Your website’s conversion rate is a statistic that you should be monitoring closely - it is indicative of how successful your business is at convincing your customers to engage in the purchase of your products. Businesses with a high conversion rate are marketing and presenting their products in an enticing light, whilst businesses with a lower conversion rate need improvement.
Defining conversion rate optimisation
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the process of increasing the percentage of visitors to your website that carry out the desired action, whether that be add to cart, purchase or downloading your newsletter. Essentially, CRO is about removing barriers to purchase, encouraging certain actions all whilst creating an inviting experience for consumers.
Why are conversion rates important?
Your conversion rate is one of 7 key metrics you should know for your eCommerce business. It is incredibly important to monitor your conversion rates as it can indicate if you are overspending in your advertising campaigns, as well as teach you about the behaviors of your customers. If your ad spend is high but your conversion rate remains low, then it may indicate that there is something wrong with your campaign - perhaps you are targeting the wrong people or there is an issue with your website. Platforms like Shopify allow you to analyse the customer journey, if several customers are adding the product to the cart but not purchasing then you may have an issue with shipping or the entry of customer details.
How to calculate conversion rates
Calculating your conversion rate is simple. Define what action you are seeking to analyse and get your calculator out. For instance, let’s calculate the conversion rate of a purchase targeted campaign - to do this, we would divide the total number of purchases from the number of interactions with the ad campaign.
If 25 people purchased your product out of a total of 100 interactions with the ad, your conversion rate would be 25%.
What’s a good conversion rate?
The perfect conversion rate doesn’t exist - it’s as simple as that. Each industry has its own benchmark and comparing conversion rates across industries can cause inaccurate representations of the data. In 2018, the highest converting merchandise category was flowers and gifts with an average 5.8% conversion rate. On the other hand, housewares and home furnishings had the lowest conversion rate at 2%. Other categories such as office supplies and health products had conversion rates of 5.3% and 4.8% respectively. Ultimately, it’s up to each business to determine if they are satisfied with their conversion rate.
Conversion rate optimisation: how you can succeed
Every business can succeed in conversion rate optimisation if they follow the following steps. It will take time and the results may not always present immediately - with patients and a drive to succeed, your business can increase its conversion rate easily.
1. Utilise strong CTA’s
Customers need to be told what to do, as a business, it is your role to guide the consumer through the experience they have on your website. If the process to purchase a product from your eCommerce store is convoluted, then it is likely the consumer will exit the site out of frustration or boredom. Utilising a strong call to action can assist in this and encourage visitors to take fast and decisive action. Create a sense of urgency to entice your visitors into a purchase - perhaps you can remind them of a current sale or configure the product, so it appears as if the stock levels are lower than they are.
2. Eliminate website distractions
Flashy pop-ups that interrupt the customer experience should be removed immediately. It is incredibly important that all distractions are eliminated from your website - the path to purchase needs to be as clear as possible. Don’t overwhelm your potential customer with information either!
3. Optimise high-performing pages
Optimising your already high-performing pages can substantially increase traffic to your website. By their nature, successful web pages will already have a high conversion rate - use their success as a template to create other pages on your website. Ask yourself, what makes this page work? How can I replicate this page’s success? Can I create a template that ensures a higher conversion rate across my entire website? Asking these questions will allow you to optimise your website without having to reinvent the wheel - simply take what is already working and replicate it.
4. Some pop-ups are acceptable
Contrary to what was said above, some pop-ups are acceptable at certain touch points throughout the customer experience. In most cases alerting customers to sales or low stock through pop-ups can be a persuasive way to entice a purchase. However, if you overwhelm your customers with excessive pop-ups, it may cause them to click off your website and negatively impact your conversion rate.
5. Offer real-time support along the journey
Answering questions by a customer throughout the journey to purchase can increase your conversion rate and increase your level of customer service. Plugins like messenger allow you to chat in real time with the customers on your website. Should they have a question about the product or need advice on how to use it, you can be there answering their questions - increasing the likelihood of a conversion.
6. Give A/B testing a try
A/B testing is where you trial two different designs of either a webpage or ad and then monitor the conversion rate for a single action. This type of testing can pinpoint what customers respond to the best and provide clear ways in which to improve your conversion rate. If the A variable produces a better conversion rate than the B variable, then implementing the A variable across your website will likely improve the conversion rate.
Square makes e-commerce easy
Square powers eCommerce businesses from across the world - our platform facilitates fast and secure transactions between consumers and businesses. If you have an eCommerce site and want a specialised and secure payment provider, then visit this link to learn about Square’s offering. If you are an existing customer with a Square POS machine, integrate your eCommerce payment platform to gain better insights into how your customers are behaving.