E-Commerce Conversion Rate Optimization Statistics
by Alex Cosper

You can improve your earnings by understanding e-commerce conversion rate optimization. Shoppers are increasingly using mobile devices to help make purchases, which is why you must provide a mobile-friendly experience. But don't ignore desktops because that's still where the best action is. Here are key ways your site can benefit from analyzing e-commerce stats.

What Is E-commerce Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion rates are calculated by dividing the number of sales by the number of visits. So if your site gets 100 visits and 3 turn into sales, your site has a conversion rate of 3%. E-commerce conversion rate optimization is the art and science of determining which factors will increase your conversion rate without increasing traffic costs. The importance of this action is that it will help you boost profit margins and identify what works best for user engagement and sales.

Why Desktop Conversions (4.3%) Outperform Smartphones (1.5%)

U.S. smartphone conversion rates have been on the rise in recent years, but conversion rates are still dramatically higher for desktops.

In terms of operating systems, the Q4 2016 conversion rate was highest on Mac desktops (4.29), which was over double the rate of iOS (2.22) and Android (1.53). The rate for Windows desktops (4.25) also doubled its mobile version of Windows Phone (1.16). An explanation of this disparity is that mobile is more of a browse platform while desktop is still a more reliable purchasing platform. Perhaps there is still concern that desktops are usually more secure than mobile platforms.

Gauging Checkout Abandonment

One of the best areas to study for improving e-commerce conversion rate optimization is why customers abandoned the site during the checkout. Since these consumers already showed interest in your products, you still have a chance to complete these transactions if you resolve their underlying concerns.

Baymard Institute is an important UX researcher because it does large-scale studies on leading e-commerce sites. According to the firm's recent studies, here are the top reasons why customers abandon checkouts:

extra costs, such as shipping and taxes 61%)
purchase requires opening an account (35%)
complex checkout process (27%) website errors (22%)

Obviously, monetary and privacy concerns are major factors that inhibit sales. Many people use the internet to get better deals than purchasing from a brick-and-mortar store. A price such as $9.99 might get their attention online if they're used to seeing higher prices in physical stores. But then when they find out through the checkout process that extra fees add more dollars to the purchase, they may have second thoughts.

In the old days when consumers had to drive around town to hunt for bargains or premium products, they were willing to settle for higher prices. But with the internet, alternatives are just clicks instead of miles away. That's why you need to limit the hurdles that make people rethink online purchases.

Not everyone likes the idea of opening an online account because they fear they're giving up privacy. Furthermore, any website glitches can create suspicion that the transaction may not be secure. Online shoppers also typically don't like long complex checkout processes filled with survey questions. So it's best to stay in the realm of 3-5 steps.

How Communication Increases Conversion Rates

Increasing conversions comes from studying analytics and customer feedback, particularly for abandoned sales. So if you are fortunate enough to have the consumer's email address, touch base with them periodically to find out what their customer experience is like. If a high volume of people tell you that your checkout process is confusing, that's your cue to simplify it.

E-commerce conversion rate optimization is further achieved from studying traffic sources and evaluating which headlines and keywords work the best with a target audience. Boosting conversion rates involves experimentation with different elements through A/B testing. The more you study analytics, the better chances you'll have of increasing conversions.

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