Conversion rate is one of the most important metrics to consider when you plan to grow your e-Commerce business. Whether you’re an SME or an enterprise, higher conversion rates are always on top of the priorities list.
In fact, running an e-Commerce business takes a lot more than what you may assume. The average e-Commerce conversion rate is only 2.5 - 3%, meaning you need to have an optimized website, implement strategies to engage your customers, and offer something unique.
Before we jump into the ways to increase ecommerce conversion, let’s understand how different businesses may define a conversion.
Although a conversion is generally supposed to mean a sale, some organizations also consider other actions on their website, such as adding items to cart, signing up on their app, or subscribing to the newsletter as conversions.
No matter how you define it, a conversion is a win for your business..
This blog covers 20 best practices for improving conversion rates that will help you scale your business.
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How to Improve Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate
One common misconception surrounding ecommerce businesses is that they just have to create a website and add their products to increase conversions.
In reality, however, you need to constantly evolve your e-commerce website and optimize on the go.
For instance, your target audience may vary from time to time, and customer preferences may change with the introduction of new technologies.
Improving e-Commerce conversions starts with having an online presence, but is not limited to that. Your customers demand personalization, convenience, and the best products or services all at the same time.
And that’s not all, they also demand prompt responses from your customer support team. Otherwise they get frustrated and look for other brands.
So how to increase conversion rate on an ecommerce website?
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Here is how:
Optimize Website Speed and Performance
Think for a moment that you are a customer and come to a website to shop. What if the website does not display product availability in real time? Or takes too long to load?
Yes, you will abandon it and look for something else instead.
Create a responsive website that is optimized to deliver an immersive customer experience. This means you need to get rid of lags, unnecessary redirections, and avoid asking for too much information.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool allows you to determine how much time your e-commerce page takes to load.
Although an appealing website design is necessary, you don’t want to overwhelm your customers with too much content or images. Instead, highlight what you stand for and send out your message in the simplest way possible.
By connecting multiple touchpoints through an omnichannel approach, you can show real-time stock levels and make the shopping journey more convenient for your customers.
The best way to keep optimizing your website is to ask your customers about the issues they face through smartly designed FAQs. Address their concerns in a comprehensive manner, and you’re good to go.
Implement Clear and Concise Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
CTAs are important to help your website visitors navigate easily through different screens. However, a single page must not be overloaded with CTAs, otherwise the visitor may get confused.
Relevance is the key to adding CTAs, as a customer who is trying to add items to cart should not be seeing a ‘Learn More’ CTA. The cart page should just have the ‘Proceed to Checkout’ CTA.
When your CTAs are smartly placed, you can drive unique visitors to whatever pages you like and have better chaces of a conversion.
Use High-Quality Product Images and Videos
Once your website is optimized and you have incorporated the right CTAs, the next step is to create a great product page. Customers want to know what they are spending their money on, so you need to add high quality pictures of products you offer.
Product images are one of the most attractive aspects of an e-commerce website, and most visitors judge your brand based on them. You can either add large enough images to cover a whole page or a variety of small images depending on the type of product.
High definition photos and videos have an effect of increasing conversions as they give customers the confidence that they are buying the right product. It’s a great idea to provide a 360 degree view of your product.
To further enhance the experience, you can include videos showing the look and feel of your product in real-life situations.
Write Compelling Product Descriptions
Sometimes great products go unnoticed because they are not described properly on the website. If you have grabbed the attention of the user with photos, you also need to make sure that they get a detailed description of the product they are looking for.
Product descriptions must be aligned and updated to add value to customer journey. The more information a customer gets about a product, the more likely they are to convert.
For maximum conversions, you will also need to write engaging content on product and service landing pages. Provide your customers with detailed insights through blog while generating organic traffic with SEO optimization.
Optimize for Search Engines
While we are on it, let’s address the technique that generates the most traffic in e-Commerce. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) revolves around keywords, but keywords themselves are not enough to improve conversions.
You need to target the right audience with the right keywords. Simply put, the search intent of a user who wants to buy your product is different from that of someone who is browsing randomly.
In the best case, your website must be optimized based on all types of search intent. This allows you to attract a wider audience and you can have better chances of conversions.
Invest in Email Marketing Campaigns
The age old marketing technique that is adopted by every digital marketing department out there. Email marketing is popular for a reason, as it takes customer engagement to a whole new level.
If done the right way, it also ensures a great ROI.
Depending on how you execute these emails, you can either improve conversions or miss them completely. You need to get your head around the nature of leads, the email list, format, and various other factors.
Its a strategy that requires constant optimization for maximum conversions. So you want to be careful while choosing the right resources and tools for it.
Utilize Upselling and Cross-Selling Techniques
Let’s suppose you have hooked a visitor. Now you need a technique to engage them further. Upselling and cross-selling are tactics to keep customers interested in making a purchase by offering them something extra.
While upselling involves offering a better, high-value product for free, cross-selling means you are offering a product from a different category that is somewhat related to the product the customer wants to buy.
With upselling and cross-selling, your e-Commerce business has the opportunity to communicate better and convince visitors to convert into buyers. Cross-promotion increases new sign ups in businesses by up to 50%.
Offer Free Shipping or Free Returns
Amazon has set the bar high with its shipping and return policies. Today’s e-Commerce customers have high expectations and want free shipping regardless of the platform they choose.
In this case, you can only increase ecommerce conversion by offering free shipping as standard. If you don’t, the chances of conversions are significantly lower. The customer will definitely find free shipping somewhere else.
What you can do to get around shipping costs is increase your product prices to include these costs. But this needs to be done in a smart way. Remember, your customer has access to a variety of other platforms to shop from.
They know the prices others are offering.
So you still need to be reasonable enough not to make them run away.
Offer Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) Option
Some of the users visiting your e-Commerce website will not trust your delivery services at first. So how do you get these users to convert?
Thankfully, there is a solution in the form of BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick up in Store). This option allows customers to place their order through online applications or websites, and then pick it up from brick and mortar stores.
As part of an omnichannel model, this approach uses both mobile and in-store channels to enhance the customer experience. It brings together the convenience of ordering a product online without having to risk unavailability, and the security of picking up the order in-store to avoid any conflicts.
With this approach, you can take advantage of conversions to grow both your online and physical stores.
XStak's omnichannel commerce solution allows your business to implement the BOPIS approach for a unified shopping experience.
With automated order assignment and booking, offline store integrations, and business intelligence, you can be sure to fulfill all your customers’ requests.
Implement Buy Online Return In Store (BORIS) Option
Similarly, an even bigger problem arises when a customer does not like what they receive and want to return it.
What a frustrating experience it would be to courier the order back to the retailer just to return it.
To go around this problem, you can implement the BORIS (Buy Online Return In Store) approach.
BORIS has become quite popular in e-Commerce as it provides customers the ideal alternative to shipping back the products they don’t like. At the same time, its an advantage for omnichannel retailers as their brick and mortar stores also get visitors.
With the BORIS approach, your business can not only increase conversions but also reduce shipping costs and add to the convenience of customers.
XStak’s omnichannel engine (OE) synchronizes data from your online and offline stores to automate end to end order management. Regardless of the channels involved, the omnichannel engine takes care of order management for you.
Provide Social Proof with Customer Reviews and Ratings
Nowadays, the social standing of your eCommerce business is key to improving conversion rates. According to Consumerist, 70% of online shoppers go through product reviews on social sites before they buy a product.
Moreover, 84% of customers in a study said that they tust recommendations from friends and family more than marketing campaigns.
In another study, 70% of the respondents were affected by product reviews in one way or another. No matter how you look at it, the numbers show that positive reviews have the power to build and grow your brand.
Positive social proof is a key factor to be taken into account if you are looking to increase your conversions. Simultaneously, your social standing also helps in improving customer retention and boosts average order value.
Use Urgency and Scarcity Tactics
You must have seen ‘Avail this offer May 2nd’ or ‘This offer ends today’.
These are urgency tactics that have the effect of increasing ecommerce conversions. Viewing such CTAs or messages makes customers feel that your product is exclusive and everyone is buying it.
As a result, they are more likely to convert. Similarly, you can add a label saying ‘Only 1 left in stock’ with the ‘1’ being displayed in red. This creates a sense of scarcity in the mind of the customer and makes them rush to buy it.
Simplify the Checkout Process
The checkout stage is one you should never compromise on. It is here that you either make or break the deal. If your customer gets stuck with anything at the checkout page, they will abandon the whole process.
You need to make sure that all form fields are formatted correctly and are easily understandable. The customer must not have to struggle to figure out how and what to input.
Secondly, you need to be as specific as possible and require only the information that you absolutely need. For instance, most users do not like to share their credit card information, so do not force them. You can instead leave it to the customer to choose from a list of payment methods.
Implement a Mobile-Responsive Design
69% of smartphone owners use their devices for shopping or searching for products. Moreover, 82% of these users have searched for ‘near me’ retailers or products.
Clearly, the e-Commerce landscape is shifting more towards the mobile-centric approach. Most customer find it more convenient to simply browse products from anywhere and then buy it in-store or through other online channels like the web.
As e-Commerce sales are driving higher conversions, retailers that still do not optimize their platform for mobile are missing out on a lot.
Your potential conversions are going into waste not because of the quality of your products but the unsatisfactory experience on mobile devices.
Personalize the Shopping Experience
Adding in a personal touch is a must if you want to convert customers and create brand loyalty. Personalizing the shopping experience starts with dynamic content and smooth transitions based on user preferences.
You want to make the customer feel like your brand cares about them and their individual shopping habits.
Retail solutions like XStak’s recommendation engine assist e-Commerce brands to personalize content, suggestions, and advertisements for customers.
The next-gen solution utilizes information like shopping cart contents, preferences, ad demographics to recommend the right products with the right messages.
Offer Live Chat Support
Aside from auto-generated suggestions, you also need to be ready for live customer queries. Regardless of the level of optimization on your e-Commerce platform, customers do ask for assistance here and there.
Live chat support helps streamline the process of ‘attending to customers’ through your online platform. It is essentially the same process that is followed by your staff at brick and mortar stores.
The key aspect to consider, however, is the response time. If your customer support team does not respond to customers within due time, they are likely to abandon your platform.
Although chatbots are now being used as an alternative, customers demand the human factor of live chat, where their actual queries are better understood and resolved. It is advisable to use a combination of both chatbots and live chat to offer support round the clock.
Provide Multiple Payment Options
The only section of your checkout process where you actually want to have multiple options is the payment methods. Each of your customers potentially uses a different payment method.
There is nothing more inconvenient than reaching a checkout page and finding out that the right payment option is not available. Providing multiple payment options not only resolves this issue but improves your brand image, leading to increased conversions.
In order to ensure that all of the customers reaching out to your e-Commerce platform get their desired payment method, you need to analyze the payment methods your target audience uses. For instance, Apple Pay and PayPal are common among modern shoppers and online payments are preferred over credit card payments.
Similarly, you can include quick delivery options with a higher cost as an alternative to free shipping at a later date.
Test and Iterate Your Website and Marketing Strategies
Improving conversion rates is not a one and done process. You need to keep enhancing features of your website and implement new marketing strategies to get the best results.
Looking at it from this perspective, testing your website functionality and implementing new ideas in the form of iterations can make a big difference in the end. Tweaks can be as simple as improving the color of a button or changing font, and as big as re-doing the whole website.
With Google Optimize, you can test out the design and features of your website. Following the test, you can make the necessary changes.
An increase in conversion rate will be the best indication that the improvements you have made to your website are working.
Use Retargeting Ads to Bring Customers Back
As for website visitors who fill out forms and even add items to cart but do not checkout, you can’t just sit and do nothing about it.
Re-engaging lost leads is often a great idea because it helps you understand what is making customers abandon your website. Even if you are unable to get back the customer, you will learn quite a few lessons.
Furthermore, you can counter cart abandonment by offering incentives through exit-intent popups and retargeting ads. These tactics help you enhance the quality of your products to fully satisfy your customers.
At the end of the day, it’s all about sending out the right offer at the right time.
Ensure Inventory Visibility and Prevent Stockouts
As an e-Commerce business, you always need to have the right number of items in stock. If a customer tries to order an item and later finds out that it’s out of stock, there is no chance of them converting.
Automated inventory management is not only a solution to prevet stockouts and excess items sitting on the shelves, but also eliminates human error associated with manual inventory records.
XStak’s omnichannel inventory management solution leverages forecasting and reordering techniques to help businesses avoid stockouts.
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In the modern world, e-Commerce retailers depend heavily on conversions through online stores. Improving the online experience with a highly optimized website is crucial for increasing conversion rates.
Following the above mentioned techniques will allow your brand to capitalize on customers satisfaction and scale your business.
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