22 Effective Ways to Improve Ecommerce Conversion Rate
Ecommerce business has evolved over the years, like any other digital technology or traditional purchasing market. In today's competitive environment, website owners should know the ecommerce conversion rate to determine the percentage of users completing the defined goals. Accordingly, they can gauge the success of their web pages and identify areas for improvement.
The growing popularity of smartphones and social platforms has become an essential driver for facilitating commercial transactions through the internet. Independent freelancers, small businesses, and large corporations can now sell their products and services at a larger scale online with the help of business development companies. And therefore, conversion rate optimization has become essential to systematically increase the percentage of website visitors who take the desired action.
GoodFirms surveyed 130+ Marketing Experts worldwide to discover the surest ways to improve the ecommerce conversion rate for online stores.
Good Conversion Rate for Ecommerce
Owing to the panic generated by the coronavirus, people are not willing to step out of their homes and risk the exposure, and so more and more of them are opting to shop online. Such a shift in the customer’s mindset, which is here to stay for long, has prompted brick-and-mortar retailers to transition to ecommerce. This ensures that along with the opportunity to grow, ecommerce businesses have to face intense competition too.
It is more essential now for businesses to track ecommerce conversion rates to find out what actions are required to improve their websites and convert more visitors.
Depending on your business goals, a “conversion” could be almost anything, including making a purchase, submitting a form, signing up for a subscription, downloading something, upgrading the services, and more. Often websites and applications have multiple conversion goals, with each having its own conversion rate. Conversion rates vary considerably by business model and industry.
Tom Pelisson, Partner Manager at Rejoiner, says, “In my opinion, there is no "good" conversion rate benchmark. If something costs $10k and converts at .01%, that might be fine or if something that costs $2 and converts at 25%, that might be fine too.”
While Richa Pathak, Founder & Editor at SEM Updates informs, “Though 2-3% is an agreeable and achievable ecommerce conversion rate, 5% seems a decent conversion rate you should target for. On average, a good conversion rate on Amazon is as high as 10-15%, which is like a unicorn in the ecommerce industry.”
27.27% of the surveyed experts consider 5 - 5.9% as the average(good) conversion rate for ecommerce.
Irrespective of your current conversion rate or goals, there’s always scope for increasing online sales. Let us find out some of the reasons behind your website having a low conversion rate.
Top Reason for Low Ecommerce Conversion Rate
The website that fails to measure up to the customers’ expectations will see them going elsewhere, resulting in a drop in conversion rate. Conversion optimization is a continual process, which should not be overlooked at any stage. With the help of conversion rate optimization companies, you can ensure consistent efforts in the right direction and increase sales. Meanwhile, what one considers a low conversion rate depends on whether they aim to achieve the average, or reach double-digit ecommerce conversions.
According to 21.21% of the surveyed experts, ‘Terrible Store Layout’ contributes the most to lower ecommerce conversion rate.
Sergio Ramírez López, Marketing Director at Sergio Ramirez, states three factors that he considers to be the most responsible for lowering the conversion rate. "Terrible store layout adversely affects the user experience the most as the buttons are not placed where they should be; the buying process is not solid. And the other two are: inappropriate shipment cost and delayed shipment delivery."
22 Most Effective Ways to Improve Conversion Rate for Ecommerce
24.24% of the surveyed experts agree that ‘Abandoned Cart Email’ is the best practice to bring back the interested customers to complete the purchase and recover more of your lost revenue. Cart abandonment(customers add items to their carts, but leave without buying) differs depending on geography, devices, and time. Even in 2020, ecommerce stores continue to battle cart abandonment. The avg. cart abandonment rate was 77.13% in 2019, while the cart abandonment email open rates were incredibly high.
1. Retarget with Great Abandoned Cart Emails
Abandoned cart emails work as a bonus marketing opportunity and help you pull back reluctant customers. It is not possible to convince all the card-abandoners to go through checkout, as many visitors might never have the intention of purchasing in the first place. But some of them might be persuadable, and it is definitely worth putting in the effort to resolve the lingering hesitations they might have.
Alec Beglarian, Founder of Email Mastery, believes one must craft great abandoned cart emails to let their message resonate with the audience. He says, “You've got to send the right email to the right people at the right time to get a good conversion rate. And that requires intelligent segmentation and understanding of your audience. Send sales follow-up emails with a touch of urgency shortly after someone abandons their cart AND a few days after.”
Marco Baatjes, Ecommerce Entrepreneur/Store Owner at Bottom Line Cents says, “If the customer has gotten as far as entering their email address during this process, you have a chance of converting them with an effectively abandoned cart email sequence. Now you have a further chance of getting that sale and improving your ecommerce conversions as opposed to having nothing in place and completely losing the customer.”
2. Bring In High-Quality Traffic
Undoubtedly, it is much preferable to have slightly fewer visitors with high conversions and a lower bounce rate than having thousands of visitors making little conversions and high costs per click. Yaniv Masjedi considers ‘advertising to the wrong people’ as a very common reason for a low conversion rate.
“If you advertise to the right people, using language that shows this is the perfect product for them, at a reasonable price, you will have a good conversion rate. Often people either target poorly, they don’t pitch the product well enough, or the price point is badly thought out.”
- Yaniv Masjedi, CMO at Nextiva
3. Add A Touch Of Urgency
If the customer is planning to think about the offer and go away, a message about low stock levels might force them to make a faster decision regarding the purchase, making ‘urgency’ a useful tactic. It works better for high-value items and wouldn’t compromise the impact when the intention behind it is transparent, not deliberate!
Christopher Prasad, Marketing Manager at JookSMS, says, “For our clients, we use scarcity tactics to great effect. Similar to hotel booking that states only 2 rooms left at the property, we will put only certain items left in stock on our ecommerce client sites. This generally forces them to make a decision between looking elsewhere - comparison shopping - or just buying it before it’s ‘out’ of stock!”
4. Provide Social Proof with Testimonials
A contributing factor behind an ecommerce website's success, testimonials - positive or negative - help an entrepreneur improve the credibility of their brands, manage customers better, assist a potential buyer in making a purchase decision, and increase conversions.
Dan Moyer, who is VP of Sales and Marketing at RA Fischer Co., believes low conversion rates is a sign that the customer hasn’t found enough evidence to support their decision. He says, “Whether it’s being sticker-shocked by the price or just second-guessing themselves, by the time a customer reaches your shopping cart, they no longer want to be persuaded that they’re making the right decision – they want affirmation. Adding a well-placed testimonial can help push the “on-the-fence” customers to convert. Today’s customers are using shopping carts like bookmarks, and so the more of those individuals you can convert successfully into customers, the better your conversion rate.”
5. Have a High-Quality Copy
When there is a fierce online competition for the customers' attention, you only have a limited time to prove your website's worth, have the visitors’ trust, and convince them to stay. And one definite way to accomplish that is to have a well-structured and engaging copy for your website.
"Either you are not providing enough information within your copy, you're being too vague, or you don't have a very compelling copy," says Tonya Davis, Marketing Manager at ThoughtLab. She finds 'copy issue' as the most likely reason for people not converting.
Tonya says, "The copy is so important when it comes to all aspects of marketing. You need to use it as a way to showcase what the product is, what their life could be like if they had this product, and why they need it. Many ecommerce sites suffer from lack of copy and have one to two sentences at best. I've learned that having more quality copy leads to higher conversion rates."
6. Improve the User Experience with Easy Navigation
With the specific product categories displayed directly in the main site navigation, users can quickly identify what they are looking for. The smoother navigation prevents any ambiguity as to what’s being offered, eliminates a fair amount of confusion, and encourages a higher percentage of visitors to explore your site thoroughly.
Lika Djukic, CRO Executive at Best Response Media, considers poor navigation to be detrimental to conversion rates. She says, “Products shouldn't be hidden behind more than 2-3 clicks, and the most popular products should be the easiest to find. The difference between a properly optimized site structure and a neglected structure will definitely show in the conversion rates.”
7. Design a High Converting Product Page
A detailed and well-designed ecommerce landing page psychologically triggers the visitors to add the items to cart. Besides, a structured product page boosts customers' confidence and loyalty and inspires them to promote your brand.
Elad Burko, Founder & CEO at Paperwallet, has employed customer heat maps on pages with low conversion rates on their website to see what page elements are driving the most interest from their users.
“Evaluating these heat maps helps us learn what types of on-page features pique our customers' interests (videos, images, product information) and revise our strategy on each page to improve conversions based on what they're looking for. In ecommerce, giving the people what they want is often the best strategy!”
8. Have a Clear Call To Action
Although there is no universal template to define the perfect call to action, you need to make it easy to locate, highly-clickable, and ultra-converting that guides your audience towards what you want them to do next. You can use proven CTA phrases, such as Join Free, Learn More, Buy Now(With One Click).
But cautioning against using multiple CTAs, John B. Funk, Inbound Marketing Specialist at SevenAtoms, Inc., says, “On landing pages, having multiple CTAs typically results in very high bounce rates. If you're creating a landing page, only have one CTA (or at least, the same CTA which can be repeated in multiple places – but not too much) so that nobody is confused.”
9. Remove Spammy Pop-ups
Every so often, pop-ups increase lead counts and hold huge ROI potential by demanding attention. Still, they also block content(complete view or a portion of the page), can damage brand reputation, and are particularly awful on mobile. Spam pop-ups also result in higher bounce rates and lower site ranks by preventing users from liking your content and scaring them away.
Dan Serbanescu, CEO at Leather Depot, always tries to give the customers the best experience when visiting their site. He says, “My site is well optimized, has a nice design, and has almost no pop-ups, which is very important, in my opinion. I don’t think users should feel forced to subscribe or accept any policy when entering the website. This is why I have my cookie accept banner set discreetly on the bottom, and a simple button under the cart as a subscribe button (instead of the standard pop-up).”
10. Offer More Payment Options
By integrating diverse payment methods, businesses can allow the customers to use the channel they are most comfortable with, eliminating the need to wait for bank approvals or additionally verified transactions. This no-fuss approach to paying helps entrepreneurs to attract more prospects.
Owen Loft, Co-Founder at Socium Media, favors offering more payment options. He says, “Outside of just credit cards, a surprising number of users will use PayPal if given the option. Many users are increasingly using mobile-friendly options, like Apple Pay and Google Pay. One of our clients recently added PayPal as an option. After it was added, they were surprised to see that 30% of users used PayPal when checking out. That alone was responsible for a significant increase in conversion rate.”
11. Tweak The Checkout Funnel
Responsible for taking the users to the finishing line, the checkout funnel must aim to provide a smooth, frictionless ride, turning the prospects into paying customers. By following some fundamental rules, you can eliminate the small bumps that aid in minimizing the conversion rate.
Bruce Hogan, CEO at SoftwarePundit, insists on optimizing the bottom of the funnel, which is the checkout flow for ecommerce sites. He says, “Even a 10% performance improvement in the checkout flow increases total sales by 10%. The tricks are:
- Removing unnecessary form fields, such as a username, email, or any other field that is not 100% necessary to complete the transaction.
- Using auto-fill for address information after a customer enters a zip code, or for entering the information that you have saved about the customer into a field.
- Eliminating steps in the customer journey and testing guest checkout to allow customers to finish their transactions without being forced to sign up for an account with the retailer. This streamlines the checkout flow for those who do not want to create an account.”
Owen Loft suggests, “Use a progress indicator to easily show users what stage they are in the checkout process. This makes multi-step (billing information, shipping options, confirmation) checkouts easier to follow, and gives the buyer an idea about the time it will take to complete.”
12. Offer Free Shipping
Businesses charging shipping fee is one of the most significant factors prompting the customers to abandon the shopping cart. You can prevent any unwarranted surprises at the checkout by offering free shipping that most of the purchasers expect and consider to be something of a standard.
Advising against asking for inappropriate shipping fees, Faizan Fahim, Content Marketing Lead at ServerGuy, says, “Merchants do everything right, but while calculating the shipping fee, they stick to the same rate on every product. Not every product is the same and has the same value. The customer finds it unfair that they have to give the shipping fee that goes nearly half of the product price. The best tactics we use is to offer bundles of product and then give free shipping. Product shipping is free if the customer buys enough products.”
13. Improve Loading And Processing Speed
When your website takes time to load, the money and the efforts that you invest in creating content, site designing, and acquiring customers go in vain.
“Speed is not only about the load time (though that plays the most important role) but also the navigation, add to cart or checkout process. Small delays and glitches in your website can result in massive losses. All of this has to be smooth and speedy before you can expect an optimal conversion rate.”
- Sadaqut Ullah Khan, Digital Marketing Manager at RunRepeat
14. Include Live Chat Option
Live chat is a much-needed option to connect your visitors to someone who can instantaneously and precisely solve their doubts. Not only is it a way of interacting with the customers, but it also lets you create a good rapport with them and increases their confidence in your products.
Stating the fact that in ecommerce, nobody's doing the active selling but has to rely on their website, Hardeep Johar, President at Stone & Tiles Shoppe, says it is even more essential to have an efficient online support team. He says, “Invest in training your customer support team the same way you would invest in your front line people in a brick and mortar store. Excellent customer care converts way better than disturbing banners.”
15. Get Feedback From Customers
Customer feedback points out the imperfections of your product that need improvement and helps you know what appeals to users, what is their least favorite aspect, and why. When taken positively, feedback from unhappy customers can do wonders for any business. Visitors also appreciate you taking time out to consider their opinion and acting accordingly.
Jared Ebrahimoff, Founder & COO at Lavari Jewelers, firmly believes that businesses should get feedback from their target market to gain valuable insight into factors that need improvement with their website and service. He says, “Since design and layout are subjective, it is best to consult with your target market to get more accurate advice. Using subjective criticism of your site to make necessary changes puts you at risk of doing an action that is counterproductive for its purpose.”
16. Conduct Competitors Analysis
With in-depth research into your competitive market, you gain a deeper understanding of what challenges you might have from your competitors in the future. You can also learn from their strengths and weaknesses, highlight the areas where you can outperform them, and capitalize on the opportunities.
Filip Silobod, Ecommerce and SEO manager at Liwu Jewelry with Meaning, asks to compare your landing pages to those of the top companies. He says, “Often sites that rank on top for your keywords provide the best user experience for people. Check their design, price offers, and try to do the same on your site. Learn what the most common path is that a site visitor takes."
17. Manage Product Portfolio Challenges
Managing product portfolios is essential for businesses to attain crucial information about the growth prospects of the brand, stock type, products that are high on profit margins, operational risks, and market leadership. On another front, it helps retaining customers too.
Tim Denman, who's Chief Marketing and Sales Officer at ServGrow, explains how resolving product portfolio issues improves customer retention, "You might have too many almost identical products. If it's the case, your customers will have a hard time making a choice and eventually will decide to shop somewhere else. The other portfolio issue is the opposite – it may not be meeting the customer needs."
18. Provide Discount To New Customers
Giving discounts to new customers is an essential element of a strong promotional strategy. It helps you enhance customer acquisition, increase sales, and get rid of old inventory.
Ruba Aramouny, Strategic Director at SOLID, says, "One must offer first-time purchasers a discount as this gives new customers an additional reason to order on your site instead of a competitor's and improve conversion rates."
19. Personalize Customer Experience
By deploying the latest technologies for data collection and machine learning, ecommerce sites can dynamically show product recommendations, welcome messages, pop-ups, etc. based on purchase history, browsing behavior, preference across digital and physical channels, and demographics.
Hannah Nakano Stewart, VP Marketing at Yieldify, finds misalignment between onsite experience and acquisition strategy as a key reason for a low conversion rate. She asks to differentiate the onsite experience depending on the visitor and their actions.
Hannah says, “Personalization is actually much easier than a lot of people think - for example, you can start by simply differentiating the message on your homepage depending on whether your visitor is new or a returning customer. You don’t have to be granular or complicated in order to make incremental changes to your conversion rate.”
20. Upsell or Cross-sell of Products
Upselling motivates the buyer to purchase the product that is a tad bit more expensive and has add-on features than the one that they intend to buy. Cross-selling is encouraging them to buy another item that goes in conjunction with their primary product. The definitions themselves suggest that with the proper practice, these concepts can boost your sales significantly.
Osama Khabab, CEO / Founder at MotionCue, considers the use of upsell or even cross-selling products to be an essential tactic. He says, “People are here to buy on your store, why not sell them an additional item to double your revenue. These items can be related to the product they are viewing, have purchased, or even part of a combo deal. The perfect example of this will be the section called - “People who bought this, also bought these.” You can see them on many websites at the bottom.”
21. Offer Discount Coupons And Vouchers With Limited Time
A carefully chosen limited-time promotion creates a sense of urgency, helps to draw people in, and ultimately works as an effective purchase trigger. But when done haphazardly, it can significantly damage your brand and attract customers who are price-driven or do not belong to your target market.
John Howard, CEO at CouponLawn, shares the strategy that has worked for them to improve conversion rates and speed up sales. He says, “Offer discount coupons and vouchers with limited time. Shoppers will make the most out of these offers and will maximize their purchases just to avail of discounts.”
22. A/B Testing
A/B testing is a process that lets businesses compare different versions of the same webpage to determine which design, content, or functionality performs better.
Tonya Davis suggests doing A/B testing for increasing conversion rates. She explains, “This means you build out two different landing pages for the same product, drive equal amounts of traffic to both, and see which performs better. You make minor tweaks, such as playing with copy, colors, call-to-action, etc. Test what users respond to, then make adjustments and test again. Split testing is the best way to improve your conversions.”
She cautions by adding, "The only issue with this is that it's a numbers game. You need a good amount of traffic going to both pages to be able to have enough data to know if something has legitimately made a difference or not."
Ecommerce Tools for Conversion Rate Optimization
Ecommerce tools can work as secret weapons to streamline your workflow while reducing the cost simultaneously. One can get the optimum results by coupling the right sales and digital marketing strategies with the perfect tools for execution.
Various Conversion Rate Optimization tools correspond to distinct parts of the CRO process. Despite having a lot of overlap between tools, some of them have proved to be invaluable and position themselves as ‘all-in-one’ solutions.
30.30% of experts declare ‘Hotjar’ as the most preferred tool to have the 'big picture' of how to improve their site's user experience and performance/conversion rates.
Adriana Iordan uses a variety of tools like Hotjar, VWO, Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, Formisimo.
“Whichever tools you use, you basically want to cover two things: Being able to gather input from your users (analytics, heatmaps, etc.) and being able to change their purchase experience based on your learnings.”
- Adriana Iordan, VP Product Management at 2Checkout
Steve Pritchard, Managing Director at It Works Media, says, “Hotjar is a technology platform that provides a variety of tools, from heatmaps and visitor recordings to customer surveys and forms analysis. It is a cost-effective solution that every ecommerce manager should have in their repository.”
While Josh Riches, CRO Specialist at Stryde declares, “I enjoy using google optimize because it links up with your google analytics account so you can have access to all your goals and lets you run many variations against the original version (it is also free!).”
Undoubtedly, ecommerce growth is much faster when compared to the overall development of commerce. The top digital marketing companies play an essential role in establishing a brand name and allowing the business to expand its customer base, earn a larger profit at the end of every month, and generate more revenue. Many of the experts consider conversion rate as the most important metric for being an elixir that gets the ball rolling. In the highly competitive world of ecommerce, interpret user behavior data to improve customer engagement and apply the appropriate strategies suggested by the experts to increase conversion rates, and achieve success.
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