We aren’t going to do some long introduction about what conversion rates are and why they are important as it is pretty simple:
- The higher your conversion rate
- The more revenue you make without having to get more traffic
- The better your marketing’s ROI
Because what you want to know is how can I increase my conversion rate?
In this post, we are going to cover some of the simple things you can do that can have a big impact on conversion rates and set up a foundation for more advanced things like heat mapping, so let’s get started.
- Average Ecommerce Conversion Rates
- 1. Speed Matters
- 2. Remove Pop-ups
- 3. Site Design & Usability
- 4. Show Your Site is Trustworthy
- 5. Display Contact Information
- 6. Add Live Chat
- 7. Mobile Design & Usability
- 8. Use Original, High Quality Images
- 9. Add Videos to your Page
- 10. Write an Original Product Description
- 11. Remove Objections
- 12. Add Social Proof
- 13. Add Urgency
- 14. Make Your Add to Cart/Buy Button Stand Out
- 15. Streamline The Checkout Process
- 16. Remove the Discount Box
- 17. Offer Free Shipping
- 18. Offer Multiple Payment Options
- 19. Enable Guest Checkout
- Testing and Analytics
Average Ecommerce Conversion Rates
Actually, before we do let’s take a quick second to look at average conversion rates, so that you can set realistic goals for where you want your conversion rate to be.
Recent data from Kibo found that the average ecommerce version rate was 2.65%, interestingly Desktop (3%) and Tablet (3%) had higher conversion rates than Mobile (2%).
But even if your store is falling in this average range of 2-3%, there are probably areas that you can still improve and even a 0.5% increase could result in a significant increase in revenue and profit.
1. Speed Matters
One of the key components to improving your conversion rate is speed as you can have the best sales funnels in the world but if your site is slow, it won’t matter.
This is because speed directly relates to user experience as slow sites are frustrating (we’ve all experienced them) and the longer it takes for a site to load, the more likely that person is going to click off and go somewhere else.
When it comes to improving site speed, it very much depends on the platform you are using but some general things include:
- Optimizing images
- Using a fast loading theme
- Keeping the number of apps or plugins to a minimum
- Reduce the number of redirects on your site
Use tools like Uptrends Speed Tool or Google PageSpeed Insights to check how well your site performs and look for areas where it can be improved.
2. Remove Pop-ups
For this we are talking about pop-ups that appear when a visitor first lands on your site that tries to get them to sign up to your email list, while these can be helpful in building an email list, they could be harming their conversion rate because:
- They can slow sites down (it is another thing to load)
- You are putting a barrier between the potential customer and the product
So try removing these if you are running them but don’t remove essential pop-ups for things relating to data compliance.
3. Site Design & Usability
First impressions count and the aesthetics of your site play a big part in this, which is why you want to use a modern design on your site because if looks like it hasn’t been updated since 2010, it can cause people to question the credibility of your site.
The second part of this is usability as the easier your site is to use, the better the customer experience, so make sure that:
- Your navigation menu is well design and easy to use
- Add filters to your category pages so that customers can easily find the products they are looking for
- Add search functionality to your site
A good methodology for site design is keep it simple, a clean, easy to use site will likely have a much higher conversio rate than a crowded, complicated site.
4. Show Your Site is Trustworthy
An important part of convincing people to buy from you is to build trust and there are a number of things you can do to show that your site is trustworthy and that it is safe to buy from you, these include:
- Make sure you are running on HTTPS so that customers don’t see that horrible ‘site not secure’ notification
- Add any trust badges from reputable sources
- Show any professional memberships you have with a link to your profile with the organization
These can be very important, especially as a lot of your traffic will probably be people that have never bought from you or possibly even heard of you before.
5. Display Contact Information
This also part of building trust with your customers as reputable, trust-worthy sites prominently display their contact information, with a professional:
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Business location (if applicable)
And knowing how they can contact you helps to build trust in their eyes, even though may never have to contact you.
6. Add Live Chat
One of the primary methods people use to contact businesses is live chat, with 43% of people being likely to use this option and adding live chat to your store can increase conversion rates because:
- It is another way that they can contact you and may be the preferred option
- They may have a question about the product and they can ask it directly on the product page
When it comes to offering live chat, you can have a human answer it within your business hours or have a chat bot as the initial point of contact and this will be available 24/7.
7. Mobile Design & Usability
Even though traffic from mobile devices doesn’t convert as well as traffic from others, you still want to make sure that your site works as well on mobile devices as it does on desktop as over 50% of web traffic now comes from mobile devices.
Things like Google’s Core Web Vitals can provide valuable information on your sites mobile performance and when customizing your site, make sure to check how it looks in the mobile viewport and finally, check it on an actual mobile device!
8. Use Original, High Quality Images
One of the most important selling aspects of your products is to use high-quality images of your product and it is amazing how many people buy just from the images.
You also want to avoid using manufacturer’s stock images as you want your site to stand out from the rest, so you want to:
- Take your own product images
- Show the product from all angles
- Include relevant information such as dimensions for applicable products
For some products, it can also be useful to show them being worn or used as this helps the customer visualize what the product will be like in real life, which is why most clothing retailers use models to show how good the product looks when being worn.
9. Add Videos to your Page
For some products, adding videos showing the product being used can lead to a jump in conversion rates as a video can show things that normal pictures can’t and once again, it gives customers an idea of:
- What the product will be like in real life such as how big it will be
- Whether the product will be suitable for what they need it for
And once again, creating an original video for this will be better than one from the manufacturer, especially if you can provide more information in your video than they do in theirs.
10. Write an Original Product Description
Your product description is your sales pitch and a well-written product description can not only help improve conversion rates and also help your store’s SEO.
When it comes to writing a product description that converts, there are some best practices that can be very helpful:
- Don’t use manufacturers descriptions, there may be hundreds of sites using it
- Write short, punchy paragraphs as people generally skim read
- Use bullet points for things such as product information or specifications
- Sell the benefits of the product not just the features, this can evoke an emotional response
Basically, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to consume the information in your product description.
11. Remove Objections
This is a key element of conversion rate optimization as you want to remove as many objections that gives the customer a reason to not buy and you can do many of these directly on the product page by doing the following:
- Include any information regarding delivery charges
- Tell customers how they can return an item if they aren’t happy
- Add an FAQ section to answer any common question
By adding these to your product page, you are not only removing any objections but also not giving them a reason to leave the page as they don’t have to go hunting for this information.
12. Add Social Proof
Social proof can be great way to increase conversion rates and one of the best ways is by adding product reviews as people like to see that others have not only bought the product but also liked it and a recent study found that pages that had product reviews saw a 76.7% increase in conversion rates when compared to pages with no reviews.
So they are incredibly powerful and looking for/reading reviews has become an integral part of the buying process, with 98% of customers seeing reviews as an essential resource when making a buying decision online.
But getting reviews can be challenging, so maybe try to giving your customers something like a discount of their next order to give them an incentive to leave a review.
13. Add Urgency
This is a very psychological aspect of increasing your conversion rate as it can give people a feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) and as humans, we hate missing out on things but it has to be done correctly because if you overdo it, people are going to become aware of it and it can have the opposite effect but some of the things you could consider are:
- Time-limited offers – just make sure they are genuine offers
- Showing stock quantity – people are going to be more inclined to buy a product if there are only 1 or 2 left than if there are 100 stock
Doing this correctly can increase the chances of customers making a spontaneous purchase as they don’t want to miss out on the offer and/or product.
14. Make Your Add to Cart/Buy Button Stand Out
This is the button you want people to click on, so make it completely obvious where this button is by having it stand out from the rest of the page and there are a few things you can do help with this:
- Use a color that contrasts with your theme/brand colors as this will draw the eye to the button
- The shape of the button, if everything is square on your site, then try rounding the button as this makes it different from the other elements on the page
- Use larger or different fonts
- Make it easy to find
By making the add to cart/buy button stand out, customers know exactly where to click when they make the decision to buy that product.
15. Streamline The Checkout Process
One the customer has made the decision to click on the buy button, you want to make the process as easy as possible to get them from clicking that button to the order confirmation page and some easy ways to do this are:
- Use a single page checkout if possible
- If you can’t, then limit the number of pages/clicks the customer has to make
- Keep forms as short as they can be
Basically, you want to remove as much as you can from the checkout so that it keeps the customer focused on the process of completing the transaction.
16. Remove the Discount Box
If you don’t offer discounts or gift cards on your store then make sure that there isn’t a discount box on your cart or checkout page as this can make customers think that you do offer discounts and go searching for them, which takes them out of the buying process, which you don’t want happening.
If you do offer discount codes, then keep the discount box as simple and discreet as possible so that it doesn’t attract too much attention.
17. Offer Free Shipping
One of the biggest causes of abandoned carts is shipping costs, specifically unexpected shipping costs and you can remove this obstacle by offering free shipping so that customers are met with any surprises but if you do charge for shipping, then make the customer aware of this before they get to the checkout, which we mentioned earlier.
18. Offer Multiple Payment Options
Now we aren’t saying you need to offer 15 different payment methods as this would probably have the opposite effect but you want to offer the most popular payment options for where your store is located, for example as US or UK store would want to offer:
- Credit Card payments
- Mobile payments (Google Pay, Apple Pay)
This can be helpful with conversion rates as people have their preferred way of paying for things and by offering the most popular options, you will be catering for the majority of your customer base.
If you offer more expensive items, you could also consider offering flexible payments with options like Klarna.
19. Enable Guest Checkout
Not everyone wants to set up an account when buying from you, so offering a guest checkout option can be a great way to make life easier for these customers and even though some may only but from you once, others may come back any buy from you again, at which point they may decide to set up an account with you.
Testing and Analytics
When it comes to implementing Conversion Rate Optimization on your store, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
The wrong way is to change everything and hope something works but you don’t know what has.
The right way is to test and analyze changes on your site, often referred to as Split or A/B testing, where you test a change either against a control (your store before optimization) or against another test using the same metrics.
An example of this could be changing your add to cart button and you would do the following:
- Take a control sample, which may be your conversion rate using your existing button configuration for the last 1,000 visitors
- Implement change 1 and record the conversion rate for the next 1,000 visitors
- Implement change 2 and record the conversion rate for the next 1,000 visitors
At the the end of the testing cycle, you will be able to see if change 1 or 2 had a positive or negative impact on your conversion rate.
This will take time but it CRO is an ongoing process and you are looking to find out what works for your store and by doing it this way, you can really refine your sales funnel.
Conversion rate optimization might not be the most glamorous or exciting part of running ecommerce but it is one of the areas that can make significant impact on how successful and profitable your business is.
That is why it is best in most cases to:
- Decide on one thing you are going to change/improve
- Test and analyze the results to see if it worked or didn’t
- Rinse and repeat with the next thing
Some things may only see small improvements but anything that is helping turn your traffic into paying customers is definitely a good thing!