Are you getting ready to redesign your eCommerce site? Do you want to increase your conversion rate? Duh, of course you do.
With average eCommerce conversion rates hovering around 3%, it can be hard to get your visitors to become customers. I’ve been through several website redesigns myself, and I’ve found some things you will want to consider adding when you pull the trigger on this massive project.
10 Redesign Tips to Increase Your Conversion Rate
- Improve Site Search
- Optimize Your Exit Page
- Show Your Contact Info and Offer Live Chat
- Gamify Your Store
- Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
- Add User Reviews
- Showcase User Generated Content
- Don’t Require Users to Create an Account – Create It For Them
- Optimize For Mobile
A website redesign is not an easy, quick, or simple project. A lot of planning goes into it. Whether you’re in the midst of planning your redesign, you’ve just begun thinking about possibly redesigning, or you’ve already begun the project, these 10 tips are sure to be valuable to you.
1. Improve Site Search
Visitors using the search bar on your website are 5-6x more likely to convert than those who don’t. Why? Because visitors using site search are later in the buying journey than user’s who are simply browsing.
[Tweet “If your search function doesn’t perform well or is difficult to find, you’re losing customers.”]
It’s estimated that roughly 30% of visitors will use site search. That number will be higher or lower depending on where your search bar is located and how obvious it is.
Here are a few tips to optimize user’s site search experience:
- Make it front and center.
- Change the color of the search button to make it pop out.
- Ensure the results are correct by using proper tags on all your products.
- Add filters to the results page – not just color and size, but also based on price, clearance items, new, and popular.
- Use semantic-based search as opposed to plain text.
- Include an auto-complete function to help users get the correct results (this has been found to make customers six times more likely to convert).
Here’s an example of a search bar done right. It stands out and works well.
Here’s an example of a search bar done wrong. It blends in and doesn’t perform well.
2. Optimize Your Exit Pages
To get to your exit pages, go to Behavior -> Site Content -> Exit Pages.
Once you reach this page, Google will show you your exit pages.
The above example is from my blog about living in an RV. The “/” is my home page – 99% of the time your home page is going to be at the top of this list. However, we’re not worried about the home page here, we’re worried about the second through fifth highest pages.
Here’s what you can do to improve a high-exit page:
- Update outdated content.
- Fix any broken links or other page errors. (Use Broken Link Check)
- Add more internal, relevant links to the content to keep people on your site.
- Add links to other related pages at the end of the blog post.
- Add a call-to-action (CTA) like an email signup or free download to the page to give them a clear idea of what to do next.
- Create a free download related specifically to your exit page’s content, also called a content upgrade.
Don’t do all of these things, but just the ones that make sense. Basically, your goal on an exit page is to guide viewers to the most obvious next step. Give them somewhere to go so they’ll be less likely to leave.
3. Show Your Contact Info and Offer Live Chat
People want to be able to trust you before they buy from you, and one of the best ways to quickly establish trust is by showcasing your contact info right on the front page.
Live chat furthers this trust; 30% of customers expect live chat on a website.
It’s not just the people saying it – businesses are seeing huge conversion increases when adding live chat to their websites. Online clothing retailer ScotteVest saw a 25% increase in conversions after adding live chat.
They’re not alone. Live chat increased Backcountry’s conversions by 15-20%.
Live chat is one of the best methods of customer service, beating email and phone. It’s been proven to improve eCommerce conversion rates.
If you have a web designer to add this feature for you, great! If not, here are a few pre-built solutions you can try:
4. Gamify Your Store
Gamification is the act of using video game elements in a non-video game setting. For example, eCommerce stores can add a progress bar to show shoppers how close they are to spending enough to get a discount.
Video games are built to play to our brain’s natural reward centers, which give us a boost of dopamine (our “feel good” drug) every time we make any small achievement, like levelling up or beating a tough boss.
We can use this to our advantage by showing a progress bar whenever a user is on their way to a certain goal, like creating an account or buying enough to get a discount on their order.
Why should you care? Because gamification can increase conversions up to 7x!
Adding game elements taps into people’s natural psychology, pushing them to complete the goals you set, like spending more money on your products.
There are plenty of ways to add gamification to your store. Some of the most popular include:
- Progress bars.
- Loyalty programs with points and badges.
- Literally adding a silly game to your site.
- Giving points for product or site reviews.
5. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Have you ever seen a website that looks like it’s from the 90’s, with a million different things going on? You have no idea what to click on, and there are so many options it makes your head hurt…
…you don’t want to be that website.
Fewer is better when it comes to options. Simplicity rules.
According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, simplicity drives sales.
Brands that scored in the top quarter (meaning they made it simple and easy to purchase) in our study were 86% more likely than those in the bottom quarter to be purchased by the consumers considering them. They were 9% more likely to be repurchased and 115% more likely to be recommended to others.
Make it obvious where you want your visitors to click. Of course, the above example is an exaggeration, but there are plenty of eCommerce stores with a similar amount of “stuff”. When you have 50,000 products, it can be easy to let it get out of hand.
One of my favorite examples of a simple eCommerce site is DodoCase. They don’t overwhelm you with buttons, sidebars, scrolling images, or extra junk. You might also notice they contain 4 of the 5 tips I’ve mentioned so far – can you find them all?
So, how can you make your website more simple?
There are plenty of ways. Some of the best include:
- Offer 1-Click Checkout (like Amazon).
- Give users fewer options, particularly on the checkout page.
- Use large, obvious, colorful call-to-actions (like buy now or read more).
- Reduce the number of categories for easier browsing.
- Make it obvious where your customer should go next.
6. Add User Reviews
I was recently shopping for a drinking water hose for my RV. I didn’t know anything about them, so I started looking at reviews on Amazon. I found one that was cheap, but then I started checking out the reviews. As it turns out, the life lesson “you get what you pay for” seems to hold true here. One review, in particular, caught my eye and made me change my mind about what to buy.
I ended up buying the Camco hose he recommended after reading more reviews saying the same thing – they’re good and last. I’m not alone; 88% of consumers trust online product reviews as much as personal recommendations. Real user reviews matter.
Brand engagements rise by 28% when consumers are exposed to both professional content and user-generated product video. They’re not alone – many companies are seeing a significant increase in conversions by earning great reviews.
Getting your customers to leave good reviews of your products isn’t just a good idea – it’s necessary to increase your conversion rate and stand out from competition.
Some ways to increase your chance of reviewing good reviews include:
- Make your reviews stand out more – showcase them!
- Schedule reminder emails several days after your customers would have received the product asking them to submit reviews.
- Create a loyalty program which rewards honest reviewers with discounts or points.
- Make it as easy as possible to leave a review. Similar to the sales funnel, the less effort a customer has to put forth, the higher the chance they’ll give you a review.
7. Showcase User Generated Content
- When looking for information about a product, 66.3% of US consumers trust UGC over any other information on a company website.
- In 2018, influencers (with 1-20 million followers) impacted 30.6% of their audience’s purchase decisions
- UGC is 50% more trusted than any other media
A huge number of brands around the world that sell online are starting to use visual UGC in their eCommerce shopping experiences due to the significant impact this form of social proof has on their sales. The results speak for themselves as you can see in the following case studies:
- A 13% increase in sales was achieved by Meller Brand when they began taking advantage of UGC.
- Finally, Cluse Watches saw a 19% increase in conversion rate from their UGC campaigns.
How to Garner and Showcase UGC
You may already have some User Generated Content you don’t know about. Search Twitter and Instagram for hashtags of your brand, if you aren’t already actively capturing that data.
If you don’t have any, encourage your customers to submit their pictures and reviews through a UGC contest.
Here is an example of how Maquillalia uses UGC on its product pages:
8. Don’t Require Users to Create an Account – Do It For Them
Have you ever been at the checkout page of an online store, only for them to require you to create an account? I don’t know about you, but I hate that. Again, I’m not alone. It’s been found that up to 34% of shopping carts are abandoned due to forced registration.
Don’t force people to register an account on your website. It will only harm sales, and in some cases even make people resent you.
Oh… and you have heard of the $300 million dollar button story, haven’t you?
Instead, offer a “guest checkout” option, where they don’t need to create an account. Then, since they entered their name and email anyway, you can just mail them a link to generate a password so they can create an account easily and painlessly.
[Tweet “Don’t Require Users to Create an Account – Do It For Them”]
Petco allows you to checkout as a guest.
You could also try using the login with Amazon feature (aka Amazon Payments), as many people now have an Amazon account.
9. Optimize for Mobile
Transactions made on mobile devices (mobile web or app) account for 55% all eCommerce transactions in Europe. There’s no doubt about it – mobile is becoming more important than desktop.
More people now own a mobile device than own a desktop computer.
I personally shop on my phone, but I typically only do so through the Amazon mobile app. Having a mobile-friendly site isn’t enough – people are spending 90% of their time in applications, and only 10% in web browsers.
You’re leaving a lot of money on the table by not being mobile friendly or developing a mobile app.
10. Add an Exit Intent Popup
I know, I know – I hate popups too. But the fact of the matter is, they work.
Remember my point above about simplicity and making the next step obvious? Popups eliminate distractions, provide your visitor with a last chance offer, and give them a simple decision: move forward or don’t.
An “exit intent” popup (well, they’re really lightbox overlays since they don’t open in a new window) is a box that pops up when a user’s mouse leaves the web browser. They typically contain a discount offer or email subscription and take up most, if not all, of the page.
There are a few things you want to keep in mind when using exit intent overlays:
- Keep it consistent with the design of the website – don’t make it flashy and crazy.
- Ask for as little info as possible – the more you ask for, the less your chance of success.
- Offer a discount or free shipping to re-engage abandoned carts.
- Always test your copy to find the highest-converting words and buttons.
There you have it – 10 things to consider when you’re redesigning your eCommerce site. Phew, that was a long post – thanks for reading all the way through! I hope these tips help you increase your conversion rate, engage with your customers, and keep them coming back.
Now it’s your turn.
What changes have you made to your eCommerce site that have increased your conversion rate or brought return customers? Let me know in the comments! Also, if you enjoyed this article, please share it so we can help as many people as possible.
Thanks, and good luck!