7 ways to boost customer acquisition and conversion on your WooCommerce store
Ensuring that your WooCommerce store is optimised at every stage of the shopping journey is vital for business growth. From increasing traffic to your webstore, to minimising lost opportunity due to increased traffic, to maximising conversion and average order size, and decreasing shopping cart abandonment, there’s a WooCommerce plugin to give you the tools to streamline the path to purchase.
- Social media
- Cloudflare – faster, more stable UX
- Optimising checkout
- Managing orders
- Shipping and returns
- Customer acquisition analytics
- Final thought
1. Social media
Using social media for customer acquisition can only be successful if you target the right audience. A powerful way to cut through the noise and persuade consumers that your products or services are the best is by using social proof. This is a social media marketing technique that levers your customers’ actions and opinions to influence other consumers to shop with you.
The most common form of social proof is the review website. Trip Advisor, Google Reviews, Amazon or eBay reviews can give consumers confidence in your brand, products or services. Having a high star rating and positive customer service feedback can give consumers the confidence to shop with you and give your business an edge on competitors.
The best way to get reviews is to ask for them. Or better still, incentivise your customers to leave feedback. To help you encourage customers to review your products, and their experiences with your brand and business, there’s the WooCommerce Review for Discount plugin. It works by asking customers to leave a review in exchange for a small discount on their next purchase. The plugin manages generation of the discount codes and emails to customers.
Optimising your WooCommerce webstore for social media using dedicated plugins can increase your brand profile and lift customer acquisition. With the right tools, social media can be a rich and accessible marketplace for start-ups and SMBs.
2. Cloudflare – faster, more stable UX
The really important moment of truth for customer acquisition is when a consumer arrives at your webstore. Regardless of where they land, homepage, product page or checkout, if consumers experience slow page load speed, then they are likely to leave your webstore.
Research shows that, when it comes to page speeds, online consumer attention spans are tiny, with nearly half of your webstore visitors expecting pages to load in 2 seconds or less.
While there’s nothing you can do about consumer’s device limitations and internet connection speed, you can address some potential backend performance issues that could be causing your webstore to run slowly, perhaps more easily and less expensively than you might think, thereby reducing
the number of bounces and lifting your conversion rates.
By using a content delivery network (CDN) such as Cloudflare, your webstore will be able to better cope with spikes in traffic, reduced bandwidth and other content delivery issues.
What is Cloudflare?
Cloudflare is a CDN that helps your webstore to give consumers faster and more consistent shopping experiences. It’s a reverse proxy service, meaning that your domain’s nameservers point to Cloudflare, which manages traffic to your webstore.
How does Cloudflare help customer acquisition?
For example, when a consumer visits your webstore, Cloudflare uses its global network of proxy servers to send content by the fastest route. This ensures that your content always reaches its destination (consumers and your customers) quickly, regardless of data congestion. That content is then stored on the nearest Cloudflare server to ensure that subsequent visits to your webstore are served from that local cached content.
Servers that are overloaded or geographically distant can cause latency. Degraded UX causes friction in shopping journeys which will drop conversion rates, damaging reputation and eroding brand integrity.
By load balancing, Cloudflare can improve your webstore performance, dynamically distributing content for any device, so when traffic spikes, your webstore is able to cope with increased demand, for more stable UX.
To buy with confidence consumers need to trust your webstore. Potential customers should be satisfied that their personal data and payment details are secure. As well as being a high performing CDN, Cloudflare offers SMBs important security features, such as SSL certificates, distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) protection and web application firewall.
Cloudflare acts as a VPN for your webstore, improving performance and ensuring security for your business, consumers and customers. Being trustworthy and offering outstanding UX reduces friction in user journeys for more streamlined shopping experiences.
A successful social media acquisition strategy will help bring consumers to your webstore, but once there it’s vital that they convert. Related to social proof, a powerful way to nudge consumers on your webstore towards checkout is FOMO, the ‘fear of missing out’. FOMO is a powerful driver to action for many people, especially Millennials. Research has shown that Millennials are more susceptible to FOMO than other consumer cohorts.
FOMO is about things running out, such as time on a special offer, on next day delivery or stock running low. On your product pages, showing stock levels and how many people have purchased an item can trigger FOMO anxiety. There is a selection of popular WooCommerce plugins to help you manage your FOMO strategy.
4. Optimising checkout
Your cart and checkout are potentially where consumers will encounter the most friction in their shopping journey. Shopping cart abandonment is a common problem, and developing a cart abandonment prevention and recovery strategy is key to maximising revenue. But there are some really simple things that you can do reduce friction in your cart and at checkout on your WooCommerce webstore.
The main thing to do is focus consumers on the checkout process by removing distractions. Removing unnecessary page elements— banners, headers, images, popups etc.— will help focus consumer attention on the transaction.
The primary reason that consumers abandon their shopping cart is that the checkout process is too long. They see a long form or several pages and if they’re a new customer, the thought of filling in all their details puts them off buying. Ideally, the checkout should be a single page. There are WooCommerce plugin add-ons that help create single page checkouts: WooCommerce One Page Checkout and Storefront Checkout Customizer.
Focusing your checkout will help keep consumers on track to completing their transaction, maximising conversion rates and revenue.
5. Managing orders
You’ve persuaded consumers to visit your webstore; you’ve given them outstanding UX; you’ve nudged them to conversion with social proof and FOMO; now you need to continue with the shopping journey with seamless order management. Prompt order fulfilment adds to the overall customer experience (CX) of your brand and business and will impact on customer retention. What can you do to help
ensure that your customers are delighted with their order management?
Possibly the most important thing that you can do to keep your customers happy while you process their orders is clear communication. WooCommerce enables you to update and add notes to orders to keep customers informed about the progress of their order.
Improving your internal communications will help optimise your order processing. A communication tool such a Slack can help organise teams, create project channels and share information. And always be transparent—if there’s a problem, tell the customer and keep them informed.
Maintaining stock levels is vital for smooth order processing. There really is no reason to be out of stock of any product, unless there is an issue with supply. Using an inventory management plugin to automate much of your order processes will ensure that stockouts are rare. ATUM Inventory Management for WooCommerce is a popular plugin for SMBs to streamline orders for outstanding CX.
Dealing with customer order queries, and queries in general, can cost a lot of your time and resources.
If a customer sends in a query at midnight, they will be delighted to get a direct, live response, rather than having to wait until the next day or longer.
An effective way to have live conversations with your customers about their orders, any time of the day or night, is by using a chatbot plugin to improve engagement, handle FAQs, act as helpdesk or a feedback bot will improve your order management process and lift conversions. Chatbots enable your business to converse with customers in different time zones around the world.
6. Shipping and returns
You have got your customer acquisition strategy in place; your UX is reducing friction in the pathway to purchase; order management is working well. All of that means very little if you can’t get your customer orders delivered safely and on time. With WooCommerce, the most effective way to ensure that orders are shipped efficiently is to use your carrier’s shipping API.
API is short for ‘application programming interface’ and it enables you to integrate third party software into your system. A shipping API, such as from FedEx or UPS, will streamline your shipping process, from dispatch to tracking to delivery confirmation. This can include tracking information such as emails and text messaging to your customers to keep them informed about the status of their delivery—open and transparent customer communications lead to outstanding CX.
For example, DHL Express is a parcel service for domestic and internationals delivery and returns. This is available for WooCommerce as a plugin that enables your customers to select real-time shipping rates based on their location. Shipping labels are automatically printed for each order, and customers can track their order end-to-end. You can manage returns, automatically emailing your customers with returns shipping labels.
Manually managing customer refunds can be problematic—refunding cards, issuing store credit, doing partial refunds. And sending emails back and forth between your customer service team and customers is time consuming and can be frustrating. WooCommerce has the capability to automate the refund process, from initial customer contact through to resolution. The Smart Refunder plugin manages the whole refund process.
7. Customer acquisition analytics
It’s vital for any business to understand what their customer acquisition and order management effort costs, so that informed business decisions can be made about spend vs. revenue generated.
Acquiring more customers doesn’t necessarily result in increased revenue. Your conversion rates may be up, but at what cost? If the increase in revenue isn’t significantly higher than the cost of acquiring new customers, then it will be false economy and your budget could end up in the red. That’s why it’s vital to be able to track your customer acquisition costs.
Using Google Analytics (GA) enables you to measure and manage your customer acquisition spend. And it’s available as a WooCommerce plugin: WooCommerce Google Analytics Pro. This gives you everything you might expect from GA: acquisition, audience and behavioural reporting.
ecommerce solution. With a selection of plugins ideally suited to your business needs, it addresses every aspect of a webstore’s operation, from customer acquisition to order shipping and returns.
In the next WooCommerce article we will explore customer retention and loyalty. We’ll look at how you can nurture your customers and inspire brand advocacy.