Attracting visitors to your eCommerce website is the first crucial step in establishing a successful online business. However, simply generating traffic is not enough; the ultimate goal is to convert those visitors into paying customers. This is where eCommerce conversion optimisation comes into play.
By implementing effective strategies to enhance your website’s user experience and streamline the purchasing process, you can significantly increase your conversion rate and drive sales growth. Let’s take a look at some common eCommerce conversion optimisation techniques you can use to make more sales.
- What is a Good eCommerce Conversion Rate?
- Refresh Your Theme’s Look and Feel
- Capture Attention with Compelling Product Images and Videos
- Write Detailed Product Descriptions
- Offer Free Shipping and Returns
- Offer Discount Codes
- Let Shoppers Review Products
- Streamline the Checkout Process
- Personalise the Shopping Experience
- Enhance Customer Experience with Live Chat
- Utilise A/B Testing
- Establish Trust and Security through Trust Signals
Looking for a better way to manage your retail business? Watch a demo of Lightspeed to discover how our platform can help your business grow.
Level up your retail management system
Looking for a better way to manage your retail business? Watch a demo of Lightspeed to discover how our platform can help your business grow.
What is a Good eCommerce Conversion Rate?
Before embarking on conversion optimisation efforts, it’s essential to understand your current conversion rate. This metric represents the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, or signing up for an account.
The average eCommerce conversion rate across all industries is around 2.34%. However, this benchmark varies depending on factors such as industry, product type, and target audience. Generally, a conversion rate between 1.5% and 3% is considered respectable in the eCommerce realm.
1. Refresh Your Theme’s Look and Feel
First impressions matter. Your website’s theme is your virtual storefront, and you have a fleeting opportunity – less than a minute, just 50 milliseconds – to entice visitors to stay and explore. Your theme should:
Represent Your Brand: Whether it’s your colour scheme, imagery, or font choice, your website should immediately give visitors a sense of your brand identity. This is particularly important for your homepage, where you want to make a lasting impression right from the start.
Ensure Seamless Navigation for Your Visitors: Potential customers shouldn’t struggle to find their way around your website. Implement a clear and logical layout, making categories, and the shopping cart easily to find.
Be Desktop and Mobile Friendly: Your theme should automatically detect which type of device your customer is browsing on and optimise its display accordingly whether it’s a desktop, tablet, or smartphone.
Prioritise Loading Speed: Increasing your website speed by even just one second increases your conversions by 7%.
Embrace Bold Visuals: Captivate visitors with high-quality, eye-catching images. Avoid overwhelming your homepage with excessive text and let your product images speak for themselves.
Invest in a well-designed theme that offers effortless customisation, rapid loading, times, and built-in mobile responsiveness. If your current theme is visually appealing but challenging to customise and update, you may find yourself with a website that doesn’t reflect your brand and cannot easily integrate with the latest features. Similarly, if your theme has impressive functionality – slide-out carts, quick product views, search options, and more – but takes a long time to load, customers won’t stick around long enough to see any of it.
2. Capture Attention with Compelling Product Images and Videos
In the realm of eCommerce, customers are unable to physically interact with products. As a result, they rely heavily on product photography to make informed purchasing decisions. A single image can convey a wealth of information, making it an invaluable tool for any eCommerce business.
Showcase Products from Multiple Angles
Effective product photography bridges the gap between the physical and digital worlds. Incorporate features that enhance the viewing experience, such as zoom functionality and 360-degree product views. These features empower visitors to examine products in detail from various perspectives. Additionally, ensure that you utilise high-resolution images that maintain clarity even when zoomed in.
Present Products in Context
Lifestyle imagery helps customers to visualise themselves using your products, potentially boosting conversion rates. For example, Brompton Bikes effectively showcase their products in real-world settings.
Leverage the Power of Video
Video is rapidly gaining traction as a preferred medium for eCommerce businesses, enabling dynamic product demonstrations. If your products benefit from hands-on demonstrations, consider incorporating videos to address potential questions that shoppers might have about product usage. A lack of clarity regarding product value can lead to abandoned browsing sessions. Videos also provide a more engaging and interactive way to showcase your products.
3. Write Detailed Product Descriptions
While captivating product images are essential for creating conversion-driven product pages, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of well-crafted product descriptions.
Conduct a Content Audit
Evaluating the existing product descriptions on your website. Do they provide customers with the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions? Given the absence of physical interaction with products, comprehensive descriptions are crucial for conveying detail that photos may not adequately capture, such as material specifications, for example.
Tailor Descriptions to Buyer Needs
Ensure that product descriptions are buyer-centric, addressing their specific needs and pain points. Just as your product value proposition clearly communicates the benefits of your offerings, product descriptions should succinctly answer the questions, “Why should I buy this?”
Strike a Balance Between Informativeness and Readability
Write product descriptions that are thorough without becoming overly verbose. Utilise bullet points to present information in a scannable and easy-to-digest format. Additionally, incorporate relevant keywords that potential customers might use when searching for products like yours, optimising your site for search engines and attracting more visitors.
Maintain Brand Consistency
Infuse your brand voice and tone throughout your product descriptions. For instance, a golf course establishing its online store should adopt a sophisticated and expert tone in its product descriptions. Golf club product pages should emphasise the quality of the clubs and their potential to elevate a customer’s game. In contrast, the upbeat and cheerful tone of a children’s clothing store would feel out of place on a golf course’s product descriptions.
4. Offer Free Shipping and Returns
Free shipping stands as one of the most influential factor driving online purchases, and has become so ingrained in consumer expectations that shoppers don’t see it as an added perk, but rather an expectation.
In addition to enhancing customer satisfaction, free shipping can also positively impact your bottom line. Orders accompanied by free shipping typically carry an average value of around 30%, according to Invespcro.
Simplify Returns and Exchanges
Free returns and exchanges are another influential factor driving online purchases. Customers may opt for returns or exchanges for various reasons, and while this can incur costs for retailers, implementing a comprehensive returns and exchange policy demonstrates your commitment to offering a seamless customer experience.
Your returns and exchange policy also plays a role in enhancing conversion rates. Jeff Moriarty, Marketing Manager at Moriarty’s Gem Art, says that offering free returns and delivery helped improve their conversion rate. “Our conversion rate went from 1.1% to 1.9% once we started offering free insured delivery and free returns with no penalties”, says Jeff.
5. Offer Discount Codes
Everyone enjoys a good deal, and offering discounts can be a powerful tool for boosting your conversion rate. A study by RetailMeNot revealed that 62% of shoppers won’t complete a purchase without first searching for a discount code. Moreover, 57% of shoppers who use discount codes indicate that they wouldn’t have purchased the item without the discount.
Harness the Power of Email Marketing
Create and share discount codes whenever possible. A simple yet effective approach is to capture email addresses on your website and send exclusive discounts to newsletter subscribers. If you haven’t already started one, consider launching a newsletter to keep customers informed about new products, sales, and special offers so you can drive more interested traffic to your site.
Integrate discount codes into your loyalty programme. Customers can earn discounts through points accumulation, or you can target programme members during special occasions (such as birthdays) or for demonstrating high levels of engagement.
Tap into Social Media Engagement
Share discount codes with your social media followers to generate excitement and drive traffic to your site. To instil a sense of urgency, consider setting an expiration date for the discount code. The “use it or lose it” mentality can effectively encourage conversions.
6. Let Shoppers Review Products
Product reviews are an invaluable tool for converting visitors into customers. According to Spiegel Research Center, nearly 95% of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase. Moreover, a study by Brightlocal revealed that 91% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Reviews serve as social proof, validating the quality of your products and providing potential customers with valuable insights from fellow consumers.
For instance, Allbirds seamlessly integrates product reviews into their website, allowing customers to easily read and leave feedback. Their user-friendly interface features star ratings, detailed comments, and a sliding scale that demonstrates how shoe sizes run based on customer reviews.
Address Concerns and Build Customer Relationships
While enabling product reviews opens the door to potentially negative feedback, it also presents an opportunity to address any issues and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. In fact, 89% of consumers read a business’s response to a review. Capitalise on this conversion opportunity by following up with customers after a purchase to encourage them to share their experiences.
Seek Reviews Beyond Your Website
In addition to encouraging product reviews on your own site, proactively seek reviews on external platforms like Yelp and Google My Business. Actively respond to any negative reviews, demonstrating your responsiveness and willingness to address customer concerns. Your engagement with reviews can positively influence future customers even before they visit your website.
7. Streamline the Checkout Process
Customers expect a quick and hassle-free checkout process when making online purchases. A lengthy or complex checkout process can lead to cart abandonment and lost sales. Statistics show that approximately 21% of shoppers abandon their carts due to a lengthy or complicated checkout process, 28% abandon their carts due to the requirement to create an account, and 5% abandon their carts due to unexpected hidden costs or delivery fees presented at checkout.
If you want to minimise cart abandonment and boost conversion rates, consider implementing the following strategies:
Enable Guest Checkout: Allow customers to make purchases without creating an account. This eliminates the extra step of account creation, ensuring that the checkout process is as convenient and streamlined as possible.
Implement One-Click Checkout Options: Utilise solutions like Apple Pay and Google Pay to enable one-click checkout for customers who have already saved their payment information with these services. This significantly reduces the checkout time and friction, enhancing the overall shopping experience.
Minimise Checkout Steps: Keep the checkout process as simple as possible. Reduce the number of required fields, eliminate unnecessary steps, and clearly label all sections to guide customers through the process seamlessly.
Ensure Transparency: Clearly display all costs, including taxes, shipping charges, and any potential additional fees, upfront during the checkout process. This transparency builds trust with customers and reduces the likelihood of surprises at the final checkout stage.
Optimise Checkout Page Performance: Ensure that your checkout page loads quickly and functions flawlessly across various devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones. A poorly performing checkout page can lead to frustration and cart abandonment.
8. Personalise the Shopping Experience
Personalisation is a powerful tool for enhancing customer engagement and driving sales. A study by Epsilon revealed that 90% of shoppers appreciate personalised experiences, and 80% are more likely to do business with companies that offer them. Tailoring the shopping experience to individual experiences will allow you to foster greater customer satisfaction and cultivate long-lasting relationships.
Embrace Product Recommendations
Leverage customer data to provide personalised product recommendations based on their purchasing history and interests. This can be achieved by analysing past purchases, browsing behaviour, and expressed preferences. For instance, a golf pro shop could enhance their product pages by displaying recommended matching shorts and hats alongside the golf shoes they sell online, helping customers build a coordinated look.
Elevate Sales with Personalised Recommendations
Product recommendations not only enhance the shopping experience but also directly contribute to increased sales. A study by Salesforce found that when product recommendations are clicked, they account for 24% of orders and 26% of revenue. Additionally, shoppers who engage with product recommendations are nearly twice as likely to repeat visitors to your site. This demonstrates that personalisation not only increases customer order size but also fosters customer loyalty.
Personalised Loyalty Programmes and Email Marketing
Extend personalisation to your loyalty programmes and email marketing campaigns. Analysing customer data can allow you to send personalised offers and promotions tailored to past purchases or customer preferences. This approach is easy to implement and has been proven to be highly effective in driving conversions.
9. Enhance Customer Experience with Live Chat
While physical retail stores offer the convenience of immediate assistance from sales representatives, online shopping often presents a gap in timely customer service. This lack of immediate support can lead to lost sales and frustrated customers.
In today’s digital landscape, live chat has emerged as an essential for eCommerce businesses, bridging the gap between online and offline customer service experiences. A study by Kayako revealed that 44% of customers consider the ability to interact with a real person during their online purchase to be one of the most valuable features a store can offer.
Live chat offers several compelling benefits for both customers and businesses, including:
Seamless Customer Experience: Live chat minimises disruption to consumer habits, allowing customers to continue browsing or shopping whilst simultaneously engaging with a customer service representative. This feature provides a more efficient and seamless shopping experience compared to traditional methods like email or phone support.
Increased Efficiency: Customer service representatives can handle multiple live chat interactions simultaneously, ensuring that customer inquiries are addressed promptly and efficiently.
Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: Live chat has demonstrated its ability to significantly improve customer satisfaction levels. A study by Zendesk revealed that approximately 92% of customers feel satisfied with their live chat interactions.
10. Utilise A/B Testing
A/B testing is a powerful tool for optimising your website, marketing campaigns, and overall conversion rate. It involves creating two slightly different versions of an element, such as a web page, email, or call to action, and presenting them to two, or more, separate groups of users. Analysing the behaviour of each group can inform you which version has performed better and make data-driven decisions to improve your conversion rate.
Here are some examples of how you can use A/B testing to optimise your eCommerce business:
Optimise Checkout Configuration: Experiment with different checkout layouts, button placements, and form fields to determine the configuration that minimises cart abandonment and maximises conversions.
Enhance Landing Page Effectiveness: Test different landing page designs, headlines, and copy variations to identify the combination that resonates most effectively with your target audience and drives higher conversion rates.
Refine Email Marketing Campaigns: A/B test various aspects of your email campaigns, including subject lines, send times, email content, design elements, banners, personalisation techniques, images, offers, and calls to action, to determine what combination generates the highest open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
11. Establish Trust and Security through Trust Signals
Trust signals play a crucial role in establishing credibility and building trust with potential customers. The signals help alleviate concerns about the legitimacy and security of your eCommerce site, encouraging customers to feel comfortable sharing their personal and financial information. Trust signals can be categorised into two primary groups:
Soft Signals: These signals provide basic information about your business, demonstrating its legitimacy and professionalism. They include:
- About Us page: This page should provide a clear overview of your company, its mission, values, and team members.
- Contact Us page: Display prominent contact information, including your business address, phone number, and email address.
- Physical address: If you have a physical storefront, provide your address for this location, too.
Hard Signals: These signals focus specifically on data security measures, assuring customers that their information is protected. They include:
- TRUSTe seal: This seal indicates that your site adheres to TRUSTe’s privacy standards, demonstrating your commitment to data protection.
- SSL/TLS certificates: These certificates encrypt customer data as it is transmitted between their devices and your website, ensuring the confidentiality of sensitive information.
Whether you want to level up an existing eCommerce business, or are looking to start one from scratch, Lightspeed eCom can help you take your eCommerce conversion rate to the next level. Watch a demo today.
News you care about. Tips you can use.
Everything your business needs to grow, delivered straight to your inbox.