One metric that matters greatly for eCommerce companies is their online store’s conversion rate. This refers to the percentage of visitors who perform a specific action that you want them to perform. Examples include clicking on a display for a promotion, signing up for a mailing list, and simply purchasing a product, among others.
You will want to persuade as many customers as possible to take these actions, which will drive up that metric. When your conversion rate is high, you will know that you are using the right methods to reach your goals.
We should note here that according to eCommerce market statistics, “average eCommerce conversion rates vary from 2.8% to 4.5%.”
Do you know what that means?
That means even an increase by a fraction of a percent can make a massive difference for your website.
Here are a few different methods you can utilize to help your eCommerce store become a conversion powerhouse.
Multiple studies have shown that good design is one of the most important factors behind good conversion rates. The main idea is that your customers should be able to find different pages and make purchases in less time and with less clicks.
Several specific ways you can improve your website’s design include, but are not limited to:
- Navigation — navigation refers to the visitor’s ability to go through your website and find the information or pages they want. If your website has poor navigation, they may have a hard time being able to get anywhere. And if they cannot get to any specific page you want them to reach, they cannot perform any specific action on that page that you want them to do.
- Clarifying your sitemap — check if the branches of your sitemap, or “site tree,” are tangled anywhere. This is somewhat related to navigation. Your categories and subcategories and sub subcategories may be too confusing for people to understand. Alternatively, you may need to actually create more, depending on your industry. Check also if some pages should be moved to other parts of the site for clarity.
- Aesthetics — having a clear sitemap is one thing, but making it clear using the visual display of your pages is another altogether. Your visual design should point people in the right direction and call attention to anything that would drive up conversions. Consider whether any elements on the page are distracting, or whether changing certain colors help highlight wherever you want them to go.
- User-friendliness — just how accessible is your website, anyway? You can find plenty of companies that let you conduct tests with live participants, so you can see where they encounter difficulty and get stuck. Make sure your site is also mobile-friendly as well, or smartphone users will have even more trouble with your website and may quickly bounce.
A good ecommerce website theme will usually have all of these factors in place. However, you want to make sure that your customizations keep all of these factors in mind.
Product photos may not seem like much of a priority when you are building your eCommerce store. However, you should still make a strong effort to display the most appealing images of your products.
More importantly, no matter how tight your budget might be, you should definitely not leave this out of your to-do list. Do not make the mistake of believing that you can persuade people to buy your products based solely on a good description.
Product photos serve as the face of your product. People appreciate being able to see what they’re getting into before committing to a purchase.
Without them, less people will buy your products, leading to lower sales and conversion rates. Even if your copy is stellar — and do not get us wrong, that should be a priority too — you would run that risk.
However, even just having product photos might not be enough. They must also look professional. That means you should not only invest in putting them up, but also invest in good photography.
Hire someone who can visually showcase a product’s best qualities.
Upload multiple images from multiple angles.
Shoot them in high resolution and include a feature for zooming in on the details.
Remember: on the internet, the best pictures win.
Getting conversions often involves acquiring some rather sensitive data from your site’s visitors.
If you are trying to build up a mailing list, you need them to send in their email addresses. If you are taking orders from customers, you need them to give your company their credit card information.
These details are extremely personal, and internet users will not hand them over to just anyone online. There are plenty of true stories — far too many — of scammers and hackers and identity thieves preying on the unsuspecting. If you want your prospective customers to volunteer their most intimate data to you, then you have to guarantee that you will keep that data safe.
This means that like anything else that involves persuasion, increasing your conversions depends on giving people reason to trust you.
One easy way to increase your security is getting Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. This creates secure connections between your online store’s server and your customers’ browsers. When they send personal data to your eCommerce site, SSL encrypts it during transmission and decrypts it only after it reaches your server, where it can then be processed.
SSL not only protects your website and your visitors from interception by any bad actors, but also boosts your conversion rate. Websites without it tend to suffer with their conversions — especially because search engines tend to reward sites with good security, and having SSL can improve your SEO.
While we are discussing trust, another way to increase your customers’ confidence in your site is to use trust logos.
Implementing security measures for your website may count for little if your customers do not know about it. Trust logos, also known as trust badges or trust seal, are neat little visuals that easily communicate the safety measures your company takes for their website.
Of course, if you want to convey that information, you could just insert a text box that says “McAfee Secure,” Paypal Verified,” and “BBB Accredited Business.” That must be better than adding yet another element to your page layouts, right?
For starters, there is the likelihood that it will not fit with the rest of the page’s aesthetic. The visual elements on a webpage should all contribute to a unified whole. That is easier to do with a trust logo than a random floating text box.
Far more important is that trust badges give a sense of legitimacy to your website and your company. To reuse our earlier examples, using the trust logos for McAfee, Paypal, and the Better Business Bureau is far better at demonstrating your partnership with those organizations than a meager text box.
One important note: just pasting a picture of the trust seal is not enough. If someone clicks on the seal, it should lead them to a validation page provided by that organization. Naturally, these pages are only available to verified partners, so they cannot be abused so easily.
As with SSL, trust logos boost conversions by showing internet users that they can entrust their sensitive data to your company through this website.
Abandoned Cart Saver
Between 70% and 85% of all shopping carts that customers create do not result in a completed order. Studies have consistently found the cart abandonment rate to be within this range. That means the overwhelming majority of prospective customers end up not purchasing your products.
There may be many reasons for this. Sometimes, they get turned off by unexpected shipping costs. Other times, they learn about and find dissatisfaction with the return policy. You can find a few different methods for dealing with these and other issues.
However, one of the most common causes of shopping cart abandonment is also one of the most easily resolved: shopping carts are often abandoned because people leave the page, for whatever reason, and just plain forget.
The solution is simple: an abandoned cart saver.
This feature allows you to send emails that inform users of their unfinished orders. The idea is that they will return to their shopping cart and make a purchase. Studies show that it works, too: about 40% of all emails reminding users of their abandoned shopping carts get opened.
The abandoned cart saver encourages visitors who were already interested in your products to go through with actually buying those products. It is a simple and excellent way to boost your conversions.
Implement and Convert!
These five tips should help you improve your eCommerce store’s conversion rates. A good ecommerce solution can help you implement all of these changes. Most of these fixes are simple, and some take a little more effort and creativity. However, every upgrade you make, no matter how big or small, will be worth it if it increases your conversion rate by even a fraction of a percent.