As we saw earlier, conversion rates vary greatly across stores. Some stores see conversion rates in excess of 10%. Some struggle with rates under 2%.
According to WordStream, for example, the top 10% of stores see a conversion rate of nearly 11.5%.
Which is to say, getting an average conversion rate is really not good enough for an e-commerce store. Instead of benchmarking yourself against the average, focus on what the top 10% are doing and reverse engineer their efforts.
Here are a few steps you can take to improve your conversion rates:
1. Focus on top converting traffic channels
From the above charts, it is clear that social converts fairly poorly as compared to search and email, both of which underperform against direct traffic.
If improving conversion rates is your priority, focusing on better converting channels will yield better results. Dig into your analytics report to see where most of your traffic comes from. If your top channel is social and you have very little direct traffic, it might be a good idea to divert marketing resources to PPC or invest in an email campaign.
Similarly, email yields better conversion rates than social and search. Consider investing in an email marketing campaign to push up your store’s overall conversions.
2. Promote best-converting products/categories
Different products and product-categories will have different conversion rates. Dig through your analytics to see what pages convert best. These should be the top priority in your marketing campaigns.
For example, if your t-shirts convert better than your shoes, make sure to promote the former on your site and your marketing.
At the same time, also consider what products contribute the most to your bottom-line. A $1,000 product that converts at 2% is better for your store than a $10 product that converts at 10%.
Finding a product with a reasonably high order value and strong conversion rates can do wonders for your store.
3. Go deeper with your A/B tests
When split testing, it is easy to fall into the trap of making small changes (such as changing a button color) and expecting big returns.
Such an approach will rarely, if ever, yield unicorn-level conversion rates of 5-10% or higher. To get to that level, you have to look beyond cosmetic changes.
Try the following with your tests:
- Overhaul page design. Experiment with minimalist pages, busy pages, etc. Be prepared to try out 10 or more radically different designs to see what truly works.
- Experiment with different offers. Instead of selling products conventionally, try to run a time limited sale (like Groupon).
- Change up traffic sources. Use the same landing page on different channels (Facebook, Twitter, AdWords, etc.). Try a remarketing campaign with top performing channel to push conversion rates even further.
4.Clamp down on cart abandonment rate
According to Monetate, ‘Add to Cart’ rate (% of visitors who add a product to the shopping cart) globally is as high as 9.58%.
From the same study, average conversion rate is just 2.95%.
This means that out of 10, nearly 7 people abandon their shopping cart.
Optimizing the checkout experience, therefore, should be a top priority. Reducing cart abandonment rate by even 10% can push up conversion rates significantly.
5. Invest in a mobile shopping app
Smartphone traffic to e-commerce sites has steadily grown from 16.6% of all traffic in Q2 2014 to 22.9% of traffic in Q2 2015.
Smartphone traffic conversion rates, however, are significantly lower than both desktops and tablets.
Improving the mobile shopping experience can be a big boost to your bottom-line. One way to do this is to invest in a mobile app. While the upfront costs will be high, a mobile app offers several advantages over a mobile website:
- Personalization: By using location data and tracking user engagement, a mobile app can offer a more personalized experience to your customers.
- Notifications: You can use mobile notifications to alert customers about sales and deals – something that’s not possible (so far) with mobile websites.
- Design and Performance: A mobile app gives your designers more room to create innovative shopping experiences. Apps also perform better than websites since they can tap into the full power of the smartphone.
This is one reason why some retailers are ditching mobile websites altogether and going ‘app only’.
Even if you don’t invest in a mobile app, make sure to optimize your site for mobile users. According to Criteo, mobile-optimized sites convert more than 100% higher than non-optimized sites.