When you’re retailing products online and want to reach the widest audience possible, executing e-commerce optimization is integral.
After all, every online store depends on increased conversion for long-term success. If your e-commerce site doesn’t turn visitors into buyers, you won’t have enough money to continue operating.
You have a formidable task of:
- Increasing conversion rates
- Reducing cart abandonment
- Improving time on page
According to a Fireclick’s study, only 10% of your e-commerce site visitors are interested in buying from your store. Among the 10% interested, only 2% will buy from your e-commerce site.
To push the conversion rates past 3%, many e-commerce marketers focus on converting the remaining 8% who are genuinely interested in a product but don’t make a purchase. Many online stores execute strategies such as:
- Running digital ads
- Driving more traffic to the online store
- Optimizing the store for search engines
However, your best shot at improving the conversion rates is to simplify the buying process. You need to examine your analytics and identify where the 8% of the people interested in buying get stuck in your store.
One fact you should understand is:
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) for e-commerce sites is different.
How E-Commerce Optimization For Conversion is Different
E-commerce websites sell physical products that are more complicated and require more time to buy than services. While services have an average conversion rate of 9.3% across every industry, physical products have 2.8%.
The difference in conversion rate stems from the fact that websites selling services require only one or two checkout processes. On the flip side, an e-commerce store has five or six checkpoints.
Your store has an excruciating task of optimizing your e-commerce website to simplify the buying process.
You need to simplify the purchase process — from the product page to the checkout page.
In between buying and checking out, your visitors face frictions such as shipping and returns, which affect buying decisions. You need a holistic e-commerce optimization approach to streamline the checkout process and create a frictionless purchase.
Here are the top seven e-commerce optimization strategies to convert your site visitors into customers.
#1. Add Recommended Products
One of the great ways to increase conversion rates is to add recommended products. When an online shopper clicks on a product, they want more information about the product and how it can address their needs.
Suggesting a product that might be of interest can help you guide customers’ purchase decisions and boost conversion rates.
Statistics say that:
- 37% of online shoppers click on the recommended product when they first return to a site.
- Online shoppers who click on recommended products are 4½ times more likely to add additional time to their cart and complete the purchase.
- 86% of buyers say that personalizing the purchase experience affects their purchasing decision.
For instance, Amazon recommends products depending on buyers’ previous purchases or items they looked at. The tactic keeps the buyer engaged with the site and can increase sales.
Amazon also uses the “Frequently Bought Together” option to suggest related products to the shopper.
Recommending relevant products to online shoppers will improve the personalization of your e-commerce website and, in turn, boost conversion rates.
Your online store can recommend products in several different ways. You can add a recommended product:
- Somewhere above or below the shopping cart of your customers
- In the transaction or confirmation email your send to buyers after making a purchase
- On the search’s result page for related or similar products
How you add recommended products varies depending on your e-commerce platform. Here are step-by-step guides for the most popular platforms:
#2. Create High-Quality Product Pages
The key to e-commerce success is high-quality product pages.
Buyers get more confident to make a purchase decision when they can see the product and establish an idea of how it will look and function.
Since online buyers cannot touch or feel your product, ensure the media that you use on each product page is of high quality.
Take high-quality photos that show your products at different angles with different levels of detail. Ensure your images have high resolution to support the zoom feature without compromising quality.
You can add a 360-degree view of the product to give your customer a complete look.
Suppose your e-commerce store sells clothes and accessories and uses models to show how items look on various body types.
Other than images, you can use explainer or demo videos to show your product in action.
Not that you should generate all the content yourself. You can encourage customers to submit visual content to source your image and video from social media to execute the double duty of social proof while increasing conversions.
Product descriptions highlight the critical features of the products to deliver a clear picture of how the product will perform.
Ensure you include every vital information such as:
- Product size
- Fabric content
Use simple and clear language in your descriptions and avoid confusion and highlight the products’ unique features.
#3. Add a Favorite or Wish List Option
The favorite and wish list features allow users to save products they might buy later. The features present a great way to increase conversions because they allow users to test-drive your e-commerce store and come back later to buy the product they love.
More importantly, buyers have to create an account to use the wishlist or favorite feature in your e-commerce store. Sign-ups let you run several sign-ups and collect customer data to increase sales and improve users’ experience.
With wish lists, you can:
- Alert customers about special offers available for items on their wish lists
- Deliver targeted content depending on the items that the customer has shown interest in
- Identify seasonal trends and retail activity to improve demand forecasting
- Understand what buyers are looking for and offer similar products
A Google research established that 40% of people shopping online think their experience would be better if online stores offered wish lists.
You have the formidable task of making it easy for your customers to create a wish list on your e-commerce store.
More importantly, you can allow your customers to create wish lists on other platforms.
For instance, you can add a “Pin IT” button to let buyers share your products on their Pinterest wish list.
Alternatively, you can encourage the “Save” feature on Instagram and Facebook.
There are many ways to simplify how your customers save products that interest them.
If your e-commerce store uses the Shopify Platform, you have two options to add a wish list feature:
- Add a custom code to your online store
- Add a wish list app like Wishlist Hero
On the other hand, if you’re on BigCommerce, you only have to enable wishlists in your online shop settings.
#4. Simplify Navigation
It’s nearly impossible to make sales when visitors can’t find what they’re looking for.
Your site’s navigation is the first stop online buyers look to find a specific product or category in mind. When the navigation to your website is too complex or confusing, you’ll lose sales and customers.
A HubSpot case study found that removing unnecessary navigation elements or simplifying navigation from the middle-of-the-funnel landing pages increases the conversion rate by 16 – 28%.
However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for e-Commerce site navigation. The best way to design your website menu depends on the type of your products and how your target customer like to organize information.
Here’s a generalized e-commerce optimization guide to creating effective online store navigation:
- Execute user testing of the site maps to find how and where buyers click.
- Display categories on every page of your site.
- Include clear labels and concise descriptions for all menu items.
- Create logical and intuitive menus depending on how buyers browse your site.
- Don’t burry essential menu items in nested sub-menus
- Test different navigation structures to see what works best for your customers.
When you have a huge number of products, avoid drop-down menus that list everything because they’re overwhelming.
Avoiding the complicated drop-down menus also helps streamline the mobile user experience, that’s critical for any e-Commerce store.
More importantly, search engines love clear navigation because users can easily navigate through the site.
When you provide a clear path to products that customers are looking for, it makes it easier for buyers to find what they’re after on your site, which directly boosts sales.
If you’re uncertain if your e-Commerce site is easy to navigate, use the Crazy egg to check where people click on your pages.
You can utilize the Optimizely tool to test different versions of your website navigation and check which one leads to more conversation.
#5. Simplify the Check-Out Process
Recent studies by Baymard Institute show that online shoppers abandon 62.82% of e-commerce carts at the checkout. The cart abandonment rate increase on mobile than on desktop users. To be more precise:
- 66.1% of desktop users abandon their carts
- 80.6% of mobile users abandon their cart
Your best e-commerce optimization strategy to reduce the cart abandonment rate at the checkout is to make the process as quick and easy as possible.
Offer clear and concise shipping information, ensure all payment methods are available and offer a guest checkout option.
Ensure the checkout process is easy to navigate with all required information upfront.
Some ways you can simplify the checkout process include:
- Use a single-page checkout to prevent users from going through multiple pages to check out.
- Save billing and shipping information so that buyers don’t have to enter their information every time they purchase. You simplify the process by saving and auto-filling their information.
- Include a progress bar to let the buyer know how far they are in the checkout process and deal away with impatience.
- Include a shipping calculator to help buyers determine how much their shipping will cost and decide whether they should proceed with the purchase.
- Personalize pages to local currency because customers feel more comfortable buying with their local currency.
- Cut down the number number of clicks to make the checkout process as straightforward as possible to avoid frustrating the customers and making them leave.
- Offer order confirmation to notify the buyer that the purchase process went through successfully.
- Include trust symbols like security seals to reassure your customers that their sensitive information is safe and that their purchase is legitimate.
The simpler the buying process, the more likely you’ll convert buyers.
#6. Include Better Social Proofs
Social proof is among the most powerful tools your e-Commerce site can use to boost conversion rates. Social proof increases confidence in potential buyers and makes them want to complete purchases.
Some ways you can add social proof to your e-Commerce include:
- Adding testimonials from happy customers
- Using user-generated content of your product in action
- Including testimonials from happy customers
Trustpilot study says that 89% of global consumers read online reviews before buying online. This means that reviews are usually part of buyers’ journey and can also decide on the purchase process.
With that in mind, reviews aren’t just for the product pages. You can put your review on other digital channels such as social media, paid search, and email marketing.
If you’re working with influencers, you can benefit from videos and social posts that include reviews.
You can also put in efforts to increase your reviews, such as:
- Asking customers for reviews after purchase
- Making it easy for buyers to leave reviews on your site
- Include social media icons on product pages that link to your profile
- Reach out to influencers for social content creation
- User review aggregators like Bazaarvoice and Trustpilot
#7. Reveal Free Shipping on the Product Page
High shipping charge is among the top reason why people abandon their carts. If you can eliminate the shipping charges, buyers will quickly complete their purchases.
However, you need to apply free shipping strategically to increase your conversion rate. You need to dive into customer data to understand customer behavior.
For instance, your store might have a product that performs great during holiday seasons but sales lower later on. If you apply free shipping during the off-peak season, you won’t see any significant change in conversion.
You can apply free shipping to the entire free shipping during the whole season to ensure customers buy more from the same category. As a result, you can stock more of the product when the demand is high and keep the remaining for the remaining season.
Tips to Set Free Shipping
You should set the minimum price limit for your customer to get free shipping. Some tips you can follow include:
- Study customer data to analyze the number of orders and average order value for 6-12 months.
- Don’t underestimate shipping limits. You shouldn’t set a lower limit than is sustainable. If your data reveals that your customers aren’t increasing average order value, it means the incentive to buy more is absent.
- Don’t overestimate shipping limits where the average consumer won’t find enough incentive to stretch and reach for free shipping.
After setting the free shipping, you should strategically choose how to present them to buyers for faster checkouts.
How to Announce Free Shipping for Faster CheckOut
While you might offer free shipping, if a customer adds a product to the cart and doesn’t see free shipping applied in the checkout box, they’ll often abandon it.
You need to choose the best way to announce your free shipping to reduce the rates of cart abandonment. Some methods include:
- Prompt free shipping visually. You can add a progress bar that shows buyers how close they’re to free shipping.
- Use the urgency strategies and offer free shipping for a limited time to make even the skeptical customer buy.
- Create entire product categories that you offer free shipping.
Get Knowticed Will Shoulder all the E-Commerce Optimization Tasks for and Increase Conversion For You
The goal of e-commerce optimization is to improve the results you’re getting from the current traffic your online store is getting. If you’ve tried several measures but have not gotten enough success — it might be time to seek help from marketing professionals.
Schedule a free consultation with a specialist at GetKnowticed to help you assess your e-commerce store and identify gaps for optimization to increase your conversion rates.