When owning an online business, the conversion rate is the feature that has the potential to make or break the company. And, with 47 billion e-commerce sites online already, being the one stand out that people chose to purchase from can be hard to achieve.
Many e-commerce sites will be sold the Instagram dream of those sites who have grown massively in a matter of minutes from selling the weirdest of items from homemade slime to upcycled thrift store clothes.
But in reality, these businesses cannot sit around and wait for a huge amount of conversions to hit their site. Instead, a site needs to have the competitive confidence to dive into the e-commerce race to have the best conversions.
Let’s Start At The Beginning
There may be a few of you here that are wondering what this article is actually talking about. With so many features and processes to go through when building a business, E-commerce may be something that has slipped your mind.
So, What Really Are E-Commerce Conversion Rates?
The conversion rate is totalled by the percentage of people who come and visit your online store and progresses into creating a conversion on the site. To many, a conversion would be a completed purchase. However, depending on the goal a particular site has, their conversions wants may differ.
These are the types of conversions that most, if not all businesses will aim to achieve:
- Signing up to a subscription offered
- Taking part in the sites survey or poll
- Using a discount code
- Sharing content over social media pages
- Making a purchase
- Creating a wishlist and adding to it
- Upgrading products or services
- Starting a chat with the business
There are clearly many ways one customer can engage with an online site and convert. While most focus solely on getting their clients to make a quick purchase, others take into account the steps beforehand. These steps may finally persuade them into buying a product from their site.
If this is something that confuses you, however, and you have no idea where to start. Then this is why I am here to help. In this article, we will discuss the best ways to increase e-commerce conversion rates and make your online business a force to be reckoned with.
The Speed Of The Site
The time it takes for your online site to load can be the difference between a customer making a purchase, or leaving the site to get better services elsewhere.
It is suggested that a page loading speed should only ever be as long a 2 seconds. And if it is longer, it will be noticeable, and people will begin to skip out on looking through your site. It has in fact been said that 53% of potential customers lose interest in a product or service if the site takes longer than 2 seconds to load. Even as small as a 1-second delay can lead to a 7% reduction in conversion every time the site is visited.
So, ensure the page speed is up to scratch by testing it on all devices and ensuring it has a secure internet connection each time, in order to not receive a false finishing result.
Have Efficient Search Results
Something many e-Commerce sites may not realize is that many users tend to search for a product, rather than scroll through each page to see everything before finding what they want. By searching, the customer saves time, and will quickly be able to purchase anything wanted within efficient time.
And, if these searches do not provide relevant results, it can take a toll on the user experience, and guide them somewhere else. For example, if the customer were to shop for ‘computer servers’, but is approached with a page on gaming PCs, this is not efficient and will ruin the customer experience.
To put it into perspective, at least 70% of online store searches are unable to provide relevant results for the users. This is extremely high. So, ensure that any possible search is returned with a product list that correlates, from t-shirts to cashmere curtains, if it is asked for, anything relevant should be offered.
Build Relationships With Customers
Having conversations with potential customers is a great way to kick start a conversion. And, by using software such as chatbots or even a customer service line, will allow customers queries and questions to be answered in efficient time, allowing them to feel respected and cared for.
Just by being attentive and helpful, conversion rates can be increased drastically. However, ensure that any message is answered within 24 hours of being sent, as anything longer can induce some annoyance within the customer, and they will avoid using your site in the future, and the potential conversion will be lost.
Work With The Best Security
One of the biggest concerns faced with those who online shop, is their personal debit card information not being safe, and being used for more than just the purchase they desire. So, in order to have the most conversions possible, it would be recommended to work with a software that is high quality and keeps customers personal details private at all times.
The e-commerce site is likely in a state at the minute where it needs to build trust and a loyal client base. So, promote with all certificates on display, and don’t stop offering the highest quality check out services to your clients. This way, the purchases will be continuous with those returning, due to their details being kept, and stored privately.
Offer Free Shipping
One of the breaking posts that stop a huge amount of customers completing a purchase, is the delivery charges. No matter the price of the product the few pounds it may charge to deliver it what will turn a lot of people away.
So, if it is affordable, act against this. By offering free delivery, the customers standard of service will be reached, and they will definitely complete a few conversions over time, due to not having to pay for a product to reach their home.
With social media bigger than ever nowadays, it would be massively beneficial to get those talking on these platforms as much as you can. From photos of their orders being received to a flurry of positive reviews on your site, these will be the points of not only spreading awareness but showing potential clients that your business is trustworthy and high quality and a huge amount of people think so too.
It has been found that an entire 63% of customers are more likely to purchase an item from a site that has a handful of good quality reviews. So simple, offer everyone who makes a purchase the chance to write a review, as this is the best way to get new clients on board, and increases your e-commerce conversion rates.
Use Simple Sign Up Forms
A big mistake a lot of online sites can make is by creating web pages that are too hard for the customers to navigate. This is particularly crucial for the pages asking the customers to sign up to a subscription or mailing list that could benefit the awareness of the brand.
Make sure that each page is fairly easy to work around, as many will be on there with the purchase and sign up intent (which of course increases conversions), and this should not be failed by a page being too hard to manoeuvre. Try and keep the site visit pleasant, simple and memorable, and the clients will quickly return with no fuss!
Offer Checking Out As A Guest
Another task that can make the checking out process a chore is having to fill in a demanding form of the name, addresses, dates of birth, that are somewhat unneeded to just purchase a product and will make many turns away through not having the effort.
So, ensure you make the checking out process as simple as possible, by letting the customer complete as a guest, ridding the need to fill out the registration form if they don’t want too.
The simplicity of the checkout will likely be the aspect that the clients remember, and will persuade them to come back and make another conversion; while being happy that they do not have an email full of spam about their newly created account that they didn’t really want.
Don’t Delay The Discount Codes
One thing all customers love is a discount code. And e-commerce businesses can benefit from these drastically, by persuading a conversion to get going from a discount or two.
A fair handful of e-commerce sites will have constant discounts running to make them more appealing to the masses, so be sure to compete with these and offer your fair share, in order to get a part of the conversions!
Be sure to maximise this by generating holiday-specific discounts, at times where people will be purchasing items most. For example Christmas time, Valentine’s Day and maybe even a summer sale ready for the warmer weather ( depending on the products you offer to your clients).
Give Enough Product Information
A dealbreaker for some customers is the way in which the website displays and explains an item. It is important to remember that we are used to buying things physically from shops, where we can hold, analyse and event try on an item. From buying online, this privilege is taken away from us.
So, when selling an item be sure to display images from all angels, with a descriptive and informative piece of text below the product, addressing all features it has. From the measurements to colour and even weight, these will all help in aiding the buyer, and getting them to that final conversion.
Avoid Abandoned Carts
It is important to stay alert on those who decide to abandon their cart instead of going ahead with a completed purchase. According to The Baymard Institute, up to 70% of customers decide to abandon their carts instead of purchasing.
There are many times when most of us are hit with boredom, and simply scroll through e-commerce sites and add to our cart for something to do. And while its a novelty to us, it can interfere with a lot of conversion rate data.
Luckily for the site owners, an abandoned cart is actually a great way to increase conversion rates. For example, by having a fully optimised site with a smooth checkout process, there is a chance the client will come back to their cart and purchase, as long as it stays within their history, stopping them from forgetting about the items.
If this is not enough, however, why not follow up on the abandoned carts with an email or two, addressing that the customer has left their items, and wondering if they will return, possibly offering a discount code to hand in order to boost up the chances of that final conversion being made.
When building an e-commerce site, it is important to keep the sole purpose of it in mind and use this when deciding on how to design and decorate it.
It would be suggested to limit the amount of decor on the page that can be turned into a distraction and make finding a specific product difficult. For example having heaps of images all with corresponding colours, or a website design that is very bold against large and outstanding fonts. All of these issues and more can interfere with the conversion process and make those turn away from your site, even if they find a product they like.
Offer Multiple Ways To Pay
Likewise, with having to fill out a rather time-consuming form in order to checkout, many people don’t want to spend the time putting in their card details either. If they do have to do this, however, it means finding their card- which may be in another room, ensuring all the numbers a put incorrectly, and then finally checking out. It’s not the most satisfactory process.
However, if you offer multiple payment options from PayPal, Apple Pay and even a pay overtime option such as Klarna, will allow clients to complete a conversion satisfied from the simplicity, and not having to move a muscle.
Provide Your Returns/Guarantee Policy
It has been stated that 50% of customers will actually read the returns or guarantee policy before purchasing an item. This is done to ensure that the payment will be safe, the item can be redelivered, and what to do in the process of a mishandling issue. All of these points being provided is how trust is gained in your delivery system and will allow more customers to want to buy from your store.
If this information is not provided, many users may deflect and decide to purchase from somewhere they know has a trusted delivery scheme and a policy that they agree with in order to have a satisfying order.
It can simply be put on a site at the bottom of a webpage as a link, or provided in its own terms and conditions section, offering an easy find, and for every customer to see it if they want too.
Track Your Data
It will be much easier to know where to improve things on your site if you can see what parts aren’t getting enough use. By analysing data from the customers who approach the site, the business will be able to make a short judgement on what needs updating, that could potentially increase their e-commerce in the coming weeks.
The best metrics to follow up on would be:
- The Clickthrough rate: The number of users who visit the site through an advert or email link
- Bounce Rate: Those who leave the site after only viewing one page
- Average Session Duration: The amount of time that is spent on the site by each user
By focussing on these, it can be depicted what the users just aren’t enjoying, and then these can be changed quickly.
Increasing conversion rates is not something that happens overnight. In fact, this is rather impossible. So, it is important to build the website in a way that will only produce benefits.
By focussing on the data, site efficiency with a payment scheme to suit any possible user, there is no reason why the visitors won’t have a satisfactory experience to the e-commerce store and purchase from the business knowing the supplier is trustworthy and promising, with having everything above on offer.
No matter which tips are taken from above, they are sure to offer the customers a shopping experience that is well thought out, optimised and high quality.
The process will take time, but as long as it is worked at with product management, you will see the benefits in no time.
Sydney Tierney; just recently finished her studies; is working her way into the world of content writing as a digital marketing assistant. She writes for clients that specialize in gorgeous chairs and furnishings decor, all the way to deep learning workstations and high end technology.