The Fundamentals of a Better eCommerce Conversion Rate
Did you know that less than 3% of eCommerce site visits result in a conversion? Fortunately, that’s just an average, so you may be able to get an event better eCommerce conversion rate (CVR) to feed sales.
If you want to increase your conversion rate, you should make a few changes to your business and website. But don’t just change anything. Instead, consider what affects your conversion funnel so that you can focus on making changes to those elements. This means you must always keep in mind a specific success rate: your customers’. Their success in accomplishing their shopping journey is your success.
Remember this and you may just outpace the average conversion rate for your industry. Soon enough, you’ll be able to bring in more sales and watch your online business grow. If you have a long-term strategy that involves ecommerce performance, read on to learn more about helpful conversion rate optimization tactics.
One of the most significant factors in your eCommerce conversion rate optimization strategy is the value proposition, which states why people should buy from your business over a competitor. For example, you may sell a unique, handmade product that people won’t find elsewhere. Or you might only sell organic products or vegan products. Whatever it is, it’s essential for you to know so that you can communicate it clearly to your customers.
Not only should your value proposition be clear and easy to understand, but it should be attractive to potential buyers. The value proposition should cover some simple objections a buyer may have, such as the price or another factor. If you want to increase your eCommerce conversion rate, your value proposition can’t be ordinary. In fact, just over 2% of businesses on average have a “good” value proposition.
An average value proposition may help your eCommerce business make a few more sales. However, you’ll struggle to turn a significant portion of your visitors into customers. The clearer you can make your value proposition, the better. So try to avoid cramming multiple factors into your value proposition. Then, it will be easier for you to think about and explain when marketing your online store.
Relative value refers to your value proposition as it relates to your competitors. You should think about the products your competitors sell and what alternatives exist to what you offer. Of course, it’s essential to consider other eCommerce stores in your industry. Look at businesses that sell the same products and consider if what you sell is more valuable. Knowing this can help you increase your relative value to help increase your conversion rate.
However, you should also think about indirect competitors. For example, if you sell dog treats, you may want to look at stores that sell dog toys. This is especially important around holidays and other seasons of giving gifts. You want to be able to stand out from all of the other stores your potential customers could buy from. Think about your value proposition and how it compares to one from another brand.
Knowing other companies’ value propositions can help you adjust yours for conversion. You can also do some research to learn if your competitors’ value propositions are as clear or intriguing as yours. If not, you can use that to your advantage when creating a marketing strategy. You’ll know to make your value proposition as clear as possible. That way, there won’t be any question of whether a person should buy from you or another business.
As part of relative value, you need to think about your brand. Maybe you sell handmade items, and you’re the one who makes most of what you sell. That’s a great way to set yourself apart from other handmade businesses that hire other artists to create the products. Your customers can know who made what they’re buying, and that may encourage a purchase.
Depending on what you sell, you may have another unique element to your brand. Maybe, even if you don’t make the items, you hold inventory and ship directly to customers. With a lot of online stores using fulfillment services, this can be a great way to stand out. You’ll know the quality of each item going to customers, so you can make sure everything is perfect. If you make that clear, people may prefer to buy from you over another store.
The value your brand adds can make a significant difference in your ideal customer’s buying decision. If your brand’s value is big enough, it won’t matter what you sell specifically. You may be able to stand out from the competition, even when you sell the same line of products as another eCommerce brand.
Similar to your brand, the products you sell should also take into account their relative value. Examining other similar product categories in the market can help your organization determine what the price point should be in relation to the competitor’s options.
Of course, you may not sell products that are necessary for people to live. But if you sell jewelry, your value proposition could be to help people be confident. Or maybe your business uses more sustainable materials than the competition. If you can match the value of your business and product description with that of your customers’ needs, you may be able to increase your average eCommerce conversion rate.
You can always aim to stand out by offering unique products or a wider selection. But if you can explore the value of your current products, that’s great as well. Then, you can share the value of what you have to offer with your visitors. If people see the value, they will have a greater chance of buying from you over another eCommerce store.
If you want to increase your eCommerce conversion rate in the short term, you need to instill some sense of urgency. One way to build a sense of urgency is with a limited-time offer. Perhaps you run a buy-one-get-one sale for a week, so you market the sale to get more people to buy in that time. Or you decide to run a special promotion on inventory that you really need to move, such as clothing that is going out of season.
Another option is to offer a discount to a set number of people. For example, you might offer a 50% off code to the first ten people who buy your new type of product. You may even choose to order only 20 units of a certain item, so you can use that limited stock to encourage people to buy the item.
You should also consider how you will use urgency and if you will use it enough. For example, email newsletter marketing strategies are a great place to use it. If you include a sense of urgency in your subject, you can expect conversions to increase by an average of 16%. Of course, with email marketing campaigns, you also need to target the urgency toward people who will buy the product. And it can help to decide if urgency is even the right strategy, such as if you have multiple units of one item.
One of the best benefits of running an eCommerce store is the flexibility it offers. You can use your website to help shoppers answer their product questions. That way, people will be able to make buying decisions and make a purchase quicker. However, you need to make sure your website has a clear focus to help encourage visitors to shop around and buy something.
Your site should maintain a good UX to keep from turning away up to 88% of online shoppers. Make sure your category landing pages (CLPs), product landing pages (PLPs), and product detail pages (PDPs) are easy to use and direct them quickly to solving their problem or accomplishing their purchase goal. Then, you can keep people on your site and get them to add things to their cart and go through the checkout process. If your website is hard to use, people won’t be patient enough to go through with a purchase.
The interface customers see and use will directly impact how they see your company and products. The website should be friendly and straightforward to navigate on all platforms, including desktop computers and mobile phones. This element will help increase your landing page optimization. If making a purchase is challenging or appears like all the other typical websites pushing products to customers, they will leave your site for the competition.
As you work on your eCommerce conversion rate, you should also consider the simplicity of your website. Take an objective look at your interface, or have someone outside of your business do an audit for you. Then, you can figure out if your interface is too complex or too simple. A good interface will focus on a positive user experience and what they need to shop and complete a purchase within their shopping cart or another task.
Now, not everyone will have the same needs to shop on your site, so you want to ensure the design can work for different visitors. If possible, try to incorporate some form of personalization to help people use the site in a way that works for them and matches their stage in your sales funnel. Think awareness, decision-making, and purchasing as a basic three-phase funnel. One option is to use filter changes on a PLP using a tool like Kibo. Another option would be to use collection pages, which can be more cost-efficient than expensive personalization tools. At the end of the day, interface changes that hit the right mix of simple and usable will affect your cart conversion rate, which leads right to your e-commerce conversion rate. Simplicity rings true as well when contacting users to improve your shopping cart abandonment rate. Don’t oversell in your email follow-ups; just offer what you find your customers care about. If you don’t know why users are abandoning, you can send out a survey to understand their reasons for abandonment to aid in your email campaigns.
Reliability can come in many forms, and it can affect your entire eCommerce business. For one, you need to sell reliable products. Not only should the products work for consumers, but you should be able to order the product to keep it in stock reliably. That way, you won’t have to constantly switch the products you sell.
Your navigation and site search functions should also be reliable and easy to use. A good navigation bar can help people find what they need. However, site search can make up for any pages or categories that you don’t include in your navigation bar. When using a navigation bar and a site search, you also need to ensure they will work on all screen sizes and for all of your visitors.
Other things that need to be reliable are your pricing and promotions. Make sure your pricing is reasonable for what the product is and that you don’t adhere to price elasticity often. You should also consider the promotions you run and if those are reliable, and if the codes you provide will work for consumers. Reliability is essential for both attracting new customers and for getting sales from existing customers, and in both cases, it can help your conversion rate.
In most cases, someone won’t visit your site and buy something without knowing anything about your business, especially if they do not have confidence in your product or services. People need to feel confident in your business practices and the item they plan to buy. Establishing a positive connection quickly with potential customers is vital in the eCommerce experience. Gaining their confidence early will eliminate any skepticism and help decrease your bounce rate of visitors who do not make a purchase and leave your site.
You should aim to offer a personalized experience that helps people build confidence from both sides. Maybe you sell electronics or musical instruments and so offer a warranty. You might have a simple return policy where you offer a refund if people make the return within a month. Or you may make other promises regarding your product to help customers feel confident about their decision to buy.
Be sure to make those factors obvious to consumers. Mention warranties and return policies on all of your product pages so that prospective customers can easily see them. You can even ask people what would make them feel more confident in purchasing from your store. Then, you’ll know what confidence factors to include on your site. And you can get rid of confidence factors that don’t affect purchase decisions to keep your profit margins up.
Along with being confident, people need to trust you and your business. More than 70% of business owners and leaders say that trust is a big deal. If a person trusts you and what you have to offer, it will be much easier to get them to buy from you. Sadly, it can take time to build that trust with people, but that’s what your digital marketing and sales funnels are for. You can use the content in your funnels to build your expertise.
Then, by the time someone reaches the bottom of your funnel, they will know your company better and appreciate what you offer. And there’s a good chance they will trust you enough to buy what you have to sell. Once you build that trust with a particular consumer, you will be able to sell to them over and over again, especially as you come out with new products.
You can build trust through sharing content on the products you sell. Another option is to ask for social proof, such as stellar customer reviews and testimonials. Then, prospective buyers will be able to learn about others’ experiences. You can talk all day about how great your business is, but it can be easier for someone to believe another customer who had a fantastic experience.
As you build trust, you should focus on reducing the amount of risk people feel when they buy from you. While about 17 out of 20 small business owners are risk-takers, the same ratio doesn’t always apply to customers! You should examine your ideal buyer persona and think about what needs to happen to make you feel like buying is less of a risk.
For a lot of people, the ability to return something and get a refund may reduce the sense of risk significantly. Although offering an exceptional return policy does initially increase overhead costs, it has a tendency to increase CVR, therefore outweighing any possibility of losses. This promotion for potential buyers can let them know you’ll do what you can to make their customer experience the best it can be. However, you may want to do something else to help with risk, such as showcasing more photos and videos of the products you sell.
Including different images can help people picture the item better and see themselves using it. If you want to reduce the sense of risk even more, consider using models in the shots. This is especially important when selling clothing, but it can apply to anything. When customers can see someone using the item they want, it can give them a better idea of what it will be like once they receive the item.
Some customers may love to shop starting with the most popular items. Others may prefer to shop by price from low to high. Conversely, other customers may want to search specifically for an item they want to buy. If you want to get sales from all of these types of shoppers, you need to offer different ways to browse and purchase items from your store. The point here is to consider your target customer and their needs for understanding aspects of your merchandising mix within their customer journey.
Maybe you love shopping based on the price, so you set up your shop to show the cheapest items first. But if someone comes to your store and likes shopping another way, they may not want to keep browsing. The more options you offer that help visitors look around your shop and find what they want to buy, the easier it will be to increase your eCommerce conversion rate.
You should also think about how easy it is for a customer to find what they want. If they have to go through multiple category pages, they may lose interest and shop somewhere else. An easy way to mitigate that is to add a search function to your site. Then, people will be able to shop for specific items or browse your selection.
When it comes to retaining customers, you should make it easy to find new products. One way to do this is to show relevant items on each product page. For example, if you sell a womens’ top, you may want to include some pants or skirts on the product page so that the shopper can click on those and buy them as well.
Discovery is also important for new customers, and relevant products can help there. If you don’t want to showcase relevant content on a product page, you may include a section on your site of popular items. When someone clicks on the homepage of your site, you can show them what items are selling to encourage them to start shopping around.
You may get lucky, and most of your customers may actively search for multiple things. However, the easier you can make it to find new items, the less work you’ll put on customers. If you’re able to do that, you can encourage people to click on similar items or items that they may need to buy to accompany what they already have in their cart. Then, people won’t have to spend as much time finding what they need, and they may check out sooner.
If you sell a lot of similar items, you should include some sort of comparison table. For example, if you sell face essences and skin creams or lotions, create a comparison table that highlights the benefits of each product. You can add that table to all of the listings for face creams and lotions available, so customers can see which product might meet their needs best, no matter which item they click on first.
You can also do this with competitor items that you don’t sell. If the item you do sell has more features or a better value proposition, you can develop a comparison table. You can showcase what your product has to offer that others don’t. This will help some shoppers decide between you and your competition, so you may be able to increase your conversion rate.
Of course, not all products will be easy to compare, and some may not be better than others. But comparing products to each other can be a great way to help people buy. Then, they won’t have to look for reviews of each item they’re considering. If they do that, they may leave your site, and you could lose the sale. You don’t need to go into a ton of detail, so focus on comparing the basics to help people decide to buy something.
Narrative / History
Storytelling can be an excellent way to build trust and encourage purchases. You can talk about the history of your products, business, or the industry your store is in. Telling stories is an excellent way to build a connection with new and returning customers. It can keep people from thinking of your brand as one that only focuses on making money.
As you tell your story, you can build good relationships with your customers. If they relate to your story, they may feel some empathy, and that might help them decide to buy from you. Think about how you can relate to customers as well. Then, you can use your product pages and other marketing tactics to tell your story.
Sharing examples of how you make your products, such as using economically-viable resources, allows the customer to be a part of the experience. For example, suppose you enlist in a ‘charity donation with purchase program.’ In that case, it entices potential customers to purchase items if part of their buying power goes to help a charitable organization. These stories humanize your company and bring your organization’s processes and efforts to life.
Roughly 20% of business owners believe that low website traffic is a huge problem. While that might be true, getting more website traffic won’t automatically increase your eCommerce conversion rate if you aren’t considering your traffic sources. You could get millions of views, but that won’t matter if the traffic quality is low. Is your site mobile optimized? If not, attracting more mobile users via Google Ads isn’t going to help you out. If a lot of your traffic comes from bots or competitors, those views won’t convert to sales or loyal customers.
The same is true if you get a lot of traffic from countries you don’t ship to. This may sound simple, but if you are working with third parties through your affiliate marketing strategy, take extra time to make sure they serve the same target audience you hope to serve. You may also get a bit of traffic from people who click on your website by accident instead of direct traffic. Maybe they click on an ad of yours when they didn’t mean to. Be sure to review your website statistics, such as Google Analytics, to learn how much of your website traffic is from people who are most likely to buy from you.
Organic search traffic usually performs very well, so having an SEO strategy is critical. (Hint: solid copywriting is an effective tactic for SEO but often ignored by up-and-coming brands). Another business goal for your DTC efforts towards lifting traffic quality would be to increase email traffic. Some of the highest converting traffic comes from your owned email list.
Growing your website traffic can be a great way to get more sales. But you don’t want to attract just anyone and everyone. Think about the products you sell, where you ship, and your prices. That way, you’ll know the type of person that you want to get to your site. And you can keep from wasting time attracting people who will probably not make a purchase.
When it comes to traffic quality, you should aim to limit visitors to people who have a good chance of buying from you. Think about your ideal customer, specifically, their age, gender, occupation, income level, and other interests. Then, you can figure out where a lot of your views come from. For example, if you target professionals, you’ll generally want to get traffic from a platform such as LinkedIn rather than TikTok.
Knowing who you want to attract can help you choose where to market your products. Using TikTok as an example, a lot of its user base is younger. So if you sell products for older adults, it may not be the best platform to focus the majority of your spending. However, TikTok can be a great marketing channel for businesses that want to sell to college students and young adults. You can then use that data-driven approach to determine where to spend money on advertising.
Then, you’ll be able to target the right people with your advertising dollars. While you can’t prevent visits from other people completely, you can start to reduce the number of those visitors. That way, you will be able to increase your sales and get a higher eCommerce conversion rate.
Return on Investment
When looking at any marketing channel, you should consider the return on investment (ROI) for that particular strategy. The customer lifetime value (CLV) will also directly impact your ROI now and in the future. Repeat business and referrals will help boost profits and are a significant factor when calculating return on investment possibilities.
Consider which traffic driver has the highest ROI and which has the lowest so that you can decide how to spend more of your time and budget on marketing your eCommerce store. You can also use that information to work on increasing the ROI for a specific channel.
For example, maybe you have a blog where you talk about the benefits of your products. A blog can be an excellent option as it can result in a positive ROI 13 times more often than some other types of marketing. Plus, the blog is on your website, so it’s easy for someone to click on a link in your blog post or to go to your navigation bar and head directly to your shop.
However, you should also evaluate the ROI regarding social media, abandonment emails, and other forms of marketing. Then, you’ll be able to focus on the platforms that work the best for your eCommerce business.
As you work on getting a better eCommerce conversion rate, you may feel like you have to focus on the short term. While getting those quick results is satisfying, you also need to consider the long game. Consider if your ad budget only accounts for immediate increases in traffic or if it can help you get more traffic over time.
You should then balance Google ads and other marketing tools with your SEO and PR strategies to help get traffic now and in the future. And as you work on getting more traffic, consider your copywriting plan and how that can help convert the visitors you get. Think about your ideal conversion rate for the next year, but don’t forget about the next few years.
Then, you’ll be able to set an ongoing budget and plan to get good quality traffic. And you can know what to track and when to change a one-size-fits-all approach if it stops working. Those analytics will help you decide how to move your business forward to keep getting visitors who are more likely to turn into customers.
Get Help Increasing Your Ecommerce CVR
Your eCommerce conversion rate benchmark may seem confusing, but there is always room for improvement. Understanding the foundations of your conversion rate can allow you to make minor adjustments that can be profitable. This way, any alterations to your CVR can boost your conversion rate and have lasting impacts on profitability.
Whether you sell clothing, electronics, or something else, you need to understand conversions. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to learn what goes into your conversion rate. Knowing that can help you get the right people to click on your site. And it will be much easier to turn those high percentage of visitors into loyal customers rather than trying to convert random people who would never buy from you.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you increase conversions.
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