It’s never too early for an online business to focus on improving eCommerce conversion rates. Whether you have 1 monthly website visitor or 1,000,000, what matters most is how many of those visitors make a purchase.
While new companies do need to focus on generating more website traffic, it’s vital to focus on designing a website experience that converts. If you want to improve your website’s conversion rate, read on to create your own customized action plan.
Collect and Analyze Data
In order to do better, you first need to know better. Are you currently tracking your relevant website metrics? If not, start today.
First, you’ll need to determine which KPIs (key performance indicators) you’ll track. Our suggestions are listed below. Record your metrics on a recurring basis to track your daily, weekly, and monthly results.
KPIs to track:
- Total number of website visits per month
- Unique visitors per month
- Sessions per month
- Bounce rate
- Time on site
- Pageviews per visit
- Most viewed web pages
- Referral sources
- Mobile site traffic vs. desktop site traffic
- Conversion rate
- Shopping cart abandonment rate
- Average order value (AOV)
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
- Customer lifetime value (CLV)
- New customer order vs. returning customer orders
- Newsletter subscriber rate
When determining which KPIs are most important to your business, there are some key questions to ask:
- What is your main objective? Your business may be prioritizing brand awareness, lead generation, sales, traffic diversification, or a combination of objectives.
- What is your current digital marketing strategy, and what do you need to do differently to achieve your goals?
- What channels are you utilizing, and which do you want to begin implementing? For example, you may want to expand into new channels such as social media, email marketing, Google ads, or a blog.
- What are your baseline metrics? Determine your website’s performance for each KPI.
Once you understand how your business is currently performing, analyze your metrics to determine where you should focus on improvement. For example, if your bounce rate is high and your time on site is low, it is likely that your website visitors are quickly discouraged from shopping on your website. In this case, you may need to make adjustments to your website design or user experience. As you tweak your website, track how each change affects your bounce rate and time on site.
As you continue to track your metrics, you’ll be able to adjust your focus and employ new strategies as needed to continue improving eCommerce conversion rates.
Ease of Purchase
Want more sales? Make it easier for people to buy from you. While it seems obvious, this is often overlooked. Take the time to browse your website from your customer’s perspective. Start at your homepage (or if you have a current advertisement, click on the link you’re promoting). Once you land on your own website, read it thoroughly and through fresh eyes. Is it easy to read and understand? Are all your questions answered upfront? Is it obvious which button you should click to purchase? Make sure your “Add to Cart” and “Checkout” buttons are highly visible and easy to access at all times.
User Experience Testing
When you view your website through the lens of a customer, you may find that there are hidden errors, typos, broken links, inconsistencies, or distracting pop-ups diverting your attention away from a purchase. However, because you’ve seen your own website to many times, you’re likely to miss important optimizations. Testing your website’s user experience is best done with an unbiased, fresh set of eyes, so we recommend utilizing a user testing service to capture the critical insights you need. By knowing how website visitors are actually using your website, you can design your website to confidently deliver the information and experience that potential customers want and expect.
Optimize for Mobile Use
Check your metrics to see how many of your website visitors are viewing from a mobile device. Chances are high that the majority of your users are on a mobile browser. Make sure your website performs beautifully on a smartphone so shoppers can purchase easily from any device.
Fewer Clicks to Checkout
One way to make it easier to purchase is to require as few clicks as possible to buy your product. Once a shopper adds a product to their shopping cart, simplify the checkout process. Limit how much information a customer needs to provide and how many clicks they need to make — fewer clicks are best. Allow customers to checkout as “guests” without requiring them to create an account.
Only collect necessary info upfront. Market research questions such as “how did you find our website?” should not be included at this stage, as it simply makes the process more time-consuming for the customer. The longer it takes to purchase your product, the more likely a customer is to abandon their shopping cart.
Provide All Necessary Information
It is also crucial to ensure that important customer questions are answered up front. If vital details aren’t included on a product page, customers may drop off due to confusion or frustration. Make sure your customers can easily see all product details in addition to your shipping and return policy.
By improving your website’s user experience and making it easier to purchase, you’ll improve your conversion rate, create greater user satisfaction, and increase brand loyalty.
The Trust Factor
You know that your company is trustworthy and reliable, but a new customer doesn’t necessarily have that confidence in your business yet. How can you convince a customer that your website is safe to purchase from? Every aspect of your website should ooze professionalism.
1. Show social proof.
Got testimonials from happy customers? Use them on your website. Don’t have testimonials yet? Start collecting them as soon as possible.
The best way to collect customer reviews is to simply ask them for their honest feedback. By following up with your customers post-purchase, you show them you care, you create an opportunity to resolve any issues that may cause a negative buyer experience, and you generate honest customer reviews to use on your website.
Ensure that potential customers can see proof that other real humans order from your company and love your products. This important social evidence can improve your e-commerce conversion rate and increase your average order value. We also recommend using customer testimonials in your marketing campaigns, so website visitors are excited and ready to buy before they even land on your site.
2. Use high-quality photography.
First impressions matter. Are you using low-quality or poorly lit product images? The more professional your business appears, the more trust a consumer will have in your company. Invest in high-quality product photos that show your product in the best light. When relevant, show the product from multiple angles. Consider sharing lifestyle photos with the product to help your customer visualize owning and using your product. For quick fixes, you can always look at some royalty free images websites.
3. Show shoppers that your website is safe and secure.
If you’re accepting payments on your website, you must make sure your website is secure. Purchase an SSL Certificate so all of your website links begin with HTTPS (not just HTTP). Savvy online shoppers know to look for this distinction when making a purchase. Google also considers this an important factor in the ranking of your website, so be sure to keep an active SSL Certificate and don’t let it expire.
Another way to increase consumer trust is to display the right trust seals on your website. Popular seals include McAfee Secure, PayPal Verified, and VeriSign. These badges can help signal to shoppers that it is safe to purchase from your website.
4. Offer a great return policy.
Many customers will want to know that they can return their product if they aren’t satisfied with their purchase. By offering a great return policy, most customers won’t take you up on it – but it will give them enough peace of mind to follow through with their purchase.
With endless websites for customers to choose from, what makes your offer better than the competition? Specifically, why is it better for a customer to purchase from your website than from Amazon? Think of all the ways you can incentivize your customers, and use these details in your marketing efforts. Here are some common ways to incentivize purchases.
In 2018, every online business is competing with Amazon. It’s just a fact of life. And, in part due Amazon Prime’s popularity, customers have begun to expect free shipping from all online shops. Think your business can’t offer free shipping? You may be able to increase your product price to equalize it. By absorbing the shipping rate into the price of the product and promoting free shipping, shoppers feel like they’re getting a better deal – and you don’t have to lose money in the process.
How long does it currently take for a customer to receive your product after they’ve ordered it? The quicker you can deliver, the happier your customers will be. If your shipping rate is already fast, use this to your advantage by promoting “fast shipping” on your website, shopping cart, and product pages.
If your shop isn’t known for fast shipping, consider enlisting the help of a third-party logistics (3PL) center. These experts in order fulfillment services can improve your customer’s experience with your brand by ensuring orders are delivered quickly and efficiently. By letting customers know they’ll receive their order quickly, you can improve your conversion rate – and avoid losing buyers to Amazon Prime.
Hide the coupon code box
By the time a shopper hits the checkout stage, we want to move them through the checkout process as quickly as possible. Anything that distracts a customer will decrease your conversion rate. One big distraction is the coupon code box. It’s never a good idea to let a customer think they’re not getting the best deal.
Instead of adding an “Insert coupon code” box on your checkout page, use a link that says “Got a coupon code? Click here.” Once a customer clicks it, you can display the “Insert coupon code” box. By making it less obvious that you offer coupon codes, shoppers are less likely to abandon their cart to search for a coupon code (or a better price from your competitor).
Tweak and Test
Ultimately, many factors are at play when determining how to improve your website’s conversion rate. When embarking on the goal of improving eCommerce conversion, it is most important to understand how your website is currently performing so you can make a plan of action to address low-performing metrics.
With a combination of data tracking and testing the results of your website adjustments, your company can pinpoint which key performance indicators will help you further improve your sales conversion rate. Make small, incremental changes and perform A/B tests when possible. It is important to measure the results of your changes to determine if they are improving eCommerce conversion or decreasing sales.
Above all, remember that customers need to trust your website and believe that your product is the right choice. Remind customers of the value you’re providing them, and give them the information they need to confidently make their purchase.