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Converting Browsers into Buyers - Tips for Increasing Your Online Sales

Sunday, December 09, 2012   By Mike Reddy


Regardless of how skilled you may be at drawing customers to your website or into your store or office, the real test is how often a browser is being converted into a committed buyer.

One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is to poorly allocate their marketing funds. They often use their entire marketing spend on customer attraction techniques leaving very little in reserve for the actual conversion.

Web optimisation should include a dose of what is referred to in traditional advertising circles as "A/B" testing. The idea is that you make subtle changes to your website, one at a time, running it alongside your original. You show different versions to different visitors and monitor the results. Google's Analytics will do all the difficult analysis for you.

Small details on your website may improve your conversion rates. Here are some suggestions that are backed by research:

  • Voucher Code boxes can reduce conversions because it alienates customers who feel jilted that they are not receiving a deal.
  • Websites credibility can be improved with photos of your locations.
  • Consider including third-party customer evaluations as they appear more genuine and therefore carry more weight in the eyes of potential customers.

Customer conversion needs to be monitored over the longer term in order to be effective. Offering instant deals and discounts can provide a surge in conversions but these attract mostly short-term customers that offer little to your long term success.

The average time spent by an Internet user on a single web page is 17.5 seconds. This meagre window must be respected and well utilised in order to maximise the chances of conversion.

Presentation is always important, but even more so online. Along with presentation, navigation design must be carefully considered. Try to stay under the 'three clicks' rule creating a site that is user-friendly and customer savvy.

Perform regular upkeep and create seasonal looks for your site. Your website is a window to your brand. A staid site implies that your business, and your products and service, are not moving with the times.

Make changes that reflect your brand image and always include a clickable company logo, clear contact details and a home page that is labelled 'Home'.

Remove any perception of inherent risk. It is the number one factor stopping your browsers from buying. Consider offering a guarantee to ease consumer concerns and motivate them to buy or phone.

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.