Increase eCommerce Conversion Rates for the Holiday Season

August 21, 2015

Increase eCommerce Conversion Rates for the Holiday Season

This blog post is by Jenna Warren at Creatuity.

With the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, you are probably working hard to make improvements to your Magento site. You want to ensure you convert as many shoppers to buyers during this peak season.

As a Magento Certified Solution Specialist, I advise many eCommerce businesses, from small start-ups to large corporations, on how to increase their conversion rate. This is called conversion rate optimization, or CRO.

Let’s say that on an average day, 100 shoppers visit your site. You then receive about 2-3 orders per day. That would mean that your eCommerce conversion rate is around 2-3% on an average day. Even a small boost in your conversion rate can make a big difference when your site is receiving a lot of traffic this holiday season. You can review your Google Analytics data to determine what your current conversion rate is, and set holiday goals accordingly. If you don’t have it already, I recommend Fooman’s Google Analytics+ extension.

CRO is a good place to start when growing your eCommerce business. In general, a “good” conversion rate varies greatly from business to business. For example, luxury fashion sites tend to have a lower conversion rate than sporting goods sites. I like to review the eCommerce conversion rates of a few well-established competitors using the Internet Retailer Top 500 and Second 500 guides. This will give you a realistic goal to start, and ensure that you aren’t aiming too low, either.

After establishing a goal, here are few things to start your journey of CRO:

  1. Site speed is very important for eCommerce sites. Do a quick speed test on your site. Upgrade your server or hosting plan before the anticipated spike in traffic, rather than waiting for the site to go down. Many hosting partners like Nexcess or LexiConn have affordable hosting packages for small businesses that are also highly optimized for Magento sites. In addition to server-side performance problems, you can also have code on your site that is slowing down the performance, or perhaps not using some of the performance optimization settings in Magento. A quick performance tune-up by a Magento Partner like Creatuity can address these concerns efficiently and affordably.

  2. Make the steps to completing a purchase as simple as possible. Consider a one step checkout extension, reduce unnecessary questions during checkout, and ensure you have an easier payment method (like PayPal Express) available.

  3. See what your shoppers are doing, and identify problem points using a tool like Inspectlet. You might not realize that your navigation menu is confusing, or that shoppers can’t find your Add to Cart button.

  4. Mobile and tablet shoppers increase during the holiday season. Your eCommerce site should have a fully responsive Magento theme that displays well on all devices. You can test if your site meets Google’s mobile-friendly requirements here. Also, test on your own device(s) to see what obstacles your mobile shoppers are experiencing. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to find items and complete checkout. Knowing how fast your site is on mobile devices is also important. I recommend running a test on Google PageSpeed Insights.

  5. Try to display estimated shipping costs and arrival dates as early as possible in the shopping experience. This is even more important during the holiday season when the shopper might not already be familiar with your brand, and may need your productby a particular date. For example, if you have free shipping, promote it prominently. Don’t assume the shopper already knows that you always offer free shipping. Also, let the shopper know about your holiday order deadlines, and what happens if the gift-recipient needs a return/exchange. Most importantly, rely on your own experience as a gift-giver. Use your own shopping experiences on other sites to improve your own site.

Keep in mind that conversion rate optimization is a continual process for your eCommerce site. You will need to frequently monitor your Google Analytics data and make adjustments to your plans and goals accordingly. Many CRO techniques can be done yourself, without the need to pay a consultant or developer. If you need to bring in an expert, the Magento Partners Finder is a good place to start your search.

If you have any questions about increasing your eCommerce conversion rate or preparing your Magento site for the holiday shopping season, I’m happy to help. I hope this holiday season is your best yet!

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About Jenna Warren:

Jenna is a Magento Certified Solution Specialist at Creatuity, a Magento Small Business Partner. Creatuity propels fast-growing eCommerce brands with exceptional Magento stores. Follow @Creatuity on Twitter for eCommerce tips and Magento news.

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