How to Increase Online Retail Conversion Rates: 14 Proven Tips that Work

Ecommerce is a 4.9 Trillion dollar industry (yup, trillion with a "T"), which means that there's no sign of this industry slowing down soon. More and more people are turning to online shopping. Like any thriving industry, competition is fierce.

After all, online stores have a 90% failure rate after 120 days, and even after you passed that mark lack of optimization can hinder your chances of increasing conversions on your site.

Every day new online retail stores are created, and customers know that they have more options to pick, choose, and refuse. Proving that though brand loyalty is important, it can only carry a brand so far.

Instead, rely on these 14 proven tips that work to help improve your online retail conversions.


1. Drive Customers to Your Store with SEO from A Blog

First things first, how are you driving customers to your store. Unless your brand is already ranking for the first page of Google when it comes to your product, or you have over 10k followers on social media, then driving customers to your blog should be no problem.

If your online brand doesn't fit the following above, then it's time to reconsider your SEO strategy to drive customers. No, I'm not just talking about ads. I'm talking about keyword strategy.

Your SEO strategy determines how you will be found online. The best way to fully understand how to get found on Google is to start by looking at how Google actually works and the criteria and factors involved with their ranking algorithm.

The more customers find you, the more traffic goes to your website, and the higher the chances are for people to make purchases.

A blog is one of the oldest and still most effective ways you can use to boost your brand's SEO presence online. Shopify Stores like Press use their blog to gain massive traction with the use of a keyword strategy and their blog, converting customers from readers to buyers one blog post at a time.

Here are six things you should consider when optimizing your blog for SEO and sales:

  • Optimize your Blog Content for Search
  • Use Plenty of Links
  • Blog Syndication and Social Bookmarking
  • Tap into Social Networks to Share Blog Content
  • Optimize Blog Titles with SEO Friendly Keywords
  • Publish New Blog Content Regularly

For more, check out 6 Tips to Easily Optimize Blog SEO for Search Engines.

2. Drive Customers to Your Store with Social Media

Being active on social media allows you to grab new and old customers continually. You're never really sure where or how customers might find you, so you always want to put your best content forward.

After all, an average of 3 hours are spent per day per person on social networks and messaging. Most people prefer to use their mobile phones to shop rather than a desktop.

So how do you use social media effectively to drive conversions?

Here are a few ways social media can help to convince and convert followers into shoppers:

1. Post UGC (User Generated Content).

This content is freely created by customers showing off your content on social media in images of videos. Most UGC are unsolicited and created by real people, it helps to improve your sales. When followers see real customers enjoying your products, it influences them to make a purchase.

2. Incorporate social commerce on your social media profile. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest now allow users to shop directly on their apps/sites without leaving to be redirected to another URL.

This allows you to capture sales without asking customers to jump through hoops. It will enable you to expand your online retail store, so you have multiple channels to collect purchases.

3. Use social media ads for retargeting.

If you lost a few persons along the way or who abandon the cart for whatever reason, start using retargeting ads on social media to bring them back to your store to complete a purchase.

With the help of Facebook Pixels, you can now create customized retargeting ads to attract each customer based on their last product interaction or purchase, so it feels more personalized.

4. Use social media as an extension to your customer service. Customers now expect brands to be online and active, answering them within less than 24 hours. Let it be a rule of thumb that you check your comments and direct messages regularly to answer questions or orde queries in a timely fashion.

It not only makes you look on social media so people will want to do business with you but assures the customer, so they'll make the next purchase without hesitation.

3. Design Your Online Store to Feel Like a Brick & Mortar

Take a good look at your website design layout, and this could be preventing visitors from converting to your online retail store. On average people can visit up to 90 sites per month.

It takes about 50 milliseconds (that's 0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they like your site or not, whether they'll stay or leave. Sometimes as business owners, we might not want to hear it because we're always so close to our brand, but your website sucks and needs to be better.

If your website is stuck in the 90's then it’s time to improve with one of these 10 Best Website Builders Ranked If you are using one of these website builders get a test group of people who will visit and shop on your site. Let them give you feedback on how easy or hard it was to place an order.

You can also reach out to past customers and ask them for feedback on how you can improve your website to make their next shopping experience better.

Creating a well-optimized website is like having a car; you have to maintain it and even upgrade it from time to time to get the best features. Here are some website guides that can help you do just that and more:

4. Add Entry & Exit Pop-Ups With Deals to Your Website

Website popups are a great way to get emails from visitors so that you can retarget and turn them into customers to boost your conversions when people enter or leave your site.

But as useful as popups are if you don't construct, timed properly or worded right then well you'll end up losing conversions on your site instead. Try to avoid these 7 Website Popup Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Conversion Rate.

If you don't have a website popup, you can easily create on with Wishpond's Popup Builder in minutes and start gathering leads.

Get started with Wishpond and create your popups, welcome mats, slide-in popups, and opt-in bars for your website, e-commerce store, or blog.

5. Host A Shopping Spree or Giveaway

Contests can help you to convert website visitors into online shoppers for your retails store. Simply make a contest where customers can purchase an automatic entry for their chance to win a shopping spree of their favorite products sent straight to their doorstep.

Contests can attract and convert like never before. Did you know that:

  • Contest emails have an average rate of 8%, that's 5.5% more commonly used email marketing campaigns.

  • Contest CTA's have a 3.73% higher conversion rate when compared to other CTA's.

  • When compared to the average popup conversion rate of 3.09%, the average contest popup conversion is approximately 11.82%.

Need help with your next contest?

Book a free call to learn how our team of contest experts can help you create high converting Facebook contests today.

Creating a contest is fairly easy; you simply have to ensure you have the following things:

An eye-catching and amazing graphic or prize image to attract contestants.
Clear and simple rules and instructions, the more complicated the rules are, the less likely people will bother to enter, so keep it simple.

Add a start and end date to your contest so people can stay tuned on your online platform to see when you'll announce the winner.
For more, check out our Step-by-Step Guide: How to Run a Contest or 50 Fun Contest Ideas You Can Use Today.

If you need help with creating rules, you can try Wishpond's Contest Rule Generator tool. Quickly and effectively develop rules and regulations that can help to guide your contest from start to finish.

6. Add Video Content to Your Online Retail Site

Create video content centered around a specific keyword or popular topic. When you start thinking about what type of keyword you want your video to be about, it helps viewers to see and know what your video is about without a second thought.

Optimizing your video content with SEO helps to boost its visibility after all one-third of online activity is spent watching video.

You can use video content in a wide range of ways to generate potential leads:

  • Behind the Scene
  • Products Updates or Uses
  • DIY's or How-To
  • FAQ
  • Customer reviews

7. Create Emails Automation Workflow

We know that you can use emails to update customers on their order, but did you know you can use them to increase online retails conversions as well?

Send product, discount, or welcome email automation workflows to help increase your website conversions. The key factor to your successes, apart from a great subject line and copy, is to ensure that your email is mobile-friendly. IBM found that up to 60% of email opens will occur on mobile devices, depending on the industry.

The perfect email exists, but it's not something you create overnight; it takes the best tools and practices to master and helps boost your retail conversions. Here are some email marketing guides to help you along the way:

You can use "email drip campaigns" and "marketing automation" to drive leads your way. Get started with Wishpond Email Campaigns, so you can send emails and nurture leads into sales.

8. Offer Trusted Payment Options

You would never hand over your wallet to a stranger. So why would you expect someone online to hand their payment information to a site they've never seen before?

As e-commerce websites are popping up faster than ever, consumers are increasingly hesitant about who to trust, and which companies to purchase from.

That's why trust and transparency are crucial for e-commerce success.

Payment security is the second largest reason that consumers abandon carts prior to checkout.

Shoppers want to know that their sensitive information won't be jeopardized, or that they won't be surprised by extra charges down the road.

Use trust badges and payment icons to show customers that your site is trustworthy. Payment icons also indicate that you accept payment through accredited payment providers, which in turn increases payment security.

You can also use social proof, customer testimonials, and product reviews for your store to increase trust. If possible, provide a phone number or another piece of contact information to show there's a real person behind your brand.

9. Have a Shopping Abandonment Strategy

Did you know that users are abandoning at a staggering average of 69% of online carts! Shopping cart abandonment is when a visitor comes to your store, add items to their cart, and then for some reason, they leave without making a purchase.

Creating a strategy allows you to put tools in place to get your visitor back to your website to finish their purchase. The best place to start is with a shopping cart abandonment email. About 45% of cart abandonment emails are opened; 21% of all is clicked on, while 50% of the users who clicked purchase.

Here are 10 Ways to Reduce Cart Abandonment and 1 Easy Way to Recover Up To 30%

10. Generate More Leads With Positive Reviews

Reviews have so much power when it comes to swaying buyers purchasing decisions. 22% of online users won't buy your product or service after reading even just one negative review, not to mention four or more bad reviews can take up to 70% of a business's potential customers away.

So that one-star review you're ignoring on your website or e-commerce store could be the deciding factor for potential leads.

If your customers are reaching out to you via email or social media, and excited about your products, feel free to show them off on your website. You can also use these 7 Ways to Display Business Reviews on Your Website.

11. Partner with Lifestyle & Fashion Influencers

Influencer Marketing has been in the top five marketing tools and strategies for the past four years and counting.

Adweek reported that Influencer marketing would become a $10 billion industry by 2020. That's how invested marketers are in influence marketing. You can use influencer marketing to generate leads for your business.

You can use influencers in a wide variety of ways. One way is to partner with an influencer for a do co-promotions like a give away special discount or prize package.

That's what lifestyle influencer Darina did when she posted for SmartyPants Vitamins.

12. Generate More Leads With Google Analytics

Google Analytics is your secret weapon when it comes to finding and keeping leads for your marketing strategy.

If you're new to Google Analytics or you'd like to create an account, you can use this guide to help set up Google Analytics in under 15 minutes. to follow along better in this article.

Use Google Analytics to track and capture any potential leads that might have visited your website, landing pages, or campaigns.

If you're losing or not getting enough leads, you can monitor and track your lead's path and see which pages or CTA's they tend to fall off from so you can make changes.

13. Generate More Leads With Free Shipping

Admit it, when you're shopping online, and you see that free shipping option you excited.
That's because offering free shipping (if you have an e-commerce store) can help you to generate more leads and purchases.

Four out of five consumers are more likely to purchase if you offer free shipping. Shopify listed offering free shipping as one of the top 19 ways to increase sales.

Try adding a portion of your shipping cost to the retail price of your product. This will allow you to lower the perceived shipping cost of a product while maintaining product margins.

You could also try adding the entire shipping amount to the price of a product and market the item as "free shipping."

CPC strategy](https://www.fluid-digital.com/blog/why-transparency-is-crucial-for-e-commerce-success/1162/) did a study and found that [73% of customers see free shipping as a critical component in their purchase decision.

They found that when a site had free shipping, it encouraged 93% of shoppers to buy even more compared to sites that didn't provide shipping offers.

14. Highlight & Reward Long-Standing Customers

Never forget your most loyal customers, as a brand it's easy to get caught up with finding new customers that we rarely take the time to nurture your current customers.

Highlight them on social media, send them exclusive deals, or add them to a loyalty program so that they can keep coming back. Remember, if a customer is likely to purchase from you once, you'll have less time convincing them to make another purchase.

Summary

Taking the time to create clear conversion goals can point you in the right direction and tools to help you increase your customer base. This could be using more social media or investing in a professional way to optimize your website.

Here's a quick recap of the 14 proven tips that will help you increase conversion rates in your online retail store:

  1. Drive Customers to Your Store with SEO from A Blog
  2. Drive Customers to Your Store with Social Media
  3. Design Your Online Store to Feel Like a Brick & Mortar
  4. Add Entry & Exit Pop-Ups With Deals to Your Website
  5. Host A Shopping Spree or Giveaway
  6. Add Video Content to Your Online Retail Site
  7. Create Emails Automation Workflow
  8. Offer Trusted Payment Options
  9. Have a Shopping Abandonment Strategy
  10. Generate More Leads With Positive reviews
  11. Partner with Lifestyle & Fashion Influencers
  12. Generate More Leads With Google Analytics
  13. Generate More Leads With Free Shipping
  14. Highlight & Reward Long-Standing Customers

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Written by Victoria Taylor

Victoria is a Marketing Generalist at Wishpond specializing in all things digital marketing and social media marketing. In love with blogging and Taco Tuesdays. Follow her on Twitter @vicknwsbest.