Depending on your company, you might have hundreds or even thousands of products for sale on your website. But trying to cram all of those products onto one page is ineffective, and it’s crushing your conversions.
Clutter overwhelms the customers. Instead, focus on your top selling products or items with the highest profit margins.
Let’s look at a globally recognized brand as an example. Here’s Apple’s homepage:
When in doubt, it’s always a great idea to look at successful companies as examples. Apple is an industry leader, and their website is about as simple as it gets.
Think about the number of different products they offer. They have all kinds of different desktop computers, laptops, phones, and other electric accessories, not to mention the digital products like software and music.
If they tried to fit everything they sell on their homepage, it would be an absolute mess.
Instead, they promote one product and have a navigation bar at the top of the screen that lists different categories.
This makes it really easy for shoppers to find exactly what they’re looking for.
In the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple reported $52.6 billion in revenue— a 12% increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. It’s safe to say they don’t have a problem with conversion rates.
2. Use high quality images
One of the most difficult parts of online shopping is the lack of direct access to the products shoppers consider buying. They rely on photos to get an accurate idea of their options.
It’s up to you to make sure you have lots of high quality pictures for every product.
You should have a photograph from every angle. Zoom in on features. Have pictures of models using or wearing what you’re selling.
This will make it much easier for shoppers to make a decision.
Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about from the Nike website:
They’ve got six different pictures of just one white hoodie. If you click on the other colors for this product, you’ll see even more photos.
I realize this takes time. It’s not necessarily the easiest process to take half a dozen photos of everything you’re selling.
But in the long run, it’s well worth it. Now shoppers know exactly what this product looks like from every angle. They’re more likely to buy it if it fits their needs.
3. Include a detailed product description
In addition to photos, you’ll want to thoroughly describe what you’re selling. With items like clothing, it’s usually self-explanatory.
However, if you’re selling electronics or something that has a bit of a learning curve, an accurate and detailed product description could help you close the sale.
Think of it like this. If a customer were to walk into a physical store, there would be employees to answer questions and help explain how different products work.
Shoppers don’t have that luxury when they browse online. It’s your job to make sure they aren’t confused about a product.
Even if you’re selling something simple, such as a t-shirt, point out how it differs from others. Does it keep you cool when it’s hot? Does it keep you warm when it’s cold?
These are things that can’t be determined from a photo alone.
Check out how Amazon accomplishes this with one of their TV wall mounts:
Just like companies in our previous two examples, Amazon is another industry leader across the globe. They know how to sell products online.
While the photos are helpful, the description really helps the consumers.
It explains which kinds of TVs this mount is compatible with as far as size and weight are concerned. The description also covers the various mounting patterns based on what kind of TV you have.
Without the description, you wouldn’t know how far off the wall the mount comes or how close to the wall you can push it.
Not everyone is an expert in mounting televisions. The majority of people probably never have to do this. And unless you install home theater equipment for a living, it’s probably not something you’ll do more than a few times in your life.
For a unique and somewhat niche product like this, accurate descriptions can really help drive the sale.
4. Show video demonstrations
This element takes our last point a step further. Instead of telling the consumer what your product does and how it works, show them.
On top of providing customer service, you should have as much information as possible about your company available on your website.
Clearly display your:
If this information isn’t on your site, it could appear sketchy. Customers may think you’re not a reputable company.
What if they have a problem with their order? If your contact information isn’t available, how will they get their issue resolved?
That uncertainty could prevent people from buying things on your website.
9. Run promotions
As I said earlier when talking about extra fees and costs, consumers are price-sensitive. It’s important to be aware of this.
One way to get people to convert more on your ecommerce site is by running promotions. Offer sales, discounts, or other special offers that sound enticing.
It just needs to be worth it. For example, if you’re offering a 5% discount on orders over $200, it’s not going to make anybody rush to make a purchase.
But on the other hand, if you’re offering 25% off everything on your website, it will boost your conversions.
Just make sure you have all your numbers worked out. You don’t want to slash prices so low that you’re not turning a profit with each sale.
The best way to go about this is by jacking up your prices initially, then constantly running sales.
Check out all of these different promotions on the Macy’s website:
They have some discounts as high as 50% off. This is a great way to drive sales.
Just make sure you’re careful with this strategy. Once you start offering discounts and promotions, customers may be less likely to buy things at full price. They’ll just wait until the next time you run a sale.
If you’re going to incorporate discounts, markdowns, and other promotional offers into your ecommerce marketing campaign, be prepared to do it often.
10. Accept as many payment options as possible
I realize some credit card companies charge you higher fees than others. But that’s no reason to exclude those payment options from your website.
You can’t assume every customer visiting your website has a Visa card. You need to accept all major credit cards, including Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
Even if they have a card you accept, it doesn’t mean they want to use it. They might have better benefits or a lower balance on a different card.
You should also take alternative forms of payment, such as PayPal, Venmo, or Apple Pay.
Offering more options increases the chances of the customer being able to pay with their preferred card or method.
It’s also important that the checkout process is completely secure. That way your customers feel safe about entering their credit card information.
11. Recommend products to enhance the shopping experience
If your site is using cookies to track browsing behavior, you can recommend products to your customers based on what they like. Use their previous order history as well to personalize recommendations.
This shows the consumer you care. Their browsing experience is different from everyone else’s.
By now I’m sure you realize how important Instagram is for your business.
Every day your audience gets bombarded with many different pictures and videos showing up on their timelines. That’s why I’ve told you in the past that you need to write captions that drive engagement.
But nobody will read your captions if the image doesn’t capture their attention. They’ll just keep mindlessly scrolling past your post.
I’ve seen some companies hire experts in photography to help them put out better Instagram posts.
Now you can use that extra cash and apply it to other aspects of your business to focus on the newest marketing trends.
Instagram has tools allowing you to edit your photos and videos directly on their platform. Those might be okay for the average person, but your business should avoid them.
It’s all about standing out from the crowd.
All of the 800 million monthly active Instagram users have access to those editing tools. If you’re using them too, your posts will look like everyone else’s.
There are other apps available that can help make your photos stand out. But there are thousands of them out there, so it’s tough to figure out which ones are most useful.
That’s why I’ve taken the time to share with you the best 15 apps for photo and video editing. These will help you take your Instagram posts to the next level.
I’ll go through all of my favorites and show you some of the key features of each one.
1. Afterlight 2
If you’re looking for unique filters, Afterlight 2 has a huge collection of old school and vintage ones available. These are definitely an upgrade from filters that come standard with Instagram.
They also have some really cool effects and designs that allow you to add text and other typography to your images:
You can even put part of your text behind elements within your photo. This feature is perfect for businesses.
Now you can capture the attention of your followers by layering a catchy headline directly over your image as opposed to just writing a caption. This is a great opportunity for you to do something like:
advertise a sale
promote a new product
build hype for an event
run a contest
get more followers
draw attention to a link in your bio
You can download Afterlight 2 for $2.99, and that’s all you’ll ever pay for this app. They don’t have any other in-app upgrades or additional charges to access their best features.
Snapseed takes your editing effects to a whole new level. You can apply effects and filters to specific areas of your image with high precision:
They’ve got a really cool editing feature called a perspective tool. This helps you automatically adjust or correct any skewed lines in your images.
Let’s face it, a picture taken by hand won’t be 100% perfect. You might think your horizon is level or buildings are lined up properly, but that’s rarely the case.
That’s when the perspective tool can make your photos look professional.
What’s the best part about Snapseed? It’s free. It’s definitely worth checking out since there’s no risk involved.
3. Aviary Photo Editor
Aviary Photo Editor is an Adobe product. If you’ve used Adobe software and were happy with the experience, you should give this Photo Editor a try:
The editing tools on Aviary allow you to saturate colors within your photos as well as soften or sharpen areas for an effect.
Aviary also has a large collection of frames, stickers, and other overlays to embellish your images. You can even hand-draw captions across the pictures.
I like to use Aviary because of the features allowing me to fine-tune my images. With just a couple of clicks, you can eliminate blemishes or brighten shadows to make your images more lively.
Aviary saves your images to the cloud. If you have an Adobe ID, you can access your images from anywhere and edit them from any device.
This feature comes in handy if you’re taking and editing images as a team. Everything can be stored in one place.
For those of you who want to add a vintage feel to your videos, Vintagio has what you need, as the name suggests.
If you’ve got a fashion company or ecommerce store that sells clothing, this app can be useful for promoting products from bygone eras.
If you want your video to appear to be from a certain time period, their video filters can match the style of that time. That way, it’s clear to your audience that the setting of your video is not supposed to be the present day.
You can also trim and piece together different video clips with this app.
And you can change the video quality of your clips if you want to create something that looks like it’s from the 1950s.
Vintagio has great soundtracks from different eras as well. You can adjust the speed and timing and add other effects to your clips too.
Combining all these elements together will help you make a unique Instagram video.
5. Average Camera Pro
The name says it all. Average Camera Pro was created to help regular people edit photos like professionals.
Unlike other apps that just edit photos, Average Camera Pro has a built-in camera function. You can use it to take multiple pictures at the same time or set a timer for the photos.
You’d find these tools on high-quality and expensive cameras. But you can have them on your phone for just $0.99.
This camera function works best if you want to take pictures in low-light settings. Since you’re increasing the exposure time, you’ll get brighter pictures that would normally appear dark on a regular phone camera.
Sometimes when you try to brighten a really dark photo, the editing looks obvious in your final image.
But you won’t have to worry about that if you take the pictures with Average Camera Pro.
TiltShift is great for bringing focus to a specific area of an outdoor scene. So if you’ve got a business with a physical storefront, you can use this app to bring your location to life.
The effect makes your image appear as if it’s a miniature. Instagram has a tilt-shift feature built into their editing tools, but this one is far more advanced.
If you take lots of landscapes or other outdoor photos, this app is worth getting for just $1.99.
Do you want to change the background of a picture you took? Instagram doesn’t have any tools for that, so you’ll need to get the Superimpose app.
Superimpose lets you remove the background from an image.
Then, you can combine it with another picture. This is awesome from an advertising perspective.
Want to take an exotic beach photo without leaving your office?
Check out these creative images above. Superimpose allows you to blend images together or even change an image into something unrealistic, such as a fish with the head of a chicken.
Using Superimpose as part of your arsenal of photo editing tools will make your brand stand out on Instagram. You can create images that are fun, exciting, and imaginative.
Plus, their software creates a smooth final product that’s believable. Your pictures won’t have that unprofessional crop and paste feel to them.
It’s only $1.99 to download. In no time at all, you’ll be uploading new photos to Instagram that will get your followers talking.
8. 8mm Vintage Camera
The 8mm Vintage Camera is great for shooting and editing longer videos. Now that Instagram lets you upload videos that are up to a minute long, this app is perfect for you.
You can get really cool video effects such as:
All of these can make your videos feel more authentic.
8mm Vintage Camera was even used in the filming of an Oscar-nominated movie.
If a professional director can use this app to get on the red carpet, you can certainly use it to edit your Instagram videos. It’s available for download for just $1.99 with some additional premium themes available as in-app purchases.
If you love adding filters to your photos but are sick and tired of using the same ones, it’s time for an upgrade. CrossProcess has over 70 filters.
I’ve seen many businesses on Instagram using the same one or two filters over and over again.
Your followers will realize pretty quickly you’re not being very original. Once this happens, they may start ignoring your posts. Or even worse, they could unfollow you.
If they aren’t following you, you won’t be able to keep them informed of other promotional information that drives engagement and gets conversions.
You can prevent this from happening by simply spicing up your photos with new filters available from CrossProcess.
Instagram allows you to upload multiple photos to one post. The only problem is you have to rely on your followers to scroll through each one.
This is not always the case.
If you want to combine multiple photos into one image, you can do it by creating a collage with PicFrame:
One of the coolest parts of this app is you can apply different filters and effects to each image within your collage as opposed to having one tone across the entire picture. That way, they can all be unique and stand out from each other.
You can also adjust the color and design patterns of your frames with this app.
If you really want to enhance your collage, PicFrame has lots of bonus features like stickers, shapes, text, and even music.
I think it’s worth the $2.99 price tag.
11. Facetune 2
If the majority of your Instagram photos contain people as opposed to just products or landscapes, you need to consider Facetune 2.
Nobody is perfect. Sometimes, we get blemishes, breakouts, or acne. After a long night of tossing and turning, everyone gets bags under their eyes.
But these imperfections shouldn’t discourage you from posing for a photo.
This app can make photos of people more flattering. Sometimes, all it takes is a slight adjustment to the lighting.
Facetune 2 also has specific filters designed for selfies. Sometimes the front-facing camera on our phones doesn’t take the best pictures, so just apply one of the filters to make up for it.
With a few easy steps, you can easily:
change eye color
eliminate shine on oily skin
make dull skin appear vibrant
The Facetune 2 app is completely free, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t at least try it.
12. Tiny Planet Photos and Video
Tiny Planet lets you take images and videos with a fisheye lens effect.
This effect creates the appearance of a “tiny planet”—hence, the name.
Have you checked Instagram today? How many photos have you seen so far that look like this?
I’m willing to bet you haven’t seen any. I know I haven’t.
Get this app if you want to create images that are fun. The circular and warped photos this app creates can also be used as background images on phones, computers, or other devices.
You can suggest that to your followers.
Quick has really cool fonts that you can add to your photos.
They simplified the photo editing process with this app. Quick advertises that it’s designed to be used with “just a thumb.” So you won’t need to get on your computer or do anything too fancy to get great photos.
You can send your edited image straight to Instagram or other social media platforms directly from the app.
As you can see from the example above, their text overlay features are great for captioning a photo or listing a price for something on your ecommerce store.
14. DXP FREE
The whole purpose of the DXP FREE app is to create multiple exposures on one image.
As a result, your pictures will stand out. Check out these examples:
Instagram doesn’t offer such tools.
This app does require a little bit of patience and precision. You’ll need to understand the concepts of blending, or you might get a bit frustrated when you’re trying to edit.
But like with anything else, the more you use it, the easier it’ll get. Just as the name says, it’s free to download.
Tangent lets you add patterns, textures, and geometric shapes to your images.
It’s another way to let your creative juices flow.
It also has some features that allow you to add framing overlays to your photos.
Tangent gives you an opportunity to express yourself. If your company has an audience that recognizes art and creativity, you’ll definitely want to use Tangent to impress your Instagram followers.
To captivate your Instagram followers, you’ll need to make sure your photos and videos are edited properly. That doesn’t mean you have to hire a professional editor.
There are plenty of apps available that are really easy for anyone to use. Lots of these are free of charge or only cost a couple of dollars, so they are worth a try.
Everyone with an Instagram account has access to the same filters and editing tools.
Editing your photos with another app can separate your pictures from the crowd. If you’re not sure where to find the best apps, refer to this list as a guideline.
All of these apps are unique and offer different features depending on what you’re looking for, such as collages, text overlays, face touch-ups, or vintage themes.
What types of camera effects do you like to use when you’re editing photos and videos on Instagram?
When you’re browsing on their website, you can clearly see at all times they offer free shipping and free returns. Their customers know they can get the item delivered free and send it back without any problems.
Obviously, you don’t want items to be returned. Don’t worry, they probably won’t be. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, about 8% of all purchases get returned.
But just giving your customers the peace of mind can be enough to drive the sale.
In addition to your shipping and return policies, make sure you highlight any other features your company offers. Some things to consider:
social proof of the product
any differentiating features.
One of these elements can turn a “window shopper” into a paying customer.
Learn how to use images
Believe it or not, pictures can help improve your conversion rates. Instead of just listing your products, show the customer what they’re buying.
While you may have an image or two of your products on your ecommerce shopping page, make sure that image shows up in the shopping cart.
This can help remind the consumer what they’re buying and reinforce their decision. Plus, it’s much more appealing than just reading some text on a page.
Notice it shows a person, and that person is looking at the promotional information and the CTA button.
We’ve already established consumers are drawn to faces. In this case, you’d look at the model’s face and then follow his gaze directly toward the text.
This is a great method for increasing conversions.
Simplify the overall design of your website
In addition to simplifying your checkout process, you should also try to clean up your entire website.
If your products are displayed in a cluttered manner, the consumers will feel overwhelmed. They won’t be able to find what they’re looking for, and your conversion rates will suffer.
While you may have hundreds or potentially even thousands of items for sale on your website, you don’t need to cram all of them on to one page.
Less is more.
Let’s look at an example so you can see what I’m talking about. Here is the homepage for Thule:
There are only five different places the consumer can click to start navigating through products. On the top header, they can select:
racks & carriers
active with kids
luggage & bags
They’ve also got some options within the main body of the page for:
Now, as you continue to scroll, you’ll see more options that follow the same format as these two pictures above. But at no time do you ever see more than two pictures and two CTA buttons on the screen at once.
This simple design makes it easy for shoppers to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Give your customers lots of payment options
Some payment options may be more beneficial to your company than others. I completely understand this.
One credit card company may charge higher transaction fees than others, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t accept that method of payment.
Recognize your customers have preferences. Certain payment options may give them better reward points or bonus miles over others.
If they want something but can’t buy it with their favorite card, they’ll just buy it from a different retailer instead.
You should accept newer and unconventional types of payment as well. In addition to accepting all major credit cards and debit cards, consider using:
I want to show you an example of this. Here’s a screenshot from the Nike website:
If you look at the bottom right corner of the screenshot above, you’ll see they allow their customers to check out using PayPal.
This could appeal to people who have a high PayPal balance and who want to use it for purchases. Accepting PayPal can also help eliminate concerns from customers who may be worried about their credit card information getting stolen.
The reason why I used this example from Nike is because it also highlights another concept I mentioned earlier.
Although they encourage customers to create a profile, they allow them to continue the checkout as guests. Even under the guest checkout area, it shows all the benefits of becoming a member.
To join, all you need to do is check off a box and proceed.
Another quick point about your payment methods. I recommend asking for payment as the last step of the checkout procedure.
By now, the customer has already invested some time into providing other information, so they’ll be more likely to continue. Asking for their payment first could drive them away.
Don’t forget about mobile shoppers
Retailers always need to keep mobile shoppers in mind.
The reason why this strategy works is because it helps you establish a more intimate connection with your subscribers. They’ll see that the content was created specifically for them as opposed to a mass audience.
I’m much more likely to open a message that says “Hey Neil!” than the one that begins with “Dear Valued Customer.” The first one makes it seem like I personally know the sender.
Give this method a try next time you’re sending out an email.
2. Subjects that create a sense of urgency
Are you familiar with the concept of FOMO? It stands for the “fear of missing out” on something.
Social media websites today make FOMO more prevalent. Take a look at these numbers:
FOMO has become such a problem for people that it’s impacting the way they live their lives. You can stimulate this powerful emotion in your email subject lines.
How can you create a sense of urgency?
Offer a sale with an expiration date.
If someone is on your subscriber list, they’ve probably bought something from your company in the past. Even if they haven’t, they’re interested enough to probably buy something soon.
While your coupon might be available in the body of the message, you need to make it obvious in the subject line.
Let’s compare two hypothetical subject lines. Which one do you think is more effective?
“New weekly coupon inside!”
“25% off sale ends tonight!”
I promise you that the second example will get more opens than the first one. That’s because the deadline of “ends tonight” gives people a reason to act fast.
If they don’t open the message now, they’ll fear they will be missing out on a great deal—FOMO.
Another way to generate urgency is by alluding to a limited quantity of something remaining. Here’s a great example from GetResponse:
GetResponse is an email marketing software. So it’s no surprise they have a great email subject line to promote their services.
The idea is to get people to act fast.
If your subject line says the deal is valid until the end of the month, the recipient has no reason to open it now. They may never end up opening it.
But that can change if you generate urgency.
3. Breaking news subject lines
Your content needs to be highly relevant.
If your company isn’t in the news reporting or media industries, you’ll have to get creative here. Here’s what I mean.
You don’t need to send emails reporting a local robbery or car accident. But you can link recent news to your business.
For example, let’s say you have an ecommerce company that sells clothing. You’ve got your email subscribers segmented by location based on their zip codes.
It’s February, and a winter snowstorm is approaching the states in New England.
You could send an email with a breaking news subject line about the storm and say that you’re selling winter coats, hats, and gloves at a discounted rate.
MailChimp conducted a study in which they analyzed 24 billion emails. These subject lines had roughly 22,000 unique words.
Their data showed that people opened messages with keywords that were related to breaking news.
If you can’t think of create ways to link recent news to your email campaigns, create some news of your own. Share recent news about your company.
Talk about things like:
a new product release
an approaching event
new member of your staff
And make them sound like news headlines in your subject lines.
That’s why we read books, watch movies, and sit for hours watching our favorite television shows on Netflix. The stories keep us captivated.
You should tell stories in your emails to capture the attention of your subscribers. Then you can include CTAs within the story or have the general theme of your story prompt an action.
But the key here is to use the subject line as a teaser for the story.
If you’re trying to drive traffic to a new post you wrote, consider using its title as your subject line—if it tells a story.
Here’s an example of an old post I wrote about spending money on clothes and being able to generate a profit:
That’s a headline that grabs a reader’s attention.
If I wanted to promote this post via email, I could use its title as the subject line. Both of those numbers, spent and earned, are too high for people to ignore.
They might ask themselves, “How could you make that much money just by spending money on clothes?”
Then they would click to read the story or, in this case, open your email.
5. Stimulate curiosity with a subject line
People are curious by nature.
Refer back to our last example about storytelling. The reason why someone would want to click on that message is because they are curious.
Your subject line should try to pique the curiosity of your subscribers.
Don’t give it all away in the subject line. Instead, hint at something that they’ll find out if they open your message.
Rather than saying, “here’s 30% off your next purchase,” you can create a mystery sale instead. If you just tell the subscriber their discount, they don’t have a reason to open the message unless they are ready to use it.
Here’s an example from Forever 21 of an email that employs this technique:
Apply the same concept to your subject line.
It doesn’t have to be applied to sales only. You can hint at a mystery event or maybe even a special guest on your next podcast.
Just make sure you’re not giving away all the information in the subject line.
Here’s another example. Let’s say you’re in the food industry. You want to send out an email about the most popular foods in America.
Instead, you would write something like, “What’s America’s favorite vegetable? We’ve got the answer.”
This subject makes the recipient wonder, whereas just stating the answer gives them no reason to actually open the message.
6. Short subject lines
No matter what type of content your subject line contains, it needs to be short. Avoid using really long sentences and unnecessary characters.
To optimize the length of your subject lines, I recommend writing out several drafts before deciding on one. Then you can pick and choose pieces of each draft so you can get your message across as short as possible.
So how long is too long? Studies show that email subjects lines that have between 1 and 20 characters have the highest open rates.
As you can see, this statement holds true across the board, regardless of what the email entails.
This could be due to the fact if the subject line is too long, the recipient may not be able to see all of the words in their inbox.