If you’ve poured years of effort into building an online store, the least you can expect is to have a successful eCommerce business that attracts frequent customers.
Online shopping has seen a massive spike recently, especially since millions of people are studying and working from home. Rising businesses tend to focus on increased webpage traffic, and that’s a perfectly understandable goal, but is that enough?
If there’s one thing more important in your digital marketing strategy than increasing website traffic, then that’s your online conversion rate. And, if your eCommerce store has fewer customers paying for the products, maybe improving traffic is not the ultimate step. Even if you have employed tricks and techniques to improve traffic in the past and it hasn’t increased your conversion rate, what then?
There are some simple steps that we will cover in this article, but first, let’s look at what a conversion rate is. Also, we’ll help calculate the conversion rate for your online store, so it’s easy to determine how much of a boost you need to generate more sales.
What Is The Conversion Rate For eCommerce?
In short, the conversion rate is the percentage of people who visited the online store and made a purchase. Usually, stores use conversion rates to indicate how successful their business is going so far. And although sales are the best thing for an eCommerce website, a few other things also count as small wins.
Along with online sales, the following are also considered conversions:
- When the customer adds a product to the wishlist
- When the customer saves the product to view later
- Shares on social media
- Email registration
What Is A Good eCommerce Conversion Rate?
Let’s talk realistically. The average eCommerce conversion rate for any is 2%. That may not seem like a lot, and you’re right; it’s not a lot indeed. But if you are just starting, this should be your goal, to begin with.
Note that factors like industry, target audience and the product cost will change the conversion percentage. And the average conversion rates will differ depending on the type of eCommerce industry.
Why Does eCommerce Conversion Rate Matter Anyway?
How do you improve the eCommerce conversion rate? Why do you need to worry so much about increasing it? As it turns out, there are many reasons to focus on conversions besides the obvious reasons of increased income and higher visibility.
Yes, we know that you know that increased conversion rates mean more money. But, really think about it for a minute. A higher conversion rate increases your revenue, but it also reduces the budget you would use for advertising.
B. Increased Website Value
Many things add value to your website. Adding clear copy, proper landing pages, ensuring an easy user experience, decreasing ambiguous information, and adding quality content are great ways to increase website value. A reasonable conversion rate also verifies that your company is worth its time, and your website value automatically rises.
C. Remarket Or Repeat Customers
We don’t know anything about your eCommerce store. The only thing we know for sure is that the best place you can get a bunch of future sales is from the list of your past buyers. It’s true; remarketing will get you a higher chance of sales than any other target group. But the catch is that you can’t have repeat customers if you don’t get the first sale.
But once you have a sizeable group of first-time purchases, remarketing to them is a smart choice. This group is more likely to purchase your product than new people unaware of your website and brand.
Winner Takes All Theory For eCommerce Conversion Rates.
This is a concept that might need an in-depth explanation. There are several games based on a “Catch-up” structure for children’s games. This means whenever the leading player inches closer to the end of the game, and some obstacle can pull him back. In a game like snakes and ladders, this adds an element of unpredictability, thus making the game fun.
However, there are other games in which the leading player always wins. Businesses must have seen this in effect too. Now, another popular kind of competition is the winner takes all situation. This model, also called “Slight Edge,” is one where only the winner receives the entire prize.
Thus, the winner gets stronger, more competitive, and continues to have the edge over its competition. In short, you can call it market domination. This is what eCommerce is all about. Even minor differences between companies allow one to emerge as the overall “winner.”
However, as hopeless as this may sound, there is a solution to surviving and thriving in a competitive online space. And the most obvious method for eCommerce is to increase the conversion rates. When you have a high conversion rate, you are winning.
And in a competitive environment, it’s not enough to be good enough. In the online world, a market leader gets it all. So, when it comes to your niche, make sure that you are that leader.
Calculating Conversion Rate For An eCommerce Website
Let’s say you have 1,000 people visiting the online store, and out of them, ten people end up purchasing one or more of your products. In this case, your conversion rate is 1%, and you should aim to increase it to at least 2%.
Divide the conversion number by the number of people visited, and you reach a percentage called conversion rate. Usually, you should consider the number of visitors within 24 hours to get this rate.
You can also opt for different statistics for conducting market research. Select specific age groups and use other locations to understand which group often purchases from your website. With this data, you can identify the contributors to your eCommerce site and get more insights into why the conversion rate is the way it is.
So, if you’re feeling ambitious and aim to increase the rate to 3% or maybe even 5 %, we’ve got a few steps you should follow.
Tools You Can Use To Increase Conversion Rates
Most websites can benefit from the insights provided by Google Analytics. The Google Search Console feature gives you a general idea of users’ commonly applied keywords. These people may or may not be coming to your website, but you will understand the trends and what people are looking for.
This feature is helpful because it shows you errors on your website that can be improved to draw in more users. People do not want to wait for more than a second to open a website; that’s the fact we have to live with.
So, it’ll be helpful if Google Analytics can point out if the page is loading slower than what’s considered normal. Or if you have a page with a broken link. These issues can affect your website ranking, so make it a point to verify your eCommerce page with Google to enable the search console tools.
Here are a few other factors Google Analytics can help with:
- Understanding how users found your website- was it during a keyword search, a direct link, or another website?
- Determining the time users spend on your website.
- Check where your visitors are from- this helps find which country or state is predominantly interested in your product.
- Whether viewers use a mobile or a computer device and the browser used to search keywords online.
- Are the visitors first-timers, or have they visited the website earlier?
The most common feature of any analytics program is the ability to check keywords. With this platform, too, you can check what your customers/visitors are typing in the BigCommerce search tool.
Also, you can see the keywords and language that customers prefer and compare them with the content on your website. If the language is different, you can modify it to match the keyword used by the customer so that there are instant matches.
Using BigCommerce for a while? Then you might know that they have an analytics section in the panel that shows new shopping carts. You can check which items were sitting in the cart when the visitor decided to abandon them.
These sections in BigCommerce will help understand the issues that impact conversion rates. So, this option won’t provide any significant insights and ideas into your eCommerce if you are starting. But we think this system will benefit those who already have an established customer base.
Another tool we decided to include is the Quantcast Measure. So, what exactly does this option analyse and tell you? Quantcast measures the visitors’ site usage and gives you valuable data on each visitors’ click. You can call it a tag-based analytics tool that has found a hole to fill that Google or Facebook Analytics may not fulfil.
As a seller, this tool will make you happy because it gives you a chance to get to know the website visitor individually. This information makes it possible to create custom messages, content, ideas, and images that will most likely attract an individual visitor.
Now, other analytics provide reasonably good results regarding the visitors, too. For example, many of them will tell you the country the user resides in and show the results and performance of the average website in your country. Quantcast does all this and more. It can show you results on the composition view, which is demographics in the form of percentages of the whole.
Practically speaking, you get insights into the visitors to your website and the differences between them and the general population.
Are you curious about how your website visitors view the website? How do they interact on the pages? Understanding the details of which parts the users find interesting enough to click on will be helpful for your future strategies. And, HotJar is one analytics tool that can do it the best.
HotJar takes user movement to the next level. Since it is a heat-mapping tool, it can provide accurate information on cursor movement, clicks, and scrolling depth. Cursor movement will tell you which areas the cursor hovers over and parts that the user altogether skips.
As you can imagine, by heat mapping the clicks, you get a view of the buttons or sections that are most popular with visitors. Scroll depth gives you how many times the person scrolls before clicking on something or leaving the page.
Depending on the kind of plan you choose, HotJar compiles the sum of the whole of 1,000 to 10,000 page views and presents it to you for evaluation. But that’s not all you get from HotJar. It also has a feature of recording individual user sessions, so you get data about visitor behaviour in real-time.
Additionally, if you are interested in some specific piece of information, filter the relevant ones to you. For example, it might be vital to understand the country, device, page views, time spent on each visit, etc. Hot Jar can give you individual and average data of the same.
Simple Steps To Improve Your eCommerce Conversion Rate.
1. Use Your Store Data To Increase ECommerce Conversion Rates
If you want to change how the online store performs, you need to know the most minor details about its current situation. With so many metrics and options that provide seemingly unending data, it may seem not easy to focus on the bits of data that matter.
This is why we’ve created a list of the most critical aspects of your store that will give you valuable and useable data.
A. Website Visitors
Keep track of all the visitors to the website; this will help determine which ones are new customers and how many come back often.
B. Conversion To Customers
This one is obvious. We will discuss this in detail soon but keep your current data stored somewhere. You need to know where you started to get to the end goal.
C. Sales Trends
Make a note of how many products you sold throughout the day/week/month. How much money did you generate? Does the income generated from the store meet your financial goal? If you don’t have sales goals yet, create one and start achieving it.
Do you know the number of transactions that occur in your store? Check the number of orders placed in one day. Are some days better performing than others? How many customers are abandoning their shopping carts? If you collect information over a month or above, you’ll get a good idea about which days of the week are better performing.
And determining what caused the spike in transactions on those days will help you recreate such high selling periods.
E. Popular Products
As much as you love all your products, the customers might not feel so. There will always be one or two products that customers love to buy. And as a seller, it’s your job to know which products those are. You can also provide relevant developments relating to customers’ search queries in the same product category. This provides a personalised shopping experience and is used by many eCommerce businesses.
2. Increase Your ECommerce Website Speed
The online world is all about speed. A slow website is not an option in this competitive industry. According to Yottaa, 57% of shoppers leave the eCommerce website after 3 seconds if it is slow. That’s how short the attention span is now a days, so online stores have to face this fact and grab a potential customer’s attention within 3 seconds.
Hence, one of the best things you can do to stay ahead in this game is to optimise your website speed. An optimisation solution can control the heavy content on the site so that when the customers use it, the page loads much quicker. This improves the time required to upload for the main page and across every website page.
It was found that the slower the website, the lesser the visitor traffic time. And less time spent on the website inevitably means a reduced conversion rate. If speed makes such a massive difference in the website ranking and page visits, it only makes sense to create dedicated programs and resources to optimise it.
If you want to increase your conversion rate, make sure the website loads quickly, especially on high traffic hours/days. Ultimately, even if your images are the best quality or the website design is modern and up to date, none of the upgrades matters if the webpage is slow.
However, note that the incorrect way to check your website speed is to test only the home page in one location. The correct way to test the speed is by clicking on each page and testing the time required to load. Use various browsers and locations to get an accurate speed result for your eCommerce page.
3. Create The Simplest eCommerce Checkout Process Ever
You are a customer and like checking online stores for new clothing or jewellery. You stumble upon a cool outfit, and it’s “love at first sight,” so you decide to buy the dapper dress.
Once you click on the product and “Add To Cart,” a popup asks you to rate the store. After clicking on that, another popup asks you to register your mobile number and email ID for a newsletter. Next, there was yet another distraction, with the final cart nowhere in sight.
Frustrated, you convince yourself that one cool dress is not worth the hassle. And just like that, you click out of that store and resume scrolling on social media. Session recordings and heat mapping repeatedly show that people lose patience if they go through a lengthy checkout process.
If there’s one change you want to bring to your online store, simplify the checkout process by reducing the fields required to fill. Of course, test it multiple times before applying but remember that more customers are likely to go away if this process is too complicated.
You may want to highlight every unique feature you have with multiple buttons as a seller, but it might be too much information for a customer. For example, you want to emphasise that the website has many payment options- Amazon Pay, PayPal, etc. But displaying them before the actual checkout page only creates clutter and cart abandonment.
And a busy and confusing checkout process is almost always known to dissuade customers from proceeding further. Prevent this by introducing fewer buttons- “View Cart” and “Checkout” buttons should be enough for most product pages.
4. Don’t Complicate The eCommerce Webpage Design And Layout
Let’s put it this way; easy navigation allows you to increase sales. Customer needs to know what they are looking for as quickly as possible. If potential customers do not understand your webpage design and layout, they will not think twice before moving to a competitor’s page.
This is why you must spend time carefully building each aspect of the website design. Also, work on the layout to get the edge in this winner takes all competition. Those new to eCommerce may want to stand out with unique layouts and innovative designs. We respect the thought behind it. But the layout is not where you should try out intricate new formats.
Reserve your creativity for other aspects of the business, but keep this section as simple as possible. The goal is to make the website easy to navigate for people of all age groups or technological abilities. You don’t have to copy the same design used by vast and popular brands.
Here’s an idea. Take a look at the biggest names in the eCommerce industry and study the features that customers most often react to. Market leaders often have a well-functioning search button and a variety of product categories. These product pages with categories help customers select the exact item they are looking for.
Leading companies also include recommendations based on the products viewed to increase visibility for other products.
5. Create A Sense Of Urgency
Even though this may not seem important, getting the customer to feel some loss associated with not purchasing the product can increase conversions. You can use plenty of plugins to test this out and select the best one that you think will work for the business. Having an intuitive call to action button can make a big difference.
If you produce scarcity in eCommerce, people subconsciously feel the need to avoid loss at any cost. This is how they may be influenced to purchase your product quickly. With scarcity, you convey that only a limited number of products are available, and once they get over, you don’t know when the next batch arrives.
So, if the customer likes the product, they might purchase it sooner to avoid missing out on it. For example, creating and providing time-limited coupons can encourage customers to check out before a particular time.
The customer benefits because they get the product in a reduced amount, and you get the sale in the time frame you’ve decided. When the coupon is about to reach the expiry, it will create a sense of urgency, and online shoppers are more likely to buy within the designated time.
So remember to use an attractive call to action buttons, images, and text! They can make all the difference!
6. The Need For Social Proof
One of the best ways to improve the eCommerce conversion rate is by adding social proof. When a new visitor approaches your website, an essential feeling they need to feel is trust. Unless the visitor doesn’t reach the point of trusting the information you are putting on your landing pages or product pages, they won’t proceed further.
Gary Bente, Odile Baptist, and Haug Leuschner conducted a study called “Influence of seller photos and reputation on buyer trust.” This study highlighted the importance of reducing uncertainty in the customer to encourage purchase. Interestingly, it was found that customers preferred to buy from supposedly untrustworthy sellers rather than sellers with no information at all. This shows the importance of building familiarity.
A powerful example of social proof in eCommerce is testimonials and product reviews. The biggest and most successful platforms have an open feedback system where previous customers can share their experiences. Online shoppers are constantly researching the best products and will purchase a product only if they are convinced.
If an eCommerce store displays only positive online reviews, customers can smell something fishy immediately. So instead of aiming for 100% positive reviews, work towards getting more people to interact with each other on your platform. For example, your landing page’s video reviews and real testimonials will improve your eCommerce conversion rate.
A study by Nielsen found that 84% of people trusted the word of mouth information from friends, family, colleagues, and peers the most. Thus, this type of advertising or social proof cannot be ignored. So, bring out all the social proof you have collected over the years and
7. Add A Live Chat Feature
An instant generation needs instant query resolution and support. Introducing a feature like live chat support in an eCommerce site can dramatically change the user experience. Although the customers know that the chatbot isn’t a human who can answer all kinds of queries, it provides reassurance to the user.
They will appreciate the experience of instant replies to queries if they need some assistance on your website. Simple messages from the chatbot can help make better purchase decisions quickly. This is a beneficial feature because live chats can take care of queries 24/7, thus saving your time and finances on investing in a 24/7 customer service team.
Apart from increasing engagement and sales, they also introduce visitors to new offers and products.
8. Include Only High-Quality Images
This one is straightforward- the better the quality of the pictures and videos, the higher the eCommerce conversion rates. When selecting a product that you cannot physically see and touch, the only reliance you have is on the images and videos provided by the seller. So, this becomes an essential factor for customers because they like to see detailed and engaging photos before deciding to purchase.
First of all, you’ll need a high-quality camera to capture brilliant product images from all angles. Try to express the product dimensions in the photograph using light and shadows to create depth. The images should be aesthetically appealing and relevant to the description so that it’s easier for customers to decide.
9. Make Use Of Cart Abandonment Software
Are you noticing several customers strolling into your eCommerce store, placing many items in the cart, and disappearing into thin air? If you face this issue, abandoned cart software can significantly help you improve the sales conversion rates.
This software functions if the visitor has entered their email ID, placed items in the cart and left before purchasing. Tools like BigCommerce send gentle emails to customers to remind them of the things sitting in their carts.
This is an effective way to follow up with the customer to encourage them to pick up where they left the shop. If you think it’s necessary, you can add a discount coupon in the email to give them some incentive to purchase the order.
10. Check The Reasons For An Abandoned Cart
A survey of 1799 shoppers on Baymard.com listed why people had abandoned carts instead of purchasing. The answer “I was just browsing” was removed from the answer list. But, what do you think the top reason was? An overwhelming majority of people answered that extra shipping, tax, or other fees were too high; thus, they abandoned the cart.
The third most common reason stated was a checkout process that was too long or difficult to execute. That sounds fair enough. As we’ve discussed earlier, the shorter the checkout process, the better your chances to improve the eCommerce conversion rate.
The second most common reason was “site wanted me to create an account.” This point is pretty important, and we’d like to highlight why it’s essential to allow people to shop as guests. While you would love to sell to the same customers repeatedly, realistically, this doesn’t always happen.
There will be one time customers who will never revisit your store. Some might be simply curious, others may be buying gifts for a friend, so they might not even be interested in your products. No matter why the customer doesn’t want to make an account, don’t make it compulsory to create one. In doing so, you are only reducing your eCommerce conversion rates
11. Provide As Much Information As Possible
Do not forget to provide your customers with the information they can use. And while there is such a thing as oversharing, tell your customers everything they need to know when it comes to your customers. Why the need for sharing all information, you ask?
Look at it this way- would you like it if you purchase a product and later find that it’s non-returnable. Maybe the item you bought wasn’t ideal, but now you can’t even return it. We’re sure you’d agree that these scenarios can look bad for a store.
As a general rule, write compelling product descriptions and pack them with all the details regarding the items on sale. If the customers cannot see and physically hold the product, the least you can do is describe them to the fullest. Sometimes it may even be impossible to sell a product without several details. Details like ingredient lists, types available, sizes, allergies, warning signs, precautions, and aftercare must be included.
After all, you are the best person to explain the product to customers. So, you should be able to explain it well to curious customers who have landed on your page for the first time. You can also include an FAQ section in which you’ll answer all the common queries customers have and provide vital information.
Besides this, it would also help if you provided logistical information like payment options, the time required for delivery, delivery charges, or any additional fee for online purchases.
Conversion Rates For eCommerce Websites
Maybe your eCommerce conversion rate is not as high enough as you want. Or perhaps you’re looking to boost your already established business. No matter what kind of eCommerce business you run, these tips will help you to increase conversion rates.
And while these steps should be enough to boost conversions for your web page, keep on the lookout for new and better methods to improve the traffic and conversion rates. Over time you will realise the strategies that work best for you but in the meantime, keep experimenting.
Try to offer free shipping and see how that performs, or have influencers and celebrities endorse your product on social media platforms. The list is endless.
Feel free to ask questions by reaching out to our team. Until next time, good luck!