When you have an online store, you know the chase is on to get your traffic to buy from your website. Besides, what good is traffic that doesn’t buy? Thats why it’s important to optimize your ecommerce conversion rates, to maximize your earnings from the traffic.
This is especially important when you’re paying for traffic. Your digital marketing agency can optimize the campaigns and get you cheap clicks but you will eventually hit a brick wall if your website doesn’t convert.
To make the most of your online store, you need to optimize to get your visitors to buy your products. That is what I call the art of ecommerce conversion rate optimization.
What is an Ecommerce Conversion Rate?
In simple words, your ecommerce conversion rate is the percentage of your traffic that made a purchase.
When someone visits your website and purchases something, in marketing terms it’s called a conversion.
Example: If you have 1,000 people visit your website and only 10 of them buy something, that would leave you with a 1% conversion rate.
In the example above we used a purchase as a conversion, however you can practically define other metrics you measure as conversions. Conversions can be a purchase, a contact form submit, newsletter signup, or anything else you desire.
You can track your conversion rates through your ecommerce platform in some cases although most of us prefer to use Google Analytics.
What Is A Good Conversion Rate?
Most of the time, the average ecommerce conversion rates are typically between 1-3%. That being said, you should always aim for higher as average just doesn’t cut it.
If you’re hovering around 2% then you’re doing great, but theres always room for improvement.
Jumping from a 1% to a 2% conversion rate is huge, its pretty much double the sales for the same amount of traffic.
Theres a lot more behind conversions than you would think. Sometimes the smallest changes to your pages can have the greatest impact on your conversion rates.
How To Optimize Your Ecommerce Conversion Rates
Let’s dive right in!
1. Build hype!
Hype is real, and you can incorporate it in your e-commerce website.
People like buying stuff when they see a lot of other people buying the same thing. That’s just the way it works.
I guarantee you, if you take 10 people to a grocery store with you and you all go to the bakery and start grabbing a certain product, you will attract another 30 shoppers to that product.
Now, you might be wondering, how would I do that online? It’s simple! If you’re selling a lot of a certain product, you might want to install something that shows a message on the product page like “7 sold in the last hour.”
This is a very powerful tactic and it builds a sort of urgency in your buyer. I’ve seen eBay implement this best on their product pages. It reinforces the urge to buy and will boost ecommerce conversion rates.
2. Outline the benefits / what differentiates you
This kinda ties with a couple of the other subjects I cover but we really need to make sure our viewers are seeing our benefits!
For example, if you offer phone support, you would definitely want your visitor to know that. Because once they know that, bam! They start wondering if your competitor xyz has phone support. Same goes for “30 day returns” or free shipping.
I usually make a little list with icons very close to the add to cart button with my main benefits.
Something like this:
- Free Shipping
- 30 Day Returns
- Phone Support
- Secure Checkout
Outlining what differentiates you could really be a boost to your conversion rates. Ask your web design team to implement benefits list like the one above.
3. If it’s on sale, let your viewers know how much they save
Let the savings you offer be known. Make sure you outline how much your customer is saving.
Usually, e-commerce platforms just cross out your original price and outline the sale price when you put a product on sale.
I also prefer displaying the savings your customer is getting, for example “30% off, save $300.” You can see a great example of this in the image above from ToyZag.
4. Expiring offer
This one tends to work really good on increasing conversions for Facebook ads. People feel they need to act quick when you put an offer that makes it seem like it’s not going to be there forever.
There’s 2 ways of doing this. You can either put a countdown on your product page with the offer expiration date.
Or, you can put a bar that shows a quantity you have remaining at that price. This would be like “43 sold 5 remaining at this price” with a bar that looks 90% filled in.
It’s called FOMO. You need your customer to fear missing out out your offer.
5. Speed speed speed!
Make sure your website is running at optimal speeds. You need your pages to open in less than 2 seconds. A dip in page load time can make a big difference.
Well, you might be asking, how do I speed it up? Optimize your images and enable a speed optimization plugin like W3 total cache if you’re using WordPress.
Getting a CDN is great too, it serves your websites content from locations that are closer to your visitor to increase delivery speed.
6. Offer Free shipping
Everyone online expects free shipping. Make sure your offering free shipping. If you can’t, you’re better off raising your price to compensate for free shipping. Also make it noticeable.
Too many people today expect free shipping when shopping online and you can cause serious harm to your conversion rates by not offering it.
Let your viewers know your website is secure. A simple icon of a lock with secure checkout on the product page or checkout can increase conversion rates, doing so on the checkout page works wonders as well.
But before you do this, make sure your website is using an SSL certificate. If you’re not using one by now, you’re behind. Not only does it make your customers feel more secure, but it also helps with SEO and is a requirement if your processing credit cards online.
Other badges like McAfee, Norton, and trust guard can help boost your conversion rates too.
8. Return policy
Pretty often, customers will look at your return policy before making a purchase. It’s very important to have a return policy that’s easily accessible on your website.
I personally don’t like it when the viewer leaves the product page other than when they’re going to checkout. So what I like to do is put a little return icon with “30 day returns” written by it.
This builds confidence with the buyer when they see it, and it also prevents them from leaving the page to go and dig into the fine print of your return policy.
9. Short checkout process
Make your checkout process super short and simple.
I usually prefer a one page checkout, where the visitor can quickly fill out their address and their credit card number to complete the order.
The longer your checkout process and the more pages, the higher the chances of your viewer dropping out during the process.
I also really like having online credit card fields on your checkout page. Don’t force your viewers into a website like PayPal to complete their order when they could have simply put their card number on the first step. However, offering PayPal in addition to inline card forms is a benefit.
Also, please don’t force your customers to make an account to complete their transactions. I understand some companies like online design your own t-shirt services require you to make an account to save your design and that’s ok.
But, if you’re selling toys and you’re going to make Jimmy’s dad spend 10 minutes making an account on your website so he can checkout, your going to be losing a lot of customers.
Keep your checkout as short and simple as possible to boost ecommerce conversion rates. I always make a standard guest checkout form with an option to create an account with just the click of a checkbox followed by a conditional password field.
10. Make sure add to cart button really sticks out
Look at the above the fold content of your product page, what’s the first thing that gets your attention?
If it’s not your add to cart button, you’re doing it wrong. Nothing gets to me more than a black add to cart button that blends with your font color.
Make the add to cart button a certain color, and use that color al little as possible on the rest of your above the fold content. That’s usually the rule I go by.
11. Customer reviews / Social Proof
Customers can be your best salespeople! Nothing quite sells like social proof. I personally check reviews before I buy products, I’m sure your customers are doing the same.
Make sure your collecting product reviews from your customers and displaying them on the pages. You can see a big increase in conversion rates from this alone.
12. Live chat
Live chat always helps close the customers who have questions. I can’t even count how many times I’ve converted a customer using live chat.
Plus, it’s super easy to do, all you need is a solid live chat provider that offers an app, and you can reply to your visitors through your smartphone app like you would a text message!
13. Quality images
Keep in mind your customers can’t actually see the product before they buy it.
Make sure you have enough images of your product for your customers to be able to picture exactly what it is they’re buying, as if it was in front of them.
If you have the budget for it, I always recommend videos too. They can really boost ecommerce conversion rates.
14. Good descriptions
This ties into our last topic, your descriptions have to be well written. Your description needs to be able to answer any and every question your potential customer may have about your product.
Make sure you have a good product description that describes your product thoroughly, as well as specifications.
15. Coupon codes
Coupon codes can also be really helpful when your trying to increase your conversion rates. It makes your customer feel like they’re getting a one-off promotion that they need to take advantage of.
16. Pricing makes a huge difference
The most important thing that ties in with your conversion rates is your products pricing.
If your selling something (or even something similar) that’s available online for a much lower price, there’s not much your really going to do that’s going to help boost your conversion rates other than lowering the price.
Price plays a very important role in your conversion rates and honestly, I’ve realized the biggest boost with price drops.
17. Cart abandonment follow ups
If you use an e-commerce solution that saves customers email addresses in the shopping cart, then you really need to be following up with those who abandoned their carts.
You can use a tool like Mailchimp, and some ecommerce systems already have a built in feature that follows up with clients who abandoned their cart.
If you want to make this even better, you can give them a coupon code in your follow up email to increase your chances of getting the conversion.
Tip: You should always try reaching people who abandoned their carts with Facebook ads too. Make sure you have your pixel properly installed to do this.
18. Contact us & Phone Number
After looking through a lot of my clients websites in Google Analytics, I realized that the contact us page gets a lot more views then people usually think it does. Just like having a live chat, you can close a lot of people with a phone number and contact page.
Sometimes people are ready to buy but they just have 1 question or concern they need addressed. That’s why it’s important to make it super easy for them to contact you. Pre-sale phone calls lead to conversions more often than not in my experience.
19. Make sure shopping cart icon is visible or redirect
What happens on your site when a user clicks add to cart? Do you straight redirect them to the cart page or do you display an ajax add to cart dropdown on the corner of your page with a checkout button?
If it’s a redirect, great but you might be losing additional revenue per customer unless your only selling one product.
If its a popup or just a cart icon, make sure its visible enough so your viewer doesn’t get lost after they add to cart.
If your websites not already mobile friendly, you’re a caveman! I’ve been doing this for over 8 years now and I don’t understand how someone can not have a mobile website in 2018.
Check your Google Analytics mobile tab under audience and you’ll be surprised by what you see there. More than half your visitors are probably on mobile anyway.
Now that you’ve gone through my list of optimization tips, it’s time to spring into action. Start implementing these tactics on your website to see the improvements you’ve been chasing.
As you’ve seen in this article, there are tons of tactics out there you can use to improve your conversion rates, these are just some of them that I’ve seen the majority of improvements in.
Once you’re through this list, you can move onto more advanced optimization tips to improve your conversions and overall sales.
The battle never ends, so even when you do reach your goals in terms of conversion rates, never stop testing and optimizing as there will always be room for more improvements.