Last Updated on 4 October 2020 by Lukasz Zelezny
Increasing E-Commerce Conversions: The Ultimate Guide
The old adage of “If you build it, they will come” really can be truly when it comes to websites. However, you don’t just want them to turn up at your online home. Obviously, you need to turn these visitors into customers, but that’s not always as easy as we might like it to be. Pulling traffic towards your e-commerce store is good, but you need to convert that traffic into revenue. So how do you do it?
If you browse the internet for long enough, you can gather masses of advice about how to convince website visitors to buy your product or service. Some of this information is accurate and helpful, some of it is a little outdated, and some of it is actually wildly incorrect. That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide to increasing e-commerce conversions. It’ll help you cut through the nonsense and get straight to the information you need to increase your conversions and, as a result, your revenue.
So, let’s get started.
What is Conversion rate in eCommerce?
How to work out conversion rate?
Put simply, a conversion rate is the percentage of people who click onto your website and then complete the desired action. This desired action could be pretty much anything you want for your business. The conversion rate could refer to people who sign up for your email newsletter, people who add a product to their wishlist, or people who share your content on Facebook or Twitter. Generally, however, conversion rates refer to sales. Of course, sales are the most important factor for e-commerce stores. Why have a store if no one’s buying the product?
How to calculate conversion rate?
A conversion rate is expressed as a percentage – out of everyone who visits your website, how many of them buy something? Say that this month, 5,000 people visit your online store and you make 100 sales. That would give you a conversion rate of 2%. The calculation looks like this:
(number sales) ÷ (number of visitors) x 100 = conversion rate %
Or in this case:
100 ÷ 5000 x 100 = 2%
What is a good conversion rate for eCommerce?
There is no one-size-fits-all good conversion rate for eCommerce. If your product is highly niche or sells at a high price point, a low conversion rate might be fine for you. If you’re looking to sell a lot of products at a low price, you might want a much higher number. In general, the average e-commerce rate hovers around 1 or 2%. You should aim to hit this, meaning that one or two of every 100 website visitors is making a purchase. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t push beyond this number if you’re already doing well.
How to increase your eCommerce conversion rate?
It can be easy to assume that your products are selling as well as possible and that any increase or decrease is a result of luck. In actual fact, changing the way you set up your website and sell can really impact the number of conversions you make. So how can you increase your e-commerce conversion rate? The tactics you can use broadly fall under 3 headings:
- Things you do to make your products more appealing
- Things you do to make your website more appealing
- Things you do to ensure that interested visitors complete a purchase
Improve Your eCommerce Conversion Rate By Making Your Products More Appealing
Make Your Product Descriptions More Specific
You know that you need to include product descriptions in your e-commerce store. However, you might underestimate how important these descriptions are. Making your product descriptions more specific, with an emphasis on product features and how it can be used, will give customers confidence in making their purchase. Imagine that you know nothing about your product and include all the information you would need to know to convince you to buy it.
Improve Your Images
The internet is inherently visual, so your product images need to be of high quality. In fact, the majority of consumers won’t buy a product if they don’t like the image that accompanies it. Include at least one clear, high-quality image that fits the style of the product and your website and, if possible, demonstrates it in use. Customers can’t touch or try out the products in your e-commerce store, so they need to be attracted by the images and descriptions.
Include A Videos on your eCommerce Website
You can really improve your eCommerce conversion rate by including an informational or demonstration video. You want to show your customers what their lives would be like if they had your product and a video is the best way to do this. Videos will also keep customers on your website for longer, boosting your SEO while improving your conversion rate.
Advertise Widely Available Coupon Codes
People love buying products at reduced prices. One of the benefits of running an e-commerce store is that you have total control over your prices and you can offer coupons and sales as you see fit. Make it easy for customers to find a coupon code to give them a little money off their purchase and you will generally see your eCommerce conversion rate increase.
Offer Free or Reduced Shipping
Including free shipping acts a huge incentive to convince customers to make a purchase. Offering free shipping makes customers feel like they’re saving money, even if you heighten the cost of the product to absorb the shipping costs. You can also offer reduced or free shopping for purchases over a certain price. Shipping costs can act as a huge barrier to sales, so wipe them out altogether and your conversion rate will improve.
Improve Your Conversion Rate By Making Your Website More Trustworthy
Perfect The Language You Use
Bad spelling and grammar and odd sentence structures can really put off potential customers, so make sure the language on your website is used correctly. If you can, ask a grammar nerd friend or professional proofreader to take a look at your website to point out and correct any errors or confusing sentences. Correcting these issues will make your website look far more professional and legitimate.
Advertise That Your Store Is Secure
Even the average web user cares about cybersecurity these days, so make sure your e-commerce website is secure and advertise that to visitors. Installing SSL on your website, displaying security certificates, and including accepted payment logos will give customers confidence in their security when using your website. Your potential customers want to know that their personal information and credit card details will be secure, so make sure it is and that they know it.
Offer A Live Chat Service
If you have the ability to offer a live chat service, do it. Live chat can answer customers’ questions and give the impression that you’re there to support them through their purchase, which is an important part of gaining their business. Live chat software also lets them see the people behind your business, making you seem like a more trustworthy, approachable store.
Make It Mobile-Friendly
It sends a really bad message to consumers if they try to access your e-commerce store and can’t. Not having a mobile-friendly interface can be a big problem in this area. The majority of customers now access a store for the first time on a mobile device, so your layout and images need to show up correctly on smartphones and tablets. Otherwise, they might never make it to the purchasing stage.
Improve Your Layout
You need to make it very easy for customers to find products in their store. Categorize your products, display prices clearly, and maximize your tags so that customers will find a product if they try to search for it within the store. Your layout might be attractive, but if customers can’t find a product easily, they’ll wonder why and then leave your website. Functionality is more important than aesthetics when it comes to e-commerce, so make your layout as intuitive as possible.
Improve Your Conversion Rate By Ensuring That Interested Visitors Complete Their Purchase
Start A/B Testing
Use A/B testing (or split testing), where you change the design or content features of your website and analyze metrics from the two options to see which leads to more conversions. You can change your checkout process to see what leads to more completed purchases or even just make simple changes like testing which “Add To Cart” icon your customers prefer. Once you’ve run several A/B tests, you’ll have a better idea of what customers need to see to complete a purchase on your site.
Offer A Lenient Returns Policy in Your eCommerce
When customers buy a product online, they want to know that it will be easy to return if they don’t like it or if there’s some issue with its delivery. Include clear, easy to find information about your returns policy and try to make it as reasonable as possible. The majority of people won’t ever return a product but they want to know that it’s an easy possibility before they buy.
Make It Easy To Check Out
Don’t crowd the checkout process with a lot of unnecessary steps, and make it easy for customers to navigate to their basket at any time. If you make it easy to check out, customers will do it, but every step you add to the process gives them more time to reconsider and step away. Allow customers to check out as guests without creating an account on your website and limit the amount of information they have to fill in before they buy.
Show Products And Prices During Checkout
Customers want to check what they’re buying and know that they’re paying the right price, because it is all too easy to accidentally order multiples of the same product or choose the wrong color or style. Keep the name of the product, an image of it, and the price of the product, shipping, and tax clear at every stage of checkout so customers are comfortable to press “Buy”.
Send Abandoned Cart Emails
Use cart abandonment software like Rejoiner, Snipcart, or BigCommerce software so you can follow up with people who add items to a cart but then leave the website without purchasing. With this software, you can send follow-up emails reminding them of the items in their cart and even offer coupon codes to make them more likely to complete their purchase. As long as you don’t overload the customer with emails, these follow-ups can significantly increase your customer retention and eCommerce conversion rates.
Tracking Your eCommerce Conversion Rate
You need to track your conversion rate or you won’t know if these tactics are working for you. Google Analytics makes it easy for you to visualize your conversions over time and provides tools which allow you to see how different metrics are affecting these conversions. You can also track your eCommerce conversions using specific plugins like Analytify and Clicky Analytics.
Of course, conversions don’t only refer to sales. There are other useful conversions you may want to track. In fact, even if sales are your main aim, it can help to track these metrics and see how they affect your sales:
- Account creation (how many visitors register for an account on your website)
- Newsletter signups (how many visitors sign up to receive a regular newsletter from you)
- Review reads (how many visitors read reviews of your products before leaving your website)
- Media views (how many visitors play a video or interact with a product slideshow on your website)
- Location views (how many visitors view your location or click through to a Google Maps link)
Understanding and increasing your conversion rate can be quite simple if you’re willing to put in the extra effort it takes and take advantage of insights from your analytics. By making your products more appealing, your website more trustworthy, and encouraging visitors to complete an initiated purchase, you can increase your conversion rate and understand more about how customers are using your website.