February 16, 2017

How to increase your eCommerce website’s conversion rate

Have you been struggling with increasing the conversion rate on your eCommerce website?  Your eCommerce website design, which could be the main reason that you're not making money, plays a major role in the number of visitors that turn your website turns into customers.  In this article, we'll discuss how you can increase the conversion rate with some simple changes.

Reviews of your products is critical

We know that online reviews are very important for your eCommerce business.  In fact, 81% of shoppers research online before buying.  So you should definitely be showcasing products reviews at an eye-catching place on your products' page.  

iherb.com

This image above is the homepage of iHerb, a successful online nutritional supplements and health products store which sells both in the states and internationally.  The product has only 3 informational items in addition to the image- the title, the reviews, and the price.  Price and product title are inherently important, but this shows just how important reviews are to selling items.

Don't worry too much about negative reviews.  A small number of bad reviews actually give credibility to better reviews (as long as there are not too many).

Make your CTAs stand out

You don't have to make your CTA buttons a crazy color, just make it compelling and make it stand out.  Make sure your "Add to cart" or "Check out" buttons are easy to find on the page.

Etsy.com

This page is from Esty.com.  It's a good example of eye-catching buttons that shows you don't necessarily need fancy or over-the-top buttons.  The key is to make your CTA buttons visually-engaging enough, without being too tacky.

Don't forget to test after making the CTA changes and monitor your conversion rates.  If the conversion rate is not improving, you might also need to change the button location, color, or the wording. 

Detailed product headlines, descriptions and videos

Making your products tempting in your online store is tricky.  Adding a good product description with high-res images and an attention-grabbing product video on your page will increase conversion rate more than you think.

Product titles & descriptions

A product's title is probably the first thing your eCommerce website visitors will be reading.  You have  0 to 8 seconds to make your online store visitors stay on your landing page.  After 8 seconds, the majority of website visitors leave if they don't see anything that interests them.  Make your product's title clear, terse and appealing so that it calls out the major features of your product.

Don't be afraid of being too detailed on your product descriptions.  Customers who really want to read more will appreciate it and those that don't won't mind.  Let them know what exactly they are getting by giving them clear and substantial information in the product descriptions.  Your product descriptions should be helping your customers to make up their mind.  Keep the product information rich and easy to understand.  Don't forget to format your text, use bulleted lists, and high quality images to better your descriptions.

Products videos

A picture is worth a thousand words, yet a video is worth even more.  Creating product videos is another great way to attract your customers.  In fact, a study shows that using product videos can increase product purchases by 144%!  Website visitors tend to stay on websites which have videos on the page longer than those that don't.  If possible, hire a professional to make a good video for your products.  

If you don't have the budget for product videos, film a product video yourself if you have a high quality camera or smartphone or use a site like Fiverr and get someone to make a product video for you on the cheap.  These might not be Pixar level quality videos, but they're better than nothing.

Social media customer engagement

A study shows that in 2016 the daily time the average person worldwide spends on social networking is 118 minutes.  The number of global social networking users is estimated to jump to around 2.67 billion in 2018.  In fact, 9 out of 10 consumers turn to social media for help when they're making a buying decision.  Social media is now one of the best and effective ways to build your brand without spending a lot of money.  

Start using at least one or two major social medias that are prominent in your country or target demographic and try to increase your social media engagement.  This will help you develop a unique brand image and customers' loyalty.  The other positive effect here is that you can also have interactions with your social media followers and more chances to improve your product by addressing concerns and thereby increasing customer retention.  

Some social media sites (e.g., Facebook) have a review feature which you should definitely be taking advantage of.  According to this survey, 90% of respondents said that online reviews influenced their buying decisions.  Ask your happy customers for a good review.  Offer coupons or discounts in return for reviews; the review is worth a lot more to you than the pennies saved by your customers.

In short, a good social media strategy will certainly help you to build your audience and target your crowd better, and increase the conversion rate of your online store.  Your customers might only go to your eCommerce website once every while, but they're likely to use Twitter or Facebook almost every day.

Who doesn't love free shipping?

Did you know that 28% of online shoppers will abandon their cart if the shipping costs are too high?  High shipping cost is the number 1 reason for online shopping cart abandonment.  An E-tailing group study shows that unconditional free shipping is the number one deciding factor for consumers looking to make a purchase.  Another study found that Free Shipping Day increased sales by 16%.

www.bestbuy.com

Try to lose the shipping cost or just build the shipping cost into the price of the item.  If you offer free shipping when your customers' shopping cart value exceeds a preset amount (or even just a flat shipping rate here, if you don't have any way to drop the shipping cost), your customers are more likely to end up buying more products than they originally would.  (I'm a sucker for this trap and always try to hit the free shipping minimum.)

If you do offer some kind of free shipping, make it known and post your free shipping deal on the homepage, header, or anywhere else in plain line of sight.

Talk to your customers

On your eCommerce website, you should make it as easy as possible to reach you for your customers.  Adding an easy-to-use contact form or a live chat feature on your eCommerce website is a good idea.  According to this study, a massive 60% of live chat sessions end in a sale.  Forrester data shows that 55% of online shoppers in the states are more likely to abandon their shopping cart if they can not find a quick answer to their question.  However, if you can answer their questions promptly, you turn your eCommerce website visitors into customers.  The image below is from PUMA's website where they've added a live chat for quick product questions.

PUMA live chat

Also, you should get feedback from your customers about your products.  No matter what size your online store is, it's always good to know where you can improve in the future, in order to provide your customers better products.  Making them feel heard is important, especially for a smaller brand with less reputation.  It's also a good way to get repeat sales from satisfied customers.

Tracking abandoned carts is also a good idea.  Go after customers who didn't finish their checkout process and find out what the problem was.  It could be an overly complicated checkout procedure, poor quality photos of the products, or simply a slow website load time.  The data you get from talking to these customers is an easy way to improve the conversion rate of your eCommerce website.

Conclusion

There are so many variables that reduce or enhance your conversion rate.  The only way to know for sure what works for your individual business is to monitor your eCommerce website's user behavior and continually testing changes.

Try implementing some of these quick tips on your eCommerce website and let us know what you think.  If you have any questions or better ideas about improving conversion rate, please comment below and let's discuss!