Time, effort, and expense all go into attracting shoppers to your site. The last thing you want is for those shoppers to leave without finishing what they came to do, i.e. shop! Yet that’s what’s happening in massive numbers.
Baynard’s analysis of 48 different ecommerce studies shows a whopping 69.99% average cart abandonment rate. That’s more than two-thirds of your potential customers who are turning away without purchasing.
So how can you create a better shopping experience that makes customers fall in love with your website boost conversion?
User-friendly design and mobile optimisation are essentials often discussed. For more detail about these aspects, see our in-depth article Ecommerce Site Best Practices [With Examples]. In this article, we’re giving you 10 tactics you may not have considered to increase conversion rates – and make your website the place people love to shop.
1. Put Shoppers in the Fast Lane
Online shoppers have a vast amount of information bombarding them. Advertisements, social media, email campaigns, and many other digital vehicles grab their time and attention. So when shoppers visit your online store, they want a fast and seamless experience.
A study by Portent shows that an ecommerce site loading in 1 second has a 2.5x higher online conversion rate than a site loading in 5 seconds. So how can you ensure your site is lighting-fast to convert online more frequently?
- Ensure your hosting provider can optimise your website for performance.
- Reduce product and featured image file sizes – see Shopify’s article for more tips.
- Make sure thumbnail images are properly optimised.
- Minimise the use of URL redirects that elongate the HTTP request and response process.
- Use caching plugins or an ecommerce platform that includes CDN (Content Delivery Network) functionality, which can greatly accelerate page load times.
2. Connect with Customers Through Visual Elements
Paint a picture that resonates with your shoppers for higher conversions. Aje is an Australian fashion retailer that creates a stunning of the brand’s inherent duality of strength and femininity throughout its site. Full-screen images and videos, carefully-planned negative space, and “looks that we love” collections create a captivating journey for shoppers.
Consider how the use and consistency of product imagery and other visual elements help to connect shoppers with your brand (and create a more enjoyable online experience).
3. Tailor Your Tone of Voice
Just as visual elements form your brand story, so does the copy (written content). The tone of voice is the character of your brand – how it comes across in written form. What does your website copy say about your company? Does it communicate with customers in an easily understandable and relatable way?
Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits does a fantastic job of welcoming you into its world of classic charm and adventure. You’re likely to find a carefully-placed “cin cin” or “huzzah” along the way that creates intrigue – and a thirst to know more.
4. Shine the Spotlight on Customer Content
According to a Yotpo survey, 77% of ecommerce shoppers said authentic photos from other customers affect their purchase decisions more than professional photos. Shoppers respond to the authenticity of customer-created content, such as Instagram photos of clothing items being worn or short videos of make-up items.
Explore the types of UGC (User Generated Content) that may be right for your online store, such as on-site product ratings, reviews, Q&A, photos, and videos to boost conversions. Neil Patel’s Ultimate Guide to UGC provides in-depth information about types of UGC that can enhance the experience for your customers.
5. Make Search a Sensational Affair
We know that an excellent on-site search experience lifts online conversion rates. Nourished Life, for example, saw 6.1x higher conversions with shoppers using search than those without search, with revenue per visit hitting a massive 6.9x greater. Shoppers using search also have a high purchase intent – if they can find the products they want quickly.
Make search the sensational affair your shoppers deserve. Our quick tips to enhance the search experience and quality of results include:
- Make your search bar prominent on your site. For example, rather than having a small search icon placed in the right-hand corner of your header menu, put search centre stage with a large search input bar across your header menu.
- Add placeholder text to your search bar to prompt shoppers. For example, you could label your bar with “Search for anything – brands, styles, categories, etc”.
- Give shoppers real-time results as they search with type-ahead autocomplete. Show your shoppers instant product suggestions as they’re typing their search queries.
- Keep the search journey going. Shoppers may sometimes search for specific products that are out of stock or no longer available. This is a perfect opportunity to curate new collections of similar items and redirect that traffic.
- Don’t let the journey end at a zero results page. Add spell corrections and synonyms for search terms that lead customers to a “sorry, no matching items” page. Google Analytics data or Searchspring zero results reports can give you these insights.
- Show personalised search results pages that take individual shopping behaviours into account. By serving shoppers highly-relevant results through AI search and data, they have a faster, more meaningful shopping experience.
6. Take the Power of Search Further with Filters
Whether you have extensive product collections or simply want your shoppers to have the fastest, most frictionless experience, advanced filters can help. After entering a search query, the next step for your shoppers is refining the results to find what they want quickly.
Options such as colour, size, brand, gender, price, and category are excellent places to start. But also consider if your shoppers would benefit from advanced filters like material, style, occasion, features and benefits, or even sustainability.
Use search keywords reports available in Searchspring or Google Analytics data to see customers’ search terms. This data will inform additional filter options to help shoppers find their perfect products faster.
7. Understand the Customer Journey
Ecommerce customer journeys consist of many touchpoints and steps. So it’s critical to understand the whole online shopping process. Customer journey mapping uses data to identify influencing factors and drop-off points within that shopping process.
The ultimate goal of mapping out the journey is to enhance the overall shopping experience. This can include advertising, customer service, fulfillment, etc. And crucially, you can uncover deep insights into page performance and website functionality that can enhance the on-site experience, therefore increasing conversions. See Qualtrix’s article for more detail about customer journey mapping.
8. Liven the Experience with Live Indexing
Among the top cart abandonment reasons of additional costs, slow delivery, and complicated checkout processes, 18% of shoppers also reported trust as an issue, according to Baymard Institute.
Transparency of information is vital to building shopper trust, particularly with live product, pricing, and inventory level information. Indexing acts as a “middleman” between your back-end ecommerce systems, such as inventory management or pricing systems, and your front-facing ecommerce website.
Ideally, you want that data exchange to happen in real time. With Live Indexing, there’s no waiting for scheduled updates of stock levels, pricing, or critical product details to update your website. Instead, changes are made in minutes. Shoppers then see live information that builds confidence and trust in your site’s information.
You can also use product badges to highlight “low in stock” or “last chance” items – or even show which products have been discounted. This tactic can help shoppers quickly identify opportunities and create a sense of urgency.
9. When Shoppers Give Data, Give Something Back
Merkle reports that 70% of people expect to receive something in exchange for giving a brand their data. When shoppers provide their data on your ecommerce site, consider creating a value exchange. In Yotpo’s research, 82% of consumers said personalised products, recommendations, discounts, and additional services would make them willing to share personal data.
Whether you’re offering discounts, exclusive access to new products, prize draws, or other valuable items, giving something back can encourage customers to share their data on your website – and have a better experience in return.
10. Provide Next-Level Personalisation
What makes online consumers frustrated? A massive 76% of them told McKinsey that not receiving personalised experiences is the cause. Once you’ve gathered data about your customers, it’s imperative to leverage that data and further personalise the experience. Shoppers want to see more of what they love, spend less time looking for it, and get through the checkout faster. In stores, shopping assistants facilitate this process. But what about online?
You can bring the offline experience online in several ways, including:
- Personalised product recommendations that help shoppers find their perfect products. Give shoppers more meaningful suggestions like “complete the look”, “similar items”, “people also purchased”, and more.
- Personalised search results that use AI search technology to boost more relevant products in on-site search results for your shoppers, based on their preferences and behaviours.
- Personalised email recommendations that can serve tailored product suggestions in every email campaign. Imagine providing a personal discount code for a shopper’s birthday along with the top products in which they’ve shown interest. Now that’s a clever way to bring them back on-site while providing a next-level, personalised experience.
- Provide a quiz to get to know your shoppers style and preferences fast. This provides an opportunity to personalise the shoppers experience and ask for contact information before any browsing or purchasing is even made.
Boost Conversion and Help Online Shoppers Fall in Love With Your Ecommerce Site
With so much information and an ever-changing landscape, it can be difficult to sort through all the noise. The ultimate rule is to keep the shopper in mind when determining what works. Who is your audience? How do they shop? What do they look for? Run a site audit to ensure your store is working as seamlessly as possible. Also, use data to test strategies and to get to know your customers. By keeping these tactics in mind, you can drive an enhanced shopper experience to increase loyalty and boost conversions.