19 Tips for E-Commerce Conversion Rate Optimization, Part 2
Conversion rate is one of the primary metrics for evaluating e-commerce success. I've divided this e-commerce conversion optimization guide into two parts. Click here to read part one. In part two, I will focus on the checkout experience, shipping and returns, and website speed and performance optimization ideas.
Ideas to Optimize the Checkout Experience
The checkout experience is one of the last steps in the customer’s purchasing process. It needs to be flawless and smooth, so they can purchase quickly and log off. Many frustrated customers abandon carts at the last second due to slow checkout processes. It’s one of the most important factors in e-commerce conversion rate optimization.
12. Pre-fill customer information during checkout.
You'll be able to make it simpler for customers to make repeat purchases by pre-filling their billing and shipping information with information cookied from their customer accounts. The less information a customer has to enter, the more likely they are to convert.
13. Send abandoned cart emails.
Some consumers end up getting distracted during the shopping experience and forget to complete the purchase. You can make it more convenient for them by enabling notifications that inform them six hours to 24 hours (depending on your choice) after they abandon their cart. They can click on the link in the email and return to complete their purchase.
14. Optimize your 'thank you' emails.
Thank-you emails are one way to let the customer know you’re happy they shopped with you. Schedule this messaging to be sent every time a customer completes their purchase. Doing so will leave them with a positive impression of your brand, and you can close the loop on every successful product delivery.
Optimization on Shipping and Returns
Even after checking out, the purchase journey isn’t over until the product is in the customer's hands. Shipping and returns are inevitable, and it's another opportunity to have a pleasant interaction with a customer.
15. Use free shipping whenever possible.
Shipping costs are sometimes a pain point for customers and can hold them back from completing a purchase. Offer free shipping and encourage them to put in orders, regardless of how far they're being shipped.
16. Explain your refund policy clearly.
Consumers are sometimes hesitant when it comes to making online purchases. Sometimes, if the product isn’t up to their expectations, they will return it. This doesn't need to become a major problem. Just make sure you relieve their concerns by having a clear refund policy that's easily accessible on your website.
Optimization Ideas for Website Speed and Performance
Website performance is closely related to the success of your business. If a website takes even three seconds longer to load, up to 40 percent of visitors will simply leave. That’s a massive quantity of traffic that you just cannot afford to lose. You need your website to load quickly and perform well enough so nobody finds it slow and unresponsive.
Imagine a situation where you’re standing outside a store waiting for the door to open. It might take a few seconds, but if it extends to 15 seconds or 30 seconds, wouldn’t you feel agitated and annoyed? That’s pretty much the situation for online shoppers as well, except that they won’t wait past five seconds.
17. Create a mobile responsive website.
A mobile-first website design isn't just a request, it’s a priority! It needs to be one of the first things you tell your website designers because 40 percent of people will choose another site if they land on a site that isn’t mobile-friendly. Plain and simple. Luckily, in a Shopify store, every theme gets automatically optimized to be displayed properly on mobile devices. If you’re using another e-commerce platform, then you might want to work differently.
Check if your website is responsive, and ensure that it renders properly on mobile phones. Make sure you run these exercises frequently so that there isn’t any confusion when you do open your site.
18. Optimize page loading time.
One of the easiest ways to check how long an online store takes to load is to run it in the Google Pagespeed Insights tool. This gives you a clear indication of how long it takes your site to load.
Optimizing a website's load time can be complicated, so there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The size of images can make a big difference in how quickly a website can load. Compress and optimize site images to ensure all unnecessary data of every image file is eliminated and a smaller file with no noticeable difference is displayed on the website.
Try to uninstall any apps that can put additional load time on your website. Run an active search to ensure they're disabled as well.
Additional Optimization Ideas
Optimizing elements such as product discovery, homepage, product pages, and site features is one of the most important steps in pushing customers into the conversion funnel. You must ensure that the website contains crucial additional information such as contact details as well as an About Us section too.
19. Tell your story with the 'About' page.
The About page is where consumers will head to learn about your brand and get a thorough understanding of its products and services. It's the best place for you to showcase everything about your brand. It needs to contain more than just a brief summary. The About page is a great canvas to create a wonderful story with which you can entice customers and endear themselves to the brand.
Follow these steps and you’re sure to see a vast improvement in your e-commerce conversion rate. Ensure you’re always exploring and testing different methods in order to see which works best for your brand.
It’s important that you follow the basics of website design and optimization, and always keep the customer happy. Once you do, you’ll notice a big difference in conversion numbers.
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: 19 Tips for E-Commerce Conversion Rate Optimization, Part 1
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.