5 Simple Ways To Improve Conversion Rates
No rocket science. No complicated code. No huge costs. Sound too good to be true?
Well, if you are serious about turning more visitors into customers, there are a few things that you can do to improve conversion rates on your e-Commerce store, regardless of the platform that it’s built on.
No.1 - Keep it Simple
With e-Commerce, you can’t afford to have an interface that’s complicated. Unless you have exclusive rights to a unique product or a significantly lower cost than competitors, users won’t spend the time learning how to use your site, they’ll simply get frustrated, leave your website and purchase it somewhere else. There’s a few key things that you can do to aid your customers journey however:
- Keep the navigation clear and simple.
- Make sure key details, such as price, and checkout buttons are super obvious.
- Use simple terminology - Buttons and call to actions should be clearly labelled i.e ‘Shop Now’, 'BUY' 'Add to Cart'.
- Make details like size guides and shipping information visually clear and accessible.
- If you're going to be unconventional, employ design and UX experts.
- Label collections appropriately and informatively.
No.2 - Build Trust
If a user doesn’t trust your store, they won’t be willing to provide their payment details. Quality design will do most of the leg work, because it demonstrates that you take your website seriously and that immediately relaxes and comforts viewers. Assuming your design is up to scratch, the next step is to illustrate you use trusted service partners.
Internally, we call them trust badges, though it’s difficult to know how widely adopted this term is. Below are a few examples of what we’re talking about. Just a list of concise statements along with eye catching icons in carefully considered places throughout the user journey.
Trust is also created through transparency. A small yet effective way to build further trust is to make contact details readily available so that, should anything go wrong, the customer knows that they can contact you directly to rectify the problem.
No.3 - Offer Proof / Validation
Simply put, demonstrate that you have existing customers that would recommend both your business and your products. This will most likely be by using product reviews or reviews of the the business itself.
Countless studies demonstrate that users are more likely to make a purchase after reading some glowing reviews from existing customers. According to ‘E-consultancy’, 63% of users are more likely to make a purchase from a site with reviews.
If you’re worried about a lack of product specific reviews initially, then perhaps show reviews that apply business-wide to begin with. Generic reviews like, "Great customer service, was really impressed...." etc, will still have a positive effect - We appreciate that 100 products on your store with no reviews in sight isn’t desirable, so this can often work well as a stop-gap whilst you build your review count on individual products.
No.4 - Speed up your site
Depending on what platform you use, there will likely be limitations to what can be achieved here. If you use a hosted solution like Shopify, there’s no way to upgrade servers, but you shouldn’t need to as they are fast enough. If you use a non-hosted solution like Magento, make sure that you pay the server the attention it deserves. A slow site (e-Commerce or not) will never perform as well. Bounce rates increase exponentially as load time goes up. If your home page take more than 3 seconds, make some adjustments.
Beyond servers, the simplest way to make sure you site is as fast as possible is to ensure that images are properly optimised for the web. There’s a balance to be found here, you want product imagery to be sharp and have zoom functionality, but hero images, banner and collection imagery on the homepage should be as small in file as possible. Start by exporting images from photoshop and playing with the quality settings to reduce file size.
We also often use a free online service called Tiny PNG. It couldn’t be simpler to use, and the amount of compression is displayed so that you can clearly see how much you’re saving. Don’t be fooled by the aesthetic of the site itself, the algorithms used are intelligent and the results speak for themselves. Just make sure to compare the compressed images to the originals and make sure that the quality is up to scratch.
No.5 - Abandoned Carts
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew when someone had added products to the cart, and not made a purchase? Crazy right? Wrong. According to Baymard, an average of 69.23% abandonment rate applies to all checkouts globally. Understandably, many of these will be people that are just browsing, comparing or not ready to make a purchase, but there’s certainly users within that figure that leave for reasons you can remedy.
By emailing people that have left before payment, you’re targeting people that you know have an interest in your product. It's a relatively popular feature that some hosted solutions such as Shopify have now built in to some of their plans making it incredibly simple to automate a friendly reminder email.
Another good way to reduce abandoned carts is to be clear about any additional costs such as taxes and delivery costs throughout the website BEFORE a customer gets to the checkout. Don't give them a last minute nasty surprise.