eCommerce is a booming business in today’s society that is only expected to gain momentum as the years go on. While launching an eCommerce business can bring you insane amounts of revenue, it’s important to realize that a great deal of work goes into building and launching an eCommerce business. That’s only if you want it to be successful.
Many decision makers who launch new eCommerce businesses think that once they choose their products, set up their online store, and launch paid ads that bring visitors to their sites, the work is done. What you might not realize is there’s more to eCommerce than launching a store and sitting back to watch it bring in money.
As the digital buying world continues to become more and more competitive, there are many do’s and don’ts you should follow. The goal is not only to bring customers to your store, but it’s also to encourage them to purchase products from your online business. This process is called conversions. Conversions don’t just happen; you need to make them happen. Once you learn how to increase conversions, you will see an increase in revenue and watch your business grow before your eyes.
What Determines Online Conversion Rates?
When it comes to a definition of conversions, the word can have different meanings from business to business. Before you can accurately define a conversion goal for your business, you need to know your end goal. Conversion rates are the percentage of visitors that land on your website and complete a desirable action.
In the case of eCommerce, most businesses hope their visitors convert by purchasing something in their online store. Other examples of conversions in eCommerce include:
- Adding products to a shopping cart
- Adding items to a wish list
- Email signups
- Social media shares
- Any other action your business finds valuable
Although the topic of conversions is broad, our tips can help any business boost their conversion rates to impact the bottom line of their monthly revenue. Through conversion rate optimization, your business can boost your sales and increase brand awareness. So, what is a good conversion rate?
All You Need to Know About Good eCommerce Conversion Rates
Although this might sound small, the average eCommerce conversion rate is between 1-2%. Overall, your online business should shoot for a 2% conversion rate or more. Our tips for higher conversion rates make improvements to the overall shopping experience. Improving the shopping experience can boost sales substantially when it comes to eCommerce.
Conversion rates are measured by a simple formula. For example, if your online store gets 10,000 visitors and 100 visitors convert, your conversion rate is 1%. Your conversion rate is measured by the total transactions with your online store divided by the total visits of your websites. This number multiplied by 100 gives you your conversion rate percentage.
Once you determine what your conversion rate is, you can analyze your eCommerce store to see where you need to improve. Where are customers getting stuck in the shopping experience? When you identify conversion issues, you can fix the problems that are holding your eCommerce business back. Before you know what to do to increase conversions, you need to analyze what your current visitors are doing to create proper eCommerce conversion rate benchmarks for your online store.
Your eCommerce consulting team will likely use invaluable measuring tools to analyze your current conversion rate issues. Google Analytics, for example, can give you insight on things like:
- How visitors found your website
- How long they stay on your website
- The demographics of your visitors
- Whether or not your visitors are new or returning
- How many visitors turned to conversions
Additionally, BigCommerce Analytics can identify shopping cart abandonment products, in-store purchases, and keyword searches from potential customers. Your eCommerce consulting team will be able to identify the best tool to get visitor interaction information for your website and figure out what areas you need to improve when it comes to conversion rates.
Best Ways to Boost eCommerce Conversion Rates and Increase Sales in 2019
Now that you understand what determines conversion rates and what you need to shoot for to achieve good conversion rates, let’s jump right into the top ways to boost sales in 2019 with conversion rate optimization.
1. Optimize your product pages with high-quality images and video.
Your images and video are the only way to show customers your products. Think about what you would want to see if you were shopping for something online. Since customers can’t touch or try your products, you need to deliver high-quality, detailed images and videos that highlight the best features of what you’re selling. This allows your customer to see exactly what they are getting. If you can create an amazing user visualization, you’ll showcase your products better and increase your conversion rates.
2. Offer free shipping.
Amazon has been a complete game changer for the world of eCommerce. Although Amazon Prime comes with a yearly charge, many online shoppers fail to remember that their shipping costs are actually paid for through their membership fees. Therefore, they have grown to expect a certain standard of shipping when they do their online shopping. If your online store doesn’t offer free shipping, your potential customers are going to go elsewhere. Free shipping is a must! So, how will you absorb the potential loss in revenue by offering this amenity to your customers? That’s an easy one! The idea of free shipping is actually a psychological game. When you set your product prices, you can increase them to cover shipping costs without your customers even realizing.
3. Set product prices that are competitive.
There are so many competitors in the world of eCommerce that you need to set yourself apart with your pricing if you want to survive. If you are selling name brand products, or quality products that many other stores offer, you need to price them at or below the average. If you don’t, you are destined for failure because you simply won’t compete with others in your industry. Make sure to adjust your prices regularly. And, be sure you are marketing to the right target audience. When you pair competitive pricing with quality marketing and high-quality imagery, you have the right formula for an influx of revenue.
4. Create limited time coupon codes for customers.
Limited time coupon codes are a great way to encourage customers to take action with your online store. Creating coupon codes that customers feel are unique but time-sensitive will drive urgency. This is a great way to increase conversion rates because shoppers will avoid thinking about the purchase and follow through quickly.
5. Test your eCommerce checkout process regularly and tweak it as needed.
One of the biggest mistakes many eCommerce businesses make is that they fail to deliver an amazing checkout process. When the checkout process is too long, complicated, or faulty, this is the easiest way to lose customers. By the time potential customers get to the checkout, they are ready to buy. If they come up against problems at that point, they are likely to get frustrated and leave your store. A/B testing and personalization strategies should be regularly performed to ensure you deliver the best checkout process to your customers. Talk to your eCommerce development team about the best ways to improve your checkout process.
6. Implement cart abandonment software.
This step is an absolute must when it comes to eCommerce conversions. When someone lands on your website, places an item in your cart, then leaves without following through with a purchase, this is called cart abandonment. The great news about this common eCommerce issue is that there are abandoned cart software available to increase store conversion rates.
Once users have added items to their shopping cart on your website then left your store, they have usually already entered their email contact information. Abandoned cart software allows you to create follow-up emails that will send the user an email reminder about the items left in their cart.
In order to increase conversion rates, you should equip these follow-up emails with a coupon code that offers a discount incentive to follow through with the order. While the success of cart abandonment software varies from business to business, it is definitely helpful to all eCommerce stores. Some stores see as much as a 30% increase in conversion rates when using this type of software.
7. Brag about the safety of your eCommerce store.
When it comes to online purchases, safety is a must. As customers enter their most sensitive information, they want to be sure it is safe to make a purchase on your website. While you will highlight the safety of your online store in small ways, it makes a huge impact on your conversion rates. Trust is everything when it comes to eCommerce and you only have a short amount of time to deliver a sense of trust to your potential customers. If you want to increase conversion rates, you need to be sure you find and implement ways to enhance your on-site trust.
With all the illegitimate online stores filtering around, you need to put industry-standard security practices in place. Some common ways to show site security are to install an SSL at checkout and throughout your site, show small images of credit cards and other payment options, and display some sort of security badge.
8. Implement live chat software.
This is another great way to increase conversion rates, but you need to be careful with this tactic. When it comes to live chat software, you need to be sure that someone is available during business hours to immediately respond to customers who request to chat with your business. If your customers are constantly coming up against a notice that you are unavailable, they will get frustrated with your business and you will send a bad impression.
When used the right way, live chat software can create a human connection between your eCommerce store and your customers that help build long-term customer relationships. Live chat done right leads to an improved sense of trust surrounding your business.
9. Organize your products so your visitors can easily find what they need.
When it comes to your product categories, you need to structure your website in a way that makes sense. The goal is to help your viewers reach the products they are looking for as fast as possible. You can add filter fields to the top of your category pages and allow customers to “shop by color” or “shop by price.” Always be sure to include a search option for customers to find your products easily. The easier the process, the more likely your viewers will convert to paying customers.
10. Allow your customers to check out as guests.
This is extremely important to some customers. Since nearly every online store requires customers to create an account, customers get overwhelmed with this requirement. When it comes to future marketing, you really don’t need customers to create an account anyways. You will have their name and email address, which are the most important pieces of information for future marketing.
11. Make sure your product descriptions provide all necessary details.
As mentioned earlier, your online store is the only chance customers get to “see” your products. Since they can’t touch or try your products, it’s important to provide detailed product descriptions so the customer knows exactly what they are getting. This is also helpful in preventing future product returns. Additionally, if you create your product descriptions with SEO in mind, this can help your search engine rankings.
12. Allow customers to review products right on your website.
Customer reviews are one of the leading reasons people follow through with online purchases. Most individuals searching for a product online turn to reviews to get information about a product before they buy. It’s important for you to build reviews of your products. You can do so by offering a coupon code or other incentive for future purchases for customers who provide reviews. You can also use a review building software to allow customers to provide complaints or negative feedback without it directly affecting your online reviews. This is a great resource because customers feel that you are willing to hear and address their issues, creating an even better customer experience, believe it or not.
13. Make your “add to cart” and “checkout” buttons stand out.
Actionable buttons, also called “call-to-action” buttons, can lead to higher conversion rates. When your “add to cart” and “checkout” buttons are engaging, customers are more likely to follow through with a purchase. When these buttons aren’t easy to access, you run the risk of missing potential customers. BigCommerce users can even customize their buy buttons to gain more conversions.
14. Create a great product return policy.
Of course, you don’t want to encourage your customers to return products, but you do want to make it clear that the option is easy if needed. Studies show that over 50% of customers will read the return policy before making a purchase. A good product return policy tells potential customers that you are confident in the quality of your products and you stand by them. You shouldn’t over promise with your product return policy, but you should certainly make it a painless and easy process.
15. Optimize your eCommerce store for mobile devices.
As we ended 2018, mobile devices accounted for more than 1/3 of retail sales. This number is only expected to grow throughout 2019. If your eCommerce store does not deliver a perfect mobile experience, you will certainly lose customers. As mobile commerce continues to grow, the majority of sales will eventually come from mobile shoppers. Creating an amazing mobile shopping experience is crucial to your future success.
16. Display your contact information properly.
Your most important contact information should be prominently displayed throughout your website. eCommerce stores who clearly display their phone number and email address are known to have higher conversion rates. Customers gather a sense of trust from websites who show them that they can easily pick up the phone and talk to someone if they need assistance.
17. Deliver valuable, relevant content.
Content is still king when it comes to the online world. Therefore, you need to deliver frequent, useful, and valuable content to your viewers. Your products should have all the information customers need to follow through with a purchase. Landing pages, blog pages, and any other content should educate, inform, and engage your target audience. When you deliver valuable content, you become a trusted resource in your niche industry. This also helps increase your organic traffic and improves your SEO results.
18. Find ways to gather customer emails.
Capturing customer emails as they navigate your eCommerce store is of extreme importance to your future marketing strategies. In many cases, visitors may take more than one session to convert. If you can effectively gather your customers’ emails through pop-ups, coupon code offers, and other incentives, you can market to these customers with future promotions that encourage them to make the purchase. This is an important way to increase conversion rates.
19. Engage visitors quickly.
First impressions are everything! If you can’t grab your visitor’s attention in the first three seconds when they land on your page, you will probably lose them. Images, videos, content, and an organized store layout are great ways to impress your visitors.
20. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with too many calls to action.
Although we mentioned early that you should clearly display “add to cart” and “checkout” buttons throughout your website, you should also be careful about overwhelming your viewers with calls to action. Place your share icons, wishlist buttons, and cart buttons in one place on the page that makes sense for what you are encouraging your viewers to do.
21. Deliver a clear message of why buyers should do business with you.
What sets your business apart? Why should customers purchase from your store? With all the competition in the eCommerce industry, it’s important to create a unique selling proposition that explains why a visitor should buy from you. You need to stand out from the competition. When you create a unique value for your business, you will see higher conversion rates and customers who are excited to purchase your products.
22. Monitor analytics and optimize your store when necessary.
As you implement a variety of different conversion rate optimization methods, you need to make sure they are working to your benefit. Analyze your efforts. Tweak your strategy where necessary and optimize your store. You need to see that your value per customer and your bottom line are increasing as your conversion rates increase. While getting more traffic is a good thing, you need to do something with your traffic in order for your sales to explode.
23. Test, Test, Test.
One of the best ways to improve your conversion rates is to constantly be testing your efforts. A/B testing is the best way to be sure your new conversion rate optimization strategy is working. Leverage tools like Google Optimize. Talk to your eCommerce SEO team about new design and development ideas to leverage better results.
24. Add personalization strategies to deliver more to your customers.
Personalization is huge in today’s eCommerce industry. Have you ever gone to a website searching for a product then seen advertisements for that product every time you perform a search or scroll through your social media profiles? You can optimize your website so that it personalizes searches for your customers. Personalized customer experience will bring your viewers directly to the products they want to buy, shorten the process, and increase your conversion rates.
25. Add progress bars to your checkout to avoid customer frustration.
Customers want to know how much time the process is going to take. As one-click checkout process becomes more and more popular, it’s important to deliver the fastest checkout process possible. Progress bars allow our customers to know where they are in the process and see how much longer it will take to complete their purchases. This helps keep customers through the entire purchase process and prevent cart abandonment.
26. Use user tracking and communication software to deliver even more personalization.
In today’s market, there is no excuse to not deliver personalized user experience across multiple platforms. For example, if you offer a coupon code through email, you want the code to automatically be applied when your customer clicks through on the email. If you make users take extra steps, you are hurting your performance and will ultimately see lower conversion rates. Remember, the entire process should be easy!
How to Continue the Conversion Optimization Strategy After Your First Sale
Conversion optimization doesn’t end once you make your first sale. Likewise, it doesn’t end as you continue to make sales in the future. As mentioned earlier, a 2% conversion rate is good. But, you should continue to reach for more! Small tweaks in the process can boost your bottom line and increase conversion rates so you’ll benefit from more sales in the future.
Your goal should be to gather new customers while driving repeat purchases from existing customers.
The psychology of gaining long-term customers starts with small steps. In the beginning, your customer may only be comfortable making a small purchase. This is your opportunity to impress your buyers and bring them back to your store. Once they make a purchase, your goal is to bring them back for more. But, you need to lure them with special offers, customized coupon codes, or free products. Subscription services are a great way to gain business while delivering more to your customers.
Through each step of the process, you need to continually educate your customers on why they need to purchase new products from your store. When you keep your customers engaged with your brand, you can lead them down a higher cost sales funnel. This is best done by using their email address to deliver content that nurtures future purchases.
Every step in this process doesn’t work for everyone. But, these steps will do a great job to increase conversion rates in some way for your business. Conversion rate optimization is extremely valuable to all eCommerce businesses, regardless of size and industry. When you take steps to increase conversion rates, you will not only see an increase in sales, but you will also see an increase in brand engagement and interaction.
Start with a baseline goal of 1-2% conversion rate and implement the above-mentioned steps to help you reach that goal. If you want to find success in eCommerce, the goal shouldn’t be to grab a quick sale, it should be to build your brand. Build your brand and you build your future.