As an ecommerce business, attracting customers to your online store is only half the battle. You need to convert them, too.
That, of course, means not only understanding your conversion rate. But also, optimizing your conversion rate. To ensure that your site’s visitors don’t simply stop by, but do exactly what you want them to – be that make a purchase, sign up to your mailing list, or fill out a form.
So what is that all-important conversion rate, and why does it matter? And, more importantly, how can you boost yours in 2023?
Below, we offer our top 10 proven ways on how to increase conversion rates for your store. Between live chat, form shortening, strong calls to action, and more, our tips will have your business converting like the best. So let’s dive in!
Put simply, a conversion rate is your ecommerce site’s number of conversions divided by its amount of visitors.
Of course, we need to offer a quick definition of “conversions” here for that to make sense! In broad terms, a conversion is an action – more specifically, the action you want your site’s visitors to take. A conversion could be someone:
- Purchasing something off your site
- Signing up to your mailing list
- Filling out your contact form
Let’s say your site gets 10,000 visitors every month. A “conversion,” for your site, is someone signing up to your newsletter. In a month, 800 people do so. Your conversion rate, for this example, would be 8%. (Which, incidentally, isn’t all that bad!)
Why does a conversion rate matter, then? And why would you want to learn how to increase conversion rates? Because in ecommerce, it’s everything. Unlike other ecommerce metrics (such as traffic, your site’s visitors; or time on page, the amount of time they spend with you), conversion rate is a measure of a visitor taking a desired commercial action.
Whatever that is, your conversion rate is an extremely important measure of ecommerce success. What’s more, understanding your conversion rate allows you to optimize it – to improve it, and drive more revenue, engagement, and leads accordingly.
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Next, we’ll walk you through how to increase your conversion rate. But if you’d also like a full Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist or CRO Audit to follow as you go, we have one ready once you’re finished on this page!
How to increase conversion rates? Let us count the ways – 10, to be exact!
So without further fanfare, here are our top 10 proven ways to boost your ecommerce business’ conversion rate – today.
You can’t truly understand your conversion rate unless you understand who is (and isn’t) converting. A.k.a. – your customers.
So be sure to collect and analyze as much customer data as possible. You can do this through a range of methods, including:
- Customer surveys
- Web tracking
- Cart abandonment analytics
- Social media
This data could include your customers’ demographic info (age, gender, occupation and the like), or their product preferences. The more info you have, the better you’ll be able to tailor your marketing campaigns to your audience. (We’ll touch on this more later, though, in tip #9!)
Calls to action (CTAs) are one of the most vital components in your site’s conversion rate setup. Why? Because, while your whole site should be built to persuade, your CTAs are the place of decision. They dictate whether a person becomes a lead, a customer, part of your mailing list – or whether they stay a visitor.
So be sure to construct strong CTAs – which could be copy, buttons, links, or a combination of all three – on your site. Strong, effective CTAs:
- Employ compelling, action verbs – such as “explore” and “activate”
- Create a sense of scarcity (“you only have five minutes to claim this offer!”)
- Ask questions (“do you want to change the way you work?”)
- Use affirmative phrases that put you in your readers’ shoes (“Yes! I want this!”)
You can also try playing around with the color, size, and shape of your button CTAs as well as with the text. And if you’re not sure which variant you (or your customers) will like best, try A/B testing. (But more on that later!)
The only thing people like less than filling out forms? Filling out long forms.
Yet asking for an excessive amount of customer data at the checkout – and doubling down on the amount of information said customers have to input before they pay – is still a trap all too many ecommerce business fall into. So don’t!
Shorten your forms – particularly those at the checkout – and ensure you’re asking only for the information you absolutely need to be able to process the sale.
Better yet, enable guest checkout. Forcing your customers to create an account with you – simply to be able to buy something from you – isn’t good practice in 2023. (Or ever!) And it’s the sort of thing millennials – and Gen Z, in particular – will turn heel and walk straight away from.
An effective, high-converting website should be built and structured like a funnel.
It should be broad at the top – giving users all the information they need to get them hooked – then begin to narrow, as the site’s language and layout become more persuasive.
Then, the funnel should narrow drastically – tightening to a powerful CTA that compels the user to convert.
Are you with us? Well, now consider that distractions are like leaks in that funnel.
Links. Buttons. Flashy pop-ups. Images. Essentially, these distractions could be anything that detracts from your site’s purpose (conversions); places your users could click away to or become waylaid by.
So audit your site for these distractions, and eliminate any that don’t serve a key commercial purpose. Trust us – your conversion rate will thank you!
Live chat has become online customers’ leading digital contact method – and 46% of them prefer it to email (29%) and social media (16%).
Live chat isn’t just good for your customer relations, though. It’s good for your conversion rate, too.
Let’s analogize it to an in-person shopping experience, for a second. In this example, you’re in a bookstore, and you’re looking for a specific title. But you can’t find it.
You look and look, yet to no avail. Sadly, you turn around and walk out of the store, disappointed and unattended. Have you had a good experience? Would you go back there?
Now, imagine if – while you’re looking – a well-read, experienced, and friendly shop assistant approached you and asked if you needed help. Within a couple of minutes, they’ve dug out the book you’re after from a back storeroom, and you’re walking away a happy customer.
Live chat is like this. By connecting you, in real-time, to your customers – as they browse your site – you can answer their questions, point them in the right direction, and assuage their doubts.
Crucially, live chat is also personal.
Unlike automated chatbots, live chat is run by you (or one of your team). So it reinforces the impression that you’re a personable, authentic, and human brand that goes the extra mile for its customers.
It’s a simple fact, but a damning one – slow sites don’t convert.
In fact, website conversion rates plummet by an average of 4.42% with every extra second of time a page takes to load. So when it comes to improving your site’s conversion rate, time (and we’re literally talking split seconds here) is of the essence.
Fortunately, there’s a few things you can do to improve your site’s load times:
- Ensure your images are optimized (compressed and sized correctly)
- Change the design theme (or template) your website is built on
- Enable browser caching
- Reduce the number of redirects (301s) clogging up your site’s architecture
To find out how quickly your site is loading – and do something about it – head to PageSpeed Insights for a free analysis.
46% of Americans spend five to six hours on their phone. So if you want your site to convert, you better take the time to make it look nice not only on a desktop computer – but on tablets and smartphones, too.
That means optimizing your site for mobile. After all, we all know what a badly optimized mobile site looks like. Images jump around, text doesn’t fit in the frame, and simply scrolling down the page is a struggle.
Don’t let one of those sites be yours. Here are our quickfire tips for optimizing your site for mobile devices:
- Redesign your pop-ups to render well on mobile
- Test your site’s Core Web Vitals
- Reassess your choice of website builder or web host for reliability
- Select responsive plugins and themes
- Keep testing – Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is brilliant for this!
And, for even more expert tips, check out Website Builder Expert’s own guide to how to make your website mobile-friendly. It’s optimized for mobile…promise!
It’s the ecommerce equivalent to falling at the last hurdle. Your customer browses your site, selects their item(s) of interest, and proceeds to their cart to checkout and pay.
But alas – before they do so, something happens (cold feet? Getting called away for dinner? Pre-purchase buyer’s remorse?) and they fail to confirm their order.
This is called cart abandonment – and no ecommerce store owner is a stranger to it.
So how can you help prevent (well, not prevent – but at least drive down) your site’s cart abandonment rates – and increase your conversion rate accordingly?
The answer lies in abandoned cart emails.
If you know a customer has previously viewed a particular Hawaiian t-shirt, for instance – but abandoned the purchase before checking out – you can retarget them with tailored email marketing. And even offer a discount on that product to convince them to buy.
Need some inspo? We’ve curated our top 10 abandoned cart emails. Enjoy!
Localizing your content involves optimizing your content for a specific country, region, or area. It includes:
- Translating your content to different languages
- Adding location pages to your website
- Creating content tailored to a specific area (this could be nearby, like your neighborhood, or wider: customizing content to a particular culture or country)
So – how does localizing your content help boost your conversion rate?
Well, because local content aids your ecommerce site to appear in searches relevant to your location. This is particularly true for bricks and mortar businesses – how many people Google add “near me” to their searches, after all? – but it’s also true for your ecommerce site.
Your users want to know where your business is based and how to contact you. When you localize your content, you enable them not only to find and contact your business’s website – but to convert on it, too.
A/B testing involves testing two variants of a particular element on your site. That could be an email, a headline, a piece of copy, a CTA, or a design aspect – such as part of your site’s layout or color scheme.
A/B testing is crucial for boosting your conversion rate because it allows you to know what’s working. (And what isn’t!) Through a constant process of A/B testing, optimization, and iteration, you can continue to refine your site and content based on tangible data – not assumptions.
And, in the process, watch your conversion rate begin to rise!
To summarize, here are our top tips for boosting your site’s conversion rate:
- Collect and analyze customer data
- Write strong CTAs
- Shorten your forms
- Remove distractions
- Utilize live chat
- Boost your page speed
- Optimize for mobile
- Create abandoned cart emails
- Localize your content
- Conduct A/B testing
So good luck putting these tips into practice, and have fun! Once you’ve completed these, try out our next-level conversion rate optimization strategies such as using localized pricing, augmented reality product visualization, quizzes, and more!
Be sure to let us know how you get on in the comments, too – and if you have any tried-and-tested conversion-boosting tips to add to our list!
Your site’s visitors
Remember, a “conversion” can mean something entirely different to one business as it does to another. So before you start calculating your conversion rate, make sure you understand exactly what action you’re tracking, first.
You can check out the average conversion rates in 5 key industries in our helpful guide for more info!