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Website Conversion Rate and Best Practices to Skyrocket It for Online Stores

Posted by CiCi Nguyen on

Website Conversion Rate and Best Practices to Skyrocket It for Online Stores

Let's face the fact that there is a large number of entrepreneurs who will launch and build their eCommerce business. Whether you are a novice or seasoned manager, understanding and optimizing the website conversion rate of an online store is critical to compete with others. Today, we will together break down what conversion rate means and what you should do to maximize it to grow your business.

What Is Website Conversion Rate?

In a nutshell, an online store conversion rate is the percentage of site visitors who complete the desired action. Hence, you need to know your end goal to define your conversion. Businesses often use this metric to track ROI as it offers insight into whether your site is convincing enough to turn a visitor into a customer. In fact, there are several types of website conversion that e-merchants should consider here: 

  1. Online sales 
  2. Percentage of customers who add at least one item to the shopping cart
  3. Percentage of customers who add items to their wishlist  
  4. Email signup rate 
  5. Social media share

Knowing website conversion rates is the first step to understand how well your sales funnel is performing. Thus, store owners must know how to calculate them. Let’s say you choose a sale as a conversion.

sales conversion rate formula website conversion rate

The formula to measure the percentage of shoppers who completed a purchase on your online store. For example, you had 50 sales in total with 2,000 store visitors in a month so CR would be 2.5%.

However, if the conversion happens on other sales channels like social media, you can use the following one.

sales conversion rate outside an online store website conversion rate

To measure success using this formula, merchants have to keep track of leads and resulting sales. To be more specific, leads here are potential individuals who show their interest in your products or services. For instance, you achieved 20 sales on Instagram and had 300 leads so CR on this platform would be about 6.66%.

Thanks to technological advancements, there are a lot of powerful tools such as Google Analytics that will help you record website conversion rate with a few setup steps. Keep reading and we will talk about it later in this article.

What Is A Good Conversion Rate?

This is a common question among startup owners, and the most appropriate answer is, it varies. You should understand that there is no right or wrong rate for all businesses. We can’t compare the CR of a store that sells luxury shoes and accessories with  one offering $10 phone cases. Plus, the conversion rate is highly contextual, which means variables have a powerful impact on your conversion rate. That list includes product type or your niche, average order value, traffic sources, devices (PC, mobile, or tablet), platforms (macOS, Windows, iOS, Android), and geographic location.

However, you might find it challenging to set KPIs if you do not have enough data. Therefore, it is a good idea to use the industry benchmarking metrics to understand how others are doing. Take a closer look at the following charts.

website conversion rates in all eCommerce segments

(IRP Commerce)

 

 Niche Market Conversion Rate (June 2021)
Pet Care 3%
Cars and Motorcycling 1.59%
Kitchen and Home Appliances 2.86%
Sports and Recreation 1.54%
Food and Drink 2.06%
Fashion Clothing and Accessories 1.63%
Health and Wellbeing 3.04%
Arts and Crafts 3.06%
Home Accessories and Giftware 1.06%
Electrical and Commercial Equipment 0.78%
Baby and Child 0.39%

Conversion rate by industry (Source: IRP Commerce)

By specific markets, Arts & Crafts  (3.06%), Health & Wellbeing  (3.04%), and Pet Care (3%) have been the most potential niches up until now. Meanwhile, Baby & Child (0.39%) is the toughest market to compete compared to others. Now, you can save these statistics for your strategic plan in the future.

website conversion rate by device

Conversion rates for large-screen devices such as desktops and tablets are approximately 2x higher compared to the ones from mobile devices (Source: Invesp)

There is no doubt that a conversion rate is the backbone of any eCommerce business. Save these figures for future reference as you’ll probably change your strategic plan - an ultimate preparation to gain a rise in profits.

Top 4 Proven Tactics to Boost Your Conversion Rate

To drive more sales and stand out from the competition, don't just stop yourself at the average CR. Aside from benchmarking your store’s performance, conversion optimization should be one of your baseline goals. Now, we will walk you through some effective tactics that you can apply to quickly bring in more revenue.

Optimize Visual Materials

Think about what you like to do when you go shopping. As a shopper, you want to touch and feel the product to know whether it is a good fit or not, right? Unfortunately, this activity is limited when it comes to buying things from online stores.

To overcome this and to bring your consumers an enjoyable experience, the use of high-quality images and videos to showcase your items comes highly recommended. According to Hubspot, the human brain processes visual details 60,000 times faster than text-based content. Likewise, compelling visual elements can help store owners generate up to 94% more views. Hence, visual commerce is the very first step for you to stay ahead of the competition.

urban natural home product image range slider website conversion rate

Urban Natural Home provides an image ranger slider to show customers how their Valeo Floor Lamp fits in architectural home styles. (Source: Urban Natural Home)

makeup geek eyeshadow swatch website conversion rate

Makeup Geek is another example of using photos to illustrate their product in use. Instead of showing the packaging only, the brand lets customers know how pigmented the eye shadows are on different skin tones. (Source: Makeup Geek)

You might want to check out: Traditional vs. eCommerce Merchandising: How to Merchandise Online.

Optimize The Shopping Flow

Leading potential customers to your store is not enough. To boost sales conversion rate on websites, you need to create a simple, smooth, and effective buying flow. Here are some major points that every store manager should pay attention to and keep optimizing.

Improve Site Search and Navigation

The fact is the faster customers can find a product, the more likely they are to purchase it. Recent studies show that up to 68% of respondents would not return to a website with a poor internal site search, and the figure for bad website navigation is 37%. To build a smooth site search experience, merchants can: 

  1. Place a search box in an easy-to-see location. 
  2. Have a synonym bank and typo tolerance for common search terms. 
  3. Add facets as filter options that can speed up their buying process. 
  4. Keep your menu horizontally at the top or vertically down to the left-hand side. 
  5. Make sure both header and footer sections have links to product pages or collections.
red dress boutique search box and filter tree website conversion rate

To help shoppers quickly locate their favorite items, Red Dress builds a filter tree so they can filter products by collection, price, size, and color apart from the horizontal menu and search box at the top. (Source: Red Dress Boutique)

Want more handy tips? Check out our articles: 

Site Search vs. Navigation: Which is Better for Conversions? 

How to Optimize Conversion Your Conversion Rate with Navigation & Site Search on Shopify

Optimize Your Checkout Process

Imagine how frustrating it is to lose customers during this process. To reduce the checkout abandonment rate, merchants should make everything on the checkout form is simple and clear, for example, input fields. When consumers type in their credit card number, format it for them as they go along. Besides, it is better to have a dropdown or picker when it comes to filling in a date or country field.

yummy bazaar checkout page

Express checkout enables customers to purchase goods or services without entering their shipping and billing information. Therefore, their personal and financial data can be safely transmitted to the merchant. (Source: Yummy Bazaar)

To make the checkout more convenient, consider digital wallets as they can greatly help with this. Payment processors like PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay allow consumers to sign in and then repopulates everything for them. Hence, it is much easier, faster, and more secure.

Apart from always showing shopping cart content to review, it is important to ensure that your store is safe. Hence, you need to apply some methods to enhance your on-site trust and credibility, for instance, installing SSL certificates, or displaying some sort of security badges (GeoTrust, McAfee).

Build a FAQ Page

Store owners often take care of product descriptions with demonstrations to show items off and in use. It’s good, really. However, that’s not enough. To convert curious customers, e-merchants need to have Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) where you address the most common concerns about products, services, return policies, and your brand as a whole. Did you know that 68% of online shoppers view the return policies before they make a purchase?

equal exchange FAQ page website conversion rate

FAQs sections save time for both customers and you because consumers do not have to contact you to get details for simple questions, while you do not need to waste time resolving those simple tickets. (Source: Equal Exchange)

Designing a FAQ page seems like a simple task, but it is easy to over-complicate the page. We’ve got some tips for you to make it optimal for your shoppers. 

  1. Write clear and concise answers instead of eloquent and long paragraphs. 
  2. Include a search bar so that customers can find the appropriate answers as quickly as possible. Likewise, consider showing product pages in instant search results, as well as redirect visitors to relevant pages when they search for shipping or return policy. 
  3. Organize questions by categories like the product-related information (such as size charts), payment methods, shipping, return, or security policies rather than a random order. 
  4. Stick to a simple design and basic format to improve readability. 
  5. Update content over time as your business grows.

Optimize The Promotion

eCommerce promotion is one of the most popular and effective tactics to turn visitors into paying consumers. Besides, it plays an important role in raising brand awareness and nurturing loyal customers as well. Here are some great promotional ideas for your business.

Offer free shipping - No longer a trend, free delivery is now a standard that influences customers buying decisions. According to Nosto, the free shipping program has proven to increase AOV by 97% while reducing cart abandonment by 18%. Due to its impact and popularity, merchants should place it at a noticeable and fixed position across your site.

kkw beauty free shipping website conversion rate

KKW Beauty displays a top banner so online shoppers will be aware of this attractive deal (Source: KKW Beauty)

Creating limited-time promotions will make your consumers feel a sense of urgency - a powerful method to hasten them towards completing a payment. You can offer timely discounts when they subscribe to your newsletters, showing a popup once they enter or before exiting your site.

sephora malaysia limited offer website conversion rate

Sephora Malaysia sends an email to all members to inform them about the limited time 20% discount one day in advance. (Source: Sephora Malaysia)

Though, if you are looking for a less pushy alternative, think about displaying hot selling products across your online store so visitors cannot miss them.

mavi best selling items website conversio rate

This is an excellent way to draw attention to your best-sellers while also giving valuable assets to the products that are selling the most. (Source: Mavi)

Optimize Customer Experience

The customer experience (CX) is all about how your consumers perceive your brand. A recent study indicated that when it comes to making a payment, 64% of respondents find CX more important than the price as a key differentiator. Therefore, improving your customer experience will let consumers go through an enjoyable shopping experience that generates more sales.

Now let’s see how brands are doing to level up user experience.

Use A Live Chat Software

Implementing  live chat software helps you support more customers in less time while turning conversations into checkout with ease.

room shop used shopify inbox website conversion rate

Room Shop used Shopify Inbox to make the most of online sales, 80% direct and 20% wholesale. (Source: Room Shop)

Room Shop is an accessories brand that sells via Instagram and the Shopify store. To stay on top of all sales channels as well as maintain a consistent buying experience across every touchpoint, Shelly Horst, the store owner, decided to install Shopify Inbox. It has been proven to be a powerful tool as she uses it to promote her brand while acting as a virtual stylist for customers. In other words, each inquiry she receives is a great opportunity to build an authentic connection with consumers who feel like they are talking with a product expert.

shopify inbox metrics dashboard website conversion rate

Shopify Inbox also provides merchants with insightful metrics so you can evaluate its performance to plan for growth. (Source: Shopify Inbox)

Harness The Power of Social Media and User-Generated Content (UGC)

One of the most interesting trends in the eCommerce industry is probably the search behaviors that witness the rise of social search.

use of social media for brand search website conversion rate

Approximately 45% of global Internet users said that they would turn to social media at least once per month to look for information about items or services they would like to buy. (Source: Data Reportal)

The use of social networks is more popular among younger groups. Meanwhile, it is also increasingly important for brands to reach GenZ and Millennials because their power continues to grow in the coming years. The research discovered that 58% of Gen Z respondents made purchases via social media, namely Instagram, while 45% of Millennials have browsed their social channels for products.

primary channels for brand search website conversion rate

Social networks are on their way to being dominant channels for brand search. Gen Z uses social networks instead of a search engine, and this will soon be the case for younger millennials. (Source: Data Reportal)

The reason behind it is that these groups want authenticity rather than promotional content and paid advertising. As a result, they would seek case studies, advice from friends, families, colleagues, or social proof. With customer reviews and testimonials, your business looks real to them instead of one trying to steal their money. That’s why business owners should develop strategies to promote their online presence now.

headphone zone website conversion rate

You can combine photos from customer reviews with their photos from Instagram or other social media platforms to showcase them on-site in galleries. (Source: Headphone Zone)

The use of UGC is a very creative way to influence consumers throughout their buying journey. Aside from building brand trust, UGC could result in 29% higher web conversions than campaigns or sites without it. 

To find out best practices for UGC campaigns, check out our article How to Utilize the Benefits of User Generated Content.

Personalization

Today's consumers expect a personalized experience when they are shopping online. According to McKinsey & Company, a successful personalization program can yield a 20% higher customer satisfaction rate and a 10% - 15% increase in sales conversion rate. Also, store managers should concentrate on loyal customers as targeting regular consumers will boost an ROI 3 times higher than that of mass promotion.

amazon prime wardrobe website conversion rate

Amazon Prime Wardrobe is an exclusive program for Prime members where shoppers can try eligible items before buying them. (Source: Amazon)

Let's take a look at Amazon, the world's largest online retailer. Amazon continues to raise the personalization bar with innovative offerings to Prime customers. For example, Amazon Prime Wardrobe has released a personal shopping service exclusively for their members called Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe. Apart from benefits like a 7-day try-on period and free returns, a team of stylists provides personalized recommendations from more than half a million items across brands based on customers' responses in the style survey. There is no doubt that Amazon’s innovations in personalization are setting new standards for the whole industry.

To succeed in personalization, it’s vital to pay attention to: 

  1. Data management serves as the backbone of analytics. 
  2. Consumer segmentation and analytics so you can identify value triggers and score consumers accordingly. 
  3. A library of campaigns with personalized content for specific groups. 
  4. Technology employment to keep track and assess your store performance as well as optimize it based on data-driven insights. 
  5. Test and learn as nothing comes out perfectly so you need to get started, detect conversion issues and optimize your campaigns over time.

4 Powerful Tools to Boost Your Website Conversion Rate

It would be impossible to understand your business performance, in general, and conversion problems, in particular, without analysis tools. The following four are our highly recommended tools for any eCommerce business.

Heat-mapping Tool

A heat-mapping tool like Hotjar is extremely useful to understand how your visitors interact with your site from a high level.

hotjar heat mapping tool website conversion rate

Depending on your plan, a heatmap experiment can capture up to 10,000 pageviews and compiles a visually detailed analysis. (Source: Hotjar)

Interestingly, store managers can take advantage of its session recording - a distinctive feature to analyze customer behaviors in real-time. With a targeted page, Hotjar will record individual sessions that allow you to watch later and know exactly customer interaction on an organic level. Furthermore, it is easy to set up attribute-based filters by visit, page views, length, country, device, and more to drill down deeply on specific segments and types of visitors.

Google Analytics

google analytics website conversion tool

Google Analytics is used to track website activities such as session duration, pages per session, the bounce rate of individuals using the site, along with information on the source of the traffic. (Source: Google Analytics)

Setting up Google Analytics has been a must for all websites including eCommerce ones. This tool gives you a clear and in-depth view of your online shoppers by answering various questions: 

  1. How do they find your site, probably from a keyword search from Google, referral websites, or direct visits
  2. Are those visitors returning or new users?
  3. How long did they stay on your site?
  4. Which operating systems or browsers did they use with what type of devices? 
  5. How many converted customers (based on your goals set up) and the interactions leading to conversions.

Want to learn how to set up Google Analytics on a Shopify store? Check this out.

Advanced Collection and Search Analytics

To eCommerce businesses, data-driven insights about your customers' shopping behaviors play a key role in designing a growth strategy. Third-party apps like Boost Product Filter & Search provide e-merchants an analytics feature that helps you trace the search flow of on-site visitors. Therefore, it is an invaluable tool to learn about shoppers’ digital shopping behaviors and analyze their interactions.

boost collection analytics website conversion rate

Collection Analytics illustrates how online customers use your filter menus to browse items on specific pages and the whole store. (Source: Boost Commerce)

With the Collection Analytics, users can check: 

  1. Top interested collections through the Top Filter Click report. It shows you customers’ interests for a group of products during a period of time.
  2. Trends of product browsing in every collection page thanks to the Top Filter Option Value Combination report. 
  3. Shoppers’ growing demands with Top Filter Option Value report that indicates trending attributes of your products.
boost site search analytics website conversion rate

Apart from Collection Analytics, Site Search Analytics lets store owners know what online shoppers are seeking and how they react to search results. (Source: Boost Commerce)

To help e-merchants gain deeper insights to make the right decision, the search analytics dashboard exhibits: 

  1. A list of top entered search queries revealing what they need from your store.
  2. A list of top search terms with no result and how many times they search but no matching terms. This metric is important because it enables you to monitor and configure better search settings so that you can enhance the shopping experience and convert those sales next time.
  3. Total filter clicks and top filter option value on search page let store managers see whether products are drawing attention or not, aside from which ones are the most popular. 

Need powerful analytics functions? Get your 14-day trial now!

Quantcast Measure

The quickest way to introduce Quantcast Measure is that it is a tag-based analytics tool that fills in between Facebook and Google Analytics. Thus, Quantcast helps you measure customers’ site usage and brings you comprehensive data about demographics, and psychographics on a per-click basis.
quancast measure website conversion rate

The deep insights into who visitors are on a personal level which has translated into business intelligence for you to tailor a key message to customers (Source: Quantcast Measure)

How Will You Increase Sales?

It is important to remember that every eCommerce business is different, so there is no right or wrong conversion rate for all. Although the tips we have mentioned should be adequate to help you improve your sales conversion rate, you also need to update new tactics and stay in contact with your consumers to gain valuable insights. One more thing, keep testing everything until you can turn your site into a conversion generator. 

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