It takes thoughtful work to scale an e-commerce store. I’m sure you’ve had a few growing pains of your own getting to the point where you are today. However, you’re reading this because you may not be content with where your conversions are at this precise moment. You may not even know if your conversion rate is good or not!
Today, I will give you 21 tips (yes 21!) on how to double (even triple) your current conversion rates.
But first, let’s determine what counts as a conversion.
These are the usual suspects for e-commerce conversion goals:
- An online sale
- A user adding a product to their cart
- A user adding an item to their wishlist
- Email signups
- Social media shares
- Any KPI your company finds valuable
So, what's a good e-commerce conversion rate?
The Monetate Ecommerce Quarterly is a great source for regularly updated benchmarks on conversion for large e-commerce brands.
From this data, we know that the average e-commerce conversion rate is between 2 percent and 4 percent; but we don’t want to be average, do we?
Let’s break down some suggestions you can use to improve your site faster.
1. Fix your analytics
Analytics that are in tune to the needs of your business will give you real insight into how people are using your site, and show you obvious improvements that need to be made in your CRO strategy.
With most analytics, there’s usually something that isn’t tracking properly to give you full clarity into what your customers are doing. You need to properly track your goals to give you that insight and help you find out what your site visitors are doing. For instance, are you looking at what people who search your site are doing, or people who enter your site through specific categories, product pages, or information pages?
To find out which events are leading to a purchase, tweak your analytics by segmenting traffic that tracks repeat purchasers.
2. Use Hotjar or other qualitative data tools
You can make wild guesses based off of “best practices” all day, but you won’t know what your customers are doing unless you see it. By using qualitative data tools such as Hotjar or CrazyEgg, you’ll have real insight into what your customers are looking for.
You can achieve this by creating heat maps, session recordings, conversion funnels, and user polls.
Heatmaps will show you an average of where all visitors are clicking and scrolling in a static image. Session recordings will record the screens of visitors on your site so you can view the video and see exactly what the customer is looking at and what they are clicking on.
By creating a conversion funnel, you will be able to see where people are dropping off. For example, if you create a funnel from the homepage to the shopping cart, to the confirmation page, you may be able to see that about 75 percent of users are dropping off in the cart process.
Then, you can view session recordings of that step in the funnel and see where people are getting confused or frustrated with your shopping cart process. Pretty cool, right?
Lastly, you can leverage polls on Hotjar — they’re effective because they give your customers a chance to voice what they think of your site. Try asking questions like “What is keeping you from getting your [insert product name or offer] today?”
Often times, people respond with answers like “I need more information,” “I don’t need this right now,” “Too expensive,” or “I don’t know if I’ll like this brand.” If the majority of people are saying it’s too expensive, you may want to either reconsider who you are targeting or reevaluate your pricing.
3. Display your phone number prominently
Customer service is essential in online commerce. You want customers to feel that you are readily available for any questions or problems they may run into. Ensure your phone number is clearly visible in the header, footers, and the checkout process of your site at all times.
If nothing else, at least make sure you have a Contact Us page with all methods of contact options listed.
See the phone number in the top right on Selini NY’s website?
4. Clearly state unique selling propositions (UVP)
I preach this in basically all of my blog pieces. It’s essential to think in the mind of the customer: Why would I buy from you over anyone else? Are you cheaper, faster, do you get better results? Why are you so special?
I suggest placing your UVPs in your headlines as often as possible since that’s going to be the first bit of information a person will read on each of your product pages.
5. Grab visitors’ attention quickly
In reality, you have about three seconds to capture your prospective customer’s attention. This goes back to the UVP as you want to make sure your copy is captivating, but you also want to use quality images, GIFs, and videos to back up your claims.
For example, if you sell software, it could be valuable to show a quick and straightforward video of the software in action. Why? This way, people can get a realistic view of what your software does without having to leave your site or contact someone.
6. Optimize for mobile
First, let’s explain with some statistics from OuterBox on why it’s imperative to optimize your mobile site:
- 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone.
- Over 230 million U.S. consumers own smartphones.
- Around 100 million U.S. consumers own tablets.
- 79 percent of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months.
- Almost 40 percent of all e-commerce purchases during the 2018 holiday season were made on a smartphone.
- E-commerce dollars now comprise 10 percent of ALL retail revenue.
- 80 percent of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations.
- An estimated 10 billion mobile connected devices are currently in use.
Keep in mind, these are just U.S. statistics! With the world turning away from desktops and utilizing their phones more than ever, your B2B e-commerce business must keep up with the times. Optimize your mobile site by writing concise titles and copy focused on the benefits that solve your customers’ pain points.
Make sure your site’s load time is acceptable by plugging your URL into Google's PageSpeed Insights. Google will give you a score and recommendations on what you need to fix.
7. Give detailed product descriptions
Good news: You’ve captured your audience’s attention! Now, it’s time to keep them engaged.
When in doubt, air on the side of too much information. Too often do people bounce from pages because they weren’t able to get their questions answered.
Avoid unnecessary bounce by providing as much information about your product as possible. This includes all benefits, how it works, the features, what it can and cannot do, and anything else that is critical for a customer to know.
For example, look below at how descriptive Salesforce is about its B2B e-commerce solution. I’ve included a snippet here of a very long web page covering nearly 20 different benefits of using Salesforce for your online marketplace.
8. Add a product video or demonstration
Adding a product video or demo goes hand-in-hand with your product description. Your website isn’t a brick and mortar store where people can walk in, talk to you, pick the product up in their hands and ask all of their questions about the item.
So, ideally, you want to get as close as possible to the real experience digitally. Provide a clear walkthrough or demonstration on how to set up and use your product. Customers may be wary of buying if they don’t know how easy or difficult it is to use.
Make it as plain as day and make it so they can’t say no!
9. Build a structure to easily find products
To better assist your customers in finding the exact product or service that fits their needs, add filters to your category pages. For example, how many products do you have? If it’s more than a handful, can you filter them by size, price, color, style?
If you offer a service instead of a product, do you have separate services with different functions that fall under that parent service? You can see how Flexfire LED guides you to the right product with their structured product menu. Could you imagine if this was just one long list of all products with no categories? It would be chaotic.
10. Set up rotating banners of top products
Offer your champion products up front when new and returning visitors land on your homepage. This helps guide customers to a decision sooner instead of letting them figure out which product may work for them on their own.
Restaurantware.com has several rotating banners showing the top and latest products they have to offer, keeping their customers constantly in the know and wanting to learn more.
11. Obtain customer emails
Try to access targeted emails through a pop-up, or offer a coupon code where you continuously market to customers in the decision phase.
Zappo’s rewards program does a great job of getting people to sign up for free shipping and returns and exclusive access to 24/7 customer service.
Email marketing is a practice every B2B e-commerce company needs because business executives are constantly checking their email. In fact, those who use email marketing see an average of 40x more ROI from this practice as opposed to any other marketing tactic.
When writing email campaigns, focus on educating and informing your customers, which frames your company in a way that offers solutions to their problems. Let them know what your services are, why they work, and how your brand solves problems.
12. Allow customers to review products
Reviews are a critical part of determining a purchase. Why? The same reason so many people buy from Amazon — we want to know, from real people, if these products are legit. The social proof of reviews creates trust and helps people move forward confidently as they purchase items. It can be extremely beneficial to include top reviews on your product pages to ease your visitors’ minds into choosing you.
Additionally, you want the review to explain how your team works and what makes your brand different from competitors. So, ask previous clients, how did your brand make a positive impact on their business?
13. Provide product testimonials
Along with review star ratings, try to have written or recorded (video) testimonials spread throughout your product pages, landing pages, and homepage. Again, your prospects want to know what others are saying about your services/products, so show them!
Notice how each testimonial explains exactly how B-school helped them succeed. Sarah’s testimonial is especially notable because she has some solid numbers in her quote: $50,000 in one week is a great result and could prompt new customers to work with B-School as well!
14. Provide free shipping
Customers would rather pay $10 more to get free shipping than pay a $4.99 shipping charge. I’m guilty of this myself. But why is this?
“Most shoppers are still more accustomed to the offline store than the online environment. Because of this, we lack the context for understanding how shipping costs factor into online shopping.”
As a customer, if I’m shopping online for the sake of convenience, but then see “convenience” is going to cost me $10 or $20, you better believe I’m going to start crunching numbers in my head about how that money factors into the time it would have taken to go to the store.
15. Offer coupons
Coupons can be beneficial to gain interest and encourage people to try your product or service out. However, it’s essential to use coupons sparingly, as always being the lowest price point could end up hurting your business.
For example, if you’re offering 50 percent off on too many different services/products, you are cutting your revenue in half. Although you may get some more new customers this way, you won’t have enough money to sustain your business. Plus, a coupon does not guarantee repeat business. How many times have you bought something just once because it was free or discounted?
Instead, focus on providing outstanding service and overall unique brand experience. Here are some appropriate ways to use coupons:
Sell “stale” inventory
You can’t make money if you can’t sell your inventory, so this is the best time to start utilizing coupons. Either give a percentage discount on individual items, a BOGO type of offer or offer a free item once a certain spending threshold has been hit.
For example: “All orders over $250 get a free wireless phone charger. Use coupon code: CHARGE250”
Show appreciation for customers
According to Business.com.: “Acquiring new customers costs 5 to 10 times more than selling to a current customer -- and current customers spend 67 percent more on average than those who are new to your business.”
All the more reason to show your current customers some love! Email coupon codes to loyal customers to show thanks for their continued support.
Reward new customers with automatic discounts
For new customers, automatically apply discounts towards their first purchase with your business, but don’t try to sell this upfront. Surprise is a great tactic to make lifetime customers.
As you can see above, new customers at Check Depot get a discount off their entire first order. Little bonuses like that don’t hurt to try!
16. User personalization
Smart Insights reveals that one type of personalization (“visitors who viewed this also viewed”) can generate 68 percent of e-commerce revenue.
You can see how everything is broken by recommendation type and how each one increased revenue. Try these out on your own site to see where you get the most traction. Just remember, according to Shopify, good e-commerce personalization should:
- Meet users’ needs
- Avoid turning visitors off with poor recommendations
- Be used only where the potential return justifies your investment
Amazon.com is a shining example of all of this.
Nearly every element on the Amazon page is personalized in some way, including the personal “Olivia’s Amazon.com” link, the personal hello, the link to my account, and my “Wish List”. All suggested items are based on my past searches so nothing is recommended to me outside my realm of interests.
Strive to be on this level for your own customers and you’ll start seeing your profits increase.
17. Competitive Pricing
If you have seven competitors, and they all offer their product between $200–$400, but yours is $1200, you may run into some friction from prospects who are shopping around. If you’re going to have a high price point, you must justify it.
The amount a customer is willing to pay boils down to their perception of your brand, and this ties back into your UVP. Let’s say you want a customer to pay three times as much for your product over your competitors. Think to yourself, what makes you three times better than competitors 1 through 7? Is your product of the highest quality?
A smart way to determine what pricing will be acceptable to your buyers is by keeping your buyer personas up to date.
“Create profiles for your customer types that identify their buying concerns, what motivates them to buy your product, their income, and other insights that will help you understand their willingness to pay. With this knowledge, you’ll feel secure in what you are charging for your product and more confident that you will make sales.“
18. Make your “Add to Cart” and “Checkout” buttons prevalent
How can a customer buy from you if your button to purchase isn’t accessible? It doesn’t have to be rocket science!
Keep in mind, in western countries, we read left to right, so you’ll notice in the image above that the add to cart button is in the bottom right corner after most of the important information has already been reviewed. This is a wise spot for these Cart and Checkout buttons since most people on Amazon are reading through product and shipping details before adding to the cart.
19. Use live chat or chatbots
What works better? Utilizing chatbots will help to avoid the overhead of staffing for a live chat. However, you will probably get a better response from customers through using live chat.
Why? Buyers want a personalized customer experience that fits their needs, just as if they walked into a brick and mortar store.
Today, we’re using all of these digital tools to find out why people are bouncing — Hotjar, Qualaroo, Rejoiner — but what if we just let visitors tell us right away what they need from us as businesses? Think of all the friction that has been removed just by having a quick conversation with your customers as they entered the site.
Look at how SiteGround proves you are talking to a real expert that can help you based on an actual photo, name, ratings and how many customers have been served. On another note, who is that lady on the right? I’m pretty sure her name isn’t Diego like it shows. When using live chat, make it clear to your visitors that they are actually talking to a live person.
If you choose to take the chatbot route, be upfront with customers and don’t try to trick them into thinking that a bot is a real person. See how the Facebook Chatbot Bitcoin Buddy deals with its limitations below:
20. Show that your site is secure
Cybersecurity is one of the most critical aspects of e-commerce. Without proper protocols in place, online sellers put themselves and their customers at risk for payment fraud. Yikes.
Trust badges, trust seals, logos of your payment providers, the little secure “lock” icon on the browser, and more add that needed security to get your customers to buy. Most importantly, you must set up your store with an SSL certificate (https:// pages). Lastly, require the CVV for debit and credit cards for added security.
21. Referral marketing tactics
81 percent of consumers say that a recommendation from a friend or family member heavily influences their buying decisions. Anyone can get reviews from consumers, but it takes skill to acquire a review from a satisfied business executive. To validate your company, use your networking skills on LinkedIn or Google to encourage previous clients to write positive reviews about your business. It doesn’t hurt to try, just make sure to keep it professional.
Regularly engage with your contented customers through an advocate marketing program. This will nurture your relationship and reward them for supporting your brand. Once your advocates feel connected to and valued by your company, they’ll be ready to submit high-quality referrals.
Take a look at the Google Apps Referral Program. Google gives money rewards for every user who signs up through the advocate’s link.
There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to optimizing your online commerce. B2B marketing is a different animal than B2C so there are various considerations that must be taken into account when targeted to your desired audience.
Business executives are much more discerning than consumers, so networking with these individuals and gaining their trust is imperative to increase your profit. Focus on your unique value propositions, and provide different offerings for new and repeat customers.
If you’re able to get happy customers signing up for your referral program and leaving positive reviews, you will be amazed at the impact that it will have on your ROI.
Did you find any of the tips helpful? What tactics do you use to help increase your B2B e-commerce conversions?