Conversion Optimisation, Ecommerce

5 Tips to Improve Ecommerce Conversion Rate

With any Ecommerce website the primary function is to convert as much of its buying traffic into sales. Many web developers and designers focus purely on functionality and the look of an Ecommerce site but lose focus of the primary function which is to make as many sales as possible.

There are lots of desperate areas within an Ecommerce site such as the cart, checkout, payment process, account areas etc. Today we are focussing on 5 general improvements that can be made to a Ecommerce site to improve its conversion rate.

Trust Factor

Enforce the trust value of your website to give a buyer confidence, especially if you are a smaller retailer. You can do this by displaying security messaging such as secure payment gateway branding, SSL seals and by displaying badges of any affiliations to groups such as IDIS and IBIS.

Simplify the Buying Process

A key method to improving conversions on an ecommerce website is to simplify the buying process. Visitors are prone to leaving complicated and extensive checkouts, so reduce the stages they have to go through and keep the fields that are required to a minimum. Obviously gather any data that you require to process an order, but to simplify the process you can make fields in the checkout optional that are not a necessity. An example of this improvement making an impact is USB-flashdrive who increased their conversion rate by 40% after redesigning their enquiry process.

Payment Methods

Another great way to increase conversion is to offer your customers a range of payment methods and making them aware of these as early as possible in the buying process. Many customers are not aware what Credit Card they can use in various gateways, so highlight the fact that they can pay with particular cards or services such as PayPal and Google Checkout. Try to make these selectable in the checkout and highlighting what will happen when they proceed to a payment gateway if it is external to your site. A figure provided by Google suggests that embedding credit card payments into your site increases conversion by up to 15%.

Allow Guest and Account Checkout

The option for a potential buyer to checkout only by creating an account can be a burden to some people, so offering the option to checkout as a guest can help boost your conversion rate and make the process a lot faster. On average checkout abandon rate on Ecommerce websites happens due to required registration. By offering guest checkout you can also then highlight the benefits of registering for an account, so this may also help increase the amount of registered customers, but remember to make the process as simple as possible.

Delivery Options

The final tip to increase your Ecommerce websites conversion rate is to look at your delivery model. If you are able to offer international shipping and can take payments for these orders, then your site has suddenly opened up to the world, but always make this clear if it is available. For your locale customer base, for instance mine would be the UK, offering multiple options of delivery is great, highlight what the key difference are between them, such as ‘Next Day’ or ‘3-5 Days’ along with having separate price points for each type of delivery. This should help boost conversion by giving the customer the option of getting an item quickly, or for as cheap as possible. The final and most successful delivery offering that an Ecommerce website can do is to offer ‘FREE Delivery’. This is a tried and tested method that has been used to increase conversion for years in Direct Mail, so if you are able to offer this, you should, along with various paid delivery methods.

Always analyse your business model first and test having free delivery to see how much of a conversion increase you can make, it might be the case you gain the lost delivery revenue back in increased sales profit margins, by an increase in returning custom or by an influx in paid delivery options being taken. If you don’t see a big enough increase in revenue to cover the free delivery, then try to adjust the model by offering it as a code or for products / sales over a certain price.

Ecommerce Conversion Tips

These 5 tips for increasing Ecommerce conversion rate are just some basic tips to help boost your customer’s through the checkout. The key to success is to not make huge changes, just small one’s in significant places, test them one at a time, compare the stats and then keep them if they have made an improvement. The key thing to remember with any testing is that the environment needs to be consistent, for example; you might have made a change to your sites checkout messaging reinforcing security messaging, but have also put a broader PPC campaign live the day before. If you then compare the conversion rate’s week-on-week you will see a poorer performance because you have been bringing, more, less relevant traffic to the site that won’t convert, so always tried to make a test as fair as possible to get the best results.


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