How to achieve your target conversion rate

target conversion rates

Published in Growth

Getting your online shop up and running, and shoppers visiting your site is only half your work as a retailer. You need to be focused on how well you convert your visitors into paying customers.

Your conversion rate measures the proportion of visitors to your website that actually completes a purchase. During 2016, the global average cart abandonment rate (when shoppers place items into an online shopping basket but don’t place an order) was 77.24%. 

We take a look at the reasons for shoppers failing to convert into paying customers, and how you can optimise your retail business to achieve your target conversion rate.

What stops shoppers from making a purchase?

In a 2017 survey, shoppers gave these reasons for failing to complete their purchase and abandoning their shopping cart:

  • Expensive shipping 54% 
  • No free shipping 39%
  • Unaware of shipping costs 24% 
  • Slow shipping 26% 
  • Long process 21%

These results highlight a few key areas that retailers need to focus on to increase their conversion rate; the cost of delivery, the checkout process and building trust with shoppers.

Simple checkout process

Shoppers are familiar with the checkout process on sites like eBay and Amazon, so it’s important to make purchasing on your own site just as straightforward. Keep the number of pages they have to complete to a minimum, and offer the option to checkout as a guest without creating an account. Don’t give them any chances to become frustrated or get distracted or you will lose sales at the last hurdle.

Build trust with shoppers

The more informed a shopper is, the more trust they have, which increases the chance that they’ll place an order. Ensure you have good quality product photos, detailed descriptions and a generous returns policy. Reviews and a good social media presence can also help with this too, here’s an earlier post explaining best practices for this: Social media marketing tips from the experts. You should reassure shoppers that your site is safe to use by making sure your site has an SSL certificate and offers familiar payment options such as credit and debit cards, PayPal and some shops have had success with Apple Pay

Delivery options and costs improve conversion rates

Delivery is the number one reason for abandonment but it’s something that’s easily addressed:

Be upfront about delivery costs

Hiding delivery costs until shoppers reach the checkout process is almost guaranteed to put potential buyers off. If you’re offering a good priced product but don’t mention additional postage costs early on, shoppers are going to check out other retailers when they are hit with high costs right at the end.

Offer free shipping

A high percentage of shoppers consider free shipping to be a dealbreaker. Try using a minimum spend for free shipping to increase order values, if you can’t offer it on all orders. Alternatively, you can include the cost of shipping in your product prices, allowing you to offer free shipping whilst also encouraging shoppers to convert.

Give shoppers a choice

While some shoppers are only concerned with free shipping, there’ll always be others that want their items immediately - offering an express shipping option is essential. Tracked and signed for delivery options are also important for higher value orders.

Use multiple couriers to achieve conversion targets  

By using multiple couriers you can offer customers a variety of shipping options that will meet their requirements and expectations. It’s also essential to find the best value shipping service for each and every order according to size, weight and value - using more than one courier will enable you to do this.

Zenstores simplifies shipping with multiple couriers, giving you one dashboard where you can view all your orders, connect your couriers and print shipping labels in bulk. Offering shoppers a choice of shipping services, and keeping the costs low will increase the number of orders placed and help you to achieve your target conversion rate.

Zenstores has direct integrations with Royal Mail, Parcelforce, DPD, DPD Local, APC Overnight, MyHermes, Yodel and courier comparison service Parcel2Go.


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About the author

Verity is a journalist and content producer at Zenstores.

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