In the world of ecommerce, the difference between a 3 percent and 4 percent conversion rate can mean tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. Thus, if you haven’t studied your conversion rate recently and set a plan of improvement into motion, it would be wise to return to the drawing board and refigure your approach.
How to Give Your Conversion Rate a Boost
By definition, your website’s conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action. Every website has a different desired action – or even multiple desired actions that can be converted on – but ecommerce sites typically focus on purchases. Other examples of possible conversion events include:
- Becoming a registered user
- Signing up for a subscription
- Opting in to an email list
- Downloading a mobile app
- Spending a certain amount of time on the site
In reality, any measureable action can have a conversion rate attached to it. Platforms like Google Analytics make this process simple and automatic. Over time, you’ll identify trends and see what your baseline numbers are for certain conversion events. You’ll also likely come to the conclusion that there’s ample room for improvement.
There’s a case to be made for improving every conversion metric, but no single conversion event is more important than the purchase. It’s what puts money in your pocket and allows the rest of the business to succeed. In light of this, we’re going to focus on some practical steps you can take to improve your ecommerce site’s conversion rate with minimal effort.
- Use Social Proof
“Social proof is immensely important for landing pages, to the point that it’s one of very few elements I’ve never seen reduce conversion rates in my own tests,” copywriter and conversion rate optimizer Joel Klettke says. “Third party proof does so much at the same time – sets expectations, gives leads a comparison party to weigh themselves against, reinforces your messaging and substantiates your claims.”
There are plenty of ways to integrate social proof into your website. Perhaps the best option is to leverage customer feedback. Notice how Savvy Boater uses star ratings and reviews on some of their product listings to establish trust with visitors. Doing so drives conversions for their site (and could for your site, too).
- Simplify Design
It’s tempting to want to do everything at once, when less is actually more. Simplifying your approach to design and layout removes unnecessary friction, eliminates distractions, and keeps your visitors laser-focused on conversion-oriented actions and steps.
The Tinker Watches homepage epitomizes minimalist design. Notice how all superfluous elements have been stripped out and visitors are left with a simple user experience that’s still aesthetically beautiful and engaging. This forces customers to gravitate toward important action steps – like shopping.
- Provide Better Images
Ecommerce business owners often fall into the trap of thinking they can explain their way to conversions. In other words, if I could only get my visitors to read a 500-word description, they would fall in love with the product. The problem is that website visitors have notoriously small attention spans and won’t take the time to read chunky blocks of text. You need something that’s better and more efficient at moving people to action. You need better images.
Ditch the stock photos and low-resolution images. Instead, invest in professional photography that draws people in and clearly conveys the value and appeal of your products to your target market. Apple has always done an incredible job with this. Check out this gorgeous page for the Apple Watch and notice how there’s very little text on the page. The visuals tell the story. How can you apply these same principles in your own ecommerce website design?
- Speed Up Shopping Cart
There’s a high correlation between shopping cart speed/checkout efficiency and conversion rates. If it takes visitors a long time to complete a transaction, a large percentage of your customers will drop off before finishing. Thus, one of the best ways to improve your conversion rate is to reduce the number of steps it takes for visitors to finalize a purchase.
Small Steps, Big Difference
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to scrap your website and start fresh. In the majority of situations, businesses need only to make some simple tweaks to content, design, layout, navigation, and branding. Find three tangible changes you can implement this week and follow through. You’re almost guaranteed to get results.