20 ways to increase your ecommerce conversion rate
Anna Kysel, Creative writer @ OWOX
It feels good to be the owner of a successful online store! Customers place orders easily, managers process everything quickly, and the goods leave the warehouse on time.
Here are 20 ways how to increase your ecommerce conversion rate and improve the profitability and performance of your business so you can achieve this perfect scenario.
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What is the conversion rate and is there a standard baseline?
The conversion rate shows what percentage of your website visitors completed a target action. The higher the conversion rate, the higher the likelihood you’ll increase the revenue of your online store. Conversion analysis helps store owners understand how to achieve their goals and reduce costs.
Useful! Conversion knowledge base: What is a site conversion, how to calculate conversions, how to optimize them, and how to set goals.
There’s no exact standard for the ideal conversion rate; it will differ depending on the business sphere, season, and type of product or service. In addition, each marketer chooses a particular period for tracking and target action for the online store. For example, if your target action is purchasing goods, you should pay attention to the average conversion rate chart prepared by MarketingSherpa after interviewing 2,912 marketers.
According to this table, if you sell apparel, a conversion rate of 8% won’t impress anyone. But the same 8% is a worthy result if you’re selling industrial equipment. Later, when planning your conversion optimization, you should consider your own conversion rates for previous periods and business indicators in your niche.
What should you check before battling the conversion rate?
Various factors influence the conversion rate:
1. Ease of use
Fast load speeds, easy navigation, and simple and intuitive menus make your site comfortable for users.
With ecommerce, you don’t have pleasant salespeople who can talk up the most outstanding features of your products in a physical store. You have only your site. Make it communicative and useful for your customers. This includes translating the site into a customer’s language.
To check how convenient your site is, find out for yourself how easy it is to make an order. By following the purchase path yourself, you’ll be able to clearly see what you should change or add.
2. Quality of service
To keep your customers, your employees must maintain high standards of service.
Your conversion rate can be improved by:
- Providing fast service
- Complying with standards
- Writing quality sales scripts and constantly improving them
For example, if you sell VIP goods and your call center employees have poor knowledge of your products or if there’s background noise when confirming the order, customers may have doubts. As a result, you’ll have a lower conversion rate.
3. Website design
The design and style of your site affects the purchasing decisions and actions of potential customers. According to Digital Synopsis, 35% of people are unable to perform even basic tasks on the average website.
Imagine that you sell laptops or other equipment and the button for scrolling product images doesn’t work or is hard to see. How long will the customer suffer in order to examine the product in detail? Most likely, they’ll leave the site.
4. Convenient options for delivery, payment, and returns
It’s important for customers of online stores to know that you can ship to their location and that they can pay with their preferred payment method. If your payment page has a high bounce rate, it’s worth considering what buyers don’t like at the last stage of the sales funnel.
Work on expanding the area in which you deliver products, support a variety of payment options, and allow customers to return goods. This will affect the likelihood of purchases.
5. Customer support and company reliability
If you’re new to the market or you have a new website, customers’ doubts about your company can negatively affect the conversion rate. If you have a few reviews on the site but no product ratings, customers will think something is wrong. It’s like going to a store where everything is too beautiful and there’s absolutely no one but a silent seller.
For example, say your customer bought a lawn mower from you but can’t understand the assembly instructions or is having trouble using it. They go to your site looking for photo and video reviews, chat support, or a phone number. If your site doesn’t provide this, most likely you’ll get a negative review and the customer will return the mower. You sold the product, but you abandoned the customer with their problem.
Make sure your site has a contact page, real photos and video reviews, text reviews, and links to social networks. This is a must-have to boost the conversion rate.
6. Quality content
Text, photos, and videos positively affect the conversion rate – if they’re high quality. It’s better if content is interesting and useful rather than explicitly selling something. For example, if you’re selling smart watches, you might write a series of blog posts comparing new models or offer life hacks for athletes.
When a site visitor sees a button to buy now but doesn’t see a detailed review of the product or an article about its benefits, they may not be interested.
7. Unique product
You should take the uniqueness of your product into account even before creating an online store. In a market with fierce competition, one can hardly expect high conversion rates without a unique product or service. Moreover, competitors’ prices also affect the conversion rate and the behavior of your users.
It’s worth answering the question: If your product can be purchased at dozens of sites, why should people buy it from you? Customers will look for additional bonuses in the form of free delivery or buy from the very first site at the top of the search results.
Of course, there are a lot of other factors that affect the conversion rate of your online store. However, the factors we’ve highlighted above directly depend on you.
The best ways to increase your conversion rate
Now you know what affects your site’s conversion rate, let’s consider specific actions that will increase it.
1. Make registration optional
Allowing customers to register on the website and create a personal account before buying helps you track buyers and communicate with them. However, not everyone who makes a purchase is ready to register and agree to the processing of their personal data. Compulsory registration can scare off a potential customer who’s ready to make a purchase in one click. So it’s better to make registration optional.
If you still want to collect customer data, offer customers some additional benefit for providing it.
2. Add a side navigation bar
Side navigation allows customers to quickly navigate your site to find the category and product they’re looking for. With a sidebar, users can navigate while staying on a product page.
A side navigation bar can show not only categories and sections but also other information that’s useful for shoppers – for example, reminders about free shipping, payment methods, or promotions.
3. Offer video content
This is an expensive way to increase conversions because in order to create high-quality and useful video, you need a lot of resources.
However, if you’re ready to give it a try, you can make a test video, see how much the conversion rate increases, and compare the result with the cost of producing the video.
Adidas managed to make a video with 30,000 runners during the 2018 Boston Marathon. Then they sent it to all marathon participants within 24 hours. As a result, the open rate of the email was 113%, and conversions on the site increased 11 times!
A video placed on a landing page gives a good effect. For example, EyeView tested a client’s landing page with and without a video. The test showed that the video increased conversions by 86%. With a video, users can see a product from different angles, which helps them understand exactly what they’re buying and creates trust in the company.
If the video contains not only the product but also you or your employees, it creates the feeling of a personal sale. Without a doubt, if we compare text, photo, and video content, video is the most effective.
4. Test your online store
To maintain a high conversion rate, you need to regularly test your site for errors and check the download speed. Java Script errors can break the functionality of your store and, consequently, reduce the conversion rate. Customers may leave because they don’t have time to wait until the page loads or the error is resolved. Most likely, they’ll go to a competing site that works properly.
5. Show actual prices in a prominent place
Website visitors get annoyed by hidden prices, since it means they can’t immediately evaluate a product and its price. If the price on your site is available only after a phone call or email, most likely the buyer will leave if there are more efficient options.
Extra steps to find out the price will lower your conversion rate. It’s better to show an already discounted price or add a countdown timer to the price. Many online stores use the limited time offer trick. This creates a sense of urgency and the possibility of missing out on the deal of the century, stimulating visitors to purchase.
6. Use at least two columns for product cards
So that visitors need to do less scrolling and can see more products on the page, you can show several products in one row.
Four products can fit on the desktop version of the site, and two can fit on the mobile version. This way, users won’t need to wait for extra pages to load to see more products.
7. Provide convenient basket options
If the last step of the purchasing funnel is the basket, then it should be accessible with one click and be conveniently placed in a visible spot. The basket should show the product name, a photo, the quantity, and the price of each item, delivery and payment information, a field for entering coupons, an option to continue shopping, etc. You should also offer product recommendations in the basket.
It’s a shame to lose a customer due to errors with the basket. Start an email and/or remarketing campaign with a special offer in order to return potential buyers who abandon their carts and motivate them to buy.
8. Add a feedback page
Word of mouth marketing happens in the form of reviews on your site and on other sites. Reviews increase trust and motivate people to buy products to have a positive experience.
Excellent service and quality products are what motivate customers to leave reviews. However, if your store has no reviews or if they’re negative, don’t be upset. Use that feedback to help you improve.
9. Use pop-ups
A pop-up window attracts attention and forces the user to click or take some other targeted action on your site. The main thing is not to overload the page with pop-ups.
A pop-up is a tool for extending the time a visitor spends on the site by offering discounts or free shipping, collecting contact information, asking users to register an account, running a mini survey, and so on. Work on the content of your pop-up windows to make them feel like a natural reason to stay on the site.
10. Show top products and best sellers
Sometimes it’s difficult for a site visitor to choose a brand of equipment, clothing, or cosmetics. A page with top-end products and hot offers can be helpful. In addition, people tend to follow trends.
11. Check headers on the site
Headers are important for conversions. They should attract attention and refer to the content or product described below.
12. Offer convenient site search
If you offer many different products, add search functionality to your site. If users have a hard time finding the right product, your conversion rate will decrease. Search should be easily accessible, include all categories of products, and offer the maximum number of filters for convenience.
13. Provide online support
If customers see that they can always ask for help via chat on an ecommerce store, they’ll feel the presence of support even if they don’t need it. Often, online support is the last step before buying. A chat manager must quickly and clearly respond to customers’ needs and help them choose the right products.
In 2018, Bizrate Insights identified the forms of communication preferred by women. If you focus on a target audience of women aged 18 to 49, you should use chat on your site – according to Bizrate, 36.5% of respondents in this demographic prefer communicating with an online store via chat.
14. Offer additional items
Related products and additional offers may unobtrusively interest customers, causing them to stay on the site longer, make an additional purchase, or return to the site later. Product recommendations can help customers efficiently find other things they are looking for.
15. Give contact information on the landing page
Customers don’t want to search all over your site for a phone number and other contact information.
16. Create a program with discounts and bonuses
Obviously, discounts are not the cheapest way to increase the conversion rate of an online store, but they’re the most effective way to attract those who are searching for good offers.
When giving discounts, remember profitability. The customer should receive benefits without incurring a loss for the online store. Use RFM analysis to segment customers and offer discounts selectively. Here is an example of how you can segment customers based on their purchasing activity.
17. Start a blog
The more interesting and useful your content, the higher the likelihood that customers will spend more time on your site. A blog is a powerful tool for communicating with customers. Useful content will increase traffic and website visibility. If you regularly write articles that help people solve their problems, your customer loyalty will grow. A blog can help you convince buyers of your competence and the quality of your goods.
18. Optimize the mobile version of your site
An optimized mobile site has been a must for several years, and is especially useful for impulse purchases of home goods, clothes, jewelry, and cosmetics. At the same time, Gartner reports that only 55% of companies have optimized their chat for mobile. You’ll get a competitive advantage if you optimize your site for mobile devices.
19. Send email newsletters
One relatively inexpensive way to increase the conversion rate of an online store is to send regular emails that are relevant to customers.
There are many reasons for sending emails: to celebrate holidays, conduct polls, share useful materials, offer discounts, advertise seasonal sales, congratulate customers, etc. A newsletter will wake up customers who have forgotten about you and activate those who may have been unsure about making a purchase. Check out our case study of how Eldorado’s trigger mailing works effectively.
20. Create and promote company pages on social networks
This method is especially relevant for B2C companies. Every online store needs social media accounts to create the effect of presence.
When you share news and promotions, you interact with your customers. Plus, customers can easily access your brand through messengers on social networks.
This list of 20 best ways to increase the conversion rate of an online store is useful for both new businesses and existing ecommerce sites with stable profit.
You should always look for new ways to increase your conversion rate and discover which promotional campaigns are the most beneficial for you. Choose two or three methods for yourself and measure the difference they make by using A/B tests.
If you want to know how OWOX BI can help you with conversion rate optimization, we'll be glad to demonstrate you everything during our live demo: