Ahh, the conversion rate. It’s your best friend when it’s high – and your worst enemy when it’s low. Nothing bolsters your confidence like seeing your eCommerce conversion rate jump, and nothing makes your stomach sink as much as a low conversion rate. We get it. Conversion rates are important.
The average eCommerce conversion rate is around 2.6% in the US, although this may differ based on your industry. A good conversion rate, then, would be any rate that’s higher than this average – that means you’re doing better than your competitors!
So, if you find yourself with an average or below-average conversion rate, and you’re looking for ways to improve it, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve put together a list of the five ways you can increase your conversion rate today.
1. Minimize Loading Times
Loading times, or page load speeds, are the silent killer when it comes to conversion rate.
If you can’t bring customers to your website, you won’t be able to convert them into sales – and long loading times are one of the top reasons that website may have a high bounce rate.
Just how important are loading times? Let’s take a look at a few of the numbers, from a HubSpot study published by Skilled.
- 79% of customers who are dissatisfied with website performance won’t buy from the same company again.
- 47% of customers expect webpages to load in 3 seconds or less.
- A 1-second delay in page loading times could cost you 11% of your page views.
- The bounce rate (percentage of visitors who leave a website after visiting only one page) for a page that loads in 2.4 seconds is around 12.8%. Pages that load in 6 seconds have a bounce rate of nearly 40%. Pages that take 9.9 seconds have a bounce rate of 58%.
The numbers don’t lie.
Loading times have a massive effect on the performance of your website. So, whether you’re using Magento, BigCommerce, or any other eCommerce platform, you need to take steps such as optimizing images, removing unnecessary extensions, and using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to speed up your store as much as possible.
2. Add Customer Testimonials and Reviews
Getting folks to visit your website – and keeping them there – is one thing. But how can you make sure they actually purchase an item on your website? What can you do to build trust and capture their attention?
Add customer testimonials and reviews.
97% of customers say that positive (or negative) reviews impact their buying decision. According to a study by the Spiegel Research Institute, 95% of customers read reviews before purchasing an item when they’re available and can boost your conversion rate by up to 270%. This number jumps to nearly 380% for highly-priced items.
It’s really a no-brainer.
By adding a customer review widget to your most popular items, and asking buyers to add their own reviews, you can supercharge your conversion rate – and help your customers feel more confident when shopping for your products.
3. Offer Free Shipping
Free shipping is controversial, especially among eCommerce entrepreneurs. Many smaller companies just can’t afford the cost of free shipping, which is so common among larger companies like Amazon.
But here’s the thing about free shipping: it works. 90% of customers say that free shipping is a major incentive and one of the most important things that impact their online buying decisions.
You may not be able to offer free shipping all the time. But you should seriously consider having free shipping promotions every once in a while, or during peak sale seasons, like the holidays – or adding a minimum order threshold, such as $50 or $75, after which you’ll ship items for free.
Sure, your costs will be a little higher – but with more buyers and a higher conversion rate, you should be able to avoid those expenses quite easily.
4. Streamline and Optimize Your Checkout Process
The only statistic that strikes more fear into the heart of eCommerce entrepreneurs than a low conversion rate is… a high cart abandonment rate! (Insert dramatic music here.)
High cart abandonment rates and low conversion rates go hand-in-hand. If a customer is confused, frustrated or can’t understand the process of checking out, they may simply leave your site, and shop elsewhere.
To avoid this, you have to focus on optimizing and streamlining the checkout process. Make it easy for customers to add items to their cart, and make pricing (including “extras” like shipping costs and taxes) clear.
You should also focus on making the actual checkout page as simple as possible. Remove unnecessary images and text fields. Make it clear which fields are mandatory, and which are optional. Enable Autofill, if possible, and reduce the number of steps and pages required to check-out.
Every bit of friction will lead to higher cart abandonment rates and lower conversions. Simplify, simplify, simplify – and you’ll see better results.
5. Let Customers Check Out as Guests (And Sign Up For an Account Later)
This is a mistake that many eCommerce stores make.
Sure, you want someone to make an account at your store. In the long run, it will make things easier for both of you – and enable them to order things without entering all of their personal information.
However, many folks don’t want to sign up for an account at a store if they’re not sure whether or not they’ll shop there again. 14% of customers won’t shop from a store if there is no guest checkout option.
By allowing customers to check out as guests, but then giving them the option to complete the account sign-up process after they’ve checked out, you can get the best of both worlds. Your customers can sign up for an account if they want, or just opt to continue shopping as a guest. You’ll cover your bases, and be able to increase your overall conversion rate.
Follow These Tips to Stop Missing Out On Sales
There are, of course, dozens of other ways that you can optimize your conversion rate. But these five tips are actionable, simple, and can be implemented in just a few days, in most cases. So follow this guide now, optimize your conversion rate, and start bringing in more sales.