4 Ways to Improve Ecommerce Conversion Rate
Updated: Aug 24, 2019
Focusing on customer acquisition isn’t the only way to grow ecommerce sales. If you’re looking to grow your ecommerce business’ revenue, you should start by trying to get as many sales as possible out of your existing traffic.
To do this, you’ll need to work on your conversion rate. Here are four ways you can improve ecommerce conversion rate and help your business grow.
1) Add trust signals to your website
Trust can mean the difference between a shopper visiting your website once without returning ever again, or becoming a long-term customer that will keep spending with your business for years to come.
As much as 70% of online transactions are canceled because of a lack of trust (UXmatters.com). Ecommerce businesses that want to increase their conversion rate should do whatever they can to make shoppers feel more confident about buying from them.
One of the easiest ways to show shoppers that your website is trustworthy is to use trust signals.
What are trust signals, and why do they work?
Trust signals are logos and other website elements that are used to show customers that your business is legitimate. The most basic trust signal is a business’ physical address, phone number, and email address displayed on its website.
Trust signals rely on shoppers’ cognitive biases, mainly confirmation bias and zero-risk bias.
Confirmation bias is a type of cognitive bias that forces people to look for any sign that would further convince them into making a decision they already want to make. Positive product reviews, in particular, play to people’s confirmation bias and are a great way to make shoppers feel more confident about buying a product.
Zero-risk bias, on the other hand, relies on people’s preference for situations that pose no risk for them. An example of a trust signal that plays to this type of bias is a money-back guarantee that allows shoppers to return a product if they don’t like it or if it doesn’t suit their needs and get their money back with no questions asked.
Types of trust signals
The four main types of trust signals you can use on your website include social proof, guarantees, membership signals, and association signals.
This category of trust signals includes product reviews, testimonials, and social media activity such as likes and shares. Product reviews are the most effective among these, which is no wonder since as much as 88% of shoppers read online reviews before deciding on a purchase (Econsultancy.com).
The best place to display social proof is on product pages. Showing that other people are happy with your products is an excellent way to nudge shoppers into adding products to their cart and making a purchase.
Note that social proof can also work against you. If you don’t have a lot of social media followers or product reviews, you might want to avoid bringing attention to this as to not appear less trustworthy. This is easy to do by not displaying follower, share, and like counts on your website, as well as hiding product reviews until you generate a substantial amount of them.
You can see this type of trust signal on most ecommerce websites. Guarantees are used to assure shoppers that purchasing from a particular business is completely safe and that they’ll be able to get their money back without issues. They’re most frequently placed in a website’s footer and displayed across all pages.
Since as much as 19% of abandoned shopping carts are abandoned due to shoppers not feeling comfortable with entering their credit card details (Baymard) on a particular website, you should make sure to display guarantees in a prominent place on your checkout page as well.
Frequently used guarantees include:
Refund and return policy - 66% of shoppers look at a business’ refund and return policy before making a purchase (ReadyCloud), so it’s crucial that you include these on your website.
Money-back guarantee - As we’ve already discussed, people prefer zero-risk situations and will feel more confident buying from you if they know that they can get their money back easily.
Payment method guarantees and seals of trust - Including Visa and MasterCard seals of trust as well as the PayPal guarantee logo on your website is a great way to make shoppers feel more confident about using their credit card on your website.
If your business is a member of a reputable organization, you should certainly let your customers know. This will allow you to build trust more quickly and help your shoppers feel at ease.
Association trust signals work similarly to membership signals. They rely on associating your business with other reputable businesses to build trust more easily. These types of trust signals most frequently include logos of companies you work with and brands you’re selling, as well as media channels such as TV networks or newspapers where your business has been mentioned.
Trust signals are a great way to build trust and improve conversion rate, but only if they’re used in the correct way. Make sure never to use a trust signal dishonestly (e.g., by posting fake reviews).
Additionally, avoid crowding your website with a bunch of different trust signals. Choose a few trust signals that are most relevant to your business and display them in prominent places on your website.
2) Improve your checkout process
How well your checkout process works will have a significant impact on your conversion rate. With 28% of all abandoned shopping carts being abandoned due to a complicated checkout process (Baymard), it’s crucial that you make checking out as easy as possible for your customers.
Make it quick
The average checkout form has twice as many fields than are necessary (Baymard) to finalize a purchase, so it’s no wonder that shoppers frequently get frustrated and abandon checkout.
Work on simplifying your checkout form so that shoppers can buy what they want as quickly as possible. Remove any fields that aren’t absolutely necessary, such as the Salutation and Company Name fields.
Give customers the option of choosing to use their billing address as the shipping address for the order with a single click to avoid having them type in the same information twice.
Once shoppers get to the checkout page, all you want them to do is to enter their payment details and complete their purchase. This is why you should remove any distractions that might make shoppers wander off away from the checkout page.
Start by removing navigational links from your header and footer. Make sure also to remove any other elements that might distract shoppers, such as the search bar or banners.
Enable guest checkout
37% of abandoned shopping carts are left because the website asked users to create an account (Baymard) in order to check out. It’s obvious that shoppers hate having to create an account just to make a single purchase. This is especially true for mobile shoppers (Moovweb).
All of this, coupled with the fact that 48% of online retailers state that guest checkout made the biggest difference in increasing their conversion rate (NRF), makes enabling guest checkout on your website a no-brainer.
Go ahead and let customers check out without creating an account. You can always ask them to create an account after they complete their purchase. This will allow you to gather more information about them and have an easier time selling to them in the future.
You can also create an account for your customers automatically and then send them a randomly-generated password to their email address.
3) Send out abandoned cart emails
According to the latest studies, 69.89% of all online shopping carts are abandoned (Baymard) before or during checkout. There are a number of reasons why people abandon shopping carts, with the most common ones being:
Additional costs (e.g., shipping or tax)
The need to create an account
Complicated checkout process
Why you should send abandoned cart emails
Apart from addressing the issues that are causing cart abandonment, ecommerce businesses can also improve their conversion rate and regain some of these abandoned carts by sending out abandoned cart emails.
These types of emails have very high open rates (around 45%), with 10.7% of them leading to a purchase.
The most effective abandoned email sequences are those that consist of three emails. These email sequences generate 69% more orders (Omnisend) than abandoned cart email campaigns that consist of a single email.
How to create a great abandoned cart email
Simply sending out an email letting customers know that they left something in their cart won’t be enough to make them get back to your website and complete their purchase. You’ll need to create a great abandoned cart email to ensure the biggest possible conversion rate.
The basis of every great marketing email is personalization. The same is true for abandoned cart emails. At a minimum, you should personalize abandoned cart emails by including the customer’s name and the contents of their shopping cart.
All abandoned cart emails should also contain an image of the product to remind customers what they left behind, as well as a big call-to-action (CTA) button letting customers know what they need to do next.
Timing is very important when it comes to sending out abandoned cart email campaigns. The first email should be sent as soon as possible, while follow-up emails should be delivered after 24 and 48 hours.
Including a discount in your abandoned cart email can be an excellent way to nudge shoppers into completing their purchase. Note that if you’re sending out a series of abandoned cart emails, it might be a good idea to leave the discount for the last email in the series to avoid training shoppers to wait for discounts.
You should also put a time limit on your discounts to add a sense of urgency to your emails and encourage shoppers to complete their purchase as soon as possible.
4) Optimize your thank you page
The relationship you have with your customers doesn’t end once they make a purchase. You should continuously try to nurture your customers and guide them towards making more purchases.
Since the thank you page will be the first thing customers will seee once they complete their purchase, it’s the perfect place to start building a deeper relationship with them.
Apart from helping you deepen the relationship you have with your customer base, the thank you page also allows you to improve your conversion rate by getting customers to make another purchase straight away.
Offering a discount on your thank you page is an excellent way to get customers back to shopping. With 75% of shoppers expecting to get a discount from brands (Associated Press News), discounts are almost mandatory.
Make sure to put a time limit on your discount to get shoppers to use the discount straight away.
Upsell or cross-sell products
You’ll know more about your customers once they complete their first purchase. Why not use that information to sell them other products they might like?
Display products that are relevant to the customers’ purchase on the thank you page to get them to consider making another purchase to complement their previous one.
Want to learn more about how you to optimize your thank you page to generate more sales? Check out our guide here.
Improve your ecommerce conversion rate
Are you currently using the strategies outlined above to improve your ecommerce conversion rate? If you are, what kind of improvements have you seen so far?
Let us know in the comments.