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Defining Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
The eCommerce Conversion Rate (CVR) is the number of transactions that have taken place on a website compared to the number of total visitors. Each conversion point is something that can be tracked to map how well your site is performing. Some of these areas include:
- Signing up for a personal account on the website
- Adding items to a Wishlist
- Visitors adding a product to the cart
- Online sales
You calculate the eCommerce conversion rate by dividing the number of web conversions (transactions) by the number of website visitors. To get the conversion rate percentage, you multiply by 100.
So, if you had 1,500 visitors per month, and had 50 customer conversions, your conversion rate would be 3.3%.
[50/1,500] x 100 = 3.3%
A good eCommerce conversion rate means more site visitors feel confident enough to buy something, which is the whole point of eCommerce optimization.
The average eCommerce conversion rate is notoriously low. As of April 2023, the average conversion rate across eCommerce sectors is 2% to 4%. However, this figure varies across industries. For instance, average conversion rates for baby and child products it’s as low as 0.71%, however, for arts and crafts, you can see conversion rates as high as 4.01%!
The key factors of eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization
eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is an ongoing effort to understand your customers and make incremental changes in line with their needs. There are also certain tools and techniques you can use to improve eCommerce conversion rates. Essentially, it’s all about determining what a high-performing web experience looks like.
Conversion research – This is where you can use analytics tools to see how potential customers are behaving on your eCommerce website. Google Analytics, HotJar for heat maps, and visitor recordings will help you pinpoint the areas for improvement.
Personalization – The future of eCommerce is largely based on personalizing the online experience you deliver. Typically, personalization makes consumers 28% more likely to purchase a product, so it’s worthwhile.
Good user experience (UX) – Consumer expectations are continually on the rise, and you need to make sure you’re meeting and exceeding those expectations to stay ahead of the game. Make it super quick and easy for customers to find all the information they need to make informed buying decisions.
Website persuasion – Ensure you’re using copywriting best practices and provide detailed and engaging product descriptions to boost customer confidence so they take the desired actions i.e., hit “buy now”. High-quality and varied digital assets will also help customers engage with your brand and your products.
How to increase eCommerce conversion rates
Right, time for us to dive into Conversion Rates Optimization (CRO) best practices. Sit back and get ready to learn everything you need to know about getting the most from your web traffic, including how to:
- Nail your SEO strategy
- Optimize for mobile
- Refine your site structure
- Hyper-personalize the experience
- Optimize your product pages & other key pages
- Be proactive about reducing cart abandonment rates
- Simplify the checkout page and process
1. Nail your SEO strategy
Creating a strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is the first step in to solid Converstion Rate Optimization (CRO). After all, you can’t convert web visitors if you aren’t generating web traffic! You want your product listings to display as high as possible in SERPs. To make sure that’s the case, you need to make sure you’re using the right keywords to ensure your products get in front of the right people at the right time.
Meta descriptions are a key SEO component, and they’re also key in improving conversion rates. It’s the first bit of text a customer sees in their search results, so it’s going to determine whether or not they click through to your site. Ensure your meta descriptions clearly set out what the customer can expect to see once they’re on your product detail page.
Digital assets enable customers to visualize your products, so they clearly play an important role in the buying decision. From an SEO perspective, you need to ensure they’re optimized with keywords featured in the ALT tags. This will guarantee them a spot in image search results and will drive more potential customers to your site.
It’s also important to re-size them whilst retaining their quality so your site speed isn’t affected.
Lastly, video is definitely something to include on your product page. Video encourages customers to spend longer on your site (an important ranking factor!). It also allows customers to see your product in action.
2. Optimize for mobile
Throughout 2022 and into 2023, it’s estimated that 56% of online sales took place on mobile. So, your product page view and digital assets should all be optimized for mobile to guarantee higher conversion rates.
Keep your page layout super simple and only include the most relevant and important bits of content. Making your product information scannable with things like bullet points will also be another consideration. In terms of your digital assets, compress images and videos to ensure they load quickly so your customers can instantly engage with your products.
If there are any long forms on your site, consider making them multi-step for mobile so your customers don’t have lots to scroll through. To boost page loading time and reduce bounces, you could consider using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) which enables you to create mobile pages that load instantly. Overall, you need to make sure your customers have consistent experiences regardless of the device they’re using.
3. Refine your site structure
A site that’s easy to navigate will provide a much better customer experience. In eCommerce, consumers expect to find what they’re looking for quickly. It should take a web visitor no more than three clicks to land on the product they’re looking for.
Remember, the average consumer has an attention span of about four seconds, so it’s imperative to quickly capture their attention and pique their interest.
Having clearly defined product categories will help you structure your site in a way that’s logical for the customer. In addition, search engines love structured sites, so you can improve the customer experience whilst boosting your SEO ranking. Overall, the more simple and more straightforward the online experience is, the more likely a browser will convert to a buyer.
4. Hyper-personalize the experience
One of the best Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) techniques is to offer a personalized shopping experience. They’re a tried and tested way of generating higher revenues. However, you can take it a step further and offer a hyper-personalized experience.
Whether you sell B2B, B2C, or D2C, your messaging needs to resonate with your audience. By leveraging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), you can gather tons of data that helps you tailor the experience to your customer’s specific needs and interests.
For instance, you can look at previous browser or purchase histories to understand what their interests are. Using this, you can then serve potential customers with intelligent product recommendations you know they’ll love.
Alternatively, you may want to provide different product descriptions and digital assets depending on demographics. This may be based on age, gender, ethnicity, or different use cases.
5. Optimize your product pages & other key pages
Your product page is the eCommerce equivalent of your shop window, and it’s a key page as it leads to a transaction. It’s where the magic happens, so make sure you’re giving potential customers all the information they need to make fully informed buying decisions. It’s about instilling your customers with confidence. Be sure to include social proof to reinforce this, such as user-generated content or customer reviews.
Write targeted and detailed product descriptions and offer the choice to see a shorter or longer product description. Where applicable, you should also include trust symbols like certifications, Trustpilot ratings, and payment card logos.
We also spoke about the importance of having quality digital assets to move customers through the buyer journey. Video will be especially important as it enables the customer to visualize the product and see it in action.
Lastly, make sure you have clear CTAs to guide the customer from one stage to the next. Try using contrasting colors to make them stand out because, after all, you want them to hit “add to cart” and “buy now”!
As well as product page conversion optimization, you should also consider optimizing other key landing pages on your eCommerce website. Think of your homepage and any blog posts, as well as your FAQs. These are all pages your customers will interact with, and it helps them form a bond with your brand and products which will contribute to higher conversions.
6. Be proactive about reducing cart abandonment rates
High cart abandonment rates can severely impact your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) strategy. But there are a bunch of things you can put in place to ensure this stays as low as possible, and conversions stay as high as possible.
Clearly communicate information around deliveries and returns on your product page so customers aren’t taken aback at checkout. Another great way of guiding your customers to the checkout process is to create a sense of urgency or scarcity. Show stock levels and clearly highlight if they’re low. You can also use countdown banners to show when a promotion is ending, or when next-day delivery will be available until.
Free shipping will massively contribute to lower cart abandonment rates, as well as higher AOV and more conversions. You can offer this as an option for orders that exceed a certain amount. All in all, eCommerce brands lost $18 billion in sales revenue each year because of card abandonment.
Offering a live chat service is also a great way of reducing your cart abandonment rate and increasing the number of conversions you generate. This way, users get the answers they need straight away, instantly alleviating any concerns customers might have and giving them the confidence to go ahead with the transaction.
7. Simplify the checkout page and process
You’ve done all the hard work to get your customer to the checkout point, so the last thing you want to do is lose them at the last hurdle! It needs to be as simple as possible, and you need to ensure you’re providing a good range of payment methods.
Around 50% of consumers will abandon a purchase if their preferred payment method isn’t available, so cover all ground. Offer e-wallet payment options for mobile customers, like apple pay, direct debit, BNPL (buy now, pay later), or digital currencies.
Keep form fill details to a minimum and make sure data auto-completes for any returning visitors. You should also offer a guest checkout option, that way customers don’t have to spend tons of time filling in their details. Remember, the whole point is that the experience should be quick and convenient!
As new technologies arrive and customer expectations change, conversion rate experts will create smarter website optimization techniques. In eCommerce, product information is a central part of that process.
From creating better product pages to developing personalized shopping experiences, the conversion opportunities with product data are practically limitless. By embracing the techniques listed above, you will put yourself on the road to success and supercharge your eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) strategy!