Like any other commercial enterprise, starting an e-commerce business can be challenging. There are so many factors you need to put into consideration. Such factors include what to sell, how to set up your platform, your marketing tactics, among other concerns. Most importantly, you need to have the right strategy in place to achieve conversions. We will go into how to optimize your e-commerce platform for conversions in our article below.
Understanding E-Commerce Conversion
On a daily basis, you will find people coming into your eCommerce store. However, not all of them proceed to complete a purchase.
Conversion simply refers to the number of people who come to your website or e-commerce store and complete the action you desire, which is to buy.
You may, however, have other metrics by which you define conversion other than sales. Such could include the number of people who sign up for your emails. It could also include your success on social media platforms. For others, it could simply be a potential customer adding items to their shopping cart. It is critical that you have the relevant KPIs when you want to measure conversion.
Statistics indicate that a reasonable conversion rate would fall within the range of 1% to 2%. You calculate your conversion rate by looking at the number of visitors to your website and dividing it by the number of sales or conversions you achieve. If, for example, you have 10,000 visitors to your platform and manage 100 conversions, it means you have a 1% conversion rate.
Achieving the average conversion rate does come with its challenges. You must have the right eCommerce Conversion Optimization tactics, and that is what we will explore in detail below.
1. Offer A Good Experience On Your Platform
You must pay attention to the performance of your online store if you hope to attract the right kind of traffic. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes for a minute. You have so many options because so many brands are aggressively targeting you. You finally find the online store that sells the products you want, but you face many challenges on the platform. The web design is poor, and you have problems navigating the pages. Every time you click on a link, it takes you nowhere, and the pages take forever to load.
How much time do you honestly think you will give such an e-commerce store? Most likely, you will leave immediately and go to a friendlier website. Worse still, you will probably never return to that site.
The point we are trying to make is, you must invest in providing a good user experience on your eCommerce platform. Look for the right hosting company that will give you sufficient bandwidth to ensure you have fast loading pages. Work with the right web developer who can give you a good design for your store.
You may also want to avoid things like rotating carousels or sliders. They may impact on the page loading speeds, and some customers find them annoying. You may want to consider the use of themes that are static instead.
2. Simplify Your Check Out Process
Many online shoppers will abandon their carts if the Checkout process is too complicated. Up to 26% of customers will not purchase a product if the Checkout process is too complicated or lengthy.
Avoid asking your customers to give you irrelevant data, and condense the Checkout to one single form. You should not make it mandatory for a customer to open an account before they complete a purchase. 34% of online shoppers in the US did not complete a purchase because of this requirement.
Many of the web builders will allow you to customize the Checkout process, thereby enabling you to consider your customer’s preferences.
You should also employ tactics such as follow-ups for customers who have abandoned their carts. Sometimes, the only thing you may need to do is gently nudge a customer into making a purchase. The follow-up email could be a simple reminder that they have not completed the purchase. It is also a fantastic opportunity to give out discounts or coupons as incentives.
3. Offer Free Shipping
Many online sellers are throwing in free shipping as part of their product offering. No one wants to spend extra money paying for the items to get to them. While you may feel that it would not make sense for your bottom line to deliver the goods for free, you may have to reconsider. It may require that you tweak the numbers a little bit so that it does not have a very significant impact on your profit margins.
Many sellers will increase the price of the product so that they factor in part of the shipping cost. You must, however, be careful that you do not price yourself out of the market.
If you find that you are not able to offer free shipping, let the customer know up front. It can be very unpleasant to receive an item, only to have to pay extra for it.
4. Optimize For Mobile
Statistics indicate that as of 2019, approximately 80% of people used their mobile devices to search the internet. 40% of online purchases were from mobile devices. It, therefore, makes sense that more than 50% of websites are now optimizing for mobile.
Anyone operating an eCommerce platform must take this into consideration. Search engines such as Google will also rank you higher depending on how mobile-friendly your website is.
It is crucial that you build an organic community when operating on the online platform. Such followers are more likely to become loyal repeat customers.
5. Focus On The Security Of Your Platform
It is essential that you assure your customers of data security when they are on your platform. Many web host providers will provide you some level of protection. You must, however, take the extra step to install additional security measures on your website.
An SSL certificate will give you the HTTPS URL. The “S” means your website is secure. The certificate will also provide secure encryption between the browser and the server. It would be a big blow to your reputation if a customer were to type in your domain name, and the search engines show that your website is not secure.
6. Optimizing Product Pages With Images And Videos
Anyone who is shopping on the online platform depends on the product descriptions, images, and videos. Since they cannot physically touch the product, they depend a lot on what you present on your e-commerce platform. It is, therefore, essential that you invest in high-quality images and videos so that the customer has a better understanding of what they are buying. You will lose out on a lot of conversions if you do not invest in these critical steps.
Many online platforms are now giving a 360-degree view of the products. With the right plugin, you can achieve 25% and above in conversion rates.
7. Product Recommendations
It may not come as a surprise, but a significant percentage of shoppers depend on personalized recommendations to buy. Statistics indicate that the number could be as high as 45%. You must, therefore, take advantage of your customer’s user history for retargeting purposes.
Think about it much as you would when you search for your favorite movie online. Search engines such as Google will recommend films based on your browsing history. Amazon has also perfected the game by recommending products depending on what you looked at the last time.
8. Utilize Live Chats
Many potential customers will abandon the card if they are not able to get feedback on queries they may have promptly. Investing in the right software will save you a lot of time and lost business.
Chatbots are a Godsend to some companies because they remove the burden of having a full-time customer service team. Some of the questions are repetitive, and you can simply program the software to respond appropriately.
You get better efficiency and can quickly sort out any customer confusion. Best of all, you eliminate the associated human resource cost such as salaries, overheads, sick days, among others.
9. Think About Your Pricing
Selling on the digital space can be very challenging. You have to deal with a lot of competition unless you are selling a very niche product. You, therefore, have to factor in pricing depending on the competition.
The advantage of niche products is you have certain flexibility with regards to pricing. The more general products require that you price at par with your competitors, and do all you can to get the customers to you. You must, therefore, work on your marketing strategy and aggressively position yourself as a market leader. It also helps if you have a good understanding of your target audience so that you can develop the right messaging for them. The other option is to price lower, but it means that you may have to contend with low-profit margins.
10. Advantage of Social Media Platforms
The social media platforms have opened up a marketplace like no other. You get access to a broad audience base and have relevant tools you can use to market your business.
It is, however, critical that you have a good understanding of each platform. They all target different audiences, and you must, therefore, craft your messages accordingly.
What may work well on Instagram may not necessarily work while on Facebook. You will also find that platforms such as Twitter have a brief span for posts. You must, therefore, apply the necessary Twitter marketing techniques if you hope to benefit from the broad audience base.
Put a link to your social media platforms on your website and encourage your customers to share. Maintain a very active presence on the different platforms and engage with your audiences.
11. Calls to Action
One of the most effective yet free marketing tools you have available is the Call to Action. It must have a hook on it so that you attract the customer’s attention and get them to take up the offer. It could explain why limited-edition products do very well. The customer wants to feel that they are one of the few people who own that particular item. You create that sense of scarcity and urgency, which will prompt the customers to buy.
12. Product Reviews and Recommendations
Product recommendations and reviews are probably one marketing tool that may never lose relevance. Statistics indicate that customers may read up to 10 reviews before deciding to transact with a particular company. A further 89% will base their purchasing decision on how you respond to customer reviews.
The best thing about reviews and recommendations is that they are free. So why would you not want to take advantage of them?
You can also borrow a leaf from other companies who will offer coupons to anyone who gives a review. Ensure that you have quality products and top-notch customer service to avoid dealing with bad reviews. Provide a platform where your customers can complain, thus allowing you to address any issues.
13. Use Of Relevant, Engaging Content
Many websites now have blog pages where they give valuable information to customers. You must understand precisely what your customers need. You can then generate relevant content that will inform and educate your audiences. Make sure you apply search engine optimization (SEO)to help with your ranking on the search engine.
The success of your business depends a lot on your visibility on the online platform.
14. Keep Testing And Measuring Your Website
There are tools you can use on the online platform to measure and monitor your platform. Such includes the use of A/B testing and Google Analytics for relevant data. You get information on the number of visitors to get on your platform, what kind of content they relate with, how long they stay, among other things. It allows you to make relevant changes to your platform.
We have looked at eCommerce Conversion Optimization tips. You must focus on providing your customers with the best experience possible. It requires having a good website design, fast loading pages, and a seamless checkout process. Use our tips above and watch your conversion rates increase.