The growth of the eCommerce segment is not good news for individual eCommerce outlets. Growth translates to competition, which makes it difficult for them to find customers. Getting customers depend on improving the conversion rate. The following tips may prove useful for that. #1. Product experience Product experience is critical to conversion rate. Negative product experience stems from any or all of the following: A brief description of the product lacking details Inaccurate product information No product image or poor quality images Customers can have a preconceived notion about the product from online reviews, which can influence the product experience. In my previous article, I mentioned an overwhelming number of customers read online reviews, and the number is steadily growing. 88% of customers believe online reviews are as important as personal recommendations. Almost 65% of customers report they read as many as six reviews before deciding on a product. Getting favorable reviews by customers is every brand’s dream. There are tips to fulfill this dream, but only a gratifying product experience should beget their implementation. The surefire tips to improve the product experience are: A detailed summary of the product highlighting its benefits A rotating 360° view of the product Add positive reviews from happy customers on the product page Add product photographs, clicked by professionals Optimizing the product experience is essential for improving the conversion rate. So is optimizing #2. The checkout page The growing rate of shopping cart abandonment is an alarming trend for online shopping. Experts have found that among the reasons behind cart abandonment, one is the checkout page being poor in quality. An ideal checkout page eases the customer’s journey using visuals. The progress bar is an excellent example of communication using visual cues; it’s an indicator of a shopper’s progress in the checkout process. Account registration, many agree, is a redundant step and unnecessarily complicates the checkout process. The save to cart option should be more than a mere formality because studies indicate the more rewarding is the experience, the lesser is the abandonment rate. Popups have unanimously been considered as the most annoying thing on the checkout page, so get rid of them. Optimizing the product experience and the checkout page are important, but not as much as #3. Building trust The online world is a mere replica of the offline world. Trust building is equally important here, especially for e-commerce sites because failing to build trust results in losing customers. To build trust, online shops need to Add a detailed privacy statement Assure customers about online security Showing order summary before a customer clicks on the “Submit” button Have a clear and unambiguous return policy The privacy statement shouldn’t be a token declaration. See the two privacy statements in the image below: Source Outwardly, adding only a few extra lines did the trick. But in reality, it’s the assurance that the extra lines in the second image deliver. Assurance of online security is highly important because data breach is increasing all over the world and shopping sites are often sitting ducks for hackers. Make sure the payment page is SSL encrypted and install cutting-edge security features The return policy shouldn’t have any ambiguity. Customers should be able to return the product if they feel the quality is not up to the standard, after the purchase. The order summary should show them the exact amount so that they know how much they are shelling out. #4. Cross selling opportunities Cross selling not only pads your pocket, it also creates a bunch of loyal customers and increases the retention rate. The visitor retention rate is directly proportional to conversion rate. The more time visitors spend on the site, the higher are the odds of them turning into customers. Some of the cross-selling best practices are copywriting best practices too. Addressing customers using personal pronouns like “you” and “your” can press a subconscious button, making them relate themselves to the product. This is also a copywriting tip for starters. Recommending other products on the checkout page is essential for cross-selling, but the recommendation should await the completion of a checkout process. An easily noticeable search bar on the checkout page allows shoppers do a quick search and find products of similar type. The search bar should be made scrolling-unaffected so users can access it despite scrolling down. #5. Loading time Studies after studies reveal the same thing – online customers have zero tolerance for slow loading web-pages. Customers can’t wait for than 2 seconds, and every 1-second delay causes a 7% reduction rate. If the delay is more than 2 seconds, the abandonment rate could be as high as 87%. See the infographic: Source It’s a bit challenging for an online shop to reduce the loading time because it has product photographs and many other design elements that can cause the site to bulk up. Some common solutions that can minimize the loading time are below: Reducing the size of the images. Below is a tutorial video that shows how image size can be reduced. Change the hosting server and migrate to a premium hosting service provider with industry-wide reputation. Lowering the number of HTTP requests through CSS file consolidation. Moving to a better CMS or developing a custom CMS. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR-Iyf2d-SM[/youtube] Customers who purchase from online retail giants like Amazon or Alibaba, tend to show more patience; they wait nearly 4 seconds for the site to load. For an eCommerce site that makes $3 million a month, every 1-second delay results in a loss of $2.5 million a year. Hence, fixing slow loading time is a priority for all eCommerce brands out there. #6. Emergence of mCommerce Mcommerce or mobile commerce is online shopping using Smart devices. eCommerce outlets shouldn’t ignore the mobile user-base because it is increasing at a phenomenal speed. Data indicate that 30% mobile shoppers abandon an online transaction if they feel the experience is not optimized for mobile devices. Payment apps like Google Wallet, Android Pay and Apple Pay can eliminate the need for credit cards as Mobile shoppers can comfortably buy from online stores using those apps. For success with mobile marketing, responsive design is a must. However, that may be only for now. The growing importance of M-commerce can mark an end to multi-screen shopping and online retailers need to be ready for that. The radical ones among them have started going app-only already. It’s time for others to give that a serious thought. Conclusion The conversion rate for eCommerce sites depends on an ample number of factors. Some of the factors we have discussed here. Online shops should pay heed to the discussion and follow the tips. Images: ”Online Shopping – Finger Pushing Add To Cart Button On Touchscreen/Shutterstock.com“ ____________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.