How to increase your eCommerce conversion ratesReading Time: 9 minutes
The number 1 goal of any e-Commerce entrepreneur is (most likely) to make more sales. And a lot of people believe that the answer to getting more sales is to increase traffic to the site.
Makes sense, because, by the law of numbers, more people going to your site means more chances for sales?
But what if you can get more sales from simply improving your conversion rates? I.e. you reach the same number of people but you convince more people to convert and buy. Well then, you will have spent less money on advertising and you will have made more money. Kerching!
So before you start going full-steam ahead on how to reach more people with new marketing tactics, here are a few things you can do to optimize your website and increase your eCommerce conversion rates.
First things first, what are conversion rates?
Simple – your conversion rate is the percentage of total visitors that perform the act on your website which you want. In the case of most eCommerce websites, it will be relating to sales; so the number of people who purchase your product.
Here are a few stats which set the scene about just how so many brands are missing a huge opportunity by not optimizing their site:
- 69% of all online shopping carts are abandoned before check out
- The average bounce rate is 45.68% (which means that almost half of the traffic that reaches a site leaves before doing anything, let alone buying or signing up to an email list)
- The average conversion rate on an eCommerce site is around 2%
These stats are huge. They all demonstrate how many consumers are failing to be persuaded to convert.
However, let’s say we reduce the number of people who abandon their cart and reduce the number of people who “bounce” off our site before buying. Well, then we’ll get more sales for the same amount of traffic brought in.
Improving conversion rates simply means no extra marketing efforts, no additional costs – just optimizing a site to encourage more people to buy.
Hopefully, now you can see the value in it… Let’s cut to the chase and show you how to ramp your e-Commerce conversion rates.
1. Don’t expect a purchase immediately… Set up small conversions
Did you know that 90% of your store visitors won’t be ready to buy from you yet? It takes a while to build trust and convince someone to buy from you.
However, don’t be discouraged. Rather than saying goodbye to that 90%, set up small conversions on your site – like an email sign up.
Even if you don’t make an immediate sale, you’ll get an email address, meaning you can nature that relationship and possibly make that big conversion later.
Check out how Matcha Maiden does it, through their Matcha Maiden VIP pop-up.
The visitor is teased with exclusive offers, recipes, invitations, and other updates – all in exchange for an email address. Eventually, if they follow up through email marketing, that subscriber will likely buy from them.
Full conversion complete!
2. Take away the risk
A lot of people are skeptical about buying from an online business that they’ve never heard of or seen before. Cautious instincts kick in, and people talk themselves out of buying from that site.
If a customer is in a brick-and-mortar store, they can see the product on offer and decide if they want to buy it or not. With online shopping, everything is just based on trust. Will the product be as per the description? Will it arrive on time? If it’s clothing – will it fit?
Take away that risk before your customer has a chance to think about it!
When your customers buy from you online, they are trusting that:
- The product is as described
- It is worth the money that they’ll spend.
So, anticipate why a potential customer might hesitate about buying your product and address it immediately.
Here’s an example from Perfect Supplements, who tackle this challenge well:
They make it clear that there is a 100% money-back guarantee. You can even send an empty bottle back to their company, and you will get a full refund.
The added bonus is that a strategy like this can do wonders at persuading people to buy – but very few people actually send the product back. It requires effort for the customer to send a product back so you might be pleasantly surprised that your return rates aren’t as high as you predict.
3. Provide “Social Proof”
Another way to break down those skeptical barriers and increase trust is by providing visitors with social proof.
By this, we mean showing visitors that real people are already using your product… and that they like it too.
Amazon and Airbnb do this really well. Just think about the reviews on the listings here which tip so many customers over the edge, and to buy.
If you have an eCommerce website, you can do the same by installing a review app like Yotpo or Loox.
(Plus, you can control which reviews you want to publish!)
As well as this – another way to provide “social proof” is to instill the sense of FOMO with your customers. This is the millennial term for fear-of-missing-out and you can encourage this further by installing the appropriately-named app FOMO.
This app creates a pop-up on your website, telling people on your website what other people have bought.
People are like sheep, if they see that someone has bought something, they often want to jump on the bandwagon and buy it too.
It convinces visitors that other people trust your products, giving them confidence to click that ‘buy’ button as well.
4. Increase Customer Confidence in your Payment System
In today’s society, with the increase in scams and other schemes aiming to take away people’s money online, people are understandably becoming more and more cautious.
The consumers of today have a certain level of fear every time they enter their credit card details on a website because of how easy it is to be scammed.
Another way to increase conversion rates is to increase confidence in your payment method. You can install an app like Free Trust Badge to let people know the methods of payment they can use and reassure that you have a secure payment gateway.
5. Simplify Payment Processes
As we mentioned earlier, a huge 69% of carts are abandoned before check-out.
Why does this happen?
Sometimes, the reason why people abandon their online carts is due to an overly long or complicated checkout process. Customers get bored, frustrated, or distracted. It’s your job to provide them a quick and painless way to check out items.
Don’t ask for too much information when it comes to collecting payment details; remember – you’re trying to get as many conversions through the door as possible. Make it as easy as possible.
The more information you ask for, the more likely you are to lose the sale.
A simple way to do this is by including a ‘one-click-buy’ system – one click and the item is theirs.
Simplifying the payment and checkout process is a top priority.
6. Simplify Your Product Page
Just like simplifying the payment process, it’s also vital to simplify your product page and set it up with one single goal in mind: to sell products.
One of the hardest things for any entrepreneur can be how to simplify their product, business, or website. Because everything seems so essential, right?
However, anything that is not related to your product or service is just a distraction. Get rid of it.
Apple does this well:
You’ll notice that there is quite literally nothing to click on except the product itself. They’ve got the product information below – if you want it – but all the essentials are right there at the top. There is nothing to distract you from just buying the item.
The internet is a place that is designed for distraction. It’s so easy to get lost in rabbit holes of content. However, when it comes to your sales page, make sure there’s only one way out – the buy button!
7. Stop Selling Details – Sell Benefits
We recently held a webinar hosted by Jay Bansal, a specialist e-Commerce consultant and designer, who educated us on how to increase conversion rates by selling the product benefits in the images.
Jay argues that:
If ranking = traffic, then images = conversion
[To watch this full webinar – along with others – sign into your dashboard or join to become an ImportXperts member here]
Most of the time, brands make mistakes because they focus too much on listing functions and specifications – which is often overwhelming for a consumer.
Make your copy and images easy and quick to understand. Stop describing your products, and instead show customers how your product will change their life.
You can even go one step further by showing your product in action.
For example, here’s the main image of an iProtector PRO screen protector:
Instead of showing the screen protector itself, you can see it in action immediately (and the eye-contact of the model helps to grab attention and show the product in its best light!)
This technique works well for technology brands. If you’re selling a smartphone or camera, don’t tell your audience what the specifications are… show your audience just how good your camera is. Or, if you’re selling a kitchen gadget, like a blender, for example, show it in motion.
Customers like to see every detail in high-definition before they buy.
So increase the desire by showing them how good your product is, and how they need it in their life.
8. Provide Free Shipping
As a customer, we’ll often mentally commit ourselves to buy something. Once we justify the price in our heads, we go to check out to finally get that item into our hands.
But then – wait – they’ve just added $5 shipping!
It’s a tiny amount, but it changes the entire psychology of buying. It’s another barrier that might just turn people away because people want to buy the thing – not the logistics for how they get that thing.
And if they decide they don’t like the product and they want to return the product, well then this is a cost they’ll never get back.
One way to overcome this is to bake-in your delivery costs into your product price and advertise free shipping across your site. It might be the thing that works to increase conversions.
Mac make-up even go as far as offering free shipping, free returns…and a sample on all orders too!
9. Create Scarcity
As humans, we’re often scared of missing out on a fantastic deal or offer. If you tell customers you’ve only got a limited stock left, they’re much more likely to buy it.
According to a recent study, this trick boosted one marketer’s conversion rate by an astonishing 332%.
If you tell customers that an offer ends in 6 minutes and 18 seconds, they’re going to rush to the ‘buy’ button, and fast.
Here’s an example of a deal on a mobile phone website, Three:
It looks like either the sale has just ended (or the banner has broken), but either way – it makes me want to get one before it’s too late.
This tactic is simple psychology – and it doesn’t necessarily have to be true either. We hate to miss out on a great deal. The FOMO is real!
10. A/B Testing
Have you got two headlines for product descriptions in mind, but don’t know which one to go with? Or maybe you’re trying to choose between two different colors for your call-to-action button?
Rather than guessing or choosing blindly, run an A/B test to find out for certain which one works best.
An A/B test serves up one option to half your visitors and another option to the others.
You can do this easily with an app like Neat A/B Testing. You can test any part of your website; for example, the headline, images, prices, product descriptions, and more. Whichever one converts best is your winner, and you can then implement that across the entire site.
Start doing this with every major decision, and you’ll sharpen your conversion rate significantly. You’ll quickly realize that every small aspect of your site has an effect on your sales – you’re gonna want to test it all!
11. Provide a Magnetic Call-to-Action
A Call-to-Action is the single most important button on your website. It’s the ‘buy’ button or the ‘signup’ button. It’s the conversion button.
Your goal is to get as many people as possible to click it, so it needs to be magnetic.
There are a couple of rules to follow when it comes to CTAs:
- Make it a bold color
- Give it plenty of clear space so it draws the eye
- Use urgent copy
A great example is this one from HiSmile, which follows all three rules.
It’s super simple, and the language “needs” is compelling and gets across the sense of urgency. There’s only one thing to do; click on the button.
Armed with these 11 tips, you can increase your sales without spending a penny on extra marketing. A little planning goes a long way, and we hope these tips get you to increase those conversions for the success of your business.
Got any questions, ideas, or opinions? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll be happy to answer.