5 data-backed tips to improve eCommerce conversion rates

June 2022 saw an average conversion rate of 1.72% for eCommerce sites. This figure is low, but not unbeatable; there are ways to improve the situation and turn the tide! To do this, we need to take a page from the success stories of our favourite retailers; whether it be Amazon, Boohoo or M&S, these companies achieved their success by creating a streamlined customer journey. From quick checkout times and round-the-clock availability to competitive prices and creating buzz around their product/service – these are all things that can be applied to other businesses to boost their sales figures. What’s more, according to Crazy Egg the average conversion rate for websites is currently around 2%. Meaning that even small increments can make a big difference – so it’s worth taking the steps required to optimise your user journey today!

Improve page load times

Google’s decision to factor page load time into its search rankings has been widely accepted across the digital marketing industry. Research conducted in 2019 revealed that nearly 70% of online shoppers believed page speed impacted their shopping decisions. Portent conducted further research and concluded that conversion rates dropped 2.11% with every additional second of loading time (from 0-9 seconds). Post-pandemic, it is widely agreed that an eCommerce site should have an optimal page load time of 1-2 seconds to provide the ideal user experience and maximise conversions.

How to improve website speed

Website loading speed can be a make-or-break factor in user experience and engagement, but there are many variables that contribute to it. Page type, file sizes, hosting services, code quality – all of these play a key role when optimising load times. Making slight adjustments on any one of them could give your page the edge it needs for swift performance while keeping users engaged with minimal wait time!

Here is what you should try first:

  • Pick a fast website hosting option. Cheap alternatives offer busy and slow servers
  • Use a CDN to boost your website by distributing it across multiple servers
  • Remove unneeded elements from CSS, JavaScript, and HTML to optimise their loading
  • Set up asynchronous loading for SCC and JavaScript files to load them simultaneously
  • Large images are gorgeous but slow. Change file formats and compress file sizes
  • Delete unnecessary plugins and redirects to speed up HTTP requests and responses
  • Caching stores copies of your site so that the server will not have to generate it from scratch

Use high-quality and professional images

To succeed in eCommerce, product visuals need to be top-notch and professional. Making sure to use high-quality, professional images could make or break a customer’s decision to purchase. Product visuals should allow customers to zoom in and view the item from different angles, helping them get an accurate idea of what they are buying. Consider that an image of a model wearing your product can give customers an idea of scale and style, while also demonstrating how their own skin tone and features might work with it. Additionally, if you want to describe something down to its texture, you should use pictures that are detailed enough so that it’s clear for potential buyers.

Offer Free Shipping (the correct way)

Free shipping is increasingly becoming a deciding factor for online shoppers. Consumers today expect free delivery for certain minimum purchase amounts or for any purchase at all. This makes it crucial for eCommerce businesses to be aware of the power of free shipping and make sure to offer it in the right way. Statistics show that pricey delivery remains one of the biggest reasons for consumers abandoning their shopping carts, demonstrating why it should be an essential part of any good eCommerce strategy. By offering free shipping in the right way, not only can businesses attract more customers, but also increase customer loyalty and boost their conversion rates significantly. Here are a few examples:

  • Offer free shipping on selected items – primarily ones that cost less to ship
  • Find a sweet spot for a free shipping threshold to boost AOV and reduce CPO
  • Create a seasonal, limited-time free shipping exclusive to drive buyer urgency
  • Start offering free shipping to postcodes that won’t hurt your profit margins
  • Establish a Click & Collect system where consumers can buy online and pick up in-store
  • Offer conditional free shipping in return for something. For instance, referrals
  • Launch membership-only free shipping to promote your loyalty program

Create a frictionless checkout process

Creating a frictionless checkout process is essential for providing an optimal customer experience. To achieve this, make sure there are no hidden fees or shipping costs that could be driving buyers away. Offer calculations upfront and multiple convenient payment methods. Setting up a guest checkout option can also be useful to allow buyers to purchase without signing up, reducing the number of steps they have to take before completing their purchase. Furthermore, according to Baymard research, you should aim to make the checkout process no longer than 12-14 elements in order to keep your customers happy while avoiding those pesky dropped carts. Gather only the basic information required for payment processing and delivery, so customers can move quickly through the checkout without hesitation.

Building trust with your customers

A frictionless customer experience is a precursor for trust – according to a recent study by Deloitte Digital and Twilio, 96% of consumers said they trust a brand more when it’s easy to do business with. In another study, around 46% of consumers said that they would pay more to purchase from brands they can trust (Salsify, 2022). To build trust between brands and customers, businesses need to prioritise transparency and user-generated content that acts as social proof of their products/services. More importantly, conscious commerce is another factor that plays a significant role in building consumer trust. According to Edelman, 64% of consumers would buy from a business if they knew the purchase supported an ethical cause and the same number would actively avoid buying from those who are affiliated with unethical practices. By leveraging these strategies, businesses can not only establish relationships with customers but gain their loyalty and ensure lasting success.

Conclusion

E-commerce conversion rates reflect today’s consumer behaviour. By virtue of the vast number of people making purchases online, we can gain valuable insight into what customers are looking for in terms of product quality and customer service. Our own experiences in playing a part in these conversions can also provide us with invaluable lessons, as can ongoing research into customer needs and expectations. These insights may continue to change over time, but the question remains— what drives customers to act and make that purchase?

In conclusion, it is continuing research backed by experience which will help to keep conversion rates at their optimal levels.

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