Most online stores struggle to convert their visitors into customers. If you’re riding the struggle bus—we’ve got your back!
We know you’ve researched your product lines, your site looks great, and you’re marketing like a champ… you’ve got most of what you need—but we’ve got some great additional solutions to help make sure your site visitors convert before they leave.
Check out these actionable tips and tricks with real-life examples, dive deeper into cart conversion, and watch your business grow in real-time.
The main reasons why people aren’t buying
Understanding why people aren’t purchasing, is the first step of fixing low conversion rates. Below are the 5 most common reasons:
1. Owners aren’t always aware that their products solve customer problems or that their items could benefit their visitors.
Understanding which specific customer problems your products solve—or how they’ll make your prospective customers’ lives better in some way, are the secret ingredients for success.
Your marketing messages should pinpoint your prospect’s pain and/or desired outcome and present your products as the solution or “pain killer.”
2. There’s no trust in your brand or website.
Why should your potential customers buy from you instead of your competitors? If you don’t have customer testimonials, purchase guarantees, and an easy-to-use site that’s glitch-free, your prospects’ trust will falter. But don’t lose hope.
Walk in your visitor’s shoes: What positive additions would help you to convey that you’re a trustworthy, reliable brand that sells high-quality products?
3. Customers aren’t able to find the right product…
If your site has too many options, people can easily feel overwhelmed and experience decision fatigue—which means they won’t end up buying.
Personalized recommendations and quizzes help narrow down your visitors’ options—based on style preference, fit, or color. Once you implement these ideas, watch how your customers can target-strike their purchases with accuracy.
4. Not easy enough to make a purchase…
This is a big one. Around 70% of people abandon their cart—often because the checkout process is too slow and painstaking. From the product page… all the way to the checkout page, your checkout process should be easy and seamless. Offer:
- Easy navigation
- Multiple payment options
- Purchase calculations
Attention to detail goes a long way. Your customers will thank you for it by purchasing more.
5. They’re not convinced that they’ve got the best deal.
As an ecommerce store, you’re up against hundreds of other online store owners that are selling similar products. Many customers usually shop for the lowest price. What can you do if you can’t compete?
- Maybe you use the best materials.
- Maybe you have an eco-friendly business process.
- Maybe you send free gifts with every order.
Talk up the quality of your products and the value they provide. Turn your bargain hunters into value seekers.
What these roadblocks have in common:
The simple truth is that people aren’t buying because your current marketing messages aren’t aligned with your visitors’ stage of awareness.
Many website owners work hard to get traffic but lose visitors because they target everyone with the same message—no matter if they’re ready to buy or not.
Did you know that…
- Only 3% of your visitors come with immediate buying intent.
- 47% of your visitors are not prepared to purchase now, but they do have buying intent.
- 50% of your visitors are not even considering buying anything from you.
Think about when you first visit a store’s online shop. How annoyed do you feel when you’re trying to look at a product, and a popup demanding you to “Buy Now!” interrupts your browsing. It’s a little pushy, right?
Targeting your messages based on customer awareness encourages the right person at the right stage of the game. As noted in our example, a new customer who isn’t aware of your brand, isn’t any more ready to buy—than you are when you click on a new webpage. This is just one of many situations.
These basic problems all relate because they fail to target prospects with marketing messages based on the customer’s stage of awareness.
Whether your marketing messages neglect to help visitors identify their problems, or you’re not helping them find the right products—targeting your audience with the right messages based on their stage, is the key to selling more.
First, you’ll need to understand the stages of customer awareness to get potential customers to buy from you. After you understand them, what you need to do will be much more clear.
The 5+1 stages of customer awareness
Now we know that visitors in different stages of awareness need different messages and information at different times in their visit.
Let’s rewind. Circa 1966: then, advertising mogul Eugene Swartz successfully got into the psychology of buyer mentality with his “Customer Awareness Stages” marketing campaign-strategy…
Since then, many marketers have followed suit but also optimized their marketing techniques to add a post-purchase stage.
The deep dive…
If your prospect is unaware that they have a problem or that you can solve their problem— they don’t know where to start. They probably stumbled upon your site through a Facebook or Instagram ad. Guiding them and presenting clear info on identifying the problem and how to solve it, will help convert these browsers into buyers.
The Flare bracelet is a brilliant example of this with their social media ads. The Flare team identifies and communicates a clear problem to their target audience while providing a solution.
Designed for women (or anyone) in potentially dangerous situations like dating or travel, their stylish bracelet sends a GPS location to family, calls 911 in case of an emergency, and directs incoming calls to the wearer’s phone with a click.
They are able to help keep more people safe—but first, they identified the problem, and then they provided a seamless transition to a discrete yet safe solution. The best part? Their customers thank them for it.
2. Problem Aware
The problem-aware visitor knows that they have a problem or desire, but they either don’t know how to fix it or aren’t sure where to get their needs met.
Problem-aware visitors are pretty easy to spot using basic analytics. For example, these visitors typically find your site by searching for a specific answer, such as, “How to be more productive while working from home.”
Alternatively, maybe they clicked through to your site, following an ad that targets a problem–like, “How to lose 10 pounds at home.” Once you know your visitor’s problem, you can solve it easily for them.
3. Solution Aware
The solution-aware visitor knows there’s a solution, but they can’t decide which product is the best fix.
For example, they may want to get fit and already know that running, boxing, or cycling is the answer, but they can’t decide whether or not to buy a treadmill or an indoor exercise bike.
How do you spot solution-aware visitors? These visitors often browse a specific product category (e.g. bikes), or land on your site from specific keywords like “best compact treadmill.”
4. Product Aware
A product-aware visitor knows the solution to their problems and is aware of the best products for the job, but they can’t narrow down which product would be the best choice.
How can you tell if a visitor is product aware?
They often search for a specific product in Google (like ‘The Good Dye Young hair dye’). They may also search for a particular product using your site’s search bar. Another tell is that they jump from similar product page to similar product page, based on “related-product recommendations.”
5. Most Aware
When most aware, the visitor has found the right product to solve their problem—they’re just waiting for a good offer to make the purchase.
How do you know if a visitor is at this stage? When they keep returning to the same product page, have an item in their cart, or land on your site from a product remarketing ad on their favorite social media site.
+1 Post Purchase
After your customers make their purchase, you need to think about how you can keep their attention and nurture your relationship with them.
You want them to keep coming back, because it costs you about 25 times less to keep a customer than it does to win a new one.
How to talk to each customer based on their stage of awareness
Now that you know the stages of awareness and how to spot which stage each visitor is at, you can start drawing up a marketing plan that gives each prospect what they need at the right time.
The only way to win and keep your customers while growing your profit margin, is by showing relevant, targeted messages based on each customer’s stage of awareness. This is not only powerful—your customers will also enjoy their sales journey and reward you with more purchases.
By doing this, you can provide real assistance for your visitors at the right time, by helping them to feel that you understand them.
This approach is called Customer Value Optimization (CVO).
If you want to learn more about CVO, you can read more about it in our guide.
Here’s how to match your marketing messages and strategies with the right stage of awareness
1. Problem Unaware and educating the visitor on solutions
At this stage, your aim should be to help your visitors to gain awareness about a specific and relevant problem or a goal they could achieve. For example, they may have a problem that they aren’t fully aware of yet—like they’re losing money with the wrong energy-bill provider.
This stage is all about educating the visitor about a problem or desirable goal. Show them how they can solve the problem or reach the goal with the right solutions on your site. You also want to increase their desire for those specific solutions.
Here you can find some examples about how to target these visitors:
Promote new products for returning customers to increase their awareness for specific solutions:
You can also promote seasonal offers, highlighting a relevant product or solution that’s ideal for the current season:
Educational content in exchange for an email address or contact through messenger, is a great way to nurture a prospect’s awareness of their problem on a deeper level:
2. Problem Aware and the power of content
It’s important to make it as easy as possible for the problem-aware visitor to compare the available solutions—while promoting your own. This helps them with the problem of searching for the right solution.
A solution could be a specific product or a product category, or remarkably helpful content.
At this stage, content marketing (from an informative webinar to in-depth and value-rich blog posts) can help inform prospects about the best way to solve their problem. It will also build your authority as someone who can potentially solve their problems in the future.
Check out how promoting ebooks as list-building incentives provide an in-depth look at how your solutions can fix their current issues. Plus, building your list will help you keep subscribers informed about the different fixes that you offer.
Want to promote your solutions without coming across as extremely salesy? You can recommend relevant products in blog articles:
You can also reduce abandonment by highlighting trending products that make visitors aware of all the solutions available to them:
3. Solution Aware and providing matching recommendations
The solution-aware stage is all about your prospect’s pain or goal and how one of your products is the solution.
These shoppers know which product category they need to shop in and how it would help solve their problems and get them closer to hitting their goal. They just don’t know which product is exactly right for them.
For example, they may know that they need a healthy snack bar, but they don’t know which one to go for. Here’s how you can help:
Help visitors choose the right solution with an e-book that discusses different solutions:
Show the most popular products of a category:
Recommend relevant products on the homepage for returning visitors:
Create a user survey to help visitors find personalized solutions:
4. Product Aware and how to build trust
At the product-aware stage, visitors know which product category may offer a solution to their problems and are comparing specific products.
For example, they’ve got 3 different tabs open for similar products from different stores (including yours), but they’re not sure if yours is the right item for them.
You need to build trust with your visitors by promoting testimonials and positive reviews (both of which act as strong social proof). Help them by reducing their uncertainty with great customer support, and nudge them towards a purchase with personalized product recommendations. One can provide great customer support with the help of good customer service software.
Here are some specific examples of how you can help visitors at this stage:
Promote customer support to help potential buyers:
Remind returning customers of the items they left in their cart:
Offer discounts in exchange for a newsletter subscription:
5. Most Aware and the best offer
Most-aware prospects have the intent to buy—they’re just not entirely sold on buying right now. Reduce the uncertainty around making a purchase and draw these prospects in with personalized offers or limited-time deals that are triggered when a visitor tries to ditch their cart.
Promote special offers upon exit intent:
You can also use coupons reminders to increase redemption:
Prevent cart abandonment by offering time-limited deals:
Personalize exit-offers and remind customers of previously-viewed products:
+1 Post Purchase: the new greatest thing since sliced bread
This is the most current update for the Stages of Customer Awareness model that we described above. Many people are finding success by including this in their formula of running top businesses.
Ok, so you’ve converted your customer- it’s time to celebrate, right? But here’s your chance to turn your new engagement into a loyal fan. Just after your customer makes a purchase is the best time to tap into their “buyer’s high” and nurture your relationship with personalized discounts and requests for feedback.
Here are some examples that inspire us—they might catch your customer’s eye too:
Suggestion to use Facebook messenger to buy in exchange for a discount code:
Awesome post-purchase discount in exchange for feedback:
Continue to nurture the relationship—request their email in exchange for a discount code:
Promote special offers that they can use for their next purchase:
Convert more visitors with Customer Value Optimization
Customer Value Optimization—when you deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time—it can help you beat your low conversion rates.
From meaty blog posts (that help readers figure out their goals and pains) to post-purchase discount codes (that keep ‘em coming back)—your store visitors will get excited about buying from you and become genuine fans of your brand if you personalize your marketing messages.
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One last thing...
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