Tips to Increase E-Commerce Conversion Rates
The e-commerce landscape has become hypercompetitive as more consumers shop online. Retailers are investing significant resources in driving traffic to their websites through a combination of channels (e.g., search, social, email, SMS, etc.), yet far too often that traffic isn’t converting once on a store’s site. Coinciding with the rise in online traffic are shoppers’ expectations for seamless, quick and easy purchase experiences.
The opportunity is there for retailers to capitalize on increased online traffic and grow their e-commerce revenues. However, they need to improve the purchasing aspects of the customer experience, particularly at checkout, to make that a reality. An easy, fast and secure checkout experience is integral in converting a higher percentage of online browsers into buyers.
Cart abandonments, which are frequently occurring on the checkout page, have long been a thorn in retailers' sides. It’s getting more expensive to drive traffic to e-commerce sites through traditional channels such as paid search and social, exacerbating the issue of abandoned carts — and the lost revenue that accompany them. Here’s some data to highlight the pervasiveness of abandoned carts in today’s e-commerce ecosystem, and their impact on conversion rates:
- The average e-commerce conversion rate is about 2 percent to 3 percent. A “good” conversion rate is
above 3 percent.
- On average, seven out of every 10 online shopping carts are abandoned after people have placed products within them.
- The total lost revenue because of conversion misses adds up to $1 trillion per year across e-commerce.
With this data in mind, here are several tips retailers can implement to optimize the customer experience across three phases of the purchase journey: pre-checkout, checkout, post-checkout. (For more actionable tips and analysis on how retailers can boost their e-commerce conversion rates, check out Total Retail's recent research report, Converting Screen Shoppers Into Buyers: Tips to Help Retailers Optimize Their Online Shopping Experiences and Increase Sales.)
- Include taxes, fees and shipping costs on category and product pages so the shopper knows the true price of an item before adding it to their cart. Minimize cart abandonments and build trust by sharing add-on costs up front and eliminating pricing surprises at checkout.
- Ensure account creation is a seamless part of the checkout process rather than a barrier to conversion. Speeding up the checkout process via guest checkout has proven to increase conversion rates. You can always offer the option to sign up for an account on the confirmation page with a simple click.
- Offer multiple payment options. The more ways a consumer can pay for their online purchase — credit card; mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, PayPal, Venmo; buy now, pay later; cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin — the more likely they are to convert.
- Create customer accounts using data already provided during the checkout process (e.g., payment, shipping address). This data can be integrated with loyalty programs for a more holistic understanding of the customer.
- Follow up with cart abandoners. Just because a consumer abandons their shopping cart doesn’t mean they’re lost forever. In fact, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of shoppers said they can be persuaded to purchase an item they’ve abandoned with discounts, free shipping and reminders through email or SMS, according to research by Bolt. Furthermore, one in two said they prefer one-click checkout; that number rises to 57 percent when you segment by the 25-34 age group. This speaks to the value consumers place in a fast and convenient checkout process.
To get more actionable tips that will help your business increase its e-commerce revenue, download the full report, Converting Screen Shoppers Into Buyers: Tips to Help Retailers Optimize Their Online Shopping Experiences and Increase Sales.
Related story: Converting Screen Shoppers Into Buyers
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.