Ecommerce conversion rate is one of the most important, and yet the most neglected aspects of online retail. Although the number of people who make their purchases online is rising, conversion is still a big issue. The bounce rates are high, but it seems that many retailers are not willing to do anything about it. Recent research shows that 50% of online retailers spend only 5% of their total marketing budget on improving conversion rates.
Ecommerce website owners are usually concerned with increasing the number of visitors. They spend their budget, time, and efforts on bringing their target audience on the site. Those businesses usually report conversion rates of less than 1%. What is more worrying is the fact that some online retailers don’t even manage to track their conversion rates.
Abandoned shopping carts shouldn’t be something that ecommerce retailers are used to seeing. The ecommerce conversion rate needs to be in your primary focus if you are an online retailer. Bringing visitors to the site is great, but what is the use of it if they are not buying what you have to offer?
6 ways to improve your ecommerce conversion rate
You may think you have done everything there is to motivate conversions on your site. However, consumer behavior is changing all the time, and you need to constantly work on improving consumer experience on your site. There are a few practices which are commonly known and used by many online retailers. But there are also some areas which are often overlooked, even though they can help a lot in your efforts for increasing the conversion rate.
1. Homepage promotions
You probably already know that your homepage is often the one page on your site that affects a visitor’s first impression about your brand. But, are you sure that you use this fact to reap all its benefits? Displaying a promotion on your homepage is a great way to entice customers to buy – especially new ones.
A recent survey reveals that more than 60% of online shoppers consider sales and special offers important factors when making their purchasing decision. Grab their attention with a promotion, and the odds are they will come back to buy again. Put a sales section on your homepage. Offer discounts, specials, free shipping, and similar attractive deals. You can also put a special section that will generate your best-selling products for the week/month.
2. Sense of urgency
It’s a human psychology fact that a sense of urgency motivates people to make decisions fast. When it comes to shopping, the decision is always positive for the retailer. If you manage to persuade your potential customers that this exact moment is their chance to get your product or service, they will buy it. Nobody wants to miss a special opportunity.
Think of a good way to create a sense of urgency for your offerings and put it as a header on your website pages. Almost out of stock, last minute sale, free shipping and happy hour/day/month offers can help you significantly increase your ecommerce conversion rate.
It doesn’t matter to which product your last-minute offer refers – put it on every page to make sure that every single visitor can see it and act on it. Just make sure to link the header to the actual offer, so your customers won’t have to search for it. If you don’t put it right there for them, your efforts may go to waste.
3. Enable timely “out of stock” notifications
It’s a real bummer when you find the thing you like or need and are ready to buy it, only to discover it’s out of stock. Do not let this happen on your site, because you may lose many customers. Put an availability indicator for all your offers. Include a “you may also like” feature that will offer similar products to your customers when your availability indicator shows the “out of stock” notification.
Another good solution for out of stock items is back-ordering. In case your products are custom made, offer a back-order option and state when your customer can expect their shipping. Use this option when you can estimate when you can re-stock the item. But be careful with this – if you’re not sure when you can deliver the product, do not offer back-orders.
4. Optimize shopping cart for conversions
Make your shopping cart persistent. You can do this by adding a persistent cookie. Make sure that once your customers put products in their shopping cart, they’ll remain there when they return.
Research shows that it’s common for online shoppers to compare products and offers simultaneously as they make the purchase. If they can’t find their products in the shopping cart when they return to your site, they’ll give up. You can also offer options to save the cart or send a link of the cart contents via email.
Another good strategy for improving your ecommerce conversion rate through the shopping cart is to promote shopping cart contents. Avoid the risk of your customers removing items from the shopping cart. Display the contents of the cart at all times while customers are browsing, and put short headlines with the greatest benefits of each product.
5. Put account registration in the background
Do not force your customers to register. Allow guest checkout. Nearly 30% of online shoppers abandon a checkout funnel due to having to register before checking out. If you require potential customers to provide their email address before it is truly necessary, you are risking losing them in the funnel. Offer your customers the option to choose if they want to register or not.
You can automatically create accounts for guest checkouts. This way, guests will only have to fill out their name and email. After that, you can automatically generate a password and send it to them when they complete their order. Remember that it’s all about the user experience on the net. So, make sure to ease this pain point and still get their info for future contact and promotions.
6. Do not let them go easily
Remember – this doesn’t mean that you should annoy your site visitors! It only means that you should make one last effort to motivate them to stay on your website. You can do this by using exit intent tools.
These tools use predictive algorithms that track visitor mouse movements and anticipate when they are about to leave. Before a visitor leaves, a special, irresistible offer pops up and tries to convince them to place at least one order.