Simple Ways to Improve Your Website’s Conversion Rate

27 July 2018 3541

As online purchasing becomes normal, ecommerce sites must ensure that conversion rates are not hampered by their site. Find out what to do to improve your conversion rate.

There is nothing more important for an e-commerce website than its conversion rate. Getting traffic is great, but it means nothing if these visitors are leaving your website without making a transaction. There’s no doubt that the culture of shopping has changed – the increase of busy lifestyles and internet literacy has lead to a migration of consumers away from physical shops and towards online shopping. In 2016, comScore found that people had actually started to buy more things online than in shops. The split was still roughly half, with 51% of purchases being made online, but this percentage has continued to grow, and includes transcations made on mobile and tablet devices. This should be cause for celebration for all e-commerce websites, but even in 2018 many of them are severely lacking. Consumers are savvy, and their experience in internet shopping has given them an increased confidence to demand more from their online experiences. They’re pickier about the websites they’ll do business with, which means all e-commerce websites need to up their game to increase their conversions.

Here’s how.

Test Your Website

Before you make any changes to your website, you need to know what you’re starting with. In our experience, many website owners tend to build a website and then leave it. Or, they build something without consulting the people that matter the most – their target audience. Or they do both.

Testing a website will give you a better idea of what people like and dislike about it, and then you can start to make changes to make your users happier. We suggest user testing – asking users a series of questions about your website and then analysing their answers for common themes for improvement.

Whilst you can make prediction about what you think works well and what doesn’t, it’s always a good idea to ask other people – you might have missed something that is obvious to a neutral observer.

You can also test elements of the website yourself – do a content and grammar check, make sure that the checkout system is working properly, check that all of your Call to Action buttons work, and take people to the right places, and check for broken links or images. You’ll be surprised what you find if you look closely enough!

Update Your Site Regularly

Consumers will easily become bored of seeing the same products or the same layout or website skin time and time again. If you fail to update your site regularly, then it can start to look outdated or irrelevant, especially if the products you sell are subject to trends. (by regularly, we don’t mean every five minutes, but make sure your website doesn’t get outdated).

Updating your site to take account of seasonality, fashions, events, product launches, and promotions can help you to direct your consumers eyes towards the products that you want them to see, as well as keeping things fresh and interesting for them. You can also use the information you collected through testing your website to create new designs and implement these on the website.

Every time you or your design and development teams make a change, keep an eye on your conversions to see if there is any uplift.

Stay Ahead of the Competition

Most businesses know who they are in direct competiton with. They key is to be strategic about staying ahead of them, and this relates to your website, as well as other business functions.

One of the key areas where you will need to stay ahead is with price. Consumers are incredibly sensive to prices online, and as far back as 2003 Judith Chevalier and Austan Goolsbee from Yale and the University of Chicago found that a 1% price increase for books on Amazon reduced the quantity of sales by 0.5% and raised the quantity of sales at a direct competitor by 3.5%. They explained that ‘the results show that there is significant price sensitivity of online customers both to a site's own price as well as to leading rival’s price’.

Consumers will usually research products online before they buy them – using your online shopping basket (and your competitors’ baskets) as a direct comparison tool – or actually using one of the many comparison tools out there on the internet to find the best deals. If your products (or your postage) are not competitive, you will not see conversions. It’s that simple.

Think About Consumer Anxieties

If a website visitor has any niggling doubts about a product then they won’t buy it. They’ll buy from your competitor instead. When creating (or updating) a website, you should make a list of all of the anxieties that a consumer might have about your products, and then try to alleviate these through your content.

They might be worried about the security of your site – so make sure you are using HTTPS and have an SSL certificate. They might be worried about delivery times and costs – so make this information prominent, and include any discount vouchers or next day delivery information on the homepage as well as on product pages (don’t make people hunt for discounts!) Or, they might be worried about the products themselves – so ensure that customer testimonials are prominent, and encourage customers to leave testimonials on your website and through Google Reviews.  

There are plenty of other things that you can do to improve your conversion rates, but the most important place to start is with your users. They are the people who will be making transactions, so their opinions of your website are the most important. Everything that you do should be with the user in mind, and then you’ll be off to a flying start!


This article was written by Alexandra Eade, Content Manager and Head of CRO at Footprint Digital. Alex is passionate about clearing away bad copy on the internet, and crafting content that clients can be proud of, and users can understand immediately.

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