E-Commerce Fundamentals for High Conversions

Mar 22, 2023 9:00:00 AM
10 min read

These days, consumers are inundated with options. With the number of online stores estimated at up to 24 million, having shoppers choose your e-commerce store could feel like finding a needle in a haystack. As more brands take their business online, understanding conversions—and how to increase them—is imperative to staying ahead of the competition.

Homepage_solution@ - SquareWhen it comes to measuring your return on investment (ROI), your conversion rate is one of the most valuable tools you can have. Right now, the average e-commerce conversion rate falls between 2.5-3%. To stay in this range or even better, jump ahead of the curve, certain tactics are a must-have. 

In this blog post, we'll share five essential tips to improve your e-commerce conversion rate and deliver a delightful digital shopping experience that guides shoppers down the path to purchase.

5 Ways to Boost Conversions

1. Structure your e-commerce site effectively.

Believe it or not, it only takes 0.05 to 0.1 of a second for a potential customer to form an opinion about your website. Fail to impress (or to load), and you could lose plenty of sales and return visitors.

Man being confused when navigating an e-commerce site

A well-designed website is one that loads quickly, is easy to navigate, and has a clear call-to-action (CTA) that directs shoppers to products, and eventually to the checkout page. Every step of the buyer journey should feel effortless. To achieve this, make sure to have search fields and intuitive filters that allow shoppers to narrow down their product searches, and ensure product categories are easily visible by placing them in the top level of the main navigation. AI technology even offers filters that personalize content based on a shopper’s preferences—making the experience more engaging from the moment they land on your website.

Don’t forget about your mobile site.

This year, mobile sales are projected to account for over 43% of total retail e-commerce sales, so having an optimized mobile site or app is more important than ever.

Mobile PhoneTo reach mobile shoppers, having a site that makes it easy for them to browse, add items to their carts, and complete the checkout with just a tap of their thumb will help increase your conversions significantly. Include a responsive design that works on everything from the Samsung Flip to Apple’s 10th generation iPad, and make sure the checkout process is streamlined for fast and easy purchases.

Related: How to Give Customers The Best Mobile App Experience

2. Make it all about the products.

Your e-commerce site is the window into your brand’s great personality, and your products are what really make it shine. If you aren’t able to catch the shopper’s imagination, you could be left with higher bounce rates—and fewer sales.

To capture your shoppers’ attention and woo them with what you all have to offer (aka your dynamite products), make sure to include the following components on every product page: 

  • Detailed product descriptions help customers make informed purchase decisions. Descriptions should provide precise information, without being overwhelming in length or using complicated language. Include details such as dimensions/sizing information, material, assembly requirements, product care, and any other relevant details your customers may need to make an informed decision beforehand.
  • High-quality images allow shoppers to visualize products better. They also help break up long blocks of text. Just make sure to use high-resolution images that accurately represent the product and if possible, include dynamic videos that highlight products in use.
  • Strong calls-to-actions can really help a potential shopper make a purchase. CTAs should be clear and concise, and include an obvious link that entices customers to click through.

Amp up product pages with customer product ratings and reviews.

An open boxUser-generated content like reviews and ratings is a great way to build trust with your customers. A Baymard study found that 95% of its subjects relied on product reviews to evaluate a product. In fact, reviews are so valuable that nearly 50% of shoppers trust them as much as product recommendations. 

Why do reviews and ratings influence so many consumers? The answer is simple: Because online shoppers cannot see or try out a product in person before buying it, product reviews enable them to make sounder purchasing decisions. By adding this type of social proof to your product pages, you’re sending a signal to your customers that your brand is credible. Plus, products with reviews and ratings fly off the shelves more quickly than those without any. 

3. Personalize through machine learning technology.

If you’ve read any of our previous articles, you know we’re all about delivering personalized experiences. That’s because it’s a win-win for online businesses and the customers they serve.

According to Google, 90% of leading marketers say personalization significantly impacted business profitability in a positive way. Meanwhile, around the same percentage of consumers—91% to be exact—say they’re more likely to shop at places that remember their preferences and use them to provide relevant recommendations.

Nowadays, giving your customers a personalized shopping experience can be easily attained without a lot of elbow grease. Thanks to machine learning technology (like Granify!) retailers can tailor each customer’s buying journey, thanks to predictive analytics based on information like browsing and purchase history. This translates to more conversions, and happier customers.

Shopper being excited by personal contentHow so? For starters, you’re shortening the path to purchase by customizing the content each shopper sees. More importantly, you’re keeping shoppers engaged by providing them with products they’re actually interested in. The more appealing the content, the more likely they are to buy (and the more loyal they’ll remain).

There are several ways that machine learning can enhance an e-commerce site’s personalization. For optimal conversions, try these AI-powered strategies:

Provide personalized recommendations to upsell and cross-sell.

 AI-powered product recommendations are all about delivering the right message to the right shopper at the right time. Machine learning algorithms identify customer preferences and past purchasing behavior, then use that information to recommend specific products. When you display items to a shopper that they’re more likely to be interested in, you increase the chances of them making a purchase. You also enhance the overall experience and improve your chances of return visits.  

 Recommendations can be made for everything from new arrivals to hidden gems to the latest trends, and are a simple yet effective way to increase the average order value (A)V).

Include personalized offers and preferences on the home page.

When a shopper lands on your home page, greet them with a tailored offer, or highlight relevant content such as best-sellers. This is appealing to first-time visitors, who will immediately be left with a favorable first impression. For existing customers, this can be set up to help them pick up where they left off in a previous session or to highlight items that are back in stock since their last visit. 

Jump Back In Widget on an E-Commerce Home Page, featuring a selection of products uniquely curated for a shopper, such as items they were previously interested in, items back in stock in their size, and new products that match their style

Tip: Make sure to personalize other pages of your website too, including your digital product pages, where it can be used to appeal to customers.

Analyze data to reduce cart abandonment. 

Machine learning uses predictive analytics to determine a customer’s behavior, such as whether or not they’ll likely ditch their cart before completing their purchase. By assessing this information in real time, online retailers can then tailor the e-commerce website experience for each individual shopper by including personalized offers or recommendations, presented when it looks like a shopper might be in danger of abandoning a session. As a result, customers will be more likely to complete their purchases.

Related: 3 Ways to Catch Cart Abandoners Before They Leave Your Site

4. Streamline your checkout process.

Many e-commerce retailers put in a lot of work to keep shoppers on their sites, only to lose them because of a tedious checkout process. According to Zippia, 18% of people shopping online would rather not purchase than go through a complicated checkout process. This crucial step in the conversion funnel is where many carts are abandoned (over 80%). If your checkout process is too complicated or long, you may lose out on a lot of conversions.

A checkout process should be seamless and easy, so your customers don’t hit any snags when they’re trying to buy. Here are some tips for optimal checkout:

Keep things simple.

During checkout, everything should be fast and easy to understand—from input forms to payment to final order processing. First, limit the number of fields required to be completed, keeping them to only what’s absolutely required. You should also offer guest checkout to eliminate the requirement to fill out extra fields.

Autocomplete is another wonderful tool that cuts down on customer input by re-using previously saved information, such as address and credit card info, to reduce the time it takes to complete an order.

Offer multiple payment options.

A credit cardProvide a variety of payment options such as credit cards and digital wallets like PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. This can help drive conversions by giving customers more choices in how they pay, and being more likely to offer a payment method that they already have set up.

Want to increase conversions even more? Include Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL). This popular payment tool was used by over 360 million shoppers last year. Have a brick and mortar? Consider a Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) option, which was used by nearly 67% of consumers in 2022. (Source: ESW)

Wow them as they’re checking out.  

Having a customer at the checkout page doesn’t guarantee they’re going to complete a purchase. Using personalized messaging–highlighting the popularity of the items on their cart, or the savings they’ll enjoy if they buy now–can help boost conversion rates by providing an incentive to buy.

It’s also important to remember that many shoppers exit without buying because of high shipping costs. To appeal to the 63% of American consumers who have abandoned a cart for this reason, consider free shipping. If this doesn’t work with your bottom line, create a minimum spend—free shipping over $100, for example—that could persuade shoppers to add more to their carts.

Cart abandonment emails are also an excellent way to encourage a shopper to return to your site and complete their purchase. 

Tip: Checkout doesn’t end online. Providing fast and reliable delivery with real-time tracking is another way to increase customer satisfaction and therefore, improve conversion rates.

5. Create a sense of urgency.

Person that is in a rushWhen you’re trying to sell a product or service, playing hard to get isn’t exactly the approach most businesses would take. However, a little bit of FOMO can go a long way in enticing shoppers to buy.

When you highlight the popularity of products in your inventory, customers are more inclined to take action quickly. This can be a major driver of sales. It’s all about increasing the perceived value of a product or service.

So how can you achieve this? Give these urgency tactics a try, and watch your conversions climb: 

Add a countdown timer.

Countdown timers are a super effective way to remind customers that time is of the essence. Next time you have a promotion or sale, use it to create a sense of urgency and encourage shoppers to buy before the timer runs out.

Create limited-time offers.

Any time you communicate that a product or service is only available for a set time, customers will be more likely to act upon it. Why? They simply do not want to miss out on something potentially awesome. Just make sure to include a strong call-to-action, like “Don’t miss out” or “For a limited time only!” 

Alert customers about low-stock items.

After the toilet paper and building materials shortages we saw during the pandemic, consumers everywhere truly started understanding what scarcity really felt like. We don’t think you need to set off any panic alarms, but highlighting the limited availability of a product can increase the desire for customers to buy it before it runs out. 

Happy woman shopperClosing Thoughts

A seamless conversion funnel doesn’t just happen. To optimize yours and make your e-commerce business grow, you’ll need to implement well-thought strategies that encourage shoppers to purchase. Fortunately, we’ve gotten the conversion ball rolling by providing you with a few fundamentals that have been proven to not only increase your conversion rate but to deliver an enjoyable customer experience.

From clean navigation that’s also mobile-friendly, to machine learning technology that gets to know your customers better than any third-party cookie ever could, these tried-and-true conversion strategies are a vital step to help you achieve both immediate and long-term success.

Your conversion goals are within reach!

Rocket Blasting OffGranify's machine learning technology provides valuable insights that increase conversions by reacting to customer data and behavior in real time. Talk with us today to find out how we can help you provide personalized experiences that drive more sales and optimize the online shopping experience.

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