Are you an e-commerce rookie still starry-eyed by the launching of your business? Or an experienced entrepreneur knowing all the pitfalls of your e-commerce niche? No matter what category you belong to, the desire for your online store to run well and bring in substantial income stands first on your list. There are some practices you might not be aware of just yet, or have perhaps been neglecting. In order to help you, we’ve prepared an extensive list of proven advice on how to increase e-commerce conversion rate. Let’s dive into them.

What is a Conversion Rate?

E-commerce conversion is generally understood as the proportion of visits to your site, during which visitors made any targeted action. A targeted action can mean adding an item to the cart, visiting a specific page of the site, using the contact form, purchasing, etc.

E-commerce conversions usually differ depending on the business type and niche, and on the stage of your sales funnel. So here is how you can calculate the conversion rate of your store.

conversion rate calculation formula

What is a Good Conversion Rate for an E-commerce Website?

Conversion rates vary by industry, geography, type of device and other factors. It’s hard to say what is a good e-commerce conversion rate. As for the most online stores, rates around 1% to 2% are considered optimum.

Even though conversion rates between 1% and 2% are normal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your shop is succeeding. In the table below, you can see the latest data about the average global e-commerce conversion rates.

Average global conversion rate chart

To estimate the performance of your online business, consider other indicators in your analysis such as KPIs, bounce rate, and average order value (AOV). Truly, the only important thing is to achieve a conversion rate which allows you to make a profit. This becomes possible if you consistently work on improving e-commerce conversion rates.

Practical Tactics that Help to Improve the Conversion Rate

There are virtually hundreds of ways for how to improve e-commerce conversion rate. Whether it’s good news or bad, nobody knows what exactly will work for your e-store. Simply changing the color of the CTA button probably won’t help you much. However, a more complex approach is likely to improve things. To help you, we have prepared interesting e-commerce conversion factors that are helping hundreds and thousands of businesses to increase conversion rate.

Improve website navigation

For every business owner, their website looks intuitively understandable. However, from the customer’s point of view, similar product categories or an unclear allocation of the checkout button can be confusing. To improve the purchase process and increase conversion rate of your store, you can use analytics (e.g. Google Analytics, Mixpanel) to see how visitors move through the site, how many categories they sifted through before finding the right one, and whether they found what they searched for or instead just closed the page.

PrintGlobe proves that improving website navigation can give you an 18.5% increase in conversion rates. After various tests, they identified that showing products in a gridview combined with a navigation pane and carousel option in the top of the page allows to improve the customer experience and, consequently, the conversion rate.

Create high-quality descriptions of your products, and don’t forget about storytelling!

If you think people don’t read text on websites, you’re probably wrong. People just need a reason to read your text. An investigation conducted by BizReport shows that product pages containing detailed information are more important than reviews and price.

Extend the description section on your website to tell more about your product. The main points to consider when writing text for the product description section are:

  • Make the text easy to read
  • Write short sentences – 15-25 words
  • Predict potential questions and try to answer them in the description
  • Tell your website’s visitors about the benefits
  • Use simple, everyday language
  • Include keywords in the text, but don’t overuse them

Don’t be boring. Create a story around your goods! Storytelling is a very powerful tool for increasing conversion rates, since it can attract the reader’s attention to your products and your brand. A stellar example of storytelling comes from the guys at SignificantObjects.com. They purchased items from thrift stores for a very low cost and composed stories about them to create an imitation of history. Then, these things were placed on eBay. In the end, these guys sold $128 in goods for $3,612. Storytelling helped SignificantObject to increase the value by 2800%.

Use large, high-quality images

You can increase e-commerce sales conversion on your online store just by changing the quality of your website’s images. Even though product description is important, providing large, high-quality images might be even better. More than 67% of customers say that high-quality photos are essential for the purchasing process. Let us introduce a striking example – Ties.com. Here, items are displayed from different angles and the images are zoomable.

Ties.com: product images

The study by VWO shows that using larger product images delivers a 9% increase in sales.

Another way to engage clients and make them craving for your product is to add videos.

Integrate product videos

What methods do you know to attract potential customers to your store? High-quality images, accurate product descriptions, virtual assistants, and, what matters most, videos. Particularly after watching videos, users are 85 % more likely to buy the item. Why? Because people perceive visual media content better than text. Therefore, to engage shoppers, demonstrate all the advantages of the goods sold and increase an e-commerce conversion rate, you can utilize videos.

This practice helps not only showcase the product visually and in a comprehensive manner. It also allows you to empower your marketing opportunities via sending sales & special offers or personalized videos to bring back abandoned cart users.

Moreover, watching a video, potential clients get the feeling of real interaction with your product or service. Thus, they want it more.

Remember, you can implement different types of videos: sales and offers, e-commerce listing and abandoned cart videos, and so on. Each of them is a part of e-commerce video marketing strategy which you should develop to increase your e-commerce conversion rate.

While on the forefront it seems to be easy to create a product video, it is imperative that it looks tempting and professional. Hire an experienced videographer who is experienced in shooting such videos. A good videographer will know how to emphasize all the benefits of the product via video format. The best route is to showcase everyday use of your goods – This will help you to better connect with your customers and definitely influence your conversion rates.

Cross-sell and upsell your products

How often do you pay attention to additional items while purchasing? For example, a laptop: “My headphones are broken, and something is wrong with the wifi router… Son needs a new laser printer… Daughter is asking for an Otterbox”. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? And just like that – the items you think of are shown right under the laptop’s product description, like it was done with the wave of a magic wand.

Using “featured products” is a great tactic to improve e-commerce conversion rate. Even if a customer comes to your store with the focused intention of only buying one specific item here and now, they are likely to buy little additions.

But be sensible: when cross-selling, don’t promote goods that are unrelated or may bewilder customers. Also, give them a clear price. Don’t play with your clients. If they even catch a whiff of chicanery, they’ll be lost to you forever.

While cross-selling is the sale of related items, persuading users to pay more for an upgraded, more beneficial and, consequently, more expensive version of the chosen item is called upselling.

If you find yourself unaware of how to increase conversion rate on e-commerce websites by selling premium products, the practice of upselling can bring you 10-30% more revenue than you have now. You risk and lose nothing either way.

You need to describe the real cost and value of this upgraded offer to buyers. Take their seat for a moment and think: Would you purchase this premium product in the given circumstances? Are there enough worthwhile benefits to pay more for the offered product? Clients should be 100% sure that it’s worth the price they will pay. Otherwise, they will feel cheated and slighted, and will likely just click away.

Optimize for mobile = increase the conversion rate

Through 2022 mobile sales are expected to reach $5.8 trillion. Isn’t this a reason to make your website mobile friendly? The first step you can take is to provide the greatest mobile UX for visitors to feel comfortable perusing your e-store. If you are able, create a mobile app to better provide customized service for each buyer, since this is one of the best ways to increase e-commerce conversion rate.

You can implement an “add to cart” button at the bottom or on the side so when visitors scroll down and choose the item, they don’t need to scroll back up to click on their cart. Another way to optimize your store for mobile device use is to present product images in a format that allows them to zoom easily.

Generally, no matter which e-commerce platform your shop is based on, you can always find either dozens of adaptive theme templates or developers who can develop and implement a custom design that will look great on both mobile devices and desktop.

Support and guide your customers

Numerous researches show that almost half of website visitors prefer to use live chat instead of phone to reach the support team. This means that about 50% of website visitors may be displeased with the user experience on your site if you don’t provide an online means of communication.

Even if you have included all the characteristics of a product, there will always be people who want to clarify any details related to the product, purchase, shipping, or refund policies. Thus, live chat is the best salvation. More of that, your managers must be ready to provide website visitors with the relevant information. Thus, online chat will help maintain a shopper on the site and lead them to make a purchase.

One of the main upsides of live chats is their feedback to questions in no time, all over the world. If your clients have busy lifestyles, they may find it almost impossible to go to a traditional store and spend hours looking for what they want, consulting on every single item. Isn’t it an easy way to improve your e-commerce conversion rate?

Enhance the security of your website

Your customers, who put trust in your e-commerce store and value its professionalism, want the same. The top reason for abandoned transactions is a lack of visible security, because of which 27% of buyers end their customer journey at the checkout stage.

After all, how can they be expected to make a purchase if the e-commerce store can’t provide security for their personal and payment information? It’s important that you do your utmost to provide your customers with security.

The first thing you can do is to implement icons that display safe connections – buy an SSL Certificate. The second thing is to integrate trust badges into the footer of the website. However, it is important to note that including more than four seals can cause your client doubt and destroy your credibility, which definitely can’t help in conversion rates improvement

Integrate different payment options

The most popular payment system in the world is PayPal. It serves 200 countries and the payment process runs as smooth as a Swiss watch. That’s why so many e-commerce businesses utilize it as their main payment option. PayPal is certainly reliable, but what about other payment solutions? Does your online store offer any alternative payment methods such as Stripe? Google Wallet? Apple Pay? If the answer is “no”, you should consider its implementation.

In this technical era, people strive for personalization. They want more personalization, customized services, and “only-for-you” offers. By giving customers more payment solutions with upgraded options, especially on mobile, you create the feeling of attentiveness, which helps to build trust. It’s one of the best possible ways to increase e-commerce conversion rates.

Of course, you don’t have to include all the existing payment options. Rather, just be sure to provide major credit/debit card payments like MasterCard/Visa, online wallets like PayPal and Amazon Payments, Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Avoid disappointing customers who don’t complete purchasing due to the absence of a preferable payment method. Appease your buyers by giving them a payment solution they feel comfortable using.

Drive loyalty

Reward your customers! This is a good way to increase the conversion rate of your store by making one-time visitors into the loyal customers. According to a study run by the Bond company:

  • About 70% of loyal customers would recommend a brand with a good loyalty program
  • 77% cite this is a reason they stay with the brand
  • 63 % say they spend more to get more rewards with the program

So, here are several most popular techniques you can implement on your store to drive more loyalty.

Offer freebies: low prices, specials, and promotions

All customers like discounts!

Sometimes, people buy goods because they are at a discount, not because they really need them. To entice these shoppers, you can launch an ad with discounts, add a banner to the homepage, and display promotional products in a “recommended for you” section.

Be sure to think carefully about the amount of the discount. You won’t impress anyone with a 5% discount on already cheap goods. However, a 30%-off offer on every product on your website will increase your conversion rate dramatically. For example, Macys.com has various discounts, and some of them even reach 50-70%. This is a solid option to drive conversions. Just be confident about your price strategy.

There are dozens of different discounts, such as: “buy one – get one free”, “seasonal discounts”, “free shipping”, or “trade discounts”. Choose one that makes the most sense for you.

Utilize FOMO in marketing to get a good e-commerce conversion rate

Implementation of this technique at the store will quickly bring in conversions. FOMO, or “Fear of Missing Out”, is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when you think that others are getting a positive experience, rewards, or benefits while you miss out on them.

The first rule of FOMO marketing is using it in dosage. Today’s consumers are smart and quick-witted, so when they feel they are being manipulated, they leave the site. The second rule is to maintain a balance. Fear of missed profit very often causes negative emotions. Therefore, you must correctly formulate your intention.

5 most popular FOMO tactics

  • 1. Show that the product is in high demand. This encourages people who have a low level of interest. This incentive makes them research your proposal and act. Knowing what they can lose in the event of a delay can motivate them to make a purchase and increase conversions.
FOMO strategy to increase conversion rate
  • 2. Show that the offer will never repeat again. Urgency is one of the most common scarcity tactics and can be very effective in the conversion rate improvement process. Understanding that the time allotted for the purchase encourages the buyer to use it as soon as possible.
  • 3. Show your customers how many people are buying it.  They may have spent a fair amount of time on the site, but are hesitant to make a purchase for certain reasons. Your task is to use FOMO to push them to take a conversion action. There are many widgets for this – a pop-up window with a message stating that other people have made a purchase or other conversion action right now.
FOMO: show the interest
  • 4. Use exclusivity. People love exclusive deals. The realization that one has something exclusive, while others don’t, makes them feel better and more successful. Therefore, it is not surprising that so many people strive for exclusivity. Creating stocks and positioning a product so that only certain people can access it can have a huge impact. It can also instill a sense of loyalty in many customers.
  • 5. Use pop-ups. Users don’t like pop-ups, but in the right hands they can become a trigger that will launch a conversion action chain. With their help, you can show a potential client an offer that he does not know about. The optimal strategy in this case is the exit window pop-up, which appears when a user tries to leave your site.
FOMO: use pop-ups

Give customers something free

One of the major goals of e-commerce businesses nowadays is to satisfy their customers. There are lots of ways to get them feeling on cloud nine. One possibility is to offer them something free. It can be a product, guide, e-book, services, and more. You will be rewarded with purchases. When you make an offer and take nothing in exchange, people often feel obliged to return the kindness. This psychological phenomenon is known more simply as reciprocity.

FOMO: give your customers something free

People love a good deal, and a free offer even better, so they tend to overvalue them and falsely attribute a lot of benefits to the product based on this imaginary value. However, the notion of your gift makes them happy. By implementing this strategy into your company, you can create a particularly attractive brand image, tempting new and constant customers.

Implement testimonials & customer reviews

People tend to mostly buy tested products. An absence of reviews causes 92% of users to falter before buying a product. Thus, conversions fall. Including reviews on your site can improve the situation and boost your conversion rate by 270%.

Even bad reviews are beneficial because they give you an awareness of issues such as disadvantages of a product, or lapses in service, shipping, or the payment stage, and provide you with the opportunity to make it better. This way, you can fill the gap between you and your customer, and improve your business strategy.

Customer reviews for better conversions

What else can you do to increase conversion rate for e-commerce store? Include testimonials for your brand to be recognizable and trustworthy. However, there are some tricks in implementing them onto your site:

  • Include photos and images in testimonials.
  • If you can create video testimonials or even a brief documentary series, that’s excellent! They attract more attention and encourage customers to convert. After all, real emotions are priceless!
  • Social media testimonials are an integral part of creating your brand name.

Give your customers an opportunity to speak and encourage them to share their experience.

Build and implement email marketing strategy

Some business owners shift all their forces to SEO and social media to the point that they don’t pay attention to email marketing at all. They may believe that it takes too much effort and bears no fruit or has no role in their niche. However, by applying the right email marketing strategy, you can drive conversions quickly and efficiently.

Note that sending random emails to any customer isn’t effective. So, let’s look at what you can do:

  • Provide potential customers with something valuable. Consider using a lead magnet such as a guide or e-book to get their email addresses. This way, you can build an email list with subscribers you can send letters to. This is especially useful for GDPR purposes.
  • Send only targeted and applicable emails to customers. They should always be personalized and relevant. Example topics can be “suggested for you” products, items similar to the customer’s previous purchase, special offers, etc.

But remember:

  • People hate to be under pressure, so be unobtrusive and reserved.
  • Be personal and use people’s names in letters to build a bridge between you and your customer. Be brief and specific, and finish your email with a particular CTA.
  • Make it easy for customers to unsubscribe. Let them be free in their choice.
  • Test your emails. Analyze what types of e-mails see people remain indifferent and what types generate leads. Consider the vocabulary and psychological tricks you use that create response. Be bold and experiment.

Sell on social media

What are your sales channels now? Your website, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, local platforms? Is Facebook among the platforms where you do business? If the answer is no, it’s time to start doing it to increase your e-commerce conversions.

You can also create an online store on Instagram. Being the “King of Engagement”, Instagram attracts more than 500 million users. Use shoppable posts to expand your auditory and generate more leads.

Don’t forget to share your company social media pages on your website (usually in the footer). It builds more credibility. What’s great is that you can sell almost whatever you want on social media, starting from tickets and cars, to logistics and repair services. Don’t miss an opportunity to boost your conversion rate!

What Kills the Conversion?

We’d like to highlight several techniques that do nothing except killing you conversions!

  • 1. Pop-ups that can-t be easily closed, or can’t be closed at all.
  • 2. Welcome windows that pop up right after the user lands on the page.
  • 3. Overuse of exclamation marks in a row.
  • 4. An abundance of advertising banners from third-party sites.
  • 5. Bright flashing CTA buttons.
  • 6. Archaic website design.
  • 7. Template phrases that users have seen a thousand times, like: “Only here, only now”!
  • 8. Slow website loading.
  • 9. Incomprehensible website structure.
  • 10. Obligatory registration for new customers.

This is a short list of mistakes numerous e-commerce businesses make every day, consequently losing customers on every stage of their sales funnel. Don’t be like them! Apply only verified e-commerce conversion optimization techniques that add value to the products and services you sell.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how to increase your e-commerce conversion rate. As a final word we’d like to suggest you not to go too far when trying to increase conversions. You should not duplicate all the techniques your competitors use. Be picky! What worked for one may not necessarily work for you. Test different approaches and find the ones that work for you best.

And if you want to add some custom logic to your site to implement a brand new idea that might help you to increase conversion rates – apply for the best e-commerce development services.

About the author
Olha Fedchenko Content Manager & SEO Analyst
Olha is a Content Manager and SEO Analyst at Whidegroup. Starting as a Content Writer for software and web development topics in 2011, Olha has always been guided by a desire to thoroughly inspect every field of study before writing a single word. She found her passion in e-commerce and delighted in expanding her expertise in web development, analytics and SEO for small to medium e-commerce businesses.
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