eCommerce sites are all about conversion. As soon as a visitor hits the site, the goal is to get them (and the products they picked up along the way) through checkout and to the confirmation page as quickly and efficiently as possible. But, what about the visitors who abandon their cart or who are still in the “just looking” phase?
Inbound marketing methods can help you with that. Check out just a few ways inbound methods can help you increase your business by focusing on the user.
1. Capture leads throughout all stages of the buyer’s journey.
The buyer’s journey breaks down into three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. Visitors to your site can fall anywhere in or in-between these stages, and you need to be able to interact with them all, not just the ones in the decision stage. Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table for your competitors to scoop up. In terms of capturing the people in the awareness and consideration stage, a newsletter sign-up is good to have. Additionally, an offer of some kind geared towards their needs, whether it’s an eBook, a consultation, a white paper, a video series, etc., will help you gain their interest and give you a way to keep in touch with them until they’re ready to buy.
2. Increase traffic with a blog.
An active blog is the staple of any great site, especially one focused on the customer. Not only is it a great way to build relationships and trust with your customers by providing relevant, useful information, but it also positions you in the search engines as an authority in your industry. Companies who blog more, get more traffic. Seriously, companies that post a blog 16+ times a month receive almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that posted 0-4 per month. Besides, if your customers have questions and you provide the answers they need, why would they go anywhere else when it comes time to buy?
3. Inbound provides a better user experience.
When you make the decision to switch to a user-focused strategy, like inbound marketing, you are forced to think about how visitors use your site, what they need, and how you can best meet their needs. You have to think about conversion pathways in a completely new light, and the user experience on your site will be all the better for it.
Right now, your site is probably designed for visitors in the decision stage – they can see your products, they can add them to their cart, and check out. However, what option or pathway do you have for the visitors in the other stages of the buyer’s journey? Do you have spec sheets and how-tos for someone in the consideration stage? Do you have a blog subscription option or general eBook for someone in the awareness stage? These are by no means concrete examples of what you absolutely have to do, but hopefully it gets you thinking about those customers who will convert with you in the future, as long as you stay in front of them.
4. It is brand-building at its best.
With the rise of technology and popularity of social media, shopping habits have changed. You have to be ready for mobile visitors and, if your audience is on a social platform, you should probably be there too. People used to browse on mobile and then complete purchases on a desktop; they still do that, but purchasing on mobile devices is increasing more and more. According to Mobify, an estimated “63% of people expect to do more shopping on their mobile devices over the next couple of years.”
With so much information at their fingertips, customers are looking for someone they can relate to, someone that relates to them, and provides them with the best solution for their problem. If you want your business to be that “someone,” then you need to relate to your customers on a personal level and build relationships with them. That’s where social media comes in and can help. In addition to all of the content you’re producing (eBooks, blog posts, etc.) to the benefit of your customers, you can connect to them and have a real conversation on social media. This allows you to build real relationships with your customers and keep your brand relevant to them.
5. Landing pages and Calls-To-Action (CTAs) provide conversion opportunities.
Your landing page is your offer page and your CTA is the button, banner, pop-up, or slide-in that grabs a visitor’s attention and gets them there. A properly executed landing page provides a simple, clear conversion funnel for a single offer. If you have daily deals, flash sales, or products you want to feature, create a CTA for them on your homepage and direct those visitors to a landing page all about whatever it is you would like to feature.
Everyone who clicks on the CTA has at least some interest in what the offer is and a strong landing page focused on the user and on conversion makes the decision to convert seamless and easy for your visitors. What does that mean for you? Increased conversions through effective inbound marketing. You’ve created a conversion funnel for people in the decision stage, and possibly the consideration stage too; you’ve removed distractions and made it very, very easy for your customers to get exactly what they want.
6. Your emails become so much more effective.
With inbound in place, you have conversion pathways for each stage of the buyer’s journey, and now, you also have a topic of interest to start a conversation with your customer. Based on the offer they downloaded, you can gauge the interests and needs of your customer and provide a series of emails geared specifically towards their needs. Emails are great for nurturing a relationship and moving your customers along the buyer’s journey into the decision stage.
eCommerce sites are all about conversion. However, it’s time for them to become all about the customer. You’ll still get your immediate conversions, but you’ll also be poised to capture everyone else along the way. You’ll also see increased conversions over time and increased lifetime values of your customers. Now, that’s being all about conversion.
About the Author:
Ashley Orndorff is the Director of Marketing for ParadoxLabs, a web development company located in Lancaster, PA. A self-proclaimed “nerd of many varieties,” she loves all things digital marketing, but has a special place in her heart for content, social media, and data crunching.