The Science Behind High-Converting Websites Calls-to-action, consumer-friendly color and followups on abandoned shopping carts are among the tools smart ecommerce companies employ.

By Eric Samson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


If you're a business owner with a world-class product, a solid marketing strategy and the perfect price point to make the product both attractive and profitable, you may well be wondering, what's next? But if yours is a web-based businesses, "what's next" has to be the moves you can make to enable customers to purchase your offerings as easily as possible.

Related: 39 Quick Ways to Increase Your Website's Conversion Rate

And, unfortunately, for both consumers and the business, many websites just aren't built to emphasize such conversions. Instead, they're hampered by everything from shoddy design to glitchy shopping carts. And that's a serious problem, because a poorly built website can be the downfall of a company -- like yours -- that has everything else going for it.

Done right, on the other hand, conversion-rate optimization can be seamless and provide value both to the customer (in the form of convenience and speed) and the company (revenue).

Here are a few of the key components that make up high-converting websites.

1. Clickworthy call-to-actions

It is estimated that Amazon's patented "Buy with 1-click" button has generated billions of dollars of additional revenue for the company over the years, and part of the reason it works so well is that it sends a strong signal to customers just when they are ready to purchase.

This is the meaning of a "call to action" (CTA). But it's important to know that CTAs don't always have to come at the moment of purchase. You can also encourage newsletter subscriptions, for instance, with a prominently placed pop-up.

2. Consumer-friendly colors

Color plays a significant role in human psychology, and up to 85 percent of consumers list color as a top reason for purchasing a product. High-converting websites contain detailed product photos with colors that pop and are also able to effectively use color in the design of the website to encourage buying behavior.

Related: 25 Ecommerce Conversion Hacks to Make Your Website Profitable (Infographic)

3. Email lead capture and remarketing

Well-timed email marketing campaigns lead to healthy conversion rates, so make sure that your email messaging is precisely targeted to your audience. Many successful product-based companies also send out automated emails in the event of an abandoned shopping cart, typically featuring an additional discount if the customer returns to purchase within a certain time frame.

4. Frequent testing

Every aspect of the browsing and purchasing experience needs to be thoroughly tested multiple times prior to the website's implementation. It's always helpful to get feedback from non-biased users, who will generally be more than willing to tell you if anything would stop them from making a purchase.

5. Mobile-friendly navigation and shopping

As a new generation of consumers raised on mobile devices gains purchasing power, mobile commerce becomes increasingly important. Not only do mobile devices now account for approximately 33 percent of all online sales, but nearly half of all traffic on websites is now generated from a phone or tablet.

If your customers are unable to purchase your product from their phones just as easily as their laptops, they will inevitably look for other options.

6. Post-purchase service

Your relationship with customers doesn't end after they go through checkout. You can use the post-purchase landing page to foster customer loyalty and encourage repeat purchases. This space can be used to once again encourage email sign-up, if customers haven't completed it already.

Furthermore, you can share links directing visitors to customer service or product-related information to help them better understand how to use and take care of their purchase.

7. Reliable shopping carts

Many retailers make the mistake of thinking they are home free once a customer adds an item to an online cart, but shopping cart abandonment is rife throughout the digital commerce industry. Some experts estimate that more than 60 percent of the more than $4 trillion left in shopping carts in one year could be recovered with the proper tactics.

One effective technique is to do everything possible to have shoppers create an account with your business, so that their information can be saved for easy checkout in the future.

8. Secure checkout

As incidents involving data breaches by hackers litter the evening news, technophiles and technophobes alike have become more concerned about the security of their data, especially that tied to credit cards and other financial information.

Make an investment in secure checkout procedures, and prominently place the logos of your security partners on the page to assure customers that you take the protection of their personal information seriously.

9. Targeted landing pages

Once you have done the hard work of getting your customers to click on your ad or promotional email, make sure you send them to a page that will facilitate their purchase. It sounds simple enough, but you'd be surprised at how many companies make customers navigate from the home page after sending them an email with a special product promotion.

It may not seem like much time for customer to spend, in the grand scheme of things, but there is no reason to put an obstacle in their way once they have made the decision to check out your latest offerings.

Related: LeadPages CEO Clay Collins Shares 5 Smart Conversion Strategies for Startups

10. Usable interface

In a broad sense, a successful website should be responsive, easy to navigate and free of any clutter that could confuse the shopper. A new customer should be able to come to your website for the first time, intuitively navigate throughout various sections and place something in a shopping cart in a matter of seconds. Above all, he or she should never have to search the page in order to figure out how to purchase.
Eric Samson

Founder of Group8A

Eric Samson is the founder of Group8A, a boutique consulting firm focused on developing and executing integrated marketing and digital solutions for companies of all sizes.


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