Skyrocket Your Ecommerce Store’s Conversion Rate. 10 Things You Should Know.
In a world where shopping online is now the norm for most people, many online merchants are becoming increasingly good at enticing their customers back to keep them buying.
But which are you?
The below comprehensive guide talks you through ecommerce conversion rate optimisation.
In brief, helping you sell more, lose less customers and includes what type of elements and processes are needed to build a great ecommerce website to maximise orders.
What is ecommerce conversion rate optimisation?
You have probably heard of this before. However, you may still be a little unsure what it actually means, if so read on.
In the simplest way, conversion rate optimisation is about offering your site visitors the best shopping experience possible with the end game of your site selling more goods and services.
Think of it this way. Image you have a physical store on the high street.
A potential customer walks into your shop, and is warmly greeted by your friendly smiling staff. They look around your store and everything is well laid out, meaning they can find exactly what they are looking for.
When they find the perfect product, they take it to the till and the sales person is really happy to help, they pay and are over the moon at how well and easy it all went.
It’s the same concept as having a great converting online shop, ease of use, help your customer and a simple easy checkout process.
When a website visitor lands on your store they should have no problem finding what they are looking for, the navigation should be ‘child’s play’ to use. Clearly displayed categories, attractive and descriptive product pages with really great images are what they will expect to see.
When they decide to buy from you the checkout process again should be simple, fast and easy to do.
That’s what ecommerce conversion rate optimisation is all about. Make it easy for your purchaser, offer them a great experience.
Do you know what your current ecommerce conversion rate is?
It’s a fairly simple one to answer if you don’t know it already, due to the fact you only need to understand two things.
Your current conversion rate is the amount of sales you’ve made in a certain period, divided by the amount of unique users that have been on your website in the same time frame.
For instance, if you sold 1,000 items this week and had a total of 10,000 unique visitors then your conversion rate would be 10%. Or, out of every 10 people on your site you’re selling to 1 of them.
Probably something we can all easily find out.
The above example would be a dream to achieve for many store owners, consequently the global average ecommerce conversion rate is somewhere between 1-4%.
How to increase your ecommerce conversion rate:
1) Personalise your shoppers experience
Many websites sell certain items that will appeal to certain groups of people. By identifying who your specific markets are, you can better get an understanding of what makes them tick.
Google Analytics can be extremely helpful with this. It will allow you to make the following conclusions
- Where geographically are they located
- The type of device they are viewing your website on
- What browser is used
- How long they have spent on your website
- Their sex and age
- What web pages they have been on
These are just a few types of information that can be gathered, although there are plenty more.
But how does this help you personalise your website?
Say for instance you sell health supplements on your website. By knowing that your audience is 78% male, are looking at products for muscle building, are aged 25-45 and purchase mainly on mobile devices such as mobile phones, you can adapt your website to suit.
So, you know they are male and interested mainly in building bigger muscles. Therefore you could target the design and images used on your site more focused towards this.
They are probably more interested in seeing muscly fitness images rather than thin long distance runners. This means that you can offer your users more of the stuff they are interested in, resulting in a happier shopper.
You can also tailor the other content of your website to be inline with this group. Adding blogs and help guides about ‘how to build bigger arms’ and ‘what’s the best exercise to get defined abs’ etc.
All this boils down to providing what your audience actually wants.
You also know they are buying mainly off of a mobile device, so your site needs the extra push to make sure it’s fast to load and works perfectly on smaller screens.
On the flip side, if your research shows that your audience is aged 65+ and looking at supplements for their joints you should adopt a different approach on how your website looks and the information it contains.
Give them what they want and they’re more likely to buy!
2) Try to get the easiest checkout process possible.
All customers, new or old need to be able to buy what they want as fast as possible with the minimum of effort. The more stages a checkout process has the more you’ll lose people from buying from you.
If your current website needs for your customers to ‘register’ to checkout and buy from you, then it would be good to offer a guest checkout option. By reducing the ‘road blocks’ and simplifying the buying process will result in more sales.
Offer a wide variety of ways that your customer can pay you easily with, such as PayPal, Stripe and WorldPay. Offer ‘one-click checkout’ if possible.
One up and coming growth area would be to think about taking cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin as a payment method.
Many industry experts suggest that crypto will be a major way to pay for goods and services in the future. Everyday more and more companies are accepting cryptocurrencies such as Expedia, Microsoft and Shopify stores, so the signs are there, it will be big.
The more payment methods, the easier it is for a purchase, the less abandoned shopping carts.
On any area that you need completing by a visitor such as sign up forms, double check whether all the information requested is vital to enable a sale. If not, streamline these areas as much as possible.
3) Retargeting to your visitors will increase your ecommerce conversion rate
Retargeting is a way of identifying a customer that has been on your website, allowing you to target them again by putting your name and products in front of them multiple times in various locations.
They could be people who have abandoned a cart or people that have just been browsing around your site.
To these people you can offer personalised adverts to them through various platforms such as Facebook or Google.
Let’s say you have a potential customer that is about to buy a product from you and leaves your website. You know they are interested in a certain product, retargeting would allow you to advertise that product on their Facebook timeline.
There is a lot more to it but retargeting can dramatically increase people coming back to your website and completing their purchases.
4) Optimise your website for mobile device users.
Over the last few years the percentage of people that access the internet via their smart devices has increased. In 2017, mobile internet use was 63% of the total amount of people accessing the internet.
The fact is, the majority of all web use is now done on mobile devices as opposed to desktop PCs.
Due to this, Google introduced a mobile first index. What this means is, if your website is slow or cumbersome to use on mobile devices then Google won’t look on you favourably.
If on the other hand your mobile site is super slick, Google may reward your with a stronger ranking website position. Having a well designed mobile-friendly website is key to selling more.
Your ecommerce site should work perfectly on mobile devices regardless of the screen size its being viewed on.
Buttons and clickable elements should be positioned so you don’t get your visitor ‘miss-clicking’ on the wrong thing.
If you’re unsure how your website currently performs on mobile devices, then run it through Google’s mobile friendly test.
Once done, it will give you a information on how your website performs on mobile devices, it will even offer suggestions on how to improve it.
By making your site work perfectly on mobile devices you’re helping the majority of internet users coming to your site. Safe in the knowledge that they will have a great shopping experience once there.
This is one sure-fire way to increase your ecommerce conversion rate.
5) Security is an issue for all websites, ecommerce or not!
In the light of many data hacking stories recently in the news, people are more vigilant than ever when trusting which websites they use.
Website visitors need to be assured and confident that using a website is safe. This is even more critical when you’re asking them to pay via credit and debit cards.
All websites need an SSL certificate. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate will make data sent to and from your website and from your visitor to be encrypted, meaning it is totally secure.
When you have an SSL certificate it will display at padlock icon at the top of the website browser.
Without it, when customers browse your website they will see ‘Not Secure’ next to the website address, as a result the outcome isn’t great.
As you can probably appreciate, if you’re expecting your potential customers to input sensitive data such as credit card details, having a glaring ‘Not secure’ message is not going to help your ecommerce conversion one bit.
When customers know you take security seriously they will be more happier to purchase from you.
6) Attractive, simple website design will increase your ecommerce conversion rate
It probably goes without saying, but all websites should look great, that’s a given. They should be simple to use, have great photography, have catchy headlines, be clutter free and really sell the benefits that you offer.
It has been stated that you have less then 15 seconds to convince website visitors to carry on browsing a site, so first impressions really do matter.
For whatever reason, if your visitors don’t like what they see, they will quickly hit the ‘back button’ and go elsewhere.
When you’re in the process of creating a new ecommerce store, remember that visitors should be able to get to what they want within three clicks, any more and your conversion rate will start to dip.
7) Revaluate who your customers are on a regular basis
If you find that you have a low conversion rate or it’s starting to dip then it’s a good idea to re-look at who your customers are.
Your marketing message, website content or design may be slightly ‘off’ and no longer appeal to your demographic.
In every interaction that you have with a potential customer such as emails, online adverts, blog content, wording on your website, style or images used etc need to be re-looked at. Each element needs to be aligned to offer the same message and be on brand.
Make sure that you’re offering your audience exactly what they want to see, that it’s of value and of use to them.
Only by doing this on a regular basis will you know whether what you offer on your site and what your potential customers need, meet in the middle.
8) Include a search function on your ecommerce website.
Many customers will know exactly what they want, they may not be just be browsers, aimlessly looking around.
Many online shoppers today use a variety of websites to compare prices of specific items. By offering a simple search function on your site will allow these type of buyers to instantly find exactly what they are looking for without much effort.
Increase the chance that your customers can find quickly what they want which will indeed increase conversions.
9) Gather customer reviews and display them on your website
Its a simple fact, but online shoppers value and trust reviews from other shoppers. It has been stated that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendation.
With that in mind, by offering feedback on products from your old customers you’ll help build trust in your new shoppers.
Every time you sell a product on your web store, have a process in place to ask them to leave a review.
Not everyone will, some may even leave a less than glowing review, however this real feedback is like gold dust and will help bring in more sales.
Bad online reviews, aren’t always as bad as you think. 65% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores.
10) Have a live chat on your site
By offering a live chat function on your website, you’re saying to potential customers “come talk to me”, rather then expecting them dig around your site.
Having this personal element not only makes a visitor feel that there is a human side to your business but also that you take customer service seriously.
It also offers the option that should a consumer be considering purchasing from you but has a question they need answering first, they may use your chat.
This will give you the ability to answer their questions and help them make the decision to buy from you.
When you have your ecommerce website set up and running, the work doesn’t stop there. You should put as much effort into converting a visitor into becoming a customer as you do in marketing your website to get them on your site.
Constantly look to improve user experience and the processes involved in making a sale. If you don’t you can bet your competitors will be, snapping at your heels trying to win your customers over.