Webhance Digital - website design, shopify development, website maintenance

What’s your conversion rate – and how can you improve it?

If you have an ecommerce store and sell goods or services online your conversion rate is a critical indicator of success.

Your store may be beautifully designed and optimised to offer a great shopping experience, but if customers aren’t converting at checkout you have a problem. Let’s explore all the elements you need to create a great shopping experience for your customers – and also get them across the line at checkout.

eCommerce Conversion Rate
  1. Who are you – and why should your customer care?

    The first thing your website should do it tell customers why they’ve landed here and what need you can satisfy for them. A banner image that tells your story visually and ‘welcome spiel’ are important elements in achieving this. It’s also important to demonstrate that you’re a real business. Include an ‘Our Story’ page that talks about who you are, your value proposition and your point of difference. Show customers that you are real and authentic. Be sure to have a clear contact page or messenger app so customers feel safe in the knowledge that actual people exist behind the site.

  2. User Experience

    • Navigation – a clear, uncluttered menu structure that is easy to understand and use.
    • Cart widget – it may seem simple, but a cart widget must always be accessible for customers so they can commence the checkout process easily. We suggest deploying prominently in the header space. This is both a web standard – so customers will naturally look for it here – and best placed to encourage conversion. Ideally this widget will display the products in the cart plus the total price on hover.User Experience
      As an online retailer, it’s critical to make it easy for your customer to find what they’re looking for. The internet is a fickle place, and your competitors are only a click away. If your customer experiences frustration on your website it is very easy for them to look elsewhere. So how do we ensure an excellent user experience? At Webhance Digital we focus on:
    • Sticky navigation – this means the main menu bar remains in place while the customer scrolls your site. By deploying sticky navigation it becomes simple for the customer to move around the site and always have access to important elements such as search and cart widgets.
    • Collection/Category structure – products should be categorised logically and presented in a well-structured manner in navigation.
    • Search – a prominent search bar allows customers to search for items. Ideally search should be configured to return products only, not information pages.
    • Breadcrumbs – this additional navigation element helps customers understand where they are within the website and make it easier for them to backtrack. This becomes even more important in very large sites with extensive navigation.
    • Advanced Filtering – enables customers to quickly filter products by important elements such as size, colour and price. Advanced filtering should be deployed on all collection/category pages.
  3. No surprises!

    On checkout it’s important to deliver to the customers expectations. Many abandoned carts come about because additional fees are charged on checkout that the customer wasn’t expecting, such as high shipping fees. We recommend deploying a promo bar at top of page communicating shipping rates and any special offers, such as free shipping on all orders over $100. To really encourage conversion – and additional sales – a countdown to free shipping app should be configured.

  4. Detailed Product Descriptions

    Leave nothing to the imagination! It’s so important to provide comprehensive product descriptions that cover all necessary details, including specifications, materials, size guide/dimensions, and usage instructions. If the customer is left with a question or any feelings of uncertainty, they are unlikely to commit to the purchase.

  5. Clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

    This may sound obvious, but CTA elements such as “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons must be placed where they are easily noticeable. The language used on CTA elements must also be clear and compelling that makes it obvious to the customer what they need to do next to purchase and encourages them to do so, i.e. “Shop Now” or specifically “Shop New Arrivals”. Your CTA elements must be positioned to drive behaviour.

  6. Trust Signals

    Trust signals are all about reviews and ratings. Showcase your customer reviews wherever possible. A testimonial or logo reel on the homepage is great. Product specific reviews on product pages are even better. These tell the customer that your product is real and authentic, which builds trust and credibility for your store and in turn positively impacts conversion.
    Security badges at checkout also give the customer assurance that their personal and payment information will remain secure, which may also help them to finalise their purchase.

  7. Social Proof

    Like trust signals, social proof demonstrates to customers that your Company and your products are legit. Encourage customers to share their photos and experiences with your products on social media and feature this content on your website. User generated content is worth its weight in gold when it comes to conversion!

  8. Shipping and Returns

    Many customers will want to familiarise themselves with your Shipping and Returns Policies before committing to their purchase. Make these policies easily accessible via a link in your footer space. It’s also advisable to place a brief overview in product pages that links to the policy page. This resolves any questions in the customers mind and gives them confidence to add products to cart and complete their purchase.

  9. Easy Checkout Process

    You want your customers to convert? Make it easy for them to do so. Keep the steps required to reach checkout to a minimum. Ideally, a customer should be able to add a product to cart and reach the checkout in 3 clicks or less. “Quick Buy” buttons may also be deployed that take customers straight to checkout should they wish to purchase quickly.
    Ensure your store offers a “Guest Checkout” option so customers can finalise their purchase without creating an account to streamline their buying process. If using Shopify, deploy Shop Pay so customer details are automatically loaded the minute they enter their email address.
    Offer a range of payment gateways so customers don’t need to get up and find their credit card to finalise their payment. A huge number of abandoned carts occur because a customer has had to get up and move away from the computer. Gateways such as PayPal, AfterPay and Shop Pay allow customers to login to their account and make payment immediately. We can not emphasise how important this is for conversion!
    It’s also a great idea to use progress indicators to show customers where they are in the checkout process.

  10. Responsive Design

    Current website design statistics indicate that 55.5% of all website traffic comes via mobile phones (Forbes, 2024). It is essential for your website to be optimised for all device sizes – desktop, mobile and tablet. Functionality should be deployed to improve customer experience on smaller devices, such as the ability to swipe images and tap buttons/links.

  11. Speed

    Underestimate the importance of speed at your peril. 47% of customers won’t wait more than 2 seconds for a website to load. It’s estimated that slow websites costs retailers US$2.6 billion (AU$4.07 billion) in sales each year (Forbes, 2024). With your competitors being a simple click away you don’t want to make your customers wait! How do you optimise your sites performance for speed? There are several elements website designers will finesse to optimise websites for speed, including image optimisation, streamlining code, server configuration and so on.

Final Words

An effective ecommerce website design is a blend of aesthetics and functionality, aimed at providing an exceptional shopping environment that encourages conversions. By focusing on your story, user experience, no surprises, trust signals, social proof, and optimisation, ecommerce businesses can create a compelling online shopping experience that drives sales and fosters customer loyalty. Investing in these elements will not only enhance the user experience but also significantly boost conversion rates, contributing to the overall success of your store.

Does your conversion rate need a boost? Get in touch with Julie and let’s see how we can positively impact your bottom line!

Improve your conversion rate today!