8 Easy Ways to Increase Conversion Rate for your Online Store
Your conversion rate is the percentage of all sessions to your website, that produce the desired action or conversion. For an e-commerce retailer, the most desired conversion is most likely a purchase.
A common mistake many e-commerce retailers make is they get their site live, see it’s working, breathe a big sigh of relief and relax.
While this is understandable, the reality is it’s leaving money on the table. There’s always improvements that can be made to make it easier for people to convert on your website, lifting your conversion rate and significantly boosting your revenue.
In this article, we’ll take you through some of the most successful ways to optimise your website for more conversions.
What is a good conversion rate?
First of all, you may ask yourself, what is a good conversion rate?
With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have seen your conversion rate sky-rocket or nose-dive dramatically, depending on the type of products you sell or whether you were able to keep your online store open.
As the country starts to reopen from lockdown we know that online revenue and traffic for retailers is starting to decrease on a weekly basis. Now is an opportune time to add value to your business by conversion optimisation.
As a pre-COVID baseline, according to Wolfgang Digital’s 2020 study of digital marketing KPIs , a conversion rate of 1.8% was considered standard for online retailers.
What impact does conversion rate have on revenue?
As many online retailers have seen their traffic fluctuate over the last few months the table below illustrates the impact conversion rate has on revenue. The example below uses an average order value of €100, and shows if your monthly traffic starts to drop, improving your conversion rate only slightly can make up for the loss of traffic.
If we look at traffic of 30,000 sessions a month and a conversion rate of 1% we’ll see revenue of €30,000 per month. But if traffic decreases to 25,000 sessions per month and we improve conversion slightly to 1.25% we’ve already made up the revenue from those missing 5,000 sessions. You can use this table to measure your own metrics and to see what impact even a small increase in conversion rate can mean in terms of revenue.
Okay, let’s talk how to increase conversions
Right, so now you know the importance of conversion rate and you might have an idea of what it can mean for your business in terms of revenue. Below are 8 proven tips to improve the conversion rate and customer journey from your homepage all the way to the checkout.
1. Highlight your delivery & returns policy on the homepage
The homepage is often the first touch point for new customers who have never purchased from you before. Highlighting your delivery options, delivery costs, returns policy and any student discounts you offer on the homepage saves your customer the hassle of having to search for them.
Delivery costs are one of the main reasons for cart abandonment, so stating these costs upfront before the customer begins the purchase process will prevent them from dropping off when they see the additional delivery costs in the checkout.
2. Do everything you can to improve your website speed
Website speed can be the difference between a customer shopping on your site or one of your competitors’. It’s estimated that 70% of users will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Faster loading speeds will make users less prone to drop off and go elsewhere.
Even a fraction of a second in load time can influence every step of the user journey, ultimately increasing conversion rates. In a recent study, a 0.1 second improvement resulted in an 8% increase in conversion rate for retail sites and a 10% increase for travel sites.
You can test the speed of your own site with this handy little tool from Google: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/feature/testmysite/. The tips and recommendations can be shared with your developers on how to improve site speed.
3. Invest in quality product images
Product pages are the virtual shop windows to showcase your products. With 55% of visitors spending less than 15 seconds on any given web page, it’s critical to catch your visitor’s attention within those first few seconds.
It’s no secret that our brains love visuals and can process them faster to gauge whether a product is suitable for us. Your images should be high-quality on any screen resolution, they should show the product from multiple angles and also in context. People love to envision themselves wearing or using a product, so helping them paint that picture is key to encouraging them to purchase.
4. Give detailed product descriptions
Enticing images go a long way to make your products more enticing, but you’ll need to go further to satisfy those customers wanting to know more. Your product descriptions should focus on the unique value proposition as its main benefit – what sets your product apart from its competitors?
To further enhance conversions your description should focus on the benefits not just the features – which means that you have to emphasize the result, not just the product. Buyers are expecting to gain something by purchasing your product, and it’s your duty to convince them they will.
Ideally, the description should be a combination of a short, easy-to-read summary and a longer product description for more engaged customers. Be sure to make text scannable and digestible. Add as many details and specifications to the longer description as possible, so that no questions go unanswered.
5. Allow customers to chat with you in real-time
The product pages are often the point where customers will have the most questions. Phone support and e-mail have traditionally been the most common techniques used by e-commerce websites to assist their customers. Today’s customers expect more and conversational commerce, such as live chat is enabling customers to engage with sales support in real-time without having to leave the website at all. Not only is it handier for the customer, but according to Forester research, live chat is about 17-30% cheaper for businesses to manage than phone calls.
Live chat enables a trained agent to attend to many customers at the same time, saving the company a significant amount in staff costs needed for phone support.
Having a live chat app will give you the opportunity to answer customers in real-time, similar to offering a personal sales assistant to online customers. According to the American Marketing Association, websites that use live chat boast conversion rates that are 20% higher than websites without live chat.
6. Clearly display all relevant information in the basket
Cart abandonment can be as high as 70% and the basket stage is the most common drop-off point for customers in the conversion funnel. To discourage users from dropping off at this stage, it’s essential to clearly display all the relevant information regarding the product, so users don’t need to go back and check on any details.
Don’t forget to include:
1. Product thumbnails (large enough to see the product clearly)
2. Product name (especially important if you sell similar products)
3. Size (extremely important for fashion, clothes and so on)
4. Colour (one of the leading factors behind product returns)
5. Specifications (e.g power, capacity, memory, features…)
6. Quantity (allow them to edit the quantity in the basket)
Having all these elements clearly provided to your customers will help them quickly review their order before they purchase: this will decrease the percentage of people abandoning their cart because of unclear information.
7. Reassure customers with trust seals
It’s estimated that 18% of shoppers don’t purchase because they are concerned about security according to Baymard Institute. Trust seals and reassurance can help give users the extra push to press that ‘Pay Now’ button.
Including security badges on your checkout is a proven method to instill confidence and reduce cart abandonment. It’s also important to reassure shoppers that their personal information is protected. Even the largest, most trusted brands can benefit from labeling buttons with the words “secure checkout”. By adding trust seals and badges to the cart you will encourage users who are concerned about security to proceed with their purchase.
8. Provide the option for express checkout with PayPal
This practice is becoming more popular for online retailers over the last year. It is already expected that your online store should offer more than one method of payment. In fact, it is estimated that 50% of regular shoppers would cancel their purchase if their favorite payment method wasn’t available. With more and more mobile customers using payment methods such as PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay, online retailers that are excelling at mobile conversions are allowing users to bypass the traditional checkout process and checkout with PayPal that already stores address and delivery information.
By using PayPal to cut to the chase and placing the ‘Checkout with PayPal’
on the payment page, you give customers the option to skip typing in shipping and billing information and dramatically reduce the cart abandonment rate for mobile customers. Offering and promoting PayPal as part of a guest checkout option can also help to increase conversions, in some cases by up to 2.5%, according to one study.
With these tips in hand, you have at your disposal a checklist to make your online store laser-focused on converting more customers and getting ahead of your competitors.
Once you’ve pinpointed the main issues that may be causing a drop in conversions, take the time to fix them up one by one, while leaving everything else as is. Once you’ve resolved the issue, you can move onto the next area of improvement — and keep on going until you’ve created a well-oiled, conversion-generating website.