I appreciate your skepticism. E-commerce conversion rate optimization can be complex, but that doesn’t mean my promises are too good to be true.

E-commerce is growing rapidly, with sales increasing by 20.1% globally this year. This growth is expected to continue, with e-commerce sales reaching $1.5 trillion by the end of 2020.

There are many factors that contribute to the growth of global trade including mobile and online user bases in emerging markets, m-commerce, and the rise of many international markets.

For the first time, users in Asia-Pacific are expected to spend more money on mobile apps than those in North America. This shift is expected to have a lasting effect.

The strategies in this article will help you increase your e-commerce conversion rate.

Approximately 1 billion people worldwide have purchased products or services online using either a desktop, mobile device, or tablet computer, according to Statista. This number is expected to grow in the future.

This text is saying that if you are reading it, you are invested in E-commerce, and that you won’t benefit from it if you let conversions pass you by.

The constant changes in online marketing make it more difficult for businesses to compete for consumers and grow revenue. Google updates change the scope of SEO, social media is getting crowded, and email subscribers are a rarity.

The percentage of users that convert to customers is key to boost your revenue, sales, and ultimately profits. Here’s what you should do to get there:

Design And User Experience

Most websites lack the appropriate process between the beginning stages and the end result.

Oliver Garder talks about how important it is to use feedback to help optimize your website’s design, not just your landing page.

Consider your customers’ needs first, then assess why your design may not work. Build a prototype and gather feedback before returning to the drawing board.

Site Speed and Going Customer First

The speed of your site has a direct impact on your e-commerce revenue. Here are some stats of revenue impacts from slow loading pages:

47% of consumers expect a web page to take no more than two seconds to load.

  • 42% of online shoppers said quick page loading is important to their site loyalty.
  • 23% of dissatisfied online shoppers attributed their dissatisfaction to the website being too slow or taking too long to render.
  • Another 17% reported dissatisfaction due to site crashes or error messages they received.

Importance of Design for E-Commerce

Every button, hyperlink, image, must have a purpose. Most of the time, that purpose is to direct your visitors to buy your product. Design isn’t just about HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. It’s a visual representation of your brand that needs to be appealing to convert visitors into customers. Every element on the page needs to have a purpose, usually directing the visitor towards purchasing the product.

Weeding out Design-Specific Conversion Killers

You cannot think about design affecting conversions without thinking about conversion killers.

The following is a list of gruesome conversion killers, courtesy of Conversion Rate Experts, as presented by Dr. Karl Banks at ThinkVisibility.

There are a number of things that can kill conversions on a website, and Conversion Rate Experts has compiled a list of the most gruesome. 1. Not testing – Ouch! This one really hurts. Not testing means that you’re going into battle unarmed. How do you know what’s working and what’s not working if you’re not testing? 2. Not mobile friendly – Aarrgghh! This is a painful mistake. In today’s world, people are using their mobile devices more and more to surf the web.

If your site is not mobile friendly, you’re losing out on a lot of potential business. 3. Not having a clear call to action – This is a deadly mistake. If you’re not telling people what you want them to do, they’re not going to do it. Make sure your call to action is clear and concise. 4. Not having social proof – This can be a killer.

If you’re not using social proof, you’re missing out on a key element that can help increase conversion rates. 5. Not tracking results – This is a fatal mistake. Without tracking your results, how will you know what’s working and what’s not

In order to create a successful website, it is important to avoid elements that are visually confusing, such as sliders, sketchy testimonials, and unnecessary trust badges. Sean Ellis of Unbounce points out that other factors that can contribute to an unsuccessful website include inconsistent visuals and wrong colors.

Also, say goodbye to buttons like “empty cart”, “Your session has expired”, and “reset form”.

Strategy, Differentiation, and USP

You might have a strategy, but you’re not using it all the time. If you think you have an advantage over others, it won’t be long before someone else catches up.

If you don’t communicate clearly, you will lose potential customers.

Tell Your Story

E-commerce stores that want to stay in business should turn their “About us” pages into “Our story” pages to get personal and tell a more compelling story.

Telling your story helps you boost your sales by 21%. Additionally, Dan Wang’s post on Shopify provides useful advice on how to use a blog to tell your story effectively.

Stories make you more relatable and authentic to consumers. When consumers know more about you, they are more likely to want to buy from you.

Your Offer 

If you have an offer, get to the point and make it quickly. Make it compelling and ensure your best products are above the fold.

The rest of the text should be placed below the fold so that readers can focus on the one thing that matters most to your e-commerce business.

Promote your brand with our newsletters! Our newsletters are a great way to keep your customers up-to-date on your latest products, sales, and promotions. Plus, our newsletters are a great way to showcase your best-selling products and customers’ favorite products. Sign up today and start promoting your brand with our newsletters!

Testing for E-Commerce

How do you know if your website or marketing campaigns are effective? You might say, “analytics,” but what if that’s not the best you can do?

The only way to know is to “test”. According to Optimizely academy:

Before you start testing, be clear about your goals and how you expect visitors to achieve them. E-commerce testing involves more design elements and potential areas for testing than other types of testing.

Making the Case for Testing Everything

The secret to success is testing, which is both difficult and time-consuming. Every potential solution is tested on multiple subjects, and often multiple solutions are tested before the best one is found.

The three companies used testing to achieve their respective goals. However, the process quickly got complicated and encompassing.

If you want a competitive edge, start testing. A/B testing was used on 59% more of the top 1 million websites last year than the year before.

A 28% increase in social shares was seen by UPWORTHY after doing some case studies on Optimizely. Code.org also saw an increase, albeit smaller, in student sign ups. The biggest increase, by far, was seen by Iron Mountain in lead quality, a 140% increase.

E-Commerce Conversion Rate Best Practices

1. Minimize the Perceived Risk to Your Prospects

If you want people to buy something from you online, you must first convince them that it is not risky.

This means that prospects are unwilling to share their personal information. To address this objection, you need to reduce the risks they perceive.

Others worry about not getting what they paid for. Some people are anxious about online transactions because they are worried that their personal information won’t be safe. Others are worried that they won’t get what they paid for.

The easy fix?

Make sure your lead capture forms have a statement that reassures prospects that their information is safe.

If someone thinks that subscribing to your email list is too much commitment, let them know that they can unsubscribe at any time.

You want your subscribers to feel like they’re in control. Include an option to unsubscribe in every email.

2. Eliminate Unnecessary Form Fields 

If your forms are long, more people will drop out of the process before completing it.

The more complicated your forms are, the more people who won’t even start the process.

You don’t want the situation to be as it is. Fortunately, the solution is not difficult to find.

Here’s the bottom line: 

Do not request information that is not necessary to finish the transaction.

It is beneficial to add a first name field to email capture forms in order to personalize communication.

If you’re okay with giving out that information, then that’s fine. However, do you really need to provide your last name or phone number? Most likely, you don’t need to.

This is also true for order forms. If there are fewer fields, people will be less resistant to filling it out. And if there is less resistance, more people will complete the form.

3. Add Social Proof on Site Pages Designed to Convert

The conversion tactic known as social proof is very effective, and every page on your website should ideally have elements of it.

Some examples of things that can help build trust with potential customers are customer testimonials, case studies, reviews, endorsements, and user count.

Having elements that support your value proposition makes you more credible and trustworthy to your prospects.

The result? Conversions go up.

Even if your website has elements that should help to convince visitors to convert, it’s possible that you still have a low conversion rate.

In fact, that’s commonplace. Why?

Placement is crucial.

I’m sure you’ve come across instances where people collect all their testimonials on one page and stop there.

This is not effective. Most types of social proof can not work independently.

Use your products in the places where your potential customers are likely to have objections.

The most effective place to put this banner would be on pages that are designed to convert users into customers.

4. Add Google Site Search to Your Site 

Conversions are all about getting people to take action.

The best way to get users to do what you want on your site is to understand what they want.

If you can discover what potential customers want, you can immediately give it to them.

As soon as you give people what they want, they will convert.

The inquiry segmentation tool lets you break down and compare your website’s traffic. Google Analytics can help you better understand your website’s traffic patterns with its inquiry segmentation tool. This tool allows you to compare traffic data side-by-side to look for insights.

Here’s how to do it.

Visit your website and run a search.

The URL of the results page is what you should pay attention to. It can be anything.

After you complete that task, leave the window open. You will need it in the near future.

In the Admin panel of your Google Analytics account, click on the tab labeled “View Settings.”

Turn site search on at the bottom of the page: 

Remove the query parameter from the URL of your results page.

Remember that search you did in the first step?

You need to find the query parameter. It’s a single letter found within the URL:

In this case, it’s an “s.” Place it in the form field, and you’re done: 

You’re now able to track what people are searching for on your site.

5. Narrow the Focus of your Website Pages

If your prospects are having trouble deciding what they want, they’re not going to take any action. Offering too many choices is a sure way to cause them to freeze up.

If your website has multiple goals, you will need multiple calls to action. Having too many goals will result in poor conversions.

If you narrow the focus of each page on your website, you can have one solid call to action.

Each page on your website should have one goal, with a primary call to action.

That’s the goal. Having just one goal for a page ensures that your target readers will know what you want them to do when they visit your site.

If you have secondary goals, you can achieve them as long as they help you achieve your primary goal.

What would be the best way to go about this? What is the best way to ensure that prospects complete the checkout process?

Sounds obvious, but most people abandon checkout.

So, it’s a valid goal.

Your checkout page’s main goal should be to get people to fill out the form and buy your product.

6. Improve the Layout of Your Signup Forms 

However, making a small change to your form—such as reducing the number of required fields—can make a meaningful difference. You might not think that something as simple as a sign-up form could be one of the most common sources of friction, but it is. Making a small change to your form, such as reducing the number of required fields, can make a significant difference, even though it may not produce a huge increase in conversions.

This is about making your funnel more effective, so that people who would have converted don’t fail to do so.

The best layout for forms?

A single column form is faster to fill out because it is more linear.

A study found that it takes on average 15.4 seconds longer to complete a form with multiple columns.

7. Tackle Shopping Cart Abandonment with a Simple Email 

When it comes to cart abandonment, you need to be proactive.

No matter how good your conversion funnel is, there will always be some people who leave it.

If you want to increase your conversions, sending a cart abandonment email is a good way to start.

The point of this email is threefold:

  1. Remind prospects that they left items in their cart
  2. Incentivize them to complete the transaction. 
  3. Make it easy for them to check out. 

This is why e-commerce email marketing is so successful in increasing sales.

Leads that are in the smoldering hot zone are closer to converting than cold leads.

8. Display Contact Information or have a Live Chat Feature

This is not a strategy that will miraculously transform everything. However, it can help to ease any worries that potential customers may have about completing transactions online.

The lack of trust is one of the most powerful objections you have to destroy.

In order to give potential customers a sense of security, it is helpful to prominently display contact information. Live chat is even more effective for this purpose.

It has been gaining a lot of popularity as the best way to provide prompt customer service.

If this feature helps customers through the checkout process, it will increase conversions. Keep in mind that if you use this feature, it should be helpful and not interruptive.

Otherwise, it would hurt your conversion rates.

9. Add At Least One More Payment Option 

Your customers want to have options when it comes to spending their money.

If you want people to be comfortable making a transaction, you should give them more than one payment option.

This uneasiness leads to inaction.

A quarter of people ditch their shopping carts because their chosen payment method wasn’t an option.

10. Offer Guest Checkout 

There are ways to encourage visitors to create an account, such as offering coupon codes or reward points.

The work extremely well, but what does not work is making customers go through this additional step.

It makes the checkout process more difficult and people are less likely to want to do it.

The result? You lose a potential customer.

Most people would prefer not to go through the hassle of creating an account, so offer guest checkout.

About the Author Brian Richards

See Brian's Amazon Author Central profile at https://amazon.com/author/brianrichards

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