One of the key factors for any e-commerce business is conversion rate. It's the benchmark that gives a business an indication of how its digital sales are operating and the means to be incorporated to improve it. Benchmarking conversion rates needs to be done with the denominator in mind: Is it the number of unique visitors or sales that counts?
Google Analytics (GA) may be able to give a clearer picture of the same. In GA, e-commerce conversion rate is generally defined as the ratio of transactions to sessions that are expressed in the form of a percentage. Thus, a ratio of one transaction to every 10 sessions will be an e-commerce conversion rate of one.
Conversion rate is one of the primary metrics to evaluate e-commerce success. We've divided this e-commerce conversion optimization guide into a two-part series. In part one, I will discuss homepage optimization ideas, product page optimization ideas, and product discovery page optimization ideas.
Ideas to Optimize the Homepage
The homepage is like the front window of a physical storefront. Therefore, the homepage needs to look absolutely inviting as well as easy for potential customers to navigate the site. It must have a consistent experience and be visually appealing.
The goal of any homepage is to get people into the site, exploring products which they hopefully will end up purchasing.
1. Simplify the user experience.
A customer takes just two-tenths of a second to form a first impression of your website. You need to do everything possible to ensure that their attention is captured. Don’t use excessive text or images, and keep it simple so that they can grasp all the information.
2. Use coupon codes.
When shoppers land on your homepage, it’s up to you to create some sort of excitement and drive them towards making a purchase. If the goal is to get more traffic towards products, there are some pretty popular apps that website owners can tap into in order to incentivize the purchasing experience.
3. Use testimonials.
More than 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a recommendation from a family member or a friend. One of the key ways to create more opportunities for your brand is to share testimonials. They give your brand the credibility a new user is looking for and make it easier for you, too, to showcase your products effectively.
Ideas to Optimize Product Discovery Pages
Once you get consumers onto your homepage, they should be able to find products and discover what they’re interested in. They will need to navigate through smart design and engaging ways to discover products.
4. Use intelligent search.
If a consumer is looking for a product, chances are they won't know where to search for it. Including intelligent search ensures they can quickly locate the item they’re searching for and check out faster. Intelligent searches can improve your e-commerce conversion rate optimization by quite a number, so don’t ignore them.
If you have an array of products, featuring the search bar prominently on all pages makes it easier for customers to head directly where they want.
5. Organize product categories.
Navigating your website must be simple, so don’t separate products into different categories. Opt for around four to six broad product categories that have specific subcategories in drop-down menus.
6. Guide users on 404 pages.
If 404 pages mark a dead end, then guide customers to other parts of the website that are more useful. Customize the pages to include popular products, promotions, and collections.
7. Use a shoppable Instagram feed.
Instagram is a useful tool for product discovery. Try embedding a shoppable feed and inspire fans with beautiful photos of your products. Connecting the product image to the product page on your website makes it easier to purchase. Also, create shoppable links as well.
Ideas to Optimize Product Pages
Product pages need to communicate the value of products to customers. Therefore, build immersive experiences covering every aspect of products to remove any doubt. Your e-commerce conversion rate optimization needs to be properly managed, with product pages taking precedence at all times.
8. Use high-quality product photos.
Photos are the lifeline of any e-commerce business; investing in quality photos can make a huge difference. Ensure that you only use high-quality images and compress them enough so they don’t slow down page load speed.
9. Inform customers about delivery time, price and out-of-stock products.
Don’t mislead customers; be upfront about every aspect of the shopping experience. If they're charged with unexpected costs, 28 percent will abandon their carts. Let them know the full extent of things such as inventory, delivery time and pricing.
10. Display product reviews.
Product reviews are an effective way to get people to trust your products and purchase from your site. Ensure that all positive reviews are given prominence so customers can feel at ease when they shop with your brand.
11. Use a curated Instagram feed.
The best product photographs need to be highlighted, and this can be done with the help of a great Instagram feed. Curate the best photos and place them on your website so everyone visiting can take a look and enhance their own shopping experience.
It’s important that you follow the basics of website design and optimization, and always keep the customer happy. Once you do so, you’ll notice a big difference in conversion numbers.
In part two of this series, I'll share some more Ideas which will help you improve your e-commerce conversion rate in 2020 (and beyond).
Salil Panikkaveettil is the co-founder and CEO of AdNabu, a company that helps improve sales in Google Ads for e-commerce companies.
Related story: Test Your Way to E-Commerce Success
Salil Panikkaveettil is the Co-Founder and CEO of AdNabu. AdNabu helps improve sales in Google Ads for eCommerce companies. If you are running search, shopping or display campaigns in Google Ads, their software will be able to increase your sales. Sign up today for a 14-day free trial. You can connect with Salil on Twitter or Linkedin.