If you’ve got an ecommerce website but you’re not doing any conversion rate optimisation, then you’re totally missing a trick! But what is conversion optimisation, how do you know where you’re going wrong... and most importantly, how do you actually do it?
Conversion optimisation is a cost-effective way to increase ecommerce sales, but first things first, you need to understand the sales funnel – the buying process that visitors follow from the first point they land on your website, to the point of purchase. What route do they follow through your website? There are some pretty nifty tools available to track the engagement process, although basic analytics will also give you some idea.
What you’re essentially looking out for is where visitors ‘drop out’: the points where they lose interest and leave the site. You’ll notice that you lose prospects at each of the various stages of search and the buying process. Don’t worry, this is entirely normal – the average conversion rate (the percentage of prospects that actually make it all the way through to checkout) is only between 1-5%.
Where in the sales funnel are you losing custom?
You’re highly likely to have bought products online yourself – and as you know, you’ll do a lot of searching before you actually decide to buy, and you don’t purchase from every site you visit.
Some of the common points where you might lose prospects include:
- Landing pages
- Product description pages
- Create an account
- Add payment details
Once you’ve identified some of the key areas where visitors are clicking off your ecommerce site, you can start optimising your site to try and encourage them to proceed to the next stage of the sales process and finally complete their purchase.
Our top Ecommerce conversion optimisation tips
This isn’t an exhaustive list, as websites never really stand still – conversion rate optimisation should be an ongoing process, but here are some of our favourite tips for reducing drop-out.
- Fix glitches – are the pages loading properly? Any design or layout issues? Have you checked the pages in different browsers?
- Is your site responsive? – if the user experience is compromised when visitors access it on mobile devices, no wonder you’re losing business!
- Check loading speeds – nobody’s going to hang around if your pages are loading slowly
- Product images – are they showing off your products in the best light?
- Products descriptions – are you removing barriers to purchase by providing all the relevant details that shoppers need to make a decision?
- Abandoned shopping carts – how does your security shape up? Are they receiving an SSL warning? Make sure you’re visitors know it’s a secure connection, or they won’t want to input their credit card details. After all, would you?
- Return policies – are your terms displayed clearly on the website? Can they easily access this information? It helps to increase confidence, so get on it!
Conversion optimisation isn’t a dark art, but it does take a bit of time and effort to keep things moving in the right direction. It’s normal to lose customers throughout the purchase flow, but as long as you’re keeping an eye on user behaviour, you can easily make tweaks to increase retention, and ultimately, sales.
There are plenty of conversion rate optimisation techniques that you can take care of yourself, but if you feel you need a hand to increase your ecommerce sales, our experts are always happy to offer some advice.