Blog | Marketing

How To Turn A Visitor Into A Buyer


Engaging with your audience is a vital part of any ecommerce business and no doubt you are working continuously to draw visitors to your site, whether that’s through SEO, PPC, banner advertising, social engagement, or a something differently entirely.

However, it seems that many eCommerce websites are not thinking about the next step of the process deeply enough. Online shopping has become a fierce battle ground with every website fighting for position. So, once that visitor has arrived at your website, how you are going to convince them to buy?

1) Interest

There are thousands upon thousands of websites on the internet who are vying for attention and you need to be able to stand out against the crowd;

What makes you different? – Chances are, whatever you are selling, there are a dozen or so other companies out there doing to exact same thing. In order to get customers to visit your site rather than your competitors, you need to make yourself stand out with Unique Selling Points (USP’s). Give your visitors something that they won’t find elsewhere – three USP’s if you can – and display them clearly on your homepage and in your search engine meta descriptions

Get others talking about you – Encourage your users to leave their comments on popular review sites, such as Review Centre. Not only will this give browsers an idea of the type of service you offer, it will also give you a better understanding of your business and any areas that need improvement.

Make your voice heard across different channels – Often businesses that operate primarily online forget about offline advertising. While social media and banner ads are great at catching the attention of internet users, don’t neglect your offline audience. They might not be as active online but they are still potential customers. Analyse your target demographic and, if it calls for it, invest in magazine ads or radio ads to increase your awareness

2) Engagement

Once your visitor has decided to come to your website, you need to think about what you can do to keep them there;

Easy Navigation – Whether your visitor is a newbie to the internet or a seasoned pro, you need to make sure your website is easy to navigate. Have clear category pages that focus on the right products and add a search option for shoppers in a hurry to find precisely what they’re looking for

Perfect Working Order – Check your website regularly for missing links, out of stock products, 404 Error pages and similar site issues. A poorly functioning website is one of the first things that will turn away a potential customer

Don’t Overcrowd Your Homepage – It is tempting to put all of your information, offers and best products onto your homepage but you need to be constructive. You can always create more pages for everything you want to say and overcrowding your homepage will bombard casual browsers

  • Tip: Remember the 1:1 Ratio – If you put too many CTA (Call to Action) buttons on a page, you are diluting the focus of the visit. Make it clear and simple on each page what you want them to do – one goal for one CTA

Image Quality – If you have products on your website then you need lots of high quality images. Get them from different angles if possible to give your visitor all the information they need. If a product comes in different colours or sizes, you should display these as well

3) Research Your Audience

There are many different types of online shopper but they can all be reduced to three main groups;

The Browsers

  • The Opportunist Shopper – This shopper will browse a number of different sites with no particular aim in mind – they are simply looking for any deal or offer that takes their interest. Reel them in by clearly displaying your best offers on your landing pages
  • The Internet Newbie – This shopper is still learning how to navigate the internet and will proceed slowly and cautiously. Be clear in your instructions on how to pay and what delivery costs are included so you don’t scare them off

The Speed Shoppers

  • The S.W.A.T Shopper – Like a military operation, this shopper has it all planned out – Get In, Get Out, No Fuss! Make the process from product to checkout as simple and fast as possible or they will bail
  • The Hater – This person hates shopping with a passion and is only shopping online because they hate high street shopping even more. Your shopping experience needs to be as painless as possible – don’t try to distract them with sign-ups or registrations – it will infuriate them
  • The Addict – Shopping addicts enjoy the rush of finding an item and the thrill of clicking that checkout button. The best way to entice them is to make your checkout CTA visible on every page. You should also have a Thank You email or sign-up option email to send them after they buy

The Searchers

  • The Bargain Hunter – Unlike the Opportunist Shopper, the Bargain Hunter knows exactly what they are looking for – the lowest price possible. Do your research and make sure you are the most competitive for your products or services in order to entice the Bargain Hunter
  • The Hesitant Shopper – This shopper is not cautious out of fear or suspicion like the Internet Newbie, they are information seekers and want to know every single thing about a product before they buy. Unless you can provide this information they will leave to look elsewhere. Make sure all of your products and services come with detailed descriptions, models available, extra features and delivery information
  • The Suspicious Mind – Always looking for the catch, the Suspicious Shopper is expecting a hidden cost or delivery charge to pop up suddenly. Put their fears to rest as soon as they land on a page with clear delivery costs and charges displayed. They need to know they can trust you and if you prove it, they are more likely to buy

4) Communication

The key point to remember is that your customer is a real live human and they need to be communicated to as one. Use analytics data to build up a clear picture of the type of customer you are attracting. With this information you can tailor your marketing campaigns to not only keep your current customer base but also entice new customers;

No Hidden Costs – We’ve already covered this but it is so important it is worth mentioning again – have your delivery charges clearly displayed! Shoppers are instantly put off if you make them hunt around your site for delivery costs or returns information so make sure it is easy to find on every page

Don’t Force Loyalty – Sign-ups and registrations should be optional or come after your shopper has made a purchase. Unless it is absolutely necessary, don’t force your visitors to sign up before they can buy, they will simply leave instead

Alternative payment options – Shoppers like having options so give them as many as possible. PayPal, credit card, debit card are the main examples but depending on your business, look into as many alternatives as you can

Excellent customer service – If your visitor has a question that isn’t on the page they will want to communicate and get a quick response. The longer you take to answer, the greater the risk you will lose them to a competitor. Utilise live chat, a detailed FAQs section, prompt email responses and a phone number that connects to a real person in order to keep your visitor interested

Shopping cart abandon emails – If a visitor starts to create a shopping basket but then leaves before purchasing, you can chase them up with an ‘Abandoned Shopping Cart’ email. This only works if they have already signed up and you have their email but it is worth doing for regular customers

5) Keeping Customers Interested

Once you’ve turned your visitor into a customer you need to keep them hooked. Regular updates, offers and promotions will keep them coming back if you engage in the right way;

Offers and Discounts – Clearly display your offers with banners on each page and make it punchy. You only have a few seconds to grab a visitor’s attention so put some effort into your creative aspects and use banners that stand out

Newsletters – If you choose to have an email sign-up option after a customer makes a purchase you can use this to create a mailing list. These newsletters can be tailored to appeal to certain groups, such as new customers or defined by shopper type, allowing you to give them a better user experience and promote the right offers for their interests

Be Personal – Give your customers discounts on what they want, not what you want to sell them. Tesco already does this with tailored coupons sent to customers based on their previous buying habits