Blog
Ecommerce Conversion Rate

What Is Ecommerce Conversion Rate? 8 Tips to Improve Yours

10.0
min
-
Ryan Baum
-
Oct 4, 2023

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Blog
Ecommerce Conversion Rate

What Is Ecommerce Conversion Rate? 8 Tips to Improve Yours

10
min
-
Ryan Baum
-
Oct 4, 2023

If you get ample traffic to your online store but don’t convert that traffic into sales, you will never reach your revenue goals. And for many online stores — even stores with a great product and brand — low ecommerce conversion rates eventually lead to store closures.

To optimize your ecommerce conversion rate, you need to know how to guide potential customers through your conversion funnel. Conversion rate isn’t something you “do,” per se. Consistently converting shoppers requires a marathon of research, experiments, and tweaks.  

Fortunately, there are some low-lift tactics that might make a huge impact on your website’s conversion rate. 

What is ecommerce conversion rate? 

Ecommerce conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your online store who make a purchase in a specified time period. 

In the digital world, a conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who perform a particular desired action (such as signing up for a newsletter) on your website or page within a specified time period.

For example, let’s say you wanted to measure your rate for the month of November. If you had 13,021 unique website visitors, 201 of whom made a purchase from your store, you would divide the number of visitors who made a sale (201) by the total number of visitors (13,021). The ecommerce conversion rate for these numbers would be 1.5%. 

Now, let’s learn more about the rates your ecommerce business should aim for. 

How to calculate your conversion rate (CRO)

Your website’s real conversion rate can be calculated as follows:

Take the number of visitors who converted to customers, divide it by the overall number of store visitors you had during a certain period, and finally, multiply that number by 100. This will give you your conversion rate at that particular point in the funnel.


‎No matter what rate you aim for, you’d probably agree that there’s always room for improvement. No website is ever perfect, and what’s more, customer behavior changes over time. CRO is an ongoing process of learning and improving. 

What is the average ecommerce conversion rate? 

Ecommerce conversion rate benchmarks are important to understand how you stack up against other online retailers — and more specifically, your competitors. 

Bottom line: the latest data, which comes from Kibo Commerce in Q1 of 2022, shows that ecommerce conversion rates in the US average out at 2.3%. The report goes into considerable detail about variances in conversion rate: for example, conversion rates vary between mobile (2%), tablet (3%), and desktop (3%). 

Take that number with a grain of salt. A “good” ecommerce conversion rate depends on your business’s maturity, product category, audience, digital marketing maturity, and so much more.

What’s a really good ecommerce conversion rate?

Most ecommerce experts say that a rate of 1-3% is normal, whereas 4% is fantastic. But, we have another take on the matter. At Gorgias, we’ve learned that the best definition of a good conversion rate comes from your internal data and individual business goals. Focus more on increasing the number of conversions in your store month-over-month than how that number compares to anyone else.

As a rule, your conversion rate optimization (CRO) plan should involve ways to continually improve your own rates, rather than just comparing yourself to everyone around you. There will always be a new tool, strategy, or update that your competitors will use to top you. You can’t afford to become complacent. 

So, even if your rate is above the industry average, continually learn about new ways to increase conversions and continue to optimize the user experience and website functionality for your shoppers. And, if it’s on the lower end of the scale, start implementing the following advice right away. 

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How to improve your conversion rates with marketing assets

Here we are. Now we’ll see what you need to do to ensure visitors buy something from you, instead of usual virtual window shopping. You’ll be glad to hear that you don’t need to do a complete rehaul of your website. You just need to make use of the tools and assets available to you.

1. Offer limited coupon codes

Not only do your customers want discounts (who’d object to that, really?) they fully expect them. Just five years ago, more than 560 million people around the globe used discount coupons. Since then, the number has grown to over 1 billion. 

What types of coupons can you offer? There are plenty of coupon types in ecommerce:

  • Free shipping coupons, which lessen the overall costs
  • Fixed-amount coupons, which only last for a certain amount of time
  • Total cart value coupons, which can help you improve the average cart size

For conversions, the best ones are time-limited coupons. Offering time-limited coupons might be the perfect way to engage your customers and improve conversions. By giving them a deadline, you’ll be able to persuade them to finish the purchase process instead of abandoning a full cart

2. Use effective pop-ups on your site

Admittedly, pop-up ads sound a bit dated. They’ve been around for more than a quarter of a century at this point. The phrase conjures up images of pop-up-filled screens for more seasoned users. But you’d be wrong thinking like that.

When used right, pop-ups can be effective in 2020. According to Sumo, certain pop-ups can improve your conversions by more than 9%. That’s something worth investing in. 

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Here’s how you can use pop-ups:

  • Make your customers an offer they can’t refuse
  • Create a 30-sec delay timer not to annoy people
  • Make the “X” button clearly visible to the user

Also, you should try not to annoy your visitors too much. So make sure that your popups appear once per customer. Also, make the “close” button visible on both desktop and mobile screens. Nothing frustrates a person more than a pop-up that won’t go away. 

Finally, you get one pop up. Maybe it’s a contest, maybe it’s Facebook Messenger, maybe it’s push notifications, either way, you only get one.

3. Create detailed product descriptions

Product images are a big selling point for many consumers. However, product descriptions also play a large role in the purchase process. They give the shopper important information about the product itself and contain keywords that improve your Search Engine Optimization efforts and serve as proactive customer support.

That’s why you can’t afford to have lazily-written product descriptions. Sloppy writing and spelling mistakes will turn a lot of people away. Furthermore, if you’re selling products manufactured by a third party, never use their descriptions. Try to be unique and descriptive as possible at all costs.

Looking for inspiration? Use Gorgias to create a macro asking your customers how they use your products.

4. Add reviews and testimonials  

Nobody wants to be a guinea pig. If there’s a product with 3 reviews or a product with 375 reviews which one are you going to choose? Probably not the one with 3 reviews, and you don’t even know the price. 

That’s where product reviews and testimonials can help you. You simply need to gather feedback from previous customers, compile it, and put it in a prominent spot on the website. 

Product reviews not only create more social proof, but they also help bust specific objections and sell to different ICPs. If you’re buying a BBQ are you looking for hamburgers and hot dogs, or competition brisket? The same product will be reviewed differently.

Tactically placed testimonials and reviews on product pages can improve your sales immensely. Just ask Angie Schottmuller of Conversion XL. According to her, testimonials can make conversions go up by 400% in some cases. 

With purchases going up, so are the review requests. When better to ask a customer for a review than after a great interaction with your support team?

5. Remove unnecessary form fields 

Let’s talk about cart abandonment. You may know that 9 out of 10 people abandoned their shopping carts before completing their purchase. You have to do everything in your power to prevent this from happening.

One thing that drives many shoppers away is the number of fields in delivery forms. 

Your sales team doesn’t need to know every single detail about your customer’s life before processing purchases and sending products out. Keep the form fields to a minimum and ask the customer only for essential information that concerns payment and shipment.

Don’t sell to businesses? Remove the business name. Don’t need a phone number for delivery? Remove it. You get the idea.

6. Consider offering free shipping

No one likes to be attracted by a seemingly low-priced item, only to discover that the shipping costs are astronomical. Consumers hate hidden costs. They make them feel bamboozled and as an online merchant, that’s the last thing you want. 

More often than not, people abandon their shopping carts due to hidden costs. According to research, 28% of consumers do so because of hidden shipping costs specifically. 

For all of the reasons mentioned above, you should consider having free shipping. It could potentially double your revenue in a short amount of time. Just look at the NuFace case study. By introducing free shipping, the organization managed to increase orders by 90%. 

Between Amazon, Wayfair, and all the other big players, customers expect free shipping. It can also be a great upsell mechanism if you have a low average order value.

7. Add a live chat option to your pages

Live chat is great for customer support, but it doesn't end there. Most online store visitors want to buy something but many of them are on the fence. Since there’s nothing on a web page to persuade them to finalize the purchase, they often leave the store without buying anything. 

That’s where your sales agents can help. By placing a live chat option on every single page, you can encourage the shoppers to finish what they started. Research shows that people who use live chat are 3X more likely to complete their purchase before leaving a website. 

Learn more about how Gorgias' live chat can improve support and boost sales.

8. Increase urgency with a countdown timer

When time’s running out, most people become anxious. They start making decisions without overthinking them. Overthinking is your enemy. One of the most dangerous ones you have. If you limit the thinking time for your visitors, you might remove overthinking. 

How can you do this? By adding a countdown timer to your pages. 

This simple addition to your site will give the visitors a sense of urgency and motivate them to purchase before it’s too late. One brand even managed to increase sales by more than 330% with a limited-offer timer.

This doesn’t mean lying to your customers. Here are some easy ways to naturally create urgency:

  • Countdown to a holiday, e.g. only 4 days left to order to guarantee your order arrives before Festivus
  • Order by 3 PM to get same-day shipping
  • This item will be held in your cart for 5:00
  • Remaining inventory counts

You can also create social proof using count ups.

  • Backed by 383 investors on Kickstarter
  • Shipped to 83 countries
  • Over 10,000 shipped and 983 positive reviews

Learn more about ecommerce growth and conversion optimization

At this point, we hope you understand the importance of conversion rate optimization and a few strategies to improve it. However, it’s always helpful to learn directly from ecommerce leaders about their individual experiences with CRO.

Want to learn more about how real stores improved their conversion rates by focusing on their customer experience? Check out our customer story on Lillie’s Q. They increased their conversion rate by 75% by working with Gorgias to implement real-time customer support and reduce cart abandonment

Alternatively, watch the replay of our ecommerce expert talk. They discuss their tips to drive growth and boost conversion rates through great customer experience.

 

FAQ’s

What is conversion rate in ecommerce?

In ecommerce, conversion rate is a measure of website visitors who perform a particular desired action (such as purchasing your product or service) within a specified period. It is a gauge of how effective your website or landing page is at turning visitors into customers.

What is conversion rate optimization (CRO)?

Conversion rate optimization, also known as CRO, focuses on enhancing user engagement and increasing desired actions on your website. These actions may include making purchases, completing forms, or subscribing to newsletters. The primary goal of CRO is to optimize the effectiveness of your website to convert visitors into returning customers.

Can chatbots help convert customers?

Yes, chatbots can help increase conversions by providing an efficient way to answer customer inquiries without a wait time. They can help make indecisive customers choose a product through interactive quizzes or avoid issues by recommending educational articles.

How do you measure conversion rate?

Divide the number of total conversions in a time period (week, month, or year) by the total number of visitors in the same period, then multiply by 100. The resulting number is your conversion rate.

Author
Ryan Baum
Content Marketer
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Author
Ryan Baum
Content Marketer
Author Profile
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LinkedIn

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