When these numbers are so low, how do you count your wins? Let’s take a look.
First, it’s a fact - a majority of your eCommerce store visitors won’t be going in with the intent to purchase.
Instead, consumers often visit the website to do 1 of 4 things: learn more about the brand, understand the product range, read testimonials, and make price comparisons.
However, that differs greatly from the main goal - sales. But that’s not enough of a reason to worry.
You see, while sales may be the primary goal for any eCommerce business, several smaller goals often lead up to it.
While most people aren’t ready to make a purchase just yet, there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood that they’ll buy a product from your website in the future.
These steps are called micro conversions, and they help increase brand loyalty, trust, and comfort that many consumers need before they consider buying from your eCommerce business.
You can think of them as low-hanging fruits i.e. steps that lead your visitors to the final objective—conversions and sales—known as macro conversions.
Based on your larger business goals, you can focus on several micro conversions to unlock broader macro conversions.
Here are 11 proven ways to get more micro conversions:
1. Make your email opt-ins super compelling
Email marketing remains one of the most successful marketing strategies for eCommerce businesses. Around 81% of businesses credit email marketing as their primary driver of customer acquisition.
By making your email opt-ins interesting, you can encourage your visitors to subscribe to your list before leaving the website. Once you have their email, you can send them personalized browser recovery emails, discounts, and promo codes to edge them onto a purchase.
From announcing new offers to sending cart abandonment reminders to establishing a connection by communicating brand values, emails are versatile. What’s more, the ROI on email marketing is insanely rewarding ($42 being the return on every $1 spent).
How to apply:
- Offer an incentive to your shoppers to give up their email id in exchange for a discount or an offer
- Write compelling copy that is bound to pique the interest of your visitors
- Add a Hello Bar to your eCommerce page. It doesn’t affect your page speed and comes with several customization options
- Offer to email visitors their shopping carts (helps to retain 24% of abandoned cart visitors)
In this example from Pinup Girl Clothing, you can see how the email id offers access to an attractive discount (and an upgraded micro-conversion with the phone number).
Hey, you’ll love this: Shopify email marketing: The complete guide (top strategies & apps)
2. Make it easy for shoppers to add to cart
For a shopper to purchase a product, they’ve to first add it to their cart. That first step is what creates a connection, and ultimately leads to a sale. The easier it is, the more likely it’ll convert.
However, that’s not all. You have to ensure that the entire checkout process is accessible, else you may have to face cart abandonment.
Practically, there can be a slew of reasons that contribute to people abandoning their carts—the most popular ones being confusing checkout processes, expensive shipping, or hidden prices.
That said, cart abandonment is not all bad. It’s a sign that the customer is interested in your brand and your products. They aren’t lost sales and can be converted in the future.
By addressing the friction points, you can reduce your cart abandonment rate (and improve your add-to-cart session rates).
How to apply:
- Optimize your checkout process with these handy insights
- Add a progress indicator to help shoppers visualize the buying journey
- Keep shipping and other costs transparent
3. Nudge them to download a product catalog
Product catalogs can be wonderful tools to create interest and awareness around your eCommerce brand. They challenge the primary problem an eCommerce business faces in creating credible leads. Moreover, they add to the authenticity of your brand and pave the path for future sales.
Customers are more likely to download a product catalog when they perceive value in it. That is why it pays off to develop relevant, high-quality content and use compelling methods to nudge downloads. After which, you can allow them to download it in exchange for creating an account or signing for your emails. This will ensure that you bag high-value leads in your database.
Check out this example from Life Fitness. They’ve dedicated an entire page to help customers getting a product catalog. A high-intent form also captures the audience’s email and other information. It’s surely a valuable micro-conversion that can lead to future sales.
How to apply:
- Use a landing page if possible. They reduce distractions and improve chances of conversion
- Try linking to the catalog from your individual or group product pages
- Use attractive visuals, product videos, customer testimonials, and a strong CTA.
4. Keep your forms simple and intuitive
Let’s face it. Forms are excellent forms of micro conversions. But they’re not exactly fun to fill—from a customer point-of-view.
Filling the same details all over again can definitely be a pain. Form abandonment is real. However, you can counter that by keeping your forms simple and intuitive.
Depending on your goal, you can decide whether to go for short or long forms, single-step or multi-step forms. Research by Venture Harbour reveals that multi-step forms can increase conversions by 300%.
Surveys are also a great way to improve customer engagement with your brand and record visitor behavior for channeling macro conversions.
How to apply:
- Use a limited number of fields
- Ensure that it’s mobile-friendly as per Google. Here’s a handy test to help you with that
- Allow users to fill only sections marked with an asterisk
5. Get them to explore more pages
As per Littledata’s 2020 research, the average number of pages browsed per session was 2.8. Moreover, if the number was above 4.4, that would mean the website fell under the top 20% of sites.
So, you can imagine that if a visitor opens more than 3 of your website pages, it’s a good sign. Such high-level engagements go a long way in developing micro as well as macro conversions.
That said, it is best to be wary of high engagement but low conversion pages. It often means there’s some problem with the site.
You can use several tools such as heatmaps to record visitor sessions and analyze. It’ll also help you identify navigation pain points and resolve them with UX changes.
Let’s look at an example. Suppose a visitor lands on The Perfume Shop’s website. They browse multiple pages from the top bar. All of these will reflect valuable micro conversions.
How to apply:
- Feature more valuable information across the website
- Create a clearly visible top menu with multiple options
- Focus on more personalized and user-generated content
6. Give them solid reasons to create an account
Want a sure shot example of a micro-conversion? Nothing beats your user creating an account.
It doesn’t necessarily tie down to a direct macro conversion but reveals an intent to buy. That’s definitely a sign for you to nurture this lead.
Plus, account signups offer you a scope to personalize your site to your customer’s interests. As you know, personalization can increase the chances of a prospect buying your product by 75%.
Product recommendations are another benefit. According to a study by Barilliance, 31% of eCommerce revenues came directly from product recommendations.
When this one step offers so many benefits, it definitely pays off to do it well. It’s best to give your audience excellent reasons to create an account such as exclusive discounts, complementary content, unrestricted access, etc.
If you head over to Camper’s site, you’ll see find an option for account creation on the right. Upon clicking, this is what you see.
How to apply:
- Display CTAs that will inspire a sense of purpose
- Ensure there are real advantages linked to creating an account
- Feature discounts and promotions as part of the account creation process
You may want to check this out: eCommerce personalization: 20 revenue-generating examples
7. Make your search bar prominent - especially on mobile
Yet another crucial micro-conversion step is using the search function. Many eCommerce sites don’t work out this feature well, and as a result, lose out on people wanting to browse through. That is exactly why it is so important to make your search bar prominently visible.
A well-highlighted search button and field with a relevant CTA can move visitors to go deeper into the underlying product pages of your website.
If a visitor uses the search button, it means they trust your brand are looking for something with an intention to buy. There’s a macro conversion in sight!
Check out how Printerland prioritizes the search option on their website.
Not only is the search option clearly visible, but they make it super easy for customers to discover their products. Look at how the drop-down menu helps segregate the categories with a clear indication of how many products fall under that category. It doesn’t get simpler than this!
How to apply:
- Create clear search categories
- Use filters to help users narrow down
- Include selectable autosuggestions for faster search results
8. Offer super easy product comparison options
Readily available product differentiation can be a game-changer for your eCommerce business. Effective product comparisons can tie into your larger visitor retention strategy seamlessly.
In a scenario where there’s no way of comparing products, visitors end up having to do the hard work. This eventually results in lost sales.
If you optimize your site to enable easy product comparisons, it can hugely impact your conversion rates. So, keep it simple and straightforward, and you are bound to see a conversion soon.
For example, when you search for any product on the John Lewis site, you get an option to compare it with similar products.
How to apply:
- Create specific lists with a clear copy to highlight different features
- Offer a tabular representation for better comparison
- Provide clear CTAs for all options
9. Offer live chat - but don't be intrusive
A live chat is a wonderful feature to embed if you want visitors to act towards a bigger conversion. What a live chat with a representative does is that it takes away the hassle of a long wait over call to resolve an issue. It also removes the non-human element from automated chats.
Live chats help build trust in the minds of the customer. It indicates that there’s someone to resolve their issues such as purchase, returns, or shipping.
Plus, it’s a micro-conversion step that does away with what’s known as “the motivation trap” in psychology. According to psychotherapist and executive coach Dr. Russ Harris, people need to feel really motivated to act.
With a live chat in place, the lack of motivation will cease to be a factor. The customers will be able to easily address the challenges and move on to the purchase.
However, be sure to keep the live chat feature non-invasive. You want it to be available for your customers in case they need help and not in their way at any point.
How to apply:
- Offer 24*7 live chat service
- Keep the live chat option visible
- Add CTAs to enable users to take the desired action
10. Get them to watch videos BUT create great ones first
Consuming video content is a great indicator of interest for your eCommerce brand. Moreover, it also increases their intent to purchase from you.
Customers are 64-85% more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.
A study by Biteable revealed that 52% of marketers rely on videos to build trust among their customers.
By developing compelling video content, you already place your brand with one foot in the door. Even if it doesn’t lead to a sale instantly, video content definitely leaves enough room for the customer to return to buy from you in the future.
How to apply:
- Explain how your product can offer value to the customer
- Keep your video mobile-friendly
- Offer USPs that set your brand apart
11. Don't be drab on social media
Your brand has a voice, a personality - express it.
We live in a time when social media acts as a consistent loudspeaker that amplifies your brand’s voice.
According to Hootsuite’s Social Media Barometer Report, 90% of brands use social media channels for brand awareness. This is also why influencer marketing has grown to become such a rage—it can reach millions of people at a short notice.
The final result: it solidifies your brand presence and creates a strong sense of social proof among your potential customers.
When people engage with your business on social media, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase from you down the road. So, step up your social media game, keep it true to your brand, and most importantly don’t be drab.
How to apply:
- Put up memorable content for your core audiences
- Use relevant CTAs and link them to conversion channels
- Stick to your brand voice for all interactions
How can you boost conversion rates by monitoring your micro conversions?
As mentioned above, the majority of your visitors won’t buy your product on the first go. But that doesn’t mean that the traffic is worthless—or that you shouldn’t be tracking the smaller actions they take.
For example, you may be testing and tracking your CTA for email subscriptions but they may not necessarily be impacting your sales. However, it’ll definitely get you more targeted users who may convert into customers later (and drive sales in the long term).
By prioritizing micro conversions, you can ensure that visitors that leave without making a purchase are not lost forever. Micro conversion helps businesses increase conversion rates and, eventually, increase sales.
1. Pull out data on visitor activities
Most websites have all kinds of visitors—it’s imperative to track your visitor behavior and their activities. Segmenting your users based on their activity will help you understand your audience.
For example, if a visitor is spending more time on your Blog page, then it’s evident that they aren’t looking for a sale immediately. Tracking your micro conversions can help you narrow down your audience and better your chances of conversion.
2. Optimize the key conversion areas
It’s no surprise that every aspect of your website won’t be performing at its best. By tracking micro conversions, you’ll be able to diagnose the problem areas.
Once you analyze drop-off rates in comparison with the total website traffic at each stage, you can optimize them to drive more conversions.
For example, if there’s an issue with form signup (and it’s an important part of your conversion funnel), then that’s a key area to focus on.
3. Offer value to your customers
Ever wondered why many eCommerce businesses lose visitors in the long run? Because they fail to engage their customers.
To successfully see results from conversion rate optimization, it’s not enough that your eCommerce website only generates leads. If there’s a lead, the idea is to be able to nurture it through the smaller stages of the conversion funnel.
For example, Ashford does a great job of catching the shopper’s eye with a great offer that can convince them into taking the next few steps to a macro conversion.
4. Track the performance of your communication channels
Engagement is a predominant factor in the case of micro conversions. How effective are your business channels in engaging customers is a crucial question to answer for better conversions.
There can be multiple markers of visitor interest: signing up for your monthly newsletter, subscribing to your RSS feed, frequently commenting on your YouTube channel, etc. Consistent customer engagement will reflect higher conversion rates.
5. Build an air-tight conversion funnel
If your eCommerce website is fully functional, then it means you already have an existing sales and conversion funnel. Micro conversions are the best way to track the customer journey. When you analyze your micro conversions, you know exactly the small steps your customer takes before making a purchase.
For example, this chart shows the exact journey a customer makes on an eCommerce website before the final macro conversion of product purchase.
Want to know more? Here are 5 stages of an eCommerce conversion funnel (+ways to improve each step)
eCommerce micro conversions and the foot-in-the-door technique
Micro conversions and the foot-in-the-door (FITD) are very closely aligned.
The concept of micro conversions exists because it's not likely that people are going to buy something right off the bat, so businesses should focus on encouraging other smaller desired actions that will eventually lead them to a macro-conversion.
In the same way, the FITD technique acknowledges that customers are more likely to carry out big requests after they’ve agreed to small ones. Take charities for example.
They'll never ask you for a big donation straight off the bat. Instead, they’ll maybe ask you to volunteer first and donate goods before asking you to give them your money.
Both micro conversions and the FITD technique are crucial for eCommerce companies for 3 main reasons:
- They help build trust.
Most shoppers are extremely wary of making a purchase online. Approaching customers with this technique gives you a chance to prove that you can deliver on what you promise to customers. Building trust is imperative for eCommerce companies as ultimately that plays a big role in whether or not customers convert.
- They help attract potential customers.
Many eCommerce stores offer a demo of their products. This gives the brand a chance to showcase its value offer, capabilities, and skill set. Essentially it gives users a taste of what your brand has to offer. This'll instill confidence within the customers to take the leap and make a purchase.
- They help improve customer retention.
In line with the principle of commitment and consistency, once you start getting customers to carry out your requests—be it small or big—they'll naturally be more inclined to continue to do so over time. Applying this technique can help foster loyalty amongst your customers leading to higher rates of retention. This is especially important as it will always be cheaper and more effective to drive conversions from existing customers than from acquiring new ones.
To find the right areas to deploy micro-conversion strategies on your site you can start with an end-to-end audit of your site’s experience. ConvertCart’s team of experts offers this audit at no cost and you can sign up here.
BONUS: Let’s refresh this concept with some quick FAQs.
What are micro conversions?
Micro conversions are small steps that lead visitors to the final conversion-focused goal—macro conversions. For example, micro conversion for an eCommerce store can be new user signup.
Some of the common examples of micro conversions are:
- Email newsletter signups
- Browsing through home, product, or category pages
- Blog comments
- Social engagements such as shares or follows
- eBook downloads
Macro conversions refer to the final product purchase or sale. For an eCommerce store, it’s when the customer finally orders the product.
The customer generally follows through with micro conversions before eventually moving onto a macro conversion.
What are the various types of micro conversions?
There are 2 types of micro conversions you should consider:
a) Process milestones
Process milestones are the conversions that directly lead to a primary macro conversion. These help to identify the critical junctures where UX improvements are required. A/B testing these to measure changes in the final macro conversion outcome can be helpful.
Some examples for an eCommerce store are:
- Navigating to a category or sub-category
- Viewing a product page
- Adding a product to the cart
- Progressing further in the checkout process
b) Secondary actions
Secondary actions are conversions that don’t lead to the primary macro conversion goal—they lead to potential macro conversions in the future. These conversions require a lot of engagement from the visitor and help build trust in their minds.
Some examples for an eCommerce store are:
- Using the search button on the site
- Comparing different products
- Watching a video review
- Signing up for an email newsletter
- Adding a product to the wishlist
- Creating an account on the site
- Social media engagement
How can you choose the right micro conversions for your brand?
Any micro conversion—in order to be effective—has to enhance existing KPIs, improve leads, and contribute to the final macro conversion.
To create micro conversions that’ll readily help reach your set business goals, you need to consider 2 factors: efficiency and effectiveness.
These key performance indicators (KPIs) usually measure how many visitors are lost between each step of the conversion funnel. This will help identify the micro conversions that have the greatest impact on your business goals.
These KPIs focus on the key activities that can lead visitors to become paying shoppers. The idea is to compare various long-term strategies and identify the one that works the best for your business goals.
Here’s another bit of advice—you’ll know it’s an important micro-conversion to track when it meets any of these 3 criteria:
- Connects to a macro conversion
- Reinforces your KPIs
- Generates more leads