Your e-commerce conversion rate refers to the percentage of users who purchase something from your online store. Therefore, it is vital to the success of your online business to get this as high as possible.
Today we have collected together for you our top 10 proven tips for increasing e-commerce conversion rates. This is based on over a decade of experience helping e-commerce businesses expand, mature and thrive, generating millions in sales for them along the way.
1) UNDER 3 SECONDS FROM CLICK TO VIEW
Ensuring that your site loads quickly really does make an incredible difference when it comes to sales. Anything under 3 seconds is ideal. Beyond that and page abandonment starts to skyrocket.
Fashion retailer Missguided improved their Median page load time by 4 seconds, and revenue increased by 26% (source: https://www.slideshare.net/AndyDavies/fast-fashion-how-missguided-revolutionised-their-approach-to-site-performance-deltav-conference-may-2018/37).
2) THE WHOLE OF YOUR SITE SHOULD BE SECURE, NOT JUST YOUR CHECKOUT
Google says running your entire website on https/ssl is essential now. As a result this can severely impact your organic rankings. More importantly, customers have come to expect sites to be secure and it ensures that their data being transferred is kept safe.
Security and antivirus tools will now regularly flag sites and warn users not to use them when they are running on insecure connections too.
3) ALLOW GUEST CHECKOUT
In the climate of data loss, it’s a great idea to offer a guest checkout. Customers are tired of having to give so many details and remember yet another additional passwords when they want to make a one-off purchase. If you offer a guest checkout you can still offer the customer a chance to turn their guest account into a real account after they have placed their order or in the future if they come back for a repeat purchase.
4) OFFER TIME LIMITED DISCOUNT CODES/COUPONS
Limited time discount codes and coupons are a brilliant way to urge your users to convert to customers. You don’t have to just offer money off either, coupons can also be used to provide additional extras or features such as free delivery or extra free products. This further increases your value rather than reducing it.
HOT TIP: Where possible, use a discount code which looks random e.g. HYU73-473HT rather than generic codes such as SUMMER10. While the latter is easier to remember, ‘bespoke’ looking codes convert around 30% higher as customers believe them to have more intrinsic value.
5) OFFER FREE SHIPPING
According to Baymard Institute (source: https://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate) 55% of online shoppers have abandoned an order due to extra high costs or surprising shipping costs being added at a late stage of the checkout. If you can’t afford to give away free shipping, think about increasing your product prices to cover the shipping or offering other incentives such as rapid shipping.
6) SEND ABANDONED BASKET FOLLOW UP EMAILS
Abandoned basket follow up emails are a fantastic way to rescue sales that you may have lost. It’s a form of digital bartering but it doesn’t have to devalue what you’re selling.
Marketo suggests using a three-email abandonment sequence (source: https://blog.marketo.com/2013/12/how-to-send-perfectly-time-abandoned-cart-emails.html):
- The first email, sent within the hour, aims to help with any technical issues that got in the way of completing a purchase
- The second, sent within 24 hours, warns people that their cart will expire
- The third, sent within 48 hours, provides an incentive for completing the purchase
7) CLEARLY DISPLAY ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS
As you’ve seen above in point 5, online shoppers hate surprises. Seeing a product price only to find out later there are additional shipping costs and VAT is likely to cause them to drop out unless they really need the item or you’re the only supplier. Combat this by displaying all additional costs upfront and keep the users updated on any increases throughout the checkout process. This might include VAT price and ex VAT price along with a flat rate or representative shipping cost. You might also promote ‘free returns’ or other risk reducing unique selling points.
8) IMPLEMENT A ONE PAGE CHECKOUT
A one page checkout aims to reduce the steps, clicks, pages and problems for customers so that they can checkout easily, quickly and painlessly. Having a more concise, optimised, compact and clear checkout can massively increase conversion rates.
Aim to only show the exact form fields that customers need to see. Guide them based on their inputs and data rather than showing them everything and leaving them to make all the decisions. They are likely to leave if the path isn’t clear.
9) SHOW PREVIOUS CUSTOMER REVIEWS
If you have a good set of customer reviews, show them. Online shoppers want to know they are in good hands and previous customer reviews are a great way to show this. Surprisingly this should include negative as well as positive.
Negative reviews can clue customers in to potential ‘bad uses’ for a product e.g. ‘the radio wasn’t suitable for near my kitchen sink due to water’. This example would let any potential purchasers of a radio know it wouldn’t make a good kitchen sink radio if that was what they needed. It saves shipping, returns, and bad PR and positions you as more of a trusted resource of product decisions.
If you don’t currently have any customer views, you should consider beginning to collect these.
10) ENSURE YOUR SITE WORKS ON A MOBILE
This is a non negotiable now. In 2018, 58% of online site visits were from mobile devices (source: https://www.stonetemple.com/mobile-vs-desktop-usage-study/) so if you are planning running a successful e-commerce store then this is number 1 on your checklist.
You should also consider serving your pages using PWA (Progressive Web App) technologies. The benefits of making your website a PWA include faster user experience, more control over how the customer uses your site, richer experiences and utlimately Google will rank the sites suppoting this technology higher up the search lists.
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