If you are in the eCommerce space, then you cannot afford to have the “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” attitude.
With over 1.74 billion websites on the Internet, you need to stand out if you want to compete!
Basically, you cannot just lead the customer to the water, you have to make him drink, that is, ensure a successful conversion on your site.
And by working on your eCommerce conversion rate, you can ensure that you won’t be leaving any money on the table!
What is the eCommerce conversion rate?
eCommerce conversion rate is the percentage of people who land on your website and complete a ‘desired action’.
The ‘desired action’ need not be restricted to the purchase of a product. A conversion can be anything ranging from an online sale to a user adding an item to their cart or something as small as email signup. It is up to the company to determine what they want (and need) to define as a conversion.
How to calculate eCommerce conversion rate?
Determining the conversion rate is a fairly direct process. You can calculate the conversion rate by simply dividing the number of conversions obtained in a specific time frame by the total number of website visitors and multiplying the result by 100%.
Conversion rate = (no. of conversions÷ total no. of visitors) x 100%
For instance, if you had 200 visitors on your website and 5 conversions, your conversion rate is:
(5 ÷ 200) x 100% = 2.5%
Tools like Google Analytics and Google Ads can simplify the process by giving you real-time conversion rates directly.
What is the average conversion rate and what should be your target?
Studies in 2020 show that the average eCommerce conversion rate is between 2-3%
But conversion rates will vary based on factors such as traffic quality, business model, the definition of conversion, products sold, etc.
So your target conversion rate cannot be determined by anybody except you, as it depends on factors pertaining to your business and marketing strategies.
Since a conversion may not always refer to purchase, it is crucial to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to produce sales rather than reaching a certain conversion rate.
7 tips to increase eCommerce conversion rates on your website
1) Speed is your ally
What if I told you that each additional second of load time (between the 1st and 5th second) causes your website’s conversion rate to drop by an average of 4.42%?
As a website visitor, isn’t the page speed one of the few things you notice first? High website speed gives the user a good user experience. And a good user experience can go a long way in making a conversion.
“40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.”
– Sean Work, former Director of Marketing, Kissmetrics
2) Simple Design, Concise Copy
When it comes to design, the well-established K.I.S.S (keep it simple, stupid) theory works every single time. If it worked for the US Navy, it is bound to work for you!
While most companies hire qualified designers to create unique designs, sticking to the basics and following design conventions that are used by eCommerce giants like Amazon could significantly improve conversion rates as customers are already familiar with these design conventions.
However, when it comes to copy, keeping it simple won’t work always. A simple Ctrl C, Ctrl V to reproduce the same copy/content on multiple locations of your website will affect the trustworthiness of your company.
While a descriptive yet concise explanation of the product is essential, writing about how the product can address the customer’s needs will help in making the conversion. Your sunglasses may be made by the finest designer in Italy, but what the customer really wants to know is whether it will actually afford protection for your eyes from the sun.
“Your job is not to write copy. Your job is to know your visitors, customers, and prospects so well, you understand the situation they’re in right now, where they’d like to be, and exactly how your solution can and will get them to their ideal self.”
– Joanna Wiebe, Founder of Copyhackers
3) Website Personalization
As stated by Jeff Bezos, website personalization is about creating a unique store for each customer based on his personal preferences.
Customers buy emotions, not products. While customers may forget what you said and what you did but they will never forget the way you made them feel.
Website personalization is all about ensuring personalized content and recommendations that are tailor-made for each customer, which in turn contributes to the sale of a product.
The proof lies in the numbers. An Econsultancy report found that 93% of companies saw a rise in their conversion rate after personalizing their search engine marketing. Similarly, 94% of companies that implemented website personalization also saw a rise in their conversion rate.
The goal of personalization is to make every customer feel unique, emotionally connected to the brand, and to improve their overall shopping experience.
“Personalization is pointless without knowing the individual. Understand the dreams, hopes, and fears that motivate your customers, then hit them where it counts.” – Paul Gillin
4) Seamless UX
User experience (UX), as the name suggests, is all about creating an unforgettable experience for the user which gives them a feel-good factor and ultimately contributes to a conversion.
In an attempt to thwart competition, companies tend to focus more on themselves rather than on the customer while in reality, they should be doing it the other way around.
A glance at Jeff Bezos’ statement on his approach to UX shows us how important it is to focus on UX.
“We innovate by starting with the customer and working backward. The focus is not the product, but the customer.”
Developing a good UX is not rocket science. It just requires you to think like a customer for a moment. If you are interested in a product and you land on the company’s website, would you proceed to buy the product if the page is so cluttered and complicated that you can’t understand it?
One can learn a lot from AmeriFirst’s success story where they used naked landing pages to ensure that customers focus on the landing page, fill the form, and complete the conversion. This resulted in an impressive 30 to 40% conversion rate increase.
Here are 3 useful metrics you must begin to track right away in order to up your UX game
i) Customer satisfaction – To determine how happy customers are with the experience.
ii) Inclination to make a recommendation – To understand the extent to which customers are willing to recommend the product/service/offer to friends and family.
iii) Completion of the objective – To determine how many customers were able to complete the objective for which they arrived on the website.
5) Following up on abandoned carts
According to Business Insider, shopping cart abandonment has contributed to the loss of a whopping USD 4.6 trillion to retailers. What is worse is that these are customers who were interested in the product and yet abandoned their cart because of certain reasons; most of which are avoidable by implementing the right strategies.
88% of Web buyers say that they have abandoned an online shopping cart without completing a transaction.
We cannot pinpoint one reason why they abandoned their cart as there are innumerable reasons for shopping cart abandonment.
While we can take steps to prevent these issues, it is impossible to ensure zero cart abandonment.
“There will always be extenuating circumstances that drive a consumer to abandon a sale, whether it is an offline distraction or a text from a friend.”
So the best strategy will be to identify what prompted the shopper to abandon the cart despite liking the product and to develop retargeting strategies around it.
The fact that recovering a cart costs much less than acquiring a new customer is a big incentive to focus on abandoned cart recovery. Cart recovery costs are often lesser because the retailer knows perfectly what the customer needs and can provide personalized offers to bring him back.
But the most time tested way to recover abandoned carts is to send out cart abandonment emails reminding them that they have not completed the purchase. Cart abandonment emails are easy to send and the ROI is incredibly high.
“Nearly half of all abandoned cart emails are opened and over a third of clicks lead to purchases back on site.”
Here are the 5 simple tips to write a successful cart recovery email
i) Include pictures of the products they have abandoned to visually entice the customer
ii) Provide ratings and testimonials as social proof goes a long way in making a conversion
iii) Explain the return policy in a simple yet comprehensive manner
iv) Transparency is key. Give the actual price the customer will have to pay. Do not mask taxes and shipping charges.
v) Simplify the process for the customer by placing a clear CTA that automatically takes them back to the cart.
6) Frequent A/B testing
In the eCommerce world, the number of visitors to your website represents the number of opportunities you have to expand your business. An effective method to optimize your website’s funnel and ensure a higher conversion rate is by smart and frequent A/B testing.
“Only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.”
Core conversion metrics are affected by pain points like gaps in the conversion funnel, high cart abandonment rate, high bounce rate, etc.
A/B or (A/B/n) testing enables you to come up with a hypothesis and understand why certain aspects of your UX have a drastic impact on user behavior.
What your marketing team thinks is the best possible UX may not always be in sync with what the customer likes. A/B testing can be deployed in such situations to rewrite marketing/business strategies.
Source: Seller Labs
While we all are in awe of Google’s success, it is important to note the significant role A/B testing played in Google’s climb to the top.
Gmail once tested 50 shades of JUST ONE color (blue) for their CTA before finding the shade that ensured the highest conversions.
7) An array of payment options
The past few months have not only seen a rise in the number of coronavirus cases but also in the number of fraudulent activities taking place over the internet.
“Over half of consumers (51%) also experienced a rise in phishing activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In today’s internet era, multiple trustworthy payment options not only give the customer variety but also enable them to pick the one they perceive to be the safest.
Since it is hard to obtain the customer’s trust in a short span of time, eCommerce retailers should actively take steps to enhance the credibility of their website and payment portal.
A 2020 study shows that consumers are 54% more willing to buy when a business accepts PayPal, especially in unfamiliar situations.
Just having PayPal as a payment option and displaying PayPal’s logo on your product page and checkout page gave customers the confidence to buy.
An SSL certificate also has a similar impact on the customer’s mindset.
It has been seen that the addition of the letter ‘s’ after ‘http’ ensures a big ‘YES’ from customers.
No wonder a study by Symantec showed that eCommerce and lead generation websites with an SSL certificate showed between 18 and 87% increase in conversion rate.
“25% of people have abandoned a transaction because their preferred payments provider wasn’t there.”
When it comes to variety, conventional options like credit card and net banking won’t suffice. It makes sense to actively explore other digital currencies like dash, bitcoin, and monero to prevent people from abandoning their purchases due to lack of payment options.
eCommerce conversion rates can be improved in so many ways and the aforementioned tips will help tip the scale and achieve a positive ROI.
Instead of implementing all the tips in one go, it will help if you prioritize them based on your business requirements. This will create a sustainable model in the long run.
It is not important to just implement the changes on the website. Monitoring website data and noticing patterns is the key to constantly dominating and acing the conversion rate game.
Working on your eCommerce conversion rate is not a 100-meter dash. It is a marathon!
Whether your website stands out among the 1.74 billion websites on the internet and whether the customer actually ends up drinking the water completely depends on you!