The eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Guide [Tips+Examples]
eCommerce conversion rate optimization is the process of improving the customer experience on an eCommerce website to boost conversion.
But, what is a conversion?
When a visitor completes a desired action on your website, you can call it as a conversion. For example: purchase, email signup, video click, etc.
Now, conversions are broadly divided into two categories – micro conversion and macro conversion. Improving the micro-conversion ultimately results in better macro conversion.
In the eCommerce domain, the macro conversion is generally referred to as the sale of a product or service. And micro-conversions include:
1. A user adding a product to their cart
2. A user adding a product to a wishlist
3. Emails and newsletter signups
4. Social media shares
5. Product video clicks
6. Comparing products
7. Other indicators that influence macro conversion
How to Calculate Conversion Rate for eCommerce?
By definition, the conversion rate for an eCommerce company is the percentage of the website traffic that has taken the desired action on your website.
By formula: Number of Conversions divided by Website Traffic multiplied by 100.
Your eCommerce website has monthly traffic of 1000 and out of that 100 users bought your product. So, your macro conversion rate will be calculated as:
100 / 1000 x 100 = 10%
Similarly, for calculating micro-conversions, divide the total number of users who have taken the action you consider as a micro-conversion factor by total traffic and multiply it by 100.
What Is the Average eCommerce Conversion Rate?
The average conversion rate in the eCommerce industry ranges between 1-2%. This may vary depending on the type of product or service you are offering. However, a 2%+ conversion rate is a good benchmark for any eCommerce business.
Here’s an illustration that shows the average micro conversion rate of an eCommerce website. Notice the change in micro conversions as users move down the sales funnel.
Source: Smart Insights
According to the infographic, nearly 44% of users who visit an eCommerce portal move to the product page, and out of that nearly 15% add the product to their cart. And finally, only 3% end up buying the product.
Now, to improve the conversion rates you need to run a conversion rate optimization (CRO) campaign on your website. You can optimize all the pages of your eCommerce website that serve as a customer touchpoint. In other words, you have to optimize your website for each stage of the funnel.
But before you start optimizing, have a quick look at the various stages of your customer’s journey down the conversion funnel. Once you optimize for each stage, you will start generating more conversions.
Ecommerce Conversion Funnel
The eCommerce conversion funnel illustrates the various stages of a customer’s journey based on their awareness, interest, and perception of your brand or product. Typically, the eCommerce conversion funnel has four stages:
This is the first stage of the conversion funnel where the consumer becomes familiar with your brand or product. They are actively searching for a solution to their problem on the internet and might stumble upon your website. So, at this point, greet them with free educational content like blogs, webinars, podcasts, ebooks, courses, etc., and seize this opportunity to generate leads.
Lead generation is a key micro-conversion metric. Hence, keep track of the micro-conversion rate at this point and optimize for better lead generation.
Now that your customers are aware of your brand or product, it’s time to keep them hooked.
Remember, so far your customers were only searching for a solution to their problem. But they have not yet developed an interest in your brand. Therefore, you must keep them engaged with more educational and entertaining content so that they develop an interest in your brand. Try offering them some free interactive tools, checklists, demo videos, etc. to catch their attention.
At this stage, you should try to convert their interest in your brand into desire. Highlight the benefits of using your product. Show your audience how you are different from your competitors and how your product can add value. ROI calculators and quizzes can easily do the job here!
This is the final stage of the funnel and by now your users have almost made up their mind to make the purchase. Typically, at this stage, your customers will add products to the cart, fill in the required information, select the payment method and make the final purchase. Your job is to make this experience as smooth and easy as possible.
Examine your cart pages and find out possible causes of distractions and obstacles that your customers might face at this stage. Try to address these issues and keep optimizing unless you reach your conversion goal.
How to Use Interactive Content at Every Stage of the Funnel to Increase Your Conversion Rate?
Interactive content is attractive, engaging, and highly customizable. And these make interactive content the perfect weapon to increase conversion rate in the eCommerce domain. You can customize your interactive content for each stage of the conversion funnel.
I. Awareness stage
In the awareness stage, customers look for educational content and as we mentioned, it’s a great opportunity to generate leads. So, here you can create interactive quizzes that will help your customers figure out their pain points. Create separate landing pages targeted to capture users in the awareness stage and embed your quizzes strategically.
Suppose you run an online book store and your customers are looking for English grammar books. So you can greet these customers with an interactive assessment like an “English Grammar Quiz”. And before showing them the results, you can ask for their contact details. This will not only help you generate leads but also build awareness about your brand.
II. Interest stage
In the interest stage, retarget the users who have completed the quizzes at the previous stage. Tools like Outgrow not only help you create interactive content but also let you retarget the audience using cookies.
III. Desire stage
For the desire stage, you have to tell your audience how your product is different and how it adds value. So, create content that clearly shows how your users can benefit from using your product instead of the alternatives.
For example, this interactive calculator shows how much a person can make by leisurely driving an Uber. It’s perfect for attracting drivers in the ‘desire’ stage looking to join an online cab service.
IV. Final stage
In the final stage of the conversion funnel, customers often face the problem of choice and are unable to take the final decision of which product to buy. Again, you can use interactive content to address this issue.
If you are selling sunglasses online, then you can embed a product recommendation quiz like “Which sunglasses should you buy” on your cart page. The tool will recommend the perfect pair of sunglasses based on the user’s preference. Also, don’t forget to add links to the product purchase page offering the sunglass to make the navigation smoother.
Tips for eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization
Apart from using interactive content to boost conversions, you can also leverage these tips and tricks.
1. Use Urgency Messaging
Limited time offers and count-down timers can work miracles. When your customers see that time is running out, a sense of urgency will drive them to take a quick decision.
You can send notifications with exclusive limited-time discounts to customers with abandoned products in their cart. Most of your customers wouldn’t like to miss this opportunity and might come back to their cart page, avail the special discount within time, and proceed to check out!
Here’s a giveaway example of how you can use countdown timers to entice your customers into taking the action that you want them to take.
2. Offer and Highlight ‘Free Shipping’
Nowadays, customers expect brands to maintain a certain level of the standard set by big eCommerce portals like Amazon. ‘Free Shipping’ is an absolute must in today’s scenario. Even if you need to increase your product price to cover the shipping cost, you must.
Did you know that high shipping charges lead to cart abandonment?
3. Use Chatbots
Chatbots can make interactions with your customers fun and seamless. And the best part is that chatbots can help you generate qualified leads easily. Not only that, but it also captures visitor insights that you can later extract and analyze for future communications. So, if you haven’t incorporated this tip in your CRO strategy yet, why not try creating a chatbot without any coding?
4. Display Social Proof and Brand Authenticity
Consumers are often wary about the authenticity of products on e-commerce websites. So it is crucial to display customer reviews, ratings, and brand endorsements. Amazon displays customer reviews and ‘Amazon Fulfilled’ alongside its products. This builds trust and confidence about the product among customers.
5. Payment Security Is a Must
If you are new to the eCommerce industry, then it’s obvious that your customers will think twice before making a payment on your site. So you must comfort them with the best-in-class payment security protocols.
6. Provide a 360° View of Products
It is a known fact that big and clear images increase conversion rates. Most of the eCommerce brands follow this technique.
So how can you stand out?
Well, go a step further and provide a 360° view of your products.
7. Let Users Add Products to “WishList” Without Registration
Customers often hesitate to register and can bounce off without adding products to their wishlist. To avoid such a scenario, allow your users a registration-free wishlist. It will increase user engagement, return visits, and conversions.
8. Optimize for Mobile
Did you know that the global eCommerce revenue from mobile is expected to reach $3.56 trillion by 2021? Want a fair share of the booming mobile shopping industry? We bet you do! Even Google is constantly updating to empower mobile-friendly websites. So, optimize your eCommerce portal for all types of mobile devices and cut through the competition.
9. Add Product Videos
Videos help people imagine how they will feel when they have the product in their hands. So shoot videos with someone using the product and add them to your product page.
Especially for lifestyle and fashion accessories, real-life videos are a must.
10. Promote Social Share Post-purchase
We often ignore the ‘Thank you’ pages while talking about conversion rate optimization. But thank you pages are crucial to get some extra shares! A customer who has just bought an exclusive product might want to flaunt it on their social handles. So why lose the opportunity? Introduce social share buttons on your thank you page and get some extra shares!
Well, we tried to cover all the tips and tricks for eCommerce conversion rate optimization. But, it’s a never-ending discussion and it varies from business to business. So, we recommend that you read our guide on conversion rate optimization and figure out what fits best for your brand.
Also, don’t try to implement these tips randomly on your website. There’s a process that marketers should follow for their eCommerce conversion rate optimization campaigns. Here’s a blog where we have discussed the conversion rate optimization process in detail. Give it a quick read!
And last but not the least, try using interactive content in your CRO strategy and see the difference. Here’s a link that will help you create interactive content for free!
Roy is a full-time content marketer at Outgrow. He often travels to the Himalayas in search of his muse to breathe. Being a professional marketer & a passionate traveler, he struggles to keep the balance.