8 Practical Ways to Improve E-Commerce Conversion Rates

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8 Practical Ways to Improve E-Commerce Conversion Rates 1 Small business and marketing blog

The average e-commerce conversion rate is 2.95%. That means out of every 100 users, about 3 should successfully convert to a sale. How does yours compare?

Some marketers get caught up in trying to increase their traffic to drive more sales, when they could be maximizing their conversion rate instead.

Let’s say that your online store receives 10,000 visitors per month. If your current conversion rate is 3 percent, you’ll be generating 300 sales per month. If you increase your conversion rate by just 2 percent, that would equal to 200 more sales every month at a 5 percent conversion rate.

Sounds too good to be true?

Think again.

Small changes and strategies can increase how many users you convert into paying customers. Take CloudSponge for example, they increased their conversion rate by an incredible 33% with just a website redesign.

If you want results like that, try some of the following practices to increase your e-commerce conversion rates.

1. Use Heatmaps

Imagine being able to know exactly where your users are looking at on any given page. You’d know what to optimize, what is being a distraction, and could identify the best performing areas of your website.

That’s possible with heatmaps.

These are tools that will track where every users mouse goes during their visit. It compiles it into a visual map as you can see above.

Metrics from tools such as Google Analytics are great, but they have to be further dissected. You get much further detail and obvious findings when taking advantage of a heatmap.

For e-commerce store owners, this is a priceless tool to test your sales funnel. With a heatmap enabled, you can see how many customers are clicking the add-to-cart button or otherwise. This then opens the opportunity to create A/B split tests to increase your conversion rate.

There are also scrolling heatmaps available. As you could guess, these show how far users are scrolling down your page. If they aren’t scrolling for, you might be losing their attention too soon.

2. Improve your copywriting

Every word has an emotion attached to it. Since the purchasing process is heavily based on emotion, tweaks to sales copy can have a direct affect on conversion rates.

Do you put energy into your copywriting? If not, you could be missing out on some easy sales.

Just take L’Axelle for example. They were able to increase their click-through-rate by 93% from improving their copywriting.

Do you know how many words they changed for this result?

Six. That’s all!

One of the first copywriting strategies you should implement is calls to action. These are statements that tell a customer to do something, rather than passively asking. Examples include:

  • Buy now
  • Get your free demo
  • Don’t wait
  • Contact us today

It’s subtle but proven to entice users to take action and in this case, get closer to the sale.

Next, try storytelling. Everyone has a story about something.

Talk about how you struggled to start your business and what inspired it. Of course, be honest about what you’re telling. Mix this into your email newsletters, about page, and blog posts. Users will feel a connection towards you as you are being personal.

Lastly, use data and stats to make your business more credible. A great way to do so is through case studies. These can show off how your customers benefited from using your product, acting as social proof for future customers.

3. A/B split tests

Nothing about your e-commerce business should be concrete unless proven otherwise. What I mean by this is that you need to test every element to ensure you find the best strategy. This is what we call an A/B split test.

One of the best places to begin testing your e-commerce store is the add-to-cart button. It’s perhaps one of the most important places on your entire website.

How do you test it?

Simple. By changing its size, position, colour, and text. For example, if it was originally:

  • Black with white text
  • Said “Add to cart”
  • Positioned under the product image

You could test a version that includes:

  • Blue with white text
  • Says “Buy now”
  • Positioned on the side of the product image

Keep this change for a week or longer, whatever time you find necessary. Pay close attention with tools like Google Analytics to track any changes. Do you see your add-to-cart click-through rate going up? Great. Keep this change. If not, you can revert back to the original or test another style.

The cart and checkout pages are crucial places to optimize as well. Create your own unique split tests to increase your conversion rates. Copywriting, buttons, and forms are common items to experiment with. Even if it brings a small improvement, a few tests can really add up.

4. Use the 80/20 rule

Have you heard of Pareto’s principle? It is also called the 80/20 rule. It means that 80 percent of the results, normally come from 20 percent of the action.

How can you use this in e-commerce to increase conversions?

By doubling down on what works.

Let’s say that you have a few products or a specific category that sells the most. Doesn’t it make sense to promote those more?

Place these products on the front page of your website. Promote them more on social media and through your email newsletter. It’s also wise to offer more of these products, with new and improved features.

Now, you might also notice that certain traffic sources are the highest quality. Perhaps SEO brings you the best results.

In that case, double down on SEO. Write more awesome content and build more high quality back-links. Instead of spending time on actions that aren’t doing much for your business, focus on what is.

5. Learn from top converting companies

What better place to look for when it comes to converting than the sites doing it best?

Visit Amazon, AliExpress, Wayfair and other powerhouse online stores and analyze it from the perspective of the site designer.

This helps you find common themes or “industry standards” that you can make sure you’re up to par with. Many of these companies have huge teams and spend massive amounts of money researching how to improve conversion.

Why re-invent the wheel when their research is on display to the public?

Start from the homepage and look outward, ask yourself questions that consumers would engage with such as:

  • How many clicks does it take to get to checkout?
  • How do they use reviews and disclaimers to make you feel safe about the purchase?
  • In what way are the words and pictures laid out to sell?
  • How do they use sales and free shipping to create incentive to buy?
  • What hero images do they use, and where do they link to?

Just from a few minutes browsing each site you can put together a huge list of changes to help create urgency on your own site.

This also helps you act if you feel overwhelmed with what to start with. If all else fails, build following the principles of the best sites online, and tweak from there when optimizing your conversion rate.

6. Setting clear Google Analytics Goals

One of the most powerful tools in your online business arsenal is Google Analytics. You can get so deep into the statistics that sometimes it gets hard to know what metrics are important.

While it’s great seeing your traffic steadily climb, what is important is that the traffic takes action that generates you actual income! This requires one extra layer of tweaking on Analytics, but can mean a world of difference as you optimize your conversion rates.

By setting clear goals, you can see how your website actually helps your business. You should be tracking important goal metrics such as:

  • eBook downloads
  • Physical product purchases
  • Free trail signups
  • Email list or newsletter signups
  • Social Media engagement
  • Digital product downloads

These goals and more can be setup using a few key variables, the URL address, the amount of time spent on-site, the different pages they visited, and if they completed specific events on-site.

This not only helps you make better decisions with your data, it automates a large portion of the data analysis process that you would normally perform. Instead spend some time reflecting on what goals are important for your business, set a few key goals and you have a straightforward metric to measure your success.

7. Lowering your bounce rate. Was it what they expected?

Web traffic has been up, yet people are spending only a few seconds on your site then leaving! Has this ever happened to you? One of the most key variables in conversion success is lowering your bounce rate and keeping people on your site for longer periods of time.

Bounce rate refers to the number of visitors that immediately left your site before clicking anything. Like a pogo stick, they hit the ground and immediately bounced!

One of the most effective ways to lower this is to gauge if users got what they were expecting when they visit your site. This acts as a form of clickbait, where users are frustrated with not getting the desired result, and immediately go back.

If you have a high bounce rate, auditing your sources of traffic generation can show you some key insights that can help increase conversion rates:

  • Was your Google Ad for a specific product, but took them to the homepage?
  • Did they search for something to answer a question, but were sent to a landing page?
  • Was there a link in your YouTube description that sends them to the wrong page?
  • Is your call to actions coming on too strong? Did you provide enough value before asking for their business?

The most important thing you should be considering is the user experience. If your customer is having an easy time navigating through the site, then they will be more confident making a purchase from you.

A high bounce rate shows that users clicked your link out of interest but were unsatisfied with the result. Understanding their intent and making changes either to the link, or to the page it directs to, can have a huge impact on your conversions.

8. Re-targeting Ads for your second chance

Just because a customer came and left, doesn’t mean you should give up! Re-targeting pixels have given marketers an amazing opportunity connect with users on platforms other than their site.

Everyone can remember a time they looked up a specific product online, then found it hounding them on every site they go to. While you don’t have to go as overboard as Amazon, taking advantage of this technology can mean turning visitors into buyers, and keep them coming back!

You first need to decide what platforms you want to reach users with and then install the necessary plugins on your site to start collecting a re-targeting audience. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, and the Display Ads network all provide opportunities to re-connect!

One of the most popular and effective tools is Facebook, which allows you to send tailored messages to users on their feed as well as Instagram. The flexibility of these tools is unmatched, allowing you to create ads specifically for certain actions:

  • Reminder ads to people that added products to their cart and left
  • Re-introducing yourself to new visitors that left
  • Displaying new products to people that already purchased
  • Sending announcements to members of your private community

Retargeting ads are so powerful because you’re not engaging with a cold lead. These are people that are aware of you in some form or another, and having an opportunity to open the door one more time can kickstart your paid traffic conversion rates in a massive way.