In this post, we continue our series of value metrics that new store owners should focus on. In previous posts, we’ve covered key metrics related to revenue, tracking repeat customers, and metrics affecting new customer acquisitions. Today, we will cover another important metric — conversion rate.

Before we look into conversion rate, you should determine if this is a valuable metric to measure given your store’s size. Not every store can optimize conversion rate in a measurable way since it depends on your number of orders (and thus you have to have enough orders for statistical significance). Regardless, measuring your conversion rate over time will be valuable for when you get to the point where you can test and optimize it.

Conversion rate: How to calculate

The conversion rate relates the number of visitors to a site with the number that take a specific action over a set duration. In the context of eCommerce stores, this is typically making a purchase by submitting an order. Other actions can include subscribing to newsletters, or contacting the site owner. For the purpose of this post, we will consider conversion to be the action of submitting an order.

Conversion rate = total number of orders / total number of visitors

For example, if for a given time period, your store had 500 visitors and 10 orders, then the conversion rate for that period would be 10/500 = 2%. The better conversion rate you have, the more profitable your store will be. A typical conversion rate for eCommerce stores is between 2-3% on average. The rate would be lower for new stores, and higher for established brands with known products.

This rate falls at the end of your marketing funnel, and is determined by the last step in a customer’s journey – completing the checkout. Every touchpoint with your brand in the customer’s journey affects this rate. This includes your marketing efforts, the store website experience, the product quality, and the content caliber.

At a fundamental level, a potential visitor will convert to a customer if they can trust that you will be able to deliver on their expectations. Handing over their money is the ultimate measure of trust that a customer can put, especially without knowing about or having prior transactions with your brand.

Conversion rate: How to improve this metric

There are a number of things you can do improve conversions. A number of them happen offline, and a number of them happen before a potential customer arrives on your store. Below, we will focus on 10 things you can do to improve conversions after a potential customer has landed on your store.

1. Content

Content is the bedrock of eCommerce stores. Since customers can’t talk to you or a sales representative like they would in a physical store, your content copy is what informs customers about your brand and your products. The copy has to be a good balance between providing useful information to customers while overcoming their potential objections to making a purchase.

Make sure your content is error free. Nothing kills a store’s credibility faster than having typos and errors in the content. It signals a lack of thoroughness and care. Customers may translate the same attributes for your products.

There are certain things you can do to improve the content on your site:

  • Use active voice with clear headlines for each section of the website.
  • Add the tone of your brand to the copy on your store.
  • Include thorough and unique content for product pages.

Remember, customers may not notice the amount of effort you put into creating great content, but they will certainly notice if there is little effort put into content.

2. Trust seals

Add trust badges or seals to your store, and especially to your store’s checkout page. According to a case study, adding a trust seal on the checkout page increased conversions by 60%.

WooCommerce Checkout Trust Seals conversion rate

Checkout seals

These trust seals add credibility to your store, and signal some level of security to customers who are trusting you with their credit card and personal information. Learn more about adding trust badges and seals to the checkout page in our previous post.

3. “Contactability”

Online stores are inherently digital and impersonal interactions between brands and customers. It is still important for potential customers to know that there are people on the other side of the website. You can add and highlight ways that customers can contact you. These include adding a live chat, highlighting a phone number (preferably toll-free), including a physical address for the business, and links to your social profiles.

You can use the free WP Live Chat Support plugin for any WordPress site to add the live chat functionality. You can also use the LifeChat platform to integrate live chat with your WooCommerce store.

Other than live chats, learn more about adding phone support to your store.

Even if customers don’t use these options to contact you, knowing that these exist will help them trust your store more.

4. User flow

Keep the user flow from the landing page or home page to the checkout page as short and simple as possible. Don’t get in the way of customers making a purchase. The customer journey should be straightforward, and customers should know what they need to do at each step of the process.

This means that your landing page should focus on a single highest-value action – whether that is leading customers to the product page, or to your most popular product. In addition, keep your pages decluttered of other action items, and lead customers through the journey with call-to-action buttons that stand out.

5. Reviews and testimonials

Reviews and testimonials are great user-generated content that give potential customers a glimpse of how other people have used your products. More than 80% of people read reviews before making a purchase, according to one study. People would almost always trust what an aggregate of other people have to say about your products, rather than what you have to say about your products.

WooCommerce has a review panel built into the platform. You can get rich reviews that include images, videos, qualifying questions, and more through the WooCommerce Product Reviews Pro extension. For Easy Digital Downloads stores, you can use the Reviews extension to include product reviews.

Learn more about the importance of product reviews on your store.

6. Promotional pricing

You can display a discounted or sale price on your products to encourage customers towards a purchase. Both WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads have the ability to show the discounted price. This creates a higher perceived value in a customer’s mind as they are able to get a bargain on your products. This higher value can tip them towards making a purchase.

7. Retrieve abandoned carts

Many times, customers may add your products to a cart but never checkout. This is called cart abandonment. You can increase conversions by sending these customers a notification about their abandoned carts. Learn more about plugins you can use to implement these notifications through this post, and this post.

8. Lifecycle emails

Lifecycle emails include all emails that a customer receives from you throughout the lifetime of their interaction with your store. These include welcome emails, survey emails, new product emails, reward and recognition emails, and more. Lifecycle emails help keep your brand on the customers’ radar. The higher touch-points also help build trust, as they signal a more robust customer relationship than a single sale.

You can learn more about lifecycle emails in our previous post. You can use services like Receiptful to implement lifecycle emails for your WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads store.

9. Videos

Add videos to your store to provide customers with richer content. Videos can help distill a lot of information, or can even be used as sales channels for your products.

You can include product overview videos to give customers a better idea about your products. You can also include customer testimonial videos on your store so that people can put a face to the reviews, or create videos that inform customers about your products’ use-cases and how to use the products.

10. Free shipping and returns

You can include a clear shipping and returns policy to your store to help increase conversions. A clear policy takes the variability of shipping and returns away from your customers as they know exactly what the process will be like. You can also provide and highlight free shipping and returns. This removes the risk of additional costs in case a customer is not happy with their order.

You can use plugins like the WP-TopBar to highlight free shipping and returns at the top of your store site.

Conversion rate: Summary

Conversion rate is the relation between the number of people who create orders on your store vs. the total number of visitors over a given time period. This metric is something that online stores can always strive to improve as it results in higher revenues and typically higher profitability.

There are a number of ways you can improve your store’s conversions. While you may not be able to measure conversion rate or optimize it in a statistically significant way yet, you can still be aware of these tactics to improve your store in genera.

Most of these help build trust amongst potential customers for your brand. In this post, we cover 10 things new store owners can focus on to improve conversions on their stores. Both WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads have a number of plugins to help move the dial on these.

Are there changes you have made to your store that resulted in a higher conversion rate? What has worked for you? Please tell us in the comments below.


Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we get a commission from the plugin, theme, or service provider if you choose to purchase. Regardless of this, we are committed to providing high quality, unbiased resources. Have more questions? See our affiliate policy. You can use the plain links below if you prefer that we not receive a referral commission:
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Posted by Jai Sangha

Jai is a regular contributor to Sell with WP, and helps merchants improve their WordPress eCommerce businesses with plugin reviews, marketing or customer service tips, and tutorials.

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