35 Ways to Improve your eCommerce Conversion Rate
- Create a simple online store
- Put fair prices on your products
- Give limited-time coupon codes
- Ensure a smooth checkout process
- Provide tracked shipping
- Give special discounts
- Encourage purchasing decision
- Improve past experiences
- Create a better store structure
- Allow your visitors to buy from your online store as guests
- Avoid hidden expenses
- Include social proofs
- Provide multiple payment methods
- Provide live chat support
- Ensure your store is secure
- Optimize your product images and descriptions
- Offer a convenient return policy
- Provide valuable content related to your products
- Include CTAs on your product pages
- Optimize your store for mobile
- Add a FAQs page
- Use A/B testing
- Include products recommendations
- Optimize your store for niche keywords
- Create a loyalty program
- Invest in language optimization
- Build social media presence
- Include a product guarantee
- Invest in paid advertising
- Create product videos
- Join industry communities and forums
- Ask your customers to share pictures of your products
- Connect with niche influencers
- Never stop
- In a nutshell
Opening and running an eCommerce store is quite a challenging task. It is not enough to just open your store and wait for the magic to happen. To achieve success, you need to optimize for it. eCommerce success depends on diverse factors. One major factor is the eCommerce conversion rate.
First, let’s answer two essential questions:
- What is an eCommerce conversion rate?
- How do you calculate the eCommerce conversion rate?
eCommerce conversion rate is the ratio of visits to transactions indicated in the form of a percentage.
To put it differently, to calculate your store’s conversion rate for a given period of time, you need to divide the number of conversions you got in a certain time frame by the total number of visitors your store had. Then you need to multiply it by 100%. As an example, let’s suppose your store had 45,450 visitors and 1,300 conversions last month. Your conversion rate amounts to 2.8%.
Now that we’ve explained ‘what is conversion rate and how to calculate it’ more thoroughly, we can move on to a different key component eCommerce conversion rate. That is ‘how to optimize your eCommerce conversion rate’?
These tactics will help you improve your eCommerce conversion rate.
Create a simple online store
One of the first things that urge visitors to leave an online store instantly is a design that’s hard to navigate. In reality, creating a very simple online store with nothing but the essentials plays a vital role in improving your conversion rate.
Customers don’t want to wander around when shopping online, they just want to find the perfect product and purchase it right away. Today, you can choose from various eCommerce platforms to create a simple online store that will help you increase your eCommerce conversion rate.
Put fair prices on your products
Regardless of the type and quality of your product offerings, you should never put higher prices on your products just to earn more money. It would be an irreparable mistake. If you try and compete with your competitors and change the prices of your products, be sure that your potential customers will head to their online stores.
By adding fair and consistent prices on your products, your customers will trust you more and will want to come back to your store. Managing your online store based on trust and fairness will lead you to a bigger eCommerce conversion rate.
Give limited-time coupon codes
Aside from special discounts, another way to attract more customers and improve your conversion rate is to offer coupon codes. These should be time-limited and available for use only by the customer itself.
Coupon codes are shown to encourage customers to return to your store to make a new purchase.
Ensure a smooth checkout process
Presenting your customers with a complicated checkout process with too many steps is overly discouraging and can result in a high percentage of abandoned carts. When you are planning this part of your online store ensure that you put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Certainly, you wouldn’t like to follow hundreds of unnecessary steps to arrive at the final phase of your checkout.
Instead of doing this, you should opt for creating a comfortable and seamless shopping experience for your customers. This should involve an easy and simple checkout process that wouldn’t make you lose your potential buyers along the way.
Provide tracked shipping
When shipping is the subject of discussion, people are more comfortable if their package is shipped and delivered timely and securely. Furthermore, if they should pay a solid shipping fee then they would like to know where exactly their package is at any given time. If your customers have a good experience with your shipping service, they surely will want to buy it again from you.
Tracked shipping is not a good solution only for your customers, but for you as well. With it, you can optimize your eCommerce conversion rate, but also save time and energy that otherwise you would put into locating lost packages.
Give special discounts
Special discounts are always a good idea. No one damaged its brand’s reputation by giving discounts to its customers. In contrast, discounts, especially the ones that are personalized for each customer, are proven to increase conversion rates. Upon registration, if people leave their birthday information, you can use it to surprise them with a special discount before their birthday.
Furthermore, your customers will expect special deals and discounts on Black Friday, brand anniversaries, or other special occasions. If you don’t deliver, your customers might be disappointed and decide to buy from your competitors.
Encourage purchasing decision
Oftentimes it happens that customers fill their shopping cart with goods worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and don’t proceed with the purchase. There can be several reasons for this action. You can blame it on poor Internet connection, power outages, work or home distractions, or any other factor.
Sometimes, if the option for ‘adding products to wishlist’ doesn’t exist, people tend to put the products they like directly in their shopping cart and then leave the shop. Later, some of them might come back to decide what to buy and finish the transaction, while many of them won’t. For the latter, the best solution could be email marketing. Send emails now and then to encourage them to come back and review their filled shopping cart.
Improve past experiences
Even if your business starts on the right track and your conversion rate is solid, things could go sideways in the blink of an eye. How is this possible you may ask yourself? Very simple. If a certain customer makes a purchase in your online store and never comes back, it’s very likely to be due to a bad experience with your products and/or service. So, how to identify and improve such experiences?
You can ask your customers to take a survey related to customer experience right after they’ve received your product. By giving them the opportunity to describe their experience, you could get a better picture of their experience with your brand. Such surveys can also help determine what aspects of your services should be improved. Overall, delivering premium customer service is crucial for optimizing your eCommerce conversion rate.
Create a better store structure
A website organization is something that can naturally increase your eCommerce conversion rate. If your products and services are well-organized on your website, the chances for a visitor to become a paying customer can significantly increase.
Invest more time and effort into creating a solid store organization starting from product organization to every step of the checkout process. All in all, it will be worth it, as this action will help you provide a seamless and uninterrupted shopping experience to your customers.
Allow your visitors to buy from your online store as guests
You would have to agree that having to register for an account on every single online store you buy stuff from is an extremely tedious task. Imagine all those usernames and passwords you would have to remember. Not to mention all the emails you would receive on a daily basis if you are automatically subscribed to all of these stores’ newsletters.
Allowing your customers to buy products as a guest in your store is a solution you should explore. It is a simple thing that would make things easier for them. Later on, if they like your products and service, they will register on your website by themselves. Either way, even if they decide to continue shopping as guests, you wouldn’t lose anything. To clarify, you still would ask for their name and email address in order to contact them with information about their order.
Avoid hidden expenses
It’s not wise to hide the shipping costs at the end of the purchase process. Instead, the best approach is to make all expenses transparent at all times – like in the shopping cart or somewhere on the screen. Namely, customers don’t like it when hidden expenses suddenly appear at the last step of the payment process. Allow this, and you will end up with thousands of abandoned shopping carts.
Make sure all the expenses related to your services and products are transparently shown at the very beginning of the purchasing process. This way, your customers can get an overview of all charges, and you will avoid bad experiences and a decreased conversion rate.
Include social proofs
When it comes to strengthening your brand’s credibility, social proofs are the way to go. In other words, reviews and testimonials are a powerful way to attract new customers. Usually, when visitors come to a new store, they look for some proof of your products’ quality. Look at things from your customers’ perspectives. Would you buy a product online that you don’t know much about?
Shopping online is a tricky business, therefore, people will always need assurance that the product they buy is of great quality. Otherwise, you can lose valuable customers. Make sure to create a space where your customers can leave honest feedback about your products. Of course, if you are offering premium products, you will get 5-star reviews and increase your conversion rate.
Provide multiple payment methods
When it comes to payment methods, it’s in everyone’s best interest to offer more than just one choice. The world is your global market, and visitors from every continent and country will appear as potential buyers. Setting up multiple payment methods is easy and lucrative for your business. In other words, it’s guaranteed to optimize your eCommerce conversion rate.
Each customer usually uses the payment option native to their region. On the other hand, older customers don’t really trust new modernized services such as PayPal, Skrill, Payoneer, etc. Instead, they prefer using their personal credit card, as long as your website has an SSL certificate. Still, online payments are the same for everyone, so make sure it’s not confusing anyone and the steps are simple and concise.
Provide live chat support
The absence of a helpful live chat can break your eCommerce business. Having live chat support available 24/7 is a great way to optimize your conversion rate because of one key reason.
When people are in the middle of the process to make a purchase, and they come across an issue, they would immediately try to contact you. The easiest way to resolve the problem as soon as possible is to have live chat support. If you don’t, they would have to cease their activities and contact you via email or contact form, which is time-consuming. Instead, make sure to offer immediate support so that your customers could complete their purchasing process right away.
Ensure your store is secure
Another way to improve your eCommerce conversion rate is by building trust through your store. When visitors come to your store, if they sense that your security level is low, they surely would hesitate to make a buying decision.
Enhancing your store’s credibility is essential for improving your eCommerce conversion rate. Visitors coming to your store would get the feeling that their personal information is secure and would feel more comfortable buying your products.
Optimize your product images and descriptions
When people shop online, one thing that they find frustrating is the lack of product images and descriptions.
If your product pages are poor and inadequate, people could doubt the credibility of your brand and leave your store without making a purchase. This could significantly decrease your eCommerce conversion rate. The more pictures and descriptions you include in your store, the bigger the chances for people to buy your products.
A good example of a product description is to include the size, color, and material the product is made of. Images from different angles show the product perfectly so that shoppers can view the labels, models, and other important characteristics. This is also pretty useful for SEO purposes since there’s a great chance for customers to find you by “googling” the right words.
Offer a convenient return policy
One of the biggest issues when shopping online is returns. Unless they are free of charge, you may expect a significant decrease in your eCommerce conversion rate. A recent study revealed how return policies, in fact, can increase sales. This should be enough of an indicator to loosen up the return policy.
In case you can’t make the returns free, at least make it easier on them. Make sure to leave plenty of time for customers to ship back the product because, according to the study above, they will eventually quit and keep it.
Provide valuable content related to your products
Today, the eCommerce industry is not only about selling quality products. Equally important to this is providing your website’s visitors with valuable content relevant to your industry. By delivering such content, your eCommerce conversion rate will bloom.
Assuming that you have an online store for selling clothing from sustainable materials. Many people aren’t familiar with the specifics of sustainable clothing materials. Due to this, they surely will find it very helpful if you provide them with information on the topic. By distributing this content on various channels, not only you would attract people to visit your website but you will convert them into buying customers.
Include CTAs on your product pages
CTA or ‘call to action’ is a known way of compelling website visitors to take action. CTAs are widely used as a medium for improving conversion rates in all industries, including eCommerce. When it comes to including CTAs in an online store, these are ideal for several reasons.
First, adding CTAs like ‘add to wishlist’ or ‘notify me when it’s in stock’ can really help your customers out. Sometimes they will really want to buy a certain product and having a CTA button to request a notification when the product is back in stock is of great help. Other times, when they don’t really know what they are looking for, your CTA’s can push them to decide whether they want a dress or pants. Second, CTAs such as ‘add to cart’ or ‘buy now’ are only a natural part of the process of online shopping – you know you can’t go without them.
Optimize your store for mobile
With today’s technology advances, more and more people are using their mobile devices for all sorts of things, including online shopping. People are on their phones all the time, especially when they are doing things like traveling, laying on the beach, or resting in their homes.
Imagine how many people in such situations are looking for ways to entertain themselves, and the majority choose to buy ‘something’ via their mobile phones. In other words, optimizing your online store for mobile is a must. If you don’t do it, you will hurt your conversion rate.
Add a FAQs page
Yet another crucial element your customers will appreciate to see included in your store. You must create a page dedicated to FAQs, where you will answer the most common customer questions related to orders, billing, shipping, and returns. Not only will save you time and money but also it will improve your conversion rate.
If a customer is in the middle of the purchasing process and suddenly has a question, the first thing they will do is look for FAQs. If your store is lacking this page, it is most likely that your potential customer will leave your store.
Use A/B testing
A/B testing is a widely known and used technique for improving the eCommerce conversion rate. Numerous owners of online stores out there conduct A/B testing to identify what sort of design, content, CTAs, or else, is most attractive to shoppers.
To point out, the practice of A/B testing should be performed regularly. It’s not a one-time thing you should do and then forget about it. In order for your eCommerce conversion rate to be good in the long run, you should consistently run A/B tests on different pages of your store.
Include products recommendations
An engaging way to improve your conversion rate is by giving product recommendations to your visitors. How does this work? Let’s say a customer is looking for a black maxi dress and the one she chooses is out of stock at the moment. Naturally, she will leave your store. But what if you give them recommendations for similar products? This approach could really help you increase your sales and improve your eCommerce conversion rate.
Be careful though. Your recommendations must be in line with your customer’s desired product. You don’t want to recommend someone to buy a red t-shirt if they are looking for a black dress. To put it differently, if you spam your customers with unrelated product recommendations, they could never come back to your store.
Optimize your store for niche keywords
Another factor that contributes to improving your conversion rate is keyword optimization. Optimizing your website for niche keywords is something that can get your business at the top results in search engines. In other words, to get more visitors to your store, first, people need to notice you.
Start by doing keyword research around your niche and choose keywords to rank for. Do this, and after a while, your conversion rate will start going up.
Create a loyalty program
Running and managing an online store successfully depends on how well you treat your customers. If your conversion rate is low and your customers are not coming back, you definitely should change your narrative. Introducing a loyalty program for returning customers is something that the majority of eCommerce businesses are practicing.
As soon as you notice that a customer returns to your store, once or twice a month, invest in rewarding them with a free product or a discount. Put extra effort into building a strong relationship with your customers, and you’ll notice how your conversion rate will improve.
Invest in language optimization
If you have the ambition to expand your eCommerce business internationally, you should find additional ways to improve your conversion rate. There’s a saying that goes “You should speak your customer’s language”. Having your store optimized to support different target languages is what you need right away.
Let’s say, one of your target countries is Spain. If your website doesn’t support the Spanish language, your potential customers from Spain would most probably leave your store. The same goes for other countries that don’t use the English language. Bottom line, the more languages you optimize your store for, the merrier. With time passing, you will fathom how your eCommerce conversion rate is improving.
Build social media presence
Social media marketing should be practiced as soon as you launch your online store. Some think that social media doesn’t affect conversion rates much, but they’re mistaken. You can use social media channels to promote new products, discounts, or other special happenings to drive traffic to your store.
Once you start building an audience through your social pages, your conversion rate will start improving.
Include a product guarantee
Today, the internet is flooded with more and more fake products. This is the reason why people are becoming very picky when shopping online. To increase the trust with your customers and, consequently, your conversion rate, you will need to assure them that you sell authentic products.
Including a guarantee of your products’ authenticity is the way to go. Not only will your customers be happy to receive this guarantee, but also they will trust you more and will certainly come back to your store.
Invest in paid advertising
For improving conversion rate, you shouldn’t only rely on tactics for driving organic traffic to your site. Paid advertising is also an indispensable part of the process. However, you must be careful when starting with paid advertising in order to avoid losing money in vain.
The key aspect here is to create a good strategy that can bring you a positive outcome. Investing a certain amount of money into running Google ads or social media ads is something to explore if you want to convert your visitors into paying customers.
Create product videos
What is the most compelling thing when it comes to visually presenting your products’ qualities? You can’t compare the impact that videos have in the digital world to anything else. To explain, if you want to persuade a visitor to buy something, you shouldn’t ignore the potential that video creation presents.
Incorporating videos on your product pages has numerous advantages. First, with videos, you can show your customers how to use your products. Second, you can display your products more closely in terms of patterns, colors, styling, etc.
Join industry communities and forums
Staying at the top of the industry news and trends is what every online store owner should do. If you are not already a part of communities and forums within your niche, you should know what you are missing out. In the first place, your competitors, without a doubt, are already part of these.
In the second place, your potential customers hang out in those places and talk about their online shopping experiences. This can help you learn what their expectations and burning issues are. Understanding your customers’ needs and requirements will help you strengthen your services and, ultimately, improve your eCommerce conversion rate.
Ask your customers to share pictures of your products
What people love is real proof of how great a certain product is. As soon as someone praises a certain product on social media, many people will pay a visit to that online store. To improve your eCommerce conversion rate, you should take advantage of this and ask your satisfied customers to share their experience with your products. Or, if someone does it of their own free will, show them gratitude by sending them a symbolic present.
Connect with niche influencers
Influencer marketing is becoming the most popular trend in the eCommerce industry. Online store owners are connecting with social media or forum influencers to advocate for their brands and attract new customers. Including this practice in your marketing strategy can help you bring your eCommerce conversion rate up.
An important point to highlight when it comes to influencer marketing is choosing the right ones. There are thousands of influencers on the internet now, but you’ll need those that are compatible with your brand and vision. Once you spot them, connect with them, and build a relationship that will support the growth of your business.
Finally, our last tip for improving your eCommerce conversion rate is to follow all the above-mentioned tips and never stop. If you arrive at the point where you are happy with your conversion rate, don’t cease all the activities that helped you to achieve that. The most important thing is to do them regularly in order to keep your place on the market.
In a nutshell
The bottom line is that it’s highly important to let your customers decide what they’ll do by giving them the necessary freedom to browse through the products, calculate their expenses, pay with whichever payment method they can, and of course – be fully aware of the costs and charges.
It’s easy to achieve your desired eCommerce conversion rate if you represent integrity, honesty, and appreciation towards your customers. It’s great to give someone options, no matter what it’s about.
About the Author
Kristina, Head of Content at BrandsGateway. Eternal inspiration: The Doors music and lyrics, Bernardo Bertolucci's timeless “Stealing Beauty”, and the dynamic and meditative Ashtanga Yoga.