If you want to run a successful eCommerce business, getting traffic to your website is essential. But your work does not end there. You’ll have to sell your products to make money. The question is how to make sure your customers are converting? Here’s a simple answer: by optimizing your eCommerce store for the highest possible conversion rate. Problem solved; let’s wrap it up!
Jokes aside, there are things you can do to boost your conversion rate, and we’ll talk about nine of our favorites in this post. But first, let’s look at a few reasons why your store might be failing to convert in the first place.
Why Is Your Online Store Failing to Convert?
The truth is that pinpointing the exact reason why your customers aren’t converting as much as you’d like could be quite tricky. There are many reasons a prospect may choose not to make a purchase at any given time. Here are a few examples:
- You don’t have a well-defined customer persona
- Your store makes a poor first impression
- Your website has terrible loading times
- It is not optimized for mobile
- Your product images are not detailed enough
- You don’t have a persuasive copy
- Your prospects don’t trust you
- They don’t want to pay for shipping if they can get it for free elsewhere
- The checkout process is a drag
Understanding all the potential problems that your store might have helps you anticipate and avoid them. It also shows you that making one mistake like this doesn’t immediately mean you’ve failed in running your business.
The first step towards change is awareness. Be aware of any mistakes you might have made with your eCommerce store in the past and accept them. Only then can you work on fixing these problems and improving your conversion rates.
What Is Considered a Good eCommerce Conversion Rate?
Before you can improve your conversion rate, you should know how good it is right now. Your conversion rate is one of the best indicators of your store’s overall performance. It shows the percentage of your website’s visitors that end up making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, or completing another action, depending on your goals.
So, what’s an eCommerce conversion rate that you should be striving for? As you might expect, it varies. For example, sporting goods stores had an average conversion rate of 1.34% in January 2021, while apparel retailers averaged 1.75%. Generally speaking, anywhere from 1.5% to 2.5% is a good target to aim for; the average across all eCommerce markets in January 2021 was 1.94%.
9 Ways to Increase Your eCommerce Store’s Conversion Rate
It’s time for us to deliver some actionable advice and tips on generating more conversions, even if you keep your traffic roughly the same. Let’s get started!
1. Catch the Eye of New Customers
First impressions are everything in the online world. If you want your first-time visitors to stay on your website, you have just 50 milliseconds to prove your worth. If this is the first time you’ve seen the results of this research, you’re probably wondering how it’s even possible to make an impression in a blink of an eye. Make sure you choose the best web design company nyc, because high quality service is crucial when your site needs to be:
- Easy to navigate — Don’t let your customers be overwhelmed when they look at your site. It should be arranged logically, with the shopping cart and all the categories easy to find.
- Responsive — Your store should detect the device your prospect is browsing on and load the appropriate version.
- Quick to load — Make sure you get a high-performance hosting plan. The extra money will be well worth it if you can drop your loading times.
Your website should also be easy to update and customize, so make sure you don’t have to contact a web design company each time you need a new product added to your store.
2. Stand Out from the Crowd with Great Product Photos
Online shoppers rely heavily on photos since they can’t touch, feel, or try the product on, at least not yet. That’s why, in eCommerce especially, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Try to bridge the gap between the digital and the physical world as much as possible. You can do this by adding features like zoom or 360 view, helping your visitors take a closer look from all angles.
Another good idea is to try and show your products in their real-world context. Lifestyle photos will help shoppers see themselves using the product, which is guaranteed to boost conversions.
3. Don’t Skimp on your Product Descriptions
Having great photos is hugely important, but that doesn’t mean that product descriptions don’t matter.
Take an honest and unbiased look at your website copy. Are you giving your customers all the information they need? Again, because your shoppers can’t feel the product, try to convey as many details as you can textually and provide adequate descriptions.
Have your buyer in mind, and try to appeal to what they need. Present the benefits of your product as concisely as you can, as if you were trying to answer the question, “Why should I buy this?”
4. Add Value with Free Shipping and Returns
In a Walker Sands survey, 77% of people chose free shipping as the most important option when it came to online shopping. Free shipping is not just welcomed; it has become expected, which means it is almost a necessary part of your offer.
According to the same research we linked above, free returns and exchanges are the second online purchase driver, right behind free shipping. Sure, offering this perk will come at a financial cost, but it will do wonders for building trust and customer relationships.
5. Give Your Customers Options with Curbside Pickup and Local Delivery
Let your customers pick how they prefer to shop with you. With curbside pickup and local delivery, they can choose to skip the lengthy shipping times and get their items quicker.
According to a study done by Oracle, 13% of customers would never shop with a retailer again after a late delivery. This may not sound like a lot, but if you factor in how much work goes into converting just one customer, you realize that you don’t want to be losing 13% of them due to slow shipping.
Set a radius within which you will deliver the customers’ packages yourself. This will cut down on shipping rates and packaging costs and add a personal touch to the process.
Curbside pickups also cut down on shipping costs by allowing customers to pick up their online purchases whenever they choose to. Be sure to inform shoppers of the hours they can pick up their items and how long it will take.
6. Boost Your Conversions with Discount Codes
Everyone loves a good deal. Offering discounts can boost your conversion rates quickly, and searching for discounts has become a significant part of the online shopping process. In fact, 69% of millennial shoppers search for discount codes before any purchase they make.
Probably the best way to share discount codes is by offering them in exchange for your visitors’ email addresses. This enables you to start a newsletter as well, essentially killing two birds with one stone. A newsletter is an excellent way to keep your customers informed about sales and new product launches. It drives interested traffic to the site, improving conversions.
7. Build Trust by Allowing Shoppers to Review your Products
Reviews matter. According to a study by the Spiegel Research Center, as many as 95% of online shoppers read reviews before purchasing a product. There’s no better social proof of your products’ quality than a bunch of good reviews.
We know what you’re thinking — enabling product reviews on your store opens the door for one-star comments as well. That is true, but these also allow you to learn about your products’ imperfections and talk to dissatisfied customers directly.
8. Speed up the Checkout Process
You don’t want your customers to go through a drawn-out process to make a purchase in your eCommerce store. This significantly increases the risk of cart abandonment and therefore lowers the conversion rates.
In the past quarter, 18% of US online shoppers have abandoned their carts solely because of a complicated checkout process. Online users are impatient, and they want their purchases to be a breeze.
One thing you can do to speed things along is to enable guest check out. You could also implement ways to skip the process entirely, with services like Google Pay and Apple Pay.
9. Make it Easy for Customers to Reach You with a Live Chat Option
One of the advantages of brick-and-mortar shopping is that customers have the opportunity to get immediate answers to their questions. With online shopping, timely customer service is a perk rather than a guarantee. Make your store stand out by offering a live chat option.
One of the most significant benefits of live chat, compared to email, is that a user can continue shopping while chatting with a representative instead of waiting hours for a response. This provides a more seamless experience with minimal disruption. Also, unlike phone service, one customer support representative can help multiple users simultaneously, improving efficiency.
Make sure to set up an automatic reply for your off-hours. That way, your customers will know that they should expect a response, even if they send a message in the middle of the night.