5 Ways You Can Improve Your E-Commerce Store Conversion Rate

Richard Sutherland
July 17, 2019

You’ve finished building your website, created social media accounts, and uploaded the first of your products to your store to sell. The money should start rolling in, right? On the contrary, the work is just getting started!

E-commerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, VTEX, WooCommerce, and Prestashop come with a one-size-fits-all default setup, and every store needs to be endlessly tweaked to turn the highest possible percentage of visitors into customers.

What Is Conversion Rate?

Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who visit your site that ultimately go on to perform the action you really want them to. Usually, this is to buy one of your products, but other conversion rates goals could be getting visitors to sign up for your newsletter, or simply to begin following you on social media.  

You can spend a lot on off-site content creation, social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising to guarantee you get lots of traffic coming to your website. But if that traffic doesn’t ‘convert’, then it’s all wasted.

The conversion rate of your store is, therefore, a good overall gauge of how your store is performing for the people who are visiting it.

Let’s look at just some ways you can improve your store’s conversion rate and why they work.

1 — Improve Visitor Relevance

Though we will primarily be talking about on-site tweaks you can do to improve your conversion rate, it is worth noting first that your rates will be abysmal if the “wrong” people are visiting your site.

For example, if your site is selling wedding dresses in Texas, it’s highly unlikely that a male visiting from Estonia is ever going to be a real customer.

Your off-site marketing and advertising should, therefore, be focused on getting your true demographic to your site and forgetting about the others. This can be achieved through many ways — social media commenting, relevant blog posts, good metadata on your website, highly targeted pay-per-click advertising, localized search listings, advertising on relevant website, the list goes on.

Performing good market research and implementing a focused marketing strategy is key to getting the right people to see your website in the first place.

2 — Personalize your Homepage

You have mere seconds to make your first impression, so make it count. On average, visitors are most likely to hit your homepage first, but as you get to know your target audiences better you should consider multiple landing pages. This means funneling different sections of visitors to different first pages based on what we know about them and where they came from or what they searched for.

This task used to be somewhat laborious, requiring you to analyze the data of your best-sold products and update accordingly. But with DataCue’s advanced personalization the pages of your website will transform automatically, showing the visitor a completely different version of the site tailored just for them. All the clutter they’re not interested in is hidden, making for a powerful, personalized, streamlined landing page.

Difference in banners on Inspirations Dancewear website for first time visit vs. after search for specific products

3 — Make the Homepage Usable

When displaying your products on the home page, avoid automatic image sliders and carousels. You may think they look cool, but tests have shown time and time again that they kill conversion rates.

The information delivered via carousels is subconsciously skipped by visitors, who perceive them to be advertisements. They also distract with movement and create a feeling that the user isn’t the one in control. If you’re going to use a carousel, allow the user to move through offers manually with a mouse click.

At the other end of the scale, you’re wasting space if you only have a menu with categories. Including images of products in banners can help visitors instantly visualize your products instead of having to think about which category they want to drill down into.

Include important features that customers have come to expect, like a search box with auto-completion, a simple way to log in and sign up using their social media accounts, and if applicable, live chat.

4 — A-B Test Your Product Pages

Every company is different, just as its customers are. One, therefore, can’t make hard-and-fast rules on what works best for your product pages.

In some cases, for example, including details of how many items you still have in stock will improve conversions, but in other cases, it will depress them.

Similarly, many brands have found that orange add-to-cart buttons work the best for them, but others have reported a huge uptick when they changed their buttons to purple.

A-B testing refers to the process of showing 50% of your visitors one type of product page, and the other 50% a different product page. Usually, the difference between these two pages is minuscule. Perhaps you add in details of shipping costs or take out a long description section. Then you see which of the two product pages performed best, and the best-performing product page design becomes the new standard.

Things to A-B test on your product pages include:

  • The color, size, and location of your add-to-cart button.
  • The way you present pricing options (straight pricing, tiered pricing, volume discounts, sale pricing, etc.)
  • How to present shipping costs and whether to offer free shipping over a certain shopping cart value.
  • The position and number of social proof elements on your pages (testimonials, customer reviews, proof of recent purchases, Facebook comment screenshots, celebrity endorsements, etc.)
  • Position and prominence of security badges like VeriSign.
  • Whether to include an FAQ section.
  • How many related products to show, and how to incentivize a joint purchase.
  • Whether to include live chat and when to engage it (such as when a customer seems to abandon their shopping cart without purchase.)
  • Inclusion of rich media, particularly images and videos.
  • Whether including details that suggest urgency (‘offer ends today’) or scarcity (‘only 1 left’) improves conversions.

In fact, all of these things have been shown to improve conversion rates in some cases. Try introducing new elements slowly and A-B testing to see if they’re helping improve conversion rates or simply being a distraction.

5 — The Perfect Checkout Process

Many conversions die at the last hurdle — the checkout process. Abandoned carts are a huge reason your conversion rates are lower than they could be.

Make sure:

  • Your shipping rates don’t come as a shock on the final page. Free shipping helps drive down abandoned cart rates.
  • The checkout process is short.
  • The visitor can make a purchase without feeling they have to create an account (avoid ‘register’, use ‘continue’.)
  • You have as few fields as possible that need to be filled out.
  • You pre-populate fields whenever possible.
  • You draw attention away from the price and onto the product.
  • You use in-line error correction so there’s no frustration when submitting the form.
  • You reassure the buyer through all steps, preferably with a money-back guarantee and security images near credit card detail form elements.
  • Remind the buyer of the solution they’re getting and the value it has to them.
  • If someone abandons their cart, it’ll be waiting for them when they return.
  • If someone abandons their cart, you retarget them later through email and social media networks.

Improve your e-commerce store in these key areas, and see your conversion rates soar.

Find out how DataCue can increase your store sales

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About the author

Richard Sutherland has worked in online marketing and search engine optimization for over 15 years. Excited about how we can offer the customer a streamlined, personalized online experience, Richard looks for every way to increase conversion percentages with a high return on investment.

Sobre el autor

Richard Sutherland tiene más de 15 años de experiencia en marketing online y optimización de motores de búsqueda. Apasionado por ofrecer una experiencia inteligente y personalizada a cada consumidor, Richard está constantemente buscando nuevas maneras de incrementar la conversión y, con ella, los retornos a la inversión.

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