Having a website to sell your products is no longer sufficient to ensure site visitors will become more than just a potential lead you can get to convert to make a purchase. Businesses need to rely on more than just a flashy eCommerce website to drive their sales by understanding how to optimize their websites.
It is not uncommon for website visitors to browse your products and never make a purchase. Some visitors may add items to their shopping carts only to abandon them and not complete the sales transaction. You have attracted these people to your website and when they do not make a purchase because you are having problems closing the sale that is money left on the table. This is why marketing professionals list website and conversion rate optimization as their number one priority for the years ahead.
Before we cover optimization tips, let’s first do a quick drive of eCommerce conversion and acceptable conversion rates.
What is eCommerce conversion?
eCommerce conversion is the percentage rate of the number of people who visit your site compared to the number who actually make a sale. For instance, out of a hundred visitors, if only three make a purchase, your conversion rate is only 3%.
What percentage is considered a decent eCommerce rate?
Deciding what a decent eCommerce rate largely depends on the types of goods you sell. Low-cost products tend to have a higher conversion rate compared to high-ticket items. If you sell low-cost products, your ideal conversion rate should be fairly high. Conversely, if you sell high-cost items, your ideal conversion rate may only be between 2% and 4%.
If you want to improve your eCommerce conversion rates, you will want to use the following tips.
Tip #1: Add user-generated content (UGC) to your website.
User-generated content can help increase conversion rates. One effective use of UGC is enabling product reviews on your product pages. Potential customers can see what other customers thought about the product and could even encourage them to make a purchase.
Another effective use of UGC is enabling potential customers to filter the results, such as star rating, quality, color, size, etc. You should conduct some testing to determine what UGC works best for your products and your industry.
Tip #2: Ensure your website is easy to navigate.
If your potential leads cannot find the products they want to buy easily, they will go elsewhere. Site navigation needs to be designed so visitors can quickly find the products they want to learn more about and potentially purchase. Drop-down menus, search features, and product categories can all assist in making site navigation easier.
Tip #3: Verify your website design is responsive.
A responsive website design automatically adjusts the site content to fit with the type of device the person is using to browse your site. So, if a person visits your site on their smartphone, your website should be able to automatically detect this and route them to your mobile-friendly pages.
Tip #4: Keep page load times to 3 seconds or less.
People are in a hurry even when they are shopping online. If it takes more than 3 seconds for your web pages to load, there is a high probability they will leave and go elsewhere. While you cannot control the speed of the connection your visitors have, you can optimize your page load times using various techniques like compressing high-quality images.
Tip #5: Promote website security.
Customers are not comfortable providing their payment details if they are not sure whether your website is secure. There are security seal images you can add to your website in key locations, such as on the shopping cart checkout page to let customers know their transaction is secure.
Tip #6: Keep checkout processes simple and easy.
Customers do not want to have to go through multiple pages to checkout and make purchases. Ideally, they want a single page where they can enter their name, shipping information, promotional offers, and payment information to complete the sale.
Tip #7: Encourage customers to create a free online account.
To make checkout processes even faster, invite customers to create a free online user account where they can store their shipping and payment information, as well as have access to their online order histories. Whenever they want to make a purchase, they enter their email address and password to complete the transaction.
Tip #8: Offer the payment options your customers desire.
You should offer a range of payment options for your customers besides debit and credit card payments. You could increase your conversion rates by also offering digital wallet payments and installment payment options.
Tip #9: Use limited-time deals.
A pop-up box with a limited-time deal for a one-time discount can be the nudge your need to convert a site visitor. If you are looking to build your email marketing lists, you could offer a special one-time deal for site visitors that sign up for your emails.
Tip #10: Use scarcity to drive conversions.
If you have products that tend to sell out quickly, you can use this to your advantage. You could automate your inventories so when they get below a certain threshold, they automatically update the product page to say low inventory on the item or a message to say the item is almost of stock so order now before it is gone.
Tip #11: Remind customers of abandoned shopping carts.
If you have captured customers’ emails and/or smartphone numbers, you can use these to build automated workflows that remind them they abandoned their shopping carts. When reaching out to customers who left items in their carts, you could send an initial reminder initially within a few hours. 24 hours later, follow it up with a second reminder that offers a one-time deal or implies low stock on the items, if applicable.
Tip #12: Offer free shipping.
Shipping costs can quickly add up for eCommerce businesses. However, research has shown that when businesses offer free shipping, conversion rates increase. Most online businesses have a set threshold for free standard shipping. Many consumers are happy to spend more to reach this threshold and wait longer for standard shipping when it is free.
Tip #13: Enable online customer service chat support.
When customers have easy access to customer service agents to ask questions about your products, they are more likely to convert. People like being able to get instant answers without having to pick up a phone, fill out an online contact form, or send an email. You can utilize a chatbot app to field general inquiries and FAQs and route more complex questions to live customer service agents.
Putting It All Together
As an eCommerce business, you are already investing time, resources, and energy to get customers to your website. The last thing you want to do is not have them convert.
There are many effective methods to help increase your eCommerce conversion rates. You should focus on the 13 tips we presented here. As you implement these tips, make sure to review your conversion rates to see how much they are increasing.
If you need help choosing automated chatbots and other tools for improving your eCommerce conversion rates, or are looking to build an all-star team to manage your eCommerce conversion strategies, please feel free to contact The eCommerce Quarterback for further information and to request a free consultation today!
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