Now Get Out There and Execute!

Researchers have been studying consumer behavior and psychology for the past eighty years, and the foundational basics of sales 101 hasn’t changed during that time. Convincing someone to buy means identifying the problem and then providing a solution to it. While optimizing sales can – and often does – involve trial-and-error, and hacks often work differently across varying industries, these tips should still help boost sales on your website. Just make sure that you are consistently tracking the results of your efforts and fine-tuning, as needed. Optimization is ALWAYS the name of the game.

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