Whether you know it or not, any time you are on a website that sells a product or service, you are being guided through the process of a sale. Some websites focus on driving sales better than others, but it’s not necessarily the item that makes the sale.
There are certain key elements of a website that guide the user to make a purchase. Some of these elements are obvious while others are quite subtle. But in either case, they are important to achieving the sales you are looking for. Without them, your website may be floundering.
Let’s take a look at some of the important features that any revenue-focused website should include to increase conversion rates and drive those sales.
Table of Contents
Clear Pricing Details
This one may seem obvious but how often have you been to a website and wondered about the cost of what you were looking at? Clarity in pricing is an important aspect of moving the visitor forward to a decision. If the visitor doesn’t understand what they are going to be paying and what they are getting for their money, the chances of them converting to a sale are very low.
Think of it in terms of differentiating between a Basic, Gold, and Platinum Plan that are all offered on the site. Each should have a clear and distinct description and price. There should be an obvious choice to make and a clear understanding of why the visitor should choose each one.
This is achieved by focusing on the benefits of each choice. A list of features offers a way to see what each package includes. But it is the benefits that the visitor will make a connection with. That connection is what can drive the sale because the visitor can clearly find a personal reason to make the purchase. But it’s the clarity of those benefits that are key. Why do I need this and how much will it be? When setting up your product page, the answer to that question should be well understood and relayed to the visitor.
Maintain a High Level of Customer Confidence
It doesn’t matter how interesting and great a product or service is, if the website itself does not instill confidence in the customer, there will be no conversion. Every aspect of the website must look perfect and function correctly with an easy and flowing interface. Even the slightest issue or error on the site can erode the customer’s confidence in your website.
There are a few easy ways to build that trust. First, making a sale online requires a secure transaction portal. Making sure your website’s SSL certificate is valid and up to date will allow the customer to see that all-important security padlock on their browser. With so many people now accustomed to making sure their transactions are secure, this is an easy way to assure them of that.
Next, a refund policy goes a long way to give the customer peace of mind by offering a way out of the purchase after trying the product of service. As a result, it can eliminate buyer’s remorse. After all, sometimes things can go wrong after a sale. So a clear refund policy tells the customer that there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. It also sends a clear signal that you stand behind your product or service and that you are not going anywhere.
Along with the refund policy, list a phone number and address on the website. This provides the customer with a sense of confidence in knowing how to reach you. Without the brick and mortar face-to-face sales approach, the customer should have a sense that they are not shopping alone and they can have their concerns addressed before and after a sale. A live chat feature on the site can help the customer instantly by answering questions that could lead to the sale.
Lastly, communication is key. The better you can communicate your intentions to the customer the better your business looks. Let them know when to expect a response and then follow through within that time frame. Setting a customer’s expectations and then meeting or exceeding them will tell the customer that you are on top of their concerns and you are trustworthy.
Testimonials and Endorsements
There is nothing like hearing about the experience of another to influence your decision. Adding a real testimonial or customer anecdote to your site will offer a level of proof that you are providing a valuable product or service. It also plants a seed in the customer’s mind pushing them toward a purchase. They don’t want to miss out of the same great experience they saw someone else have.
If you can get a celebrity endorsement, that can bring plenty of eager visitors. But let’s face it, most websites have to go without that type of publicity. Instead, focus on real live customer reviews, star ratings, or even just noting the number of sales made. Each of these can leave a big impression on the customer. It can convince them that they are making a wise choice when making a purchase.
Explain but Also Show
Understanding can sometimes get lost in an explanation. While it’s important to be clear for a customer, it’s just a fact that some may not fully grasp the concept in writing. There are verbal individuals and visual people to consider when building your product page.
Providing a visual example of what you’re trying to sell can help bridge that gap. A visual, such as a picture, diagram, or even a video of your product or service in action, will demonstrate to the customer all the benefits they can enjoy. Without deciphering anything else you might have written on the page, you can show the customer what they are getting.
Get Up Close With the Product
We all do it in a store when looking at something we may want to buy. We take a close look at the item, front, back, sideways, inside and out. When on a website, that’s not so easy to do. But we can give the customer the next best thing: a series of good images displaying every angle of the item up close. A zoom-in feature can also display the finer details of the product for the customer.
High-resolution images that show every aspect of the product can make your site look great with a professional feel. A picture really is worth a thousand words.
Display Product Variety
Your customer may be looking for a particular product with a specific set of features. That’s why it’s important to show the variety available for the same product. Some models of the same item may have different colors, styles, or features that the customer is looking for. Displaying them all in clear images can allow the customer to see and select exactly what they want. It may even give them an opportunity to find an upgrade on what they thought they wanted. This would make your site a hero.
The Writing Matters
You can make it very easy on the customer to find all they need to know about the product in a concise little blurb. When written well, the product copy can serve to sway the customer and entertain at the same time. An entertained customer feels good about what they have read. So the writing combined with the information they gather about the product or service can convert the sale. This is why the writing on your website is so important. It should be a major consideration when developing your site.
Poorly written copy can serve to confuse and turn a customer off from a sale. If they are spending time trying to understand the product description, they are not using that time to make a purchase.
Faster is Better
With technology progressing and everyone having the same fast access to information at all hours of the day or night, attention spans are short. So make sure your website loads quickly for every page and image.
Keeping a customer waiting, even for a couple of seconds, can cost you a sale. Customers want to get through a website with ease and speed. So those precious seconds can be the difference between a sale and a customer that has bolted to a competitor’s site. Keep your page loading times to an instant or better.
Provide Clear Guidance to Next Steps
There are still so many websites out there that don’t provide a clear next step to the visitor. Without that, it’s easy for a customer to find themselves lost on your product page.
Make it easy, show the customer exactly what to do next with clear buttons in contrasting colors and styles. Cluttering the page with too many options will only serve to confuse.
Try Now Buy Later
If you have a product or service that you can offer a free trial on or add an additional month to, for example, you can take advantage of the soft sell. Allow your customer to test out the item, whether it’s a program download, a membership, or a demo. This can put the product directly in front of the customer and set up the sale later.
When a customer is not quite ready to make a purchase, a soft sell like this can hook them into a sale after they have grown accustomed to using the product or service for a short time. By eliminating the discomfort a customer may have with committing right away, you give them a chance to get comfortable using the item first. Then go after the sale when they can feel uncomfortable about losing the item altogether if they don’t make the purchase.
Quick Path to the Sale
Once the customer has made the decision on the right product or service for them and they want to check out with a purchase, make it as easy as possible.
It sounds like a no brainer, right? But often, a customer is taken on a ride through a website offering them more than they intended to find. In reality, all they want to do is pay for the item they selected. From registration forms to confirmations and multi-step checkouts, all these can lull the customer to sleep and completely derail the entire sale.
Make it a clear path from the product page to the checkout page with as little as possible in between. A fast checkout process allows the sale to take place without any hindrance. After all, that is what your website was built to do, make sales, right? So let it happen. Then when the checkout is complete, you can offer other amazing things to look at, such as your blog or a membership forum page. Remember that the sale is the task, not the fluffy extras you may have to offer.
The Bottom Line
Some of the concepts we have reviewed may seem so simple that anyone would think of them. But remember that there are literally billions of websites out there around the digital world and many of them don’t follow these simple ideas. Using these key features on your product page is an important part of increasing conversion rates dramatically.
Use every advantage you can to bring those visitors to your product page. Once there, these easy to implement concepts can turn them into paying customers and that goes right to your bottom line. Always remember that driving sales through your payment portal is the goal of the website. These ideas for your marketing gateway can get you to that goal easier and more efficiently.