If you run an eCommerce shop, you’re always trying to boost your sales. Here’s how to increase the conversion rate of your eCommerce site.
What’s a good eCommerce conversion rate?
Don’t worry about “average” eCommerce conversion rates. A good conversion rate is one that’s better than what you have right now.
Because there are so many variables that affect conversions, it’s very difficult to have apples-to-apples comparisons between sites. The quality of traffic is a major contributor. Rates around 1% and 2% are fairly common.
7 Ways to increase your eCommerce conversion rate
1. Quality product images
If I had to pick one thing that would sell a product online, it’s images.
Technically, you could have an eCommerce site with only product images and no product descriptions, but I don’t recommend it. (It wouldn’t work vice versa, either.)
People want to see what they’re getting. One of the original tactics to boost eCommerce conversion rates is to use high-quality photos of your product. The more the better. Show the products from different angles and in context; make them zoomable.
Ties.com gets it right:
2. Great product copy
Product descriptions matter. The role of product copy is to give buyers enough information so that they can convince themselves that the product is right. Clarity beats persuasion. The best sales copy is full, complete information. No hype needed.
How long should it be? Offer a concise version and a long version. The shorter version should capture the essence of the offer:
- Who the product is for;
- What it will do;
- Why it’s good.
The longer version should answer any and every potential user question. If someone reads the whole thing and still has a question or doubt, you have a problem. If they’re convinced halfway through the copy, they’ll skip the rest and continue to checkout.
Let’s look at the same product on Home Depot and Amazon. The Home Depot version sucks:
They provide only a few sentences of information and a bunch of technical info in bullet points.
The Amazon version has a highly visual mix of description and product-in-action explanations as well as all the technical specs and answers to almost 800(!) questions from potential buyers.
If you sell stuff you don’t make, add a personal touch and recommendations—tell the customer why you personally recommend this product and how it will help them.
3. Product videos
Images are good, but the video’s better—the next step before actual touching and feeling. If you’re not doing product videos yet, do them for part of your inventory and see if it makes a difference.
Zappos has videos for almost all of their products, such as this:
4. Customizable products
People like to customize stuff. It’s fun, has a game-like element to it, and creates a feeling of ownership. Once you’ve spent minutes configuring a product, it’s no longer a product, it’s your product.
A few years ago, I needed a new laptop and went to Dell.com. I played around for like 30 minutes customizing my laptop. At the end, of course, I bought it. It ended up being much more expensive than any of their standard sets.
If your business is up for it, you can do mass customization, like Dell or Timbuk2 – using efficient manufacturing.
5. Free shipping
Some 75% of consumers expect free shipping, even on orders under $50. Many eCommerce companies offer always free; some have conditions. Amazon bet it’s entire Prime membership on consumers’ obsession with free shipping (even when it’s baked into the cost elsewhere).
The lack of free two-day shipping, according to the same report, caused nearly one in three shoppers to back out of a purchase. People want free shipping. But how attractive is it? When 2BigFeet introduced free shipping for orders over $100, their conversions went up by 50%.
6. Sales and specials sections
Endless sales, Groupon, and its clones have trained people to shop cheap. Discount-seeking behavior is set to continue, so think about having a dedicated “sales” section on your site. Naturally, do what’s right for your brand, but it might be a worthwhile experiment.
Make it easy for people to find the stuff that’s on sale. Steve Madden has two top-level menu items for discounted products:
7. Reduce shopping cart abandonment
Shopping cart abandonment means the loss of a customer who is going through the check-out process of an online store. It’s widespread.
Nearly two in every three eCommerce shoppers abandons their cart prior to purchase. Researchers attribute the high rate to user sophistication: As shoppers become more experienced online, they’re more likely to comparison shop even as they move toward the checkout.