15 Tips To Improve eCommerce Conversion Rates

The eCommerce space is becoming increasingly competitive and acquiring new customers can be expensive. So rather than looking at ways to attract new shoppers to your online store, we’re going to list some tips and advice on what to do to start generating more conversions from the visitors you already have.

The conversion rate for eCommerce sites is arguably the most important metric that needs to be monitored as you build and grow your business …and this won’t grow organically, you’ll need to optimise it.


How do you calculate conversion rate for an eCommerce website?

To work out your average eCommerce conversion rate you need to take the number of conversions (or sales) and divide that by the number of total sessions during the same time period.

For example, if you had 100 conversions from 10,000 sessions, your conversion rate would be 1%, since 100 ÷ 10,000 = 1%.

What is a good eCommerce conversion rate?

There are, of course, a variety of variables to think about when looking at a ‘good’ eCommerce conversion rate, but the global average sits between 1-3%.

The range of 1-3% is broadly what’s seen in Econsultancy’s Performance Benchmarks tool. The data used in this tool is from a variety of partners, with the eCommerce conversion rate data being provided by Littledata, an eCommerce analytics specialist.

1. Let customers know your site is safe

This can be achieved in a subtle way, but has a huge impact when you’re looking to improve eCommerce conversion rate.

You have a short amount of time to build trust with your potential customers, who need to feel comfortable with entering their personal data (and bank details) on your website.

This trust can be gained with good UX, but here is a list of other things that can help:

  1. Install an SSL certificate to enable an encrypted connection. Think of it like sealing a letter in an envelope before sending it through the mail.
  2. Display logos of credit cards, PayPal and other payment options as a visual signal that you use trusted payment options.
  3. Show McAfee, GeoTrust or other security badges, but make sure that you have an account with them!

2. Create a site structure for easy to find products

The faster a shopper can find a product, the more likely they are to buy from you. The site navigation should be clear and accessible on all devices from any page on your website. You can also implement a product search bar to allow customers to find products easily and quickly.


3. Optimise for all devices

It goes without saying in this day and age that your site should be optimised for all screens and devices.

If your site loads poorly on mobile devices (poor mobile responsiveness) you will see a high bounce rate and you will have a low conversion rate.To check how mobile-friendly your site is, enter your URL into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and you’ll get the result in a matter of seconds.

4. Make sure your site is fast

The probability of a user bouncing increases by 32% as the page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds and this is an important factor when looking at your eCommerce conversion rate.When a delay of 1 second can result in a 7% reduction in conversions, eCommerce sites making £1,000 per day could potentially lose over £25,000 in revenue per year.

5. Write detailed product descriptions

As well as improving your SEO ranking and online visibility, writing detailed and useful product descriptions will improve your eCommerce conversion rate.

This also ensures the customer has a clear understanding of exactly what they are buying, and will limit the number returns.

6. Use high quality images and video on your product pages

Similarly, having high quality product photos are a must when it comes to selling online. 

Product images capture a shopper’s attention, and in lieu of being able to handle the product, will help them make visual judgements quickly, providing a great first impression.

Your high quality product images could be complimented by a useful video and detailed product descriptions, enticing the shopper to buy.

7. Give users reassurance (product reviews)

92% of shoppers read online reviews when considering a purchase, giving them reassurance that they are not only dealing with a reputable company, but that the product they are buying is a true reflection of the listing.

Social proof refers to the psychological phenomenon in which people make decisions based on the collective actions of others. So reading positive reviews from other buyers gives confidence that buying the well-reviewed product is a good choice.

8. Be clear on your return or guarantee policy

Your return and guarantee policies should be clear and easily visible on your product pages. Over 50% of customers will read the return policy before buying, so make sure you are concise and honest.

Not being able to touch and feel the product before buying is one of the biggest drawbacks of buying online. Being upfront with your return and guarantee policies will make your customers comfortable and more likely to complete their purchase.

9. Offer live chat

Depending on the resources available to you, live chat can be a good option to create a direct communication line from your potential customers to you. It can also build trust with your shoppers and as well as customer loyalty in the future.

It’s important to note – your live chat should not be seen ‘unavailable’ or in a ‘leave a message’ state as this will have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve.

10. Stock scarcity and limited time coupons

Scarcity of stock and limited time coupons are another way to psychologically persuade your shoppers and drive urgency.

When a coupon code is expiring or a product is almost out of stock, it will encourage shoppers to go through with the purchase quickly and not get distracted.

11. Offer free shipping

Online shoppers have grown accustomed to the likes of Amazon. So if your online store doesn’t offer free shipping, it’s highly likely that your customers will look elsewhere.

Free shipping can be psychological, meaning if you don’t think you can afford to offer free shipping, you could increase the cost of your product to cover the cost of shipping.

Online payment with Google Pay

12. Accept multiple payment options

Your eCommerce store should be flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of shoppers. Whilst you won’t be able to make everyone happy, it’s important to offer a range of payment options to your customers.

Consider adding payment options like PayPal or Apple Pay. Or if your customers are ‘techy’ you could consider adding a cryptocurrency option.

13. Let customers checkout as guests

You should allow users to guest checkout without signing up for an account. You will be capturing their name and email address when they checkout anyway, so forcing the user to register is just giving them another reason to leave your site.

14. Show progress bars on checkout

One of the main reasons a customer abandons their shopping cart is due to the checkout process either taking too long or being too complicated.

If the checkout process is as streamlined as possible, the issue is likely that your customer perceives it is too long. This can be fixed by simply setting expectations and displaying a progress bar from the outset. This will let your customers know where they are in the process and how long it will take to complete their purchase.

15. Follow up on abandoned carts

You should pay close attention to your abandoned cart data. Approximately 35% of the abandoned carts are potentially recoverable through a combination of checkout process improvements or better product descriptions.

But abandoned carts are also a big opportunity to increase your conversion rate by following up via email. You could throw in additional discounts or rewards if the shopper completes the purchase.

Additional metrics to help you measure eCommerce success

As well as keeping a close eye on your average eCommerce conversion rate, there are some other Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), through tools like Google Analytics, that will give you an insights into how well you are performing and where you need to make improvements: 

  • Average Session Duration is an engagement metric that shows you how long a user has spent on your site.
  • Bounce Rate is the percentage of users who leave after viewing a single page. A high bounce rate means users aren’t finding what they’re looking for on your store and are leaving after landing on your site.
  • Exit Rate can be used to identify which pages users leave your site on. A page with a high exit rate may need to be optimised.
  • Click-Through-Rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who click on your website from an ad or email they are displayed. You can usually find this figure in tools like Google Ads or your email marketing software.

Want more tips on how to improve conversion rates?

Here at Code23 we follow a user-centric approach with cutting-edge UX/UI methodologies to bring functionality and form together – creating inspiring, usable, thoughtful designs.

Speak to us about our award winning UX work and how our team can improve your eCommerce conversion rate.