Digital Strategy

How To Improve Online Sales

So you’ve got a website, and you’re selling products through it, and it’s getting traffic but you just don’t seem to be making the sales you thought you would. Frustrating isn’t it? It doesn’t have to be. Here, we explore some recommendations to help improve e-commerce sales (or your conversion rate in other parlance).

What’s My Conversion Rate?

The first place you want to begin is to look at what your current conversion rate is. At a base level your conversion rate is the number of sales you make over a period of time (typically one month) divided by the unique number of visitors to your site, multiplied by 100. That will bring you your overall conversion percentage. So for example, if you make 1000 sales per month and have 10000 unique visitors, your conversion rate would be 10%.


What’s A Good Conversion Rate For Online Shopping?

This somewhat depends on the category of products you are selling, but overall the average would be around 2%. If you are getting more than that, awesome, you can still use some of these same tricks to further increase online sales.

Overall Conversion versus Cart Abandonment Rate

One additional thing you want to ensure you are tracking is your cart abandonment rate. This is the rate at which customers get so far as adding items to their shopping cart, getting to the checkout but then, for one reason or another, leaving the purchase process. The average shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.81% and $260 billion worth of lost orders are recoverable through optimizing checkout flow and design. (Source: Baymard) Which means by using some of these tips below, you can increase your sales without having to increase your marketing budget.

Tip 1: Ensure your site is seen as safe and secure

Customers want to know that the site they are buying from is safe and secure and that they are not likely to have their credit card details stolen. Purchasing and installing an SSL certificate is one way to demonstrate your store’s trustworthiness to those customers. Google Chrome is now automatically marking those sites without an SSL certificate as ‘unsecure’ to customers – a potential red flag that could lose you sales. Migrating to HTTPS will also offer you a handy uplift in SEO.

Tip 2: Offer a variety of payment methods

No one customer is the same and so it’s important that you offer a variety of payment methods to get the highest chance of a sale. This may be that you offer credit card payments, direct bank deposits or payment via PayPal. The aim of the game is to make the purchase as easy as possible for the customer, reduce any barriers in their way and let them check-out.


Tip 3: Enable Guest Checkout

This is a particularly important element because you could lose up to 35% of your potential customers by insisting that they create an account (Source: Baymard). Many customers just don’t want to go through the process of creating an account, or have their data live on your server for evermore.


Tip 4: Make Customer Service A Priority

Too many times you’ll find customers don’t convert because there wasn’t enough information made available to them on the website, or it was too difficult to find. So make customer service your priority. Use online chat to answer any questions they may have during the check-out process and have a clearly labelled Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page that covers common problems such as:

Do you ship internationally?
What is your delivery timeframe?
What is your returns policy?
Can I purchase using a foreign credit card?


Tip 5: Use Remarketing or Retargeting to bring customers back

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the last tip on this list, which means you didn’t get distracted mid-read. Now that it’s possible to have multiple tabs open at once on a browser, and with all the notifications that ping on your phone, it’s easier than ever to get distracted, forget what you were doing, and accidentally abandon a purchase. To help address that, make sure that you engage in some form of remarketing (via email) or retargeting (via ad units) online. Show customers the items they were previously viewing and entice them back to your site to finish the purchase process.

These are just some of the elements that you can optimise on your site to increase your sales. They form part of an overall digital strategy which would identify what the most important things are to change and optimise on your website to reach your specific goals. For more info on digital strategy, watch our video below: