There are more than 1.8 million ecommerce websites floating around the internet today, with an average conversion rate of 2.86%. Competing in a crowd like this can be challenging and, when your sales begin to drop, completely disheartening. If you’re trying to increase your ecommerce website’s conversion rates, but are at a loss about what to do, we’ve compiled nine expert tips to help you get back on top.
1. Identify Your Conversion Issues
Before you define the ways you’ll increase the conversion rates for your ecommerce website, you first need to identify what your conversion issues are. This will allow you to create a plan that addresses your specific problem areas and prevent you from wasting valuable time and resources on solutions that just won’t work.
For example, if you have a high bounce rate combined with low conversion rates, it might mean your website is making a bad first impression. Using a tactic such as integrated payment options to boost conversions will be pointless in this scenario. Instead, you should conduct UX audits to identify which areas of your site need improving and how you can do that.
Luckily, there are loads of ecommerce tools you can use to analyze why your conversion rates might be flagging. Here are our top three:
- Google Analytics: This provides key data on the behavior of your site visitors, such as how they found you, how long they stayed, and what interaction led to conversion.
- HotJar: A key feature of this tool is its use of heatmaps to identify how visitors are interacting with your ecommerce site.
- Quantcast Measure: You can use this to gain deep insights into audience demographics using your website, which will be invaluable in shaping your strategy.
2. Increase Relevant Website Traffic
One reason why your conversion rates may be low is that you’re not getting your ecommerce store in front of the right people. Driving relevant traffic is crucial to the survival of ecommerce websites, so here’s a few things you can do:
- Google Ads: By allowing you to define relevant keywords for your ads, this tool lets you advertise your products to people who are actively searching for them. Your ad can then feature on either search ads, the Google Display Network, or YouTube ads, all of which have huge audiences and, in turn, huge potential.
- Paid social ads: Advertising on social media is a great way to get your consumer products in front of more people. With platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you can even target specific demographics so your ad is put in front of the right audience. Social ads are also great for reaching new customers and can drive traffic by allowing people to click through to your ecommerce website or product page.
- SEO (search engine optimization): Optimizing your ecommerce website for search engines is vital for increasing relevant website traffic. SEO basically makes it so that your website can be found easily by people searching for what you offer. By fine-tuning your website with things like relevant keywords and optimized meta tags, you boost your chances of ranking high on the search engines and driving more organic traffic.
The more relevant traffic you get to your ecommerce website, the higher the chances of conversion are because you’ll be reeling in people who actually stand to gain from the products or services you’re offering.
3. UI/UX Audits
People are drawn in by a good website. Beyond an awesome design, ecommerce websites also need to offer an engaging user experience (UX) and a killer user interface (UI) in order to persuade visitors to convert.
The bottom line is that a poorly designed website that’s difficult to navigate will drive people away, no matter how good your product is.
If you have a high bounce rate, or if you notice people aren’t exploring your website beyond the homepage, conducting a UI/UX audit is imperative. These audits pinpoint exactly which areas of your website need improving and, most importantly, how they can be improved to boost conversions. Key areas a UI/UX audit focuses on are:
- Business and user objectives
- Website traffic and engagement
- Site metrics such as conversion rates and sales data
- Mental modeling, i.e. the thought process behind how users will navigate your site
- How your site complies with UX standards
- How your site can implement UX best practices
The point of a UI/UX audit is to outline ways to optimize your site for conversions, from creating fun and engaging ways to display information to making it easy to navigate and responsive on a range of devices.
It’s also important to validate the results of a UI/UX audit, which you can do via user testing. User testing involves having five to 10 regular users go through your site to find pain points, as well as going through a simulation of your upgraded site to validate that it’s a better experience. These interactions are very insightful and typically captured on video.
To illustrate what we mean, here’s an example of a UI/UX audit we at LimeLight Marketing implemented to improve one of our client’s sites:
- Our client had three target audiences on their website. We had someone who fell into one of the three audiences look at the site for the first time to see if he could self-identify and find relevant content.
- Their target audiences were having a hard time finding the material relevant for them (including our UX tester) because content for the different audiences was mixed together on the site.
- We recommended creating three clear calls to action on the home page so different audiences could self-identify and go to a landing page with content specific to them and their needs.
- In the future, this will allow them to continually put out content for each target audience on that audience’s specific landing page, without having to worry about confusing the other two audiences.
4. Integrating Payment Options
Another way to increase ecommerce website conversion rates is to integrate a range of payment options on the checkout page. In fact, in a recent study, 50% of site users said they abandoned their carts due to a lack of payment options, showing that streamlining this part of the checkout process is key to keeping customers happy.
Rather than just offering card payments, include methods like PayPal (more on that below), Apple Pay, Stripe or Klarna. This will accommodate more users and give them one less reason to abandon ship.
With this in mind, there are several advantages of offering multiple payment methods on your ecommerce website:
- Improves customer convenience by giving them more choices
- Makes customers feel more secure if there’s an option available that they trust
- Makes your company look legitimate and more trustworthy
This has the potential to increase your conversion rate by 30%.
PayPal boosts conversion rates: the proof
At LimeLight, we recently worked with a client who was seeing a massive drop-off in conversion rates at the point of payment.
By introducing PayPal as a payment option, the payment drop-off decreased by 32% in 60 days.
In fact, the entire payment process improved. Customers now see before they begin to checkout that PayPal is offered, encouraging them through the process. We have seen:
- 29% decrease in customer drop-off
- 5% decrease in shipping drop-off
- 9% decrease in billing drop-off
5. Use High Quality Images & Videos
This one may seem straightforward, but if you’re not using high-quality images and videos on your ecommerce website, you can kiss high conversion rates goodbye.
Online shopping removes the ability for people to see and feel your product. To make customers feel confident in buying from you, you need to include detailed, high-resolution images that are true to the product. Videos and 360 product viewers are also good ideas because they allow the customer to get an almost tangible experience of the product.
Visualizing a product drives customer desire and, therefore, more conversions.
6. Improve Your Order Fulfilment Process
In 2021, the option for free and fast delivery is no longer a competitive edge — it’s an expectation. In fact, 79% of people are more likely to buy something online when there’s the option for free shipping. Meanwhile, 25% of customers said shipping costs are the main reason they cancel orders.
So, as you can see, free shipping plays a huge role in increasing ecommerce website conversion rates. If it seems too expensive, you could offer free shipping by increasing your product prices to cover the added expense.
But free delivery isn’t the only way you can improve your order fulfilment process. If you want to drive conversions, you should also consider:
- Offering next-day or fast home delivery
- Using sustainable packaging (74% of consumers are willing to pay more for this!)
- Providing tracked shipping so customers can follow their order’s journey
7. Follow Up on Abandoned Carts
The nemesis to a good conversion rate is an abandoned cart. If you’re getting a lot of these, don’t just look at ways to improve your checkout process, actually follow up on them.
Abandoned cart software can be used to send follow-up emails to people who have abandoned their carts on your website. These emails usually include the contents of their carts and serve as a little nudge to remind them of all the great things they almost had their hands on.
As an extra incentive for them to complete their orders, you could even offer a time-limited discount code or the option for free shipping.
8. Capture Emails!
You can’t send follow-up emails about abandoned carts if your website doesn’t capture emails! Nor can you send out exclusive discounts to subscribers, promote a new product launch or keep people up to date with blogs and the latest news.
Also, online shoppers often require multiple site visits before they convert, so capturing emails as quickly as possible is essential to bringing them back. A great way to do this is to add a pop-up form that offers a discount on visitors’ first purchases when they sign up by email.
Not only will this grow your email base and allow you to keep marketing to them, it will also add an irresistible incentive for site visitors to convert to paying customers — because who can resist a discount?
9. Optimize for M-Commerce
Mobile commerce is dominating ecommerce sales this year, accounting for a whopping 54% share. If your online store isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it will be extremely difficult to increase your conversion rate. Why? Here are some key statistics that will explain the importance of optimizing for m-commerce:
- 40% of customers use their mobile phones to conduct research before buying a product.
- 77% of people make impulse purchases on their mobiles after digital window shopping.
- The use of mobile payments is projected to grow by 26.93% between 2020 and 2025.
In a nutshell, if your ecommerce website doesn’t offer a great user experience on mobile devices, a huge amount of potential sales will slip through your fingers. Here are a few things you can do to optimize your site for mobile commerce and increase conversions in the process:
- Ensure your site design is responsive on a range of mobile devices.
- Create user-friendly navigation that’s easy to understand and use.
- Optimize your site so it loads within three seconds maximum.
- Implement an intuitive checkout process optimized for smaller mobile screens.
- Get rid of invasive pop-up ads that can be overwhelming on mobiles.
- Ensure your content is easy to read, doesn’t get cut off and gets to the point quickly.
Brandee Johnson is the owner and CEO of LimeLight Marketing. After a 15 year run in corporate America, working for leading brands Deluxe Corporation and LEGO, Johnson followed her long-time dream of starting her own company and founded LimeLight Marketing, a brand, digital marketing and development agency that helps brands foster customer trust and grow market share. Since then, the agency has grown rapidly to serve companies across the US.