12 Ways to Boost eCommerce Conversion Rates + Tips
Increasing conversion rates is the holy grail of eCommerce. It allows retailers to boost shopper experience, drive engagement, remove the bottleneck in the sales funnel, and, most importantly—grow their business.
Moreover, analyzing conversions can enable retailers to:
- Understand customers better
- Save on acquisition costs by better targeting, personalization, and merchandising
- Optimize mobile and desktop site
- Increase customer lifetime value and average order value
- Foster deeper connection and loyalty with customers
Thus this blog discusses how retailers can increase their eCommerce stores’ conversion rates and improve shoppers’ experience.
What’s a Good Conversion Rate for eCommerce [By Industry]?
“Good” is subjective in eCommerce as it differs from industry to industry. According to the latest survey by DataReportal published in 2022, eCommerce conversion rates are as follows:
- Grocery – 6.8%
- Pharmaceuticals – 6.8%
- Health and beauty – 3.9%
- Travel and hospitality – 3.9%
- Fashion – 3.3%
- Home goods and furnishing – 2.8%
- Customer electronics – 1.4%
- Luxury – 1.1%
- Automotive – 0.7%
- B2B – 0.5%
- Telecoms – 0.5%
- Media – 0.4%
- Financial services – 0.2%
- Energy – 0.1%
How to calculate the conversion rate?
To know the eCommerce conversion rate, divide the total number of visitors who took action (it could be adding an item to the cart, or making a purchase), by the total number of visitors on the site. Then, multiply this number by 100.
(Visitors who take action/total website visitors)x100 ~ eCommerce conversion rate.
12 Ways to Boost eCommerce Conversion Rate
Analyzing and optimizing eCommerce conversion rates enables retailers to understand how their customers behave on the website, where they are facing issues, and what to optimize. Here are the top 12 ways retailers can boost eCommerce conversion rates.
1. Use persuasive design and content
Content and design go hand in hand to display products aesthetically and enhance shoppers’ experience.
Since users can’t feel or touch the products online, the way it’s represented helps them understand their features, benefits, and how they would look in real life.
Here are a few tips to boost conversions using persuasive design and content:
- Use loss aversion
No one likes to lose, whether it’s a game or a compelling discount.
Loss aversion is a technique that taps into this fear, also called the fear of missing out (FOMO), and triggers visitors to take action, like adding products to the cart or checking out.
Some examples are; a time-sensitive discount, reviews from other customers, displaying low inventory, and more.
- Write a unique product description
Unique product descriptions persuade shoppers to buy the product and boost search engine rankings, making the website discoverable to a larger audience.
- Upload high-quality product photography
Displaying products from various angles, in different backgrounds, shows people how they would look in real life, building their confidence in the product’s quality.
Besides high-quality photos, like lifestyle photos, help customers envision themselves owning that product, increasing the likelihood of its purchase.
- Use color psychology
Each color has a story to tell; marketers use them to create urgency, evoke emotions, create a sense of calm, and more.
2. Easy navigation always wins
While it’s tempting to create a unique navigation experience to make the website stand out from the crowd, it’s perhaps best to stick to what’s familiar.
Visitors want to find products quickly and checkout without any friction and easy navigation aids with just that.
One way to do this is by making the search bar prominent and removing any distractions.
Moreover, keeping the navigation simple goes a long way. It’s because customers are used to buying from giants like Amazon and have grown used to the style of navigation.
This does not mean that every retailer needs to adopt Amazon’s UI/UX, but they should also not go out of their way as it may confuse the visitors.
3. Enable personalized communication
A report by McKinsey shows that 71% of customers expect companies to deliver personalized communication. And 76% get frustrated when the same does not happen.
Personalization boosts customer loyalty and engagement and helps them find new or complementary products easily, making their shopping experience frictionless.
Brands need to know their customers’ preferences and choices to offer them products or content that’s useful to them.
The same McKinsey report shows that companies that excel at personalization bring 40% more revenue than average players.
And 75% of customers want retailers to make it easy for them to navigate in-store and online, 67% want relevant product/service recommendations, and 66% want tailored messaging.
4. Leverage social commerce
There are 4.65 billion active social media users, and 26.6% say they use social media to find products to purchase.
Moreover, according to BazarVoice’s 2022 survey, 69% have been influenced by social media to purchase, with Facebook (45%) and Instagram (33%) being the most popular. A majority (54%) say they would be more likely to buy a product on social media if they could click on it and get product information directly there.
Social commerce allows shoppers to view a product in their social media feed, fetch more information, and check out right on the platform.
Instead of having a customer leave the social platform, visit the retailers’ website, and go through the complete checkout process, retailers bring the store to them.
It’s evident that social commerce isn’t slowing down; instead, it provides an incredible opportunity for retailers to double their conversion rates.
5. Provide multiple discount options
One of the biggest reasons to offer discounts: they work. It’s that simple. After all, who doesn’t love a good deal of coupons and discounts, right?
Moreover, offering multiple discounts makes the brand’s offers unique and helps gain a competitive edge in increased sales.
A recent study by Oberlo shows that the top 2 reasons people shop online are free delivery (49.3%) and coupons and discounts (38.1%).
The ability to apply multiple discounts is a profitable tactic for retailers because it:
- Increases average order value
- Provides value to shoppers
- Helps clear old inventory by automatically applying multiple discounts
- Builds customer loyalty
Types of multiple discounts include free shipping, discount codes, automatic discount, and more.
6. Let social proof do the talking
Displaying social proof—testimonials, reviews, and more—is a time-tested strategy to boost trust and increase conversions.
With 53% of shoppers saying UGC, like social images from customers, makes them more confident in their purchasing decision than professional photography, it’s time retailers ensure having social proof listed on their websites.
Besides the website, social proof, like testimonials, can also be showcased on social media to boost engagement and trust.
The same study shows 5 things that boost shopper confidence are:
- “average star rating
- Number of reviews
- Details in a review that resonate with shopper’s need
- How recently reviews were written; and
- Lengthy detailed reviews.”
A word of caution: since shoppers can voice their opinion on the internet and tell the world how they feel about a brand, this can also bring in negative reviews at times.
But, if retailers take negative reviews as constructive criticism and quickly resolve them, it’ll leave a good impression on potential customers.
7. Optimize site (desktop and mobile) speed
Offering massive discounts and deals, displaying persuasive reviews, or personalizing user experience isn’t going to be useful if the website doesn’t load fast in the first place.
Optimizing speed (not only on the desktop but only mobile) is a surefire way to boost conversion. Statista shows that retail mCommerce sales in the U.S. exceeded 360 billion USD in 2021. And that figure is expected to rise to roughly 710 billion USD by 2025.
If shoppers can’t access the site quickly, they will likely abandon the site and turn to competitors. Google research shows that an average site takes 22 seconds to load, yet, shoppers leave a website that takes any more than 3 seconds. Moreover, a slow-loading website can also negatively impact search engine rankings.
Some tips to optimize site speed are:
- Use a fast and reliable hosting provider
- Look for a robust CDN (content delivery network)
- Use a tag management system (TMS) like Google Tag Manager to collect user data without affecting site speed
- Make it a norm to test and optimize mobile and desktop site speed
- Limit the use of pop-ups
By optimizing site speed, retailers can capture the attention of goldfish span shoppers and boost conversions.
8. Optimize FAQs page
Before a visitor turns into a customer, they have a million questions. If unanswered, it could lead to a lost sale.
Therefore, FAQs (frequently asked questions) page is a great way to turn doubtful visitors into satisfied customers. Here are a few tips to optimize the FAQs page:
- Cut back on industry jargon. Using words that users are unfamiliar with, will leave shoppers feeling more frustrated and confused than before, rather than solving a query.
- Add legal information. Depending on the type of business, retailers might need to add any legal or ethical information.
- Update the page regularly. Retailers shouldn’t set up a FAQs page and forget about it. Shoppers have growing concerns, and businesses keep changing. Thus the FAQ page must reflect the same.
- Keep answers short. It doesn’t necessarily mean information needs to be reduced. Answers must be to the point and answer a query quickly instead of keeping dragging.
The key to a high-converting FAQs page is to make it frictionless and allow shoppers to easily find answers to their questions.
Retailers can use customer support data, sales questions, and more to make FAQ pages more valuable.
9. Enable guest checkout
Nothing can be more frustrating than filling out a lengthy form when a buyer only wants to buy a pair of leggings. If they like the brand, they will sign in for faster checkout. 24% abandoned their carts because the guest checkout option wasn’t available
There could be many objections a customer might face when filling out a form – the length of the form, lack of time, lack of commitment to the brand (if it’s a new buyer), yet another password to remember, and more.
Therefore, it’s vital for retailers to offer a guest checkout for an easy, quick, and frictionless checkout process.
Finally, 87% of consumers say that a complicated checkout process will make them abandon their carts.
Thus, allowing a guest checkout can uplift conversions.
10. Offer multiple delivery and payment options
After offering a personalized shopping experience, social commerce, easy navigation, and more, the last thing retailers would want is shoppers abandoning their cart because their desired payment or delivery options weren’t available.
While it’s not possible to offer every payment mode, retailers must offer options other than credit cards, as 18% abandon their carts due to a lack of trust within the site.
Moreover, research by ResearchandMarkets shows that BNPL (buy now, pay later) is projected to more than quadruple from 2021 to 2026. For more tech-savvy shoppers, retailers can consider offering Cryptocurrency as a payment option.
eCommerce is becoming all about options and conveniences. Local and international shipping, curb pick-up, and same-day delivery, are some of the options retailers can offer. This ensures retailers aren’t missing sales because of limited delivery options.
11. Re-engage cart abandoners
The number of shoppers abandoning carts is increasing every quarter; a report by Oberlo shows that in Q2 2022, the abandoned cart rate rose to 80%, as compared to 78% in Q2 2021.
With a number, this high, retailers cannot afford to lose sales. Fortunately, re-engaging abandoned cart shoppers is easier. Here are a few tips for doing the same:
- Offer free shipping and discounts
- Personalize follow-up emails
- Optimize checkout process
- Use auto-fill forms to save time
Cart abandonment doesn’t have to mean a lost sale, with smart re-targeting and follow-up techniques, retailers can boost conversion by bringing shoppers back to their online store.
12. Visual Merchandising
Visual merchandising is a technique that uses visual aids to enhance shoppers’ experience and boost conversions. Visual merchandising can include optimizing product photography, product arrangement, the layout of the homepage, and more.
Instead of simply putting products on a shelf, visual merchandising enables precisely placing products in an aesthetically pleasing and persuasive manner.
Some tips to use visual merchandising to increase conversions is:
- Tell a story
Telling a story is the key to visual merchandising. Be it on the homepage, collection page, or even on social media; the story is a brand’s narrative that shapes customers’ perspective of the brand and helps them connect with it. Research shows that 57% of consumers increase their spending with a brand when they feel connected and 76% will buy from them over competitors.
- Optimize collections page
The category or collections page is an ideal space to tell the brand’s story and display products that help a customer find what they’re looking for easily and boost conversions.
- Optimize site search
Site search is another great way to boost conversions. Retailers should make their search tab prominent and optimize it so shoppers can find relevant results quickly.
- Product recommendation
This is yet another persuasive tool that can help shoppers find complementary products and boost average order value. It inspires buyers, provides a personalized shopping experience, and enhances customer experience.
Tools like Tagalys make visual merchandising a breeze by using data to make informed decisions.
In a nutshell
eCommerce is changing by the day, with increasing competition and customers’ expectations, retailers can’t afford to track the conversion rates. Moreover, it allows retailers to make data-driven decisions and capture more sales.
Lastly, retailers must A/B test everything and apply techniques mentioned in this blog post to boost their eCommerce store’s conversions.