Online sellers invest a lot of time and resources into getting shoppers to their listings, so it makes sense to spend time thinking about how to close the deal once they're there. In today's guest column, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of PriceWaiter Andrew Scarbrough provides five tactics for turning shoppers into customers. Among the features his company offers is Make an Offer / Name Your Price functionality that you can add to your listings.
Last month, Wal-Mart announced their plans to acquire Jet.com for almost $3 Billion. That's with a B! The only retailer that stands in their way is Amazon. How can small to mid-sized retailers compete with the big boys like Amazon and Wal-Mart, while those two continue to get bigger? Put simply, you must continually test new tactics and measure return. Even major retailers like Macy's, who will be closing almost 100 stores by 2017, are shifting their focus on online retail.
Here are five conversion tactics that you should test before the biggest shopping season approaches, then let the data decide if they add incremental sales for you.
1) Personalized Pricing
Starting on the product page, consider what the number one buying factor is: Price. You are probably not going to consistently beat Amazon or Wal-Mart's pricing, but that doesn't mean you can't compete. Allowing your visitors to make an offer on select products gives you a chance to engage them in a way where both sides are winners.
Not only will this give you valuable price-sentiment data, it can also close up to 30% more conversions. That kind of volume can more than make up for giving up some margin and is often better than the flat discount promos you're probably running throughout the calendar.
Pro-tip: Automate this entire process and set up rules based on your margin. (Learn how you can do this using my company's tools on PriceWaiter.
2) Cart Abandonment Recovery
Currently, 69% of all shopping carts are abandoned. Attempting to re-engage these shoppers who clearly showed intent to buy certain products is a no-brainer. Try to offer discounts, unique calls-to-action like mentioned above, or simply communicate your unique selling points without giving a discount. If technical hurdles are holding you back, try faking it before you make it and simply call or email them with the same offer you'd put in an automated campaign.
Pro-tip: Don't just send one cart abandonment email. Build and schedule multiple emails that get more aggressive over time (with maybe a larger discount) to help close deals that may be fading hard.
The chances of converting someone who has been to your site previously is much higher than the average new visitor. Retargeting gives you a great opportunity to follow those users and draw them back in. Rather than simply setting a designated list to remarket all visitors that haven't purchased, try making multiple targeted lists. Base these lists on relevant segmentation of your users based on behavior. It's not uncommon for small retailers to have a few dozen different retargeting lists, each with different audiences, creative, and goals.
Pro-tip: Use RLSAs via Google AdWords to bid on really competitive search terms for a fraction of the price. Since they've already been to your site, Google knows they are qualified and will cut you a break. RLSAs even work on Google Shopping now.
4) Exit Intent
Exit Intent technology can help stop fleeing shoppers even before you have to rely on your cart recovery or retargeting. Yeah it's annoying and is the new pop-up, but it simply works and you should at least test it. PriceWaiter retailers have collectively seen 22% more offers and orders when using Exit Intent. Your creative is an important part of this equation and should be regularly A/B tested. You also don't have to hammer every visitor on exit. Remember, segmentation is your friend.
5) Alternative Payment Methods
Hopefully you are offering the option for shoppers to make their purchases with or without an account. While guest checkout alone can boost conversion, many retailers fail to take it one step further and offer alternative payment options.
Everyone knows about the old school option in Paypal. The evil option may be Amazon Payments, and the (upcoming) new school option of Apple Pay for the web should be watched very closely.
It's worth considering each of these options as consumers are increasingly leaning on these solutions, especially when they're buying at a site for the first time.
Andrew Scarbrough is co-founder and COO of PriceWaiter, a leading ecommerce negotiation platform. He has played a significant role in the development and execution of successful SEO, ecommerce and web marketing strategies for companies both large and small.