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7 Strategies to Lower Your Ecommerce Store Cart Abandonment Rates

With the rise of digital technology, industries like ecommerce have become more profitable. Now more than ever is it easier, more convenient, and faster to purchase products from even a smartphone and receive the goods as early as the next day.

We’re already in 2020, and trends are suggesting that in just 20 short years, 95% of all purchases will be made via an e-commerce store. Up to 80% of internet users around the United States have purchased a product online. 

And with millennials, Generation Z, and future generations growing up with technology, it won’t be long until almost everyone with access to the internet becomes an online shopper.

That only goes to show: e-commerce is a lucrative industry to be in – and that’s without mentioning the spikes in sales and profit during holidays like Black Friday. 

Getting into e-commerce isn’t a guarantee to turn a profit, however. There’s still an obstacle most e-commerce sites have to deal with: high cart abandonment rates. Interestingly, the average cart abandonment rate is at about 69%.

So if you want to increase your sales, the answer is to lower your cart abandonment rates and get customers to complete checkout.

Table of Contents

Strategies to lower your cart abandonment rates

Here, we take a look at some actionable tips you can start doing to lower your cart abandonment rates, especially this holiday season.

Improve your website speed

The first thing you ought to optimize is your website’s speed. According to Google, 53% of mobile users are more likely to abandon a website if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load.

The same is especially true for your e-commerce site. If a visitor is browsing and has to wait even a full minute every time for a page to load – be it a product page or, worse, leading to checkout – you can bet they won’t be completing checkout.

Make sure you keep your website blazing fast to provide the best customer experience for visitors. This way, you won’t be losing the sale before you even stand the chance of making it.

Practice omnichannel marketing

One way to really get customers’ attention is using omnichannel marketing. Treat every touchpoint your customers have with your brand as a potential way to convert them and make sales.

Omnichannel marketing (Image source: Smart Insights)

One of the first things you can do is create an effective lead generation strategy to get customers on your email list. From there, it becomes easier to get in contact with them, send them promotions, and even be able to track their purchase behavior.

Consider doing strategic pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns or work with reputable PPC agencies to help you create and manage a campaign. This is something you can integrate a retargeting ad campaign on social media as well, so visitors can get reminder ads of items they were checking out on your e-commerce website. 

Even if a user didn’t add anything to their cart on their first visit, being able to meet them at different touchpoints, not just online, can be a great way to get them to remember your brand. 

This is why omnichannel marketing works great to lower cart abandonment rates: by having each channel supporting each other, you strengthen your brand image, improve customer experience, and meet customers where they are.

Use exit-intent popups

Exit-intent popups are a powerful way to lower cart abandonment rates.

They work by detecting if a user is about to exit your site, either to close or move to a new tab, then entice visitors to stay on board.

For an e-commerce business, one good way to use exit-intent popups to lower your own cart abandonment is by offering an exclusive promo, such as a discount or free shipping.

Example of exit-intent popups in action (Image source: Medium)

Include a guest checkout option

Have you ever tried to check out items on a website but are suddenly prompted to sign up for an account?

While this tactic seems harmless, this can increase your cart abandonment rate because it lengthens the process or people are really not interested to create an account. 

Someone might be in a hurry to check out an item and won’t want to go through the process of verifying their account before they’re able to confirm that their order is successful. Or you could have a guest shopping for gifts and aren’t really likely to repurchase often.

Because of this, be sure to enable guest checkout options to increase a user’s chances of completing the entire checkout process. Most leading e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce allow for guest checkout options as a default feature.

If you really want to encourage sign-ups, focus on providing great customer experiences first – such as allowing users to input their shipping and billing information until they checkout. And then you can offer the option to create an account on your site.

Launch a retargeting email campaign

Creating a retargeting email campaign is a great way to win back cold shoppers.

Sometimes people abandon their carts because of added fees like shipping or handling. Sometimes they change their minds. Or other times, they simply had other things suddenly come up before they could complete checkout.

To win back these shoppers regardless of their reasons, send them some emails to entice them to finish what they started.

There are a number of email ideas you can send to users who abandoned their carts, but one of the most common ones is sending a special, usually time-sensitive, discount code if they complete purchase in, say, 1-3 days.

Example of email retargeting with a discount offer. (Image source: Salecycle)

Tap into the power of FOMO

The urgency has always been a great way to encourage people to take quick action and make a purchase. For your ecommerce business, this principle is no different.

Because people are wired to be afraid of missed opportunities or have a “fear of missing out” (FOMO), this can play a big role in making sure you aren’t full of users who abandon their carts.

Some urgency tactics are tied in with a special sales promotion, such as getting free shipping only until a certain date. Others go the extra mile and tell you how many people are eyeing the same product or service, giving a heightened sense of urgency to buy before the item runs out.

Other scarcity tactics combine urgency with social proof, such as signaling when someone else made a recent purchase of the same product. 

Example of combined scarcity tactics (Image source: Oberlo)

Offer multiple payment options

Last but not least, make the shopping experience as seamless as possible by offering multiple payment options.

This does a great job of lowering cart abandonment rates because many shoppers may abandon their carts because they don’t see a payment option they like. In fact, ComScore has a study that says 56% of online shoppers prefer when an e-commerce site has multiple payment options.

If doable for your business, consider adding Cash on Delivery or supporting payments, which are offered by PayPal and the most popular alternatives.

Key Takeaways

The holidays are always the best time to start reeling in shoppers and ending the year profitably. If you want to lower your cart abandonment rates for your e-commerce business, be sure to implement these strategies above. Review the performance of each, keep tweaking, and soon you can expect fewer cart abandonments over time – even when it’s not the holiday season.

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All Ecommerce Marketing Strategies

10 Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices for eCommerce Businesses

Do you know how to boost your conversion rates for your ecommerce business?

Here’s a quick refresher: conversion rate is the number of visitors who you convince to take some of the desired action on your website—share a page, fill out a form, or make a purchase, etc.—divided by the total number of visitors. 

If your conversion rates are low, that doesn’t bode well for your site. This is especially true in eCommerce, where low conversion rates often translate to low sales.

There are no hard and fast rules for what your conversion rate should look like. After all, this can vary widely between industries. In this post, we take a look at the most effective, industry-agnostic conversion rate optimization best practices for eCommerce businesses.

Table of Contents

10 Best conversion rate optimization tips

Optimize your landing pages

A key part of your conversion optimization strategy should be to optimize your landing pages. A great landing page has relevant, easy-to-read elements that cover essential details a buyer would want to know. When people stumble upon your site, the page they land on has to deliver answers based on your buyer persona’s search intent.

One way to engage a website visitor immediately is by being creative with your landing pages. Include videos that showcase different use cases for your product, and provide testimonials that appeal to your different customer types. Dream up an emotional, benefit-driven copy and cta buttons that will convince visitors they need your product.

Many of the best eCommerce platforms do a great job of developing landing pages and product pages that address their buyer persona’s pain points at each stage of their marketing funnel. Don’t be afraid to learn from the best!

Provide search options 

Adding a search bar on your website can make products instantly accessible to users, saving them valuable time. However, for a search bar to be effective, it has to be noticeable—if possible, make it one of the more prominent elements on the page.  

Amazon.com has one of the best examples of a conspicuous search bar. It is located in the site’s hero section and takes up a lot of room. The placement and size encourage users to start searching immediately. 

(Image source)

A search bar can do wonders for your eCommerce conversion rate by delivering the most relevant content for your visitors in a timely way. Not all users are in the mood to browse, so the faster they can find what they’re looking for on your eCommerce site, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

Personalize the shopping experience for your customers 

Research from Salesforce indicates 57% of people are willing to give up more personal information in exchange for personalized offers and discounts. Based on this information, we can reasonably assume that a personalized shopping experience can persuade more shoppers to convert. Instead of providing broad, general content that could appeal to anyone (or no one!), companies—especially eCommerce stores—should take the time to learn about their target audience. 

You can personalize the shopping experience for your users by using a chatbot for your eCommerce business. Chatbots are software programs powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that mimic human conversations. These technologies train your chatbot to “remember” your customer’s product preferences: the more your customers interact with it, the more personalized their experience will be.

The ShopBot on eBay’s Facebook page is a perfect example of how chatbots can personalize your customers’ shopping experience. Once initiated, the chatbot offers the user a selection of different products and categories to choose from. Underneath each item, users can decide whether they’d like to learn more about the product or be given other micro-conversion options.

(Image source)

The chatbot also asks questions to help narrow the user’s search.

(Image source)

The more the users interact with the chatbot, the more the chatbot learns about items the users want to purchase. The next time eBay launches an offer for one of its products, it will know which customers to contact and easily set up conversion tracking to verify their efforts.

Allow customers to start and complete purchases across multiple devices 

If you want to optimize your conversion funnel, make the buying process as user-friendly—so much so that even a multi-screen user would find it easy to complete the purchase process. 

According to an analysis of two billion global e-Commerce sessions back in Q4 of 2017, more buyers used their mobile phones instead of desktops as their primary way of communicating and purchasing. 

While it’s not a significant difference, more people used their mobile devices (40%) than their desktops (37%) for their initial journey.

(Image source)

With this in mind, remember to cater to users with different shopping habits. After all, you can have one user who prefers to browse on mobile yet wants to complete the checkout process on desktop, and vice versa. One way to implement this step is by making sure your site is mobile- and tablet-friendly (responsive), ensuring an equal user experience across all channels as much as possible.

Include trust indicators on your eCommerce site 

With all the scams happening today, it’s no wonder that some people have issues with eCommerce. To ensure your consumer trust rating remains high, don’t hesitate to add trust indicators across your eCommerce site. 

Testimonials and product reviews from previous customers are a great trust indicator to show visitors you’ve successfully delivered on your promises. Security badges also do well to boost trust in your site and improve conversion optimization.

Examples of security badges to establish trust. (Image source)

Other significant trust indicators include explaining how users can cancel an order or get a refund. Things like 30-day guarantees also do well to boost conversions, as people are more likely to try your product if they know they can get their money back if they’re unsatisfied.

Your eCommerce site should also have an SSL certificate—this shows up as a “secure connection” on browsers.

Google Chrome warns users if they’re on a site with no SSL certificate, which could severely harm both SEO rankings and conversion rates. (Image source)

WaveApps, an accounting and payroll solutions provider, does a great job of showcasing trust indicators, utilizing some of the ones mentioned above, and adding a few of their own.

First, they include testimonials from actual satisfied customers with a photo as a form of social proof:

(Screenshot is taken from Wave)

Since the company is aware that its customers will be submitting sensitive information and details as they use the platform, Wave addresses security concerns by describing its measures to keep data safe on a separate page.

Provide multiple payment methods

There is no universal payment method people are using right now. As such, it should be a  priority for eCommerce sites to provide multiple payment options. 

In an infographic highlighting survey results compiled by Milo, about 56% of respondents mentioned that they expect at least a few different payment options on the checkout page

It’s unnecessary to offer every single option available, but you can cover basic payment gateways like credit cards, PayPal, or Stripe payments. If it’s possible for your business, users could even pay with cash upon your product’s delivery (COD).

Put a remarketing or retargeting strategy in place

Remarketing refers to an automated marketing campaign that reminds a potential customer about the products and services they might have viewed but ultimately didn’t purchase.

There could be several reasons why someone doesn’t complete a checkout: they may have gotten distracted just as they were about to buy, they may have found a better price, didn’t feel a burning need to purchase right away, etc. With remarketing, your product shows up in retargeting ads to shoppers with good conversion potential to entice them to reconsider purchasing. Social media or email are two common channels for remarketing. 

Some companies offer customers exclusive discount codes and additional freebies, such as free shipping, in their retargeted ads. Even a simple reminder about the product the customer was considering can prompt people to purchase.

Example of a retargeted ad. (Image source)

Evoke a sense of urgency

Scarcity increases the perceived value of a product (think about the allure of “limited edition items”). What better way to boost conversion rates than by infusing your product pages with a little urgency? After all, if someone knows a product will be available forever, the risk of losing it is low, and there’s no reason to acquire it immediately.

But if they knew what they wanted was only temporarily available or only had a small window to buy it, it raised the risk of losing the product significantly. If you employ these tactics, you can expect they’ll complete the checkout as soon as possible!

Some examples of urgency tactics are trigger phrases like “Only until,” “Limited Edition,” “Expires in,” or “Only five left.” You might also consider adding countdown timers when doing promotional sales or seasonal deals.

This is one reason why Kickstarter campaigns can be so successful. All of them run for a limited time, and there are a set number of slots per “reward” available for customers.

Kickstarter campaigns showcase how many days are left to back a campaign. (Screenshot from Kickstarter)

Another example of an urgency tactic on Kickstarter campaigns: limited purchases per price tier. (Screenshot from Kickstarter)

Automate abandoned cart emails

Sometimes a user will go through the entire checkout process only to suddenly abandon their cart. If your eCommerce host supports this feature, you can send an automated email follow-up to remind customers about their cart and the products inside it.

Build your own email marketing campaign that can entice visitors to complete their purchase. You might even include exclusive discounts or deals in your abandoned cart email conversion rate.

(Image source)

Ensure quick website loading speed

Website optimization is a big part of any conversion rate optimization program. For many site visitors, a slow-loading website is often the main reason they leave a site without purchasing. In fact, every second delay after the first 2 seconds can lead to higher bounce rates.

If your eCommerce site takes more than five seconds to load, you might want to optimize it for speed. Here are common ways to decrease your site’s loading time:

  • Optimize images and other media
  • Review your theme (some themes aren’t optimized enough and can cause websites to load more slowly)
  • Optimize website code
  • Use a better web host provider (not all providers are created equal—a few can provide more resources that allow your site to load faster than with other hosts)

Those recommendations are just scratching the surface; there are many more ways to increase the speed and improve your website’s performance. Think of improving site speed as an ongoing CRO process that you will need to evaluate continually. If you improve it over time, your website traffic will show their thanks by converting more frequently.

Improving conversion optimization in your online store

Whether your eCommerce site is new or has been around for decades, a higher conversion rate should be a top priority if you want to continue to generate more sales. Constantly review your analytics, don’t be afraid to experiment, and keep innovating the way you do business. Be sure to implement the tactics above as a starting point for your CRO strategy, then keep tweaking to continue increasing conversions on your website.

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Ecommerce Marketing Strategies

Ecommerce conversion rate optimization tips to crush industry benchmarks

If you’re looking for eCommerce conversion rate optimization tips that will ensure you crush industry benchmarks, then look no further.

We’ve all seen the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on eCommerce businesses. Many products and industries aren’t deemed “essential” as customers worldwide shift their priorities and prepare to tighten their belts. And even businesses who sell these essential items – like food and medicine – are struggling to hit their own revenue goals.

We’re all navigating uncharted territory, and for many eCommerce business owners, we need to do more than simply pivot in order to survive. 

So in this article, we want to show you everything you need to know to crush eCommerce industry benchmarks in 2020. First, we’ll take a look at the current landscape of the eCommerce industry before zooming in on the challenges faced by eCommerce businesses this year. 

Then, we’ll show you 16 of the best eCommerce conversion rate optimization tips to get you ahead of the competition.

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Ecommerce statistics in 2020

To get the best understanding of how to optimize your conversion rates for your eCommerce business, we should first look at what the industry looks like today.

There’s no denying that the recent COVID-19 pandemic has affected the eCommerce industry, regardless of the kind of goods and products they sell. 

For example, according to QuantumMetric, there was an almost 9% year-on-year increase in eCommerce sales in February of this year. According to the company, this same kind of “buying urgency” is typically only seen on Cyber Mondays. 

The growth can be explained by the surge in panic buying accompanied by the beginning of stay-at-home measures implemented by local governing bodies. 

Many consumers flocked online to make sure they had everything they needed to prepare for a lockdown or prolonged quarantine. And today, consumers are now adapting to the habit of shopping online for things they normally would have purchased in a brick-and-mortar store.

A similar finding by ccinsights shows that US-based online retailers saw a 68% year-on-year growth in April of this year, even citing that this growth is typically only observed during the holiday season. 

And while we know these new behaviors are being driven by the stay-at-home orders happening in most countries, this still points to new habits that consumers are now adopting. Customers are learning of the convenience that e-commerce gives them: being able to save time and sometimes even money with online-exclusive promos and perks.

Besides, the pandemic scare is sure to help sustain these new online shopping habits for several months to come. 

About 24% of consumers said in a survey that they’re not comfortable going shopping in physical malls and stores in the next 6 months minimum, especially since April of this year.

Survey findings from Morning Consult on consumers’ expectations vs comfort level on resuming regular pre-pandemic activities. (Source)

 

Indeed, these findings show us that the future for any eCommerce store is bright, as long as you play your cards right – meaning optimizing your conversion rates to make the most sales possible. 

But with these sudden changes, we’re also seeing new challenges spring up. In the next section, we’ll talk about three of the new main challenges eCommerce businesses might experience that may affect their conversion rates.

Struggles eCommerce businesses are now facing

Changes in tax laws

Sales tax changes have always been ever-changing territory, but even more so now. 

With evolving tax laws, online business owners are now faced with bigger obligations to stay tax compliant. Ecommerce owners have to stay on top of regulations and know how they can practice utmost compliance.

For one thing, within the United States, different states require different taxes and rates. Ecommerce and globalization have made it easier for a user in, say, New York, to purchase an item they can only find in, say, Seattle. 

For the unprepared eCommerce owner, they may not know which tax rate to follow or how to properly set tax rates for interstate customers.

The challenge may even be more apparent for businesses who accept and deal with international markets. 

While the opportunity and ability to reach a global market can prove lucrative, eCommerce business owners must be prepared for any regulations – such as customs duties or tariffs, and the like.

We should also expect more states to expect more revenue in taxes from online sales. So you can stay on top of local regulations and changes as they come. Follow official accounts of local governors, congressmen, and offices to make sure you’re in the loop.

Fortunately, we’ve constantly been seeing the rise in automated taxing technology. Often, the creators of these tools stay on top of these ever-changing tax laws, both local and global, and make the tax projection and collecting process much easier. 

So most eCommerce business owners only need to invest in the right eCommerce tools to make sure consumers are seeing accurate tax requirements and information. Then from the eCommerce owner’s side, this tax information can be easily reflected in their business accounting software when integrated.

Disruptions in the supply chain

A second challenge for eCommerce business owners is staying on top of demand while managing limitations and disruptions in the supply chain. 

COVID-19 has definitely affected countries and businesses all over the globe. Many businesses depend on manufacturers from different cities, states, or countries to be able to sell finished goods. So as unequal lockdown measures and regulations are enforced, some eCommerce owners have had to deal with finding new – especially local – suppliers and manufacturers.

Those who don’t look for new manufacturers may even need to face delays in shipping their goods. Most businesses have been forced to operate on a skeletal workforce, which causes a domino effect to every other business around it.

One way to stay on top of this challenge is to adjust usual enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to note new lead times. It may entail predicting possible shortages sooner so as to be able to make timely orders for new raw materials that won’t hamper actual sales and deliveries. 

Ecommerce owners can also communicate with delivery services to make sure they’re able to communicate any delays in shipments and product fulfillment with customers.

Health and safety concerns about receiving online purchases

Last but not least, consumers are becoming warier of contact with outside objects, especially as studies have found that the COVID-19 virus can technically survive on different surfaces for a given amount of time.

While eCommerce store owners can do whatever they can to make sure items are properly disinfected prior to delivery, once parcels and products are out of their hands, there’s little they can do. 

The best solution that’s come up for this challenge is courier services themselves emphasize their safety precautions when handling deliveries. They also post reminders for customers themselves to practice disinfecting parcels and personal hygiene when receiving such deliveries.

And now that we understand these challenges that eCommerce businesses face today, you can keep them in mind when implementing the essential conversion rate optimization tips we’ll discuss in the next few sections.

What is conversion rate optimization

Before we name all the best eCommerce conversion rate optimization tips to help you soar over industry benchmarks, let’s go back to basics and see what conversion rate optimization is.

We should start by breaking it down to its root word: conversions.

In the case of eCommerce stores, a conversion can be simply getting a customer to make a purchase from your online store within a given period of time. 

Of course, you can have conversion goals for a myriad of other marketing and sales activities, such as email marketing conversions that indicate new subscribers.

In business, you have to optimize for conversions. Whether they’re conversion goals for users adding items to their wishlists, leaving reviews, or sharing your products online, you must focus on your conversion rates.

Conversion rate optimization for eCommerce stores is essentially the process of implementing online sales and marketing strategies in order to hit a specific goal, e.g. sales.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll be focusing on sales conversion rates for this article. So now let’s get to know what different industry conversion rate averages may be at this moment. This way, you can preview how your eCommerce conversion rates are vis-a-vis industry benchmarks.

Conversion rate benchmarks by industry

Conversion rate benchmarks vary by industry, and data about average sales may differ drastically per industry this year compared to last.

Here are a few key statistics about different eCommerce industries in the time of COVID-19, according to a report published by Nielsen:

Health-related goods like medical masks, thermometers, and household disinfectant sprays are unsurprisingly up. Medical masks, in particular, reported over 300% year-on-year dollar growth as of February this year.

Source

 

Shelf-stable consumer goods sales also saw an increase, with some products like milk substitutes also seeing 300% dollar growth compared to last year. Consumers are preparing and stocking up their pantries, as we also saw in panic buying amid the growing pandemic scare earlier this year.

Source

Other studies from different groups are also shedding light on other industries selling different goods. 

ShipBob, for instance, studied their 3,000+ eCommerce merchants’ sales data through the months and saw an average 20% decrease each month. As of late July, however, the apparel industry seems to be seeing a comeback.

Source

Beauty, personal care, and cosmetics seemed virtually untouched as the industry continued to see steady sales despite the pandemic. ShipBob notes that the beauty and personal care industry is often one of the most resilient industries even in previous seasons of economic hardship.

Source

Another industry that seems steady is the electronics industry. This may be explained by companies and schools shifting to remote work and learning. 

Source

Interestingly, toys and games are on the rise. We can attribute this trend to families needing home entertainment given the recent stay-at-home orders as well as several schools delaying their in-person learning activities. 

Source

And finally, another unsurprising finding was the spike in sports and fitness products especially at the beginning of lockdowns and quarantines. Because gyms were deemed some of the riskiest places for infection, consumers had to invest in at-home gym equipment.

Source

 

How to calculate your conversion rate

Industry benchmarks can be a great place to start. You get to anticipate and see how other businesses in your chosen eCommerce niche are performing.

With this information, you’re able to set appropriate conversion rate goals for your own eCommerce business. 

Fortunately, calculating your average conversion rate is simple. Say you have 10,000 visitors to your eCommerce store each month. Then say you made 100 sales. That makes your conversion rate 1%.

The formula for conversion rate is your total conversions for a given period divided by your total visitors for the same period, then multiplied by 100 to get the exact percentage.

And in case you were wondering about the average conversion rates for eCommerce stores in general, the answer is between 1-3%. Of course, depending on the existing strategies you’re using, you might not even see that 1%.

So move on to the next section, where we’ll show you 16 essential conversion rate strategies to help you crush the eCommerce benchmarks.

 

Conversion rate strategies to help you crush industry benchmarks

Get to know your buyer persona again

Let’s start at the beginning: your buyer.

We talked a lot about different trends and challenges for eCommerce businesses in 2020, and many of these trends are a result of customers’ changing priorities and new habits.

So it only makes sense to return to your buyer persona and give it a few tweaks. You might need to only change it a little, depending on your main customer, but it’s possible you’ll need a complete overhaul altogether.

To create a clear and effective buyer persona to optimize your eCommerce conversion rates, here are the following steps you can take:

  1. Start with your customers’ demographic information. List down their age, location, job title, and income bracket.
  2. Evaluate what their goals might be, especially now. For some industries, their goals might have shifted as new priorities came up because of COVID-19. For other industries, customers may have the exact same goals but simply new habits.
  3. Note their likes and dislikes, their new habits. If you can, narrate a day in their life. Also, zoom in on possible sites and social media accounts they’re fans of.
  4. Then think about any problems or issues they might be facing that can get in the way of their goals. 

Knowing your buyer is the first essential strategy that can inform every other strategy or tactic you use. By knowing your customers’ demographic and psychographic information, you can create better products, copy, and marketing plans.

Source

Evaluate your eCommerce business model

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times: now that the world has changed, we need to pivot.

Maybe the next best eCommerce conversion rate optimization tip for your business is to revisit your business model. 

Ask yourself if there are ways you can be more sustainable or relevant in this new normal for customers. Think of the added value you can give at no extra cost to customers. Brainstorm new services or products that will help your customers even more.

Could your eCommerce store offer a subscription box service for easy refills? Can you offer online consultation for customers needing personalized recommendations? Could you create a collection of products that will help them thrive in the new normal?

Conduct a user study

You know what they say. Ask and you shall receive.

Sometimes to optimize your conversion rates, you just need to ask your customers about their needs or concerns. 

If you’ve already built out a customer base or email list, send them a short survey to get to know the most important things about them. Ask about their current circumstances and what they’re looking for.

Be sure to read between the lines after getting these responses. After all, users can say they want one thing but can also mean they want another. Get to the heart of their responses and see how you can best serve them.

One idea to display user study surveys: at the end of order confirmation emails. (Source)

Identify your top traffic sources

You can improve your marketing ROI by only zooming in on your top traffic sources. 

Use tools like Google Analytics to help you identify where your top traffic referrals are currently coming from. Ideally, you want to find out which channels get your eCommerce store the most organic traffic. But you should also look at the performance of your paid ads and see which one has the biggest ROI.

If you’re on Google Analytics, here’s how you can find your top traffic referrals:

  1. Navigate to Acquisition
  2. Go to All Traffic, then select Referrals
  3. Under Source, you should then be able to see the top ten URLs that are giving your eCommerce store the most traffic. It may be possible to have different URLs from the same domain, for example, google.com/news or google.com/page2
  4. Also, pay attention to the number of sessions (both repeat sessions and new sessions) from each. It may happen that you’re getting the most significant traffic from only a handful of URLs and very little from the rest.

Source

Reduce your product offerings

When it comes to sales, we used to believe the “Walmart Way” – that is, the more products we have on sale, the more potential for more sales.

It turns out, this may not be the case. A 2018 survey conducted by Zoovu found that 54% of customers between the ages of 17 to 69 said they stopped buying from a specific brand or retailer because it was too difficult to choose the right product. 42% even said they’ve abandoned purchases and carts simply because of too many choices.

Does this mean you ought to shave off all your product categories and just sell one main product? Not necessarily.

There’s a way to help customers avoid cart abandonment caused by decision fatigue, and it can start by reducing your product offerings. 

You can also reduce the perception of too many products by doing the following:

  • For products with multiple variants (colors, sizes, etc.), offer them under one product page only.
  • Curate different products into benefit-centric categories. For example, a skincare brand may have a category page called For Hydrated, Glowing Skin, or For Acne-Free Skin.
  • Releasing products in limited-time collections or seasons like holidays.

Assure your customers that your eCommerce store is safe

With online security becoming a hot topic, you need to assure customers of your eCommerce store is safe.

Fortunately, this can be very simple and straightforward to do.

The first place you’ll want to display your site security is on your domain name. Install an SSL certificate to ensure visitors and customers see you’re a trusted website.

Then you can display trust indicators across your website. For example, using your chosen landing page builder, add icons like “Safe checkout with PayPal” or “30-day money-back guarantee” and other security badges to ease customers’ minds about your store.

Examples of trust badges (Source)

Update your policies to align with the times

New times call for new business practices. 

Revisit your existing customer policies to make sure you can keep up with everyone’s needs without compromising your own business.

Note that shipping and deliveries can experience delays, so if you have a returns and exchanges policy, be sure to clearly state any changes or adjustments you’re making because of this. 

Communicate these new policies and updates to customers in key areas of your eCommerce store, but also send them alerts via email to make sure they’re in the loop.

Review abandoned cart users to identify checkout problems

There are varying studies and reports that try to pin down the exact abandoned cart rate for eCommerce stores. 

All we’re certain of is that abandoned cart rates can vary per industry and niche. But abandoned cart rates are quite high – never less than 50%, at the minimum – for eCommerce stores, likely because of how easy it is for customers to leave a website before checking something out.

Pay attention to your own store’s abandoned cart rate so you can optimize your eCommerce conversion rates. Try to glean insights from the data you gather. 

Can you pinpoint when users dropped off? Were there any broken promo codes? Are shipping fees too high?

While you can never completely get rid of cart abandonment, you can still optimize your store to reduce the chances of them happening as much as possible.

Add special offers like discounts and free shipping

Sometimes all you need to boost your eCommerce conversion rates are offering special perks like discounts and free shipping.

Encourage users to checkout right away by making these promos available only for a limited time. 

Consider, too, giving a free shipping incentive after customers can hit a minimum order amount. This can be a great way to not only increase average order value but also encourage repeat purchases from customers.

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Take out bottlenecks from your checkout process

Part of building an excellent user experience on your eCommerce store and optimizing your conversion rates is removing any bottlenecks from your checkout process.

Remember that the easier it is for users to check out, the more likely they are to actually complete their purchase. 

And that starts with making sure that you build your online store using a platform specifically designed for eCommerce websites. This ensures you have the right features and tools in place to create a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

Here are some tactics you can use to eliminate as many bottlenecks as you can:

  • Enable guest checkout as an option for first-time customers.
  • Encourage users to sign up for an account after purchasing via guest checkout. Tell them that making an account with your store will allow them to save their address and any payment information.
  • Let users view what’s inside their carts. Show photos and product summaries and order quantities before asking them to checkout.
  • Allow users to check a box that makes their billing address the same as their shipping address.
  • Only ask for the information you need to fulfill the order. These include one mobile number, a complete name, and a complete address. Any other information should be reserved for feedback forms or user surveys.

Add Live chat pop up on checkout exit intent

As users are about to exit your store, you may be able to boost your chances of turning them into conversion by having a live chat pop up before they leave their tab.

Let the chatbot pop up with a friendly question like “How can we help you?” or “Tell us what you’re looking for.”

You’ll never know if a user was simply unsure about where to start. With the right live chat programming, you can create an automated process that helps personalize the shopping experience for users using a given set of questions and answers.

You can even let users see any FAQs about your business, such as shipping or delivery estimates. 

Launch a customer loyalty program

One of the best strategies to really nail your conversion rate optimization efforts is focusing on what’s already working well. This includes customers who have already bought from you.

By encouraging repeat purchases, you can increase your overall sales and conversions as you get more purchases from fewer visitors.

A customer loyalty program might be all you need to do that. Create a compelling incentive for customers to keep buying from you, such as racking up points for discounts or hitting milestones for exclusive perks.

Double-down on your social proof

Studies show that 90% of users rely on online reviews about a product before they purchase. People trust testimonials and reviews from strangers almost as much as they do if the review had been from a friend.

Display reviews and testimonials on your product pages. Share these comments on your social media accounts like Instagram. 

You can even display how many people are currently on the same product page. Or you can display when the most recent purchase of the said product was if only to prove how popular or best-selling the item is in your store.

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Include non-promotional content in your email marketing campaigns

Customers won’t always want to receive promotional emails from you. 

Sometimes they’ll appreciate content that is still relevant to them while also reminding them about your brand.

This means investing time and resources into creating highly valuable, personalized content that serves your customers in new exciting ways. Put yourself in the position of providing value first, then trusting that customers will make the sale when they trust your brand knows what they need. 

If you’re an apparel store, you can email customers guides about working from home loungewear, or tips for dressing up for a video call. If you sell food and beverages, you can send recipes or party ideas.

Your goal for creating content like this and including them in email campaigns is to become the top-of-mind brand for customers the next time they’re looking for something in your niche.

Retarget your customers on social media

Retargeting is another essential conversion rate optimization strategy you should take for your ecommerce store. A study found that 92% of customers who visit online stores don’t make a purchase right away.

Sometimes users have different search intents, such as looking up prices. But most of the time, users are likely just browsing and comparing items.

So if a user ends up in your eCommerce store and leaves, they’ll most likely forget about your store right away.

Remind them about the items they were looking at on your store by retargeting them on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. A friendly nudge might help them convert into a sale, especially if they were browsing and didn’t make a final decision yet.

 

Make A/B testing a habit

Last but not least, make A/B testing a habit. If you’re going to really optimize those eCommerce conversion rates, then you’ll want to experiment with different strategies and tactics to see what works best.

Try experimenting on product pages. Will product pages with video showcases work best? (Note that you don’t need to invest in fancy video editors either, as free video editing software makes for a great place to start.)

You might also be able to test out different product descriptions by playing around with copywriting. Or you can A/B test your SEO to increase your chances of getting discovered organically.

 

Key Takeaways

Ecommerce is undoubtedly the present, so it’s up to you to stay ahead of the competition. Look no further than these best eCommerce conversion rate optimization tips to help you crush industry benchmarks and grow your business like never before.

Categories
Ecommerce

Ecommerce in the New Normal: 5 Things You Need to Know

You’ve probably encountered news and articles saying that ecommerce in the new normal is a trend to expect due to the pandemic. There’s some truth to this, as surveys show that people spend up to 30% more dollars online.

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While marketing experts have predicted that eCommerce sales will only increase as COVID-19 infections soar, even the eCommerce business has challenges in store. No one and nothing is spared from this pandemic—not even something as virtual as eCommerce. 

In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has already affected eCommerce in various ways. 

First, as more people turn to online shopping to buy essential and non-essential goods, there could be inventory shortages and major disruptions in supply chains

Also, convenience-seeking consumers could easily turn down orders with longer-delivery items and switch to other eCommerce sites offering faster delivery options. With everything they need just a click away, consumers may switch from one website to another in search of the most convenient and affordable option.

Finally, strict rules and regulations are being enforced to protect consumers from false online sellers taking advantage of the current situation. This forced marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay to purge and ban those who do not adhere to the laws against price gouging and false advertising.

Since we live in unprecedented times, the challenge will be to predict what may happen in the future. If you are in the eCommerce business, keep doing your research, observing changing consumer behavior, and staying agile by adjusting to relevant trends.

Ecommerce trends to expect in the new normal

Ecommerce business models will need to be more agile

If you already own an online store, one of the first things you should do to prepare yourself for this new normal is to check the eCommerce platform you are using. 

Because of changing consumer behavior and the unpredictability of trends today, make sure your platform makes it easy for you to adjust when needed. In other words, the platform should allow you to be as agile as possible, especially with shifting business models and the need to implement more unique and innovative ways of serving customers. 

Learn more about how people today shop online and observe your competitors; then, revisit your eCommerce marketing strategy. If you need to adjust to how shoppers are behaving online, you most likely will—go back to the existing functionalities you have on your eCommerce platform. 

Does it enable you to add more features? Will applying all the necessary changes be easy? Does it allow you to be agile in these unpredictable times? Or will it only slow you down or keep you from progressing?

If you think your platform holds you back from freely marketing your online store, try to explore other popular eCommerce platforms that might work better for you. Remember: Your eCommerce is an investment, and settling for cheap providers won’t always get you the functionality you’re after.

Increased demand for efficiency and reliability

An increase in online shopping worldwide mainly calls for two things: efficiency and reliability.

eCommerce order volume has increased by nearly 50% compared to 2019. This rapid escalation has caused plenty of shipping delays as well. Efficiency has taken a hit with factories being unable to operate, limited transportation, and social distancing regulations. 

With this in mind, you need to find ways to be more efficient. Perhaps there are services you need to let go of to perform better or features you need to install on the site to serve your customers well. As we previously discussed, staying agile also helps you to be more efficient.

Mark Patchett, the founder of The eCommerce Academy, says one way to achieve efficiency in a time like this is omnipresence. Since consumers today browse many different channels to find the best deals when shopping, your brand must have some presence in all the platforms your consumers are active in.

Reliability is essential for consumers. They need to know your website can withstand any major event or calamity. They want to see you survive through every extreme your business faces.

A slow loading time, a simple malfunction on your site or an unanswered query can make your site look and feel unreliable. In these trying times, consumers can be sensitive and easily develop trust issues from a bad experience online. What they’re looking for right now are companies that won’t fail them and brands they can still rely on even in the midst of a pandemic.

Creating genuine connections is more crucial than ever

The 2020 CGS Customer Services Preferences in Times of Distress reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has “illuminated cracks in customer service.” It identified three areas that brands should reflect on.

First is that consumers are craving a sense of  “human touch” in customer service. With people now staying at home and working remotely, it’s no surprise consumers crave human connection—including in customer service. 

Among the 2,000 people surveyed, 38% of U.S. respondents and 29% in the UK value talking to a live agent, which is considered their major factor in determining a successful customer service interaction.

The second is that consumers want their problems to be solved immediately, hence speaking to a live agent. Apart from human connection, perhaps speaking to an actual person who responds to them in real-time makes them feel more valued as a customer. However, one thing hasn’t changed: even in the midst of a pandemic, customers want their complaints to be resolved immediately. 

Lastly, consumers don’t want just any agent, but one who is friendly. Consumers say they want to experience a level of friendliness from customer support. Unsurprisingly, there is a higher level of empathy and understanding required of customer service during these trying times. In relation to finding that “human touch” online, customers want companies to understand what they’re going through.

Online marketing and sales skills will become a requirement

To navigate these unprecedented times, you must also equip yourself with excellent online marketing and sales skills so you can serve your customers better. You can’t be agile if you don’t know how to be agile. 

Develop a growth mindset by constantly finding ways to improve your business inside and out. Since trends are coming and going as fast as they ever have, stay updated on all the happenings in your industry as well as in the larger world of eCommerce. 

You can also use this time to sharpen your online marketing skills by enrolling in virtual classes, doing some heavy research, and assessing yourself in this journey.

The subscription box model will become increasingly popular

Almost 75% of U.S. internet users say they plan to avoid in-store shopping because of the pandemic. Until there’s a cure or a vaccine, consumers may continue this stay-at-home behavior, and therefore drastically alter their purchasing behavior.

Here’s an idea: What if they can get supplies on their doorstep every month? This is where the subscription box model comes in.

Subscription billing is defined as the agreement to automatically charge repeat customers’ payments to a saved credit or debit card—saving them the hassle of remembering to pay each invoice.

The subscription business model could be very advantageous for both the seller and the buyer.

Sellers benefit from a recurring revenue stream from customers who choose to subscribe every month. Successfully providing for your customers monthly also helps you build relationships and brand loyalty. Not to mention that having the right tools to manage your automatic payments definitely saves you the time and effort of chasing after your customers.

Buyers won’t have to worry about remembering to purchase the same necessities every month, but instead will automatically have them delivered to their homes. They also won’t have to worry about repetitive monthly transactions because of automatic subscription billing. 

If you have a lot of repeat customers buying the same thing every month, perhaps you could consider integrating the subscription box model into your current business model. 

ritual

A perfect example of this is Ritual, which offers a 30-day supply of subscription vitamins. Since people usually buy the same vitamins on a consistent schedule, they can save the hassle and risk of going to a pharmacy and subscribe for just a few dollars every month. 

Key Takeaways

Discerning which eCommerce trends will get you through this new normal can be a challenge, but the right ones may be what keeps your business afloat until we’re all safely out of the pandemic. We’re all learning how to navigate this unchartered territory for our generation, but we must stay agile in the eCommerce world by adapting and adjusting to serve our customers better.