Conversion Optimization

Why is My Conversion Rate Dropping? And How to Fix It

20 most-likely reasons why your website's conversion rate is dropping — and what can you do to fix it.

Why is My Conversion Rate Dropping? And How to Fix It

The average conversion rate for the eCommerce industry dropped from 2.31% to 2.12% during April 2020 to April 2021 period.

average eCommerce conversion rate data
Source

This may be a result of the present market changes due to the pandemic. But your retail conversion rate can drop due to gaps on your eCommerce website.

It’s crucial to keep an eye on your online conversion rates. This is because they can directly affect your eCommerce store’s profitability as well as its ability to grow.

There are many variables that affect conversion rates. That’s why discussing what is a good eCommerce conversion rate isn’t always helpful.

Check out this data on average eCommerce conversion rates by industry from Growcode. The numbers will hugely differ based on which niche you specialize in.

average eCommerce conversion rate by industry
Source

Hence, eCommerce conversion rate benchmarks can be a good starting point. But eventually, you’ll need to start looking at internal data rather than external data.

Sometimes, these are obvious ones. Your conversion rate can drop if you made a recent change to the website, landing page, pricing, discounts, etc. So, it’s advisable to check the last few activities you did on the website. It can do the trick in some cases.

But in other cases, where the reasons are not as straightforward, you need to look into other factors that could be holding off your sales.

In this post, we’ve compiled 20 reasons why your eCommerce conversion rate might be dropping and how you can solve it.

20 super common mistakes that could harm your eCommerce conversion rates

1. Your CTA's could be a little off

Your website’s call-to-action buttons let your audience know what action you’d like them to take when they visit your website.

As an eCommerce store owner, you’re already aware of how crucial CTAs are for your site conversion rates. In fact, the conversion rates vary as per the location of the page the CTAs are used in. Check this out: 

average CTA conversion rates by location

If you start to notice a decline in your conversion rate, one of the first things you need to do is check your call-to-action buttons

There are a lot of factors that affect the success rate of CTAs. Here are some of the crucial ones:

a) Size: Big and eye-catching works better since they hold the shopper’s attention

b) Color: Research says that orange, blue, red, and green always work

CTA button color to improve eCommerce conversion rates

c) Placement: Sticky CTAs as well as CTAs that are above the fold work well

Check out how AO.com uses a big, sticky CTA on its product page.

Example of sticky CTA to improve online conversion rates

d) Copy: Clarity is the key here. Use trigger words and specify the exact benefit

Here’s a list of the most popular words along with how many times they’ve been used in CTAs.

CTA trigger words to improve eCommerce conversion rates
Source

e) Mobile CTAs: Make sure your mobile CTAs pass the thumb test

f) Information around the CTA: The CTA is an extremely conversion-prone zone. You’d want to add as much relevant information as possible around them

How to solve

Here are some best practices for creating compelling CTAs:

a) Be specific: Don’t confuse your customers with multiple CTAs. Keep their focus on the particular action you want them to take.

Check out how The North Face keeps the primary CTA bolded and the second CTA less prominent. 

example of displaying multiple CTA

b) Use action words: Instead of saying If you click here, you can read our e-book say Download our free e-book.

c) Use first and second-person terms: People respond better to Join our team than Prospective employees should apply here.

d) Make them look pretty: like Spotify

Spotify CTA ecommerce conversions

e) Use scarcity and urgency principles: makes your CTAs more persuasive.

You may also want to run A/B or multivariate tests to see what works for each of the parameters. 

Pro Tip: Use tools such as Google Optimize and CRO360. You can run tests between different CTAs and you’ll know which ones perform better.

2. You're probably underutilizing social proof

When people purchase products from eCommerce websites, they’re taking a risk that their product will arrive in good condition. This uncertainty is one of the main reasons why consumers abandon their carts at checkout, especially when shopping internationally.

You can ease this hesitation and help increase your eCommerce conversions by using social proof to establish trust.

We conducted a poll on our LinkedIn page recently asking our customers how much they depended on online reviews for their purchases. Guess what? 81% of them declared they depended on customer reviews all the time before making a purchase. That’s how important social proof is. 

example of social proof poll

There are several types of social proof you can leverage for your eCommerce store:

a) Customer reviews: 92% of online shoppers look at reviews before they make a purchase. Plus, the probability of sale for a product with more than 5 reviews is 270% greater than one without it. 

b) Customer testimonials: Testimonials from your existing customers act as the face of your business. Video testimonials are even more powerful.

Check out how Magic Flask tries out a unique video testimonial format by recording the tester’s actual reactions to the drinks.

c) Influencer recommendations: 89% of marketers believe that the ROI from influencer marketing channels is better than others.

d) Trust badges: 48% of shoppers feel reassured with trust badges on an eCommerce store. Norton is one of the most popular trust seals to use, but you can test out whichever works for you.

trust badges can help improve conversion rates
Source

e) Fear of missing out (FOMO): Add an element of FOMO to your social proof by showing real-time statistics on your website.

f) User-generated content (UGC): Since most of your customers are on social media, UGC can be a great way to boost your brand and improve the conversion rate of your eCommerce site. 

Examples of how to use social proof for eCommerce conversion rate optimization 

a) Include reviews smartly like Patagonia:

Patagonia makes sure they take their customers’ trust seriously. They value quality over quantity and show the important reviews, with an option of filtering through size, dimensions, etc.

example of customer reviews from Patagonia

b) Use FOMO like a pro like Loft Outlet:

example of FOMO triggers from Loft Outlet

Implementing this approach can help build an urgency—especially when it means competing with other shoppers. The sheer fact that other customers are going to compete is social proof enough to drive your customers to purchase.

Providing real-time information will help you achieve a high conversion rate because it’ll allow shoppers to see that other people have made purchases from your website or tried your services first. Add social proof to your site and see how your conversion rates shoot up.

Hey, you’ll love this: How to use "out of stock" products as a conversion driver
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3. You may not know who you're selling to

Here’s something that may not come to you intuitively: most websites are selling to their target audience, but those people aren’t the ones buying from them.

Let that sink in.

Very often, you may have this idea of your target audience in your head BUT sometimes, those people aren’t the ones buying from you.

So, naturally, when you do something you think will win over the ideal customer, it may not work for the real customers you have. And that will drop your conversion rates.

What to do about it

a) Study your actual customers:

Talk to your customers. Get an understanding of what they like and don’t like. Study past buying behaviour, understand Customer Analytics, and follow the customers to see where they come from, what they do, and what you can do for them.

b) Pay attention to customer testimonials:

Customer testimonials reveal A LOT about your customers — the negative ones even more so. So, pay attention to what they have to say, understand why they’re saying that, and then make changes as required.

Pro Tip: Filter through testimonials as per ratings. First go to the 1 star reviews, then 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th. Understand what each one has to say.

c) Develop multiple overlapping buyer personas:

Here’s a fun fact: the keywords people use can give you great fodder for your business.

Not only do they reflect their personality but also give you relevant content that you can sprinkle across your website to connect with them.

You can use the Google Webmaster Tools to narrow down your keywords into themes and personas, and then build on that across your website, social media, emailers, etc.

Example from Victoria’s Secret:

Victoria’s Secret is a brand that used to be stuck in its old patterns: catering to the ideal rather than the real and it cost them.

They were on the brink of being forgotten when they revived their brand to reach out to their real customers.

What did they do? Brought on a team of global ambassadors to promote inclusivity, strengthen their stance with real customers, and showcase their brand as one that cares.

Did it work? If not for sales, it has certainly made them the talk of the town. People from across the globe are discussing this move: the good, the bad, and everything in between. 

But guess what. It certainly started a conversation.

Victoria's Secret brand revival 2021 & brand ambassadors
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4. You're probably not bringing your best to the table

There is a chance that your conversion rate is dropping because you’re no longer bringing your best to the table. Would you put in more effort earlier? Has your content not been updated for a while? Have you not upscaled your catalog? If you answer yes to any of these, then it’s probably time to do just that.

How to solve

a) Refresh your content:

Remember: a website isn’t a static entity. It needs to be updated with fresh and engaging content.

Since your website is a representation of your business it's important that it’s up-to-date. By consistently updating your content, you will not only be able to create a better user experience each time but also make your content more and more in line with your true audience.

Plus, frequently updating your content will leave a positive note for search engines. Always a win, innit? 

b) Update your catalog:

If your customers love your products, chances are they want to see more of them!

By consistently updating your catalog and bringing in new and different products, you are likely to keep existing customers engaged and even bring in some new ones.

By offering the right products or additions at the right time, you can create a positive feedback loop that keeps you ahead of your competitors.

c) Seriously look into SEO and website visibility:

When it comes to websites, you can’t ignore the importance of search engine optimization. There are numerous components that rank a website on search engines and making sure they are optimized is something every website owner should take care of.

Here are 5 super simple things you can do today to improve your SEO

i. Optimize your image filenames and alt tags

ii. Update your brand keywords with Google Keyword Planner

iii. Create a Robots.txt file

iv. Set up and optimize Google My Business

v. Optimize your content with Yoast SEO

Want to know more? Check out Boost eCommerce Revenue - 5 SEO strategies that founders love

5. Your brand messaging may be inconsistent

You’ve worked hard to create a perfectly crafted marketing message but what’s tough is that that effort seems lost if you’re not being consistent with your messaging across various channels and locations.

When you have an inconsistent message, customers may think your company is not legitimate or real.

If this is the case with you, you’re not alone. This is one of the most common reasons small businesses aren’t getting conversions. They don’t have a consistent tone or message which makes it hard for the target audience to connect with the brand.

And the worst part is that it’s totally preventable.

How to solve

a) Set brand guidelines:

Establishing brand guidelines is more than just setting stylistic rules for your visual and written materials. Guides set a consistent point of view on how your brand behaves.

Since you won't always be there to give your brand the personality it needs, what you say and the way you say it will tell your audience how you want to be perceived. Brand guidelines help you do just that.

Look at Wolf Circus Jewelry for example. Notice how every element is just another nod to their overarching brand personality?

Wolf Circus Jewelry example for brand guidelines

b) Sync all your assets:

With your brand assets in order, it becomes easier to bring your offline and online marketing teams together—they have a common starting point to begin their collaboration.

By making all content accessible, your information is shared seamlessly between teams. This doesn't mean you need to use the same images or wording across all channels. That would be boring (and unhelpful).

The goal here is to make sure all assets are in sync so that teams creating offline advertising and promotions can easily align with web-based campaigns, and web-based teams can use print work as a jumping-off point.

c) Build a solid brand experience:

Brand experience includes every touchpoint consumers have with your brand across numerous channels, from your website to online UGC (user-generated content) to any other means by which they might interact with your brand digitally or offline.

You need to consider how all these elements work together to influence how people think about your brand and use your products.

6. Your website could be lagging (happens more often than we’d like)

Portent studied over 10 websites and 26,000 landing pages over a period of a month to find out how site speed affected retail conversion rates. This is what they found: 

  • A load time of 0–4 seconds was ideal for conversion rates
  • The first 5 seconds were the most crucial and had the highest impact on web conversion rates
  • For every additional load time—between 0–5 seconds—the conversion rate drops at an average of 4.42%

How to solve

a) Check your site navigation: You need to look at site navigation to understand how your customers engage with the website. A good navigation has:

  • Clear categories
  • Smooth filtering & sorting
  • Effective search function

Example: Adidas

example of site navigation from Adidas

Shoppers can easily sort through multiple parameters: price, sizes, categories, and brands, making it easy for them to shop what they want.

Chewy’s website has defined product categories that make navigation easier for shoppers and the overall experience seamless.

example of smooth navigation from Chewy
Pro Tip: Use Google Analytics to analyze how users interact with your site so you know which pages have room for improvement.

b) Check for browser compatibility: It’s possible that your site takes longer on one browser than the other, or that users with older versions of browsers may not be able to access all features. These factors affect customers’ experiences which can lead to a higher bounce rate than usual.

To solve this, look at Google Analytics. 

Go to Audience > Technology > Browser for an eCommerce report which will show which browsers are underperforming. Test the checkout flow, forms, exit-intent popups, and landing page on the browser.

c) Minify codes: Minifying or compressing files that contain codes such as Javascript, HTML, and CSS can help reduce the time in transferring them from servers to browsers

d) Reduce server response time: By choosing a faster hosting provider and optimizing your content management system (CMS), it’s possible to reduce your server response time.

e) Defer below the fold content: A smart trick you can do is delay the load time for images and content that are below the fold. By loading images and content of the accessible part of the screen, it’s possible to reduce the first-server request and boost overall load time.

Pro Tip: Make Google Page Speed Insights your best friend. The data will help you keep your website running smoothly.
example of google page speed insights data for improving eCommerce conversion rates

7. Your site may not be nailing the first impression

Starting conversations, building relationships — that’s what a good first impression does. Your website is no different.

Chances are that if you’re not nailing that first impression, there may be more visitors dropping off than you’d like, reducing your conversion rate.

There are a number of things that could be preventing your website from making a good first impression with its audience. These could include:

  • Poor UX / UI
  • Slow loading speed
  • Content that doesn’t click
  • Lack of accessibility across devices

Take one look at this example from LingsCars.com and you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Example of a badly designed website

BUT all’s not lost. There are things you can do to nail that first impression

a) Improve your design:

Two important stats:

  • First impressions are 94% related to the design. 
  • 87% of customers feel product content is the most important factor when shopping online

To win the game, your customers need to LOVE your product content the first time they see it. How do you ensure that? By offering clear CTAs, personalized recommendations, high-quality visuals, and thumb-stopping content

Want to know more? Check out 20 best product page design examples in 2021 (+ expert advice)

b) Use website real estate efficiently:

See what Poo-Pourri does here? They grab your attention with a catchy headline that commands a presence. 

They, then, leave a 99% positive rating banner right below the product, hitting customers at a time when they’re most likely to be swayed.

And the top has a brightly colored banner that talks about the Easter bundles.

That’s a well-played hierarchy right there. By developing this in the way they have, they’ve successfully directed your attention to the important stuff. 

That’s what you gotta do: create a visual hierarchy, ensure the important stuff commands attention, and follow it up with equally appealing information.

Example of a great visual hierarchy for website

c) Build a fantastic customer journey:

Probably not the first thing that comes to mind but planning a great customer journey is half the battle won. Really.

When people have text and illustrations to follow, they perform 323% better than when they don’t have any illustrations guiding them. This plays a major strength when you’re building traffic, onboarding customers, and even connecting with recurring customers.

Check out this fab example from Starbucks. Notice how you’re immediately drawn to their Rewards program & sign-up form? That’s because of how cleverly they’ve used their illustrations to guide the flow. 

Customer journey example from Starbucks

8. You may not be showing sincerity or authenticity

We’ve all been there: on a website with deals that are excellent, prices that are fabulous, but the navigation is off, the content structure looks wrong, and the grammar is questionable at best. Those are the general signs of an illegitimate website.

But, can there be more? Truth is there are a lot of things that make a website look bad, some of which include: 

  • Disconnected CTAs
  • No social proof of any kind
  • Far more keywords than required
  • Spammy, or even missing contact details

And, when your website looks unauthentic, two things deter traffic and conversions. 

  1. Search engines think you could be phishing
  2. Customers think you may be illegitimate

And that — without a doubt — is a scary place to be but it’s not the end. There are things you can do to come out of it.

How to solve

a) Use a reputable domain:

Chances are that you’re not the only website selling the same or similar products. That’s why your domain should serve as a unique identifier to your brand.

A creative domain is one thing that you can leverage to make your website stand out from others. But what constitutes a memorable and reputable domain? Here are some key elements that constitute an effective domain:

- Having the main keyword in your domain name. For example, ‘cosmetics’ in https://www.maccosmetics.com/

- Having a high-quality domain extension such as .com, .store, and .io

- Having an original domain that is unique to your brand and isn’t already trademarked

b) Ensure you have an authentic SSL certificate:

An SSL certificate is a security device that ensures safe and secure communication between your website’s server and the browser.

Thanks to HTTPS technology, all connections are encrypted, which means that any data exchange remains strictly confidential. That sounds pretty technical, but what it ultimately means to you is that your website will look more trustworthy in front of the customer.

When you install an SSL certificate on your website, you do so to increase the trustworthiness of your brand to your users. Due to the presence of this certification, browsers will give positive feedback in the form of a green padlock next to your domain.

This shows that your website is secure, which immediately creates trust because users know their information will remain safe.

c) Always, always use high-quality content:

While there are many things that influence online buying decisions, a website’s content is one of the most important elements.

Having a beautifully designed website — with clear CTAs, prominent testimonials, solid visual hierarchy, quality vocabulary, and correct grammar, etc — plays a huge role in setting the tone for your business and driving conversions.

9. Your website may not be the best on mobile

79% of smartphone users make a purchase online using mobile devices. If your website is not mobile responsive, you’re ignoring your mobile users and missing out on several customers who would otherwise convert.

To check how your website scores on mobile-friendliness, use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Here are the important data you’d want to gather from the tool:

  • If your site is mobile-friendly
  • How your site looks on mobile devices
  • If there are any mobile usability issues

How to solve

a) Add digital wallets to your store: Around 19% customers abandon their carts due to security concerns or sharing payment details. Adding digital payment options such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Android Pay can help reassure customers and offer them a secure payment experience.

Example: on H&M’s checkout page, you can clearly see what payment options you have.

example of payment options for mobile responsiveness

b) Leverage autocomplete: Typing on a mobile device can be annoying. Your customers won’t want to keep typing to find what they’re looking for. Using autocomplete can make their search easier and they’re more likely to convert.

c) Limit your text: Shorter screens increase text fatigue. That’s why you should try replacing the texts in areas such as product descriptions with relevant visuals. Be it images of customers using the product or icons to explain benefits. 

d) Avoid adding all pages: For the sake of simplicity, stick to including only the most important pages on your mobile site. You can avoid the clutter and your customers can stick to exploring only the most important pages. 

e) Reduce popups: Popups, especially on mobile devices, can be extremely intrusive. Use it only if it’s absolutely necessary. If you have to have one, make sure it’s small and easy to close. 

example of a non-intrusive mobile popup

Example: Macy’s

macy mobile friendly
Fun fact: Macy's webpage is optimized for mobile users and does not have usability issues reported from the users. As a result, their eCommerce business grew by a whopping 53% in 2020.
mobile friendly macy website

10. Your checkout process might be complicated

Baymard’s research suggests about two-thirds of visitors abandon their cart because of the complicated checkout process.

Make sure your checkout page is optimized so that customers can check out quickly and with ease. Remember, too many steps will deter buyers, and this will decrease your website checkout rate.

Typically, the ideal checkout process for a customer looks like this: 

Shopping cart > billing details > shipping info > preview order > payment > confirmation 

But can this be made even simpler to create a frictionless checkout process for the customer? 

Smashing Magazine found that a 5-step checkout process was the most common among eCommerce store owners.

example of a simple checkout process for better conversions
Hey, you’ll love this: How do I increase my website’s checkout rate? (27 brilliant insights)

How to solve

a) Offer guest checkout: Nothing makes a customer drop off from a checkout page faster than forcing them to sign up. Offering them to checkout as a guest makes it more accessible and faster for them. 

This is what Crate&Barrel does—that makes for a lightning-speed checkout experience.

example of guest checkout by crate & barrel

b) Autofill and validate addresses: This will not only ensure the accuracy of the address but also save the user’s time to fill it up. 

c) Use a progress indicator: Showing the progress bar while checkout is a great way to motivate customers to complete the process rather than abandon it. It tells them how many more steps are there and how much longer it may take.

example of a progress bar
Source

d) Allow order preview or summary: It’s a must to offer customers a complete preview of their order before the final payment. This can include the product, payment, and shipping information. 

Bellroy nails this by offering a lucid preview page neatly segregated to include all the essential information. 

example of an order summary page from bellroy

Look at this example where checking out looks like a breeze:

ease checkout for conversions

If your goal is to have as many people as possible purchase products from your eCommerce website, then you should make this process as easy as possible.

Pro Tip: Have between 4 to 6 steps in your checkout process to truly see results.

11. Your site search could be a bit unintuitive

Consider millennials: short attention span, high expectations. They shop on the go with their ever-present smartphones. If they’ve to spend several frustrating minutes searching your site for that product they saw on Instagram, they’re gone.

The solution? Enable voice and image search. 

How to use voice search to increase your eCommerce conversion rates

Here are a few ideas on how you can leverage voice search to boost your retail conversion rates:

a) Identify your customer’s questions: Most voice queries fall under any one or more of the 5Ws and how questions: 

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When 
  • Why
  • How

b) Update your content as per voice search: Try adding the questions your customers are asking to your blog content and product information pages. 

c) Claim your business listings: Ensure you claim your business listings on Google, Apple, and Bing. This will help you to voice search technology to map user’s locations to relevant search results—including those with your business.

How to use image search to improve your eCommerce conversion rates

There are 2 main aspects to consider when it comes to image search: 

  • The quality of your images
  • Your image alt text

This may require a bit of backend work. 

Suppose if you sell backpacks, make sure you share pictures that show the strap, design, and pockets from all sides. This helps provide various data points to match the search queries to your images. 

However, since search engines don’t see your images but match the results to queries, your image alt texts are super important. Here, you can use an alt text such as black waterproof backpack for men for outdoor. This will help the search engines cover multiple bases from the queries and show your product image as a result. 

Example: How Neiman Marcus championed customer needs with a new visual search feature

Chain store Neiman Marcus upgraded to a visual search-friendly space by launching their new feature Snap. Find. Shop. With this, customers could search for their products by entering a 3D image. 

Met with insane customer demand, they extended this feature to all their products. 

Check out the launch video of this feature here.

Fun fact: Around 70% of customers still don’t use voice search to buy products. That’s an opportunity waiting to be utilized right there.

12. You may not be highlighting what's unique about you

Think about your website as a product with a distinct identity. Every product has different features that make it unique from other products in the market and without these unique features, no one will really be interested. If people can’t find what makes you stand out in the crowd, then how can they come to your site for an experience?

The best way to increase your conversion rate is to highlight your USP — what you do that makes you different — what the point of your business is. This answer is incredibly qualitative and has enough depth to really get people to convert.

How to solve

a) Show off your USPs:

A sound USP can help you to stand out from the crowd in your industry, boosting your business and allowing you to cut through the noise of an increasingly competitive marketplace. 

Check out this example from FedEx. It is bold, it is memorable, and it is iconic. Plus, it shows the brand in a light that encourages people to trust them.

FedEx example of brand USP

b) Find your primary specialty and bank on it:

By finding your area of specialty, you’re able to create more effective marketing materials and draw customers with a better understanding of what you do and why you do it better than anyone else in your field.

Finding your specialty allows potential customers to understand that you’re the best choice, while at the same time helping them understand exactly what they will get if they choose to buy from you.

c) Stay updated with trends, but don’t lose your own voice:

There is such a thing as being too trend-savvy or “keeping up with the times”. You should be aware of your industry and you should stay on top of new trends, but you shouldn’t follow every fad that comes along.

There will be some trends that are more useful to your business than others, and you need to make sure that any trend prep works for you and not against you. It’s possible to find success by not following the crowd; what’s more important is to know your customers and the market around your business.

13. Something you’ve changed could be counterproductive

Want to know a secret? People don’t always like change. That’s true in life, in love, and in business.

People like familiarity: they like being able to go to a website and checkout almost instantly — and change almost always interferes with that.

That said, sometimes change enhances that. Sometimes, a new feature or a new layout wins over the audience and increases your conversions.

So, as a business owner, you have to keep experimenting with your UI to see what works and what doesn’t.

Confusing, isn’t it?

Here’s what you can do about it

a) A/B testing:

We’ve spoken about it before — and it’s still important. A/B testing gives you the chance to test two different elements in real time and understand what works before you make the change final.

It also helps you understand whether that change will be beneficial or not. For example, by comparing a blue search bar with your already existing red search bar across a specified sample group, you can get a sense of understanding as to whether that change will be worth it.

If you’re already in too deep with the changes, try testing changing things back to how they were and see whether that improves your conversion rates.

b) Talk to your customers:

More often than not, having open channels of communication with your customers can help your business boom. That way, you can get their feedback and opinion on what they like, don’t like, and absolutely hate.

This not only saves you the trouble but also helps deepen the customer bond when they realise their needs are being considered and appreciated.

That’s one of the main reasons why BETA testing programs work out so well. They offer an exclusive pass into new features before they’re even launched, making it a win-win for both parties.

If you have an app on the Play Store, the Google Play Beta Testing program is a major hit.

Play Store beta testing

14. You're probably not keeping it real with shipping costs

Let’s face it: We all know how much of a needle-mover free shipping is for customers. 

Your customers are ready to take multiple actions to get free shipping. 

actions customers are ready to take to receive free shipping
Source

In spite of knowing this, many still see negligible conversions from it. Here’s why:

  • You’re probably using it as a surprise for customers. This makes the customer unsure about the shipping cost and abandon.
  • In case you’re charging for it, your delivery still doesn’t match up to the charge. It’s a bad deal for the customer.

Here’s what you can do to counter this: 

a) Offer multiple shipping options: Include regular shipping as well as paid options that offer faster delivery

b) Display the shipping cost before the checkout page: The product page is the best place to mention the shipping cost. You can repeat it again on the add-to-cart page. 

Don’t overlook the conversion rate optimization (CRO) aspect here. The placement of your shipping offer can impact your eCommerce conversion rates hugely.

Example: Placing a free shipping message below the add-to-cart button increases conversion by 19%

GrowthRock carried out a study where they experimented with the free shipping message placement. 

When the message was displayed on the promo bar, it didn’t get much result due to banner blindness and competing messages. Upon placing it below the add-to-cart button, there was a 19% increase in conversions. 

Pro Tip: Offer free shipping for a value that is between your desired average order value and the actual average order value.

15. Your email campaigns could be uninspiring (too salesy)

For every dollar spent on email marketing, the average eCommerce business sees as much as $38 in return, which is a 3,800% return on investment (ROI).

If you’ve been sending email newsletters less frequently, or your email content is not engaging, then your website traffic and conversion rates will decrease.

How to solve

If your conversion rate is dropping, that is a sign that you need to step up your email marketing. Right from the welcome email series to the sales emails, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

a) Personalize your email campaigns:

Segment your target audience and look into their buyer personas to understand how you can personalize a campaign that might get them to click.

Look at this example of Grammarly which sends a personalized weekly update adding value to the customer while contributing to their brand recall.

personalized ecommerce marketing

Another simple but great example came from one of our employees at ConvertCart. He regularly orders from Starbucks on an India-based delivery app - Swiggy. After a few days of ordering, an email popped up in his inbox. The results? He ordered again, this time a lot more than usual.

Personalize email campaigns like Starbucks and Swiggy

It’s really interesting to see how two minor factors - the subject line & the exclusive coupon - can make a massive impact on conversions. Additionally, your customers will get closer to the brand as you keep impressing them with more personalized communications.

b) Make your content stand out:

If your copy doesn’t engage in a few seconds, you’ve lost a potential customer. But a compelling copy is one part; you must also pay heed to design and formatting, and keep it as clean and simple as possible. Take this beautiful example of Lush that makes you want to stop and take notice.

email marketing for combating low conversions

c) Keep a tab on the frequency and relevancy:

The real culprits, more often than not, are irrelevant emails.

If you treat your audience as one big list with no segregation based on what they like, where they live, age group, and behavior patterns, the email campaigns aren’t going to resonate with them, and in all likelihood, they won’t click.

Make sure that your email copy is designed with your target audience in mind. Whether it's educational content, discounts, or coupons, you should always provide value to your readers.

BTW: Engage can help you personalize the email copy for *each* customer. (Some brands that are using Engage - drive upwards of 30% of their revenue from email marketing.) Take a peek!

16. You may not be monitoring competitors close enough

It can be frustrating — especially if you put a lot of effort into your marketing — to see your competitors overtake you. When you are not keeping a close eye on your competitors, it becomes really easy to fall behind.

Here’s the thing - unless you were first to market to your industry, chances are you have some pretty tough competitors. These competitors spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to plow their way to the top of search results, coming in ahead of you.

If you want to catch up with them and boost your conversion rate, then you’ll need to look into doing some serious legwork. 

How to solve

a) Switch on Google Alerts:

Google Alerts is a great tool for tracking your competition. When signing up for Alerts, you can set it up to track any number of competitors or keywords that are important to you. 

You can set up alerts for particular keywords or domains, and you’ll be sent a notification every time there is a match. The possibilities of what you can track are endless, and it doesn’t take long to set up.

Round up all the ways you can use it and get started browsing your top competitors to see what they have been up to lately!

b) Monitor backlinks:

If you’ve been paying attention to your competitors, you know how important backlinks are. And if you’re not paying attention, let that be a lesson to you. 

Measuring your competitors’ backlinks could give you insight into what they’re doing right and what isn’t working for them.

You can use a tool, such as Monitor Backlinks, to track these backlinks and see what they’re trying to build, which ones are bringing results, and how you can adapt this into your strategy.

17. You're (unintentionally) making shoppers work too hard

We get it: data runs the world. It’s important to know who you’re selling to, where they’re coming from, and how to work with them BUT you can’t put them in a frenzy.

By asking them for too much information too quickly and too often, you’re bound to leave them perplexed.

Remember: your online store is supposed to be a user-friendly resource, not a jumble of elements that leave your shoppers in a maze of options.

So, don’t throw too many things at them — instead, focus on making the shopping experience easier and faster. That way, you'll reap a windfall in conversions thanks to the simple & efficient customer experience you’ve built.

Here’s how you can do that

a) Engage with customers, subtly:

Social media is all the rage AND it has a ton of effective engagement features (such as polls, quizzes, questions, etc) that you can use to gather information on your customers. The best part? You can turn it into a game.

Here’s how Beautycon does it:

Beautycon's engaging Instagram stories

If you’d like to do that on your website, you can ask them quick questions every now and then OR keep adding polls to your UI wherever necessary. That way, they’re giving you insights without ever feeling too burdened.

b) Use surveys, smartly:

Surveys are a great way to gather information about customers and get their feedback.

The best part about them is that they allow customers to opt in whenever they want and are not forced upon them. That is MOST important.

Very often, brands incentivize these surveys and offer a value exchange in terms of freebies and discounts.

The result? Customers are more than happy to opt in!

Check out this example from MeUndies. See how they use pretty vocab to get their customers in?

Survey example from MeUndies

18. Your exit-intent popups could be too intrusive

Here’s the deal: Exit-intent popups work really well.

Your customers only take a minute to slide off to another website with lucrative deals and discounts. You need to engage them and tell them why they should stay. Popups can do that for you.

While many marketers hesitate to include exit-intent popups because they believe that popups are annoying to customers, the data shows the opposite. When used effectively, popups can help you see a 5-10% increase in conversions.

Look at this handsome banner by JarJackets which is so fun and engaging that anyone would look to subscribe:

exit intent pop up for ecommerce conversion

Take a leaf out of this banner from Le Creuset which has a truly persuasive copy (and free shipping!):

macy know what's cooking

How to solve

Here are some best practices for using exit-intent popups for your website:

a) Target the right audience: Segment your visitors and target those with a high chance of converting. Lock them in with discounts, coupons, and other attractive deals, every time they leave the website.‍

b) Make a contextual offer: Always make sure the popups are targeted to the right set of audiences. For instance, you run an eCommerce business that sells clothing for kids, men, and women. On the page where men’s products are listed, showing a sale on kids’ clothing is not going to be effective. ‍

c) Use images as a hook: Engaging photos will draw the eye and help increase interest. And then entice them to stay on your website and convert by offering a discount code, coupon, free shipping, or a free download.‍

d) Write a compelling copy: Fine-tune your CTAs to resonate with an audience who will instantly click on them. You can employ psychological hacks such as FOMO or a sense of urgency to keep them engaged, drive more sales, and shoot up the conversion rates.‍

e) Address potential concerns: Show a 100% satisfaction guarantee or some other reassurance for your website visitors to increase trust.

When it comes to exit-intent popups, keep one thing in mind: they can’t hurt! While there are countless upsides to using exit-intent popups, there are practically no disadvantages.

Remember, the people who view these popups were about to leave your website anyway. It doesn’t hurt anything to try to reach out to them one more time before they leave.

Pro Tip: The attention span of web users is less than 9 seconds. And even less for exit-intent popups which interrupt while they’re leaving the site. You need to win them over in the short window.

19. Your page could be too distracting

8 seconds. That’s all you’ve got to get their attention. So, you have to make it count. If your page is too distracting, you’ve already lost.

But the hard truth is that this happens far more often than we’d like. In an attempt to breathe life into the website — we often end up over-complicating it and making it too distracting for new customers — losing value in the whole ordeal.

See this example from Conde Nast Traveler? In a bid to get animations, video, pop-ups and other engaging, thumb-stopping content, they end up leaving the customers with too many distractions.

Conde Naste Traveler page is too distracting

How to solve

a) Offer them something valuable each step of the way:

Remember that most people like things to be done quickly — whether that’s getting information, buying a product, or even speaking with people — so cater to that.

If your brand is inherently complex and has a lot to offer, give them something each step of the way so they remain incentivized.

Two ways in which you can do that:

  • Offer quick tips across your website
  • Give them the option to hover through products
Pro Tip: Ensure that each step takes no more than three clicks. Even better if customers can checkout within three clicks.

b) Ensure everything serves an immediate purpose:

Now, here’s the thing: while every element does serve a purpose, not everything is immediately required.

So, if you look at only the things that are required at that moment, you can narrow down the various elements and make the website a lot less cluttered.

For example, the product details can wait till the latter half of the page. You might want to show off some great reviews first.

If you find yourself wondering, here’s how you can optimize your landing page.

c) Design website mobile-first:

Here’s a quick tip: if you’ve got a B2C company, chances are your customers are accessing your website on their phone. In fact, as much as 79% of traffic comes from mobile, but conversions? A mere 1.32%.

The gap lies in the UX. By nailing that down for mobile, you can greatly increase your conversion rates.

A lovely example is from Skinny Ties who not only nail mobile but also have a killer desktop presence.

Skinny Ties example for website responsiveness

20. Your A/B testing may not be on point

The final step is testing. If you want to get accurate data from your conversion funnel and customer behavior.

And nothing better than A/B testing to do that. It’s still one of the most popular ways to improve your conversion rates—as you can see below.

ab testing to improve eCommerce conversion rates
Source

How to use A/B testing to improve eCommerce conversion rates

To get the best results, you’ll have to know which elements to test. Start with the most impactful elements and go down in priority.

a) Copy: Headlines are one of the most important aspects of your web pages. Check for user interactions with headlines to identify the most impactful ones. Another element to test is CTAs and anchor texts. You can also test content lengths and reactions to persuasion. 

b) Visuals: Images, audio, and video all are important elements that impact conversion. Try testing video testimonials to text ones. Or infographic lengths. Check whether product videos or stock images get you more conversions.

c) Email subject lines: These directly impact your open rates. Your aim should be to beat the average percentage of 25–47%. Try testing various formats such as power words, statements, questions, and emojis.

d) Product descriptions: Ideally, your product description length should be guided by the awareness level of your customers. Check this insightful chart by Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers.

product description length for improving eCommerce conversions

e) Landing pages - As you know, these are the pages that directly drive sales. You can use heat maps to check which part of your landing pages people are clicking on. This is valuable data to have before finalizing an A/B testing hypothesis. You should try reaching beyond the average landing page conversion rate of 2.35%.

Pro tip: Be sure to conduct A/B testing before and after you make any changes to your website.

Ready to increase your eCommerce conversion rate? Just put these tips into practice, and you will see an improvement in your site’s conversion rates.

If you're looking for an in-depth analysis of your website from the best in the eCommerce industry, Sign up for a website audit today!

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