If people visited my online store all day long and left without buying anything, my immediate concern as a store owner would be “why are there no purchases being made?” My next immediate priority would be to figure out what can be done to influence my visitors to make that purchase. As on online business owner, just spending money to drive traffic is not going to help. In order to see success in a store’s conversion rate, ecommerce players have to understand customers better, reduce friction, improve the layout of their online store and address the bottlenecks in a visitor’s shopping experience. And this is where Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) steps in.
The conversion rate is the ratio of total site visitors to the number of visitors that take the action that your website wants them to take. In the world of online retailers, that would be making a purchase. Besides increasing your overall website profits, let’s take a look at the other five goals that CRO can help you accomplish as an online retailer:
- Reduce cart abandonment rate
One of the biggest problems that ecommerce entrepreneurs have come across is the extreme cart abandonment rate. Some smart conversion rate optimization techniques that online retailers can use to stop customers from abandoning their carts are:
- Find out the reasons that are causing abandonment (Is it shipping policies, lack of reviews, return policies?) and fix them
- Send reminders to customers about the items that they have forgotten
- Provide guests the flexibility of checking out without signing up
- Simplify your checkout process by keeping it predictable
- Implement clear abandonment email strategies and if possible with every recovery mail offer discounts that convince the potential buyer to make the purchase
- Reduce the number of checkout drops
Insufficient information on shipping, taxes, handling charges, return policies, discounts available that are imposed during the final step of the checkout, prompts the user to give up at the last stage. Online retailers can minimize the number of drop outs at the last stage of a purchase by:
- Incorporating details on shipping methods and charges before the final checkout page
- Avoiding hidden costs like shipping and services charges that customers are only made aware of during checkout stage
- Provide customers with multiple shipping and payment methods
- Highlight delivery timings and free shipping facility if any
- Simplify the checkout process and ask only for the essential information
It is important to maintain complete transparency with the customers so that they don’t feel cheated.
- Increase website engagement
The point here is to focus on the metrics that matter. CRO techniques can help ecommerce retailers improve their website’s performance by throwing light on detailed and analytic insights into metrics such as bounce rates, exit rates, average time on site, average session duration, average page depth , and average page views. By understanding the aforementioned metrics, online retailers can remedy the bottlenecks in the conversion funnels, convert website visitors to buyers, better the site’s revenues, and frame solutions to increase the website’s overall conversion rates. Enabling visitors to easily share through social media or providing incentives for social media shares can also increase engagement levels.
- Optimize content
The most important content on a website is the product listings that generates and converts traffics. This means that the product pages need to be enhanced for potential visitors and search engines as well. For instance, in a fashion website, detailed product description, photos, videos, reviews, 3D images, and virtual trials can play a huge role in conversions. The crucial aspects that have to be revised in order to make the product listing pages look good are:
- Images are important from the visibility standpoint and can lead to conversions. An online store must have a fresh stock of the latest images, ensure that they own the image rights, and every image is adequately tagged.
- The most important asset of an online store is its product descriptions. Therefore, product descriptions have to be top notch, convincing, authentic and contain all the required information a visitor would need in order to make a purchase.
- Grow the basket size
The objective of any retailer is to get the maximum sales in a single shopping trip to their store. Are there other relevant products that customers can buy if they get the right price? CRO can help in studying the past purchase behavior and the views from the current visit and offer a lot of logical suggestions to the customer in order to entice them to order more. Some ways that can help increase a customer’s basket size:
Up-Selling: Give customers an option to upgrade their original purchase. For instance, a 14 Gb phone could be up-sold to a 22 Gb phone. Allow the customer to see the value in upgrading his/her original choice, thereby improving your total sale value. You can also offer a greater discount to customers for buying more of the same product.
Cross-Selling: Tempt a customer when they are in the mood to buy by suggesting related items with every purchase. The objective is to fatten the basket size and increase the total transactional value. For example – a dress could cost $50, you can encourage the customer to buy matching accessories at $10. By convincing your customer to make a related purchase, you have improved the transactional value to $60.
The significance of conversion rate optimization in the ecommerce space is that it allows online retailers to leverage the current traffic that they already have and increase sales without having to up the number of web visitors or spend more for customer acquisition. So if you are an online business owner and wondering how to raise basket size, improve the efficiency of your marketing efforts, and stay ahead of the competition – then CRO can play a crucial role.