Conversion rates are one of the most important metrics that online retail businesses need to measure because they show you exactly what percentage of visitors to your site actually buy something. Having a high traffic rate is important but it doesn’t really get you anywhere if your conversion rate is low and all of those people are leaving the site without making a purchase. A lot of new online retailers and freelance copywriters find that they have this problem and if it isn’t dealt with, you’ll struggle to stay afloat for very long.
Good Conversion Rates Really Do Matter
Good conversion rates are a lot lower than you might expect. The average is around 1 to 2 percent as people are easily convinced to visit the site but actually closing that sale is a lot harder. But with high traffic levels, a conversion rate of at least 2 percent is reasonable. Obviously, you should be aiming higher than that but you don’t need to be too concerned if it sits around that level. However, if it is lower than 1 percent, you need to start making some of these changes to the business.
Improve Website Navigation
Consumers are very impatient when they’re shopping online. The major benefit of online retail is that it’s a lot more convenient than shopping on the high street so consumers expect to be able to fly through the process in a few minutes without any trouble. If you make them work too hard, they’re just going to get bored and leave the site without making a purchase. Often, a poor website design is the root cause of low conversion rates because people find it too difficult to find the products that they’re looking for.
It’s important that you make your website interesting and original, but don’t let that distract you from functionality and good navigation. You need to have a clear, easy to use menu on the site so people can quickly jump to the relevant category and start browsing products. You also need a good search function for people that can’t find what they’re looking for. Try not to make the site too crowded either so people can immediately identify what they’re looking for as soon as they enter the site.
Streamline Payment Processes
Even if customers can find products and add them to their basket, that doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed a sale just yet. Cart abandonment is a huge issue for online retailers and a bad payment process is one of the major causes. If customers have to go through multiple pages and fill out lengthy forms with their information when they want to buy something, you’re just giving them more opportunity to change their mind, which they’re likely to do. You need to use a well established payment platform like Total Merchant Services which offers a simple, streamlined checkout process for your customers. Using a well known platform also means that your customers will have more trust in the site which is so important if they’re going to put their credit card details in. Consumers are more aware than ever about the risk of online fraud so if any small reservations about the payment process are likely to lose you a sale.
Boost Your Credibility
Using the right payment platform is important if you want your customers to trust in your website, but you need to boost your credibility in other ways if you’re going to increase your conversion rate. When you enter the online retail industry, you’re going up against some huge companies that are already well established so credibility is important. Why should they buy from you when they can get the same products from Amazon?
Reviews are the best way to boost your credibility because they offer an impartial endorsement of your products from previous customers. The majority of consumers will check reviews before buying something online and if you aren’t displaying your reviews proudly on your website, they’ll assume that it’s because they’re bad.
Offer Free Shipping
Most large online retailers offer free shipping these days and you should too if possible. A lot of customers are put off by shipping costs, even if they aren’t that expensive, because they know that they can probably find a similar product on a site that doesn’t charge for delivery. If you can’t afford to offer free shipping because your costs are too high, it may be worth changing your courier and finding a better deal. You could also increase the price of your products a little to cover the cost of free shipping. The customer pays the same but in their mind, it’s a better deal because you offer free shipping.
Low conversion rates can kill your business if you aren’t careful so you need to make these simple changes to increase them as soon as possible. Collaboration