15 eCommerce tips to drastically increase your conversion rate
In today’s competitive landscape, succeeding in the eCommerce industry is getting more and more difficult. We all know conversions lead to sales, so growing your bottom line means you need focus on increasing and optimising your conversion rate.
But is it really that simple?
In a world where 84% of people do not trust advertisements anymore, converting visitors into customers has become a real mission impossible. Like most eCommerce businesses, you’re looking to optimise your conversion rates without spending too much, or without looking desperate, because desperation kills conversions...
You might be getting enough traffic, but boosting conversions doesn’t end at increasing traffic. If your conversion rate isn’t budging (or worse, if it’s dropping), you need to shift tactics.
If you’re asking yourself ‘how can I increase my eCommerce conversion rate’?, start by reading this article. We’ll give you 15 easy ways to improve your customer experience and boost your conversion rate.
15 Tips to optimise your eCommerce conversion rate today
1. Offer free shipping
According to Barilliance, shipping cost is the number one reason for cart abandonment (25%) and 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping is their biggest incentive to continue shopping online. If you’re charging for shipping, chances are you're losing some of your sales to your competitors.
Some may offer shipping for free regardless of what’s purchased and some offer free shipping tied to conditions, like a minimum spend requirement. Whatever you opt for, consider adding the option at checkout or promote it across key landing pages.
Here are 3 ways you can offer free shipping on your website:
- On orders over a specific amount.
- By having a minimum requirement of items purchased.
- Offering free shipping during a specific time frame - usually during slow periods.
2. Say goodbye to cart abandonment
Did you know the global average cart abandonment rate was over 77% in 2016? Cart abandonment may be a very common phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean you should let it affect your business.
Sending email reminders can help you reduce cart abandonment. Why? People tend to forget or might want to check out on a different device. Abandoned cart emails are a great way for consumers to come back to your site and complete their order.
But when is best to send an email?
- After 24 hours for full priced items.
- After just couple of hours for items on sale.
- If you’re looking to go the extra mile, why not give your customers the option to save their basket and come back to it later like ASOS does?
ASOS allows visitors to save items to their ‘bag’ and come back to it later
Letting your customers save their items for a certain period will considerably reduce cart abandonment as saved items are easy to find again and stay saved for a longer amount of time, increasing the chance of a purchase.
3. Match your landing page copy with your PPC ad’s copy
It’s not uncommon to click a PPC ad and be redirected to a landing page with completely different message. Don’t overlook this, make sure your PPC ad and landing page copy match or the inconsistency will hurt your conversion rates.
If you’re advertising a 20% discount, free shipping, or a special offer on your ad, consumers will expect to be taken to a page with the same offer. If your landing page doesn’t mention the same offer as your ad, consumers are left with their expectations unfulfilled. They’ll leave your site and click on another PPC ad.
Here’s how to make sure message matching across your ads and landing pages:
- Double check you’re using the right link in your PPC ad.
- Avoid using false advertising in your ad’s headline. There’s no point using the words “free” or “discount” just to get traffic if you’re not going to actually offer those benefits. That’ll send conversion rates plummeting.
- Triple-checking the copy’s accurate. Are you describing everything consistently? Are you offering the right product or service? You’d be surprised how often companies will mess this up.
4. Content marketing will help you
In order to convert more consumers, it’s important to attract the right people in the first place. If you’re selling sportswear for example, you’ll want to attract traffic, but not from an audience who’s uninterested in sports and exercise. To get quality visitors, content marketing is essential.
Continuing the sportswear example, writing about fitness and nutrition is more likely to help you attract the right audience and convert your readers because the content will be relevant for them.
This is how you can convert more with content marketing:
Make your blog easy to access from your website.
- Optimise your articles for SEO.
- Write about things that your audience likes and occasionally promote your own products.
- Fabletics have found the perfect balance by sharing some fitness and lifestyle-inspired content as well as some promotional content.
Fabletics offers lifestyle content suited to their audience
Here’s why Fabletics’s blog works well:
- Their articles help them engage with their audience. If your consumers feel connected to your brand, they are more likely to make a purchase.
- Their blog boosts customer loyalty - customers are likely to come back regularly to read new articles and check out new products.
- Their promotional posts push indecisive consumers to finalise their checkout (e.g. “Fabletics swimwear guide: best swimsuits by body type”). Fabletics can do this without looking pushy because they've earned their audience's trust.
5. Improve website speed
A study by Akamai found that 47% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% say they will abandon a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. It’s easy to see how loading speed can impact conversion rates. Simply making your website faster will drastically improve your customer experience, and therefore help you convert more. Otherwise, visitors will be quick to leave and look for a faster site.
Speeding up your website - made easy:
- Use tools like Pingdom and GTmetrix to get your score and find out what could be improved.
- Reduce redirects and plugins.
- Use browser caching.
- Be aware of your image sizes and optimise them for the web. Large image files could slow load speeds, especially on mobile devices.
- Getting started today
These five tips have worked for countless companies in the past and are great best practices for any successful eCommerce company. And there’s no reason to wait. Start small but start today. Look at your Adwords campaigns, see if you can offer free shipping on your best selling products, and write a blog post or two and post it on your site. Small wins do add up and in time, you might start seeing some major increases in conversions.
The other secret weapon to increasing conversions? Reviews. We’ve helped companies drastically increase conversions by leveraging reviews on their site. If you’d like to learn how, just download a free copy of our Complete Guide to Reviews below.
6. Personalise the landing & home page with recommendations
According to a recent report from Accenture, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognises them by name, recommends options based on their past purchases, or knows their purchase history.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Gartner also found that by 2020, smart personalisation engines used to recognise customer intent will enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%.
Using personalisation to show related products on landing pages or directly on your homepage based on a user’s intention will considerably boost your conversion rates because you’re offering options related to they're already looking to purchase.
On my last two visits to Amazon, I searched for hair stylers and holiday books. When I returned, my “Recommended for you” section was full of products that could be of interest to me.
Here’s how you can get it right too:
Make sure you’re tracking the right data points - search history, order history, location, and more to determine what products they’d like to see. Consider including this section directly on the product page with an 'add to cart' option, this way, your customers won’t have to wait until their next order to discover the products they could be interested in.
7. Address uncertainty with additional information
It’s very unlikely for a consumer not to hesitate or compare products or options during their buying journey. Additional information gives buyers enough confidence to trust that you are the right brand for them. Product description is extremely important. Make sure your product copy is clear and reflects your brand image. Your customer should have no questions left once they’ve read the product description.
Add visuals! The more visuals you include, the more chances you have of converting consumers. Companies that use custom imagery actually have 7 times more conversions. And they don’t have to stop at photos. That’s why we recommend adding product demonstration videos or customer testimonials directly on the product page to answer any questions your potential customer might have.
Your guide to great product copy:
- Always double check your copy. Is it clear? Informative? Persuasive?
- Images are a must and videos are recommended!
- Customer testimonial videos will give consumers extra confidence because you’re offering a trusted third-party evaluation.
8. Improve your customer service
If your visitor hasn’t found what they’re looking for on your product page, or if they’re confused during the buying journey, it’s important for your eCommerce business to offer help as soon as possible. The faster, the better.
Real-time help works wonders, and more often, website visitors choose live chats over other contact channels. Live Chat 100 explains: “When looking at the data in 2016, we found that the chat-to-visit ratio improved by 4.94% at the most compared to 2015. That is to say, a higher percentage of website visitors chose to chat with agents for help.”
On-site live chats are a great way to engage with new or existing customers on any of your pages, reducing the likelihood that they’ll navigate away from a key page, or worse, leave your site altogether. Better still, these live expert chats can increase the chances of your visitor converting once their issue is sorted, or their question is answered.
How to build a great customer service:
- Make your contact details easily accessible so a potential customer can reach you at any time.
- Offer real-time help directly on site.
- Turn negative experiences into positive ones. 95% of unhappy customers are more likely to return to your website if you have resolved their issue quickly and efficiently.
9. Make the checkout process as easy as possible
Did you know having to create a new user account is the second biggest reason for cart abandonment (22%)?
If you don’t offer guest checkout yet, it’s time to try it out! This will help keep all consumers stay engaged whether they’re repeat shoppers or first-time consumers. Adding the additional step of account creating creates friction for the user as they probably won’t want to create a new account every time they order from a new website.
Single-step checkouts are one of the easiest ways for existing customers to finalise their purchase.
Amazon’s Kindle store is one of the best platforms to use this system. Existing customers save their payment and personal details and can buy a Kindle book by clicking on the ‘Buy Now’ button without having to add it to their basket first.
Pretty amazing, right?
Here’s how you can be the king of checkout:
- Give your customers the choice! Let them check out the way they want to: as a guest, with their account, or with a 1-step checkout system using saved information.
- If they’re checking out as a guest, give them the option to create an account after their purchase, on the thank you or confirmation page or even as part of a post-purchase email.
- Offer to remember your customer’s payment details for future checkouts to encourage repeat shopping.
10. Multiple payment options
A Paypal study revealed that 24% of consumers abandoned their transactions at checkout because the retailer didn't offer the customers’ preferred payment choices.
Getting more traffic means your business needs to please different types of customers, with different needs and different expectations. Having multiple payment options ensures your larger audience is taken care of and that their expectations are met. After all, what good are customers who can’t pay you?
So how do multiple payment options help optimise conversion rate?
- It’s more convenient for the customer.
- It targets a global and wider audience.
- It encourages customer retention (remember our last point of saving checkout details?).
11. Invest in a good search bar
A good search bar will considerably improve your customer experience. Econsultancy found that, on eCommerce websites, 30% of visitors end up using the site search bar. These are users that interested in purchasing a product and use the search box to exactly find what they're looking for.
Visitors can come on your site through a variety of reasons and they may have very specific intentions as they come on your site. A search bar allows them to skip past the customer journey to directly arrive at a product page, and eventually, the checkout page.
Internal search means better site usability, but also better product visibility. Customers find what they need faster, improving their overall experience and satisfaction, increasing the likelihood that they make a purchase from you.
Overall, search boxes can help you:
- Optimise conversion rates
- Improve customer retention and loyalty
- Improve on-site experience
Net-A-Porter’s robust search bar shows users how relevant a term is across product categories.
Net-A-Porter’s search bar ticks all the right boxes:
- It’s well-positioned, easy to find and is visible across the entire site.
- There is a drop-down system, which means that the search bar anticipates what you’re looking for as you type your keyword.
12. Filters, filters, filters!
The more choices your give to your customers, the harder it gets for them to choose what they want or need, or find what they’re looking for. Decision paralysis can be a big problem for your audience and is the reason we also encourage having one CTA on landing pages and marketing emails to ensure your audience is focused on clicking the most important button.
For optimising your conversion rates, you need to ensure your visitors have the capability of making a decision quickly without second-guessing themselves. That’s when filters come in. The more filters you give to your customers, the easier it gets to find the most suitable product(s) for them.
But what kind of filters are we talking about? You can filter by...
- Brand ...
ASOS has some of the best filters we’ve ever seen. You can go from 2,000 dresses to 120 by picking your size, the colours you prefer, the price range, and much more.
ASOS’s filter function allows shoppers to quickly dwindle possibilities
ASOS' filters are particularly effective for the following reasons:
- They’re easy to use. Visitors can tick or untick the boxes and the page updates dynamically.
- There are a lot of filters, which means visitors can find what they need in no time.
- The filters take up minimal space so the focus is maintained on products.
13. A clear call-to-action is essential
Not all CTAs are created equal. Hubspot found that anchor text CTAs increased conversion rates by 121% compared to banner CTAs at the end of pages.
Your call-to-action is can be your best closer in eCommerce but it’s easy to go wrong with small missteps. Your CTAs need to be clear, visible, clickable, and focused. The more CTAs a page has, the less likely your customers are to click each one, affecting how successful each CTA is.
Be mindful of how and where you’re placing your CTAs. Each page should have its own goals, and therefore its own CTA. These can vary from adding a product to a basket, check out, or even logging in.
These are different ways to use CTAs to optimise your business’s conversion rate:
- Being clear about what the CTA is.
- Place the CTA above the fold. If visitors need to scroll down to find it, your CTA won’t get much traction.
- Test them often! There are a lot of variations to play with, including size, placement, colour, and copy.
- Make sure the CTA stands out! You’d be surprised how often CTAs blend into the background.
- Keep the copy short and to the point.
Netflix’s CTA is short and clear. It stands out and concisely informs users on what they can expect if they click it.
Netflix’s CTA is brief, simple, and easily stands out.
14. Product out of stock? No problem!
Ever heard of back-in-stock notifications? They’re a game changer.
If one of your products is out of stock, offer to inform customers as soon as the product comes back in stock. This is especially important when it comes to apparel, where size matters. Simply ask them to either add the item to their wish list, or to enter their email address so you could tie the notification to their account. This also incentivises users to sign up for an account.
Once again, Net-A-Porter’s website wins our praise with their ‘wish list’ function.
“Size sold out. Add it to your Wish List and we will notify you if stock becomes available.”
But how can this optimise your conversion rate?
- According to eConsultancy, back-in-stock emails emails can achieve a 25% increase in conversion rate.
- 71% of consumers appreciate receiving notifications when the item they wanted is back in stock.
- Even If the customer is no longer interested in an item, your reminder is still an opportunity to get them to visit your website. And if you’ve been leveraging our other tips, you’ve already taken the steps to increase onsite conversions.
15. Use the voice of the customer
Lack of trust in advertising is seriously affecting the customer journey and the decision-making process. Only 52% of respondents from a major survey say they trust businesses to do what is right, and the credibility in CEOs has fallen 12% to 37% just this year. Conversely, 60% of respondents trust a person like themselves, the same amount compared to an academic or a technical expert.
It’s getting easier for consumers to compare businesses by price, shipping cost, quality, and customer experience, which makes it harder for eCommerce companies to stand out, and therefore convert consumers. Trust is one of those differentiators that can really help a company stand out.
Word of mouth is still one of the most popular method of recommendations today, and with 80% of people trusting reviews as much as personal recommendations, it’s safe to say that reputation and third-party validation are big difference-makers.
The key to increasing eCommerce conversions is to include as much trust as possible throughout the whole customer journey. Using customer reviews or testimonials at key points in the decision-making process can encourage visitors to continue their journey with you (now or later), rather than quit your website and keep looking elsewhere.
Sugru's review integration on their product page utilises reviews as social proof.
Sugru highlights reviews on their product pages so consumers know other shoppers have used the product and had great things to say about it. Online reviews help consumers make smart and better choices.
Here’s how to use your customer’s voice properly:
- Be transparent, don’t remove negative feedback.
- Include customer reviews at key product and landing pages.
- To be more credible, use a trustworthy third-party review platform.
Our conversion tips for this article are focused on a singular theme: improving the customer experience to boost conversions. Visitors become consumers when you encourage the process and make it easy.
By keeping the customer journey as frictionless as possible, consumers can visit your site, make a purchase in a flash, and remember that when it comes to shopping, your company makes it easy. By making small improvements to your site and your customer journey, you’ll increase conversions and likely see an increase in repeat shoppers as well.
Want to improve conversions on key product and landing pages? Try adding reviews to your site and watch your conversions skyrocket. To learn more about collecting and using reviews, request a demo below!