Most websites lose 99% of their visitors before they buy.
That’s not a stat we’re guessing. It’s what we’ve seen firsthand, over and over again with our Event Hawk clients.
Anything better than losing 99% of the people who visit your site is above average. It also means half of websites in the party rental industry are probably losing more than 99% of their visitors before they buy.
The job of your website is to get customers! So, would you say losing 99% or more of your visitors is a job well done?
I certainly wouldn’t.
You can’t just fire your website for doing a poor job. So your best bet is to optimize your website by making adjustments everywhere you can. The goal should be to retain visitors, get them to engage with your business, and ultimately book with you.
To get in the right mindset for assessing your website, you’ll want to recognize if you built your website to do its job well in the first place.
When I set up my website, was I thinking primarily about my customers or my company?
Here’s how you can tell the difference:
A site built with a focus on your company only highlights the information you think is important. When you focus on your customer and build your site with them in mind, you emphasize what they think is important.
Many websites focus on the company instead of the customer. If you’re in this camp, you’re certainly not alone.
I want to show you four ways to shift the focus of your website, so you can win more business instead of losing it every day. Because what seems important to you may have little to do with the steps your customer wants and needs to take on their journey to booking with you.
What I’m sharing with you is based on what works for us at Event Hawk as well as the 1500+ party rental businesses we’ve served.
Your Customer’s Journey
Each site visitor, or lead, goes through a journey from the first second they land on your page to finalizing their purchase with you. And there are four places along the way where I see most party rental companies lose their leads.
1. Lost at First Site
One look is all it takes to lose a customer. I’ll show you the #1 change to make to your homepage to keep customers on your site and clicking through your pages.
2. Lost in the Lingo
If your GPS, aka your website navigation, is speaking a foreign language to your customers, they won’t stick around. I’ve got a few pointers on using customer-centric language for you to fix this one.
3. Lost and Tired of Looking
When you bury the information your customer is looking for, they may never find it. I’ll give you the key to getting the right information in front of your customer, so they take action on your site sooner.
4. Lost at the Last Minute
This is the most painful place to lose a lead because they’re so close to booking. Let’s talk about your order process and how you can successfully finalize and upsell your bookings.
How to Measure What Works
Before moving ahead, I want to make sure you understand how to measure and monitor the success of your site.
Broadly speaking, most websites convert at a rate of less than 5%. According to world-leading analyst BigCommerce, most e-commerce websites’ conversion rates are around 2.5-3%. In our years of experience working with party rental businesses, a conversion rate of 1% or less is average.
A 1% conversion rate means that for every 100 website visitors you get, only one of them will take action on your website. That person might request a quote, fill in a form, call your business, or make an online booking.
But…what’s actually happening with the other 99% of your site visitors?
- They can’t easily find what they’re looking for and go elsewhere to book.
- They get confused by your site and book with your clear competitor instead.
- They bookmark your site and forget about it.
- They put off booking until it’s too late to grab their party date.
“You can lose a customer or win them over in ten seconds or less.”
Do you know what your current conversion rate is on your site? If you get 5,000 site visitors a month, a 1% conversion rate would translate into 50 site actions.
Simply being able to double your conversion rate to 2% could mean 100 bookings instead of 50 each month, so let’s get started!
1. Lost at First Site
Your Home Page
A welcome mat that ‘turns away’ your family and friends might be funny at home. But your website welcome mat has to truly let people know they’ve come to the right place.
Your homepage exists to welcome visitors and get them to take action on your site. The action could be either clicking a button on the home page or navigating to another page.
Unfortunately, on average, 40-60% of people leave after visiting a website’s homepage. This is your ‘bounce rate.’
What loses a customer on your home page?
Asking for too much commitment upfront.
Imagine if your welcome mat wasn’t just funny. Imagine it asked visitors to commit to a 4-hour visit before they could cross your threshold.
When you ask site visitors to BOOK NOW as soon as they land on your website, it’s too much of an ask, just like that 4-hour time commitment.
Visitors who aren’t ready to hit that buy button immediately will be inclined to bounce off your site when they encounter it.
“Before someone books with you, they need to get their questions answered.”
The section of your homepage that is visible before someone scrolls down is your virtual welcome mat. It’s called ‘above the fold’ in marketing speak. This idea comes from newspapers. The most important stories are published on the front page of the paper above the fold to get people to pick it up and read.
Above the fold on your site, you’ll want to share the following:
- Your location (or the main area you serve)
- Your main offering
- A simple, low-commitment call-to-action like “Check for Coupons”
Pro Tip: Most visitors these days view from a mobile device. All of our Event Hawk software and tools take this into consideration and optimize for mobile viewing. Test out what’s ‘above the fold’ on your site when viewed on mobile and adjust your layout and text accordingly.
2. Lost in the Lingo
Your Site Navigation
After scrolling through your homepage, people will decide if they want to explore your products further.
This is where your site navigation has a chance to guide them straight to the product they’re looking for.
The keywords here are the product they’re looking for.
If your navigation is filled with industry-speak, your lingo is losing customers.
“Speaking your customers’ language is key.”
For example, a customer is looking for a ‘bounce house’ and you list those products as ‘dry inflatables’. “What does ‘dry inflatable’ mean?” the customer says…They aren’t going to find what they’re looking for if they don’t understand.
Similarly, let’s suppose a customer is looking for a ‘water slide’ and only sees ‘wet inflatables’ on your site. You’re definitely going to lose them.
Industry jargon, technical lingo, or product names you might use with a supplier or within your team are irrelevant on your website.
Use the most straightforward and clearest language possible in your navigation. Creativity and clever text doesn’t belong in your navigation menu. Make sure your customers know exactly what you’re talking about.
Pro Tip: Avoid dropdowns within dropdowns. Nesting your menus makes navigating your site unnecessarily complicated, especially when a customer uses a mobile device.
3. Lost and Tired of Looking
Your Product Pages
Once your customer makes it onto one of your product pages, they’re going to look for product information.
If the product page doesn’t present the right information in the right way, it will leave the customer in a state of indecision.
Your product pages should aim to build your customers’ confidence, eliminate confusion, and make it easy for them to book with you.
Things that exhaust, frustrate, and confuse site visitors include:
- Lengthy paragraphs that are hard to read (especially on a mobile device).
- Too many details that don’t answer their immediate questions.
- Buried information that is hard to find on the page.
- Information that requires them to navigate off the product page and onto separate FAQ or About Pages.
The simplest ways to improve the information on your product page is to:
- Be as concise as possible.
- Use clear headers and bullet points to break up information.
- Tap into a customer’s immediate questions.
- Put FAQs about that particular product on that product page.
“People do not read your entire site. Even IF they happen to read it all, they won’t remember it.”
Answer the most obvious questions on your product pages such as:
- How much does it cost?
- How long do I get to keep it?
- How big is it?
- How many kids does it fit?
- Do you deliver and set up?
- What if it rains?
- What’s included?
- How much is the deposit?
- What will you need from me?
4. Lost at the Last Minute
Your Checkout Page
Even if someone gets to your checkout page, you can still easily lose the sale.
Let’s say Angela wants to rent a bounce house from you.
She lands on your site, navigates to the product page, and clicks your booking button. She’s expecting to pick her date, enter her personal details, and provide payment information for a deposit.
Anything Angela’s asked to do beyond what she expects makes her checkout process longer than anticipated.
“The longer and more complicated you make your checkout process, the more likely you are to lose your customer.”
In order to streamline the booking process, Event Hawk checkout pages gather only essential information from customers and collect a deposit. We leave the rest for after the sale is made. We use automated text-messaging to follow up after a sale with terms, conditions, and other details.
Our clients love how convenient their checkout process becomes when they make the switch to an automated system. This is because customer convenience = customer conversions. And you can do this too!
What About Upsells?
Upsells are often touted as a great way to increase your earnings from each sale. And I agree that they are.
The experts promoting upsells usually recommend upselling when the customer is placing their booking. But we disagree with this approach to upselling. The data we’ve collected simply doesn’t back it up.
What we see happens is as follows. With upsells on checkout pages, the customer pauses to reconsider their order, has to think about it, and decides to ‘come back later.’ They may go to talk to their spouse and delay making a decision. When they do ‘come back later’ they often end up on a competitor’s site by accident!
If your upsells deter customers from placing their original order, they’re costing you sales instead of increasing sales.
The best time to upsell your customer is a few days after they’ve booked or a few days before their party.
This method works because it breaks up the bill and doesn’t seem like they’re making such a big purchase. They’re spending $75 for a cotton candy machine, not $375 for a bounce house and cotton candy machine. 🤯
Ready to Get to Work on Your Site?
Remember to check your conversion rates before you make edits to your site. This will enable you to assess the change in conversion rates. Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors booking on your site at any given time. For instance, let’s say 10 out of 1,000 visitors make a booking on your site in the month of January 2024. That’s 1 out of every 100 visitors booking. So the conversion rate is 1% for January 2024.
Ideally you should see an increase in conversion rates after making edits to your site.
To summarize, there are 4 important aspects of a high converting website:
- The homepage
- The navigation
- Information on the product pages
- The checkout process.
If working on these four areas of your site sounds a little overwhelming…
Or you’d just rather have tested and proven solutions handed to you, ready to ‘plug and play’…
Event Hawk can help.
Our tools equip you with everything you need to set up a successful site. They also allow you to automate texting for upsells, client reminders, post-party follow ups and more.
We’re offering a huge 60% discount on custom website design till February 29th, 2024. If you need a new website or want to revamp your existing one, then this is your best chance. Make the best use of these slower months, so that you are ready for the busy summer ahead….