Ten Tips for Boosting Ecommerce Conversion Rates

There’s always more that can be done to improve ecommerce conversion rates. Online audiences are constantly expanding and maturing, while ecommerce systems become more sophisticated with every passing year. Yet less than one in ten American retail dollars is spent online. That’s remarkably low given our reliance on (and familiarity with) the internet.
There are numerous factors underpinning today’s low ecommerce conversion rates:

  •      Security concerns about handing over financial data
  •      A lack of faith that online businesses will deliver on their promises
  •      Insufficient product information, or poor quality images
  •      Lack of product availability or range diversity
  •      Stealth charges that only become evident at the checkout stage
  •      Complicated or unintuitive ecommerce software, particularly on mobile devices.

While there’s no substitute for touching, smelling or tasting products, online retailers frequently deploy other techniques to boost ecommerce conversion rates. Midphase recommends these ten tips which are aimed at any company with an online store or ecommerce functionality…

  1.    Be your own customer. Place an order, and see the business from a customer’s perspective. Is the site intuitive? Do you get order updates and delivery notes? It’s easy to lose sight of the customer journey, so ask friends and relatives for feedback, too.
  2.     Deploy a responsive site built for mobile audiences. Most internet traffic displays on mobile sites, yet conversion rates on smartphones are barely a third of those on desktop. Use responsive frameworks with HTTPS security, for added peace of mind.
  3.    Streamline the ecommerce process. This should be second only to choosing a website template that looks equally good on an iPhone or iMac. Strip out unnecessary form fields, enable people to check out as guests, and avoid stealth charges or hidden fees.
  4.    Accelerate the website. Modern attention spans don’t suit “loading” messages or “please wait” notifications. Whether your site is bespoke or built on a system like WordPress, eliminate unnecessary code and compress graphics. Faster sites have better SEO, too.
  5.    Provide extensive information. You can do a great deal to address the touch, smell and taste issues outlined above by using 360-degree tours or YouTube videos plus photo slideshows. Publish detailed product descriptions, with downloadable spec sheets.
  6.    Outline your ethos and business model. Do you use recycled packaging materials, guarantee next-day deliveries or process refunds within a week? Customers will have more faith if you prominently state on your website what you will (and won’t) do.
  7.     Investigate additional payment vehicles. As a payment merchant, PayPal is easy. But is it sufficient? Customers may leave if their preferred payment method isn’t available. You’ll get more trade by offering credit/debit cards, bank transfers, Bitcoin and PayPal.
  8.     Add a sense of urgency. Instead of stock levels, why not display a scarcity indicator? Flash dwindling stocks or clearance items with a “limited availability” banner. Ecommerce conversion rates can be boosted by emphasizing urgency or exclusivity.
  9.     Offer customization. People love anything unique, so offer services that personalize the customer experience. Why not provide free wrapping services, or cute gift cards to accompany presents? These profitable, thoughtful touches will set your brand apart.
  10.    Publish testimonials or reviews. The former are easier to curate, while either will reassure new audiences that other people had a good experience buying from your site. Attract feedback with discounts or incentives – referral schemes are good, too.

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