Jena Domingue
March 25, 2016 | Jena Domingue

Steps to take to improve online conversion rates

Although e-commerce sales are up across the board, many e-commerce retailers suffer from low conversion rates. This is a trend seen across all industries, but there are steps your online wine store can take to improve sales and convince customers to complete purchases.

The Checkout Conversion Index (CCI), a collaborative effort between BlueSnap and Pymnts.com, measures online conversion rates among various industries. It grades - on a scale of A through F - how well the checkout process of various e-commerce sites reduces friction for the consumer, comparing elements such as shipping options and the total number of clicks it takes to complete a purchase.

The report is released every quarter, and the start of 2016 showed things were on the decline. Of the 657 Internet retailers surveyed, 160 received an F and 158 received a D. The majority - 225 stores - averaged a C in score, and 110 were given a B. Only four retailers earned an A. Overall, the CCI fell 3.1 points to 53.1 percent from its standing in Q4 2015.

What wine sellers can learn
There are several factors affecting conversion rates, but it's a good idea to look at what one wine seller did to improve theirs. Cracka Wines, located in Australia, noticed its site received a lot of traffic but not many conversions. To solve this issue, the company took measures to optimize its website. It used behavioral targeting, A/B testing and more to identify pain points along the shopping journey from the customer's point of view.

With the help of marketing company Webtrends, Cracka Wines relaunched its site, employing a responsive design to support shopping on smartphones and tablets. The company updated its homepage, decreasing its size and loading time. Users are more likely to leave a page that takes several seconds to load, especially if they're browsing on a mobile device. As a result of these changes, 36 percent more visitors bought a product directly from Cracka Wine's homepage.

Finally, the company looked at how it displayed product prices. Cracka Wines originally showed the cost of each bottle, but consumers could only purchase wines in cases of 12 units. The retailer used multivariate testing to compare different pricing combinations - bottle pricing with bottle savings, bottle pricing with case savings and case pricing with case savings. Even though no other business used such a pricing strategy, Cracka Wines saw the latter brought its conversion rate up 18 percent.

Although conversion rates among online retailers fell over all during 2016's first quarter, wine sellers can take certain steps to improve their sites and acquire more purchases.


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