Top Strategies To Increase Your Ecommerce Conversion RateBy Lisa Ross+
- Posted in Conversion Rate Optimization
Many ecommerce businesses struggle with converting their traffic into sales. Some estimates show that as much as 98% of visitors to your site will leave before making a purchase.
That’s a whole lot of lost revenue for your business!
To increase the conversion rate of your ecommerce website, you can do some things. Your website’s goal should be to get people to convert simply by convincing them that they are at the right place and you’re trustworthy.
So, how do you convince people and make them want to buy on your site instead of your competitor’s website?
Well, first of all, the good news is that it’s possible! In this article, we’ll look at some strategies you can use to help increase your ecommerce conversion rates.Contents hide
1. Make Your Site and Content Mobile Friendly
Mobile friendliness is essential to your site’s success and ecommerce conversions. In fact, in 2015, Google also announced that they would be penalizing sites that are not mobile-friendly by dropping their rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The issue is not just with Google, however. Mobile-friendly sites are becoming more and more important for ecommerce businesses as well.
Regarding mobile commerce statistics, 67% of customers purchase through a digital window on mobile.
But even though more people are buying from their phones and tablets, most ecommerce sites are still not optimized for mobile. If you want to ensure your site is ready for the future of retail, there are a few things you can do today that will pay off big time in the long run.
First and foremost, make sure your site looks good on mobile devices. This might seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many ecommerce sites need this simple feature. And if your site doesn’t look good on mobile devices, people won’t be able to buy from it at all!
So make sure the layout changes when people visit from a mobile device — they should see something similar to what they’d see if they were browsing on a desktop computer, only with less clutter and a simplified interface.
Next up: don’t make visitors click through multiple pages to find what they want. Try making it as easy as possible for them to add an item to their shopping cart with just one click!
For instance, Walmart was able to re-capture conversions from their core customer by making their site and content mobile-friendly.
The first step they took was to focus on how their site looked on a mobile device. They followed a touch-centric, tablet-first approach and collapsed information so that they could be presented in a friendly way on a smaller screen size.
Have a look at how their website condenses the content from a desktop to fit on a smartphone:
It ensures that the right content is prioritized. In this example, it’s the Christmas season, and there’s a lot of holiday content upfront.
This strategy increased their conversion rate by 20% and boosted mobile sales by 98%.
That’s not all.
Walmart conducted tests around their category pages. They found that displaying 60 products was enough to maintain site speed and decrease the number of taps a visitor had to make to view more products.
Walmart also ran a test to find out the best way to display items’ stock from the shelf level or category page. They removed the details button and kept one clear CTA. This allowed them to present a clear inventory status message on top of the “Add to Cart” button.
It boosted conversions as the inventory message tells the buyer that the item is available online, giving more incentive to buy.
2. Make Your Product Description Clear and Concise
Your product description is the most important part of your ecommerce store. It’s how you sell your products, and it’s what makes or breaks a customer’s decision to buy.
As many as 82% of customers read product descriptions, influencing their buying decision.
The problem is many product descriptions are too long, confusing, and hard to read. This makes it impossible for customers to make informed decisions about whether or not they want to buy your product.
The product description makes the first impression of a product. Your product description should be clear and concise so that people can know what they are buying and if they want it.
To make your product description clear, you need to follow some tips:
- Use simple language and avoid complicated words.
- Use short sentences with one idea per sentence.
- Use active verbs and not passive verbs (e.g., “We serve our customers” instead of “Our customers are served”).
- Include all relevant information, such as price, shipping details, manufacturer information, etc.
- Include the benefits of using the product and how it will improve their lives or make them happier (if possible).
- Use bullet points to break up long paragraphs of text.
Here’s a brilliant example of a clear and concise product description that contains all these ingredients:
In addition, avoid jargon or industry-specific terminology. For example, if you’re selling shoes, don’t say “leather upper” — just say “leather.” That way, anyone who’s interested can understand what you’re saying without having any knowledge of shoe construction or materials used in footwear making.
3. Include Multiple High-quality Images of Each Product From a Variety of Angles.
If you’re selling products online, one of the most important things to do is to include multiple images of each product.
That’s because online shoppers want to see what they’re buying before they buy it. They want to look at the details and see what they’re paying for. And if there are multiple pictures of one item, that means more opportunities for them to make an informed decision about whether or not they should buy your product.
However, there are many different ways in which you can take this advice and run with it.
For example, you could include multiple images from various angles and positions (flip-style). This will give customers a better idea of what the item looks like from all sides and angles — not just the front or back side.
You can also include pictures of your products used in real-life scenarios — so customers can see how things would actually work out in their own homes or workplaces if they were to buy your product.
In addition, remember to include multiple images per page. If you have only one or two images available for each item, consider showing them on separate pages so they aren’t clumped together in one large gallery.
This will help visitors find what they need more quickly and reduce confusion about which image belongs with which product description.
Take, for example, ASOS’ product pages:
They include clear images of their products on real-life models showing how the product will appear when you wear it. They even have videos where you can get a 360-degree view of the item from every angle!
This makes it easy for customers to know what they’re getting before they buy.
4. Take Advantage of Social Proof.
Social proof is the idea that people are influenced by what others think and do. It’s a form of indirect or implicit persuasion that stems from the assumption that if someone else has made a choice, it must be the right one.
People tend to follow the lead of others because they want to avoid embarrassment or feel like they’re missing out on something good. For example, if you walk into a restaurant and notice many people eating at the bar, you might decide to sit there as well because it’s what other people are doing — even if you were planning on sitting at a table.
In ecommerce, social proof can be used to encourage customers to make purchases through visual cues like product ratings and reviews.
Some ways to use social proof in your online store include:
- Put customer testimonials on your product pages.
- Add ratings and reviews to product pages.
- Use review widgets on category pages and blog posts.
- Use live chat software tools to offer live chat support and show off how many people are chatting with customer service reps at any given time.
For instance, Lush Cosmetics does a great job of using visual social proof. Apart from featuring visual social proof on their website, they made that inspiration content shoppable.
When visitors are on the product page, they immediately see the Mask of Magnaminty’s 4.6-star customer rating and are presented with a link to its over 1400 customer reviews.
If the shoppers scroll further down the product page, they will see written reviews from real shoppers and a visual UGC gallery that has photos of customers wearing their favorite face mask from the brand.
The UGC gallery demonstrates the interest of the Lushie community and promotes Lush’s Instagram account.
5. Provide Promotions, Discounts, and Free Shipping Incentives.
To increase your ecommerce conversion rate, you need to offer promotions, discounts, and free shipping incentives. The problem is that many businesses are reluctant to do this because they don’t want to give away the farm.
This is a mistake.
As per stats, 73% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product if it includes free shipping. And 34.1% of young shoppers value discounts more than free shipping.
If you offer discounts or free shipping and your sales increase, then you’ve made more money than if you hadn’t offered them.
The best way to do this is to start with a small discount and work your way up from there.
For example, if you plan on offering a 10% discount for purchases over $100, start with just 5%. If people buy more than $100, increase it by another 5%. Then increase it by another 5% if they buy more than $150, and so on until you reach 10%.
You can also see how much of an impact free shipping has on your conversion rate by offering free shipping on orders over $50 or even $75 instead of one order-wide coupon code.
Below are some more tips for incorporating promotions, discounts, and shipping incentives into your eCommerce strategy:
- Offer free shipping on all orders over $100
- Offer free returns on all items.
- Provide coupon codes for new customers only or at certain times during the year (e.g., during Black Friday or Cyber Monday)
- Offer free samples with every order.
- Give discounts and free shipping incentives on items that are popular with your customers.
- Create loyalty programs for repeat customers
Here’s how Uncommon Goods, an ecommerce website for unusual gifts, does it.
The brand combines multiple promotions to offer extra checkout incentives. It combines free shipping incentives with loyalty programs to reward existing buyers or convert first-time shoppers into repeat customers.
What makes Uncommon Goods stand out is how they combine their free shipping incentive with other perks, including regular monthly credits, exclusive access to new products, and social initiatives.
Uncommon Goods’ sales promotion ideas are also brilliant. They make personalized promotions across various touchpoints that are tailored specifically for their brand, niche, and buyers. It not only improves revenue but decreases promotion costs and purchase time.
Have a look at their email subscription incentive that includes credit for buyers and combines it with a gift reminder feature.
6. Optimize Your Checkout Process.
Many factors contribute to the conversion rate of your ecommerce store.
The checkout page is one of the most important areas you need to optimize to increase sales.
The longer it takes a customer to complete the checkout, the less likely they are to buy from you. This means you need to optimize your checkout process, so it’s as short, simple, and painless as possible.
Here are some tips for doing just that:
- Use a single-page checkout. Research shows that single-page checkouts increase conversions by up to 10-20%.
- Focus on speed. Optimizing the speed of your website is one of the most effective ways of improving conversions and reducing cart abandonment rates.
- Use personalization. Personalize emails based on past behavior, as well as based on products in the shopping cart — for example, offering shipping discounts on items from other orders or previous purchases made by customers who have abandoned their carts without completing the purchase.
- Make sure that your users can easily find the “Buy” button and get as close as possible to it. This means that you should place it in a prominent position on each page and make sure that there’s no other content on the page that might distract users from finding their way to it.
- Use smart defaults wherever possible. Smart defaults are based on previous choices made by visitors during their browsing session or past purchases. They’re an effective way of reducing the number of form fields that need to be filled out and making ordering as easy as possible for customers.
- Offer guest checkout. Offering guest checkout is one of the easiest ways to reduce friction in your checkout process. This allows users to quickly enter their information without having to create an account first.
Take this case study of Happy Chef, for instance. The company optimized checkout to increase conversions after they saw that 7 out of 10 carts were abandoned when buyers arrived at checkout.
They spotted areas for UX design solutions that resulted in significant improvements.
After the optimization, the website saw a 24% increase in checkout page conversion rate, a 51% boost in success rate after checkout error, and an 18% decrease in time to complete checkout.
7. Track & Optimize Performance.
You’ve done the hard work of building a great ecommerce store. You’ve got the products, the sales copy, and the design. Now it’s time to scale up your business by increasing your conversion rate.
The key to scaling up an ecommerce business is to track and optimize Performance so you can improve your conversion rate over time.
Let’s take a look at the main KPIs you should be tracking and optimizing in order to increase your conversion rate:
- Abandonment rate – how many people leave your site without converting?
- Conversion rate – how many people who visit your site actually make a purchase?
- Cart abandonment rate – how many people add items to their cart and then abandon it before checking out?
- Bounce Rate – This KPI measures how many people leave after visiting only one page of your site (without purchasing anything).
For instance, you can calculate the shopping cart abandonment rate by dividing the no. of completed purchases by the no. of shopping carts that visitors created. To convert the rate into a percentage, subtract your no. from one, and then multiply it by one hundred:
Other major KPIs to track and optimize include customer acquisition cost, average order value, customer lifetime value, gross profit margin, and more.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Use analytics software like Google Analytics or Kissmetrics to track data from all channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and see how those channels impact your conversions. This will give you a good idea of where people are coming from, which helps determine what marketing campaigns are working best for you.
- Use heat maps to gain insight into where customers click on your site or app so that you can focus on areas that need improvement. For example, if customers are clicking on a particular part of the page or app but not converting, this could indicate that something needs fixing in that area.
- Use a tracking pixel on your site. The most important thing you can do is use a tracking pixel on your site. This allows you to track when people visit your site and then, later on, when they actually make a purchase. The tracking pixel will also allow you to see if people are coming from Google search or from social media, or any other source that brings them to your site!
Tools to help Increase Conversion Rate
No one wakes up and says they want to increase their conversion rate.
Before increasing your online store’s conversion rate, you first need to know where your store’s present conversion rate is.
Like any other industry, conversion rate optimization has its own tools that help you identify your present conversion rate and issues you can work on to improve it.
Conversion rate optimization tools are divided into web analytics, behavior analytics, and AB testing platforms.
In this section, we’ll look at tools in the different categories and how they help improve your ecommerce business conversion rates.
Web Analytics Tool
You can also refer to Google Analytics as your site’s doctor. Like other analytics tools, GA helps you know how your website performs at a high level and how individual pages perform.
At the start of this section, I said no one just wants to increase their site’s conversion rate, they need to know their site’s conversion rate and you can use Google analytics to find out.
- Login to Google Analytics.
- On the right menu, click Conversions>Goals>Overview.
- This will give you a bird’s eye view of the conversion rate of your goals.
- Under the conversions section, if you click on ecommerce – overview, you’ll see your site’s conversion rate, transactions, average order value, etc.
To see how individual pages perform, click back from conversions, select behavior, and click on site-content and landing pages.
This gives you an overview of your landing pages report; you can pick a particular page and look at its Performance.
This way, using Google Analytics, you know which pages need improvement and would positively affect your site’s conversion rate.
User behavior platform.
This is a Digital Experience Intelligence platform that captures every user interaction on your website.
It doesn’t just tell you what happened; it helps to uncover the why behind issues.
Fullstory has session recording and heatmaps tools that let you know how users act on your website.
You can check your product pages, watch session recordings, see where users click on, what they ignore, etc.
With heatmaps, you can see how far down your page users scroll, where much activity takes place, and where less action takes place.
You get to find out if they go below the fold, interact with certain site elements, avoid them, etc.
Figpii isn’t just an A/B testing platform; it’s a suite that provides many tools for conversion rate optimization.
After analyzing your analytics and going through your user behavior platform to better understand your users, with Figpii, you can test your design variations against the control.
As part of its features, FigPii has both AB testing and Split URL testing. It helps you launch and pause your tests at specific timings according to your preference.
It integrates with Google Analytics, where you can use custom dimensions to analyze your data further on Google Analytics.
By now, you should have a good idea of how to boost conversions. These are some actionable tips and common ecommerce conversion rate optimization strategies (CRO) to get more visitors and paying customers.
What still remains is for you to apply these strategies, see what works for your business and what doesn’t, and finally, continually optimize your ecommerce stores so that you can get the most out of it.
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