Tips to improve the webstore conversion ratio

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Recently, I linked to an article by Darpan Munjal on what causes customers to leave your ecommerce site thus lowering your webstore conversion ratio. Here is another article from Practical ecommerce that lists 10 tips to improve the webstore conversion ratio.

Having a clutter-free, user-friendly website is also important to improve the site’s conversion ratio. I have observed that small business ecommerce merchants often ignore the importance of the site aesthetics, and usability. User interviews I have performed have shown that many users bounce from the website because they are “turned off” by the graphics and the look and feel. In a few cases, the users were confused about how to proceed on the site, and left the site even though they came in with an intention to buy.

A great book addressing this topic, almost a must read for anyone interested in website usability is Steve Krug’s “Don’t make me think”. It is an easy read and I highly recommend that book to anyone interested in website usability.

Here is another example of King Arthur Flour where streamlining the checkout process improved the conversion ratio by 17%. The changes they made to their webstore are –

  1. Reduced the number of steps to complete checkout to three from four
  2. Deleted the requirement for shoppers to choose between registered user and guest
  3. Added instant confirmations of shipping address information, which uses pop-up windows to prompt customers to insert their correct ZIP codes.
  4. Checkout page now immediately applies the value of gift cards and promotions to orders, enabling shoppers to see the final purchase price.
  5. Inserted a “buy more, save more” message on the cart page, that lets shoppers know the dollar value of merchandise they need to add to their cart to qualify for special offers. This will entice customers to round-up their purchases to a higher dollar value.

The last idea is very similar to the minimum-free-shipping-threshold approach that I discussed in another article. First calculate the average order size, and then set a free shipping threshold at 10% above the average order size. That will encourage customers to buy a few more items thus increasing the average order size.