Interviews, insight & analysis on Ecommerce

Shopify/BCG study identifies key drivers of online conversions

There are six key factors that sellers should take into account when looking to drive online conversions, according to research from Shopify and Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The analysis of more than 220,000 ecommerce sites and more than one billion data points found that optimisations around traffic source, basket building, checkout experience, payments, customisation, and performance can have a significant impact on conversion success rates.

“It was important for us to conduct a rigorous study on how sellers can optimise their conversion rates through key factors like the platform they use and the integrations and customizations they make,” said Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify.

In the study, loyalty incentives were found to be the most effective customisations a store can make, finding that stories with an average order value below $200 can see a conversion lift of between 4% and 6% by implementing a loyalty programme. Meanwhile, conversion rates increase significantly if customers can complete the full checkout process in under 90 seconds.

Other key findings include conversion rates increasing by as much as 63% when customers, who initially put one or two items in their baskets, increase the number of items to more than 10; moving customers directly from the product detail page to the checkout process increases the number of checkouts by more than 18%; and offering accelerated payment methods, such as PayPal or Google Pay, increases lower funnel conversions by over 50%.

“Ecommerce has grown in both volume and importance in recent years, becoming an integral part of consumers’ shopping habits,” said Stephen Robnett, BCG partner and managing director and leader of BCG’s ecommerce practice. “All ecommerce businesses can benefit from adapting strategies such as driving loyalty, investing in personalisation of the customer experience, and investing in an innovative and well-engineered ecommerce platform. Small changes to the shopping experience can have a huge impact on a seller’s business and turn browsers into buyers online.”


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