Co-Founder and Managing Director at Edkent Media, a boutique digital marketing agency servicing local, startup and enterprise companies.
It’s 2021, and if you still feel website traffic is a good metric to evaluate your e-commerce store’s performance, I have two words for you: wake up!
Today, there are umpteen number of ways you can drive traffic to your e-commerce website. You could run an influencer campaign, invest in social media ads, run search engine ads, get your product or service reviewed by pros, and more.
But what you can’t do is expect to convert your incoming traffic without taking some initiative. The real test of your e-commerce website lies in how many people end up taking a specific action you wanted them to take in the first place. It could be getting your visitors to sign up for a newsletter, purchase a product, grant permission to email them or something else.
If you understand the intricate difference between measuring website traffic and website conversions, this piece is for you. The global average conversion rate for e-commerce websites is around 4.31% and that of the U.S. is close to 2.63%. If your conversion rates are lower than these two benchmarks, let’s understand some effective ways to increase your e-commerce store’s conversion rates:
Use a Heatmap Tool
To understand why your visitors and potential customers leave your website, you need to understand what they do on your e-commerce store and how they interact with its elements. Now, I’m sure you have taken all the efforts in the world to have the best UI/UX for your store, deployed AI modules for recommendations and personalized targeting, and more. But why are they still leaving your e-commerce site?
Heatmap tools can give you a comprehensive idea of what’s going wrong and where the disconnect lies. For the uninitiated, heatmaps assess the behavior of your customers by studying where or in which section of your website they spend most of their time on. It works by assessing the link between the eye and the cursor movement to determine user behavior and offers you aggregated results from a diverse range of samples.
With heatmap results, you can figure out which sections of your stores are skipped often, which CTAs work best, which ones don’t get clicked at all, if people are annoyed by popups, and more. Optimizing your e-commerce store based on inferences and results will help to increase your conversions.
Optimize Your Paid Ads
Wrong goals could lead to wrong outcomes. Like I mentioned, having abundant website traffic as one of your goals could be the reason why your conversion rates are low. When people are clicking on your advertisements and paid campaigns, understand that your messaging is right and that your visitors are intrigued by your copies and images. But when they leave, you should also realize that you did not attract the right audience in the first place.
That’s why the second most important step in increasing conversion rates is modifying your target audience. Narrow down to a niche segment and target people in it to see if there are differences in conversion rates. Do split tests of your target audience groups and use solid results to make data-driven decisions.
Strengthen Your CTAs (Calls to Action)
Your visitors might be reading your content and looking at the images of your products or services and may even be really curious about them. But how excited are you to get them onboard? Well, CTAs are direct reflections of your intentions with your target audience. And if your CTAs read on the dull side, you will receive equal reciprocation from your visitors.
That’s why you need to make sure your CTAs excite people to take action immediately. Show them an imaginary clock that is ticking, give them FOMO, tell them that a single click can make all the difference. Instill a sense of urgency. With good CTAs, you can psychologically capitalize on the impulse of your audience and push sales.
Make Sure There Are No Hidden Surprises
Cart abandonment is one of the most plaguing concerns faced by e-commerce store owners. In March 2020 alone, more than 88% of shopping carts were abandoned. According to Baymard Institute, the average abandonment rate is 69.80%.
Checkout abandonment happens when your visitors leave your website after adding an item to their cart. This means they were interested in buying products or services from your store but something happened that made them abandon your website before making their purchase.
According to research, 18% of users abandon their carts because the process is too lengthy, and close to 50% of them abandon because of hidden costs.
This could either be because of a sudden increase in prices after a business adds shipping charges in the end before the consumer makes their payment, or because they were forced to create an account before making a purchase. Both of these instances are a major turnoff. Imagine your website is new to visitors who just stumbled upon it. They want to give it a try, but you forced them to sign up, stalling the sale.
To avoid these, follow the WYSIWYP (What You See Is What You Pay) model. Show the prices of all your products and services with the shipping charges upfront so your visitors don’t suddenly feel cheated.
Also, ensure you enable an option that allows your visitors to check out as guests. When you do this, you let your visitors experience the awesomeness of your brand before they register to another e-commerce portal, and then they can come back when they earn your trust. When they do, they are more likely to register on your website but this time they won’t even have to type in their shipping details.
These are four extensive ways to increase the conversion rate of your e-commerce website. Implement these strategies, optimize your metrics, test and validate your results. You could see a significant rise in your online store’s conversion rates.