For an eCommerce website, increasing sales remains at the top of the business goals. According to Mintel, 69 percent of internet-connected adults in the U.S. shop online at least once a month. But customers behave differently depending on products and demographics, which in turn affects eCommerce conversion rates and ultimately revenue.
According to Smart Insights, eCommerce conversion rates were globally around three percent in Q4 of 2016. So what can you do to improve that number?
5 website features for increased eCommerce conversion rates
Reliable security measures.
Promotions and offers.
Related items or products.
Include a FAQ section.
1. Reliable security measures.
With the constant growth of eCommerce and online transactions, implementing security measures should be the top priority for every eCommerce business trying to boost conversion.
According to statistics from BigCommerce, 51 percent of Americans prefer to shop online and eCommerce is growing by 23 percent year after year. This makes eCommerce websites a lucrative target for cyber criminals.
“Plus, approximately 70% of online shoppers cancelled their online order because they did not “trust” the transaction.” ~ John Rampton, Forbes
To increase sales and boost conversions, security measures need to be implemented on the website to earn your customers’ trust, information and patronage. Consider the following:
- Using a secure eCommerce platform with servers maintaining PCI compliance.
- Purchasing and using an SSL certificate.
- Implementing payment gateways with easy refunds, including a Money Back Guarantee badge or logo for easy recognition.
- To curb phishing, enabling two-factor authentication for customer logins can protect their data and gain shoppers’ trust.
2. User-generated reviews.
User reviews can help to increase eCommerce conversion rates. According to stats accumulated by Econsultancy, customer reviews are 12 times more trusted than product descriptions from manufacturers or brands, and 63 percent of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase from an eCommerce website with reviews.
Reviews serve as a form of social proof to shoppers.
To include reviews in web pages, you can use plugins or apps — depending on your platform — to pull reviews from popular review platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, Google and Foursquare.
Consumers trust their peers. Even strangers can rank higher than the manufacturer’s description. Consider working with influencers and asking bloggers to review your products or services to establish yourself as a reliable business. Including user-generated reviews on product pages and displaying them the right way could increase sales for any business.
3. Promotions and offers.
Using special offers and promotions in your store is a powerful yet rewarding strategy for increasing eCommerce conversion rates. For best practices and better reach, offers can be distributed through email and social media posts and ads, but including them in your web page header can yield more.
The power of “free” or “pay less, get more” has a psychological trigger to the mind, which can drive shoppers to buy more just to gain free shipping or pay half for another product. When used properly, promotions and offers can be used to convert new visitors into loyal customers.
Examples of effective promotions and special offers include:
- Percentage-based discounts. For increased conversion, include the original price, discounted price and the percentage the customer is saving.
- Free shipping. Perhaps the most popular, 28 percent of customers are likely to abandon their shopping carts if they encounter unexpected shipping costs.
- Buy One, Get One Free (BOGOF). This offer can be used in clearing inventories and increase the average order per customer.
Bear in mind, the abuse of promotions and special offers can bankrupt your business and invite the wrong customers, so they should only be used periodically and placed conspicuously for visitors to see.
4. Related items or products.
The use of related items on product pages can drive sales while giving your shoppers more options. Choose options that complement the original product. When potential buyers see the bundle they could build, they just might add additional products to their carts.
Plus, when shoppers purchase more than one product at a time, it reduces the cost of shipping for you, the retailer.
It’s more beneficial to have the customer buy multiple things at once instead of several small orders spread out over time. Cross-selling and related products promote larger order sizes. A real-world example would be an electronic store promoting a printer or external storage when the customer selects a new computer.
Big or small, your eCommerce business can benefit from including related products. Check your eCommerce platform for extensions or apps that provide related items or cross-selling.
Editor’s note: Want an easy-to-use online store with an integrated shopping cart? Try GoCentral Online Store today.
5. Include a FAQ section.
Including a page for FAQ is hugely beneficial — both for you and your customers. Potential buyers can search for answers to questions or concerns, and you can establish trust and foster ongoing relationships with your consumers.
Regardless of your industry, you can benefit from having a FAQ page.
Whether you answer questions about manufacturing goods, product usage, included ingredients or simple business information, that level of transparency will always go over well with your customers. For best practices, include a link to your FAQ in your product descriptions to make the customer’s purchase journey smooth and streamlined.
Pro tip: Creating a valuable FAQ page doesn’t have to be hard — dig through your customer support tickets or email inboxes. You’ll likely find repeated questions and concerns that could be easily turned into a FAQ.
Now that you know how to increase your eCommerce conversion rates, make sure your website design is on par. The last thing you want is to turn customers away with a poorly crafted site.