5 steps to increase sales with eCommerce conversion rate optimization

June 02, 2020

One of the most common frustrations for eCommerce business owners is receiving website traffic but not enough sales. Amping up your digital marketing efforts and ad spend won’t necessarily solve the problem. In fact, before trying to increase your traffic, it’s crucial to make sure your website is optimized for conversions. 

Here are five simple steps to increase sales using conversion rate optimization.

1. Decide which conversions to optimize for

Google Analytics defines a conversion as a “completed activity, online or offline, that is important to the success of your business”. This can be either a micro conversion (e.g. email subscriber sign up) or macro conversion (e.g. purchase). The eCommerce conversion rate is the percentage of website sessions that resulted in an eCommerce transaction. For example, if your website had 1000 sessions and 10 transactions than the eCommerce conversion rate would be 1% since 10 / 1000 = 1%. 

In the USA, the average eCommerce conversion rate was 2.57% as of Q2, 2019 but this can vary depending on your industry. Decide what types of conversions to optimize your website for (e.g. lead magnet opt-in, add to cart, and purchase) and the conversion rates you’re aiming for (e.g. 2-3% for website purchases).

2. Map out your funnel and identify any leaks 

Google Analytics is a powerful tool to gather quantitive data on how users interact on your website. After installing Google Analytics, you’ll need to set up:

  1. Goals for the conversions that you want to track
  2. Goal Funnel based on your sales/conversion funnel
  3. eCommerce tracking to collect data on purchases. 

These reports will appear in Google Analytics under Conversions, as well as integrating with the Audience and Acquisition sections. It doesn’t matter if you use a different analytics service, as long as you can easily track conversions, collect data on purchases, and visually see how website visitors are moving through your funnel. 

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3. Perform a sales funnel analysis

After setting benchmarks for the conversion rates you want to achieve, goals to track actual conversion rates on your website, and the route customers should be taking to get there – you can identify any leaks in the funnel. 

Check the bounce rate for each step of the funnel to see where potential customers are dropping off, such as the landing/sales, add to cart, and check out pages. eCommerce websites have a bounce rate between 20% and 45% on average according to CXL. A high bounce rate could indicate a poor user experience that is causing potential customers to leave quickly without making a purchase. 

Here are other important metrics and general eCommerce industry rates to examine:

  • Lead magnet opt-in (20%)
  • Add to cart rate (16-20%)
  • eCommerce conversion rate (2-3%).

4. Improve the User Experience to boost conversion rates

There are a number of ways you can enhance the user experience on your website to reduce the bounce rate and the number of visitors dropping out of your sales funnel.

  • Increase the website speed using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix to pinpoint any issues causing your pages to load slowly.
  • Make sure your eCommerce website is mobile-friendly with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test 
  • Suggest complementary products/services either on the sales page or at check out
  • Accept multiple payment options and provide a guest checkout option so that customers don’t have always have to create an account to purchase
  • Create an exit pop-up on the product pages, offering a discount to entice customers who were about to leave the website without purchasing. 

5. Show credibility and likability to gain your customer’s trust

Most eCommerce websites have short sales funnels that direct visitors straight to the product page. That means it’s incredibly important to have this fully optimized as a stand-alone sales page. 

  • Show social proof in the form of social media share counter, as well as embedded comments or a detailed FAQ section
  • Display glowing customer testimonials as well as any industry-standard certifications, press coverage, or influencer partnerships the product has received
  • Install an SSL certification for the website and highlight at checkout, as well as any other security badges your site has.

It’s a good idea to run several rounds of testing, by getting someone else to make a dummy purchase on your website and provide feedback from a user experience point of view. When completing steps #4 and #5, you may also want to do A/B testing for different versions of sales pages and funnels then monitor to see which perform better. 

By tracking your goals, goal funnel, and eCommerce purchases it will be easy to pinpoint what tweaks have a positive impact on your conversion rates.