10 Proven Ways to Improve Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate
The world of ecommerce continues to grow year by year. As consumers want to purchase items from the comfort of their own home and have them delivered in a timely manner, the opportunities in ecommerce are ever-expanding. The expectation for a good user experience is now higher than ever. Customer want to know they can trust the website they are buying from, they want to access the website fast, and they want a great offer.
All of these things come into play when discussing the conversion rate of any ecommerce store. As an ecommerce store owner, your ultimate goal is to convert as many visitors as possible into paying customers. However, this can be a challenging task, especially in today's competitive ecommerce landscape. The good news is that there are proven strategies you can implement to improve your ecommerce conversion rate and boost your sales. In this article, we will explore ten of these strategies.
Ecommerce conversion rate benchmarks
First off, we'll start with some benchmarks. Conversion rates will vary based on industry, location, and device used. According to Monetate, the following conversion rate results were gathered for Q3 of 2021 until Q3 of 2022.
As we can see, the UK has an average conversion rate that is significantly higher than the US, at 3.7 compared to 2.3%. The global conversion rate for Q3 of 2022 was 2.5% down from 2.6% in Q2.
As mentioned above, the device used to access an ecommerce store also has an effect on the conversion rate. Below we see that traditional devices like a desktop have the highest conversion rate at 3.1%. Tablets come in at a close second with 2.8% and smartphones have a 2.2% conversion rate respectively.
The lower conversion rate on mobile could be due to a variety of reasons:
Screen size: The smaller screen size of mobile phones can make it more challenging for visitors to browse and view products. This can result in a less engaging user experience, leading to lower conversion rates.
Navigation: The navigation of a mobile website can be different from that of a desktop or tablet website. Visitors may have difficulty finding what they are looking for, leading to frustration and a higher likelihood of abandonment.
Checkout process: The checkout process on a mobile website may not be as optimized as that of a desktop or tablet website, making it more difficult for visitors to complete their purchase.
Security concerns: Visitors may have concerns about the security of making a purchase on a mobile device, especially if they are using public Wi-Fi or are unsure of the security of the mobile website.
Technical issues: Technical issues such as slow loading times or errors may be more prevalent on mobile websites, leading to a less positive user experience and lower conversion rates.
To address these challenges and improve mobile conversion rates, it's essential to optimize your website for mobile devices. This can involve using responsive design to ensure that your website is optimized for different screen sizes, simplifying navigation, and streamlining the checkout process. Additionally, it's essential to prioritize website security and ensure that technical issues are addressed promptly to provide the best possible user experience on mobile devices.
10 ways to optimize your ecommerce conversion rate
Below we've outlined 10 methods you should implement to increase your ecommerce conversion rate. Go through each suggestion and work on implementing it into your store if you haven't already. These methods have been proven time and time again to increase conversion rates and give your customers a better experience overall so that they will keep coming back.
1. Optimize your website design
The first impression your website gives to visitors is critical in determining whether they will stay on your site or leave immediately. A poorly designed website can significantly impact your conversion rate. Your website design should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and user-friendly.
One of the critical elements of your website design is the layout. Ensure that your website is organized and has a clear hierarchy of information. Your navigation menu should be easy to use and intuitive. The layout should be responsive and work well on all devices, including desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.
Another important design element is the color scheme. Colors can affect emotions and influence buying decisions. Choose colors that are in line with your brand and that appeal to your target audience. For instance, if you're selling products for kids, you might want to use bright and cheerful colors.
2. Optimize your product pages
Your product pages are where visitors will decide whether to purchase your products or not. Therefore, it's essential to optimize your product pages for maximum conversion. Here are some tips:
- Write clear and concise product descriptions: Your product descriptions should be easy to read, informative, and highlight the benefits of your products.
- Include customer reviews and ratings: Customer reviews and ratings provide social proof and can increase trust in your brand.
- Display pricing clearly: Visitors should be able to see the price of your products clearly without having to search for them.
3. Better product images
Product images play a major role in both building trust as well as branding. Nowadays, all ecommerce operators need to ensure that their images are high quality and optimized. Peep Laja, Founder of ConversionXL, is sure:
Using quality images in your blog posts makes you sell more of your stuff.
When taking product photos, ensure you're using a high quality camera so that your images can be zoomed in on while a potential buyer is browsing your website.
Having high quality images on your site can however slow down the performance of your site overall as the image size grows. Therefore, taking advantage of things like smart image compression and converting your images to a newer format such as WebP are great ways to optimize image size while at the same time ensuring the quality of your images doesn't degrade.
4. Create an attractive offer
The next conversion optimization tip is to creative an attractive offer. Consumer like to feel as though they're getting a great deal on something and as an ecommerce store owner its your responsibility to create an offer that your buyers will love. Here are a few common offers you can use:
- On sale (e.g. 15% off)
- Free shipping
- Buy 1 get 1
- Free, just pay shipping
- Free bonus included with every purchase
Scarcity tactics can also be employed if you're running a promotion for a limited time or you only have a certain amount of stock available for a specific item. For example, you can say things like:
- Only X left in stock
- Sale ends in X Days
- Due to low stock, there is a limit of X per customer
Big ecommerce brands like Etsy use similar tactics to let their customers know when other people are buying a particular item or when the stock is running out on a particular product. Here are a couple of examples from Etsy's website:
5. Simplify the checkout process
The checkout process is one of the critical stages in the ecommerce conversion funnel. A complicated and time-consuming checkout process can lead to cart abandonment and reduce your conversion rate. Here are some tips to simplify the checkout process:
- Use a progress indicator: A progress indicator shows visitors how far they are in the checkout process and gives them an idea of how much more time it will take to complete the purchase.
- Offer guest checkout: Not all visitors will want to create an account to make a purchase. Offer a guest checkout option to make the process faster and more convenient.
- Allow multiple payment options: Offer multiple payment options, including credit cards, PayPal, and other online payment systems, to cater to different preferences.
- Reduce the number of form fields: The more form fields a visitor has to fill, the more likely they are to abandon the checkout process. Reduce the number of form fields to the bare minimum required to complete the purchase.
6. Implement live chat support
Live chat support can be a powerful tool in boosting your ecommerce conversion rate. It allows visitors to ask questions and get immediate answers, which can help to remove any doubts they may have about making a purchase. Live chat support can also help to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
When implementing live chat support, ensure that it's easily accessible and visible on your website. Train your support agents to be friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about your products and services.
7. Improve site speed
Having fast site speed is imperative. Online users are becoming less and less patient meaning you as an ecommerce store owner need to implement methods for reducing latency and speeding up your website. There are many ways to speed up a slow website. We've written a comprehensive guide which gives 18 tips for website performance optimization.
One thing any ecommerce store owner can do to instantly improve their global page speed is to implement a CDN. With a CDN, you can offload your static assets such as product images, videos, GIFs, CSS files, and much more to the CDN's edge servers. Then, when someone makes a request for one of your store's webpages they will be delivered content from the CDN's nearest edge server instead of your origin server. This reduces latency and speeds up your website.
We've also written multiple articles on ways to speed up your website if you're using certain CMS platforms. Check them out below:
8. Optimize for mobile
Initially, desktop computers were the primary means of accessing the Internet, with mobile devices being a secondary option. However, with the rise of smartphones and tablets, mobile Internet usage has surpassed desktop usage, and it continues to grow.
According to a report by Statcounter, mobile devices accounted for approximately 59% of global internet traffic in 2023, with desktops accounting for approximately 39%. This represents a significant shift in the way people access the Internet and interact with online content.
The increased use of mobile devices for Internet browsing and online shopping has led to a shift in website design and optimization. Websites must now be designed to be responsive and optimized for mobile devices, to provide an optimal user experience on smaller screens. This includes simplified navigation, mobile-friendly content, and streamlined checkout processes.
As many visitors to your ecommerce store will be using a mobile device, it's essential that your site is responsive and optimized for mobile just as well as it is for desktop. Google's PageSpeed Insights tool is a great way to check your speed score for both mobile and desktop devices.
It will also give you suggestions on areas that can be improved for both mobile and desktop visitors. To learn more about what other site speed test tools are available, check out our complete guide on the top 15 free speed test tools.
9. Use videos/GIFs
Images are great to show a product however depending on the type of product you're selling it may also be beneficial to use videos and of GIFs to display your product. If you're selling a product that solves a problem than you are most likely going to benefit by having a video on your product page which shows how the product works. This allows the customer to visualize how the product does what you say it does. Otherwise, the consumer needs to visualize the functionality of the product themselves which isn't as persuasive.
You can also use videos for products which don't solve a problem per-se (i.e. a clothing brand). In this case, you could have a video which displays the lifestyle of the product and the feeling you want to portray to your potential customer. Videos will hit home much harder with your website visitors and although they take more time and effort to produce, they do pay off.
However, similar to images, it's important to your videos/GIFs remain optimized. Videos are one of the biggest contributors to web page size growth and although they are very valuable, can be detrimental to page speed if used improperly. That's why we've written articles on how to optimize the delivery of both your videos and GIFs so that you can implement both of them into your product pages without suffering the consequences of poor page speed.
10. Implement abandon cart emails and retargeting
One of the best ways to increase conversion rates with people who are familiar with your site however haven't made a purchase yet is through abandoned cart emails and retargeting. Abandoned cart emails are fairly straightforward. Basically you can use a service like MailChimp or Klaviyo to automatically send emails to users who abandoned their cart. These emails can be spaced out throughout the day or across several days to remind your potential customers that they left something in their cart. A great way to bring customers back is to offer them a coupon code in the email so that they can get an even better deal if they complete their purchase.
A typical abandoned cart email sequence is usually 3-4 emails long. Any more could cause the visitor to get annoyed and any less could be a missed opportunity.
Additionally, you can retarget people who have visited your site if you're using paid advertising like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. These advertising platforms allow you to define who you want to send retargeting ads to based on their browsing events and then show them ads that will entice the visitor to come back. Similar to abandon cart emails, retargeting ads typically include a discount code of some sort to further entice the visitor to come back.
Ecommerce is an ever-changing landscape and to keep up with the fast pace, store owners must be quick to implement best practices and be innovative so that their store doesn't fall behind the competition. Improving your ecommerce conversion rate requires a strategic approach that focuses on optimizing various elements of your website and ecommerce funnel.
By implementing the ten strategies discussed in this article, you can increase your conversion rate, boost your sales, and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Remember to continuously test and optimize your website and ecommerce funnel to ensure that you're providing the best possible experience to your visitors and customers.