Every e-commerce retailer needs a reliable way of measuring the performance of their e-commerce store. In addition to the actual revenue being generated, the most prominent metric is the e-commerce conversion rate.
When internet users visit an e-commerce website and leave without interacting with its content or taking a required action, it costs the marketer money and time. Besides, no user engagement with your site content means higher bounce rates, which negatively affects the organic ranking of your website.
A good e-commerce website should not just attract traffic; it must convert visitors into customers who are willing to buy your products. And this is why website conversion optimisation is so important. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) helps you generate new leads, convert website visitors into paying customers, increase sales and generate more revenue – all without increasing your marketing spend because you are leveraging the traffic your website already has. This way, CRO cuts down on your customer acquisition cost and increases your ROI.
Moreover, a high e-commerce conversion rate is a sign that – your visitors find your site content useful, your website delivers a positive user experience, you have a regular base of happy customers, and need fewer site visits for conversion – all of which leads to better overall performance of your e-commerce site. A steady flow of regular site visitors and loyal customers not only creates a sense of integrity around your brand but also gives you the confidence to take more risks and experiment with your business for further implementations and growth.
TIPS TO OPTIMISE YOUR E-COMMERCE WEBSITE FOR HIGH CONVERSION RATES
While there are a myriad of conversion optimisation techniques out there – including the ones that have been scientifically proven and are backed up by research data, a rewarding shopping experience is what will eventually result in better conversions. This essentially translates to putting yourself in customers’ shoes and designing your e-commerce website from the perspective of your target customers. Your website should allow your visitors to easily find the information or locate the product they are looking for and check out with ease. This is the approach that will make your conversion mechanism work and improve your online sales and overall business profitability.
Listed below are some simple yet effective practices for conversion rate optimisation:
ANALYSE YOUR WEBSITE DATA
When it comes to conversion optimisation, a single piece of information might not tell you much, but when you bring together several bits of data, you will notice some useful customer behaviours and patterns. Analyse user behaviour reports and Google Search Console data to get a clear picture of how people behave once they land on your website and to determine metrics like number of session, number of unique sessions, bounce rates, etc. Similarly, look into your sales reports in Google Analytics to determine the biggest decline in traffic from one step of the sales funnel to the next; with this data at your fingertips, you will be able to identify parts that need urgent attention and optimisation.
SPEED UP PAGES
If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, you are already dealing the potential of lost sales. A few extra seconds in your page load times can negatively impact your ability to engage visitors and make sales. There are a few things you can do to improve your website speed and performance, such as
- Minimise HTTP requests
- Reduce image sizes
- Enable browser caching
- Use a content delivery network (CDN)
- Remove unnecessary plugins/extensions
- Choose a suitable hosting plan and a reliable hosting partner
Furthermore, you can turn to Google’s PageSpeed Insights to get valuable insights into how fast your site loads across all devices and determine areas you can fix to improve site performance.
As soon as a customer lands on your website, the navigation comes into action. It decides whether this customer will stay on your website and engage with your content or simply leave without a purchase. In the worst case scenario of poor navigation, the customer will leave your website immediately to land on a competitor’s website, meaning one lost sale.
Today’s online shoppers have endless choices of e-commerce stores but prefer only those which allow them to find their desired products or information fast and conveniently. To ensure a smooth and fast browsing experience for users, make sure no page is more than three clicks away from the homepage. Include products in multiple relevant categories for customers to easily locate their desired items without spending much time. The easier it is for a customer to find what they are looking for, the more likely they are to convert.
In addition, a good website search is also an integral part of website navigation and allows users to easily and quickly find the products they are looking for.
OFFER FREE SHIPPING
There is enough research data that indicates – shipping charges kill conversions, let alone ‘High Shipping Charges’. In fact, the majority of abandoned carts are due to surprising shipping costs. No customer wants to browse a website for a good few minutes, find and add their favourite product(s) to the cart and reach the checkout to only be surprised by unexpected shipping costs. Removing shipping costs can get more customers to complete their purchases on your site, but it can also kill your profit margins if you are not careful. If you are implementing free shipping for a minimum order amount, keep in mind the following things:
- Compare conversion rates before and after a free shipping offer to determine if you can really afford to implement free shipping.
- Increase the minimum order value required for free shipping, and analyse the improvements in profit margin.
- Implement free shipping only on select products where it seems profitable and check if there is a raise in conversion.
- Increase your product prices to compensate for the loss you incur from free shipping and compare your profits.
In addition to free shipping, Power Retail’s research has shown that in many industries like fashion & beauty, free & easy return is also important.
These were some optimisation areas that are integral to increasing conversion on your website. There are, of course, other practices such as including high quality images and videos, adding clear and intelligent CTAs, offering promotional offers and discounts, integrating multiple payment options, including engaging and detailed product information, which can bring a positive difference in your conversion rates.
Note that testing is key. As with any business strategy, implement, measure and tweak your optimisation changes to get best results.
Tanuj Rastogi is the founder of 18th Digitech (an Adobe & Magento Partner) with over 18 years of experience in the digital world, helping businesses thrive online by delivering profitable e-commerce solutions and innovative digital marketing strategies. With a strong understanding of e-commerce applications and digital marketing, I use these skills to help SMEs achieve success in the digital world. I firmly believe that every business deserves a competing chance online, regardless of their size or marketing budget.
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