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The answer, of course, depends on the metrics, you monitor. If you’re achieving business liquidity, generating more profit, and expanding into new markets, you’d have every reason to be satisfied with how your brand is growing.

However, there’s another vital metric determining the success of your eCommerce business you might have overlooked in the past or completely have been completely unaware of – the conversion rate.

This guide discusses the concept of eCommerce conversion rate, why it is an important metric to measure, and how your business can benefit from increasing it. Plus, one of our marketers from one of the top Miami custom web design companies shares their expert tips and tricks for conversion rate optimization.

What is eCommerce Conversion Rate?

Google defines eCommerce conversion rate as “the ratio of transactions to sessions, expressed as a percentage.” In simpler words, you can calculate your site’s conversion rate by dividing the number of completed online purchases by the number of total website visitors.

A conversion rate of 5% means that out of 5,000 website visitors, only 50 of them converted into a customer. It sounds like business isn’t going that well for this particular brand, doesn’t it?

In reality, the average eCommerce conversion rate across industries is measured at around 2% in 2021.

So, it’s not 50, but rather 20 visitors who decide to buy your service or a product via a website.

If you’ve now opened another tab to check your site’s conversion rate in Google Analytics or some other conversion tracking tool and assessed your business’s rate is among the average – don’t be content.

Sure, being among the majority is better than being below the average – but what if you could grow above?

Why Should You Care About Your eCommerce Conversion Rate?

Even a slight increase in your online store’s conversion rate can:

  • Boost your revenue through attracting new customers and retaining the existing ones
  • Help you understand your customers’ needs by observing their shopping behavior
  • Improve brand equity by creating an enjoyable and seamless experience with your brand
  • Minimize avoidable costs, especially in terms of long-term SEO and digital marketing
  • Support data-based decision-making instead of relying on hunches and intuition
  • Increase search rankings and improve the overall performance of your eCommerce website through good UX practices

All these benefits are, in fact, interconnected: adjusting your website to users’ needs improves the UX, i.e., better persuades visitors to convert, thus boosting your revenue and brand reputation. On the other hand, optimizing your site for conversion improves its performance, benefiting its search rankings and, consequently, boosting its organic traffic.

Once you begin optimizing your eCommerce website for an improved conversion rate, the benefits just start stacking upon one another, creating a never-ending loop of progress and success.

eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization – The Basics

Conversion rate optimization is a process of improving the user experience on a website in order to drive a specific KPI.

For eCommerce sites, the key performance indicator is usually sales, either in the number of transactions or collected revenue.

Yet, depending on your goals, you can set a newsletter subscription, average order size, or return on investment (e.g., Google Ads, social media advertising, or influencer marketing budget) as your KPIs.

So, optimizing for an increased conversion rate on your eCommerce website means tweaking your site’s different aspects such as speed, design, copy, etc., to boost the ratio of visitors converting into shoppers.

Conversion rate optimization has grown into a real buzzword among marketers, especially after the pandemic caused shopping platforms’ unprecedented global traffic increase.

According to 2020 research, retail websites generated nearly 22 billion visits in June 2020 alone, a 37.5% increase compared to June 2019. In other words, 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide visited an average of 5 eCommerce websites.

With such an enormous potential customer base, tapping into conversion optimization seems like a logical next step. So, without further ado, here are the seven tested and proven strategies for optimizing your eCommerce platform for the highest conversion rate.

eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies

1. Run A/B Testing

Color psychology has only recently gained traction among web designers and marketers. Researching online, you can find countless studies of how the color of the CTA button can affect its CTR.

Generally, marketers singled out red as the best color for CTAs, with the other contenders being green, blue, orange, yellow, but also the contrasting, complementary, or triadic color of the website’s dominant color.

Research that yields no conclusive results isn’t uncommon in the digital realm. After all, a single user has completely different expectations when researching a B2B office supplier for work and while shopping for a Christmas gift for their toddler.

So, there isn’t some Deus ex machina type of solution to doing basically anything online – it’s all about continuous, consistent, and exhaustive A/B testing.

From the website’s main colors and the positions of elements to CTA texts and colors and landing page copies – each aspect of your eCommerce website should be thoroughly examined and altered according to its performance.

A successful and accurate A/B test includes:

  • Running only one A/B test with a single variable at a time to ascertain what actually brings results
  • Setting a goal to identify which metric’s performance to measure
  • Creating two designs: a control group and the “challenger”
  • Splitting sample randomly and equally to get the most reliable results
  • Analyzing and integrating the results for improved conversion rate
  • Starting another A/B campaign
2. Decrease Loading Speed

You’ve probably heard the rather infamous story of how the human attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish. Of course, in reality, this myth oversimplifies human behavior online, as it disregards our interaction with video games, Netflix or YouTube – but we do agree it makes one hell of a great sensational headline.

Not to be completely dismissive of the goldfish analogy, there is some truth in it; however, it’s related to how long people are willing to wait for a website to load.

Recent studies suggest two seconds as the new threshold of online shoppers’ expectations for a website to load. A second longer loading time and 40% of shoppers will abandon your website without probably ever coming back.

Optimizing your website’s loading speed can entail various activities: image optimization, caching, HTTP requests minimization, CSS and JavaScript minification, etc.

Your eCommerce platform may have serious performance issues – thus, start your conversion optimization process by running your site through tools such as GTMetrix, Lighthouse, and WebPageTest, then discuss and tackle the results with your dev team.

3. Optimize Your Shop For Mobile

With a whopping 3.56 trillion US dollars in sales worth, mCommerce is an eCommerce domain certainly worth tapping into.

Of course, mobile-friendly web design is a must, but many brands are starting to recognize and leverage the power of developing their custom mobile app.

Although a more expensive solution, creating your retail app strengthens the relationship between your shoppers and you as a brand, encouraging a first-time user to transform into a returning customer.

4. Personalized Shopping Experience

Your website’s cookies collect invaluable data about your shoppers – their location, age, behaviors, interests, and much more – so don’t let this precious information lay idle.

Although consciously users may dislike personalization, as it reminds them their online behavior is being tracked, subconsciously, it’s shoppers’ paradise. By leveraging info cookies gathered about your visitors, you can greet them with the exact products they’re interested in.

You can create a seamlessly personalized user experience without even relying on collecting user data.

For example, let’s say a user has added a new pair of Nike trainers to their shopping cart, and just before tapping that purchase button, a beautiful tracksuit pops up on the screen.

Naturally, they want to be fully styled, so they’re willing to spend a few extra dollars on that new tracksuit. But now other products are popping up as well – gym equipment, sweatshirts, smartwatch, etc.

Basically, you can personalize a shopper’s experience by offering them products similar to those they’ve shown interest in, without even having to know that much about them.

Moreover, personalization can be applied to various aspects of your eCommerce platform – shoppers’ website profiles, newsletters, Google advertising, social media ads, etc.

5. Provide Product Images and Descriptions

Quality product photography can substantially impact your eCommerce performance, as it is essential for persuading customers to purchase your product. Studies have found that 9 out of 10 eCommerce visitors hold visual content as the key factor when shopping.

Of course, you can raise your game of products’ visual presentation by implementing the latest industry trends such as video reviews, 3D models, 360 photography, and CGI, to name a few.

When it comes to descriptions, be as elaborate as possible, detailing the product’s physical characteristics, features, applications, and other relevant info. Remember to write about benefits rather than features – instead of focusing on what the product can do, highlight how it can make shoppers’ lives better.

6. Reduce Form Fields

Lengthy forms, privacy concerns, requiring unnecessary information, password fatigue, lack of time or opportunity – all these factors account for users abandoning your store’s account creation form.

To optimize your eCommerce for conversion, you have to alleviate the process of creating an account for your visitors.

Here’s how to do so:

  • Cut the number of required fields to avoid disheartening new users
  • Ask for information you actually need – do you really require the address or the phone number of your newly
  • Registered user before they have even purchased anything?
  • Enable auto-population of form fields to ease the registration process
  • Build trust by stating how user data will be processed and used once uploaded to your website
  • Integrate random password generator to help indecisive users register and save their password via browser
7. Provide Social Proof

A study conducted in 2021 found that over 90% of shoppers rely on customer reviews before buying a product. Social proof, in the form of testimonials, user reviews and comments, video reviews, etc., is crucial to increasing your conversion rate.

However, instead of letting others build your brand image, integrate the customer review feature into your eCommerce platform.

Providing honest and objective commentary on your products will show shoppers you’ve got nothing to hide but also allow you to stay in the know of your users’ sentiment towards your products.

As of recently, another form of social proof has appeared – influencers.

Partnering with an industry-relevant expert can boost the visibility and integrity of your brand. The previously mentioned study discovered that 9 out of 10 marketers are interested in working with micro-influencers, i.e., influencers with between 5.000 and 100.000 followers.

Micro-influencers give the perfect balance of a wide enough audience in terms of numbers, yet on the other hand, an audience narrow enough to be genuinely interested in what you offer.

Still, macro-influencers and mega-influencers (those with 100.000-500.000 and 500.000-5 million followers, respectively) can be a good choice, especially if you’re running a well-known shopping brand, expanding on a new market, or offering a wide array of products.

On the other hand, nano-influencers, those with less than 5.000 followers, are a great choice for eCommerce startups or online shops with a specific target audience.

To Sum Up

Throughout the life cycle of a potential eCommerce shopper, there are numerous touchpoints that can make or break their decision to finalize the conversion.

From something so small as the lighting in your product photography to something as prominent as the website’s slow loading, different aspects that affect eCommerce conversion rate signify just how well-oiled a machine your online shopping platform has to be.

Details can decide whether a visitor will hit the buy or the exit button, and often, it’s not even the price that is crucial.

Therefore, incessantly test, analyze, and implement your website’s conversion performance to ensure your eCommerce store runs smoothly, and shoppers are happily returning to buy from you.

Author Bio

Sophie Douglas is a digital marketing specialist and a journalist based in Columbus, state of Ohio.
Her characters are passionate, innovative, and ambitious. Before becoming a writer for DigitalStrategyOne, she was writing short stories, screenplays, and directing short films.