Every ecommerce store has that ultimate goal of selling more of their product and boosting sales. Conversion rates are important for ecommerce stores, especially since they’re indicators for generated revenue and how well businesses are doing in the market.
However, in order to boost sales and stay on top of their online competitors, ecommerce must optimize their sites as much and often as possible – even if it’s to make some small changes in the web design.
In this article, we’ll talk about the 7 conversion optimization tactics that ecommerce sites can use to transform their online stores into successful ones. Let’s jump right in!
Track the Customer Journey
When it comes to the customer journey, it’s important for ecommerce stores to track how potential buyers are reacting towards the products, and see how the ‘journey’ can be improved to where those consumers can stay and buy something. The ‘journey’ consists of the steps that a potential buyer goes through from getting interested in your niche, being aware of your brand, and finding out more about your product so that they might make a purchase.
The customer journey consists of 5 stages that range from awareness to retention:
- Awareness – Potential customers initially learn about your brand.
- Discovery – Interested customers plan to seek more information about your brand, usually by going to your website or app.
- Consideration – Interested customers will look at your product description, ratings, reviews, and imagery to see if everything looks good. If they like what they see, they’ll sign up for your newsletter and or download your app.
- Conversion – Once they go through the setup or login process, customers will begin using the website or app.
- Retention – Finally, customers will want to continue using the website or app on a regular basis.
Many times, the customer journey can be messy, because some consumers tend to skip the steps, abandon their carts, or buy on impulse. Fortunately, there are online analytical tools that can help you understand where consumers are entering your ecommerce store, where they’re leaving from, and the common paths that they normally take to finally buy something.
Online tools like Qualtrics help you “predict what customers will do next,” and help you reduce customer “churn.” Moreover, Qualtrics helps you do the following to get the job done:
- Manage, track, and respond to tickets (You can do this on desktop, mobile, or on the Qualtrics Follow-up app)
- Forward tickets automatically whenever you’re unavailable
- Highlights the necessary summaries, so that you can relay the right tasks to the right people on your team
- Like Google Analytics, helps you visualize how consumers move around your ecommerce store – how they react to the landing pages, the product pages, and their drop-off rate
Having a comprehensive analysis of how visitors navigate your ecommerce store, along with the typical customer journey, you’ll be able to identify any pain points, so that you can A/B test possible solutions for them.
Enable Site Speed Optimization
Like any other website, ecommerce sites have to be able to load right away, in order to rake in customers and keep them there. Therefore, improving the page load time is an important method to consider when looking to increase conversions. Let’s face it: if it takes a while for a page to load, then store visitors grow impatient, and they’re more apt to leave the website without purchasing anything.
Semrush suggests that a site that loads in 5 seconds is faster than approximately 25% of the web, whereas a site that loads in 0.8 seconds is faster than approximately 94%. As a result, more conversions can be made if your load time is fast.
First, determine which pages are important and you feel they need to be loaded faster (E.g., the homepage, the product page, login pages, checkout, etc.) Look at how traffic is on each page and make sure that their loading speeds are adequate, so that site visitors aren’t waiting for a page to load.
Simplify Store Navigation
“The ideal ecommerce store is easy to navigate on, meaning that it’s flat – or has a few layers as possible to the site design,” says Jessica Martinez, a content blogger at Nextcoursework.com. “In other words, everything on your site has to be accessible within a few clicks of the homepage. And, you also want to make it very simple for site users to get from page to page, so that purchasing something is seamless.”
That means that your web design shouldn’t be like a labyrinth that people may get stuck in, or else users will walk away from your store and, perhaps, go to your competitors. So, instead of frustrating your site visitors with a difficult site design, try to simplify your store navigation to the best of your ability. Leave out things that are fluff and unnecessary. Here are some ways to optimize site navigation:
- Include “breadcrumbs” (paths that users can follow from one page to another)
- Simplify menu options
- Prioritize elements, etc.
Enable Live Chat
No longer are the days when customers have to pick up the phone and dial a number to get to an operator for a store’s Call Center. Nowadays, with online chat boxes, customers can get their issue(s) recognized, and businesses can get to them quicker. In fact, live chat is desired from almost every online shopper, in case they run into an issue online.
According to Kayako, consumers are more likely to turn to live chat to address their issues, even if it takes longer.
So, regardless of whether or not an ecommerce site doesn’t have top-notch speeds for their chat boxes, consumers want convenience – and convenience comes from live chat, since they’re “more likely to remain loyal, [and] engage in positive word of mouth…” when they get a live chat experience from these stores. Therefore, offering live chat to those who expect it can help you keep users from leaving your store to find answers or solutions to their questions or problems.
Even just seeing a chatbox on-screen can reassure them that help is there whenever they need it.
Reduce Cart Abandonment Rates
Did you know that over ¾ of shoppers will leave an ecommerce site without buying anything? That’s true. According to Barilliance, the average cart abandonment rate for 2016 was 77.24%; whereas in 2017, that number slightly rose to 78.65%. While cart abandonment may seem annoying at times, it’s actually one of the biggest challenges that ecommerce stores tend to face – and it doesn’t matter the niche.
Therefore, it’s time to optimize your site to reduce this ugly trend of abandoned carts. That means working to implement many of the following strategies (ones that you can test and start using today!):
- Send cart abandonment email sequences that regularly remind shoppers about the items that they had left in their carts.
- Place an omnipresent cart icon on your site, so visitors can see that they have pending items, and can click to go to the cart page.
- Enable cart abandonment push notifications that retarget lost buyers, and persuade them to complete their purchase.
Need more help with stopping cart abandonment? Check out our 7 Quick Ways To Stop Cart Abandonment article!
Create an Easy Checkout
When people shop online, they want the checkout process to be fast and easy. Now, while there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, you can still work to simplify the checkout process, so that there are no major issues when someone checks out.
Here are some ways to simplify the checkout process:
- Reduce the number of steps to checkout
- Eliminate any and all distractions from every page
- Offer multiple payment options to shoppers
- Provide guest login to customers that haven’t created an account on the site yet (or don’t plan to)
The ultimate goal of simplifying checkout is to ensure that customers aren’t stuck doing the tedious work of entering their name, address, and credit card information over and over, or for a long time. You can even structure your checkout process based on what your customers want. In other words, if they’ve run into problems before, then work on fixing those issues when structuring your checkout.
Leverage Scarcity and Urgency
Scarcity and urgency to boost sales is nothing new. In fact, marketing teams tend to use this strategy to promote products and services.
Sumo suggests that this strategy works both ways:
- Marketing and sales teams benefit from this tactic, because of how much it works.
- Scarce items feel exclusive to shoppers, meaning that “[they] have access to something other people want but can’t have…” thus making them feel powerful.
Along with urgency – giving shoppers a deadline to shop for a specific item, or shop a sale – scarcity serves as an emotional driver that can help boost ecommerce conversions. By advertising that stocks are limited, and that they’ll sell out soon, buyers are attracted to the scarcity and urgency of the advertisement.
Bonus Tip: Personalize the Shopping Experience
Customers, nowadays, expect their shopping experiences to be tailored to their likes and preferences. (No exception!) That means it’s extremely important – now more than ever – to get to know your customers thoroughly. But how?
Essentially, when learning about your customers, look at the numbers first. By looking at the analytics, and collecting them, you can predict and optimize users’ shopping experiences. Here are some great ways to do so:
- You can enable user cookies on the site to allow you to show product browsing history, and get a good idea of sought-after items on your site.
- You can also enable geo-targeting on the site to provide a personalized shopping experience based on visitors’ location(s).
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for boosting conversion rates for ecommerce stores, such businesses can still work with what’s best for them. You might find yourself using one, two, or all of the 7 tactics shared today in this article. But that’s part of the process: trial and error.
When in doubt, test these tactics before you officially deploy them into your marketing strategy. Who knows? You might fall in love with one or two tactics – or all of them.
Once you get the hang of whichever tactics suit you, you’ll see significant changes in the analytics of your ecommerce store, and how you optimize it in the future. So, on that note, take these 7 tactics – try them out – and watch some of what you’ve learned today work for you in the long-run.