How to Improve Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate


9 mins

Improving Ecommerce Conversion rates

Table of Contents

It goes without saying that conversion is the core of ecommerce websites. After all, it enables your business to continue generating sales revenue.

Ideally, your website visitors become paying customers and go all the way down the sales funnel. However, that’s not always the case. The code that every business still tries to crack, even in this digital day and age, is how to continuously drive conversions in their ecommerce websites.

With the ever-changing digital landscape, staying ahead of the curve is essential for any online business. Thankfully, there are a number of timeless strategies that can help increase ecommerce conversion rate.

In this article, we’ll explore these strategies to improve your website holistically and convert more website visitors into paying customers.

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What is a good ecommerce conversion rate?

In ecommerce, conversions are defined as any action taken by a user that is of value to your organisation. This action usually correlates to your brand’s established Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), like the following:

  • Online sales
  • Downloads
  • Adding products to a shopping cart
  • Adding items to a wishlist
  • Email signups

A good ecommerce conversion rate will vary from sector to sector. On average, the rate varies from 2.5% to 3%. Ultimately, what is considered good will depend on your company’s goals and KPIs.

Regardless of the product you sell, or the business model you follow, the rule of thumb for ecommerce sites is to aim for a conversion rate higher than the average. Simply put, the average rate becomes your benchmark. Your objective is to increase ecommerce conversion rate steadily from there.

But before you can aim to increase your shop’s current conversion rate, you have to understand how the conversion rate is calculated.

How is conversion rate calculated?

Conversion rate is one of the most important marketing metrics for any ecommerce business. It helps measure the effectiveness of your website and marketing strategies. You can calculate this metric by simply getting the ratio of conversions to the total number of website visitors multiplied by 100.

Conversion Rate = (Number of Conversion / Number of visitors) x100.

For example, if a website has 100,000 visitors over a period of 1 month and 2000 conversions over this time period, the conversion rate would be
(2,000/100,000) x 100 = 2%.

By understanding how conversion rate is calculated and what factors affect it, you can gain valuable insights that will help you increase conversion rate ecommerce and maximise your shop’s success.

Factors affecting ecommerce conversions

Understanding the factors that influence your ecommerce website’s conversion rate is essential to change the course of your ecommerce business: from getting senseless traffic to having purpose-driven customers.

It’s important to take note of how easy it could be for a customer to abandon a shopping cart or not finish a purchase. If your website poses an inconvenience for your users, they can simply just purchase from a competitor with a few clicks or taps.

There are a multitude of reasons why visitors may not convert, and these should be taken into account when developing your next marketing strategies.

Some of the most crucial factors that affect customer decisions are the following:

1. Page loading speed

How quickly a website page renders for visitors contributes to the overall user experience of your ecommerce business. If your website loads slowly, even just on mobile, it could still turn off an important demographic of your prospective customers.

2. Mobile optimisation

As handheld devices like smartphones and tablets become a more prominent part of consumers’ lives, ecommerce websites are expected to keep up by providing optimal visitor experience for those using these devices. By making your website design responsive and making sure it is mobile-optimised, you can attract and keep more potential customers. The optimisation includes modifying your website design to be dynamic and navigable for mobile users.

3. Landing page design and engagement

It becomes more difficult to get new customers as the ecommerce industry gets more saturated. A good landing page will get you the attention your business needs. The thing is, users can just click out of your website if you don’t grab their attention within the first few moments of interacting with your website. Your landing page must convey clear brand messaging. The rest of your website should then follow through.

4. Vendor trust indicators

Trust indicators help your website establish credibility, especially for people who are encountering your brand for the first time. Ecommerce websites that present trust indicators such as social proof, trust badges, reviews, testimonials, and recommendations, among others, are more likely to attract customers and guide them to actually perform conversion.

5. Site security

Your website security is one of the main factors that would help with customer conversion. Users want a platform that they know they can trust enough to enter their sensitive information, such as credit card details, upon checking out.

6. Check out process

Some people don’t have the patience to bear with a complicated check out process even if they are loyal and repeat customers. Some users even abandon their carts for this reason. People want and need a simple, intuitive, and user-friendly check out process.

7. Supported payment methods

Payment options should be simple and secure while offering customers as much choice as possible. Not providing enough payment options can lead to customers abandoning their purchases at the last minute. Consider offering a variety of payment methods such as credit cards, bank transfers and digital wallets like Venmo, Paypal, etc.

8. Customer support

A strong and responsive customer support is a key factor in maintaining customers and inviting new ones. Shoppers often have questions they want to be answered before they can proceed with a purchase.

9. Product information

Maintaining the highest quality of product information will help your customers get familiarised with your product and increase the chance of them buying. Additionally, making sure your website has an attention-grabbing design, and clear images and videos is also a basic necessity. This includes product descriptions and any other content, such as blogs or videos, that might be featured on the site. They should effectively communicate what the product offers and why the customer should buy your products.

Lastly, user guides and reviews will also help users in their decision to purchase. All your copy should be concise, clear and engaging.

In a highly saturated industry like ecommerce, considering each of these factors and ensuring that the user experience is optimal should be second nature to your business. Furthermore, the strategies we will discuss next will help you maximise each of your user’s conversion potential and significantly drive your conversion rate up.

Strategies to maximise ecommerce conversion rates

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is an essential aspect of ecommerce success. By making small changes to your website, you can have a large impact on your conversion rate.

Here are some time-tested strategies that can help you improve your ecommerce conversion rate:

1. Reduce Site Loading Time

Customers don’t want and shouldn’t have to wait forever for a page to load. Capitalise on your customer’s attention span by hooking them the moment they land on your page. To do this, make sure your website loads quickly by optimising images and compressing code wherever possible.

Make each of your pages render quickly on all devices and browsers. You may need to revisit your design by consulting an expert web developer. You can also try web hosting and no-code ecommerce website builders to help you establish an optimised website.

2. Ensure mobile optimisation

Mobile optimisation across different handheld devices is a must for ecommerce success. If you perform a competitor analysis, you will see that most relevant brands follow a mobile-first responsive web design.

Mobile-first design works, especially since more and more customers shop using their handheld mobile gadgets.

In addition, your website should also be responsive. This means that your content (images, copy, etc.) can automatically adjust to fit the space available on the screen of a user.

3. Optimise landing page designs

By optimising your landing page, you will appeal to customers wanting hassle-free transactions. An optimised landing page serves as an usher with the right words, the right items, and the right design.

To test out your ecommerce landing page, it is recommended that you perform A/B testing to ensure that your optimisation efforts are data-driven and efficiently implemented.

A/B testing refers to showing 2 or more versions of your webpage to users at random occurrences. Once enough data is gathered using this method, user experience and behaviour will be measured and analysed to determine which version performed better.

A/B testing has been a long-proven strategy to pinpoint and solve visitor pain points, reduce bounce rate, and ultimately increase ecommerce conversion rate and ROI.

4. Add social proof

Consumers tend to trust products with social proof. Providing genuine reviews and testimonials on your website as much as you can will help solidify your reputation to new and existing customers.

User-generated content and average user reviews are some examples of social proof. You can also partner with trusted celebrities and influencers and let them review your products.

Be careful to only establish partnerships that will help establish the authenticity of your product and brand.

5. Include video and other engaging media

Every ecommerce business should get to know and understand its customer demographics: their preferences, what leads them away from making a purchase, what gets their attention, their surfing habits, and how best to communicate with them.

By providing content that resonates with your target audience, be it in the form of videos, images, diagrams, or helpful guides, among others, you will be able to establish deeper connections.

Also, make sure that your copy and design work together to match your brand voice and relay clear messaging.

For example, aside from aesthetically engaging posts, you can publish content that would appeal to different emotions of your audience.

6. Optimise the checkout process

A simple and straightforward checkout process helps the customers go through their purchase without room for second thoughts. For example, simply reducing the number of steps in the checkout process will help reduce cart abandonment.

The key words to remember for optimising the check out process is making it fast and easy. Try to reduce instructions or fill up forms that could cause the customer to be frustrated and back out of the purchase altogether.

Follow a UX design that is intuitive and navigable. That way, no matter what computer expertise level your customer has, they can continue the checkout process conveniently.

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7. Ensure all payment options are offered

Your business should cater for all payment options available. Even if you don’t, make sure your customer knows which payment options you offer. Some websites display their payment options as early as the landing page or shopping cart page. Don’t withhold this information until the end of the checkout process, as this can cause frustration that can lead to cart abandonment.

8. Offer free shipping

Anything offered free is appealing – especially when it comes to shipping options. Additionally, incentives can make your customers order items they initially didn’t search for. However, ensure that you communicate what is required (e.g. minimum purchase, etc.) to qualify for your free shipping offer.

9. Present personalised, dynamic content

Customer data will help you make the customer experience much more convenient. For example, collecting cookies will help you give return visitors much more personalised and dynamic content that’s related to their previously recorded interests.

Personalised content according to their demographic could also help them access shopping options as easily as they can.

For example, for ecommerce clothing brands, showing female clothing items to a female visitor would make her experience much easier.

10. Win back visitors who have abandoned their carts

Most ecommerce websites suffer from cart abandonment. One strategy often used by marketers to win them back is by sending cart abandonment recovery emails.

Cart abandonment emails appeal to the customers to go back to their shopping cart and finish their purchase. You can include enticing offers, such as exclusive discounts, to persuade visitors to come back to your website. These emails are often sent in the first hour after a user abandons their cart.

11. Provide customer support

A good customer support helps build customer relationships that can result in loyal and returning customers that know and trust your brand. Some of the ways you can provide satisfactory customer support are by doing the following:

  • Establishing a fast response rate by answering quickly to all enquiries
  • Providing current contact details such as phone numbers and email, which people can call or message to communicate their queries
  • Responding to feedbacks and ensuring a convenient return and exchange processes for customers

12. Sell products or services directly via social media

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok have started integrating ecommerce features in the form of SCommerce (Social Commerce) to provide an all-in-one experience for their users. These features allow you to directly sell your products to your followers in the app.

Take advantage of these features by making sure that your social media presence is noticeable, consistent, and credible across all platforms. Increase your social media presence by putting out relevant and engaging content that can redirect your followers to your in-app shop or ecommerce website.

13. Personalise your shopping experience

Adding personalisation features to your website can have a big impact on your conversion rate. Create customer profiles and allow customers to save their preferences for future visits. This makes the customer feel like they are being given individual attention and increases the likelihood that they will convert into a sale.

14. Implement other retargeting strategies

Retargeting is a great way to target customers who have visited your website but did not make a purchase. Through retargeting, you can show ads to these customers on other websites, which can increase your chance of converting them into a sale.

15. Be better than the competition

Always observe your competition. Take note of their strategies that work as well as their mistakes. From there, understand how you can improve upon their methods, so you don’t make the same mistakes.

Designate a team to perform thorough competitor analysis. This way, you can make informed conversion rate optimisation efforts.

16. Test and evaluate all Conversion Rate Optimisation initiatives

Much like other digital optimisation processes, CRO doesn’t stop after your first initiative. It’s an ongoing process that is designed to adapt to the ever-changing environment in the ecommerce industry.

To make sure you get the best out of your CRO efforts, always test and assess your implemented strategies. This way, you can evaluate which works and which doesn’t.

Taking a data-driven approach to understanding the customer journey is key to implementing the most effective methods of improving conversion rates.

The conversion rate optimisation strategies we discussed are not a one-time initiative. As you reap their benefits, it’s best to continue evaluating your methods and doubling down on the ones that are working for your ecommerce website.

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