10 ways to boost the conversion rate of your e-commerce store

In the competitive world of digital businesses, you need to take extra care to ensure that your website gives users a good shopping experience. If potential customers have an unpleasant experience on your e-commerce website, they might leave your website to a competitor site that provides a more pleasant experience. 

Building a successful e-commerce business takes a lot of work and commitment. In this article, I’ll be discussing ten things you can do to boost the conversion rate of your e-commerce website. 

How is Conversion Rate Calculated?

The ultimate goal of any e-commerce store is to get website visitors to purchase items. Some people visit a website with the intention of buying specific items and if they find products that meet their requirements, they immediately place an order for them. 

This isn’t always the case and a lot of people do not immediately make a purchase even if the product is to their liking. This is why while calculating your website conversions, you should also consider little wins like: 

  • How many visitors added items to their carts
  • How many people added items to their wishlist
  • How many people signed up to your email list

Conversion rate measures the percentage of website visitors that complete a desired action. To calculate your conversion rate, you simply have to divide the number the people who performed the desired action by the number of people who visited your website within a particular time period. 

For instance, if you had 20,000 visits to your website and 1,000 purchases, your conversion rate would be (1,000 ➗20,000). To get the percentage, you’ll have to multiply the figure by 100, in this case, the conversion rate is 5% (0.05 x 100). 

You can use tools like Hotjar, Google Analytics, and Google Optimize to automatically track user behavior and website conversions. 

What is a Good E-commerce Conversion Rate?

What counts as a good conversion rate differs from one business to the next. You shouldn’t compare your business with random businesses that have very little in common with yours. Factors like your industry, product, price point, and target audience should come into play while determining what can qualify as an acceptable conversion rate for your business.

As a general rule, sites with more expensive products typically have lower conversion rates. This is because most people aren’t willing to part with a significant sum of money unless it’s absolutely necessary. However, it doesn’t require much planning to purchase a relatively inexpensive item. 

According to BigCommerce, the average conversion rate is between 2%-3%. Whether your business falls above or below this benchmark, the tips provided in this article can help you increase your conversion rate over time. 

Tips for Boosting the Conversion Rate of Your Ecommerce Business

Perform A/B Tests to Gauge User Experience

How your audience interacts with your website influences e-commerce success to a large extent. 

Something as minute as the color of your call-to-action buttons or the images on your website can influence conversion rate. 

A/B testing also referred to as split testing is a marketing experiment that involves presenting two versions of a webpage to your audience to determine which performs better. To perform an A/B test, you would have to create a modified version of your webpage so that you can access your audience’s response to both versions and determine which performs best. 

Ordinarily, it is almost impossible to know how your audience perceives various elements on your website. A/B tests allow you to find out how your audience responds to various elements on your websites. This way, you can modify your site to include elements that resonate with your audience the most.

A/B tests can be used to assess various aspects of a website. However, you can only test one element at a time. This way, you are able to gauge your audience’s reaction to each individual element. 

E-commerce businesses can perform A/B tests on the following: 

  • Images
  • Product descriptions
  • Page layout
  • Call-to-action
  • Navigation
  • Headlines

You can try A/B testing for free with tools like Google Optimize. For more advanced solutions, you’d have to get a paid plan with tools like Omniconvert, VWO, Kameleoon, and AB Tasty. 

A/B testing should be done regularly so that you’d be able to keep up with changes in your target audience’s behaviors and make necessary modifications to your site. 

Make Your Site Easy to Navigate

Over the years, thousands of businesses have launched on the web. This means that for whatever service you are offering there would most likely be other businesses offering the same. 

Internet users are known to have low attention spans and even less patience. Thus, it is important to grab visitors’ attention as soon as they click your website’s URL.  

Making your site easy to navigate simply means organizing your website so that visitors can easily locate the different products or services that you are offering. 

Here are some things you can do to make your website more user-friendly:

  • Add a prominent search function to your header bar. 
  • Use eye-catching call-to-action buttons.
  • Use a simple website design. 
  • Add product filters to your website. 
  • Use simple header tags
  • Your main navigation menu should appear on every page
  • Keep your main menu items between 3 and 7. 
  • Products should be categorized properly. 

It makes sense that you would want to add personality to your website. However, while doing that, you have to be careful not to veer too far away from the intuitive navigation that your visitors are used to. 

Don’t frustrate potential customers with your maze-like website structure. If you do, they won’t stick around to see the amazing services or products that you have to offer. 

Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices

Successful e-commerce businesses feature a responsive website design. This way customers can access their site from whatever device they are using, be it a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. 

If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices you will be missing out on a significant amount of sales because smartphones account for the majority of e-commerce website visits. In late 2022, smartphones accounted for 70% of worldwide e-commerce website traffic, and in the first quarter of 2023, smartphones accounted for 74% of e-commerce website visits. 

Furthermore, mobile friendliness is one of the factors that Google uses to rank websites. 

Tips to make your site more mobile-friendly: 

  • Switch to a responsive website design.
  • Compress images.
  • Modify the size and placement of buttons. 
  • Avoid using Adobe Flash on your website. Use HTML5 instead. 
  • Test the mobile compatibility of your website’s content with tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test
  • Minimize pop-ups. 
  • Switch to a larger font size
  • Regularly test the mobile-friendliness of your site.

Use High-Quality Images and Videos

The adage about a picture being worth a thousand words is completely true when it comes to online shopping. While shopping at a physical store, you can see and even touch items before you purchase them. However, while making purchases online, you only get an idea of what the product looks like from the graphics displayed. 

So, if your website features crappy pictures that do not do justice, to your products, visitors wouldn’t be inclined to make a purchase. Think about it, would you make a purchase from a website that features poor-looking graphics and risk getting products that look exactly like what’s displayed online when you can purchase from a website that features good-looking graphics? 

The type of graphics you post on your website influences your conversion rate to a large extent. Your graphics are one of the first things that draw the attention of potential customers. So, you need to make sure that you only upload pictures and videos that can convince visitors to buy from you. 

Product images should display your products in the best way possible. They should call out to visitors and inform them that you have what they are looking for. 

You don’t want visitors second-guessing your products. So, you should add graphics that display your products from different angles. 

According to a study by Think With Google 50% of online shoppers claim that videos help them decide on what what product or brand is worth purchasing. So, never underestimate the power of a good product video. 

Show Social Proof

Customers need to trust your brand before they can patronize your business. One of the ways to encourage customers to trust your brand is by posting reviews and testimonials on your website. 

It’s one thing to have a great site and it’s another thing to convince people that you are actually a legitimate business. Displaying social proof on your website shows visitors that you are trusted by other people. 

In a survey by PowerReviews, 6500 customers were asked about the factors that influence their purchase decisions and 94% of the customers stated that the primary factors that influence their purchase decision are customer reviews and ratings.  

You have to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. Would you rather make a purchase from a business that has been tried and tested by others or from one that hasn’t? 

Follow up on Abandoned Carts 

Customers sometimes add items to their carts and for one reason or another do not proceed to make the purchase. According to Baymard Institute, 70% of shopping carts are abandoned by online shoppers. 

You can convert abandoned carts to sales by sending reminders to customers about the items in their carts. 

You wouldn’t have to personally send the message to each cart owner. The process can be automated with cart abandonment software like Klaviyo and CartStack

Optimize Website Speed

Visitors who are used to fast load times aren’t likely to wait the additional seconds it takes your website to load. 

Unless they are return customers, regular online shoppers wouldn’t be inclined to deal with a slow website when they can simply search for what they want elsewhere. 

You’ve worked hard to display products on your website so make sure that you are not driving potential customers to competitor websites because of your slow site speed. 

If your website has a high bounce rate, you might want to test your website’s speed to make sure it is not what’s driving visitors away. You can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, and Yslow to measure and diagnose your website’s speed. 

Additionally, site speed is one of the factors Google uses to rank websites.

What you can do to make your website run faster: 

  • Switch to a faster theme.
  • Switch to a better hosting platform.
  • Optimize images for various devices.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN).
  • Minimize the number of plugins and tracking scripts on your website
  • Minimize redirects. 

Offer Free Shipping

Sometimes customers do not consider shipping costs while shopping. So, if your shipping fees are above their budget, they might leave your site without making the purchase. 

Free shipping is a great incentive for online shoppers. A study by Baymard Institute reveals that shipping fees are responsible for 48% of abandoned carts

Of course, offering free shipping might put a dent in your profit and isn’t always a feasible option. If it’s impossible to offer free shipping on every order, there are other ways you can add a free shipping policy into your business, For instance, you can offer free shipping to orders that meet a certain cart value threshold. 

Setting a free shipping threshold can motivate customers to buy more items so that they qualify for free shipping. Research shows that 78% of customers are willing to increase their purchases in order to qualify for free shipping. 

Depending on the kind of products you sell you can offer free shipping on certain items during holiday seasons. 

Add Detailed Product Descriptions to Products (can even use videos)

Online shoppers rely on elements like product descriptions and graphics for information about a product. 

You should see product descriptions as a chance to pitch your product to visitors. Tell them what makes your product unique and why they should buy from you and not your competition.  Provide detailed descriptions so that customers do not go to another site to find out more about the product and end up not returning. 

Well-written product descriptions can convince potential customers to make a purchase. They can also increase organic traffic to your website. 

Here are some tips for writing product descriptions that convert. 

  • Highlight product benefits. 
  • Include the product’s unique selling point. 
  • Use keywords and other SEO elements. 
  • Use clear and concise language. 
  • Make sure the description is informative. 
  • Ensure that the text is easy to read. 
  • Make sure that you only state facts. Do not over-glamorize products because if customers receive the order and it isn’t as promised, they might request a return.

Make Sure the Check-Out Process is Seamless

Unfortunately, customers sometimes get as far as the checkout page before abandoning their cart. There are different reasons this might occur. It could simply be because the customer had a change of heart and decided against purchasing the item. However, it can be because your checkout process is problematic. 

To limit cart abandonment during checkout, ensure there are no hurdles that can discourage customers from proceeding with the purchase. 

Here are some things you can do: 

  • Ensure that your checkout process is straightforward and easy. 
  • Adopt a one-page checkout, this way customers can view all steps involved in checkout process on one page. 
  • Allow customers to checkout as guests because the process of creating an account before making a purchase might be bothersome to some people. 
  • Offer multiple payment options to ensure that customers’ preferred payment method is available during checkout. 
  • Perform AB tests on the different checkout elements to measure and improve performance.