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09/09/2020 Luke Goldsworthy

eCommerce Spring Clean: Conversion Rate

At this time of the year, it’s traditional to give your home a deep spring clean, to discard the drudgery of winter and get ready for a glorious summer. And this winter has been bleaker than any in living memory on both domestic and business fronts.

As we finally emerge for this literal and metaphorical cold and dark time, we’re going to spend the rest of September looking at ways you can spring clean your eCommerce business. Today we’ll focus on conversion rate optimisation (CRO).

Many online businesses focus significant time and money on customer acquisition but don’t show the same resolve to increasing their conversion rate. According to the Adobe Digital Index 2020, the overall average conversion rate is around 3% (we’ve broken this down in our July blog on eCommerce Metrics for Startups). By improving this rate, you can see a significant ROI improvement on your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns.

There are three main benefits to increasing your conversion rates:

  • Revenue – The goal of any business is increasing revenue, and CRO can be a more cost-effective way of doing that rather than just increasing your marketing budget to generate more traffic.
  • Value – A higher conversion rate is a reflection of the increased perceived value of your product offering, achieved through engaging content and effective user experience.
  • Remarketing – Previous customers make much better targets for future sales than new ones, so gaining that first sale is crucial. CRO can lead to a positive loop where more sales lead to more sales.

There are a number of enhancements that you can make to contribute to improving the conversion rate. Better performing websites tend to:

  • Have a strong value proposition – This answers the question of why customers should buy from you rather than a competitor. It should speak directly to your market, include what your customers already expect, and incorporate at least one unique selling proposition.
  • Have a good User Experience – Customer experience of your website reflects on the perception of your products. If it’s clean and straight forward, your products will seem more efficient and reliable. Of most importance is making it quick and easy to navigate to product pages, and then to progress simply through the checkout process. Customers are also far more likely to return to user-friendly websites. 
  • Have fast-loading pages – Data compiled by Skilled found 79% of customers “dissatisfied” with a site’s performance are less likely to buy from them again, 64% of smartphone users expect a website to load in four seconds or less, and 47% of online shoppers expect web pages to load in two seconds or less. Many factors contribute to page-loading speed, including platform architecture, coding, hosting, content delivery network, optimised image compression, and reducing redirects and broken links.
  • Present consistent trust signals – Trust can come from brand recognition, declarations or through a variety of associations. For B2C businesses, this can include providing logos of clients you have worked with, publications your business has been featured in, or memberships that you hold. For B2B business, trust at the checkout is crucial, so verification by VISA or Norton Secured badges, for example, are valuable to attain and display during the checkout process. Additionally, you can utilise social media likes and reviews to provide social proof (see our Embracing Reviews blog for more).
  • Harness urgency and scarcity to add value to products – This creates unease in the customer to prompt them to complete the sale. It’s a reality of the human condition that we fear loss more than we desire to gain, so letting your customers know that a sale only has eight hours left, or that there are only two of the product remaining, for example, tends to increase conversion rate.

Many other factors can also contribute to CRO, such as Call to Action text and images, free shipping, multiple payment options, upselling and cross-selling, live chat, and product videos.

If you would like help giving your business a conversion rate spring clean, please don’t hesitate to click below to set up a free consultation with The Playhouse Group. And keep reading over the following weeks to learn how you can spring clean your SEO, Design and UX, and Shopping Experience. Or you can read our recent blog posts on optimising Order Fulfilment, Checkout Practices, and Omnichannel Experiences.

Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any eCommerce questions you may have.