E-Commerce Best Practices for Conversion Rate Optimisation – For Tangible Results
E-commerce conversions are specific actions taken by visitors on e-commerce websites. These actions are tracked and monitored in order to measure success; the rate for measurement on success is usually targeted at how navigable the site is, how fast the user can find the product they’re searching for, and that they successfully checkout their cart without abandonment. By monitoring this data, businesses can ethically manipulate behaviour in a way that increases sales, subscriptions and other specified goals in a targeted, controlled way.
Let’s understand Conversion Rate Optimisation.
What Is An E-Commerce Conversion?
E-commerce conversions, like all conversions, are simply specific desired actions taken by a visitor to a website. These actions can be defined as a purchase, a subscription or even any interaction with the website itself. If this action is in any way valuable and has been defined as such before, this is considered a conversion.
In order to measure these conversions, websites can log these defined interactions as data, which can then be monitored and acted upon in order to optimize the number of conversions themselves. These are defined as conversion rates. Optimising your conversion ate may include some tactics – good practice of course – which may include: installation of tracking codes on the website to monitor the user’s behaviour, witness their pain points, improve on aspects of your e-commerce site that may be causing them to not be converting, as well as pro-actively reaching out to them via a live chat system when they reach a specific point on your website. For example, if you see a large volume of cart abandonment, you cans setup a trigger on certain CRM’s that allow you to be notified when any user reaches this point. You can then choose to initiate a chat with the user and ask if they need specific help. This is a sure-fire way to bolster conversions. Use it, don’t use it. But we do suggest you use it.
Best Practices for E-Commerce Conversion Rate Optimisation
Make Use of High-Quality Product Images That Are Relevant
Us humans are visual creatures; we want to see what we’re getting. The quickest way to bolster e-commerce conversion rates is to have high-quality photos of our products, but it doesn’t stop there. The image should be bold and easily visible, and when “clicking into” the product, the image should be visible throughout the entire process. For some reason, this eases the user and lets them know that the products in fact what they want.
Also, the more images, the better. Show the products from different angles, in context, make them enlarged-able and downloadable.
Make Your Homepage Mobile-Friendly and Welcoming: Make Your Customers WANT to Shop
Your homepage is your business card. The time it takes to make a good or bad impression on your visitors might shock you; you have ten seconds. That’s it. If you cannot convince a potential customer to shop on your website in that time frame, you’re wasting yr time going any further.
What makes a great website and home page specifically?
- User friendly and easily navigable: Have tabs, sections and an easy to find search bar.
- Have a clear, concise contact form and other contact options.
- Make sure your load speed is up to scratch.
- Make it visually enticing. Pay for your images if need be, but first prize goes to professional photography of your existing products.
Make Sure Your Product Info Is Accurate and Useful
Product descriptions matter! Reviews matter even more! The role of product copy is to give buyers enough information, so they could convince themselves this is the right product for them. There is no need to try sell your product if it can sell itself. Make sure your product info is expandable, though. Offers users the “short” version – a synopsis of the product such as weight, colour, etc. Then offer a fuller copy, detailing materials etc. The longer version should give so much information that the user will not have a single question left. If they read the whole thing and still have questions or doubts, then you have a problem. If they’re convinced only half way through, they can just skip and continue to checkout.
Having a review tab is super helpful –not only to the potential buyer, but also to you. You can see how people feel about your product- which 9if you find yourself in this situation) may help you decide to discontinue the product or boost its sales – or maybe even offer a promotion on it.
Install Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools ASAP
For most websites, Google Analytics is the most important tracking tool. It provides insights into your website visitors including:
- How visitors found your website: This could be from keyword searches in Google, referral websites or direct visits.
- How long visitors stay on your website
- Where the visitors are from
- If the visitors are returning or new
- What browser, operating system and if the visitor used a mobile device or desktop/laptop
- How many visitors converted (based on goals setup) and the interaction that lead to the conversion
- Link to your Google Adwords campaign to track paid traffic as well
- If Possible, Drop Shipping Charges (or Lower Them)
Charging for shipping is a conversion killer. While free shipping might not be viable to every purchase – the biggest trend to overcome this hurdle is to offer free shipping when meeting minimum order requirements. Free shipping on orders over R1000 is do-able, isn’t it?
High shipping costs are rated as the number one reason why consumers were not satisfied with their online shopping experience. In fact, shipping costs are the main reason why people would choose to shop, queue and deal with all the other problems that come with shopping in-store as opposed to online.
Orders with free shipping average around 30% higher in value those that charge a few bucks for transport.
Search Bars Need to Be 100% Functional At All Times
You know the exact product name, number and other details and still, the website does not show the results, then you might know this frustration very well. A missing filter such as brand, size, price can instantly drive back potential customers. People have a lack of tolerance for poor search functionality and will take their business elsewhere.
To hold them onto your site, make sure the search function of the website is fully functional and accurate. But, that’s the basic; to get better results, you need some better tools too. There are various popular online tracking and monitoring tools. With the data from all these research tools, you will be able to carry out better improvements to search functionality and customer retention.
Be Transparent With Your Pricing
Shopping online should be a fun, relaxing and exciting experience. There is no point in hiding or not advertising your prices – all it will do is deter potential customers from even visiting your website in the first place. Keeping your price a secret, or adding hidden costs hurts nobody else but you.
If you continue to hide your prices, expect to see a rise in cart abandonment (when people realise they cannot afford your product), wasted budget on your Adwords spend for all the people who though they could afford your product but then realised they couldn’t – and also expect fewer returning customers.
Allow Buyers To Purchase “As a Guest” – Do Not Force Registration
It would make sense that one of the most common reasons for customer cart abandonment is compulsory site registration. Keeping the registration optional allows your customers to checkout as a guest if they do not want to register.
Simultaneously, point out the benefits of registration like order tracking, special offers or better customer support.
Hone In On the Power of Live Chat
This suggestion is a bit of a gray area; unless you are able to actively sit and be responsive to messages, do not use this option. Customers will only become frustrated when prompted to leave a message for live chat. It’s live chat for a reason; immediate responses and resolutions.
Successfully implementing this tactic builds a direct communication line from your potential customer to you. Creating a real human connection will help build trust for this purchase as well as lifetime loyalty in the future.
Segment and Highlight Sale and Clearance Items
Shopping online typically indicates the potential customer has some free time on their hands; free time means scouring he site for great deals and specials. However, if a customer has to go through each and every category to find said special, it may as well not be there at all.
Having a tab (of a different colour, size or even a GIF format) will attract the customer visually to your sales and specials, and the chances of those specific sales sky-rocketing are almost guaranteed.
Always Show Cart Contents, Totals, Delivery Date and Allow For Changes
Your cart is perhaps the most vital step to e-commerce CRO. It should clearly indicate every last bit of info related to your purchase – do not leave the buyer second-guessing anything. Allow for changes in quantity easily (use buttons to increase or decrease amounts easily); show VAT totals, delivery costs etc.
How To Track E-Commerce Conversions And Measure Conversion Rate
E-commerce conversion rates are defined by a very simple calculation. If you have 3,000 visitors within a given period, and 30 interact in the way that you are tracking (making a purchase or subscribing for example), then the conversion rate will be 1%. 30 conversions, divided by 3,000 visitors equals 0.01, or 1%.
However, these are not the only conversion rates that need to be measured in order to get the correct picture of a website’s success. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) can be implemented for metrics that include:
- Items added to the shopping cart
- Items added to a wishlist
- Sign-ups (including via Email)
- Sharing on social media
Note that some pages will need to have their own specific rate defined according to its purpose. Some pages will have a specific CTA, while others will be designed to engage in the site’s content for a positive user experience. Track accordingly.