Summary: Turn visitors into customers, and keep them happy enough to become repeat customers!
When COVID-19 hit in 2020, it resulted in almost 150 million new online shoppers. E-commerce experienced 10 years’ growth in just 90 days.
More than a couple of years later, the world is opening up and e-commerce growth has slowed down, but marketers still face similar challenges they did during the peak of the pandemic.
The saturation of the e-commerce space has led to a rise in customer acquisition costs. To get the most bang for your buck, you need to increase your chances of converting visitors into loyal customers.
25 E-commerce conversion rate optimization tips to stay ahead of your competition:
- Improve E-commerce Website Speed
- Convey Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
- Build Trust to Increase E-commerce Conversions
- Make Your E-commerce Website Secure
- Cater to Early Stage Visitors
- Aim for Effortless Navigation
- Help Customers Recover from 404 Errors
- Make E-commerce On-site Search Helpful
- Show the Depth and Breadth of Your Products
- Limit Choices to Help Shoppers Decide
- Use Product Images Deliberately
- Make Your Call to Action Persuasive
- Employ the Scarcity Principle in Your E-commerce Website
- Leverage Social Proof/ Customer Reviews
- Optimize Price Presentation in Your E-commerce Website
- Offer E-commerce Discounts Strategically
- Get Shoppers to Add More to Their Cart
- Optimize Your E-commerce Checkout Experience
- Offer Different Shipping Options
- Clearly Communicate Delivery Times to Boost E-commerce Conversions
- Pay Attention to Your Thank You Page
- Optimize the Entire Post-Purchase Experience
- Show Your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Use Behavior-Triggered Popups
- Up Your Social Commerce Game
Conclusion: E-commerce CRO in the New Normal
The growth of e-commerce worldwide made the digital competition tougher, with cross-border e-commerce, the shift of traditionally offline products to online, and the popularity of marketplaces being just a few of the drivers.
This new level of competition makes delightful customer experiences and brand-building more imperative than ever.
1. Improve E-commerce Website Speed
Fast site speed is great all around – it’s delightful for user experience, it’s fantastic for search engine optimization (SEO), and it’s a boon for search engine marketing (SEM). That said, it takes a lot of work to keep page load time down.
What You Can Do
- Monitor your page load time on tools like Google Analytics to see if there are outlier pages that get viewed a lot, but have high load times.
- Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to help check for potential issues.
- Manage the number of plugins and tracking scripts you have. Check if any of them have an outsized effect on load time with tools like Pingdom.
- Ensure you’re using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
- Use features like srcset to load the right image for the right device, and keep image load time low for mobile devices.
Some of the steps required are rather technical, but they’ll be worth it down the line. Slow load time can limit the number of conversions you have. Keep in mind that web users have the patience of a lit match. They’re also not as invested in your website as you are. If you make them wait for the page to load, they can easily leave and go to your competition instead. So ensure you have a roadmap to tackle page speed issues.
2. Convey Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
If your company is to stand out from all noise and competition online, your brand identity needs to come through on your e-commerce website. One way to do this is to immediately tell customers your unique selling proposition.
You can help e-commerce shoppers make a decision by talking about how you’re different from the competition. Ensure that what makes you unique is given prominent real estate on your pages.
What You Can Do
- Make the tagline below your logo functional, and have it communicate your differentiator.
- If you can show things like certification logos that speak to your unique selling proposition, display them prominently above the fold.
Here are some examples of e-commerce websites that use their tagline to distinguish their company from competitors:
Conveying your USP efficiently makes it more likely for shoppers to transact with you and helps greatly in your e-commerce conversion rate optimization efforts.
3. Build Trust to Increase E-commerce Conversions
Trust is a prerequisite in e-commerce – people will only transact with you if they trust you.
To optimize your conversion rate, you need to be very deliberate about how your site is likely to be perceived.
What You Can Do
- Ensure that your website has a modern look and feel. Research suggests that online buyers tend to rely on gut-feel to determine whether or not a website is trustworthy, and that’s mostly based on first impressions.
- Display your phone number prominently. Follow web conventions as much as possible – show your number at or near the upper right-hand corner of the site.
- Show security seals like those for VeriSign, Norton, or McAfee. Give those extra visual emphases on pages where users have to put in their information.
- “Borrow” credibility from logos of large companies that use your products and services or media mentions from known institutions. Keep the logos muted, so they don’t overpower critical navigation elements.
It takes a lot of work to immediately build trust and credibility online. A good starting point is being very specific about where and how trust elements are used.
Learn other ways to establish trust and get e-commerce customers to buy from you. Read “Making Web Visitors Feel Good: 6 Things to Consider to Build Trust Online”.
4. Make Your E-commerce Website Secure
You can build quite a bit of user trust through logos of media reviews and marquee customers and still get the user to feel wary about transacting with you if their browser warns them that your site may not be secure. This will cost you sales even if you play your other cards right.
What You Can Do
- If you haven’t done this yet, migrate from HTTP to HTTPS. Ensure you have a proper redirect plan so you don’t lose traffic and search engine rankings in the process.
- Update your content management versions and plugins regularly, so you don’t expose yourself to security attacks on those fronts.
Securing the site takes work, but it makes it more likely for your e-commerce shoppers to pull the trigger when they want something from your site.
Learn how to ensure domain migration doesn’t hurt your SEO efforts. Read “Domain Migration SEO: A Checklist for Web Professionals”.
5. Cater to Early Stage Visitors
A significant number of marketers focus on just the bottom of the sales funnel. However, optimizing only for the people who are ready to pull the trigger can damage the business in the long run. A healthy marketing practice draws in people from the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel.
What You Can Do
- Create early stage content like detailed guides, and do not gate these assets. If you educate customers about a high-consequence decision, they’re much more likely to trust and go with you when they are ready to get started on the purchase.
- Have the entire customer journey above the fold, instead of just providing a path for bottom-of-the-funnel visitors. The more complicated the buyer’s journey is (i.e. high-ticket conversions), the more critical it is to have the entire customer journey represented above the fold.
Ensuring that your entire sales funnel is healthy rather than just squeezing out value from the bottom of the funnel ensures you’ll be more likely to succeed in the long run.
Learn more about meeting the needs of early-stage website visitors. Read “Catering to Early Stage Visitors to Improve Conversions”.