How Top Ecommerce Sites Improve Conversion

March 19, 2015 Karen Axelton

improve conversion

If you’re a Land’s End or Amazon online shopper, you undoubtedly know the amazing ability both sites have to “pull you back in” and keep you buying over and over. How do top-performing ecommerce sites including these improve conversions? The answers may surprise you.

An in-depth study of the 10 top converting ecommerce websites, including Amazon.com and Land’s End, uncovered three secrets to their impressive conversion rates.

  1. Market and design for the long term. Top-converting websites focus on creating customers for life—not making a quick sale. The customer experience is key to getting these customers to come back again and again. All of the top 10 sites make it super simple, convenient and safe for shoppers to buy. To do so, they provide options such as shipping to a different address than the cardholder’s, the ability to review orders before placing them, indicators of checkout progress and a toll-free phone number on the home page to get help.
  2. Make it easy to shop and browse. To improve conversion, make the online experience as pleasant as browsing a brick-and-mortar store. For example, they frequently use pop-up shopping carts. Instead of taking customers to the cart when they add something to it, whenever customers put an item in their cart, a pop-up cart overlays on top of the page. Just as in a store, users can add items to their pile without having to leave the shopping experience. Online user reviews help customers make decisions without being able to physically touch the merchandise, as do various photo angles and options. And “bestseller” or “top rated” sidebars serve the same function as end caps or store displays in calling out hot products.
  3. Top ecommerce sites boost conversion by constantly remarketing to visitors and customers. One way they improve conversion is by grabbing email addresses early. Six out of 10 force users to create an account to buy. While this might seem counterintuitive, the process eliminates users who aren’t planning to buy anyway. The email address will have to be captured at some point, so why not capture it early? In addition, almost all of the sites include email signups on the home page to get marketing messages or newsletters. Want to grab the email and boost conversion right away? Offer a site visitor a percentage off or free shipping code if they sign up to get emails from you—then send the email immediately. With the code in hand, they’re more likely to buy then and there.

By trying these tactics, you can get closer to the top 10 companies’ conversion rates of 22.8 percent over six months.

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Author information

Karen Axelton

Karen Axelton

Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.

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