Once you launch your online business, it can feel like the hard work is behind you. You’ve figured out what to sell, who your target customers are, and set up a website to start selling.
It’s no small feat that you should be proud of—but the reality is that it’s only the beginning.
To be a business, you need to sell.
That means that once your e-commerce business is live, you need to start convincing visitors on your site to purchase. Your site’s conversion rate—the rate of visitors who become customers—is a key metric to your success.
For the more established business, improving the conversion rate of your store by even by a fraction of a percent can result in massive improvements to your sales.
We’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you dramatically increase the conversion rate of your e-commerce site, plus some benefits of working with an expert.
Different types of conversion rates
There are many ways of measuring conversion on a site. It can simply refer to the total visitors who make a purchase, but conversion can also refer to the performance of individual elements on your site. For instance, if you’re offering a lead magnet content piece—like a brochure—you can measure the number of people who view that page and complete the form.
Conversion rate can also be used to test visual elements on your site—you may find that more people click on green buttons rather than red ones—which can then inform the overall design of your site.
Each page on your site also has its own conversion rate. It’s important to keep track of the conversion rate of your entire purchase funnel. How many people who land on your home page visit the product page? How many people who view your products then move on to the checkout? Most importantly, how many of those people on your checkout complete their purchase?
All these factors are important considerations when you’re trying to improve the performance of your site.
How e-commerce sites measure conversion
If you’re a Shopify user, you’ve likely seen the Shopify conversion rate of your store on your dashboard. What you may not realize is that this metric is a comparison. It is informed both by the conversion rate of your site overall and by the way that number compares to other similar stores.
This is important as it’s a great way to tell if your store needs improvement—but don’t worry too much about keeping up with the competition. This metric compares stores that Shopify identifies as similar, but you should know your product better than any algorithm.
Research the competition
The easiest way to improve your store’s conversion rate is to research your top competitors. What brands stand out in the space? What are they doing that you can implement on your site?
Look at everything—from site structure, to colors, to copy. Do they have fewer or more pages on their site than you do? Are there colors or words you see repeated across multiple sites?
Get into the details and try to look for things that you can use. Even if you can’t copy colors exactly, for instance, you may want to use colors in the same family for similar elements. If they’re running on the same e-commerce platform, you may be able to integrate the same designs or apps on your site, too.
Colors evoke feelings and those feelings can drive consumer behaviour. You’ll probably notice in your research that action buttons are usually bright and friendly colors, like greens and blues. Buttons will also be high contrast so they’re easy to spot on the page.
These simple tactics can make a world of difference on the performance of those call-to-action (CTA) buttons. Do some research on color theory and choose some CTA colors that drive action and that catch the eye on the existing design of your site. Most e-commerce platforms make it easy to change the CTA color across your site in a few clicks!
The World Wide Web Consortium released regulations that require all websites internationally to meet certain accessibility guidelines. The requirements are simple—like using alt text on images and ensuring text is high enough contrast to be legible—and can easily be measured using free online apps. Following these guidelines benefit your store in a few ways. Firstly, it will improve your rankings on search engines. This increased traffic will lead to more potential customers and though it doesn’t mean your conversion rate will improve, it may still result in more sales.
Secondly, making your site accessible to everyone means that all your site visitors will have equal opportunity to purchase your product. You’ve done the hard work of bringing visitors to your site—don’t lost out on customers over a few simple changes!
Most importantly, accessibility guidelines improve the store experience for everyone. Think of the guidelines as a guidebook on improving conversion!
Working with an expert to make your site accessible is a great idea. Typically, they’ll be far more familiar with the guidelines and will be able to spot any issues you may overlook.
Use high-quality images and videos
This is a simple change that can make a big impact on your conversion rate. A clear, high-quality image of your product can make it easier for customers to visualize it and make their decision to purchase. Plus, creative images designed to be shareable can make it easier to sell on social media or through referrals. Take advantage of the preview image and make it something memorable for each page.
Taking a great photo doesn’t have to be complicated—natural lighting and a simple background always work well—but this is a great opportunity to work with a professional. A photographer will be able to provide creative snaps of your products and edit images as needed.
Selling a service? Consider using a video to tell the story of your offering. What will the customer experience look like? Hire a graphic designer to help you make an animated clip or a videographer to collaborate with you on a live video about it.
Good Copy that converts
The visual elements on your site are an important part of conversion rate, but there is arguably nothing more important than copy. Ever notice how many CTA buttons say things like now or today? Small tweaks to your copy can have a major impact on conversion.
When it comes to the copy on your site, focus on the following two key areas:
- CTA copy
- Product descriptions
The copy on your buttons should drive urgency and clearly indicate what the customer should expect on the next page. For instance, if the button directs them to the checkout, consider copy like Checkout Now or Checkout Here. Best practice is to capitalize CTA copy that is two words or less, and to use sentence case for anything longer.
Your product descriptions are another key part of your conversion rate. They should clearly explain what it is you are providing and any other important information your customer might want to know. For instance, what are the materials? Where is it shipping from? Most importantly, why should they want to buy it? What advantages does it offer? The same principles apply when selling a service, though you’ll focus much more on the customer experience.
This is also a great opportunity to hire an expert. Their industry knowledge can help inform the copy and as mentioned before—small changes make a big difference! Better yet, they’ll be able to refresh copy across the site to ensure a consistent experience and voice throughout the purchase funnel.
Simple changes lead to big results
A good idea to accelerate this process is to hire a great team of conversion rate optimization experts like the ones at Startup Slang. Because companies like Startup Slang have worked with over 2000 merchants, they have a ton of data on various successful eCommerce stores that they can implement on your store. Where else are you going to find such vast knowledge of the industry and its best practices?
Sometimes, it's best to take the accelerated approach to success. You'll thank me for that recommendation one day.
Improving the conversion rate of your store can feel daunting, but with a few small tweaks, you can dramatically improve the performance of your site. Don’t let all the hard work you put in go to waste. Be sure to continuously and consistently look for ways to improve your conversion rates. Monitor industry trends, keep an eye on the competition, and hire an expert to help you level up quickly.