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When running an eCommerce business, increasing conversion rates can become far more difficult than developing a great product. It’s also not as simple as investing tons of money into high ROI marketing strategies. Today we are going to go over some eCommerce strategies for converting first-time visitors.

In the real world, converting first-time website visitors into buyers takes time.

Knowing this, it should go without saying that there’s very little chance you’ll be able to reach your audience, pique their interest, and have them make a purchase in a single day. In fact, according to most resources, it will take an average of eight touchpoints from the first point of contact before you can expect to make a sale.

That’s why optimizing those touchpoints to boost conversions (in all of their forms) is crucial. But on top of that, you’ll also need to implement eCommerce strategies that will help turn first-time visitors into buyers.

The following are a few of those strategies that you should consider implementing on your website.

Hook Visitors With A Stellar First Impression

In a study conducted in 2004, researchers ventured to find out how design and content impacted people’s trust of health sites. What they found was particularly interesting. It turns out that the most common thing that will make people distrust or dismiss a website is a negative first impression. And, in 94% of cases, this poor impression is shaped by design elements.

With this data in mind, it’s safe to say that the best way to move first-time web visitors down the sales funnel is to create website experiences that impress from the get-go.

You can do this by focusing on your homepage and your landing pages. Try to use stunning imagery, copy that effectively communicates your unique value proposition, and include compelling CTAs.

If you’re wondering what a great first impression looks like, check out the Wool & Oak homepage. It’s got all the elements of a great site, and it does one heck of a job at convincing people to buy.

Hook Visitors With A Stellar First Impression

Make Buying A No-Brainer

Another great way to inspire first-time web visitors to become customers is to be very clear about what they can expect to get from you.

You can do this with product photography or even by displaying social proof so that people know what they get by spending their hard-earned money in your eCommerce store. But, you can also go a slightly different route. For example, why not add a dose of transparency to your value proposition?

It’s easy for brands to promote affordable prices and unmatched service. But more often than not, consumers have no way of checking these claims before making a purchase. So, every time eCommerce brands overpromise and underdeliver, they end up disappointing buyers, hurting their business in the long run.

Fortunately, you can avoid this with some clever UX design. If you look at the Mixam website, you’ll see that it uses a prominent calculator feature. It allows potential buyers to figure out exactly how much they’ll spend on a printing service, depending on quantity, paper type, size, binding, shipping, etc.

Make Buying A No-Brainer

Make Potential Buyers Feel *Seen*

Another great way to drive first-time visitors to convert? Personalization.

Research shows that the power of personalization is almost endless. Consumers prefer to see personalized ads and are willing to trade information for more relevant shopping experiences. But even more, research from HubSpot shows that personalized CTA buttons convert 202% better than generic ones. That’s a huge difference!

So what can you do to make buying from your eCommerce site feel more special?

Well, you could try and do what Future Kind does. The team behind this brand understood that they couldn’t sell supplements with a one-size-fits-all type of strategy. Instead, securing conversions necessitated an individualistic approach. So, they added a handy Get Vitamin Recommendations feature to the website.

Make Potential Buyers Feel Seen

The great thing about this quiz is not that it helps first-time web visitors find the best products for their needs.

Much more impressively, it encourages people to move through the buyer’s journey more quickly. And, in case someone doesn’t convert immediately, the feature still captures their contact info, helping the brand’s sales team turn them from mere leads to customers. Preferably with automated cart abandonment reminders.

Minimize Risk With Trust Signals & Contact Options

If you’re looking for slightly less challenging tactics to encourage new leads to become buyers, it’s also not a bad idea to rethink the trust signals you include on your website.

In truth, proving that you’re a trustworthy brand doesn’t have to be difficult. You can achieve a lot with an easily accessible Contact Us section. Or, you can highlight trust-inspiring badges like your return policy or security certificates, as done in the footer section of the Homestead Supplier website.

Minimize Risk With Trust Signals & Contact Options

Create Promos Specifically For First-Time Buyers

Feel like you need to give an additional purchasing incentive to people visiting your brand’s website for the first time? Why not offer a discount to first-time buyers?

This is another relatively simple technique. For example, you can do what prAna does and give 10% off on a first purchase to anyone who subscribes to your newsletter.

Create Promos Specifically For First-Time Buyers

Or, if you feel like this isn’t enough, you can combine this strategy with the power of FOMO (the fear of missing out). For example, the popup below by BarkBox shows how simple it can be to encourage people to buy by providing them with a limited offer or creating a time-based constraint during which they need to complete their purchase.

BarkBox promotion for first-time buyers.

Don’t Forget To Simplify The Checkout Process

Lastly, when trying to convert first-time eCommerce visitors into buyers, you must remove all the possible obstacles people might encounter while shopping on your website.

This doesn’t just mean simplifying the entire structure of your website (and removing any unnecessary pages). More than that, it means getting purchases as close to a 3-click process as possible, preferably with UX features like one-click checkout.

For example, Reef allows website visitors to create profiles and enjoy exclusive benefits. But, it also has a one-click checkout with PayPal feature that streamlines the entire buying process. Sure, it may not be the thing that convinces people to buy. But if the product photos, copy, and CTA buttons have done their job, it will surely make it easier for people to buy the brand’s products.

Don't Forget To Simplify The Checkout Process

Final Thoughts On eCommerce Strategies For Converting First-Time Visitors Into Buyers

As you can see, there are several strategies you can use to convert first-time visitors into buyers. Some are extremely simple, while others require a bit more commitment or technical knowledge.

Whichever solution you choose, the absolute best way to ensure their effectiveness is to make them your own. So don’t hesitate to track eCommerce conversions rates and make any necessary tweaks.

And remember, convincing people to buy a product takes time. So, if you don’t manage to turn all your first-time web visitors into customers, don’t worry. Just make sure that there are systems in place that will help them convert into leads. And, from there, you can take your time to nurture these leads into becoming loyal supporters of your brand who will continue shopping with you for years to come.

About the Author

James McMinn

Senior Digital Strategist

James is a savvy digital marketing specialist with a Masters of Science in Internet Marketing. For the past fourteen years, he has been specializing in SEO, PPC & Marketing Strategy. He has a super sharp analytical mind and a finely tuned creative eye for marketing initiatives that optimize brands.

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