eCommerce Optimization Guide to Increase Sales and Conversion

Is your eCommerce business not performing as expected?

eCommerce website owners don’t publish their conversion rates. It’s often kept as a secret to avoid competitors from snooping on their data. Most of the conversion rate numbers we see are usually estimated value due to software limitations.

You, might be wondering, what is a good conversion though?

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Well, it varies.

Conversion rates differ from industry to industry, there’s no set numbers or goals because it’s contextual. You can only benchmark your performance with the published statistics. If you have the average conversion rate for your niche, you can proceed to increase your conversion rates until you get better outcomes.

If your current conversion rate is below the average, you have to work harder to boost your number. More work is needed to get to the bottom of this.

Take this, an online shop selling expensive gadgets isn’t going to have a similar conversion rate as the one selling $50 apparel. The same is true with a store with an email list of 150,000 hungry buyers. The latter will see greater conversions than one getting cold traffic off Facebook and Adwords

You also have to take into consideration the variables that affect conversion rates.

  • Type of product
  • Average order value
  • Traffic sources
  • Device (mobile, tablet or PC/android or iOS)
  • Location

Besides, the term “conversion rate” is to signify the percentage of visitors who become customers. Although, you may have a different goal that you are trying to optimize, say a percentage of visitors to add a product to cart, download an ebook or submit their email addresses.

According to Statista, the average global eCommerce conversion as of the third quarter of 2018 is around 2.42%.

What channel yields better results for your business?

If you can identify the channel/s that give you better conversion rates, you can concentrate on attracting more traffic from that channel and then start optimizing your conversion rate.

I have helped clients boost their rookie numbers, here are some of the best tips to improve your conversion rate.

1. Identify conversion and sales goals.

Google Analytics is your best friend if you want to find your own conversion rate. Once you have your data, start your analysis from there. Creating a goal is all about going from point A to point B. To pump up your numbers, set a concrete goal to improve it.

What should be included in your goal planning?

Use the SMART method to get things rolling. For sure, you know SMART goals already.

But do you practice the rule? Goals need to be powerful to motivate and inspire you to take action. Hence, they should be SMART.  There are many varieties of what SMART stands for, but commonly it means:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Set specific numbers on your goal. If your current conversation rate is at 15% and aiming to double it to 30%, you also have to increase your current traffic.

Measure your goals by using tracking tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, Shopify and Magento’s built-in reporting tools. Use the right tools to track traffic, conversions, and sales.

Attainable means not shooting for the moon. You have to set goals that are doable at the moment, not in the next five to ten years.

Your goal should be relevant to your big picture. Do you want to increase your conversion rate to support your expansion goals in the next three to six months? Do you want to increase your conversation rate just for the sake of increasing it? It’s your call.

Time-bound is putting dates to your goals. Having goals without deadlines is only wishful thinking. Schedule your tasks and plan using project management software to keep in line with your goals.

2. Improve your on-page and off-page SEO (search engine optimization).

SEO answers this one question: Can your potential customer find your products in search engines?

SEO is all about showing up on Google, Bing, or even Yahoo. The higher your ranking is, the better. Like an ordinary website, eCommerce websites optimized it in the usual way. That means taking care of on-page and off-page optimization such as:

  • Trusted backlinks
  • Right target keyword
  • Appropriate metadata
  • HTTPS certificate (though most eCommerce sites are already secured)
  • ALT attributes on images
  • Submit a sitemap
  • Healthy internal links, no redirects, and no broken links
  • Product descriptions with the target keyword

A lot of SEO tactics don’t apply anymore. If you’re using old tactics, it’s your chance to rethink your approach to SEO.

Getting excellent SEO results simply take time. I’m talking about at least six months or even more than a year to get results.

3. Simplify your checkout process.

If people are abandoning their carts, there must be something wrong with your checkout process. Keep the checkout page simple so there are minimal to zero distractions. The simpler your checkout process, the more they will complete the purchase.

Some tips to optimize your checkout process:

  • Offer free shipping to attract customer to add to cart or order more.
  • Multiple payment options should be available. Use PayPal, Stripe, mobile payment, and other payment gateways to make the purchase faster.
  • Visible payment security seals. Don’t forget to let them know your website is secured and can process their credit card information.
  • Offer guest check out for a quicker transaction.
  • Simplify form fields as much as possible. Remove other form fields you will not need to process their order.
  • Remove page distractions like images and videos.

Keeping your checkout light and breezy makes online shopping more convenient. The key here is to A/B test your current checkout process and see which converts better. The only way to find out what’s wrong with your checkout process is by testing my above suggestions.

4. Increase your product reviews.

Build trust by letting your customers leave reviews and feedback on your product pages. Social influence can result in increased Add to cart > Checkout rate. If potential buyers can validate your products through the words of customers who already purchased the product, they will most like to buy it as well.

5. Make sure you have clear and personalized CTA.

If you like people to buy, you have to tell them to buy. It’s one way of talking to them that you are selling awesome products.

Clear call-to-action uses action words and allows shoppers to know what to do next, like “Order Now,” Add to cart,” or “Buy Now.”

If your call-to-action is on a button, ensure the color stands out so it’s highly noticeable.

6. Never stop reducing your cart abandon rate.

Make sure your cart abandon rates is reduced every month. Say, you have 20,000 add to cart a month, with 70% cart abandon rate you basically have 6,000 sales. If you can recover 1% that means 140 additional sales and your average order value is $100, that is $14,000 more revenue.

You can try the following Shopify app to improve your cart abandon rate:

  • Pushowl
  • Recart
  • SiteKit
  • Countdown cart

7. Put discount and subscription pop-ups.

As part of your cart recovery strategy, you can send follow-up emails with their cart contents and give them a coupon code to get a discount as an incentive to complete their order.

You can also setup subscription pop-ups that provide discount codes in exchange for their email addresses.

8. Send special promotions to your email list.

When convincing people to buy a product, the “more saving” advantage is one of the likely options. Email marketing can produce better conversion rates than social and search.

Consider investing in an eCommerce marketing strategy and email campaign to drive conversions. Compose a compelling subject line with a really good offer, no BS promotions, and you’ll convert your list into buying more from you.

9. Enhance your site structure.

Arrange your product categories in a sensible manner. Use as few levels as possible to allow a user to reach a product as quick as possible.

You can also allow them to shop by lowest to highest prices, by color, sizes, or release date. If they can find your product by structured categories, they will have comfortable shopping experience on your website.

Another power tip is adding a search bar to allow them to find your products easily. The faster they can see your product, the more likely they are to buy from you.

Learn how builds fast and beautiful Shopify stores here.

10. Analyze and rewrite your product descriptions.

Write a product description using storytelling approach combined with detailed information about the product so they know exactly what they are getting. Online shoppers feel and touch the product and they are not in a physical store to ask questions.

You can also add a video demonstration to avoid returns as well.

In conclusion

Improving your conversion rates take a lot of effort and planning. Creating a smooth and hassle-free shopping experience attracts people into buying. Keep in mind that every tactic is only a theory until it’s tested and proved. Test, test, and test, until you know what will boost your revenue and grow your eCommerce business.