So many website visitors will browse product listings and add items to their cart but not go on to buy. This can be a real problem in ecommerce businesses, where you’re always wanting to keep your metrics high.
One way to do that is to focus on your ecommerce conversion rate optimization (CRO) and transforming those visitors into customers. This might sound like a big job, but you can often see great results from making small changes — like adding user reviews and optimizing your checkout experience. It’s all about creating a better browsing and shopping experience.
In this guide, we’ll take you through ecommerce CRO, why it matters, and some great tactics to help you improve yours — including following up on abandoned carts and adding immersive live chat to your website.
What Is Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization?
At its simplest, ecommerce conversion rate optimization (CRO) is all about making changes to your website to increase the number of people completing a specific goal. Usually, that goal is to convert more customers, but you can measure other actions too — like signing up for a mailing list or becoming a loyalty program member.
At the heart of CRO is driving a positive change in your conversion rate. Your conversion rate can be measured as the number of sales divided by the number of website visitors. Bear in mind, the average ecommerce conversion rate is around 2%, so don’t expect to see a huge figure here. Knowing your conversion rate helps you understand whether you need to take steps to improve it or not.
Why Investing in Ecommerce CRO Makes Sense
Focusing on conversion rate optimization is all about bringing more value to what you do, whether that's more customers, more repeat sales, or more signups to your email list. Here are some of the main reasons why investing in ecommerce CRO is a great idea.
Help Generate More Sales
Most marketers focus on ecommerce CRO because they want to drive more sales. The two are tied together. The better the browsing and shopping experience is, the more likely people will be to get out their credit card and buy.
For an ecommerce business, conversion rate optimization presents huge benefits. It’s easier to track that journey from interest or hitting a landing page to ending the checkout process, which gives you plenty of opportunity to implement tactics to generate more sales.
Improve Return on Investment
When you optimize your conversion rate, you also make it more likely that you’ll achieve a better return on investment from marketing tactics like digital advertising. This means that any money you do spend on your digital ad campaigns works harder for you and is more effective at bringing you the kind of customers you want and need.
Converting the customers who've already landed on your website means you don’t need to invest as heavily in helping your target audience find you. With optimization improvements, you no longer have to worry about having a badly optimized website or shopping cart experience. Instead, you can be confident that you’ll see a greater ROI from your social media advertising campaigns — and win over the leads you already have.
Deliver a Better Customer Experience
Most of the conversion rate optimization tactics we’ll look at also improve user experience. This means you’re creating more chances than ever to keep your customers interested and engaged, so they’re more likely to check out their cart at the end of the experience.
People are less likely to buy from an ecommerce website with poor navigation, low quality images, and a complicated checkout system. Address these issues and you remove barriers that keep your visitors from converting to customers — and could win them over as repeat buyers based on user experience alone.
7 Tactics to Help You Optimize Your Ecommerce Conversion Rates
Ready to make an impact when it comes to ecommerce CRO? Here are seven ecommerce conversion rate optimization tactics to add to your marketing strategy this year.
1. Write Engaging Product Descriptions
Ever landed on a product page and been instantly turned off by a lackluster product description? This is one of the major areas on your ecommerce platform where you can stand out, deliver an amazing experience, and help encourage your visitor to become a customer.
Write product descriptions designed to convert. Cover all the basics about the product, but also feature great use cases or reasons why someone might want to buy this particular product. Add some humor if it fits with your brand, and use the kind of language that your customers do. Make sure your product description features language that acts like a call to action (CTA), so the visitor can’t help but click “add to cart.”
2. Showcase Product Reviews
More often than not, people check out product reviews before they decide to buy. In fact, research suggests that as many as 95% of people check out product reviews before they buy. Adding user reviews to your product pages makes it easier for potential customers to do just that — without even leaving your ecommerce site.
Product reviews are a great way to help potential buyers understand the product better. They can pick up tips on sizing, quality, and other key factors. Being able to see user reviews and ratings helps build trust, with these mini testimonials acting as social proof that the product is worth it.
3. Use High Quality Imagery and Video Content
People want to be able to see what they’re getting, so you can’t showcase your amazing products with subpar photography. Invest in high quality imagery to help sell your products to your target audience.
High quality lifestyle photography works great on your homepage or a product landing page, alongside copy that sells a product’s benefits, use cases, and lifestyle perks. Shoot high quality product photos too for your product pages, showcasing relevant angles and details. Video can be a useful addition here too — especially for fashion, toys, or any niche where the customer wants to see the product in action.
4. Follow up on Shopping Cart Abandonments
With around 88% of online shopping carts being abandoned, following up on those moments can help you increase your conversion rate and secure extra sales. Sometimes, website visitors are shopping around — a follow-up email could encourage them to buy from you.
Getting the messaging right on your abandoned cart emails or texts is essential. We’ve all seen those “did you miss something?” emails — and they can come off as patronizing or presumptuous. Run some A/B tests to see what kind of messaging works best with your target audience, then work abandoned cart emails into your strategy to help you see an uplift in conversions.
5. Optimize Your Checkout Process
Your goal is to get your customer all the way through the checkout process, so optimizing it is one of the strongest opportunities to increase your conversion rate.
Look for ways to simplify the process and create a positive customer experience. Remove unnecessary required fields, and import as much relevant information as you can — like email address or card details from a saved account. Offer a variety of payment options, and make sure the whole journey runs as smoothly as possible.
If you can successfully optimize your checkout process, you’ll see a reduction in your bounce rate. And instead of following up with a cart abandonment email, you can instead welcome that customer into your post-sales messaging.
6. Offer Free Shipping and Returns
There’s something about shipping costs that can really put people off buying from an online store. Remove that barrier completely by offering free shipping — and free returns, if you can.
Consumers are used to buying from big online stores like Amazon, where pricing is affordable and shipping is free. While you need to be mindful of your profit margins, there’s likely a way you can offer free shipping (and returns) to help prevent some abandoned carts.
7. Add Live Chat Software to Your Ecommerce Store
One of the best ways to help your conversion rate is to build a strong relationship with your customer. A great way to do this is by offering real time or on-demand live chat on your website.
A popular way to add live chat to your ecommerce site is with a chatbot. You can set up sequences to help guide your visitors through common questions and concerns. However, for anything personalized, they’ll need to speak to a real person.
Enter ServiceBell — a premium live video chat experience that allows your customers to get your team member’s full attention. It creates a VIP experience for existing and potential customers and answers their queries to help them buy.
Investing in Ecommerce CRO Delivers Benefits
If there’s one thing to focus on with your marketing efforts, it’s ecommerce CRO. It’s a useful way to increase sales, reduce your customer acquisition costs, and improve your customer experience. These all help your bottom line and how your audience perceives you.
Offering customers the opportunity to talk to someone before they buy can be an impactful ecommerce CRO tactic. Sign up for a free plan with ServiceBell, and make it easy for your potential customers to feel welcome and supported — even before they buy.