10 Ways to Increase Your eCommerce Conversion Rate
Are you getting exceptional traffic to your website but still aren’t meeting your sales goal? Running an online business is no simple feat, and it can even seem daunting sometimes. Any entrepreneur can tell you that building a profitable business isn’t just setting it up well; in fact, that’s only the beginning. Scaling an online business requires meticulous attention to every detail on your website, contributing to your main objective: CONVERSION.
Conversion rates can lead a company either to its profitability or its demise. It involves everything your customers see: design layout, photographs, product descriptions, etc., as well as how each of these subconsciously affects them.
We know it can get difficult, that’s why we’re here to help! To ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, we’ve compiled a checklist of steps you can take to increase your eCommerce conversion rate.
- Have a Simple, Effective Layout
It only takes two-tenths of a second for a customer to form a first impression of your website. Your homepage should grab their attention with quality images and content (but don’t overwhelm them).
It’s imperative to have an easy-to-navigate layout. You’re trying to convince customers to stay, not giving them a reason to leave! Make sure your products are easy to find. Search tabs, drop-down menus, and are all great to clean up a cluttered site.
High Mowing Organic Seeds exemplifies this with their homepage. They greet you with a clean advertisement and various options for navigation to make sure you find what you’re looking for.
- Use high-quality images
Since your customers can’t tangibly explore your products, pictures are one of the main ways they’ll decide if they need a product or not. The quality of these images influence how much they are willing to pay.
The quantity of these product images helps as well. Customers like to see exactly what they’re getting. Even if you think a side angle picture isn’t quite necessary, it’s better to show the customer every detail of the product. This promotes trust, which is difficult to gain solely online. This is especially important when a product has multiple colors and/or textures.
- Give detailed descriptions
A great description is one that truthfully and accurately promotes what you’re selling. You should give enough information to answer any question your customers could possibly ask.
If you think your description is too lengthy, it’s best to give a short snippet with a ‘show more’ option to reveal the rest of the text. Especially when selling technology, it’s important to list every spec about the product. Amazon does this without overwhelming the customer. They feature only a few selling points at the beginning, with options to continue reading.
For this product, there is also a chart comparing the different editions of Kindle, which is ideal for an unsure customer.
- Offer live chat
In the off-chance that your description didn’t answer all of your customer’s questions, live chat is a great tool to bridge the gap between uncertainty and a sale. This feature also adds a personal touch that most websites don’t offer. They’ll feel more connected to you/your company, and subsequently more apt to purchase from you.
If you use this feature, make sure that someone is always available to chat during business hours.
- Offer free shipping (or some other service)
It’s no wonder why everyone loves free shipping-- it’s FREE! Customers love to feel like they’re getting a deal (even if they aren’t). A study in 2014 concluded that 73% of customers listed free shipping as ‘critical’ when it comes to online shopping, and 93% said it encourages them to purchase more products.
If your business can’t afford to give a free service, consider increasing the cost of the products to cover the fees, or have a minimum amount that the customer must spend to qualify. Target recently dropped theirs to $25, which is on par for the average cost of their merchandise.
If the cost isn’t too steep, the customer will more than likely add to their cart to meet the minimum amount.
- Simplify your shopping cart
It seems elementary to business owners, but make sure your customers can find the shopping cart! If your cart icon is hard to find, your customers aren’t going to spend all day trying to figure it out.
A one-page shopping cart (similar to Amazon's) is ideal. Each step of the checkout process is collected on one page and separated into sections with drop-down menus. The customer doesn’t have to go several pages filling out information while risking to lose any information due to technical errors.
Since this is the final step before the sale (woooo!), make sure it’s the easiest step for the customer. Don’t give them a reason to leave now. Although customer databases are important, allow shoppers to checkout as guests to avoid the hassle of filling out even more spaces. Besides, you’ll already have their name, email, and mailing address for future marketing purposes.
- Follow up on abandoned carts
Emergency phone call. Screaming toddlers. Cell phone died. Boss walked by and saw them not working. These are only a few of hundreds of reasons how someone can be interrupted before they have the chance checkout. Don’t let these customers slip through the cracks. A simple email reminder can be the difference between a browser and a lifetime customer.
Banana Republic understands how important follow up emails are. Above is an example of how they adamantly lessen the amount of their abandoned carts.
- Optimize your email capabilities
Emails are one of the most effective ways to get traffic directly to your site. Great email content can include: welcome newsletter, order confirmation/thank you, personalized promotions for repeat shoppers, content marketing, seasonal promotions, general discounts, etc. The possibilities are virtually endless! Take advantage of this simple yet effective 1:1 marketing tactic that can boost your sales and longevity.
Another thing that draws traffic to your site is urgency-- customers hate to feel like they’re going to miss out on a deal. A simple promotional email with timely savings and deals is a sure-fire way to attract customers.
- Allow customers to leave reviews
Don’t just allow it, encourage it! Reviews can help an on-the-fence customer make the leap, and it adds an additional level of authenticity to your brand. People like to know they’re getting a quality product in return for their hard-earned money.
Reviews can also help you better your business. Good reviews can boost morale and poor reviews can boost performance!
- User testing
The only way to ensure success with any of these methods is to test, test, test. If one method doesn’t work for you, move on to the next one. The best advice for anyone is to tweak one thing at a time so that you will know exactly what boosts your bottom line.
User testing is a great example of this. Hiring someone to objectively view your website is something that needs to be done at least once every few months. This will ensure that your website is user-friendly and will also help you tailor your site to the needs of your customers.
Since each business is unique, each one should be treated like so. What works for one company is not guaranteed to work for the next. By testing each applicable tip, you will soon find out what makes your business thrive, and subsequently rule the world of eCommerce.