17 ways to improve your ecommerce conversion rate.

Craig Greenup 21/02/23, 13:03

17 ways to improve your e-commerce conversion rate

You’ve built it. And they’re coming. But are they converting? Your ecommerce conversion rate tells you how effective your website is at persuading visitors to make a purchase.

Knowing your website’s conversion rate is the starting point – for making site improvements and seeing sales creep up.

Here we look at:

  • How to calculate your ecommerce conversion rate
  • Some conversion rate averages
  • 17 ways to boost your conversion rate and make more sales

Whether you’re an ecommerce startup or an established player, we hope that, by the end of this article, you have a solid strategy for improving your website, your user experience and your sales figures.

Where to find your ecommerce conversion rate

When we talk about websites, we can class lots of different things as conversions. An email sign up. A click through from a social media ad. An ebook download.

But for the purpose of this article, we’re going to focus on what is probably the most important conversion event for ecommerce websites: a sale.

Using analytics software for your website? Then this is where you need to go to find your conversion rate stats.

Find the number of site visitors and transactions you’ve had within a specific time period. Then calculate your online store’s conversion rate with this formula:

(Number of transactions / number of site visitors) x 100

This gives you a conversion rate percentage.

But you don’t have to stop there.

By delving a little deeper into the stats available, you can calculate your conversion rate by source, device or customer segment.

This gives you much better insight into how your website is performing for different groups. And this can help you to optimise your conversion rate more effectively.

But, back to basics. You’ve worked out your website’s overall conversion rate. How do you know if it’s any good?

Ecommerce conversion averages

Average ecommerce conversion rates vary depending upon your region and your industry.

In the UK, the average conversion rate stands at around 4%. Four in every 100 website visitors end up buying something.

Globally, the average is a little lower, at around 2.5% to 3%.

The conversion rate average varies depending on what you’re selling too.

Retailers selling beauty, haircare, food and beverage products have some of the best conversion rates. Retailers selling home furnishings and luxury handbags have some of the worst.

If you’re about to commit to some serious CRO (conversion rate optimisation), then these averages are a useful benchmark to bear in mind.

17 ways to improve your ecommerce conversion rate

Not converting as many customers as you’d like? If you want to improve your conversion rate and get more sales, here are 17 things you can do.

1. Opt for simple ecommerce website design

Ecommerce website design has a huge impact on conversions.

The ideal? Clean website design with:

  • Enough white space
  • An F-layout
  • Persuasive, engaging images
  • Clear CTAs

Offer customers choice over where to click. But not to the point where they feel overwhelmed.

Website branding is also really important. The look and feel of your website should be consistent with all other customer touchpoints.

Get this right and, whatever your brand personality, you’ll come across as competent and professional – the type of company a customer is happy to buy from.

How would you rate your ecommerce website design? Get a site that showcases your brand and converts customers by getting in touch with the Radical Web Design team today.

2. Use high quality images and video

The best ecommerce websites have professional photos and videos throughout.

Capture your products from every possible angle. Provide close-ups of standout details. Add a video that shows your product in use. If your product is available in a variety of colours or patterns, provide images of all versions.

Online shoppers can’t see and touch a real life product when deciding whether to buy. So your images and videos need to bring them as close as possible to that in-person experience.

3. Make navigation easy

Great ecommerce websites are easy to navigate. They successfully guide users further into the funnel. A user can instantly see how to:

  • Search products
  • Filter product results
  • Sign into their account
  • Learn more about the product
  • Favourite a product
  • Share a product with a friend
  • Add a product to their cart
  • View cart
  • Checkout

When they can get around your site easily, users are more likely to stick around and actually make it to the checkout. But to achieve this you need to think about ecommerce website design.

With clean website design, CTAs stand out. You can also use the size, placement, text, colour and font of your buttons to draw customer attention, show them where to click next and encourage them to act.

4. Stand out from the competition with design and copy

Users like a predictable online shopping experience. They want to search, filter, select products and checkout in a familiar way.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your ecommerce website stand out from the crowd.

Distinctive, bespoke web design (instead of something created with the help of a cookie-cutter template) delivers an engaging and memorable experience for users. And it can help you convert more customers in a crowded online marketplace.

The copy you use is also really important. Make every piece of content on your website feel like yours. Whether that’s landing pages, menu items, blog posts or even checkout instructions.

Unique product descriptions are also part of the picture. Include all of the info shoppers are likely to want and need. But make it fit with your brand’s tone of voice.

In doing so, you really speak to your target audience and build the type of relationship that encourages conversions.

5. Use an effective product filter system

Another ecommerce conversion rate consideration?

Shoppers leave your ecommerce website when they can’t find what they’re looking for. Effective filtering and sorting functions help to prevent this.

Basic filters include:

  • Price
  • Colour
  • Size
  • Materials
  • Style
  • Brand
  • Key features

But you can adapt these filters to each product type in your inventory. You can also look at customer searches and FAQs.

For example, if your users regularly search for V-neck jumpers, allowing customers to filter products by neckline style is a sensible idea.

6. Ensure every page works on every device

More people are using their smartphones to make purchases than ever before. But people still tend to use a combination of desktop and mobile devices when they shop online.

Forty six per cent of adults browse products on their smartphone before heading to their laptop to make a purchase.

It’s still a mixed picture. So you need to ensure that your website loads quickly, looks pretty and offers great UX on all devices.

7. Create a personalised experience

According to McKinsey research, 76% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that provides a personalised experience.

So creating personalised customer journeys on your ecommerce website is a sure fire way to boost your conversion rates.

The simplest way to do this is by segmenting your audience based upon whether they are:

  • A new visitor
  • A returning visitor
  • A returning customer
  • A loyal customer

You can then adapt their user experience, providing tailored product recommendations, offers and communications.

Perfect this tactic and you can hone journeys even further by categorising website users based upon their location, device, traffic source and more.

8. Boost site speeds

Way back in 2006, Amazon found that every extra 100ms of page load time cost them 1% in sales. Back then, that equated to $107 million in lost revenue for Amazon.

Whilst we won’t cry too many tears over this hiccup in Amazon’s quest for world domination, this helps to illustrate an important point.

Ecommerce visitors don’t like slow sites. When pages take too long to load, they’re likely to bounce away or try out one of your competitors.

All of your pages should load quickly across all devices if you want users to stick around. Good ecommerce website development will help you to achieve this.

9. Incorporate reviews

Research shows that 95% of consumers read reviews before they buy something online. And 58% said they’d pay more to shop with a brand that had good reviews.

When you’re not already an established big-name brand, you need to reassure customers that you’re a trusted outfit. To do this, you need social proof.

Include a Trustpilot or Google star rating on your ecommerce site to show that your brand offers a good customer experience.

And incorporate product reviews and/or average star ratings from past customers too. Positive views make a massive difference to conversion.

10. Streamline the checkout process

We humans are an impatient bunch. And when it comes to online interactions, our tolerance for slow or clunky processes is even lower than usual.

This is why a complicated checkout process, with multiple steps and multiple pages tends to drive customers away.

So what can you do to improve your checkout process and get more website conversions?

Start by reducing the number of fields customers need to complete. You should also try to include as many processes as possible on the same webpage.

Guest checkout is another great way to simplify the shopping experience. Sometimes you want to buy something quickly, without having to hand over information about your first pet, your last holiday and whatever you happened to have for breakfast.

Make life as easy as possible for your customers and more of them will complete a purchase.

11. Offer multiple delivery options

Like it or not, Amazon sets the bar for ecommerce experiences. And because they offer super speedy delivery, it’s something that consumers are coming to expect from all retailers.

If a shopper is in a hurry, they’ll often happily pay more for delivery in order to get their chosen products quickly.

Other customers prefer to wait and pay less. So try to accommodate all delivery preferences by including a variety of options at checkout.

12. Offer free shipping

Shoppers don’t like it when you add unexpected costs at checkout. The easiest way to avoid this? Free shipping.

Even if you have to set your prices a little higher, free shipping is a powerful conversion tool. In fact, 75% of consumers now expect it.

By including shipping as standard you reduce friction at checkout and provide a smoother purchasing experience for your customers.

13. Highlight checkout security

Online scams are common. So shoppers are rightly cautious when it comes to entering their card details on a website.

Show users that your site is safe as houses by:

  • Accepting credit cards and displaying icons for any trusted customer payment options
  • Showcasing a trust mark from an internet security company that you’re signed up with – think Norton or McAfee
  • Having SSL installed site-wide
  • Integrating your payment page so it matches the design of your website

14. Chase after abandoned carts

Get the right website software and you can automatically contact or target users who leave their cart without checking out.

Reminding shoppers about the products that caught their eye is sometimes enough to persuade them back to your store. But you can also increase your conversion rate by offering discounts and sharing related products.

15. Make it easy for customers to ask questions

Websites without any contact options ring alarm bells. When a brand doesn’t make it easy for you to get in touch, you don’t feel confident that they’re going to offer good customer service.

Shoppers should be able to get in touch to ask about a specific product or order. That way you can solve their problems and allay any concerns.

So provide a phone number on your site. Even better? Implement a live chat function. According to a Salesforce study, 41% of UK consumers say it’s their preferred channel for customer support.

16. Create a sense of urgency or scarcity

As part of your ecommerce website development, provide information about how many products are available. Or how many people are currently viewing a particular product page.

This may persuade some users to deliberate less and complete a purchase more quickly.

17. Act on the data

To direct your conversion rate optimisation efforts to the right places, you need to know where customers are having problems with your site.

Analytics will tell you where customers tend to abandon the purchasing process. Use heatmaps to see where people are clicking.

At the very least, get friends and family to walk through your checkout experience and highlight areas for improvement.

And if you’re still unsure what effect your website design or functionality is having on your conversion rate, use A/B testing to see which formats your customers respond to best.

Research and experimentation will help you to identify points of friction – and then work to eliminate them.

Boost ecommerce conversions with a new website

With the help of expert ecommerce website development and design you can tick all of the conversion rate boxes:

  • On-brand design
  • Top notch functionality
  • Easy navigation
  • Clear calls to action
  • Social proof
  • A simple, trustworthy checkout process
  • More sales

If your ecommerce website isn’t delivering the sales you need, get in touch with the Radical Web Design team.

We can sit down with a coffee and chat about your business. Then set to creating a site that will take your business to the next level.