Two crafty conversion tricks copywriters can learn from eCommerce

Do you get tons of visitors to your website? Yet, for some reason, none of them ever becomes a client?
Well, one way you might be able to generate more enquiries is to think more like an online retailer.
But before I tell you exactly how, there’s just one thing you’ll need to know – what it is that makes a great online retail site.
And, to see what that is, you only have to look at the ultimate online retailer Amazon.
It’s the role model for any eCommerce website.
It has a clean, uncluttered design and is so easy to use. It also has a whole load of great user features that add value to the shopping experience and help you to make a much more informed purchase.
Here are just a few typical examples:
Thoughtful item recommendations, related items and other helpful product suggestions
Customer reviews and product ratings
A Look Inside feature that lets you browse through parts of a book before you buy
A variety of shipping options
So what’s the point?
Well basically, aren’t you selling something on your own website too?
OK, unlike an eCommerce website, you’re selling a service you can’t physically buy over the net.
But that shouldn’t stop you.
In other words, you can still incorporate features into your own site that encourage people to buy or make an enquiry – in just the same way that online retailers do.
So what kind of features can you introduce?
Well, the following are two ways in which I improved my own website that were inspired by eCommerce. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do the same too:
➜ Highly visible call-to-action buttons
Have you ever noticed how on online shopping sites the Add to Cart, Proceed to Checkout or Confirm Order button always stands out from the rest of the page?
Take, for example, the following typical product details page on popular fashion retail site Boohoo.com:

Now take a look at the very bottom of the home page of my own website.

Spot the similarity?
You’ve got it. They both have just what I’m talking about – a prominent call-to-action button.

Sneaky tip:
Choose brighter, contrasting colours for smaller call-to-action buttons so that they grab your visitors’ attention. But for larger buttons, choose colours that blend in more with the colour scheme of your page.
However, choose your colour carefully to avoid clashing with your website’s overall design. If in doubt, consult a graphic designer or use an online colour selection tool such as colorpicker.com or Adobe Kuler.

People almost can’t help but click on buttons. So if a visitor is interested in what you’ve got to sell, they’re all the more likely to take the action you want.
In the above example on Boohoo.com, the action they want you to take is to add the item to your basket. In the case of my site, it’s to get prospective clients to visit my Contact Us page, where they can find out more and make an enquiry if they wish.
This leads me on to the next thing:
➜ A fully featured query form
Just imagine for a moment you’re shopping on an online retail site and you find exactly the product you want.
Then you discover that you don’t actually have the option to make the purchase online. Instead you need to either email or phone the retailer to place your order.
Now doesn’t that sound far too much like hard work? Be honest – you’d much rather click on a few buttons, enter a few details, click to confirm and be done.
So think about this for a moment …
Imagine a similar situation where you’re a visitor to your own website. You decide to make a query, but only have a choice between picking up the phone and sending an email.
So what are you gonna say?
Yeah, you’ve gotta start thinking about things. So it’s very tempting to put that query off until another time – and the only trouble is that you never do come back.
That’s where a fully featured query form comes in.
To see what I mean, let’s look at a clip from my own query form below:

Can you see why making a query is so much easier?
That’s right. Because the form does all the thinking, so you don’t have to. All you need to do is fill in a few fields, select a few options and away you go – you’ve got the ball rolling.
Easy isn’t it?
But just one final thing
All this clicking and selecting is great. Every button you click conveys a sense of action – just like placing an order on an eCommerce website.
But not everyone’s the same. Some people prefer to call. Others like to email. So make sure you give your prospects all three options.
Remember how I included variety of shipping options in my list of great Amazon user features? This is just the same.
The more options you give, the more likely you’ll get a sale.
Do you think these two ideas would work well on your website? Do you have any special conversion tricks of your own? Let us know by adding your views to our comment section below.
Stuff you can tweet:
One way you can generate more enquiries from your website is to think more like an online retailer. [Tweet this]
People can’t help but click on buttons. Turn a call to action into a button and more people will buy. [Tweet this]
The more contact options you offer on your website, the more likely a prospect will get in touch. [Tweet this]
In our next post: Who else has never read a book since school? Find out how reading books sucks if YOU want killer copywriting gigs.
About the Author
Kevin Carlton is a freelance SEO content writer and blogger based in Stafford in the UK. He is the owner of the Make every word work for you blog and website copywriting service Write Online.