12 ways to increase conversions from ecommerce websites
Building an effective ecommerce business can be challenging. Make it easier by considering the core aspects of digital marketing from the outset.
Converting website visitors in to valuable customers is the key goal of ecommerce conversion optimisation. Ecommerce conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who make a purchase from your online store. A classic ecommerce journey will include a number of actions that can be taken by the user along the route to conversion:
- Landing on the website and locating a suitable product
- Adding a product to a cart
- Finalising the basket ready for checkout
- Registering with the site
- Completing contact details
- Finalising delivery information
- Completing the payment process
- Confirming the checkout
Each one of these steps can be made easier for users. This will reduce the drop out from step to step. The overall result is an increase in ecommerce conversion rate.
What ecommerce conversion optimisation techniques can enterprises use to increase conversions?
1. Clear ‘Call To Action’ triggers
Only 47% of websites feature suitably placed call to action (CTA) triggers that take users 3 seconds or less to spot, whilst 70% of websites don’t display call to actions on their homepage. CTAs should be bold and stand out from other content on your website, increasing the likelihood that a potential buyer will click, tap or swipe.
Any ecommerce business that’s interested in attaining as many conversions as possible should consider the following aspects to aid conversions:
- CTA colour should contrast to the background
- Enticing language will encourage action
- Placement on the page
Beware of cultural differences. If your organisation has multinational websites, the colours you choose should be considered. For instance, using white in Western cultures represents purity, peace and cleanliness. However, in some Asian countries white symbolises death and bad luck which could impact your page’s conversion rates.
2. Display multiple high quality product images
75% of online shoppers rely on product photography when deciding on a potential purchase. Retailers should invest in high quality images and videos to drive conversions. Not only does image content quickly communicate information about products to visitors, but they’re shareable. According to Gartner, 74% of the population look at social media imagery to help inform their buying decisions. Google also loves websites with image content. Adding multiple images of products to your website has great search marketing value and will help boost your ecommerce site’s only visibility – generating more organic traffic.
3. Provide a great user experience
To successfully implement ecommerce conversion optimisation, it’s imperative that your website has been designed and built with user experience in-mind. Consumers are impatient and have grown accustomed to services and products being available to them immediately, around the clock. Enterprises cannot afford to have poorly designed websites that neglect best of breed UX design principles or they risk users leaving their site to a competitor website that is easier to navigate.
4. Prominent customer service messaging
Often customers have a specific query in mind that prevents them making a purchase. Make it easy for customers to contact you and ask their questions. Our FMCG digital marketing report uncovered that some leading UK brands shy away from including contact details on their main navigation despite the research that indicates almost 80% of consumers believe businesses should give them a way to engage with them online.
Online customer service should emulate the same level of service that would be delivered in an offline store. Organisations that give their users multiple options to contact them or get the answers to their questions can only aid ecommerce conversion optimisation. This could be through a variety of means including a phone number, live chat or email. The more options available, the better, as the customer can contact based on their personal preferences.
5. Prominent security messaging
Online fraud is on the increase. Before instigating a purchase it is essential for retailers to reassure customers that their payment information and contact details are secure. This can be done in a number of ways. Most importantly ensure that your website is secure. This requires a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. This means that information inputted on the website is securely encrypted and can’t be intercepted.
Display the secure credentials of your website with prominent messaging at all stages of the buying process. This will reassure customers as they navigate the purchase journey.
6. Easy to follow returns messaging
A key concern for potential customers is the reassurance that products can be easily returned. When purchasing clothing, footwear or home furnishings customers want to try on the product or see how it will look in their home. If it doesn’t fit, or doesn’t look right customers need to know that they can return the product. Don’t hide away this vital information.
7. Delivery details
A key factor when deciding which retailer to buy from is the specifics of product delivery. Make it easy for potential customers by clearly communicating the two key questions:
- How much will delivery cost?
- How long will delivery take?
If your ecommerce website offers fast delivery at no (low) cost you have every chance of differentiating your store from competitors and earning the sale from website visitors.
8. Simplify the checkout process
This is one of the most important elements of an ecommerce website. If it takes a user too long to purchase the products that they want to buy, the chance of basket abandonment and an incompletion of purchase becomes more likely. Studies show that 27% of shoppers abandon their carts on a website because the checkout process is too long and complicated. On average, the number of steps to check out on an ecommerce website is 5.42. If you’re somewhere in this range, the likelihood is 30% of your prospective customers think your checkout process is too long. It is important to stick to the essential information:
- Shipping information
- Payment information
- An email address
9. Send shopping cart abandonment emails
Over 40% of shopping cart abandonment emails are opened and 25% of those go on to convert into sales. Email marketing is a great way to tackle ecommerce conversion optimisation and for building customer loyalty. By the point of abandonment, you already know the users buying intent making it easier to market more effectively to this segment.
The benefit of abandonment emails is simple; it’s easier to convert users that are already engaged acquire and convert a new visitor who is unfamiliar with your brand and with your website and products.
10. User reviews generate trust
88% of shoppers say they trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Furthermore, 39% of people say that they read product review on a regular basis and only 12% of customers say they do not check online reviews. Fundamentally, including reviews as a conversion tactic will improve credibility which will drive more shoppers to convert and complete the purchase process. There is a possibility that some negative comments will arise, but those negative comments can actually help you as they help legitimise your reviews and give the opportunity to demonstrate great customer service.
11. Use personalisation
Users love personalised recommendations. Following the analysis of 330,000 CTAs over a six-month period, a study uncovered that personalised CTAs increased conversions by 202%. If your brand’s site is using cookies to track browsing behaviour, products can be recommended to customers based on what they have already been looking at, tailoring the experience to their preferences. Leading enterprise level website platforms like Sitecore usually have personalisation capabilities to deliver tailored customer experiences seamlessly. This means that on a return visit the last viewed products can be displayed prominently making it easy for customers to start their follow-up visit from where they left off. There is nothing more frustrating than having to spend time relocating a previously viewed product. This takes time and frustrates potential customers.
12. Up-sell, cross-sell and bundle
Increasing the customer basket value is a key goal for ecommerce businesses. This can also assist customers by making it easy for them to purchase complementary products. Up-sell, cross-sell and bundle products throughout the shopping journey. Amazon are great at this. Research shows that this tactic is highly effective, with 49% of consumers stating they bought something that they weren’t initially planning on buying after seeing a personalised recommendation.
What else can improve ecommerce conversion rates?
The above tactics are some of the key ways to improve conversion rates from ecommerce websites. As no website is perfect, and every customer is unique, the quest for improved ecommerce conversion optimisation is a never ending challenge. Once these suggestions are exhausted there are many other options for experimentation:
- Include product videos
- Prominent third-party endorsement
- Detailed product related frequently asked questions
- Voucher codes, coupons and discount codes
How effective is your approach to ecommerce conversion optimisation?
If your organisation needs support with how to best approach ecommerce conversion optimisation – we’d love to help. Kagool has a team of experts that specialise in Sitecore ecommerce sites, from design, build to optimisation. As a top tier Sitecore Partner with a dedicated digital marketing department, we’re well-versed in how to best get the most out of your solution. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you achieve your digital goals or to book a digital marketing audit.