E-commerce Conversion Rate Optimization: Best Practices for 2021
Blog: MattsenKumar Blog
COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of the e-commerce industry. Strict lockdown imposed by governments has coaxed users to rely on e-commerce platforms for delivering essentials. Now the addictive experience is ushering users into a world where everything can be bought and delivered with a few clicks.
In India, e-commerce adoption accelerated and the country’s e-commerce industry is expected to achieve the target of 2030 by 2023. The increased penetration is inspiring multiple organizations to expand in the e-commerce domain. One thing they are missing out on is the low conversion rate. Only 2-3 out of 100 people who visit e-commerce stores make a purchase.
What is E-commerce Conversion Rate?
Conversion rate is the metric that represents the percentage of users who took the desired action out of all the users that visited the site. An e-commerce player can have a conversion rate for newsletter signup, account creation, order placement, and even for survey participation. For example, if 1000 users visited a product page and only 100 people made a purchase then the conversion rate here is 10%.
E-commerce conversion rate is leveraged as a tool to measure how effective the ads are, how helpful the product descriptions are and how convincing the ad copies are. A higher conversion rate means all the key elements are contributing exemplary to the end goal, which yet again can be anything from form-filling to a product purchase.
Benefits of measuring e-commerce conversion rates
- Highlights campaigns that are failing
- Often brings opportunities under the spotlight
- Help identify areas that require immediate attention
- Allows stakeholders to keep a tab on multiple avenues of advertising
What is a Good E-commerce Conversion Rate?
Well, the importance of conversion rate varies from one industry to another. For people running online blogs, every impression on an ad pays hence every user that scrolled through an ad contributes to overall conversion. For e-commerce players, users who take decisive actions like filling a form, sharing contact details, or ordering a product contribute to the overall conversion.
On average 3-5% is considered to be a good conversion rate; according to Invespcro, for the e-commerce industry, the average conversion rate stands at 2.58%. A study published by Growcode highlights how the conversion rate varies for an online store from one industry to another. Arts & Crafts and Healthcare stores seem to do better than other industries with a conversion rate closer to 3.5%.
A good conversion rate ranges between 3-8%; which is often influenced by factors like:
- The actual price of the product
- The on-site user experiences
- Speed of product discovery
- Quality of information provided in the product description
- Standard of images used
Best Tools to Analyse and Calculate Conversion Rate?
To effectively collect data, analyze information and reach a consensus, e-commerce players need tools that can fetch information from the site and display them in a presentable manner. Analytical tools are often integrated with the online stores to identify geography, browser, age, gender, and source of users.
Later, these tools do the calculation at the back and provide key stakeholders with actual information, which can be acted upon. The final data provided by these analytical tools are bankable and can be used for taking entrepreneurial decisions.
Some of the top and most popular tools for calculating conversion rate are
Google Analytics: Coming from the house of Alphabet Inc. the parent company of search engine Google, this tool is packed with all the requisite metrics that Google itself uses. Perhaps the most trusted and widely used tool for calculating conversion rates, this tool also offers genuine insight into optimization.
When followed and implemented religiously, the suggested optimizations can influence the final numbers positively. The fact that Google Analytics is a power-packed tool and is available for free, everyone starts with it only to pivot to fancy when they start generating cash.
VWO: A high-end analytics tool that collects varied information from a website and uses it for offering genuine insights. Preferably used for identifying channels that bring in traffic and to highlight all the opportunities and challenges. With a better dashboard and high-end suggestion, this is growing in popularity. E-commerce platforms prefer VWO as an analytical tool because it segments the collected data better. One simple click integration makes the task easier and more fun.
Optimizely: A high-end tool that is growing in popularity and is likely to go past Google Analytics in coming years is packed with features. A/B testing, impressive dashboard, and quality graphical representation of data are some of the reasons, e-commerce executives prefer Optimizely over other conversion management tools.
Best Practices for Increasing E-commerce Conversion Rate in 2021
Well-written copy, optimized website, educational catalog, and high-quality images together help e-commerce customers to make an informed decision. With any of these taking a hit the overall on-site conversion is likely to go down. While the marketing, optimization, and catalog management tasks are on-going processes, there are tips, tweaks, and changes which when made can drive the conversion positively.
Here, we will be looking at some changes that can affect the overall conversion rate positively. Our aim here is to identify opportunities, which are hidden in plain sight. Leveraging these opportunities to offer a better customer experience and assist with decision-making will impact the overall growth of an e-commerce company.
1. Improve Product Discovery
If you have been overlooking the impact of product discovery, let us tell you, 72% of users now prefer Amazon over Google for discovering new products. People directly go to Amazon looking for products based on their requirements and challenges. Faster product discovery not only reduces the amount of time spent in finding relevant products but it establishes an e-commerce company as the preferred shopping destination.
Product discovery does better for online stores than a well-written ad copy. It can alter the entire notion and help customers have a quality online shopping experience. Some of the other benefits of improving product discovery include:
- It reduces the bounce rate
- Improves the brand reputation
- Increasing customer loyalty
- Generates recurring sale
Here’s how e-commerce players can improve product discovery to see an upsurge in e-commerce conversion rate:
- Remove errors from the catalog
- Include important keywords related to the product in the description
- Optimize the on-site search engine
- Use alt text for images
- Use tags effectively
2. Establish Easier Navigation
Not discussed enough but navigation needs attention. We all know how irritating it is to locate “My Order”, “My Account” and “My Address” tabs on a desktop as well as a mobile e-commerce site. By making these pages quickly accessible, e-commerce sites are helping customers save time, which adds up to the overall customer experience ensuring recurring visits.
If e-commerce companies take up the navigation optimization a step ahead, they can reduce the number of steps involved in completing a purchase. Customers often abandon carts because of innumerable checkout steps. By reducing steps or by removing compulsory steps like account creation, account verification, and manual enter of addresses, e-commerce players can save customers a few seconds and keep their carts from getting abandoned.
Cache feature that automatically fills address and OTP system that generates and verifies account together can reduce up to 5 checkout steps, which leads to a great boost in customer experience and guarantees improved revenue.
3. Payment Security Optimization
34% of users are likely to look for PCI Certification when using their cards for making a purchase. A huge percentage of users just look for the green padlock before sharing their card details. By catering to these requirements, e-commerce players can improve their conversion rate impressively.
Getting PCI DSS certified allow organizations to
- Command loyalty of userbase
- Ensure end users that their data is safe
- Allow customers peace of mind
- Attract third-party business integrations
Also, apart from offering a secure payment option, adding multiple payment options is a great way of improving the e-commerce conversion rate. Offering cash on delivery in countries like India, Bangladesh, and China can boost e-commerce conversion rates and bring in referral orders too.
4. Optimize Product Pages for Search Engines
Well, optimizing product pages for search engines like Google should be the ultimate goal. Over the last 2 decades, Google has introduced multiple algorithm updates and with every new roll-out, it has improved customer experience. With a focus on customer effort score, Google algorithms prefer ranking genuine businesses, have authority, and fresh content.
Once product pages are optimized as per Google requirements, they are ready to serve customers with their varied needs. Customers can access the information on product pages through image, audio, and text search, which is a great way of improving e-commerce conversion rates.
Search engines like Google want online sites to
- Evenly distribute keyword throughout the content
- Include the keyword in headers
- Use alt text on images
- Want to make text easily readable
- Offer a better understanding of the product
When all the aforementioned points are covered, the content caters to the search intent of users, which can drive the sale or visibility of products. E-commerce companies can blindly follow the optimization norms of Google and achieve impressive results.
5. Optimize E-commerce Store for Mobile Devices
In coming years, a huge percentage of e-commerce traffic will come from mobile devices. While mobile applications are becoming the preferred mode of shopping, e-commerce players are required to optimize both mobiles as well desktop sites. Mobile application optimization ensures a quality customer experience while desktop optimization assists with search engine traffic acquisition.
If e-commerce players overlook either of the mediums, they are likely to visibility, loyalty, and opportunities to build a better business. With mobile applications taking the center stage, the focus should be on offering more in less time, which can be achieved by:
- Optimizing product images to load faster
- Highlighting key features of a product
- Including search keywords in the product title
- Offer better sorting and segmentation opportunity
6. Leverage User-Generated Content
Of all the products returned 24% were returned because they looked different from the store. Often e-commerce companies invest in product photography, which enhances the product but it also impacts the original colors. When products are delivered, customers are not fully satisfied and they end up returning the product.
To ensure a better e-commerce conversion rate and lesser return requests, e-commerce companies can leverage user-generated content. Allow users to upload photos and reviews of the product. Since, we all know the magic of word of mouth, where a customer trusts the other customer, e-commerce companies can bank upon this and generate a good number of sales.
Here’s how user-generated content helps:
- They showcase the true product
- They highlight the usability of the product
- They clear doubts prevalent to color, size, and application
- They assist with improved decision making
UGC can boost e-commerce conversion rates by catering to all the weird questions of a user and portraying how the product looks in real life.
7. Invest in Catalog Management
The key to offering fast product discovery, optimizing a site for SEO, and ensuring qualitative experience lies in effective catalog management. Robust catalog management ensures that everything from product description to images is optimized to offer customers an exceptional experience.
Some of the top challenges effective catalog management addresses
- Brand Interference: All errors that occur due to errors committed by sellers can be addressed at once with affordable e-commerce catalog management services. Brand interference when reduced or controlled can lead to lesser return requests and an improved browsing experience. With lesser interference when looking for branded products, one can easily offer faster product discovery and a memorable shopping experience.
- Cart Abandonment: A lot of customers abandon their carts just before making payment because they are not sure about the product. With a catalog management system that ensures product title, description, and image optimizations, customers can be sure about their purchase and spend money with confidence.
Investing in catalog management pays the biggest dividend because it
- Improves the on-site visibility of products
- Increases organic traffic from Google
- Guarantees better conversion rate
- Offers opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell
- Helps in creating theme-based bucketing
- Simplifies product recommendation
- Reduces customer pain points
8. Work on Your CTAs & Highlight Customer Support
In the end, the e-commerce conversion rate is a measure of how well the marketing campaigns are doing. Since marketing campaigns for online platforms are dependent upon content and funnels, it is necessary to ensure all Call-to-Action buttons are up to mark and effective.
An effective CTA copy that excites and creates a sense of losing out can be a great way of improving e-commerce conversion rates. Businesses can invest in catalog management and get highly effective CTA copies written and embedded on their website. Call to action buttons when made appealing and visible can convince users either to make a purchase or reach out with a genuine query. Making customer support accessible through live chat is perhaps the most effective way of boosting the e-commerce conversion rate. Live chat can be used as a tool to:
- Reroute customers to the correct product
- Answer product related queries instantly
- Offer a better understanding of the product
- Control return rate by offering quality support
9. Learn from Your Competitors
Let the truth be out, every e-commerce company is taking a cue from Amazon. How Amazon is handling it? Is perhaps the most repeated question in every e-commerce board meeting. By acquiring over 100 million Prime Users alone in the US, Amazon has established itself as the GOAT of the e-commerce industry.
Well, in the recent past, there’s been a paradigm shift, companies today are looking at minuscule start-ups that are led by tech enthusiasts. These Silicon Valley geeks are talented and have a much better understanding of customer intent. Their innovation and developments are helping many companies offer better products and services to customers.
The irreparable contribution of millennials’ top innovation is helping the e-commerce industry thrive, be it Lenskart from India using augmented reality to accurately predicting the best-suited glass frames to other stores that leverage AI and ML to recommend the most useful products.
E-commerce benchmarking service can be of great help when trying to understanding competitors. These services allow organizations to benchmark their performance against the peers and develop an understanding of how competitors are dealing with nuanced challenges.
10. Browse and Wishlist without Login
A simple change that can be implemented within hours but has a gigantic impact. By letting customers browse and wishlist products within logging in can go a long way in acquiring and retaining customers. Multiple B2B marketplaces demand email and phone numbers as soon as customers start browsing products, which puts customers off.
Customers have no issues in sharing information once they have found the right product. This is a problem that is pertaining mostly to B2B marketplaces and needs to be addressed immediately.
Final Thought on E-commerce Conversion Rate
Well, e-commerce players cannot pick an example of an e-commerce conversion rate related to product discovery or catalog management and claim it worked wonders. To ensure higher conversion on e-commerce sites, companies need to focus on everything mentioned in this post. It needs to be a collective effort made at on-site experience, product page optimization, and the SEO side to ensure the conversion rate for e-commerce companies continues to grow.
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