Understanding Conversion Rate
Conversion rate is one of the many KPIs a brand looks for when optimizing an ecommerce store. The same way no two customers are the same, conversion rates vary across markets and industries and should always be based on your market, your competitors and your own analytics.
To understand the impact of ecommerce conversion rate, ask yourself:
- Where in the shopping experience are customers getting ‘stuck’ or abandoning the website?
- What impact does my site navigation have on conversion?
- How well am I displaying content onsite to help a customer find what they need?
- What kinds of onsite experiences impact conversion rate the most?
- How does consumer behavior change over time and how does that impact my current conversion rate strategy?
To start, let’s take a closer look at how conversion rate varies by country and industry, then dive into some of the more fundamental best practices to impact ecommerce conversion rate.
Global Conversion Rate Statistics
Ecommerce Conversion Statistics by Industry
Best Practices for Landing Page Conversion Rate
If a shopper finds their way to a landing page via a paid ad, it can be tricky to optimize their experience. Every click or impression incurs a cost – which means that if a customer doesn’t convert, your marketing budget is drained one click at a time with no positive conversions to show for it.
Deploying product recommendations on landing pages is a simple but effective tactic to improve the performance of an ad campaign and ensure your customers convert. These recommendations take into account what the shopper searched for and what ad they clicked on before landing on the store. Alternative and complementary products are then shown to the shoppers, which personalizes the experience further.
Effortless Skin uses Google Shopping ads to steer shoppers directly to product pages. This can lead to an immediate exit or bounce if the product that the shopper searched for and/or the ad that was clicked on are not a perfect match for what the shopper is committed to purchasing.
However, instead of risking losing the customer, Effortless Skin uses a relatively aggressive cross-selling tactic by showing a ribbon of related products above the main product area in the first fold.
This offers visual cues for even the speediest of shoppers: while the product they landed on might not be the perfect match for them, there are still a number of alternatives available, all based on the ad they clicked.
Additionally, the recommendation ribbon is automatically hidden if a customer lands on the product page in any way other than from an ad. Landing page product recommendations are also automatically customized for shoppers who land from other channels, such as email.
Ecommerce Website Conversion Rate Tips
With human attention span decreasing from 12 seconds to 8 seconds, brands aren’t left with much time to charm a visitor once they’ve landed onsite. Some consumers have even decided how much of their attention they’re willing to give you before they navigate past the home page. A website that can keep visitors engaged from the start and offers an experience that is both relevant and convenient is the difference between driving conversion and watching shoppers leave empty-handed.
While not every visitor will convert into a customer, here are some quick conversion rate tips to help make the most of a visitor’s attention and increase the likelihood of a purchase:
Optimize site design
Amazon’s massive influence in the industry means that other ecommerce retailers look to them for responsive site design tips. The retailer incorporates collapsible horizontal blocks that turn into swipeable single-product elements on mobile devices:
Regular horizontal and vertical elements are practical and, when deployed accordingly, they can massively aid visitors in exploring site inventory. Alex & Alexa’s product page (pictured below) is the perfect example of this:
From an ecommerce navigation perspective, as the navigation flow of choice for most retailers, a horizontal navigation menu helps users quickly see where they need to go from the homepage. Eyetracking studies have shown that a horizontal top page menu is easier for consumers to navigate – and by keeping the menu clean and clutter-free, it makes for a more pleasing visual experience.
Trading Depot sells a wide variety of home appliances and accessories and makes products easy to find via their top page menu:
Personalize every interaction
We’ve reached a turning point in ecommerce where technology has evolved enough to truly enable brands to listen to their customers.
And we mean really listen: to their likes, their dislikes, and serve them according to those wants and needs.
Customers now have more choice and power than ever before, and so retailers need to change: they have to listen to the individual when they tell them who they are, and stop telling them who they want them to be.
That’s where personalization comes into play.
Personalization can be done in real-time according to immediate behavioral changes or based on individualized customer profiles, built up over time using historical data. When profiling a customer, information may be collected across hundreds of data points from several sources – including location, onsite and offsite behavior and interaction with emails. Information collected can include interests, context and even where they are in the buying cycle.
One way of actioning this information to impact conversion rate is through personalized product recommendations, which help customers discover products that are most relevant to their interests. These can be actioned site-wide: from the homepage right down to the post-checkout experience.
Here’s one example of how The Sports Edit helps customers ‘complete the look’ using product bundling on Product Detail pages:
Want more tips on how to improve ecomemere conversion rate using product recommendations?
Check out 40 product recommendation examples that reduce barriers to purchase and foaster customer loyalty.
Segment your shoppers
Segmentation is an integral part of any retailer’s conversion rate strategy. It allows them to target visitors and customers with the right messaging and products, address specific needs and attract new shoppers in the process. Any ecommerce retailer worth their salt deploys some form of segmentation to drive more conversion and revenue.
Most importantly, segmentation allows brands to build deeper connections with each individual shopper, which turns one-time buyers into loyal customers.
While the possibilities are endless, some of the most fundamental ways to implement segmentation include:
- Leveraging a shopper’s geo-location to to personalize the products shown to them
- Understanding where your traffic is coming from to display personalized content based on their journey so far
- Enhancing personalized recommendations with segmented up-selling
- Segmenting customers based on customer lifetime value
Streamline the checkout process
Creating an account and finding a unique use name, then going through account verification by email, and only then filling out a checkout form is enough to make even the most high-intent customer give up. Smart forms that fill in location data based on zip-code alone, or utilizing Google’s auto-fill feature for our Android customers, can simplify the checkout process and usher customers along. Make sure you have a guest checkout option, and refrain from the temptation of forcing your customers to create an account.
Essentially, the less clicks a customer has to make to checkout, the higher the rate of conversion for sales. Less work = quicker reward.
Test, test, test
You can implement as many conversion rate strategies as your heart desires – but if you don’t identify exactly how they impact your conversion rate, you’ll waste precious time and resources on unnecessary guesswork.
A/B testing is a way to test different variations of elements on a page in order to improve performance. Whether you’re testing a single element or a series of elements across multiple pages, understanding the strategies that have the most impact on website conversion rate is key to making the most of your efforts and focusing on the tactics that count the most.
To uncover valuable insights into how different onsite experiences affect the way customers behave onsite, hardware retailer Robert Dyas deployed A/B tests on their homepage and product detail pages. The goal: to find out how category and brand affinity affects the way customers engage and convert, and directly compare these variations in experiences against their status quo. This strategy contributed to a 30% increase in conversion rate for first-time buyers through Product Detail Page recommendations, as well as an 88% increase in conversion rate through homepage personalization:
Want more A/B testing tips?
Check out 10 tests ecommerce brands can start with when implementing an A/B testing strategy.