Conversion rate often gets discussed in the same light with all the other website metrics, but if you are running a successful e-commerce website, then you know that conversion rate numbers are second to none.
Why is the conversion rate so important?
Let's look at an example to illustrate the importance of the conversation rate better. If an e-commerce website averages 10,000 website visits per month, with an average conversion rate of 1%, then every 10,000 visits result in 100 sales.
With that in mind, to double our sales we have to a) increase visits from 10,000 to 20,000 or b) improve conversion rate from 1% to 2%. For most businesses, it is much easier to improve the conversion rate than it is to double the traffic (website visits).
Why is this the case?
Doubling the traffic typically requires a growth strategy, marketing plan, and well-executed marketing campaigns. On the other hand, improving the conversion rate can be as simple as optimizing your CTAs (call-to-actions) or improving usability. These kinds of improvements require relatively low effort/investment when compared to what is needed to double the traffic.
With that in mind, if you don't have the resources for both (driving more traffic and conversion rate optimization), then the conversion rate should be addressed first because you are more likely to see results right away.
How do you improve your conversion rate?
Conversion rate optimization is an ongoing process; therefore, the solution will never be a simple to-do list. However, if you honestly answer these 3 questions, then some of the improvements you need to make will become obvious.
- Does your website look legitimate and trustworthy? If your website fails this first test, then everything else is irrelevant. Therefore, make sure your website looks modern, utilizes high-quality images, has high-quality content, and uses appropriate trust badges (e.g. Verisign)
- Are you leveraging social proof? Social proof is critical in easing concerns and nudging a consumer towards a purchase; hence why reviews, ratings, testimonials, and endorsements are so essential for all e-commerce sites. Social proof is even more important for e-commerce websites which sell products that most consumers are not familiar with
- Do you have a clear USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? Only 1/3 of online purchases are impulse buys, so a vast majority of consumers have already researched the product they are considering; they have shopped around and are comparing you to your competition. Why should they buy from your website? This is where a strong USP is critical, so what exactly is your USP? Price, customer experience, content, shipping options, return policy, member befits, loyalty points? Selling online is no different from any other type of selling, there has to be a compelling reason to buy from you
Improving the conversion rate can have an immediate impact on your bottom line, so it is one of the most important metrics you have to measure and improve. Also, as we mentioned above, for most businesses doubling online sales is a lot easier by doubling conversion rate than doubling traffic (website visits); therefore, any investment around conversion rate optimization will more than pay for itself.