eCommerce Websites: How to Increase Conversions

Do you run an eCommerce website?

If you sell products online, attracting site traffic is only half the battle. The real test comes when you have to convince someone to turn their interest into action and generate a conversion.

Typically speaking, eCommerce websites have an average conversion rate of around 1-2%. 

What impact would it have on your business to double, or even triple that figure?

Keep in mind, ‘conversions’ may include anything from:

  • Sales
  • Email sign-ups
  • Social media shares 
  • Adding an item to cart 
  • Saving an item to their wish list 

No matter what you sell, or who you sell it to, your eCommerce business should be aiming towards a conversion rate beyond 2%. The higher the better.

This is a reasonable goal to be striving towards when you consider that increasing conversions is something that can be optimised for. You don’t even have to have the power of a full agency behind you.

With the right knowledge and a little practice, you can optimise your own site and see your conversion rates start to climb.

If you’re ready to get more sales, here are some tips on how you can increase conversion rates for your online store.

ecommerce website being used by customer

#1 – Get to Know the Current Situation

You first need to know how visitors are interacting with your site in order to know where you could improve.

Do you have a high abandonment rate?

Are your product descriptions not strong enough? 

Are people bouncing in the checkout?

There are a variety of online tools that you can use to assess the state of your e-commerce site, such as Google Analytics or HotJar.

These online tools are capable of giving you valuable insights on what’s going on, including: 

  • How visitors found your site — whether a direct visit, referral link or through a keyword search 
  • How long visitors are staying on your site 
  • How many of these visitors were converted and the steps that led to that conversion
  • The browser used by visitors and if it was a mobile device / desktop

These insights will be invaluable moving forwards as they’ll tell you which aspects of UX you should work on optimising. As the experts behind Win Tenders point out, “if you can’t measure it then you can’t change it. In our industry, as in any industry, tracking data and presenting it simply is the key to getting a deal over the line So track your data to see where you’re missing out on opportunities to grow.”

Once you start strategically improving the online shopping experience for visitors, you’ll more than likely be able to drive up sales and other KPIs. And you can do that by starting with the aesthetics of your site.

#2 – Optimise the Visuals

Online shopping means users aren’t able to touch or try on the products they’re thinking of purchasing. So there’s no way for a sales rep to help convince people to make a purchase.

This means that visuals are highly important when it comes to e-commerce. The more you can make a site visitor *feel* like they are trying on a product, the better your chances of increasing your conversion rates.

High quality images or videos can really help with sales as customers can get a good look at the product. By seeing what your products look like in the lives of others, they’ll be able to make the cognitive jump and picture themselves benefiting too.

According to the owners of online boutique Tierra Alma, quality of product images have made a difference in their experience. “We take great care with our product images, on our site. Some of our older items were simply hung and ever since started ensuring we had models wearing our pieces, we’ve seen an increase in sales because now our product is looking its best for our customers.”

ecommerce products on smart device

#3 – Focus On The User Experience (UX)

Poor user experience could be why you are losing more conversions that you need to. In the same way that poor UX leads to losing email marketing conversions, no matter how transformative your products are, if your site is not easy to use and intuitive, you’ll see site visitors bounce.

How do you focus on UX?

Ensure that your site is easy to navigate and has the right features will not only keep users on your site longer but encourage conversions.

To tick all boxes your UX should be:

  •  Useful
  • Valuable
  • Findable
  • Useable
  • Accessible
  • Desirable
  • Credible

Remember, it’s not just about the visuals. Are your product description weak or too long? The copy should be easy to understand and informative so users can get a good understanding of what the product is. 

More importantly, optimising your site for mobile devices is key.

Purchases from a mobile device already account for over a third of all online sales and this is expected to increase to 54% of all e-commerce sales by 2021. 

Remember, desktop and mobile browsers function differently. Which means if your site is not optimised for mobile devices it won’t be user friendly for all the people who browse and shop on the move. 

Websites that are difficult to use will be a deterrent for interested users who will then leave the site altogether because it is too difficult to use on their device. 

#4 – Streamline Your Check-Out Process

In order to increase your conversions, making the check out process as simple as possible (and short) will go a long way.

Customers are handing over their credit card details in the process so it’s important to address their security anxieties.

This means communicating that your website is safe for them to do so. Security badges displaying your safety software and including icons of their payment options such as Visa or Mastercard will help develop the level of trust you need.

Running an eCommerce shop, Embrace Australia recommend reducing the number of steps from choosing an item to purchasing at the check-out will also help. They explain “long and complicated check out processes will make purchasing unappealing and you could potentially lose conversions during this part of the consumer decision journey. Make things shorter for better conversion results.” 

Tips to streamline your check-out process include:

  • Display a progress bar
  • Offer single page checkout
  • Add simple payment options
  • Leave account registration until after purchase

#5 – Use Incentives To Make Conversions 

Offering things like a limited discount code or free shipping will make you competitive in the market. 

Limited edition discount codes or sales may also help to drive traffic. By using time-sensitive promotions you’ll trigger psychological responses to scarcity and encourage more visitors to take the plunge. 

Free or flat-fee shipping is now commonplace within the online shopping world. In order to compete, this is something you should look into offering if you already don’t.

In order to be competitive with something like free shipping, sometimes it’ll mean you need to charge more for your products in order to factor that into the price that customers are paying. If this is a service that everyone except your online store is offering, you’ll definitely lose out to others so it’s worth looking into trying to make it work for your business.

#6 – Decrease Abandonment Rates 

There’s a whopping 68% rate of abandonment when it comes to online shopping, according to the data experts at Geckoboard

Bringing down the number of lost conversions through abandonment and can be automated using software, making a significant difference to your conversion rates. Such software will be able to track and remember users that did not complete the checkout process and send out follow-up emails straight into their inbox.

This will play to a user’s psychology and give them another opportunity to make the purchase and see if they are still interested.

Sometimes users add items to cart simply to browse or to compare prices. Going straight to their inbox as a reminder might be what arouses the right amount of interest to make that conversion. 

Cake topping entrepreneur Pearl’s Creations utilised a sidebar checkout to help people stay aligned with their purchase. She explains “when people add to the cart and there’s no visible change, you lose precious momentum. By adding our checkout in the sidebar we let people see what they’re buying and stay excited to follow through.”

Are you ready to increase your eCommerce conversion rates?

Remember, an increase in conversions doesn’t just happen.

It comes through testing and optimising to ensure your website looks great, loads fast, and offers value.

With consumer buying habits moving online, your eCommerce store can see revenue results.

After all, what good is traffic without conversions?

So use this list and start improving your conversions today.

Is there anything we missed? Let us know your favourite eCommerce conversion optimisation tactic in the comments.

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