What are Conversion Rates?
When a visitor to your store completes a purchase, they are converted from a lead into a customer. The rate of visitors to your store that make a purchase make up your conversion rate.
Visitors X Conversion Rates = Online Revenue
If you have a high number of store visitors, but make relatively few sales, your conversion rate is low. Conversely, your conversion rate is high if you have an average number of store visitors, but a very high rate of completed purchases. Essentially, the higher your conversion rate, the more revenue in your pocket.
What Causes Low Conversion Rates?
Online businesses with low conversion rates face a real problem. There are many reasons for low conversion rates, but they must be resolved with time if a company is to succeed. In fact, low conversion rates are the biggest source of failure for most online businesses; in many cases, online store owners cannot figure out the reason behind their low conversion rates, and close up shop as a result.
There are many low conversion rate reasons, and some of which likely apply to your business. According to research shared by Shane Barker, some of the most common low conversion rate reasons include:
- Poor customer support.
- Lack of product reviews.
- High product or shipping cost.
- Inaccurate product descriptions or photos.
- Slowly loading pages.
- Lower costs offered by competitors.
- Unsecured payment gateways.
- Out of stock products,
- Inability to find products (poor site navigation).
- Poor user interface.
Online shoppers will commonly leave a store without making a purchase for any of the reasons above, leading to low conversion rates. Fortunately, you can combat low conversion rates on your ecommerce website, oftentimes by making small changes.
What is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Conversion rate optimization is the practice of optimizing your store to best suit online shoppers’ needs. In return, you’ll convert more store visitors into customers, giving you a larger customer base and a better bottom-line.
How to Increase Conversion Rates
The best place to start with conversion rate optimization is by improving the quality of your product page. When online shoppers view your products, do they see customer reviews and photos of the product? Are your descriptions of the product accurate? Do your photos clearly represent the product and its use?
It’s important to remember that you cannot make the final decision for a customer, they must make it themselves. Because of this, it’s important to incorporate calls to action.
The customer must feel well-informed about the products listed on your site, and should feel confident and encouraged to make the purchase. This could also include special discounts, or gift codes that can be used as part of a first-time purchase.
Your product descriptions will catch the interest of shoppers, but offering discounts is a tried and true way to increase conversion rates. Every shopper loves saving money, so offer savings whenever possible, as they encourage customers to follow through with their purchase.
Customers want to know what they are getting when they make an online purchase, making product descriptions your most powerful tool against low conversion rates.
In addition, product videos have been shown to increase conversion rates significantly, as products with a video are 174% more likely to convert their viewer than products with only images and descriptions. The idea is to reduce any anxieties your shoppers may have when they are faced with making a purchase, and the best place to start is with product pages.
Keep the Checkout Process Short
One of the most common reasons for low conversion rates comes from the checkout screen itself. If your checkout process is longer than one or two pages, or your checkout page takes more than a few seconds to load, you can expect shoppers to leave before completing their purchase. Avoid forced sign-ups, as these can quickly drive away otherwise convinced customers, and keep the checkout process as short as possible.
Get a Secure Payment Gateway
In addition to having a reasonable checkout process, you’ll want your checkout gateway to be secure. Many customers are wary of giving a new company their payment information, particularly if the company doesn’t have a secured payment gateway.
According to Shane Barker, stores offering a secured payment gateway saw conversion rates increase by over 10 percent, and stores offering a guarantee of some kind saw increased sales of about 41 percent. Offering customers a money-back guarantee on their purchase will help ease any anxieties they may have prior to completing their purchase, increasing your conversion rates.
Engage with Shoppers
It’s important to connect with shoppers. Engage with your customers as often as possible, whether it be through email or social media. Send surveys asking for feedback on your customer’s shopping experience, and ask what could be done to improve their shopping experience.
Be active on social media, as many of your customers will use these platforms to discuss your brand, and share it with others. Be ready to respond to any criticism or feedback, whether it be positive or negative. By reading your feedback from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can begin to learn what your customers like and don’t like about your brand. You can then change what is disliked, and better market your customer favorites in order to increase your conversion rate.
Final Thoughts on Conversion Rates
Conversion rates are the lifeblood of your company, and you’ll constantly work to improve them. Low conversion rates can be discouraging, but many times you can increase your conversion rates with just a few changes to your online store.
Talk to an ecommerce specialist today
Learn how an effective eCommerce website or digital marketing program will help convert shoppers into buyers today. Book a free consultation.