With the pandemic making people even more accustomed to transacting online, ecommerce has become an extremely attractive field, perhaps now more than ever. But this amplified interest in ecommerce leads to a more competitive playing field. Fortunately, whether you already have an existing platform, or are just looking to get into ecommerce, there are simple, yet unique and effective ways you can boost your conversion rates.
Ecommerce by the Numbers
Even before the pandemic, consumers have increasingly begun to lean on the internet for a significant portion of their shopping. And with ongoing restrictions around the world keeping people in their homes, this has only been heightened.
Here’s a quick glimpse at the ecommerce industry by the numbers.
- According to ecommerce market intelligence firm PipeCandy, there are up to 3 million ecommerce companies globally. This even excludes China!
- Excluding those that sell digital goods and services, there are around 500,000 companies selling physical goods online in North America alone.
- Popular ecommerce platform Shopify claims that at least 1 million merchants use their service.
- In 2019, global ecommerce sales reached $3.5 trillion, with $601.7 billion coming from the US alone.
- Amazon was responsible for 38% of the 2019 ecommerce sales in the US – a $30-billion increase from the previous year. You can only imagine how that number has jumped again once the 2020 numbers come in.
- Of Amazon’s 2.5 million sellers worldwide, an estimated 100,000 made at least $100,000 (more than enough to support a family in the US), making it a lucrative endeavor.
Ecommerce conversion rates explained
But before you decide to jump into the world of ecommerce, you need to consider which industries are actually raking it in. Because while global ecommerce numbers have been increasing significantly over the past few years, succeeding in the field isn’t a sure thing. To get a better idea of how you’re actually performing, it’s best to look at industry standards to where where you stand and where you can have the potential for growth.
It’s also important to note that in Google Analytics, ecommerce conversion rate is defined as “The ratio of transactions to sessions, expressed as a percentage.” So a ratio of one transaction every 10 sessions would be an ecommerce conversion rate of 10%.
With that said, here’s a quick glimpse into the Adobe Digital Index 2020 report on consumer electronics, comparing that industry to other sectors.
As you can surmise, and as is corroborated by a separate research by Episerver retail clients, conversion rates are significantly higher where consumers have higher intent, typically when they are actually searching for products as opposed to being referred to or redirected by social media.
Additionally, when looking at ecommerce conversion rates, it’s important to consider which devices your customers are using when transacting with you. Globally, the average order value on a desktop, according to Monate, is 55% higher than on a mobile phone.
This can be attributed to the fact that consumers use desktops when they’re looking for more information, with mobile devices typically used for browsing and on-the-go transactions. Below are some of the other reasons for what experts are calling the “m-commerce gap.”
Of course, when it comes to ecommerce conversion rates, there are virtually endless factors you can consider to improve yours – from which channels customers are coming from, to the ecommerce funnel. But the above gives you an idea of what some of the surface factors can be.
Unique and effective ways to boost ecommerce conversion rates
Make your site search and recommendations features robust
A mobile ecommerce study by Baymard found that site search was the preferred method for finding products. In spite of this, 70% of searches were unable to return relevant products to users. If you’re not able to provide what your users are looking for, even if you’re carrying the productst they want, how can you expect to convert?
To address this, install an advanced search engine thatcan not only help users find what they’re looking for, it can also point them toward products they might be interested in as Coach does with their search function.
Sometimes, even just indicating what exactly users can search for in your search box can help, as Red Bubble does below:
Of course, we’ve all seen the recommendations below product pages, showing similar products or products “you might be interested in.” These should take into account users past activity, purchase history, and other relevant data. Not only will this improve your conversions, it’ll also lead to a better user experience.
How many times have you added something to cart only to abandon it later because you found the checkout process to be too complicated? You’re not alone, as 68% of shopping carts are being abandoned.
Understanding the importance of one-click buying is one of the reasons why Amazon is the king of ecommerce. Users want to get what they want when they want it, and they want it done as simply as possible.
One way to achieve this is by implementing a system that remembers all the users’ details so they can checkout their carts without needing to repeatedly input their information. Simple, yet effective.
Additionally, it can be frustrating to be required to sign up for an account before completing the purchase. You can prevent a significant number of carts from being abandoned by allowing customers to purchase as guest.
Sell the benefits, not the specs
More often than not, people don’t really understand the specs. Even if you’ve been using a computer all your life, do you really know what a 6th Generation Interl Core i7 processor can do for you?
The above is Dell’s sales page. Compare that to Apple’s and see which one’s more enticing.
As you can see, Apple brilliantly shows customers what their products can do. Instead of flooding the screen with RAM specs and pixel capabilities, they’re showing you how their products can help you be more creative.
So when trying to sell, let your customers know what you can do for them right off the bat.
Show them what you can do
Even better, show them exactly what your product can do. If Apple’s beautiful imagery can tell a story, imagine what you can do with videos. This is where GoPro is a legend.
They understand their audience so well that they don’t even really need to show their products to entice customers to want upgrade to the latest model.
So whether it’s an image carousel of how a tapestry would look in their homes, or how a dress looks on a normal body, show, don’t tell.
Leverage the power of videos
Speaking of videos, it would be wise to include a link to a product video on your product pages. Good product videos have been found to boost cart sizes by up to 174% and increase the likelihood of a purchase by 85%.
Just keep in mind to make watching the video optional, so as not to intrude on your customers’ browsing experience.
Promote eco-friendly packaging
We all know the power of a well-packaged product, as it’s often the first impression you make with customers. And with the prevalence of social media, the unboxing experience has heightened the importance of having a well thought out packaging.
But with the rise of mindful consumption, an increasing number of consumers not only want packaging that’s attractive, they want to be eco-friendly as well. In fact, a Pro Carton study found that 75% of customers stressed their desire to receive eco-friendly packaging. Additionally, another study found that 90% of consumers said they would stop doing business with a company if they learned about irresponsible practices.
So the next time you’re conceptualizing your packaging, keep these things in mind and go green.
Implement on-site polls
Getting customer feedback is always a great way to glean information that can lead to improved conversion rates. But often, customer surveys are only made available to those you’ve already converted. On-site polls, on the other hand, allow you to poll anonymous website visitors.
This powerful tool can allow you to do things like:
- Crowdsourcing content ideas (like blog topics)
- Finding bottlenecks in the checkout process
- Learning your customer voice (via insights) that you can integrate in your copy
These things, among others, help you resonate better with your audience, allowing you to turn them into not just customers, but loyal ones.
The Wolfgang Digital study interestingly found that close to 20% of conversions occur at least 12 days after a site visit. So while 60% of conversions happened in same-day visits, the rest can still be attributed to the power of marketing automation.
This can manifest in a multitude of ways, from seeing ads of a product you just viewed, getting an email reminding you of an abandoned cart, or even retargeting you for related products. These automation strategies all build up through time to eventually usher a visitor into conversion. So when crafting a marketing strategy, never underestimate what automation can do for your conversion rates.
Remove buyer uncertainties
When a visitor looks at your product multiple times, there is certainly strong interest there. And it could be just, albeit, crucial uncertainties preventing the conversion. It could be the question of whether the product will fit them, or whether an accessory if compatible with their phone – whatever it may be, uncertainties often linger as hindrances to a sale.
Having a section for FAQs can go a long way to bridging this gap.
As well, you can also utilize things like size guides and customer reviews to help alleviate uncertainties that may pervade.
So when you look at your product pages, analyze what types of info a visitor might need to be converted into a customer.
As you can see, improving your ecommerce conversion rate isn’t exactly rocket science. There are very practical and simple, yet effective, practices you can include in your strategy to instantly boost your business. What’s important to note is that you need to look at what’s working, what’s lacking, and find avenues you can improve. This constant pursuit of micro-improvements will eventually go a long way toward improving the way you do business.