The success of any website is measured by its conversion rate.
The entire effort of creating a beautiful page, adding attractive calls to action, creating innovative content, and adding a host of other peripherals ultimately aims at inducing the visitor to convert.
However, many of us mistake conversion rate at only the number of people who buy a product on the website. While this stands true in case of e-commerce websites, as a general rule, conversion is when the visitor does what is expected of them on that specific page.
This can be anything from getting a subscription, clicking for more information, sending an inquiry, registering on the site, or of course, buying a product. To ensure that the visitor performs the expected action, i.e. increase your conversion rate, here are a few things that need to be taken care of apart from your page design.
Speaking specifically for WooCommerce, we will also discuss the plugins that can be used for enhancing each of these functionalities.
The WordPress core provides a lot of scope of optimization and a multitude of WooCommerce-compatible plugins are available that address the glitches that hinder conversion rates.
Broadly speaking, conversions depend on four factors:
- Speed of the Website
Websites that load fast, sell faster. Statistics show that visitors do not wait more than 5 seconds for a website to load. Given the number of e-commerce websites offering similar products for sale, slow loading times can have a serious impact on your conversion rates.
- Page Design
At the heart of conversions is the Page Design. Here is where you are convincing the visitor as to why they should buy the product, or issue a subscription. It is therefore a given that your Page needs to be designed and optimized to perfection. A well-designed and well-optimized page has fast upload speed, convenient search options for the visitor, reassurance markers that indicate its authenticity and safety, and information about the exact location of the visitor within the website.
- Marketing Strategy
Despite a beautiful page, visitors might sometimes need a nudge to convert them into customers. Marketing strategies, specifically email-marketing, come in handy here. Using email marketing, potential customers can be informed of offers, discounts, coupons, sales, abandoned carts, and more, which induces them to return and complete the purchase.
- Perceived Customer Security
Given the high rates of cybercrime rampant in the virtual world, visitors are understandably apprehensive about giving up financial and personal details to an unknown website. To assuage these fears, it is necessary to ensure incorporation of secure payment gateways.
Now that we have determined the pillars of WooCommerce conversion rate enhancement, let us see plugins that assist in the same.
Plugins to Improve Conversions on Your WooCommerce Website
#1 Speed of the Website
To decrease website loading time, the core of the website needs to be light. This can be done by optimizing your database and caching site pages.
The WooCommerce-compatible plugins that can be used for these functions are:
The WP-Optimize database optimization plugin clears up the unnecessary clutter in your database, without disturbing any of the core information, which helps you keep the website clean and minimalistic.
ii. WP-DB Manager
The other plugin in the database optimization category is WP-DB Manager. A comprehensive database cleaning, storing, managing, restoring, and back-up solution, the plugin is one of the free database management plugins.
iii. W3 Total Cache
The other half of increasing site speed is by caching. Caching plugins like W3 Total Cache store part of the website information using CDN networks on multiple servers so as to decrease the delay in provision of information to the visitor.
iv. WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache follows the more traditional approach of storing static pages that are saved from the dynamic website and then shown to the visitor as necessary. This ensures that no visitor encounters a ‘Page Timeout’ error or has to wait for ages for the page to upload.
#2 Page Design and Optimization
The bulk of visitor interaction on an e-commerce website is with the Product Pages. Which is why, optimizing your Product Pages is a must for obtaining better conversion rates. The Product Page does 80% of the work of convincing the visitor to convert.
As a result, every minute detail of the Page needs to be optimized for increasing conversions. This entails optimization of product images, addition of ratings and reviews, incorporation of quick search options, tweaking the display, and integration of easy contact forms.
Here is an overview of the different plugins that can be used for these functionalities.
a. Image optimization
i. WP Smush
Developed by WPMU Dev, WP Smush Image Compression and Optimization Plugin is one of the best plugins for compressing, resizing, and reworking product images. Images are stripped of redundant data to improve page load speed and can be compressed in large quantities simultaneously.
ii. EWWW Image Optimiser
The EWWW Image Optimiser plugin offers lossless and lossy compression options for image size optimization. The plugin is an excellent option for increasing site speed without compromising on the quality of the product images.
iii. BJ Lazy Load
One of the reasons why a Page takes longer to load is because all text and visual data needs to be recovered from the server, even that which the visitor hasn’t scrolled to. To avoid these delays, the BJ Lazy Load plugin facilitates the loading of images only if they are scrolled to. This ensures a significant reduction in the time required for the page to load.
b. Ratings and Reviews
i. YITH WooCommerce Advanced Reviews
The YITH WooCommerce Advanced Reviews is a popular plugin used to add reviews and rating to the product page. A few of its characteristic features include addition of attachments by reviewers, review summary, and a comparative summary bar with a statistical analysis of the number of 1/2/3/4/5 stars.
ii. WooCommerce Product Reviews Pro
WooCommerce Product Reviews Pro is a premium plugin that lets you create a questionnaire for reviewers to make sure they have adequately used the product before reviewing it. In addition, images and videos can be incorporated in the reviews and reviews can be sorted by viewers based on categories such as ‘Most Helpful’, ‘Most Recent’, ‘Most Positive/Negative’.
c. Quick Search
i. Advanced Woo Search
The Advanced Woo Search plugin adds a Search Bar on your WooStore where visitors can search for products in real-time. The dynamic bar reiterates products as per the spelling typed, to provide the closest results in the shortest possible time.
ii. YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search
Apart from the conventional search bar features, an advanced feature of the YITH WooCommerce Ajax Plugin is that visitors can enter the keyword instead of the specific product name, to browse through relevant products. This is useful when visitors do not know exactly what they are looking for and want to look through multiple choices.
iii. WooCommerce Predictive Search
The WooCommerce Predictive Search plugin features a dropdown menu with a thumbnail display beside the product name, as it is being typed in the Search Bar. This ensures that the visitors can preview the product even before they reach the Product Page.
d. Contact Forms and Live Chat
Contact Forms are a great way of connecting with your audience, either through a Live Chat, or via emails. Adding valid contact information on the website has been known to increase conversions by nearly 16%, as it assures your visitors that they are not being taken for a ride. Some of the best contact form and chat plugins that can be added to the website are as follows:
WPForms is one of the most user-friendly contact form plugins created by the WordPress solutions’ expert, Syed Balkhi, and features a drag-and-drop form builder for easy addition of fields. The premium plugin also lets you see final outlook of the form as you build it.
ii. Pirate Forms
Pirate Forms is one of the advanced form building and customization options. It provides reCaptcha and contact database options which ensure that no query goes unanswered.
iii. Product Enquiry Pro
Product Enquiry Pro for WooCommerce is a bit different from your regular contact forms. With a per product inquiry option on Shop page or on every product page, it saves the customer time from having to navigate to a different page to ask a pre-sale question.
Olark for WordPress lets you add a live chat widget on your Page and have conversations with visitors in real-time. The plugin integrates the Olark and WordPress platforms and can leverage all the functionalities of the root company.
The LiveChat plugin is available in a Freemium option and is responsive as per the device being used. Automatic greetings and chat notifications are a part of this comprehensive live chat plugin for WordPress.
e. Tweaking the Display
Kicking around a few things in your website display can be useful in understanding which layout works best for highlighting your products. Apart from the default grid display of products on your Product page, you could opt to display your products in a tabular format. A plugin you can use for that is:
i. WooCommerce Product Table
Don’t assume that the built-in store and category layouts are the best way to sell your products. For many types of store, a product table layout can increase conversions by listing more products per page, providing better product data, and making products easier to find. The WooCommerce Product Table plugin even comes with a tutorial on how to increase conversions.
#3 Marketing Strategies
Despite your best efforts, a visitor might not always convert into a customer. However, it is necessary to follow up that lead and try to keep it live by using different marketing strategies such as email marketing, integration of social media sharing options, and reducing cart abandonment.
a. Email marketing
MailChimp is one of the leading, independent email marketing service providers. WordPress integrates with MailChimp with the MailChimp for WordPress plugin to let the user access all of MailChimp’s functionalities. However, you need to create an account on the MailChimp website and get a subscription before the two can be integrated.
ii. MailPoet Newsletters
The MailPoet Newsletters plugin can be used to create autoresponders, newsletters, periodic notifications, and send automated emails to increase your customer base. The plugin has a drag-and-drop newsletter builder to create beautiful emails from within the WordPress setup.
b. Cart Recovery
Studies suggest that cart recovery options help increase conversions by nearly 60%! As the administrator, you can easily recover abandoned carts and convert them into certified buyers by sending out email notifications. Here are some plugins that can assist in the same.
i. WooCommerce Recover Abandoned Cart
The WooCommerce Recover Abandoned Cart is a useful plugin to recover carts abandoned by members and guests, with timely emails sent from the dashboard. The plugin allows for creation of multiple templates that can include various discount coupons to recapture buyer interest.
ii. YITH WooCommerce Recover Abandoned Cart
YITH WooCommerce Recover Abandoned Cart plugin allows for customization of benefits received by users. Varying advantages can be offered for members according to their user roles, which not only improves cart recovery, but also encourages Guest users to register/subscribe, thus driving conversions.
iii. Abandoned Cart Lite for WooCommerce
The Abandoned Cart is a light-weight plugin for WooCommerce that identifies and recovers the products abandoned by the user and sends periodic email reminders for completing the purchase. The free plugin works efficiently and provides all basic functionalities.
#4 Perceived Customer Security
Security is an important factor for conversions. The second a visitor feels that the store is unreliable, thy will bounce out of the website, no matter how lucrative the deal. To avoid such misunderstandings, it is necessary to ensure that customers know they are purchasing within a secure environment by incorporating secure payment gateways.
WooCommerce has extensions for payment gateways for safe transactions, incorporating regional gateways with multiple currency support into your WooStore.
i. PayPal Express Checkout
iii. Amazon Pay
v. PayPal powered by BrainTree
Optimization of conversion rates is a gradual process, requiring frequent trial and error, site analytics, and reiterations, until the maximum conversion rate is achieved. The conversion rate optimization funnel starts right from the moment you choose your hosting provider and continues through all the creative and analytical phases of the website. For further reference on how to optimize you WooCommerce store, you can take a look at our WooCommerce Optimization Guide.
It is necessary to understand that there is no one quick solution to increasing conversions. The strategy to increase the conversion rate varies as per the design of your website, your marketing strategies, and the overall selling methods incorporated. Nevertheless, the various plugins discussed above can be successfully used to improve conversion rates on your website!
What are your thoughts? Any other plugins you would like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!