Driving the eCommerce Conversion Rate

There is nothing more frustrating than watching a 100 new visitors come to the site only to see just one or two of them place an order. Driving up the conversion rate starts with identifying the right keywords but goes well beyond that. In a face-to-face sales situation a good sales rep knows to probe a prospect to identify objections, but in eCommerce the interaction is less personal. Well optimized organic content needs to proactively raise and overcome common buying objections as part of a series of techniques designed to increase the order rate. Well executed organic content doesn’t just drive incremental search buyers, it helps raise the site’s overall conversion rate and even small improvements in conversion rate can have a significant incremental revenue impact on the site.

eCommerce sites are in the business of stimulating a purchase and product content is the most important element for winning that order. Investing in conversion copy is always a low risk strategy.
Example: eZdia built a content strategy for a small site with a strong product offering, but a conversion rate the wrong side of 0.5%. We built content and while we waited for Google to reward the improvement, we saw the paid search product listing ads (PLA) ROAS increase dramatically on conversion rates more than three times higher.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is eCommerce conversion rate?
eCommerce conversion rate is simply the percentage of Sessions (Google Analytics) or Visits (Adobe Omniture) coming to an eCommerce website (or landing page) that completes a desired goal. The most common measure for the conversion rate:

CR% = Orders / (Sessions or Visits)

A high conversion rate is a strong indication of eCommerce site health. Similarly, a low conversion rate is an indication that the site isn’t attracting and closing buyers.

Other, non-ecommerce conversions include things like submitting a form, interacting in chat, or requesting more information. In some cases a conversion may be defined as reaching a specific web page deep in your site

Why is eCommerce conversion rate optimization important?
eCommerce conversion rate optimization (CRO) is important because even small improvement can significantly boost orders and sales. Most successful eCommerce sites consistently convert between 1% and 2% of the total visits or sessions into customers. Imagine a store where only one out of a hundred visitors actually bought anything. Improving conversion rate will also reduce the cost of acquisition

Average Acquisition Cost = Total Acquisition Expense / Orders

Optimizing for conversion rate will improve the efficiency of all marketing and advertising campaigns and improve your ability to use these techniques profitably to drive up the total revenue per visitor.

Determining the optimal conversion rate is more complicated than concluding that higher is always better. In some cases, enjoy very high conversion rates, but find it difficult to maintain those conversion rates as they attempt to scale the traffic to the site.

What is a good conversion rate for an eCommerce website?
There is no one answer to this question and the best answer is “it depends.” Retailers with storefronts, for example, may see very low online conversion rates of less than 1% because searches may shop online but buy in the store. Website conversion rate is a function of many things including pricing, competition, speed and the ability to give the buyer all the information they need to make a purchase. Most successful eCommerce sites generate between 1 and 2%, a smaller percentage generate between 2 and 3%.

Optimizing conversion rate can vary dramatically for different apps or devices and optimization efforts need to recognize that customers need different things to place an order by phone than they do if sitting in front of a desktop computer.

How to improve eCommerce conversion rate?
It’s always possible to improve the conversion rate of your eCommerce website but the challenge is figuring out ways of testing different strategies. Here’s a checklist of questions that typically contribute to a specific product’s conversion rate.

Is the product presentation clear?
Is the product description complete?
Is the page design simple and intuitive?
Does the product presentation fall short of what competitors do?
Have you addressed all purchase risks?
Have you communicated the speed of delivery?
Is the product clearly photographed?
Have you included dimensions, specifications?
Do you have independent reviews? Are they positive?
Is your price competitive? Is your offering competitive?

You also need to personalize the experience for visitors, give them relevant information, show them social proof and tell them your advantages. Conversion rates are improved when there are discount options, guest checkout, multiple payment & delivery options and options to show the visitor progress.

What are ways to track and measure eCommerce conversion rate?
There are different popular tools and ways to track and measure eCommerce conversion rate and understand the progress of the business at any specific point of time. You can set up Google Analytics and AdWords systems with right filters to gain key insights regarding conversion rates.

Then, there are Heat Maps features to capture eye movements and clicks of users on your eCommerce site and under user engagement and interest on web pages. You can also use session recording and replay tools or conduct customer satisfaction surveys to effectively track and measure the conversion rate of your eCommerce website.