6 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. However, in 2019, 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. In this article we're going to discuss various methods for improving ecommerce conversion rates.
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 2017 until Q3 of 2018.
As we can see, the UK has an average conversion rate that is significantly higher than the US, at 4.04% compared to 2.23%. The global conversion rate for Q3 of 2018 was 2.42% down from 2.78% 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 and laptop have the highest conversion rate at 3.94%. Tablets come in at a close second with 3.78% and smartphones and other devices have a 1.84% and 0.13% conversion rate respectively.
The lower conversion rate on mobile could be due to a variety of reasons including the website not being responsive for mobile devices, the speed isn't up to par, etc. However, the conversion tips below will help you with optimizing your conversion rate for both mobile and desktop devices so that you can work towards improving your conversion rate on all devices.
6 ways to optimize your ecommerce conversion rate
Below we've outlined 6 methods you should implement to increase your ecommerce conversion rate in 2019. 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. Better product images
Product images play a major role in both building trust as well as branding. In 2019, all ecommerce operators need to ensure that their images are high quality and optimized. Peep Laja, Founder of ConversionXL once said:
If I'd have to pick one single thing that would sell a product online, it's images.
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.
2. Create an attractive offer
The second 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:
3. Improve site speed
In 2019, 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:
4. Optimize for mobile
The number of online mobile users continues to increase at a drastic rate. As of 2014, the number of mobile users surpassed that of desktop users and shows no signs of slowing down.
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.
5. 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.
6. 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. The suggestions listed in this article are tried and true methods that have been known to increase conversion rates. Implementing them will not only improve user experience but will also increase revenue.