When it comes to tracking e-commerce success, there are plenty of metrics to monitor at all times. From new user traffic and bounce rate to time on page and cart abandonment, each metric can give a clear picture of a store’s health.
However, there’s no greater measurement by which to analyze your success than the holy grail of metrics—your conversion rate. Regardless of how good a job you’re doing in the other areas of your store, if your conversion rate isn’t solid, neither is your business.
These seven tweaks will help you improve your conversion rate.
- Improving Site Speed
It’s well documented that users expect sites to load quickly. In fact, a page that takes longer than three seconds to load is usually abandoned, and 79 percent of shoppers who experience site performance issues say they won’t return. If your site is slow, or worse, you experience excessive downtime, you might have a sub-par hosting provider. If your hosting is fine, consider making your CSS, HTML and images more efficient through image compression and coding best practices.
- Make Your Product Images Stellar
In addition to making sure all your store images are compressed and easy to load, they need to come as close as possible to replicating the brick-and-mortar experience. That means high-resolution photos, optimal white space, multiple product angles, zoomed in and zoomed out, and more. If you sell clothes, make up or accessories, then it’s wise to have models of varying complexions and skin colors wearing your products so all shoppers can get a sense of how the product will look on them. This will help reduce costly return rates, which can account for as much as one-third of all orders.
When it comes to creating the best images and using product placement correctly, you are going to find a ton of resources online. We recommend following these photography tips from Oberlo, as they show the many different ways to make product images pop and look professional on any site — thus increasing conversions and sales.
- Refresh Your Product Descriptions
Hopefully you’re not copying the product manufacturer descriptions at this point in the game. But even if you have your own product copy, does it provide everything a shopper would want to know? As with images, the goal is to replicate the in-store experience as much as possible.
When someone’s looking at a hiking backpack in an outdoor equipment store, they can feel its fabric, see how big it is, open all the pockets to gauge storage space, and etc. Your product descriptions should provide all of these details and more through language that speaks to your customer base. Don’t worry about getting too salesy; make your copy personal to your brand, but otherwise get out of the way and let the product info do the talking. You should have top-level summarized descriptions as well as more in-depth info, and both should be formatted for easy scanning. It might seem like a pain to overhaul all your descriptions, but solid product content will do wonders for your site.
- Optimize Your CTA Buttons
As much as we’d like to think we’re above psychological statistics, we’re not. The varying effectiveness of different call-to-action buttons is one example. Size, shape, color, descriptives and position on page all contribute to conversion rate efficacy. But in general, you want a CTA button color that stands out without clashing with the rest of the page.
Same thing with placement; any CTA should jump out at users above other page elements. As far as CTA language, it’s called a call-to-action for a reason: you want to use wording that incites your users to take action. Finally, the size of your buttons should correlate to the CTA’s importance. A button that’s inciting a buying action should naturally be larger than a button that offers more information to a user.
If you’re short on graphic design help and already operating on a hosted e-commerce platform, there’s probably an easy way to change your CTA buttons.
- Nix Your Shipping & Offer Discounts
If your cart abandonment rate is really high, one reason could be shipping costs. From a personal standpoint, I can confidently say that any site that adds shipping once I get to the cart checkout means guaranteed abandonment. Nobody’s particularly interested in paying for shipping these days thanks to Amazon and every customer is looking for a deal. In fact, merchants that offer discount codes are eight times more likely to make a sale. The discount doesn’t have to be margin-destroying, either. For most shoppers, the psychology of a good deal is too hard to pass up. You can also use any of these tools to track and improve shopping cart/checkout conversions as well.
- Re-Evaluate Your Branding
Branding is important from a customer awareness perspective as it builds rapport and trust. If your conversions aren’t where you want them, it’s worthwhile to take a long hard look at your branding efforts, especially your logo. Does your logo look polished, endearing or authoritative? Or is it more along the lines of sloppy, confusing or forgettable? According to Crazy Egg, mascots or heros are great ways to make a visual impact on your customers and drive them to action. If you have no idea where to start, get your creative juices flowing with a free logo maker.
- Display Trust Badges
If you’re finding both your overall bounce rate and cart abandonment numbers to be high, something is causing customers to get out of dodge. Several factors could be at play, but it likely boils down to a lack of trust. Displaying trust badges on your site is a subtle but direct way of telling customers, “don’t worry, we’re legitimate.”
You don’t need to go crazy adding a bunch of site badges to your store but displaying something showing your site employs SSL (secure sockets layer) security is a must. Business accreditation badges, such as from the Better Business Bureau can also be effective in gaining customer trust. Some badges are more common than others though, so make sure you’re showing badges that customers recognize and respect.
As an e-store owner, you’ll never be done optimizing your site for conversions. This is because optimization best practices will change as time goes on. Further, if you’re consistently doing proper A/B testing, you’re never done tweaking things.
These seven tweaks will absolutely improve your conversion rate. But rather than looking at it as a toil, think of it more like a science experiment in which you slowly get closer to the answer.
After all, ecommerce is the realm for the optimists and dreamers.