The E-commerce is rapidly growing as one of the biggest industries in cyberspace and this is due to the endless rise of human satisfaction in the easiest, accessible and fast way (we can say lazy too). Online purchase is increasing as people are shopping online more than ever before. In the United States alone, there are over a million e-commerce websites which you are or will be competing with. Trying to get your product or content to the right people to engage and buy isn't a smooth ride.
As such, the average conversion rate of e-commerce stores is between 2-3%. This may look okay for some but you don't want to settle for average (I bet you don't !!). The reality is, you don't just wait for conversions to happen; you need to optimize for them. The goal isn't to just drive more traffic to your store but to make more sales.
Conversion rate is the percentage of people who completes a goal (purchase in the case of e-commerce) on a website in comparison to the total number of visitors. This is the most important KPI (Key Performance Indicator) of any business or brand. It’s definitely good practice that you’re at least keeping up with your industry’s average conversion rate but it’s much more beneficial to focus on making your current conversion rate better than it was the last time you measured it. It is essential that you do anything possible to keep your conversion rate as high as possible.
So if you have an e-commerce website or you're planning on having one, these 12 actionable secrets can help increase your conversion rate.
53% of visitors quickly leave your site if it takes longer than three seconds to load , Yes! three seconds! I'm sure you don't want that. A 1% more loading time directly reduced sales by 1% on e-commerce giant, Amazon. You can maximize your site's performance by:
- Using a higher performance version of your hosting plan. May cost more but will be worth it in the long run.
- Optimizing your images. Large photos increase load time but can be reduced by using tools like Kraken, TinyPNG or RIOT(offline tool for desktop option).
Online visibility doesn't just happen by chance. An SEO and CRO friendly website will help increase your traffic and conversions altogether.
SEO (search engine optimization) optimizes your content for search engines to get your site ranked higher on Google. It takes time and strategy to have an SEO friendly framework with up-to-date search trends and algorithms. Constant effort is needed to stay competitive and relevant with SEO.
CRO (conversion rate optimization) optimizes content to drive your users and customers to complete the desired goal (through call-to-action).
You need to change these three things that affects Google’s ranking algorithm if you really want to optimize for both SEO and CRO effectively:
- keywords and on-page SEO
- content quality
- user and usage data.
Your pages should have relevant keywords, accurate titles and proper meta tags.
You can improve your SEO and drive traffic to your site with these available keyword research tools:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Keyword Tool
- Moz’s Keyword Explorer
Now you have enough traffic to your site, using these CRO tools will help ensure your on-page copy is built for conversion:
- Google Analytics
- Adobe Marketing Cloud
- Crazy Egg
You should try creating a very good copy – and then conversions will come rolling.
A responsive website is one which can adjust or fit in to any device being used to access it. This should be a top priority because in reality, most people use mobile and smartphones to shop online.
Having a 'mobile-friendly' design strategy for your e-commerce site is crucial as it enhances user experience and convenience.
Also, with Google's pace to a mobile-first indexing, you do need a mobile optimized site or be lost in the ranking.
Most e-commerce sites aren't mobile optimized yet as desktop conversion rates are higher than mobile. You can start by targeting smartphone users over tablet users as smartphone accounts for nearly 70% of mobile transactions.
You can have the coolest website in the world but if your typical customers can't find what they are looking for, they will leave.
Every user wants to have a simple, smooth and easy access on your site and that should be your goal too. Visitors should be able to find what they are looking for at the click of a button.
Your search bar and navigation bar should be at the top of the screen so that visitors can easily venture into their desired product category page.
Ensuring your visitors are shown the most relevant products relating to their search should be your main concern even though there are many other factors to consider when optimizing your site's search functionality.
There are different e-commerce site plugins and builders that have different analytics you can use. Checking your site's internal data can aid improvement on your site as it provides data and information about how visitors are navigating your site and what they are searching for.
Making your webpage more personalized is another method you can adopt to your ecommerce website. Knowing your target audience and their internet behaviors is a very important tool in converting visitors to customers as you understand your customers and their values. This will help you integrate the right dynamic content allowing you to display offers and products to their taste.
Customers love to be valued and understood. Getting this right will keep you afloat in sales from time to time. Big brands (like Amazon) use this a lot to keep customers as they lead them to "collection of products" that are related but not necessarily in the same category of products using past purchases and browsing history.
There are "customer history" extensions and plugins you can use to monitor customer purchases and history to offer more personalized suggestions like the woo plugin.
Using Geo-targeting personalization in your Check-out form will display the most convenient collection point for your customers and help offer an appropriate service based on your customer's city. This can increase the conversion rate at checkout by 96%. You need to know that 75% of customers consider the offer of several delivery options to be important when purchasing online.
There are numerous ways customer can make a payment online. Easy to say, you'll consider your user's way of payment and then make a compulsion to cater for it. This doesn't mean you should have "all" the available payment options as there is a higher possibility that your customers won't use much or even most of the multiple options.
Some clients don't want to fill in their credit card information online. While not all will be pleased, it's necessary to offer more payment options like Paypal (most used), Apple pay (for mobile apps), Debit cards and many others. Cryptocurrency option can be considered if your customers are the geek or tech type.
Don't lose sales because of lack of multiple payment method. 50% of customers will leave your site if their method of payment is not available.
While your visitors have decided to purchase a product from your site, they may lose interest if the checkout process is too bulgy and lengthy. As much as you would want to get all necessary details, try as much as possible to make your checkout process short and precise. Some customers just want to buy and leave so you should have or create a guest checkout.
A lot of abandoned carts are due to complicated checkout processes from account registration to much details to be filled which bore, distract and scare away customers. Helping them checkout fast should be a priority.
You can simply allow new customers 'Buy-as-guests' and then ask for their details (email address) at the end of payment.
Offering a 'one-time-purchase' for registered members to help them avoid the messy checkout process is another way of simplifying the process.
The checkout process is the last step in converting your customers and you don't want that messed up. Helping your customers pay in a super and easy way will help keep you afloat in the ecommerce game.
A 'Call-to-Action' (CTA) is the most important single button on your site. It is the 'submit', 'buy' or 'sign up' button. It must stand out from the rest of your other contents.
It is the conversion button.
When on product pages, your CTA should include only a few options like 'Learn More' or 'Add to cart'. You want to guide your customers all the way down to the purchase funnel
When in the purchase funnel, your CTA directs visitors precisely on what to do and where to go from the moment they add a product to their cart to the end of the checkout process. So it must be distinct and strong enough to keep your customers going.
Your CTA should be able to magnet your customer's attention without being extreme or unpleasant. You can use Google analytics or set up UTM codes to track and see how well different colours for your CTA are working.
Your homepage is a good location for the 'Subscribe' button CTA as it is a great way to get email addresses from customers who may not end up buying at the moment. Optimized email marketing strategies can then be implemented to lure them back to your site.
This in turn is a good marketing structure that will help up your conversion rate.
Abandoned carts are some of the challenges you face running an e-commerce but how you react to them can either increase or reduce your conversion rate. Customers fill up their carts with products and then leave without completing the checkout process. When such happens, you should always try and see what the causes are and how to profound solution.
Your site design, optimization, checkout processes, products copy and links are some of the factors that could be contributing to having those abandoned carts so you'll do well to do any adjustment needed.
You can send 'follow-up' emails to re-engage and remind customers to pick up right where they left off in the shopping process. Giving them a discount as an incentive to complete their order is a strategy that can convert them to loyal customers.
There are different tools like Road ID, Criteo, Target2sell available for cart recovery processes. Some even come for free as part of your store functionality.
Social proof is an opportunity to showcase your brand's excellence and can take a variety of forms like user ratings, commentaries, photo shares and testimonials. These varieties encourage and aid credibility to your products and your site.
Various studies have shown that people read, trust and rely on online reviews, personal recommendations and testimonials prior to making a purchasing decision. Showing your visitors that real people already use your product is a great way to break down those cautious barrier and secure conversions.
You don't want to ignore the fact that people want to buy products that others are already using and enjoying. Showing your best-selling or hot-ticket products can be a social proof too, for the fact that other people are buying it. That said, positive social proof will not only lead to an increase in conversion rate but also improve customers average order value and retention
Look at a post by Mark Schaefer, a marketing expert:
With the Cybersecurity news around, people are being too careful and concerned with putting their private information online. Nobody wants to shop on an ecommerce site that looks sketchy and untrustworthy.
By today's standard, having a proper security measure is a prerequisite for e-commerce companies which should be evident to your audience. Trust and confidence is needed before customers can put out their private information online.
Getting SSL certificates is a good way to start as that eases the mind of your customers on the safety of their data. Making other relevant security certificates visible to your audience is another way to boost their trust in your site.
Having a good copy is great but you should know that the internet is a visual place too. Incorporating high-quality images for your product will provide perspective for your visitors.
However, for a higher conversion rate you can include videos. Studies have shown that videos have the top return on investment than other marketing tactics.
Using the video strategy won't work for all products but if there is anything special about your product in terms of functionality and usage, a video would be the best option. Videos resonate more with people as they likely remember what they watch as opposed to what they read.
Using video action of your product is much more effective as it connects and show users how to use the product in their day-to-day life.
As you've seen, increasing your conversion rate is more of a specific and conscious application of strategies than just abrupt changes or wishes. The reason being that a lot of this touch points listed are some of the problems that drive individuals from their initial step of purchase.
Sometimes there is a lot to be done but you don't know where to start from. Starting with a few of these steps will bring in revival to your conversion rate.
A clearer study and understanding of your metrics will help you analyze your site data to see where to tweak these hacks and monitor the impact of the changes made.
You can be above the 1.3+ million other e-commerce sites still swimming with the struggle of the tide and YES! you can.
If you need any help with improving your conversion strategy don't hesitate to contact our web marketing agency. We run the best web agency in Montreal.
Sawab A, is the co-founder and Managing Partner at OSHARA. He is passionate about Branding and Marketing and he helps businesses grow their brand and reach new heights of success using simple but efficient web technologies and digital marketing. His expertise and ability to listen and execute bring an added value to any team.
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