Your eCommerce conversion rate is the percentage of your website visitors who take action and become paying customers. And as many eCommerce business owners know, a low eCommerce conversion rate can be frustrating, but there are ways to improve it. And today, we’ll tell you all about them, as well as how to test the effectiveness of your efforts.
What is an eCommerce Conversion Rate?
We’ll start by exploring precisely what an eCommerce conversion rate is in greater detail, as well as what makes this such a key metric. eCommerce conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your eCommerce website who take a desired action. This might be anything from purchasing to signing up for a newsletter or creating an account. It’s the eCommerce conversion rate that allows you to gauge how effectively your website is able to turn visitors into paying customers.
Understanding eCommerce Conversion Rates
As for understanding eCommerce conversion rates, the first step is understanding your customer’s journey. The customer journey is the path a customer takes from becoming aware of your product or service to eventually making a purchase. And it’s important to understand this journey because it can help you determine where customers are dropping off and why.
There are typically three stages to the customer journey:
- The Awareness Stage is when the customer becomes aware of their need or problem.
- The Consideration Stage is when your customer starts considering their options for solving their need or problem.
- The Decision Stage is when the customer decides which option to go with.
And eCommerce conversion rate will differ at each stage of the journey. For example, customers will naturally be more likely to purchase during the decision stage than during the awareness stage.
How are eCommerce Conversion Rate Calculated?
Now that we’ve covered eCommerce conversion rate and its importance let’s talk about how it’s calculated. eCommerce conversion rates are calculated by taking the number of visitors to your website and dividing it by the number of conversions.
For example, if you had 200 visitors to your website and 20 of them made a purchase, your eCommerce conversion rate would be 10%.
What is a Good eCommerce Conversion Rate?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including your industry and the stage of your business. Generally speaking, a good eCommerce conversion rate is anything above 2%.
Of course, the higher your eCommerce conversion rate is, the better. But if you’re starting out, don’t be discouraged if your eCommerce conversion rate is below average. There are plenty of ways to improve it, and we’ll talk more about them later in this article.
Additional KPIs to Help Measure eCommerce Conversions
This percentage isn’t the only eCommerce metric you should be tracking. In addition to eCommerce conversion rate, a few other key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you better understand your eCommerce business’s overall performance and test the effectiveness of your eCommerce strategy.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on your website and leave without taking any further action. A high bounce rate can signal that your website is irrelevant to what these customers are looking for or that it’s not user-friendly.
Some of the most effective ways to lower your eCommerce website’s bounce rate include optimizing your website for search engines, making sure your website loads quickly, and improving your user experience.
Exit rate is similar to bounce rate in that it measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website after looking at a single page. However, the exit rate also considers the number of times a visitor has been to your website before.
So, if a customer has visited your website multiple times and they always leave after viewing the same page, that’s a good indication that there’s a problem with that page. For example, maybe the page is not relevant to what they’re looking for or perhaps it’s not loading correctly.
Click-through rate (CTR)
Click-through rate is the percentage of visitors who click on a link to your website from another site. A high CTR indicates that the site linking to you is relevant to your audience and that your website is user-friendly.
Average Session Duration
Average session duration is the average amount of time a visitor spends on your website during a single visit. A high average session duration indicates that visitors are finding your website content engaging and relevant. To improve this metric, focus on creating long-form and high-quality content that will keep your website visitors engaged.
Average Page Depth (AKA Pages Per Session in Google Analytics)
Average page depth, also known as pages per session in Google Analytics, measures the average number of pages a visitor views during a single visit to your website. A high average page depth indicates that visitors are engaged with your website content and find it relevant to their needs.
How to Increase Your eCommerce Conversion Rate
Now that we’ve covered some of the most telling eCommerce KPIs, let’s talk about how you can improve your eCommerce conversion rate.
Start before shoppers get to your site
First and foremost, know that your eCommerce conversion improvement efforts start long before shoppers even get to your website.
Here are a few things you can do to get started:
Make sure your advertising and website copy are uniform
The first step is to make sure the copy on your website is uniform with the copy in your ads. This may seem like a small detail, but it matters for two huge reasons.
First, it helps build trust with shoppers. If they see an ad for a product and then click through to your website only to find that the product is no longer available, they will be disappointed—and more likely to leave your site without making a purchase.
Second, it helps you avoid what’s known as banner blindness. This is when shoppers become so used to seeing ads that they start to tune them out. Making your ads and website copy uniform can help ensure shoppers don’t tune out your message.
Use retargeting ads
Retargeting, AKA remarketing is a kind of online advertising that helps you show ads to people who have already visited your website. This is a smart way to keep your brand top-of-mind with shoppers who may be interested in what you have to offer but who aren’t quite ready to make a purchase.
There are a few different ways to set up retargeting ads, but one of the most effective is to use Google AdWords’ remarketing feature. With this method, you can create a list of people who have visited your site and then show them relevant ads as they browse the web.
Make sure your website is user-friendly
We’ve already mentioned user-friendliness a few times, but it bears repeating because it’s integral to your success. If your website is difficult to use, shoppers are going to have a hard time finding what they’re looking for—and they’re likely to give up and go to another site.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your website is user-friendly, including:
- Use clear and concise copy
- Use easy-to-understand navigation
- Include images and videos
- Make sure your search function is effective
- Use pop-ups sparingly
Offer coupon codes
Coupon codes are a great way to encourage shoppers to buy from you. They incentivize customers to make a purchase and help build brand loyalty. Just be sure to track your coupon codes’ effectiveness so you can adjust your strategy as needed.
Some eCommerce platforms, like Shopify, even offer built-in discount codes that you can use to encourage shoppers to buy from you.
Improve your on-site conversion rate
Once shoppers are on your website, you can do several things to improve your on-site conversion rate.
Here are some of our favorite:
Decrease loading time
No one likes to wait around for a website to load, least of all eCommerce shoppers. In fact, according to a 2016 Google study, as many as 53% of mobile users will abandon a site that takes three+ seconds to load. So, if you want to improve your eCommerce conversion rate, it’s wise to make sure your website loads quickly.
There are various ways to decrease loading time, including using a content delivery network (CDN), optimizing images, and using a caching plugin.
Offer free return shipping
Free return shipping is another helpful way to encourage shoppers to buy from you. It helps promote customer satisfaction by giving shoppers the peace of mind that they can return an item if they’re unhappy with it.
To make free return shipping even more effective, be sure to display the information on your website prominently. This tells shoppers they can return an item if they’re not satisfied with it.
Offer free shipping
Free shipping is another good way to encourage shoppers to buy from you. And, like free return shipping, it also helps promote customer satisfaction.
Here are a few different ways to offer free shipping on a conditional or promotional basis:
- Offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount (minimum order value)
- Offer free shipping for first-time customers
- Offer free shipping on specific items or product categories
Use quality images
The quality of the images on your website can have a significant impact on your eCommerce conversion rate. Choose clear, high-quality images that accurately represent the products you’re selling. This helps ensure your shoppers know what they’re getting before they purchase it.
Offer discounts and sales
Discounts and sales are a great way to encourage shoppers to buy from you. They incentivize customers to make a purchase and help build brand loyalty. Just be sure to track your discounts and sales effectiveness so you can adjust your strategy as needed.
Promote benefits, not features
When writing copy for your website, focus on the benefits of your products, not just the features. For example, if you’re selling a new type of eCommerce software, don’t just list the features of the software. Instead, focus on how those features will benefit the shopper.
For example, you might say something like, “Our eCommerce software is designed to help you sell more products and make more money.” This type of copy is much more likely to convert than a list of features.
Harness the power of social media
Social media can be a powerful way to promote your eCommerce business and improve your conversion rate. Use social media to share information about your products, offer discounts and sales, and build relationships with potential and current customers.
Optimize your FAQ page
Your FAQ page is an excellent resource for shoppers who have questions about your products or business. Be sure to include clear, concise answers to the most common questions you receive. You might also want to consider adding a search function to your FAQ page so shoppers can easily find the information they’re looking for.
Allow guest shopping
Forcing shoppers to create an account before they can make a purchase can be a major barrier to conversion. If possible, allow guest shopping so that shoppers can complete their purchase without having to create an account. This can provide a big boost to your eCommerce conversion rate!
Show security to build trust
If you want shoppers to buy from you, show them that their personal and financial information is secure. Include information about your security measures on your website, and be sure to display any relevant seals or badges prominently. This helps establish trust with potential customers which encourages them to make a purchase.
Create a sense of urgency
This is always an awesome way to encourage shoppers to buy from you. You might, for example, offer a discount for customers who make a purchase within the next 24 hours. Or you might promote a sale that’s only available for a limited time. This type of copy can be very effective in getting shoppers to take action.
Other Tips for Improving Conversion Rates
In addition to the eCommerce tips above, there are other things you can do to improve your conversion rate.
Here are some additional tips:
Optimize for mobile
With more and more people shopping on their mobile devices, making sure your website is optimized for mobile is a must. Your website should be effortless to navigate with a buying process that is smooth and simple.
Videos are a strategic option for engaging potential customers and promoting your products. Include videos on your product pages, and be sure to optimize them for SEO. This means including your targeted keywords in the title and description and adding transcripts of the videos for people who are hearing impaired.
(Speaking of SEO, here’s a can’t-miss post to check out next: eCommerce SEO Audit: The Step-By-Step Guide)
A/B test prices
If you’re unsure what price point to sell your products, consider A/B testing different prices. This helps you determine which price point is most effective in getting people to buy from you.
When it comes to A/B testing, test one element at a time. This helps you isolate the variable that’s having the biggest impact on your conversion rate. Similarly, running your tests for a long enough period of time is good practice to get accurate results.
Send abandoned cart reminders
Send an email reminder if someone adds a product to their cart but doesn’t complete the purchase. This can be a great way to encourage people to complete their purchases and boost your eCommerce conversion rate. Other strategies for limiting cart abandonment include offering free shipping and providing a straightforward, concise checkout process.
Reduce form fields
The fewer form fields you have, the easier it will be for people to make a purchase from you. So, reduce the number of form fields on your checkout page if possible.
(You won’t want to miss this post next: SEO For eCommerce Product Pages (Boost Traffic & Sales))
FAQs About eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Now, let’s take a look at some popular questions about eCommerce conversion rate optimization.
What is eCommerce conversion rate optimization?
eCommerce conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of improving the percentage of visitors to your website who take a desired action. This might be making a purchase from your site, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a contact form.
What are some tools that can help improve eCommerce conversion rates?
Several tools can be used to improve your eCommerce conversion rate. These include Google Analytics, HotJar, and Quantcast Measure. (We’ll talk more about these conversion rate tools in a moment)
What should my eCommerce conversion rate be?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The eCommerce conversion rate will vary depending on your industry, your products, and your target market. That being said, above 2% is ideal.
How can I improve my eCommerce conversion rate?
Luckily, there are many things you can do to improve your eCommerce conversion rate. These include optimizing for mobile, including video content, and reducing the number of form fields on your checkout page.
Tools That Can Help Improve eCommerce Conversion Rates
It’s time to take a closer look at some of the tools that can help improve eCommerce conversion rates.
HotJar is a heat mapping tool that lets you see how people interact with your website. This information can be game-changing in identifying areas where you need to improve. For example, if you see that people are having trouble finding the product they’re looking for, you can make changes to your website to make it easier to navigate.
Quantcast Measure is a tool that allows you to track your eCommerce conversion rate and spot areas you might need to address. For example, it might tell you which products are selling well and which aren’t or which pages on your website are getting the most traffic.
Google Analytics is a free tool that provides detailed statistics about your website’s traffic. This information is great for understanding where your visitors are coming from, what they’re looking for, and how they’re interacting with your site. It also helps you track your eCommerce conversion rate. This data is very helpful for identifying areas where you need to make improvements.
To make the best use of Google Analytics, here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Make sure you have Google Analytics set up correctly (more on that in a moment)
- Use campaign tracking: This allows you to see which campaigns are driving traffic to your site and conversions.
- Use goal tracking. With goal tracking, you can monitor which actions visitors are taking on your site and identify areas where you need to improve.
Google Analytics Setup
Not already using Google Analytics? Then now is the time to jump right in. Here’s a quick overview of how to do it:
- Create a free Google Analytics account.
- Add the tracking code to your website. This involves copying and pasting a piece of code onto your site.
- Set up goals. Goals allow you to track which actions visitors are taking on your site. To set up a goal, click on “Admin” in the left-hand sidebar, then select “Goals” from the drop-down menu. From there, you can create a goal and specify what type of action you want to track.
- Set up campaign tracking. Campaign tracking lets you see which campaigns drive traffic to your site and conversions. To set up campaign tracking, click on “Admin” in the left-hand sidebar, then select “Campaign Tracking” from the drop-down menu. From there, you’ll be able to create a campaign and specify what type of action you want to track.
- Use the eCommerce report. The eCommerce report provides detailed information about your website’s traffic and conversion rate. To access it, click on “Conversions” in the left-hand sidebar, then select “eCommerce” from the drop-down menu.
As for these eCommerce reports, you can choose from Standard or Enhanced. Standard eCommerce tracking tracks basic information such as product name, price, and quantity. Alternatively, enhanced eCommerce tracking tracks detailed information such as which products are being added to cart, abandoned carts, and checkout funnels. If you’re serious about eCommerce conversion rate optimization, then you’ll want to use Enhanced eCommerce tracking.
These are just a few of the many eCommerce conversion rate optimization tools that are available. Using these tools, you collect valuable insights into how people interact with your website and make changes to improve your eCommerce conversion rate.
Whether you’re just creating an eCommerce business or you’re ready to take your existing business to the next level, we’re here to help. Blue Water Marketing is a full-service eCommerce marketing company specializing in conversion rate optimization. We can help you create a personalized eCommerce marketing strategy that’s designed to increase your website’s traffic and conversion rate. Contact us today to learn more!