With the most advanced e-commerce market in all of Europe, the UK leads the way in the e-commerce sector. Between 2020 and 2025, it is forecasted that the UK will hold a 38% share of overall retail revenue*, driven by the 60 million or more e-commerce users making the majority of their purchases online. Undeniably, e-commerce is the way forward for retail and is showing no signs of slowing down. With more and more users migrating to online shopping in place of brick and mortar shops, there is ample opportunity for online retailers to widen the net, attract new customers, and drive their revenue to new heights.
While the opportunity is there for virtually any e-commerce business, inevitably there will be verticals that are somewhat oversaturated. There are thousands of online stores selling the same products, be it clothing, homewares, or food and grocery. In instances like this, it will be the brands that prioritise user experience and execute a well-planned digital marketing strategy that see the highest conversion rates and revenue.
Below, we’ve provided a host of helpful tips on how to increase your ecommerce conversion rate and detailed why user experience (UX) is so important for any e-commerce business. With the below information in your armoury, you’ll have a far better chance of nudging your end users along the conversion journey.
How to increase ecommerce conversion rates from Google Shopping and Paid Social
Many ecommerce businesses choose to promote their brand and products through paid advertising. This is something we provide for several of our ecommerce clients in order to increase brand awareness, capture target audiences, and drive revenue and ROI. While the results can be significant and extremely beneficial, without the right conversion strategy behind them, your ads are unlikely to perform or drive revenue, particularly if there are competitors offering the same products with stronger ads and a better user experience on offer.
First things first - build effective ads
- Optimise your product titles: When creating titles for your ads, it’s critical that they clearly state what the product is and include details that are specific to that product. For example, in clothing, ensure you have detailed the brand name, product name, colour, size, or even the material if it’s a selling feature of the item (i.e. a wool coat). This will not only make it easier for the user to find the right product, it can prevent wasted ad budget, as users are less likely to click on products they are clearly not looking for.
- Only advertise products that are in stock: Believe it or not, many companies advertise products on Google Shopping and Paid Social that are not in stock, or fail to take the ad down when they run out of the product. This can be hugely off-putting for the end user - not only will they not be able to purchase the product, but it can lead to a negative impression of your website and brand.
- Use good product imagery: High quality product imagery is a must for any shopping advertising. Clear visuals of the product, with photos from several angles, will build trust with the end user. This is particularly important for fashion brands, as users will likely want to see details like fabric quality and stitching as well as what the item looks like when worn.
- Always link directly to the product: Nothing is quite as frustrating for a user to click on an ad with the intention to buy a product, only to be sent to the homepage of the website. This is something we have seen many times and it is a major stumbling block that will likely cost you a conversion. The fewer steps they need to take, the better.
Next, ensure the user experience is optimised to convert
With the above checks in place, your ads are likely to perform better than (or on par with) your competitors, driving traffic to your website with the intention to convert. However, this is only the first stage of the journey - what happens on your website can make all the difference. Below we’ve explored more on UX and how this can impact conversion rates from paid and organic traffic.
How to increase e-commerce conversion rates from your on-site visitors
Whether acquired through organic or paid means, now that the user is on your website, it’s important that the conversion journey is as smooth as possible. Without the right conversion optimisations in place, you will likely be missing out on revenue and wasting your ad budget and time. After all, what’s the point in getting them to your site through a paid ad or organic marketing if they fail to convert once they’re there?
User experience is an incredibly important part of the conversion journey - it doesn’t take much these days for a user to become frustrated with your site and decide to abandon their cart. Here are some ways you can ensure the user experience is the best it possibly can be in order to improve your conversion rates:
- Keep it simple: From the point that a user lands on your product page, the conversion journey should be short and sweet. Try to consolidate steps where possible (i.e., enable them to fill in their billing and shipping information and complete the purchase on a single page)
- Reduce distractions: As tempting as it might be, the conversion journey isn’t the best time to insert pop ups, banners or other distracting elements that might lead the user away from their purchase (or annoy them). Save the newsletter sign-ups for the homepage or at the end of the purchase with a voucher or discount code to encourage another purchase in the future.
- Offer multiple payment options: Nowadays, users expect purchase flexibility - offering multiple payment methods including Klarna, Clearpay, PayPal, and Apple Pay will give your users multiple methods of making payment to suit their specific circumstances. Entering card details manually can be a big stumbling block for online conversions, especially if your competitor’s payment methods are easier. These also act as a trust signal, as most people will have used at least one or two of these payment methods.
- Be transparent about fees and costs: When making a purchase, users will want to weigh up the total cost including shipping and VAT. Your product page should always clearly display all costs that apply to the purchase so there are no surprises.
- Offer a variety of shipping options: When making a purchase online, many users have come to expect next day delivery, especially in verticals like fashion. Ensure your site has a variety of delivery options including next day shipping and more economical choices for those who are happy to wait a bit longer.
- Offer a price match guarantee: If you are selling the same products / brands as your competitors, offering a price match guarantee reassures the user that there’s no point in shopping around, encouraging a conversion then and there.
- Optimise your forms: Minimising the level of effort a user has to put into the purchase process will help to increase the rate of conversion. Forms with postcode lookup / address auto-fill, clear tick boxes instead of drop downs, and essential-only fields are far better than long, cumbersome forms that require lots of manual input.
- Use breadcrumbs: Showing a progress bar with purchase stages or ‘breadcrumbs’ at the top of the page can give the user a clearer indication of how long the purchase will take and what information they need to provide. Being able to navigate between each breadcrumb to edit or change options / information is also important for the user experience.
- Include reviews: Reviews are a significant factor in building user trust (that is, if they're decent reviews). If you are able to, displaying either product reviews or reviews of you as a retailer on the product page can be the clincher in reassuring a nervous buyer through to purchase. Many websites have the ability to integrate third party review platforms, so it is worth exploring where possible.
Ultimately, the conversion journey has to be user-centric. Your ads, organic search results, product pages, and purchase process should be as detailed and transparent as possible in order to build user trust and prevent high bounce rates and abandoned baskets. By taking care to plan out and optimise the customer journey from start to finish, you will have a far better chance of converting business online.
If you are an ecommerce company and are struggling with your conversion rates or are considering paid advertising for your brand, speak to a member of our team. We can provide you with free forecasts as well as a thorough paid advertising audit if your ads simply aren’t performing as they should.
Source for stats: Statista