A typical eCommerce website has a conversion rate of between 2.5% and 4.3%.
However, your goal is not to be average but to stand head and shoulders above the competition.
In this article we outline some of the most effective ways to boost your eCommerce store’s conversion rate and escape mediocrity.
1. Make Your Website Visually Persuasive
Although we will be focusing on some specific tactics for optimizing your conversion rate later on, we thought we should start simple — by focusing on the more general topic of your website’s overall design.
Basically, if your website’s design drives visitors away from the page, instead of moving forward with their purchase, there aren’t too many other tactics you can employ that would make a world of difference.
With that in mind, it is important to make your site visually persuasive. Mind you, this is not the same as making it visually appealing.
While the latter is somewhat abstract and might even be considered as subjective, the former is more scientific.
Visual persuasiveness has to do with accentuating a certain part of the page to pull your visitors’ eyes toward it. This usually includes elements like call-to-action (CTA) buttons that take your visitor to the next step toward conversion.
The idea is to make it as clear as possible to your new visitors what they are “supposed” to do as soon as they land on the page.
2. Keep Navigation Simple
This piece of advice is somewhat tied to the previous one. Having a visually persuasive website goes hand-in-hand with making it simple to navigate.
Imagine walking into a store and seeing products haphazardly thrown around all over the floor with no semblance of order or thought. You would likely do a quick 180 and walk right out. The same is true for your online store.
Your visitors should be able to find whatever it is they are looking for within a few clicks. This gets more difficult the more products you offer, so it might be a good idea to start small and build your offer once you’ve got a clear navigational foundation in place.
3. Implement A Persistent Shopping Cart
According to Monetate, shoppers who use multiple devices to complete one eCommerce journey have a purchase rate of 55%, which is stunning compared to the one-device shoppers’ 6%.
It is, therefore, clear that providing a persistent shopping cart for your customers is a must, in order to make the process as streamlined as possible.
You want your prospective shoppers to be able to pick up where they left off in a session, regardless of whether it takes a few minutes, hours, or days.
However, keep in mind that carts staying active for too long may bog down your network. The best way to deal with this is to inform your customers about how long their carts will stay active. This will also create a sense of urgency, which is a tactic we will discuss a bit later.
4. Let Your Customers Shop Through Social Media Platforms
We’re not talking about having a social media presence here, as we’re sure you’ve already got some way of advertising your brand on social networks like Facebook and Instagram.
Creating an organic presence on these channels is a must, and can hardly be described as groundbreaking.
What could improve your conversion rate, however, is turning to these channels to sell your products directly to social media followers.
Naturally, this works better if the products you intend to sell adhere to the type of content you would typically see on these platforms, such as culinary accessories, fashion, or clothing — really anything that heavily relies on visual presentation.
5. Focus On Transparency
You could consider this an overarching tip that applies to your company’s operations across the board. Being as informative as possible is always a good idea, as your prospective customers will feel more comfortable doing business with you.
This doesn’t only mean having robust product descriptions, but providing as much information as possible when it comes to the logistical side of things, such as delivery times, payment options and shipping fees.
According to Baymard. hidden costs are a common reason for shopping cart abandonment. Opting to hide these fees until the last second, or neglecting to report them whatsoever, is not going to do you any favors.
6. Use Social Proof Wherever Possible
A Nielsen study concluded that 84% of customers trust recommendations from peers, family members and friends over other types of advertising and marketing content.
The results of the study are hardly surprising, but they do show the necessity to present social proof of your brand’s excellence whenever possible.
Product reviews immediately come to mind as the most convincing form of social proof but don’t underestimate peoples’ propensity to conform either. Showcasing your hot-ticket or best-selling items can be a form of social proof, as it shows that other people are buying those items.
7. Take Advantage of Exclusivity, Urgency And Scarcity
Speaking of best-selling items that “can’t seem to stop flying off the shelves,” using tactics like exclusivity, urgency and scarcity can help you entice customers to make their purchasing decisions quickly.
Although closely related, these three tactics are implemented differently:
- Scarcity communicates to your prospective customer that a certain item is in short supply and they could miss out on it if they wait too long before making a purchase.
- Urgency, on the other hand, is achieved by putting a deadline on a discount or free shipping deal, which forces your customer to act fast.
- Exclusivity plays to your customers’ desire to be part of an exclusive club. One way you could implement this strategy is by offering a VIP limited-time-only gift with any purchase for a given week or month.
8. Allow Guest Checkout
If you go back to that Nielsen study we linked earlier, you’ll find that the number-two reason for customers abandoning their carts is the fact that they were required to register an account before making a purchase.
While it is understandable that you want every customer to keep doing business with you in the future, this is not a realistic expectation.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to allow your customers to check out as guests while providing multiple chances for them to register both before and after they’ve made a purchase.
9. Offer Discounts Or Free Shipping
Incentivizing additional purchases from your customers at the point of sale can go a long way to improving your bottom-line. Free shipping and discount thresholds are a couple of ways you can do this.
It’s quite simple really — all you need to do is offer a percentage or dollar amount off the total purchase once a single transaction reaches a certain amount, or you provide free shipping.
The trick, of course, is figuring out the right amount for your threshold. If it is too high, most customers will choose to ignore it. If it is too low, you’ll be missing out on some extra profit.
10. Provide Options In Terms Of Payment And Delivery
When it comes to the different payment methods in this day and age, there are too many to count. This means you should try and figure out which method your target consumers are likely to use and offer them with no strings attached.
In terms of delivery options, there should be a trade-off between efficiency and cost. You want to be able to deliver their goods as quickly as possible if they are willing to pay extra, while you should also have a cheap or even free option for customers who are willing to wait.
Losing sales because of logistical issues regarding delivery or payment is definitely not advised.
Determine And Get Rid Of Your Conversion Killer
In the end, it is important to recognize that your eCommerce business is unique, and so are your customers. You’ll need some experimentation to figure out exactly what is keeping your conversion rate low, and there is no be-all-end-all solution.
The tactics we discussed in this article should certainly be a nudge in the right direction, but it is always going to be up to you to find ways in which you can improve your site.
For this, you’ll need to stay in touch with your customers and your team.