5 ways to increase e-commerce conversion rates

By | 15 September 2020
3 Minute Read

5 ways to increase e-commerce conversion rates

Did you know that the average UK conversion rate for e-commerce websites is just 1.4%? This number is 0.4% lower than the global average of 1.8% and underlines the importance of conversion rate optimisation for UK businesses, whether B2C or B2B.

What is conversion rate optimisation?

Conversion rate optimisation, often abbreviated to CRO is the act of converting a higher percentage of website visitors into customers. The methods used to achieve this goal can vary, but any changes made to your website to accomplish this task is classes as CRO.

How to increase e-commerce conversion rates?

In the UK, the B2C e-commerce market is worth around £181 billion, which accounts for 19% of the UK’s total retail spend. The pandemic has also changed shopping habits, increasing online spending habits further, but how do you capture your share of this booming e-commerce  business? One of the easiest methods is to invest time and money into conversion rate optimisation for your website.

Here are five ways you could increase your conversion rates.

1. Boost your sites loading times

Google research shows that 53% of visitors to your website will abandon their session if your page takes 3 seconds or more to load. With the average loading speed of websites in the UK standing at 8.9 seconds, there is a massive opportunity for your site to stand out amongst the crowd.

Find out where your website is hosted and see how quickly it loads by using a free tool such as Google’s Page Speed Insights.

Here at Actuate, we purposely chose to partner with UK Fast for our client’s web hosting needs, drawing on their need for speed and best in class infrastructure to give the sites we host that competitive advantage.

2. Responsive & Mobile-First Design

Do you know how many visitors to your website are using a mobile device compared to a desktop?

The probability is that the majority of your visitors already use a mobile device and by 2023, your mobile sales will overtake desktop sales. But have you ever tested your website using a mobile device? It’s easy in an office environment to forget mobile exists, which can have severe consequences for your bottom line.

Make sure your website is responsive (adapts to work across a variety of devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops). If you’re planning a redesign, indicate you’d prefer a mobile-first approach (when a site is designed primarily for mobile devices and adapted for larger
screens as a secondary measure).

At Actuate, unless otherwise requested, all e-commerce sites are built responsively with a mobile-first design.

3. Simplify your checkout

You’ll find most of your visitors drop-off your site during the checkout process; it’s advisable to take a long, hard look at your checkout, with top reasons for abandonment including:

  • Being forced to create an account
  • Making the checkout process too complex
  • Unexpected delivery costs
  • Security concerns

We create customer profiles to tailor your e-commerce site to the needs of your audience, making the user experience better for all involved.

4. Include multiple payment options

Why would a consumer choose a competitor selling an identical product to yours, even if that product is more expensive? Maybe if they offer PayPal or another preferred payment method and you don’t. Why? One of the reasons is because payment providers such as PayPal allow items to be purchased using PayPal Credit, giving you four interest-free months to pay for an item. Now, do you see the advantages?

We’ll advise and help you consider your target audience when thinking about the payment methods you include on your checkout. If you sell high-value items, consider some of the buy-now-pay-later payment providers, PayPal is recommended for ease of use, and mobile payment providers are also growing in popularity.

5. Rely on social proof

Social proof is the action of people following the actions and recommendations of others and is a powerful tool in helping boost conversion rates on your website. Promote customer reviews across your product pages and social media channels to encourage sales. If you don’t currently collect reviews, consider adding this as a priority.

Surveys show that 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, and even Google have admitted that reviews play a role in your search rankings.

We’re able to set up and integrate reviews for your e-commerce site as well as advising on Google licensed review providers to make sure Google counts your on-site reviews, rather than ignoring them because of how they were collected.


Conversion rate optimisation is all about changing your site for the better. By analysing your statistics and analytics, educated changes can be introduced to influence the ways consumers interact with your site. Don’t settle for anything other than outstanding when it comes to your conversions, book a meeting with Actuate today and let’s turn your website around.