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4 data-backed tips to improve ecommerce conversion rates

Brands must balance personalization with privacy considerations and ensure product pages are comprehensive and complete. Lower-funnel ad tactics and easily accessible shipping and returns info also help to encourage purchases.

Here are four strategies to boost online conversion rates.

1. Provide shipping and returns information often and early

The data: Aside from price, the top factors that would lead shoppers worldwide to buy directly from brands are free delivery, fast and convenient delivery, and free returns, according to April data from Wunderman Thompson.

The pitfall: Many brands offer at least one of these three things, but sometimes consumers have to get all the way through the checkout process to discover shipping and return costs.

The strategy: Brands should offer as much information about shipping and returns as early in the shopping journey as possible. This includes on a brand’s home page, on product description pages, and on shopping cart pages.

2. Don’t overcomplicate your ad strategy

The data: Over a third (37%) of adults worldwide said that ads that link directly to offers or promotions for their favorite brands or products are the most influential in making a purchase decision, per an April survey from PwC.

The pitfall: Brands should use every tool in the advertising toolbox, but don’t forget each one has a specific purpose. For example, clever TikTok content may generate buzz, but it may also be less effective at actually inspiring purchases.

The strategy: If encouraging more conversions is the goal, brands need to employ lower-funnel tactics like discounts or promotions to shorten the customer journey between seeing the ad and making a purchase.

Still, brands shouldn’t ditch upper-funnel tactics like TV or social ads, which promote awareness to a larger audience set. Ideally, upper- and lower-funnel activities should complement each other to provide a seamless flow from awareness to purchase.

3. Keep up with product description pages

The data: Accurate product descriptions are the most influential type of content when consumers worldwide are shopping online, per April data from Wunderman Thompson.

The pitfall: Incomplete product descriptions are sure to send customers to competitors who provide more information about how a product looks, feels, and works.

The strategy: In addition to accurate and detailed product descriptions, brands should always include high-quality images and consider adding video and customer reviews to give customers a more comprehensive view of the product.

4. Find the right balance between useful and creepy personalization

The data: Recommendations and offers based on past behavior or purchases are the most useful types of personalization, according to consumers worldwide, per Airship. The least useful? Predictive suggestions based on everything the brand knows about the consumer.

The pitfall: Technologies like AI and machine learning have made it easier for brands to make predictions about shopper behavior, but that may not be what consumers actually want. In fact, it may feel a little invasive.

The strategy: Start with the basics. Past purchases are usually a good indicator of future behavior, so use that as the foundation of your personalization strategy. However, some audiences may be interested in taking personalization a little bit further, so try experimenting with smaller groups to see what works and what doesn’t.


This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.