5 ways to boost your ecommerce conversion rates

5 ways to boost your ecommerce conversion rates

In the business of selling online, conversions are the Holy Grail. OK, it’s way more complicated than that—there’s traffic, product, marketing, and more. But at the end of the day, more than their AdWords click-through rate and traffic sources, the question most merchants want answered is, how many visitors became full-fledged customers.

If you’re in ecommerce, you probably know all of that already. There’s a good chance you’ve thought long and hard about how to optimize your site. You may have even run some A/B tests to see what’s helping people convert, and what’s keeping them away.

But there’s a lot more to optimization than just changing the wording of your CTA, or the location of your Add to Cart button. With that in mind, here are some tips that not enough businesses take advantage of.

1. Target the right visitors.

So the first one is cheating a little—it’s technically not a way to increase your conversion rate, but a way to think about it more intelligently.

What does this mean? That not all site visitors are the same. Some are first-time and some are loyal customers. Some are on their phones and some are on their laptops. Some came to your site from Facebook and some came from a landing page.

Research consistently shows that these visitors have wildly different conversion rates, so it’s important to segment your visitors within your analytics platform to find out exactly who is converting. That way, you’ll know who to target and be able to measure your optimization impacts with *much *greater specificity.

2. Experiment with color

So we all know that color can have a massive impact on your conversion rate, but did you know that each color can motivate users in different ways by producing an emotional response? For example, blue is the best color to use when trying to cultivate sense of trust (which virtually everyone involved in financial transactions wants), and orange can create an atmosphere of urgency.

More importantly for conversions is the idea that any asset on your site that stands out—anything that’s a different color, or shape—will be the thing that’s remembered by visitors. This is why many sites make their CTA buttons a unique color.

These are just a few pointers. If you want a more comprehensive guide, check out a handy post over at Kissmetrics. But remember, no two website audiences are the same, so the best advice for changing color on your site is to run A/B tests and see what works best for your visitors.

3. Market your security

Even if you’re Amazon, security is one of those things that all visitors are concerned about. In fact, 9 in 10 web users are worried about their security when they do business online.¹

That’s why marketing your website’s security—or, in layman’s terms, letting people know they’re safe when buying from you—is a great way to give hesitant consumers that extra bit of confidence they need to convert. One tool that’s consistently been shown to increase conversions is the McAfee SECURE trustmark, which lets visitors know if a site is free from malware, hacking, and has passed a security scan.

If you do market your security, it’s important to be associated with a well-known brand. Security brands with high visibility tend to do better because more people know about them. In fact, less familiar brands can actually hurt your business: one survey found that more than 75% of consumers had decided to not buy something online because they didn’t recognize the security seal.²

4. Declutter

You know the hip person in your office who always talks about “de-cluttering” their life (and probably chai and mindfulness)? It turns out it’s not a bad idea—at least with your website. You may be too close to realize it, but there’s a decent chance your customer is overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of stuff on your website.

Studies have shown that too many choices not only make people anxious and sad (never a feeling you want associated with your brand), but also can reduce conversions.

So be critical about both your asks and your offers. Do you really need a customer’s age, phone number, or business title? Eliminating these choices eliminates friction, which often means more conversions.

5. Ignore the fold

Well, not entirely. Let me explain. You’ve probably seen studies showing how only 20% of visitors ever go below the fold of your site. Everyone has seen those studies, which is why nearly every site jams as much information as possible above the fold.

But those sites don’t necessarily convert as well as they could. Why? Because, as Bnonn explains over at Kissmetrics, “Asking for a commitment before you’ve made the value of it clear to your prospect is really self-defeating. The only answer you’re likely to get is no.”

The smart marketer understands that if you’ve done a good job with copy and images above the fold, visitors who have a chance at becoming customers will scroll down.

That’s why instead of putting your form or button above the fold on every page (which also makes your site look like everyone elses’), think about what you need to do to get people to understand the value of your product. This will make them scroll, read, and hopefully be convinced to convert.

¹ Harris Interactive 2013, Trustmark Attitudes and Perceptions
² http://www.actualinsights.com/2011/shopping-cart-abandonment-trust-logos/