11 Surefire Ways to Improve Your E-Commerce Site’s Conversion Rates
If you’re running an e-commerce website, you’ve probably understood that it takes more than just functionality to keep the revenue coming from it. You may have also realized that conversions don’t happen automatically; you need to take concrete steps to optimize your e-store to attract traffic that results in sales. It is, therefore, crucial to keep up with the times and formulate strategies that can enhance conversion rates. Doing so will help you gain and retain competitive edge. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to encourage customers to take the desired action and engage with your e-commerce business.
Retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 2.3 trillion US dollars in 2017, and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 4.88 trillion US dollars by 2021. With these encouraging figures in mind, it is safe to assume that the global ecommerce industry has a bright and shiny future.
In order to be successful in the e-commerce sphere, and amid the growing intense competition, it is necessary to go beyond just having a great looking and functional website. You need a website that not only drives traffic, but also motivates customers to convert.
An e-commerce website is as good as dead if customers stop converting. Sales is something all e-stores work towards.
However, getting results takes effort and patience. Here are a few helpful tips in this regard.
Help Customer Find Products Easily
One of the main reasons shoppers tend to leave an e-commerce website is because they cannot find what they want. You can help them with this by employing two capabilities on your site: search and faceted search.
Enhancing the product search capabilities of your e-commerce website can be effective in improving the conversion rate. The first step in this direction is to place your search bar prominently throughout the site for easy visibility. Your search bar should also be able to autocomplete search phrases and present the shopper with related options.
- Faceted Search
This capability helps customers taper down their searches according to their desired product features, like color, size, material, and so on. It will be best to optimize your search tool to consider commonly misspelled words and phrases to increase the relevancy of results.
Use Convincing CTAs
An attractive feature on user-friendly e-commerce websites is that customers never have to look for anything. For example, once customers find the product they’re looking for, they shouldn’t need to look for the ‘Add to Cart’ button. If they’re forced to do so, you know your e-commerce website is failing.
Important call-to-action (CTA) buttons such as ‘Buy’, ‘Signup’, and ‘Checkout’ should be visually-pleasing as well as easy to see. Hence, they need to be bold and prominently placed. After all, these are your main conversion buttons.
The primary goal is to inspire as many customers as possible to click the CTA button. It helps to make the button standout on the page by giving it a bold color, preferably one that contrasts with the background. Also, avoid placing it in between a lot of text.
Ensure to have plenty of white space around it so it catches customers’ attention. Another great way to make them click the CTA button is to arouse urgency so they feel compelled to click it to avoid dealing with the fear of missing out.
Improve Site Load Time
Did you know that even a one-second delay in page load time leads to 11% fewer page views, 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions?
As per Google, the average time to fully load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds. And, 53% of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
In other words, the faster your website loads, whether on the desktop or mobile, the more pleased your customers will be, resulting in better customer experience, conversion rates, and revenue.
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure you have a fast-loading e-commerce website:
- Reduce the size of your page. This way, you also decrease the used network bandwidth for which your hosting provider may be charging you.
- Get rid of bloated content as it increases time to download.
- Allow browser-side caching. It may not speed up your page, but will make a big difference on repeat views by reducing loading time to a great extent.
- If your site has several small images, buttons, and icons, you will do well to combine them into a single file called a “sprite”. Sprites can result in considerable performance-related advantages on visually-rich websites.
- Test your website speed continuously. Employ tools such as Google PageSpeed to know its average speed.
Give Detailed Product Descriptions
The best descriptions offer a lot of information. This does not mean that they necessarily have to be long, although long descriptions aren’t always a bad thing. After all, you do need to answer all the questions customers may have in mind. Your engaged customers will read everything anyway. However, make sure to break up the content and format it to make the text scannable and easily digestible.
It always helps to provide a short product summary for window shoppers. Mention the product’s best features, who is it for, what it will do, and why customers should buy it. Focus on the benefits of using the product to communicate value.
As far as possible, avoid using the manufacturer’s product descriptions. This will derail your SEO efforts and leave you with the “copycat” tag, while marring your reputation. It will be better to write your own engaging product descriptions. Doing so will make them unique as well as add a personal touch, which customers are sure to appreciate.
According to estimates, mobile e-commerce could rake in around $3.5 trillion in 2021, which makes up almost three quarters (72.9%) of e-commerce sales. This means one thing: an increasing number of your potential customers are going to use mobile devices to visit your store.
In fact, customers are using their smartphones to compare brands and products, get information, read reviews, look at product images and videos, and even check for coupons when they’re in the physical store.
It is important to make their experiences flawless in terms of optimization for quick page/image/video loading times regardless of the device they view your website on. Your site should also be easy to navigate with minimal scrolling or pinching.
Optimize your site to automatically detect mobile browsers and display the mobile version. This display should include a lighter-version product catalog along with simplified navigation and easy-to-use CTAs and buttons.
Alternatively, you can design a separate mobile app for your store. Such an app will be quick to load pages, help customers locate products easily, and speed up secure payment as well as checkout. Customers will keenly install your mobile app if you offer them incentives (discounts) to shop on it.
Send Alerts for Abandoned Shopping Carts
All e-commerce stores experience cart abandonment. This basically refers to losing a customer while they are in the process of checkout.
According to findings from 2018, 74.58% of online retail orders were abandoned, i.e. not converted into a purchase. The causes of abandonment can be several including shipping costs, comparisons with products on other websites, site loading speed, forced signups, and distractions. You can deal with this problem though.
If you collect customer email addresses during checkout, use them to your advantage. Send customers a cart abandonment notification email immediately after it occurs to prevent them from shopping elsewhere. In the reminder, include a personalized message along with images of the products they left behind.
If the shopper still does not complete the purchase, follow up with a couple of more alerts. You can even include a discount code to push them to convert.
Offer Shipping Free or at Reduced Prices
Apparently, 79% of US consumers said that free shipping would make them more likely to shop online.
Further, in a study conducted by Walker Sands Future of Retail, nine out of 10 of the surveyed participants said free shipping was the number one incentive to make them shop online more often.
If you’re not offering free delivery options on your e-commerce website, it’s time to rethink this. Try arranging free delivery of all (or at least most) items, and add the delivery cost into your products instead. It’s a win-win!
Simplify Your Checkout Process
If your checkout process is lengthy or complicated, you will probably have disgruntled customers turning away and never returning. As far as the checkout is concerned, you will do well to trim the process down in any area where your e-commerce website stands to profit.
This means minimizing the amount of information needed to make a purchase. Ask only for information that’s absolutely necessary to complete the transaction accurately and safely. At the same time, allow your website to remember customer selections and preferences based on past purchases, and preselect them for their convenience in future.
Enable the Persistent Shopping Cart Functionality
This functionality establishes a long-term cookie for every device used by a customer to visit your website. The customer can then add products to the same shopping cart, regardless of their device and location by logging in only once.
As an optimized e-commerce store, you can send email reminders to notify customers to save their shopping carts. You can also send them product updates and discount offers. Further, adding wish lists and “save for later” features will also help keep customers engaged until they buy from you.
Try including the live chat feature on your checkout page to bust customer doubts and queries that may be preventing them from purchasing products.
Focus on Price Promotions
Price promotions should be used prudently as their overuse will change the long-term customer perception of your e-store. They will not buy from you if you do not offer them coupons, discounts, and the like. This will affect your profits negatively as customers will start delaying their purchases until a price promotion comes along.
Coupons can not only help improve conversions, they can also serve as a way to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Apart from coupons, try using product bundling (offering groups of products together at a lower price) and customer reward points programs. These measures can improve customer satisfaction, thereby increasing their loyalty.
However, ensure that all your price promotion measures are in keeping with your brand identity and image. Also, your retail distributors should never be left suffering losses or feeling isolated.
It is important to know your customers as deeply as possible so you can give them what they want. It helps to segment customers on the basis of:
- Customer buying behavior: What they buy, how often they buy, how much they spend.
- Customer demographics: Customer’s age, gender, city, country, region.
- Customer data: Items they’ve browsed and, the device and operating system they use.
Assigning values to customer segments will help you prioritize the marketing efforts you put into each. For example, repeat customers can be assigned a higher value. This customer segment can be further enticed with special promotional offers and email campaigns customized to their preferences.
As an e-commerce entrepreneur, you are expected to know everything about your business. However, determining the various factors that go into optimizing your conversion rate for success can be tricky. It is important to realize that conversion rate optimization doesn’t happen without certain measures in place. It requires planning, and a deep understanding of website UI and UX as well as SEO. The tactics mentioned above will certainly go a long way in improving your e-commerce website’s conversion rates. Be sure to implement them and let us know about your experiences in the comments box.