Let’s face it: generating conversions for your eCommerce store isn’t as straightforward and easy as it seems. Even if you have the most robust omnichannel marketing strategy in place, are running campaigns across paid, social and organic, which brings in a vast amount of footfall for your online store, there’s no guarantee that you’ll end up increasing your sales numbers. Why? Low conversion rates.
According to BigCommerce, the average conversion rate for eCommerce stands at about 1.5%. However, the average bounce rate for most eCommerce websites is still somewhere around 35%, which could be alarming. Just imagine, for every hundred people that visit your online store, if 35 leave without even browsing, that surely isn’t going to bode well for your bottom line.
At ConvertCart, we believe in optimizing conversions to generate the biggest bang for your marketing buck. So, we decided to come up with this blog post in order to share with you each and every tactic and best practice you need to know in order to supercharge conversion rates for your eCommerce store.
- What Is eCommerce Conversion Rate?
- How Is eCommerce Conversion Rate Calculated?
- What Is A Good eCommerce Conversion Rate?
25 Best Practices To Improve Your eCommerce Conversion Rates
- Use High-Quality Images Throughout Your Website (And Not Just Your Product Pages)
- Make Your Product Videos Interactive For The Shoppers
- Consider Providing A 360-degree View Of Your Products
- Add Countdown Timers For Time-sensitive Deals
- Make Sure Your Chat Support Is Not Robotic To Truly Engage Shoppers
- Add Customer Reviews Where The Shoppers Tend To Look More Often
- Include Trust Signals To Display… Trust!
- Make Your Store Search Feature Intuitive And Engaging
- Provide Advanced Filters To Help Them Narrow Down Their Search
- Make “Guest Checkout” The Most Prominent Option On The Checkout Page
- Ensure Shoppers Can See Your Primary Call To Action Buttons Clearly (Throughout Your Store)
- Display Your Products’ Return Policy Right On The Product Page
- Take A Mobile First Approach To Website Optimization
- Display Dynamic Product Recommendations To For Smart Upsell And Cross-Sell
- Supplement Your Checkout Process With A Progress Bar
- Nudge Shoppers Towards Post-Purchase Social Media Share
- Have A Persistent Shopping Cart Button
- Set Up Omnichannel Browse Abandonment And Cart Abandonment Campaigns
- Offer Free Shipping Or A Shipping Calculator On Product Pages
- Accept Multiple Payment Options
- Allow Quick Shopping Via Social Platforms
- Optimize Your Product And Website Copy
- Offer Irresistible Discount Thresholds To Your Shoppers
- Create An Attractive Sale Landing Page
- Always A/B Test Before Making Any Change Live Universally
What Is eCommerce Conversion Rate?
Before we delve any further, just a primer on what eCommerce conversion rate actually means. eCommerce conversion rate is defined by Google as:
“The ratio of transactions to sessions, expressed as a percentage. For example, a ratio of one transaction to every ten sessions would be expressed as an eCommerce conversion rate of 10%”.
How Is eCommerce Conversion Rate Calculated?
To calculate the eCommerce conversion rate for your website, all you have to do is divide the number of conversions you get in a given time frame by the total number of people who visited your site or landing page and multiply it by 100%.
What Is A Good eCommerce Conversion Rate?
For most eCommerce stores, the conversion rate averages between 1% to 2%. However, it also depends on the sector or domain you’re serving customers in, as it could be higher and lower, based on the same.
Looking at the image above, we can get a better idea. However, we should take this with a grain of salt, as this report by Adobe Digital is collated based only on a few number of businesses.
Improving conversion rates for an eCommerce store is both an art and a science, which is why we came up with 25 of the most foolproof, time-tested strategies out there that you can implement to see yours go up and to the north!
1.Use High-Quality Images Throughout Your Website (And Not Just Your Product Pages)
There’s a reason they say, “a picture speaks a thousand words.” And it is especially true in online shopping. You should be able to hook the consumer’s attention right from the point they land on any of your store pages. Be it the home page or the product page, having high-quality images can improve your conversions by up to 30%.
Let’s give you some examples of stores that have gotten this right.
Flos USA, the modern lighting solutions store, does it really well on their website. This is what their home page looks like:
Here’s another example of a home page that uses high-quality, engaging images to capture the visitor’s attention:
And another from Ryder, just to drive the point home:
2. Make Your Product Videos Interactive For The Shoppers
Product videos have especially worked really well for fashion and luxury eCommerce brands. When the shopper is able to visualize how they’d look in a piece of clothing or accessory, they’re able to get to a buying decision faster. It’s like being able to try on the product without physically being able to do so.
However, how savvy eCommerce brands go one step ahead and nail it completely, is to make their product videos even interactive so as to help the shopper take any kind of extra steps.
One example of the same is how Nordstrom does it. They have created mini-videos of their in-store team, explaining the product features and how it looks. The videos also include a section on how the shopper can use the products too.
3. Consider Providing A 360-degree View Of Your Products
We understand how it isn’t viable or sustainable for every eCommerce brand out there to create videos for all their products (however, you must do the same at least for your top-sellers or flagship products).
What you can absolutely do instead is to have a 360-degree view of the products being provided so that the shopper can instantly gauge any details that they’d like to. And from an effort and investment point of view, it isn’t really all that hard.
You can implement this strategy easily using tools like Webrotate. If you’re comfortable creating videos of your products, you could even use video makers such as Canva or the good old Photoshop!
This is one of the strategies that Walmart has used since the beginning of time to drive more conversions.
4. Add Countdown Timers For Time-sensitive Deals
If there’s one thing that can be said without mincing words for the human species, it’s this: we are an emotional bunch, and we make decisions based on how we’re feeling more often than not. So, it’s no surprise that psychological tactics such as fear-of-missing-out (FOMO), works.
We will not bore you with yet another, “leverage FOMO for higher conversions” song, rather, we’d only like to share how you can do so for maximum impact. There are different ways in which different eCommerce retailers display their time-sensitive deals, some show an end date, some do it through banners, and so on.
However, in our experience working with thousands of eCommerce brands across the globe, we’ve found that including a countdown timer is the most effective of all the ways you could implement it. Have a look for yourself below, aren’t you more likely to convert if you find such a countdown right in the thick of the page?
5. Make Sure Your Chat Support Is Not Robotic To Truly Engage Shoppers
In the present day, it’s no secret that live chat drives more conversions.
However, the real challenge is in actually being able to offer value to your customers through the same. Actually, even getting them to interact with it.
If your support reps are not using live chat to address your shoppers’ concerns upfront, nudging them towards a conversion, and more, then you probably need to take a step back and realign them on their key responsibilities.
US eCommerce brand Spade does it really well.
6. Add Customer Reviews Where The Shoppers Tend To Look More Often
What’s the first thing you look at when you’re browsing through products? Obviously, what other customers like you have to say about it! The reviews, ratings and all the testimonials around them.
Yes, we’re talking about social proof. Without them, you can expect conversion rates and revenue to remain low. With social proof, you can power your eCommerce websites to heights of power and success. All by letting your existing customers be your advocates!
A study of UK-based online retailers found that eCommerce sites without customer reviews and recommendations were losing about £9 billion in extra revenue. The study asserted that including user-generated content like reviews could positively impact these retailers by 27%!
Brook Linen shares some of their best customer testimonials on their homepage. They even have a separate page to view all testimonials.
Girlfriend Collective goes one step further and displays customer reviews by sharing their pictures in a dedicated section on the website:
Then, of course, there’s a simple way of doing it too, wherein you display ratings and reviews on the product pages like Asarai:
7. Include Trust Signals To Display… Trust!
It cannot be bought, forced, or demanded. You can have it, but not hold it. It can take years to gain, and can be lost in seconds – and it’s the single most important element of any transaction or relationship. What are we talking about? Trust.
In 2020, people don’t buy from anyone they don’t trust. And the easiest way for you to create the same sense of trust in your online store is to rely on trust signals right from payment to shipping processes, and more.
According to a study by Baymard, the use of “site seals” such as trust badges, SSL seals and similar symbols were effective at increasing the perceived level of security the consumer is being offered.
Here’s an example of how ASOS shows they’re worthy of the trust during checkout:
8. Make Your Store Search Feature Intuitive And Engaging
43% of online shoppers use the search bar to find products they want (or better, need).
The reason is fairly straightforward. They’re making an online purchase because it’s more convenient than stepping into a physical store.
So when it comes to convenience, they don’t want to end up spending hours scrolling through pages to find what they’re looking for. Imagine how tedious that would be!
But the basic search feature just doesn’t cut it. Here’s what your search should support:
- Instant search – Faster product loading based on the search made.
- Auto-suggest – Guiding the shopper’s search by making keyword suggestions to look for products.
- Typo-tolerance – Ensuring shoppers are shown the right products even if they don’t spell it right.
- Synonym search – Displaying products that fall under the same category based on the ability to identify common synonyms.
- Recommended search – Displaying related products or site content such as lookbooks and blogs for empty or 404 searches.
9. Provide Advanced Filters To Help Them Narrow Down Their Search
A good search alone is not enough to help shoppers reach the products they’re looking for. Especially if you have tens or hundreds of products to display for every search. You need to give them something to quickly sift through the products. This is where product filters come in.
Think about Amazon for a minute and how easy filters make it for you to find products.
Some of the product filters you should have available on your store include:
- Filter by brand
- Filter by size
- Filter by type/ category
- Filter by rating
- Filter by color
- Filter by delivery
- Filter by discounts
The more the attributes you add, the easier it gets for the visitor to reach the product they’re looking for.
10. Make “Guest Checkout” The Most Prominent Option On The Checkout Page
If you’re a growing eCommerce brand, chances are, you’d have more new customers than returning. And if that’s true, here’s a great suggestion for you to increase your conversions greatly.
Now, most checkout pages nudge the visitor to share as much information as possible to complete a purchase. Creating an account is almost inevitable on some sites.
If you think someone would sign up simply because they love the deal you’re offering, you’re wrong. You can lose almost 34% of conversions for being too pushy.
Offering guest checkout lets the visitor complete a purchase faster. But it also lets them choose to commit to that one purchase at a time, and decide to create an account later. Winning trust is a serious thing!
The page should begin with a guest checkout option (place it on left – where folks start reading). Account creation and login can take a backseat. Here’s a brilliant example of how to execute the same!
11. Ensure Shoppers Can See Your Primary Call To Action Buttons Clearly (Throughout Your Store)
For your eCommerce store, the two most important actions a visitor or shopper can do on your online store is adding a product to cart, followed by checking out. By the same logic, these two CTAs are the most important two for your eCommerce store.
This might seem like very simple advice, but ensuring that your main two CTAs are prominently and distinctively being displayed to your shopper is really important. So, make sure you do that!
Let us explain this with an example.
Take a look at this page. While the overall design looks great, the “add to cart” buttons are hardly visible. So how do you assume the visitor will be compelled to click a button?
Now let’s take a page out of Amazon’s playbook. While the design isn’t as “clean” as some may call it, the buttons are clearly visible on the product page.
When the call-to-actions are clear, the visitor becomes more likely to act on them. It’s as simple (and as tricky) as that!
12. Display Your Products’ Return Policy Right On The Product Page
Imagine having to buy an Apple device that costs hundreds of dollars, but comes with no return policy in case it doesn’t work. You’re going to rather buy an Android.
eCommerce selling is all about trust. That’s why keeping your returns policy visible and customer-friendly is important.
Most websites place their returns policy in the footer or other inconspicuous placements. They’re hardly visible and no visitor will launch a search party for it.
They wouldn’t find your policy. And you’ll lose a sale.
A brilliant way to build trust is to place it right on the product page itself.
This ensures that if they have any doubt, apprehension, or concern about the purchase, it gets resolved while they’re exploring the product details.
13. Take A Mobile-First Approach To Website Optimization
At the given relentless pace of growth in mobile shopping, it is predicted that mobile purchases will account for a whopping 54% of the total eCommerce sales. Going by this, there’s a fair chance that your last purchase online was on mobile too! Right?
For most eCommerce business owners, mobile optimization takes a backseat. They are more focused on getting their desktop sites up and running, and just making them responsive enough for other devices.
Research shares that 65% of websites are not optimized for mobile despite the “responsive” elements. That’s losing a lot of opportunities!
Another study by Facebook uncovers where most websites stumble when it comes to mobile optimization:
- Poor quality images
- Images not adapting to screens
- Font sizes (either too small or too large)
- Content spilling outside borders
If you ask us, that’s unimpressive and even we wouldn’t buy from your site no matter how good the deal is!
14. Display Dynamic Product Recommendations To For Smart Upsell And Cross-Sell
Most visitors come looking for a specific product. But they’re not blocked to the idea of exploring other products if they’re of their interest.
This is where having an on-site upsell and cross-sell strategy comes into play.
More specifically, displaying dynamic, personalized product recommendations to store visitors.
In fact, did you know that product recommendations make up nearly 31% of entire eCommerce sales? Even the likes of Amazon have relied on this strategy for decades to drive more sales.
They’re not the only ones. Even Apple uses the tactic to nudge you to buy more with the device you’re thinking of purchasing.
But you can’t just push any product the visitor’s way. You have to be really smart and data-driven about it.
Here are a few tips to make your upsell and cross-sell campaigns convert higher:
- Offer only related products to what the visitor is interested in.
- Show similar products to nudge visitors to explore products better than what they’re viewing.
- Display items that are at least 60% cheaper than the product someone has just added to the cart.
- Show product recommendations on the product page as well as in the cart as the visitor starts the checkout process.
- Provide limited period offers to create a sense of urgency on your upsell and cross-sell campaigns.
15. Supplement Your Checkout Process With A Progress Bar
It goes without saying that you want your checkout process to be as smooth and frictionless as possible to minimize drop-offs. Among other tactics, one that is sure to work its magic is adding a progress bar that constantly tells the shoppers how far along they are in the checkout process.
Here’s how a typical progress bar looks like:
Why does this tactic work?
According to the paper, the importance of percent-done progress indicators for computer-human interfaces, people prefer to have progress indicators when completing a series of tasks online. It’s as simple as having a goal and wanting to achieve it!
Another study suggests that 75% of internet users want a progress bar. It clearly lays down how much time they’d take to complete something, helping them plan the next steps better. In this case, making a purchase from your store.
There’s another plus here. Based on how far a shopper goes in the checkout process, you can gauge how engaged they are with you. This helps you then further optimize your checkout for maximum conversions, whilst collecting the right data from them.
16. Nudge Shoppers Towards Post-Purchase Social Media Share
Once a shopper has made a purchase on your store, you want to leverage the trust that they have placed in you to spread the word among their social circle. What better way to do so than by prompting them to share their purchase with their friends on social media such as Facebook and Instagram.
Amazon does this by asking the customers to share their purchase on social media right after completing the purchase. They also have a similar approach to when you wishlist an item.
You can even go a step further and incentivize customers who share their purchases in the form of store credits or loyalty points.
Here’s an excellent example of the same:
If you’re willing to go another step further, you can actually ask them to share a picture of them using the product on social media. But make sure you ask them to tag you, and that you acknowledge their effort!
Everyone likes a little appreciation.
17. Have A Persistent Shopping Cart Button
An omnipresent shopping cart is extremely crucial as it is a constant reminder of products waiting to be checked out. You don’t want shoppers to add items to their carts and end up forgetting about them and dropping off, without making a purchase.
Having a persistent shopping cart not only serves as a reminder of the products they have shortlisted, but also makes it super easy for shoppers to access their cart from any part of your online store and directly skip to the checkout process. Now, here’s a shortcut you cannot afford to miss out on!
This is exactly why you always see the cart icon while shopping on Amazon:
18. Set Up Omnichannel Browse Abandonment And Cart Abandonment Campaigns
On average, 70% of carts get abandoned. That’s losing more than half the visitors you spent hundreds of dollars and endless hours on to drive to your website.
Was your product or deal not good enough? In most cases, no.
You may also like: 31 High-Converting Abandoned Cart Email Examples
Online shoppers are spoilt for choice. That’s why they tend to explore all the options available to them before making a purchase. But as they explore, they sometimes forget about the first brand they saw a product on, leading to you losing the sale for good.
This is where you need to have well-strategized browse and cart recovery campaigns in place.
Now, most stores have an automated abandoned cart recovery email set up. But that’s not enough — especially because you never know which channel this shopper is more active on or more likely to read your reminder on.
If you just sent out an abandoned cart recovery email like this one here.
You also need to back it up with a retargeting campaign on social media and the search engines. Remind them about the product, offer free shipping or an exclusive discount to complete the purchase.
And if they don’t convert still, don’t be afraid to retarget them with dynamic ad campaigns that display similar or other products you’re running deals on.
If the visitor abandons the cart during checkout and has shared their contact information with you, hit them up with a text message reminder!
Wait, there’s more. You can re-engage cart abandoners by touching base on the Facebook Messenger as well.
And if it’s a visitor who has subscribed to web push notifications from your brand, don’t forget to leverage that channel as well to reach them on both desktop and mobile.
Told you, when it comes to driving more conversions, you have to really get out there!
If you’re worried about spamming your visitors and subscribers, don’t fret. We’re all exposed to almost 5,000 ads per day and your ad wouldn’t always be the one showing. Similarly, fewer than three cart recovery emails are considered as leaving revenue on the table.
19. Offer Free Shipping Or A Shipping Calculator On Product Pages
Did you know that almost 60% of online shoppers abandon a cart due to high or unexpected shipping costs?
Like it or not, free shipping is one of the most important aspects online shoppers look for before deciding whether to make a purchase from your store. Offering free shipping helps you build a loyal customer base, especially if yours is a relatively newer or smaller store.
In fact, it might also be helpful to offer free shipping over a certain threshold so you end up improving your average order value as customers tend to fill up their carts to reach the threshold.
But we know that’s not possible for everyone.
If you cannot afford to offer free shipping, make sure you provide a shipping calculator on the product or the cart page.
Keep unpleasant surprises at bay and see how much of a difference it brings to your conversion rate!
20. Accept Multiple Payment Options
A study by Barilliance suggests that about 8-10% of online shoppers abandon a purchase when they don’t see a payment mode they prefer.
So now that we’re leaving no stones unturned to increase conversions, let’s tackle this head-on too.
Most shoppers have a preferred payment option and more often than not, like to stick to those, especially when making an online payment where security is paramount and trust is scarce.
Offer as many payment methods as you can (including popular wallets and PayPal) to ensure no shopper drops off merely because they couldn’t find a trustworthy logo in the payment section.
You might also want to keep a tab on the most popularly used payment methods so you can offer discounts and deals on them specifically to further uplift their usage on your store and drive customers who prefer it as well.
Come on, don’t you walk into a restaurant when you see a deal on your VISA displayed at the door?
21. Allow Quick Shopping Via Social Platforms
When was the last time you saw something on Instagram and immediately wanted to buy it?
Yes, that happens all too frequently. In fact, every month, 130 million Instagram users tap on Instagram shopping posts to learn more about the products they like. Include Facebook into the mix, and you’ll know what we mean.
And it’s easier than you thought.
Facebook and Instagram now allow eCommerce stores to set up shop fronts on their platforms so people can easily browse products from their social media feed and also access their details. These shops can be accessed through your Facebook page or Instagram profile, and even discoverable via ads.
Here’s what it typically looks like on Instagram:
22. Optimize Your Product And Website Copy
You’re looking for a microwave. You land on a website.
Now all you see on the website are product images.
Would you make the purchase from this site? Or would you rather choose to step into an electronics store to find all details?
The latter. The same holds true for all sorts of purchases — be it clothing, grocery or other items.
Copy plays a pivotal role in persuading shoppers and conveying the true value of a particular product. From tag lines to product descriptions, make sure you put enough thought into carefully crafting and regularly optimizing your site and product copy to ensure that it is impactful in driving the desired action.
You can learn more about principles of persuasion and accordingly incorporate them into your copy to nudge shoppers in the right direction, without sounding too sales-ish, promotional, or biased.
Here are a few best practices you should follow:
- Always know who you’re targeting and who’s going to read it.
- Focus on showcasing the product benefits.
- Tell the full story without concealing any fact.
- Use your own tone and keep it natural (no one likes reading robotic history books).
- Make use of powerful words to nudge an action.
- Make it easy to scan by focusing on short sentences and the formatting.
- Optimize your copy for search engines so your pages show up for the right searches.
- Experiment, experiment, experiment!
Let’s give you an example of a copy that follows all of the above:
23. Offer Irresistible Discount Thresholds To Your Shoppers
When you see a 50% discount on a purchase above $100 at H&M, what do you do?
If you’ve seen it on social media, you run to the nearest store. If you’re at the mall, you start creating a checklist of things you want to buy as you step into the store. That’s the power of irresistible discount thresholds!
By offering different types of discounts upon reaching various cart value thresholds, you can easily get customers to spend more time on your store, browsing other product catalogs and adding more products to the cart.
You can do this by offering volume discounts, tiered pricing, or bulk pricing on some products.
24. Create An Attractive Sale Landing Page
Imagine being notified of the Christmas sale, but not being able to find those deals on the website.
Whenever you run a seasonal or festive sale, make it a point to display all offers and deals on a landing page where you can direct traffic through emails and all other customer communication.
This will not only ensure that every item on sale can be accessed from one single location in your store but also help you create buzz around your sale and drive more traffic to your store. Make it even better by clubbing discounts by percentage on this page.
Here’s a great example of a Sale page:
25. Always A/B Test Before Making Any Change Live Universally
You’ve spent hours, days, weeks or maybe even months setting up your online store.
Then you spend another chunk full of time promoting your website trying to reach the right audience.
Now imagine throwing in a few changes that put off this audience and drive them away, but not know what they were?
As they say, A/B Testing is the right way to be wrong about something.
So, whether it is a small change, or a big one, make sure you A/B test your way through it to ensure you’re converting your website to its best version possible through the use of data, and not just intuition, or your, or anyone else’s boss’s opinion.
To get started with the same, tools like ConvertCart can come really handy, as they offer a robust and truly intuitive platform for you to run and scale A/B testing experimentation on your eCommerce website.
You’ll know exactly what works, what doesn’t, and what you need to double down on to 10x your conversion rate.
Don’t be the person throwing darts in the dark!
Should you test them all?
When it comes to improving conversions on your online store, you should leave no stone unturned. But remember to test one strategy at a time so that you can measure its impact on your growth closely, and take the next steps that are driven by concrete data.
Here’s wishing more conversions to you!