How To Optimise Conversions On Your Ecommerce Store

According to a study by IBM, online shopping cart abandonment hit a rate of 68.95% in 2015 in the U.S. Other studies have reported even higher rates, indicating shoppers have selected items, but frequently do not go through with the purchase. Cart abandonment is not the only issue impacting conversions, though, with security concerns, poor sales techniques, shipping costs, and other factors all playing a part. Even making small improvements to the conversion rate can make a radical difference to your revenue, so the importance of optimisation cannot be ignored. The following tips can all be implemented to help you increase the conversion rates across your site.

Show Visible Trust Symbols

Trust symbols can include security seals, credit card logos, and registered business signs. Even if a visitor doesn’t closely review the symbols or even know what they refer to, their presence can put people at ease, indicating you are a trustworthy business that partners up with other reliable organisations.

Include Checkout Page Testimonials

Testimonials are commonly added to every sales page and if you’re a regular Hyphen blog reader, you have probably seen us recommending them over and over again. However, they are used much less less frequently on checkout pages and for Ecommerce stores, this can make a big difference in optimising conversions. The checkout page, as mentioned previously, results in high levels of cart abandonment, so encouraging the completion of the sale needs to be a priority. Subtle testimonials on checkout pages can reduce the second thoughts many people experience, resulting in higher conversion levels.

Offer Price Guarantees

A major reason visitors decide against making a purchase is the price. It isn’t necessarily that the price is too high, but people naturally question whether they are getting a good deal. If visitors leave to shop around and search for other offers, they may not return. A price guarantee usually involves matching competitors prices, so customers know they are not overpaying.

Implement Live Chat

One of the problems with ecommerce sites is the difficulty in adding a personal element. A physical store has an advantage of a salesperson giving assistance, even if many people don’t require it. Live chat software helps to provide this personal touch, offering an immediate response to any questions. Limited numbers will actually use the service, but it should certainly help with conversions for the people that want it. The downside of live chats is that you will always need to have someone online to operate it.

Show Prominent Shipping and Returns Guide

In most surveys, one of the biggest concerns of ecommerce customers is shipping and returns information. Visitors want to know what shipping charges are upfront, how they will affect the overall price, and how easy it is to return goods if they are not satisfied with their purchase. Prominently displaying this information can help to ease concerns, with a free shipping offer usually providing an immediate increase in conversions.

Allow Product Reviews

Some stores are reluctant to include reviews, worrying that a negative response could damage conversions. It is worth testing a review section, though, as it can significantly improve conversions across the whole of your inventory. Certain products might suffer from poor or average scores, but you will more commonly see customers doing a good job of promoting products when they have a good experience. Customers want transparency, and if you don’t offer reviews on your website, they might simply look for them on other websites and end up buying from them instead of you.

Compress Images and Code

Slow loading times are a frustration for site visitors, with a natural result being a drop in engagement and conversions. In most cases, a site can be improved to run faster, offering a more efficient service. Run your site through one of the various speed test services, such as  Google’s PageSpeed Tool, and look through the suggestions to make your website faster. A good place to start on an ecommerce site, partly due to the high number of images, is with image and code compression,

Offer Various Payment Options

Aim to make the payment process as simple as possible. One way to do this is to offer a number of payment options, limiting potential reasons for abandoning the cart. Some ecommerce sites use a service like Paypal that accepts the major credit cards without having an account. While an option like this makes sense, there will always be people who have an aversion to a particular service, but would purchase if you offered more choice.

Add a Phone Number

A phone number might seem irrelevant when options like email, live chat, and social media are readily available. Many customers feel comfortable seeing a phone number listed on the site, though, with the perception that the business is legitimate.

Efforts to improve conversions won’t always produce the desired results. Sometimes a technique that sounds logical will actually reduce sales, so you need to track and test every change you make. Usually, though, if you embark on a structured testing process, you will eventually end up with an improvement in conversion rate. In most cases, starting with the big changes will provide the biggest alterations, allowing you to then focus on the small changes and tweaks that add some extra revenue to the business.

Paul Davis

Hyphen Technology Ltd, 7 Albert Mews, Albert Road, , London