AUGUST 09, 2018

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10 Best Tactics to Increase Ecommerce Conversion Rates for 2018

Written by: Ksenia Larina

Once you’ve hustled your way through the waters of the E-commerce oceans, you learn that there’s nothing more important than watching your analytics and keeping your sales funnel all neat and shiny.

Ecommerce conversion rate is basically the ratio of people who visited your website to those who made their way through to becoming your customer.

It always depends on dozens of variables, starting from the traffic channels the users came from, and all the way to how good your BFF Megan is at her job as customer support specialist.

And if you’re new to the industry, let’s take a look at a typical e-commerce sales funnel and customer behavior:

sales funnel in ecommerce

It’s natural to lose most of the users at one or another step of the funnel. Some of the shoppers will abandon you at browsing stage, others will disappear on the final mile.

I know, this concept may sound too basic to you. But the thing is, that there’s nothing more effective than paying attention to the simple things and building up on top of them. You don’t need to use all the complicated tools, just stick to finding the bottlenecks and getting rid of them.

Average conversion rate for ecommerce

No doubts, it will be easier if you know your CTRs, bounce rates, and eventually the Almighty Conversion Rate! That’s what ACR stands for, right?

Oops…not exactly. ACR is the average conversion rate calculated across the industry and treated as a standard metric you should aim for with your own business.

And, according to Monetate, here’s how average eCommerce conversion rates in 2018 for US look like compared to global and British numbers:

Q1 2017 Q2 2017 Q3 2017 Q4 2017 Q1 2018
Global 2,61 %2,78 %2,70 %3,02 %2,59 %
US 2,57 %2,72 %2,64 %2,97 %2,49 %
UK 3,72 %4,01 %4,06 %4,07 %3,78 %


On average, if your conversion rate is anywhere above 2,5%, you’re doing a great job. But if you find yourself in a place with a growing potential, we’ll guide you through a few helpful tips to improve website conversion rate.

10 best tips for increase website conversion rates

If you think I’ve mentioned the sales funnel for no reason, you’re wrong. The first thing you have to do, your step 0, gear yourself up with some analytics tool that will let you track all the important data and understand what exactly your weak spots are. Because there is no way to improve ecommerce conversion rate known to science without using analytics.

If you don’t have any experience with analytics, my advice is to stick to something simple and user-friendly. Google Analytics would be a great place to start. And if you want some more detailed data or cool stuff like heatmaps or user session recordings, take a look at such website conversion optimization services as Hotjar or Mouseflow.

ecommerce cro tools

They are fairly easy to integrate, but in case you get stuck with this, it’s always a good idea to solve the issue by simply hiring one of our Coding Ninjas, who provide webdev help for marketing teams on a daily basis and can rule out the struggle within an hour after your initial request.

Once you’re settled, believe me: you will instantly know, where the bodies are buried. And that will make finding a solution easier.

And here’s what ecommerce conversion rate optimization tactics are the absolute must-haves for every business in this industry!

1. User journey mapping

user journey mapping

User journey is something that product managers, marketers and business owners look into very closely. You need to understand users’ behavior on atomic level: where they come from, why and where they go, which road they take to get there.

The best way to know what your clients want from you is to think about what led them to you in the first place.

Another thing used to study your customers is user flow. Basically, it’s a chart that shows how people behave on your website.

Or, in other words, when a user lands on one of your website’s pages, what are they trying to do? What buttons do they click on? Are they looking for similar products? Which filters do they use when browsing categories?

Once you have a user flow layout, think about what can you do to help your customers complete the purchase instead of leaving your website.

Noticed customers often abandon cart? Use LiveChat to ask them if they want another payment method or delivery option to find out, what’s wrong with your checkout page. Users spend too much time choosing between two similar products? Offer help in a push-message from Zendesk Chat.

2. Product page

When it comes to purchasing something online, there are only few things people are usually concerned about:

  • security
  • price
  • making the right choice
  • convenience

Once you’ve done your step one and know everything about your customer’s journey, you will know which button to push.

Figure out which of these things matters the most to your clients, and enhance them through simple design elements. Back in the days, when eBay was only starting out they discovered that their users often wouldn’t buy anything because they didn’t trust the sellers.

Ebay responded with what’s later was claimed to be the main innovative element of their business: seller’s ratings.

seller ratings

Learn what’s bothering your target audience most when the purchase things online, and convince them you can make that pain go away in a simple and elegant way.

Here are some hints:

  • return policy
  • secure payment system
  • fast shipment
  • best price
  • discounts
  • specs
  • product reviews

3. Product description

You may be the funniest person alive, but if you’re selling professional camera lenses in your online store, your target audience may just be not in the mood for some hilarious copy.

Vice versa, if you’re selling prank gifts, your future buyers probably won’t need to know what material was used to make that fart pillow.

Here’s a great example of how well guys from CardsAgainstHumanity know their dark-humor-loving audience:

great examples of product description

On the other hand, product managers from Zappos know that there’s no better product description for their customers than a video of how that pair of shoes they chose will look when they wear them:  

video as product description

And now, my favorite thing of all! Look closely at this product page for a professional (and extremely expensive) Hasselblad camera lens:

hasselblad product description

Doesn’t seem like much of a description, right? Well, that’s because it’s hidden! The real description their clients are looking for is that data sheet in the lower right corner of the page. And here’s what it looks like if you click on it:  

hasselblad

What’s so outstanding about it? It’s carved out specifically for their core target audience and no one else. And that’s exactly how you should approach your own product descriptions!

4. Relatable related

suggested items ecommerce

Suggesting your customers products they might be interested in is a great way to satisfy their inner shopping beast and gently push them into a browsing loophole. Too bad, most businesses don’t give enough thought to this section.

There are three main approaches that will help you convert better and also rock the upsales:

1. Complimentary products

Offer your buyers all the stuff they might enjoy with their purchase. While this approach is widely used by tech and gear retailers who love pushing you into buying a trendy case along with your new iPhone, ASOS brought this edge to the world of clothing stores beautifully allowing their customers to shop the entire look of the model:

asos complimentary products

2. Comparison

Contrary to the previous hack, this technique is less suitable for the clothing stores but works miracles for tech stores and sellers who sell complex solutions. Show your customers the products from the same category and let them compare those items with the one they are currently looking at.

Pro tip: show only the items, which are more expensive.

Apple uses this approach in their online store for all the products they have. Maybe that was the reason they became a trillion-dollar corporation? Who knows!

how to choose related products

3. Remarketing

Showing your customers the products they have already been looking at is a great way to help them end what they’ve started. Although this method of displaying the related products has been around for a while now, I say, it will never get old when it comes to website conversion optimization.

Another great news is that pretty much all of the most popular eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magenta, Shopify and others have plugins that make selecting and displaying the related products much easier. And even if those solutions are too complicated for you to do on your own, hiring a freelance developer to complete this task will cost you nothing compared to what profit you can get out of such a small adjustment.

5. Checkout pages

The checkout page is your customer’s gateway to happiness.  Your job is not making it any harder for them to get to the other side. Two main rules to follow are these:

  • keep it simple and familiar
  • provide the payment and delivery they want

The best checkout page layout is the one users are used to. They are about to give out their payment details and spend the hard-earned money on your website. If they don’t trust you, they won’t pay.

Nike’s official store is a great example of an iconic cart and checkout pages layout:

best checkout page layout

And if you’re convinced you’ve optimized your page to the point nothing else can be done, but your checkout conversion rate is still low, try offering additional payment or delivery methods. It’s best to run A/B tests to verify your hypothesis, and there is a wide variety of tools to help you with setting up the experiments. The one I like the most is Kissmetrics, but if you don’t want any additional hustle learning hot to use another marketing product, Google Analytics offers split testing features as well.

6. Personalization for CRO

We are naturally programmed to give more attention to any information that gives us the feeling of personal approach. And while the possibilities of personalization tools are now endless, thanks to advanced technologies and AI, I want to give you an idea which is very simple to implement.

Geo-tags are very easy to incorporate in your copy. Here’s a great example of a landing page taking advantage of customer’s location:

geo tags for ecommerce

But you can get even more creative and start changing the city names on your banners dynamically to match your customers’ location.

Or take it a step further and use WeatherUnlock tool to deliver certain content based on today’s weather:

weather triggered email

7. Engaging landing pages

Your landing pages can be another great way to engage buyers and follow up with the selected products suited according to their needs and desires.

One way to do it is personality quizzes. Here’s how TopShop takes an advantage of this hack to get in their visitors’ mailboxes and send emails with the products handpicked based on the answers they gave:

cool hacks for conversion in ecommerce

8. Price optimization

This hint will be especially useful for the ecommerce business that strongly relies on price aggregator websites as their traffic source. If you want to win the competition playing on this field, competitive pricing is the best way how to increase website conversion rate.

An easy way to do this is to automate the process. A great service that will make your life easier and eliminate the human factor is Competera. They provide smart pricing optimization using AI and data science.

cro for ecommerce

9. Choose the right pop-ups

Pop-ups can work two ways: they either raise your conversion rate or make people leave your website and never come back again.

Here are three great tips on how to use pop-ups the right way:

1. Discounts and perks

Here’s a pop-up that appears on Gap’s website. Yes, they ask for your email, but instead, you will get a 25% discount. But don’t forget that this approach only works when you’re offering something that people want!

exclusive offer online stores

2. Gathering feedback

People love sharing their opinions and experience, and even if they don’t buy anything from you this time, they will know you care about your customers, and you get a chance to get some valuable insight:

pop-ups that increase conversion

3. Customer support   

Sometimes customers have a hard time choosing between two or more items or need help. Levi’s manages this with a little help of an AI bot. But your users might be more into an old-fashioned human interaction, so you can just use live chat with support managers instead.

AI ecommerce CRO

  1. Retrieve letters

Abandoned carts are another pain point of ecommerce projects. There are a few reasons your website visitors don’t convert into buyers. Some of them find better deals, others get distracted and forget about an item they’ve added to their cart or decided to postpone the purchase.

Retrieve or follow-up letters are great to get your customers back on their shopping spree. Best practice for such emails is to remind them they have to complete the checkout and show some related products to go with the product they were shopping for in case they’ve already bought it from someone else. This is probably the easiest tip on how to increase conversion rate ecommerce projects can get on their to-do list right now.

See how Kate Spade rocks this technique with their follow-up email:

email marketing cro

How to improve conversion for website if you don’t code?

At CodingNinjas, we often deal with the clients who manage successful businesses and are looking to expand by implementing some CRO for website they’re running.

The two most common problems we see them run into are:

  • They’ve created a successful project from scratch without having any profound knowledge in development and now they need to implement complicated solutions but don’t have a need to hire a full-time developer.
  • Their in-house development team is so busy, they’re always short on people who could take care of experimental solutions and fulfill the marketing team’s demands.

If you find yourself in a situation like that or a similar one, my suggestion: use the tools you can learn yourself, even if they don’t provide the best result you’re shooting for. That way you can check if your ideas work at all and whether you should spend more time and money on polishing them, or move on to your next big thing.

Another way to solve this problem is hiring a vetted freelance developer. At CodingNinjas we work only with pre-tested for code-quality, English proficiency and communication skills developers at only match you with those professionals who have experience and skills to complete your project.

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