The Guide on eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization
The concept of the eCommerce conversion rate is one that all business owners need to monitor. Regardless of the type of eCommerce website, it has one single goal. That goal is to sell as many products or services as possible. And then, sell more.
To achieve this goal, entrepreneurs and business owners need to take specific measures. These measures will be the result of a close analysis of the users’ behavior. This is why many business owners are on the hunt for how to increase eCommerce conversion rate.
With an increase in eCommerce conversion rates comes a commensurate increase in revenue. Subsequently, it means the business will make more profit while also expanding its reach and audience.
This guide to eCommerce conversion rate optimization will offer more understanding. It explores the formula, and finally, it provides detailed insight into the factors that affect it and the best eCommerce conversion practices to stimulate positive change.
You’ll find the answers to:
With knowledge of conversion optimization tips, entrepreneurs and business owners can take their business to the next level. The best part is the smallest changes can lead to fantastic results.
Before making any changes, it is essential to know what the eCommerce conversion rate is. Here are the major highlights:
eCommerce Conversion Rate Definition
Google defines the eCommerce conversion rate as the ratio of the number of transactions to individual sessions on a website. Typically, for an eCommerce conversion case study, the best option is to express it as a percentage.
It is essential to know that purchases may not be the only metric that defines conversion. Other examples include:
- Email signup
- Social media shares
- Users inviting friends and loved ones
However, in eCommerce, we usually track purchases.
eCommerce Conversion Rate Formula
To get the eCommerce conversion rate for any business, the owner will have to use a formula. Not to worry, it doesn’t require genius math skills.
Simply divide the overall number of purchases by the number of all visitors to the website. Then, the next step is to multiply this number by 100%. For effective results, eCommerce businesses should do this over a regular timeframe, e.g., monthly.
Say a website has 100 visitors and nine purchases over a month, the eCommerce conversion rate will be 9%. With proper eCommerce conversion rate optimization as the goal, analytics tools will prove useful.
Such tools as Google Analytics will monitor the total amount of conversions and visits to a website. These tools can present periodic conversion statistics. This way, eCommerce website owners do not have to make complex calculations.
Knowing the average eCommerce conversion rates for your particular industry help to create the right expectations and set measurable goals. The numbers may differ depending on the product market, the time needed to decide, and the products’ price.
eCommerce Conversion Rate Benchmarks
According to Littledata, eCommerce conversion rate benchmarks range from 1% to 4%. However, it’s not enough to develop an optimization strategy using this number alone.
Numbers may differ from the above depending on the country, season, devices, and other variables. Hence, the best option is to know the key performance indicators for a business. Variables like the target audience, geographic area, and market penetration will affect each business differently.
eCommerce Conversion Rate by Industry
Below, we present the average eCommerce conversion rates for different industries:
Source: IRP Commerce
eCommerce Conversion Rate by Country
Part of how to increase eCommerce conversion rate is to take geography into account. The average conversion rate in France will differ from that of the United States — even for the same product.
The reasons behind this level of disparity from a country to the country include the following:
Markets in countries with established eCommerce businesses will have higher conversion rates. This will be in stark contrast to a country where the economics of eCommerce is still shaky. For 2020, we can see the following tendencies and numbers about eCommerce growth in the world, according to Statista:
265 million eCommerce users and $411 000 million of revenue:
57 million eCommerce users and $97 000 million of revenue:
62 million eCommerce users and $88 000 million of revenue:
8 million eCommerce users and $12 000 million of revenue:
962 million eCommerce users and $1 116 000 million of revenue:
As we can see, China and the USA significantly grow their eCommerce revenue and number of users and are promising regions for eCommerce business.
Economic growth and development, inflation rates, and consumption behavior are factors unique to a country. Furthermore, they have a bearing on conversion rates. This is why eCommerce conversion rates differ by country.
The availability of payment options in a country can guide how to increase eCommerce conversion rates.
Different countries have varying payment options. Hence, limited payment options will come with an inevitable drop in conversion rates.
eCommerce conversion statistics
The b2b eCommerce conversion rates for different industries tell a story of their own. Using these figures, eCommerce business owners can know the target conversion rate to aim for.
Retail eCommerce Conversion Rate
Depending on the niche, eCommerce conversion rates will differ. According to research from Adobe Digital Index 2020, these are the conversion statistics for different niches.
Source: Smart Insights
Fashion eCommerce Conversion Rates
According to Littledata, for fashion eCommerce conversion rates, any figure higher than 2.9% is great. In fact, with this number, the business is in the top 20% for this niche. Conversely, figures less than 0.29% will mean the business is in the bottom 20% worldwide.
B2B eCommerce Conversion Rates
According to DigitalCommerce360 eCommerce conversion rate benchmarks for b2b businesses range from about 6% to 8%.
Mobile eCommerce Conversion Rate
Every day, more shoppers start their journey into the eCommerce conversion funnel with a smartphone. About 54% of website visits come from a smartphone. This data from Zukio gives greater insight into the mobile eCommerce conversion rate:
What is a Good Conversion Rate for Social Media?
The best eCommerce conversion numbers for social media should sit around 0.71%. Anything far from this figure, and there is a need to make drastic optimization measures.
What is the Average Conversion Rate for Instagram?
Like for websites, the answer to the average eCommerce conversion rate for Instagram will depend on the industry. Overall though, the conversion rate for Instagram is 3%.
And by the way, Instagram shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s another great eCommerce channel that helps sell products on your website. People come to Instagram to see the real photos and how they work in action and ask some questions. But then they often come back to the website to make a purchase or do it right on Instagram.
What is a good conversion rate for eCommerce in General?
A functional eCommerce conversion funnel should see thousands of visitors. With this influx of visitors, it’s usually possible to expect the sale of 1%-2%.
eCommerce conversion statistics are not random numbers. They are under the influence of certain factors. Let’s see what these include.
Shopping online is all about convenience. The average eCommerce customer wants a high level of convenience and speed. They want to scroll through a catalog using fast website search features, structured categories, and easy navigation. Also, they want eCommerce website pages to load fast.
According to Hubspot, bout 47% of eCommerce customers want a webpage to load in less than 2 seconds. For reference, here’s how page speed affects average eCommerce conversion rates:
Page loading is not the only area where speed is vital. eCommerce conversion rates have a close relationship with how fast customers can visit the website, get help from customer support or live chat features.
Furthermore, customers want to be able to shop fast, make payments, and checkout speedily. More importantly, they want a fast delivery too. Depending on how fast an eCommerce business is in these categories, its conversion rates may increase or fall.
For those wondering why my conversion rate is dropping, the answer may lie in the website’s aesthetic impression. The website design and outlay is the first thing visitors will notice. Therefore, if these are subpar, it will reflect in the conversion rate figures. eCommerce businesses should strive for a beautiful website design.
Also, there is a need to incorporate organized product presentations into the design. Here’s a beautiful website presentation from clothing giants ASOS:
ASOS, Fashion, UK
Website design makes an impression, but it must work to lead the visitor to the goal — purchase. This must be as quick as possible.
As much as people buy products because they need them, they also buy them due to emotional connections. In many cases, they don’t exactly need the product.
However, due to a connection to the brand, they always seek out products from the brand — even when it’s not readily available. Remember, how one day we see that cool footwear, want it, and explain to ourselves that we need it to start running. Or look at your smartphone and recall that you bought it to increase your productivity (not because it’s so beautiful)
This is all in the brand message and voice. Depending on the kinds of messages a business sends out via social media, email, or other media, customers may relate more with the brand.
For instance, Coca-Cola excels in this regard. Their brand promise “To inspire moments of optimism and uplift” speaks of a mindset — a lifestyle even. It’s why its audience is always so quick to buy Coca-Cola drinks. They don’t exactly need it. But, the company gives them a reason to want to be a part of the community.
Coca-Cola, Drinks, Worldwide
The price of the product/service on sale is a critical factor that determines eCommerce conversion rates. Sometimes, it may seem like keeping costs low will increase conversion rates. However, discounts are not always the way to go.
Depending on the audience and type of products, customers may be willing to pay more. They’ll want to do this, especially if the brand offers more value. Value in this regard may be:
- Swift delivery
- Top-notch customer service
- Excellent packaging
- Product quality
- Money-back guarantees
Brand trust means the customer will always choose to buy from that brand. Even if other competitors are a tad more accessible, the shopper will still seek out brands they trust.
Attaining brand trust is possible with customer reviews, open customer communication lines, live demonstration of services and products, etc.
Let’s take customer reviews as a reference point. 84% of shoppers put stock in online reviews. Some read as many as ten reviews before making a single purchase.
Fabletics, Fashion, USA
Responding to the reviews, whether they are positive or negative, deserves our special attention. Brands that openly and honestly reply to the reviews, work with negatives, and help to solve problems quickly, even if the customer is not satisfied with services or products, build more trust in the brand.
According to Brightlocal, 97% of customers, who read the reviews, read the responses to those reviews. And by the way, customers are grateful if they love the brand and are happy with the services.
They often mention the brand and its products in their social media posts, Instagram stories, and photos, share their positive experience, and bring friends to the brand! So, it’s a good idea to respond.
Even if we follow the best eCommerce practices, sometimes we have the hard days trying to level up our conversions. It may drop for some not obvious reasons that we need to explore. Usually, conversion rate decrease is the result of a combination of different factors, including:
Slow Page Speed
Consider compressing images before uploading them on the website. Another solution to explore is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs). Instead of loading the full desktop version on smartphones, the website will load a fast mobile version.
Sometimes, a drop in eCommerce conversion site statistics may be due to a website error. It may be that key buttons like “add to cart” or “sign up” are not working.
Run a diagnostic by testing out critical pages and buttons on the website. Be sure to evaluate the Main, Product, and Shopping Cart pages on different devices and browsers. BrowserStack is a tool that can prove useful here.
Poor Product Pages
Ensure product pages have all the necessary information to influence purchasing decisions. These include but are not limited to copy, product features, and high-quality images.
Not Enough Customer Proof
Customer reviews and recommendations influence whether shoppers will make a purchase. With the Trustpilot widget, it’s possible to include customer reviews and advice on website pages.
If the completion has higher conversion rates, they may be doing something different. With analytical tools like Buzzsumo and Owler, it’s possible to gain insight into competitor tactics. Also, go to their websites, try to make a purchase, pay attention to their product pages and website features. Create a list of the ideas about things that may positively influence the competitors’ conversion, create a spreadsheet, and compare it with your website. Such type of analysis may help you find your strengths and the areas for growth.
Trouble with SEO
The website must have top quality copy and images with specific keywords to get plenty of organic traffic. If the website has these and still sees low traffic, it may be an indexing issue. There may be a need to hire a professional to check it out.
Use keywords to improve content quality and rank better on Google. Keyword research tools to help site owners figure out what their target audience is searching for includes:
As part of SEO, image optimization is also important. Include the focus keywords in the title and alt description of images. Do this for both videos and images on your website, so the search engines can easily understand your site and rank it.
When we already suppose the reasons where we have a space for improvement, let’s se how we can do better and grow the conversion rate.
In this section, we will tackle how to increase the eCommerce conversion rate for a business:
Review Your eCommerce Conversion Funnel
The eCommerce conversion funnel is the “imaginative path” a customer must follow to make a purchase. It starts from the entry point to the website to the moment they complete the purchase.
By reviewing the eCommerce conversion funnel, it’s possible to spot the points where prospective customers veer from the purchase path. The four primary stages we should pay attention to are:
The Landing Page
A good landing page should attract customers and make them want to remain on the website. It should also have a singular CTA and lead generation potential. If customers are leaving after visiting the landing page, then it may be lacking.
InfiniteMoon, Pillows, USA
The Product Page
The product page stage of the eCommerce conversion funnel should provide information — lots of it. Ideally, customers should get all of the information they want about a product on this page.
Also, it’s possible to optimize the product page by adding customer reviews. Here’s an example of a product page from Forever 21 with all of the essential features:
Forever 21, Fashion, UK
The Shopping Cart
When reviewing this stage of the eCommerce conversion funnel, look out for surprise costs. To optimize the shopping cart and checkout page, add multiple payment options. Additionally, be sure to provide security assurances.
This part of the eCommerce conversion funnel is for people who make purchases. Review the strategies the brand uses to keep a correspondence with such customers. This will affect brand trust and loyalty. Furthermore, it will determine the possibility of repeat business.
It’s a good idea (and a must-do step) to set up Google Analytics for your online store with eCommerce settings. There you’ll find the conversion settings and can set up the conversion funnel with critical steps to track which step needs optimization and where your customers may go away.
You may have some work to do with your shopping cart, or even already on the payment page. When you indicate the steps that require optimization, it’s the right time to think about what you can do to succeed.
Follow eCommerce Conversion Best Practices
The following are useful eCommerce tips to increase conversation rates:
Keep Your Website Fast & Smooth
A single second of delay can result in a 7% drop in conversion rates. But an increase in speed puts you in front of your competitors (even if your website pages are below them on Google search results).
Test & Analyze Your Website Design & Usability
Make sure everything on the eCommerce website looks nice and tidy. More importantly, ensure that every button works and is easy to use. Try making tests in BrowserStack for your key pages and tow the user purchase path by yourself.
Add Customer Reviews
Customer reviews on an eCommerce website increase the chances of shoppers completing a purchase. Also, be sure to update these reviews regularly. Platforms, such as Trustpilot, Google, Facebook, and Instagram, will help you collect the reviews and gain more trust.
Turn Your Customers Back with Follow-Ups
Encourage repeat business by keeping in touch with your customers. Use promo codes, discounts, and newsletters to engage with the audience.
Fast customer support is great for eCommerce businesses. Whether on the website or via the app, be as accessible as possible. Include a live chat on your website: people like to communicate and ask quick questions about the product. Your fast response can be decisive.
Make it Easy to Check Out
Over 30% of customers abandon their carts because the checkout process is too complicated. To make it easy, avoid extra costs, offer flexible payment options, and an opportunity to make purchases without a user account. Here are some common issues that may affect the checkout process:
Try eCommerce Conversion Tips from Marketers
Some time-tested marketing tips and tricks to boost conversion rates include:
‘Time is Running’
By adding a visible counter to the website, brands can install a sense of urgency to the purchase. This example from jewelry giants, Ernest Jones, is a great illustration:
Ernest Jones, Jewellery, UK
Certain types of people are responsive to urgency and impulse buying and are afraid to miss the great product and opportunity. So even if you think that will not work with you, that works with others. Maybe, you are the other type of person – we’ll talk about that later.
We all want more for less. Offering a significant discount after multiple purchases can be a great incentive for customers to keep shopping.
‘You may also like’
This is the “related items” strategy. It can awaken curiosity in customers. Even after buying our product, they’d want to check out items they may also like. Here’s how Amazon uses this conversion tip:
This marketing strategy involves suggesting other products that complement the one a customer is checking out. For instance, if a customer is checking out shirts, the “best fit” technique will suggest the best shoes to go with the shirt.
Or if we choose a piece of cheese for dinner, the store can indicate a wine that goes perfectly with that cheese and will make our dinner ‘Bellissima’! We all love harmony and balance, so why don’t we check the other products to make our set even better? – And, yes, that’s why we, of course, need them (and want).
This eCommerce conversion tip involves offering the product at a lower price — for first purchases. This may come in the form of discounts or special offers. After the first purchase and increased brand trust, it’s possible to get the customer to buy at the average rate.
‘Good Price’ (among the high)
This method for increasing eCommerce conversion rates works best for products in the luxury category. If a customer is checking out high-priced products, the system can suggest alternatives. These alternatives will have a lower price that remains high enough to seem acceptable.
This works similar to the ‘best fit’ technique. If a customer chooses a high-priced product, the website can offer suggestions they may like. However, these suggestions will have lower (and already more acceptable) prices.
Abandoned Cart Follow Up
It’s inevitable. Some customers will not complete the purchase process. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to convert them to customers.
By following up with emails, it’s possible to convince customers to complete their purchases. These emails should include some form of motivation to complete the purchase, e.g., promo codes, freebies, and discounts. Here’s an illustration of a follow-up email from Whiskey Loot.
Whiskey Loot, Drinks, USA
Retargeting ads help to increase sales by using ads on third-party sites to reach out to visitors. eCommerce businesses can target customers that have made a purchase.
Even if they didn’t complete the purchase, the info from their browser cookies could come in handy. With this info, it’s possible to make sure they see ads about the products they checked out on the website. Below is an excellent example of a retargeting ad from Frank and Oak.
Frank And Oak, Fashion, Canada
Analyze Results with eCommerce Conversion Tools
eCommerce conversion tools are useful for tracking and analyzing user behavior. With the results from tools like Google Analytics, eCommerce entrepreneurs can get insights into:
- How visitors find the website
- How long visitors remain on the site
- What countries the visitors are from
- If they are new or returning visitors
Some helpful tools for eCommerce conversion tracking and case study include:
It is easy to see the importance of the conversion rate for an eCommerce business. Only with knowledge of how this metric works can help site owners and managers take steps to improve their business.