Branding

The Secrets to High eCommerce Conversion Rates

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As entrepreneurs, we see high sales numbers and successful marketing campaigns as signs that we are doing something right with our business. When we achieve growth and establish ourselves as an authority in our niche, we feel very successful as business owners, however this success can always be improved.

 

While we may have considerably successful eCommerce stores in our niche, that does not mean every aspect of our business is perfect, and there are always new ways we can be improving our business, whether it be by converting more site visitors into loyal customers, or by using new marketing methods to reach the largest audience.

 

Whatever the case may be, it’s a simple fact that we are always missing potential sales in some way or another. Every successful business can do something better to reach a larger audience and make more sales, however understanding where the changes should be made is the most important step of improvement.

 

Having high conversion rates is one of the most important parts of running a successful business, even more so than many business owners believe. Because reviews are so easily accessible online, customers no longer purchase items blindly, with a staggering 84 percent of shoppers checking reviews on social media before making a purchase.

 

Naturally, the best way to keep customers happy and coming back for more is by providing them with excellent service and a quality product to match, however there are some site modifications and marketing adjustments that can be made in order to more efficiently convert site visitors into loyal customers:

 

  • Make your website easy to use. When customers are faced with complex navigation or a cluttered checkout page, they will be more likely to leave without making a purchase.
  • Include features that make your store accessible to those with disabilities.
  • Use product videos, as these can lead to a nearly 150 percent increase in conversion rates when used efficiently.
  • Be honest about your products.

 

High conversion rates are the result of trust between the customer and the vendor, therefore instilling a sense of trust with your site visitors is absolutely key to making more sales and retaining more customers. This can be done by:

 

  • Posting testimonials on your website and social media pages.
  • Providing a customer service contact number, with a person answering the phone rather than an automated machine.
  • Offer multiple secure payment options at checkout, and include a security badge to let customers know their payment information will be safely handled.

One of the biggest sources of distrust for customers comes from returns and shipping, making it of the utmost importance that eCommerce stores put a heavy focus on making these processes as simple and painless as possible.

 

While no company wants to deal with returns, they do happen from time to time. In fact,

 

  • Returns make up about 8 percent of sales for retailers, on average.
  • 66 percent of customers make a point of reading a company’s return policy before making a purchase.
  • 30 percent of all online purchases are returned.
  • 81 percent of online shoppers agree that a simple return process is important to their puchase.

 

Meeting customer demands as far as returns go can be tricky, as many customers want a return policy that isn’t feasible for most companies. Wanting to return an item several months after it was purchased and used isn’t doable for most companies, but there are some basic ways you can improve your return policy to meet the needs of your shoppers:

 

  • Make your policy very clear on the checkout page of your store.
  • Allow customers to take a longer time to return their products. If your current return policy runs for 7-14 days after purchase, try establishing a 30-day return policy, as this may persuade more site visitors to make a purchase.

 

Many of the same concerns customers have about returns are also had about shipping, making it an equally important factor in establishing high conversion rates. Many customers will turn away from a sale if it means high shipping costs, making it crucial that eCommerce stores find a way to lower their shipping prices if they want to stay competitive.

 

Lower your shipping costs by shopping from vendors with low shipping costs. Many vendors offer discount shipping on bulk orders, which could help you save some money in the long run.

 

In addition, many shipping companies will cut deals for business owners, making it important to check the policies of different shipping companies and determine which one will negotiate best to fit your shipping needs.
Each of the factors above plays a major role in cart abandonment, and by improving these factors of your business, you can increase conversion rates and find yourself making more sales. Customers want detailed information about their purchase and your policies, and by simply improving your policies to better suit the customer, you will find yourself with more customers and higher customer retention.

 

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA, starting in the early days of online commerce when he achieved Power Seller status through his eBay store. This propelled him to become a co-founder of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. With a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus, where he helps identify, navigate, and accelerate growth in the complex world of commerce.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the eCommerce Fastlane Podcast and Shopify Founder Stories, a top-rated twice-weekly podcast where he interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands improve efficiencies, grow revenue, profit, and lifetime customer loyalty.

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