Take advantage of the current surge in online shopping and get more sales from your online shop with these ecommerce conversion optimization tips.
It’s important to regularly track the rate at which sales, or “transactions,” are made on your site in relation to the number of total sessions, total visits users make on the site. This is known as “ecommerce conversion rates.”
Monitor the ecommerce conversion rates across the site as a whole and for specific dimensions you have defined as important for your business, which may include:
- Product and/or Product Category
- Audience: age, gender, language, geography, interests
- Channel users arrive from: organic search, social, referral sites, email, etc.
ECOMMERCE CONVERSION RATE = Number of Transactions / Total Sessions
In 2019, the average B2C ecommerce conversion rate globally was 2.49%, with rates per industry ranging from 1.01% for luxury goods to 5.08% for the grocery industry.
If the ecommerce conversion rates for your website are low or decreasing, these tips will help you better “convert” visitors into customers, whether you are selling products, services or both. For the purpose of this article, I refer to both as “products.”
Ecommerce Conversion Optimization Tips
- Fix Technical Issues and Errors
Carry out a complete technical audit of the website to ensure that there are no technical issues that may keep visitors from accessing the site or cause visitors to leave the site without making a purchase.
The most common technical issues affecting ecommerce conversion rate optimization:
- slow page load speed that leaves visitors waiting too long to see desired content or images don’t load fully;
- bad links that bring visitors to a “Page Not Found” error page, back the homepage or other irrelevant page;
- poor usability on some devices, i.e. buttons too close together on mobile devices or big gaps causing excessive scrolling on desktop devices.
- Clear the Path to Conversion
Ensure that your website’s navigation, design, layout and content provide a clear “Path to Conversion,” the steps visitors must take from entering the site to obtain necessary information and complete the transaction.
- Remove or relocate any design/layout elements or content that may cause visitors to leave the site or lead to content not relevant to making a purchase. i.e. mailing list subscription form, links to social media channels, navigation to old blog posts, etc.
- At the top of each page and in other relevant locations, ensure there are clear “Calls to Action,” buttons and/or text links that urge the visitor to take the desired action, i.e. Click to Book, Buy Now, Add to Cart etc.
- Consider using “Sales Landing Pages” that have no or little navigation and focus on the sale of the specific “product.” This is especially effective when visitors are coming from other channels, i.e. AdWords, social media posts, email marketing campaigns, etc.
- Optimize Product Categories, Titles and Descriptions
Use language that is clear, persuasive and relevant to your target audience.
For optimum ecommerce conversion rate optimization, ensure that all categories, titles and descriptions:
- sufficiently communicate the necessary aspects of the product;
- convey the value of the product for the customer and/or how it meets a need the customer has, the “Customer Value Proposition;”
- highlight features and benefits using bullet points and/or formatting at the top of the description;
- counter possible objections;
- use “target key phrases,” the terms users are likely to use in search engines to find the product for purchase online;
- include special aspects of the product in the title, if relevant include brand, model, attributes that set the product apart from other similar products, i.e. “Belkin USB-C Hub with Tethered USB-C Cable (USB-C Dock for MacOS and Windows USB-C Laptops)”.
- Streamline and Optimize the Checkout Process
- If using a third party shopping cart, ensure that the design and layout matches your main website.
- Include a phone number or live chat application so that visitors can get needed information while making the purchase.
- Ensure that the steps are simple and clear to follow, removing any steps that are unnecessary, i.e. signing up for an account in a separate step.
- Add a progress bar so visitors can easily see where they are in the checkout process.
- Make all purchase options (sizes, colors, etc.) clear and easy to select.
- Don’t ask for information that isn’t necessary, i.e. personal information not needed for purchase or address if not necessary for delivery, etc.
- Use Images for Optimum Effect – and Don’t Forget Video
Use images and videos to illustrate what the product is and also to persuade the visitor to make the purchase.
- Include as many images and videos needed to provide clear visual information on the product, without cluttering and/or taking away from the text descriptions and ability to add the product to the shopping cart.
- Use videos to more fully illustrate the basic aspects of the product, benefits and special features, as well as how to use the product and provide customer testimonials.
- Ensure all images and videos are good quality and relevant to the product and to your target audience.
- Clearly Communicate Upfront All Information on Payment, Shipping and Terms
Provide access to important information on payment, shipping and terms before the checkout process has started. Ensure that these options and terms are inline with the needs of your audience and competitive for your industry.
Some items to include:
- Payment Types Accepted
- Shipping Methods Available
- Return and Refund Policy
- Privacy and Use of Personal Data
- Add Elements to Gain Buyers’ Trust
- Include relevant information about the business, including physical address and contact details, as well as relevant information on key individuals.
- Add reviews and testimonials, in text and video format.
- Provide details of relevant awards, accreditations, certifications, affiliations, etc.
- Ensure there are no errors, typos, etc. that may appear unprofessional.
- Host the entire site on a secure server and use a trusted payment processing method, including icons indicating this.
- Consider More Advanced Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Techniques
- Use an A/B testing application to test different Calls to Action, button colors, layouts, product names, etc. to have real data on optimizing the areas tested.
- If using paid online advertising, use a remarketing application to show relevant, targeted ads on other sites to users that had visited your site.
- When visitors leave the site with items in the shopping cart, use a shopping cart abandonment application to send an email to remind the visitor to return to your site to complete the purchase.
While the high levels of online shopping may level off when physical shops are open to foot traffic, many are predicting that buyer needs and habits are changing for good. For your business to be successful you must be ready to quickly react to these changes and utilize these ecommerce conversion optimization techniques.
Regularly tracking ecommerce conversion rates will not only show you potential issues on the site to fix, but will also allow you to see changes in your audience’s buying habits so that you can make the necessary changes to your strategy to maintain and increase your share of the market.
For more information on tracking ecommerce conversion rates and other important metrics, read Most Important Google Analytics Metrics to Track Engagement.