Conversions are one of the most important things for any ecommerce store. Macro conversions, or purchases, keep you in business. While micro-conversions help draw potential customers down the funnel.

But how do you calculate conversion rate? We'll cover the need-to-know ecommerce conversion rate formula. Then we'll dive into how to improve conversions so you can boost the overall success of your ecommerce store.

What is a conversion?

A conversion in ecommerce is defined as a visitor to your website taking an action you want them to take, such as subscribing to your newsletter, or making a purchase.

Non-purchase conversions, often called "micro-conversions," take place sometime before a purchase. While the sale at the bottom of the funnel is sometimes called a "macro conversion."

Those purchase conversions are one of the most important things for any ecommerce store because they keep you in business. But micro conversions are steps your customers can take that bring them closer to a purchase, so they shouldn't be forgotten.

Some examples of micro-conversions include:

  • Subscribing to your email or SMS list

  • Creating an account

  • Adding a product to the shopping cart

  • Consuming a piece of content like a blog or downloadable

  • Taking a quiz

  • Following your brand's social media profile

What is conversion rate in ecommerce?

Conversion rate is the percentage of your audience that takes the action you want them to take.

Whether you're measuring micro or macro conversions, conversion rate is an essential metric. It'll help you understand how well your ecommerce business is performing and if you're meeting your marketing campaign goals.

By measuring conversion rate, instead of only overall conversions, you can more effectively compare performance across different marketing campaigns, channels, and pages on your website.

How to calculate your conversion rate

Calculating conversion rate is easy. Start by taking the number of conversions you made in a given period of time (depending on what action you're tracking). Then, divide that by the total number of people that interacted with what you're measuring.

For example, say you're measuring the conversion rate of a particular landing page to newsletter subscribers last month. You'd divide the number of new subscribers you earned that month by the total number of visitors to that landing page.

So, if you had 1,000 visitors to the landing page last month and earned 100 new subscribers, your conversion rate would be 10%.

Measuring your conversion rate for your ecommerce store overall can help you track your online brand's success over time. To do this, you'd divide conversions by your total site visitors.

You can also measure conversion rate by channel, traffic source, or marketing campaign. For example, the conversion rate of all visitors who came from organic search. Or all visitors who came to the website after clicking on a particular ad.

Many ecommerce tools will calculate conversion rates for you. For example, your ecommerce platform can tell you your store's overall purchase conversion rate. And any ad software you use can tell you the conversion rate for particular ads or the average conversion rate for your ads channels overall.

Use Google Analytics to calculate conversion rates for anything not provided by other software you use.

By looking at your conversion rate in all these different ways, you can get valuable insights into what works for your business and what needs improvement.

How to improve your conversion rate

While a high conversion rate is desirable, it's important to remember that many factors can influence this metric. Therefore, achieving a high conversion rate is not always possible (or realistic). However, you can use some conversion rate optimization strategies to improve your conversion rate.

Make your online store mobile-friendly

Over 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices in the US. And by 2025, it is estimated that mobile commerce will make up 44% of all ecommerce purchases. So if your store does not have a great mobile experience, you will be at a disadvantage.

To improve your chances of conversion, you should implement a modern design that automatically resizes to adjust to different screen sizes and orientations. Additionally, you should check from mobile devices to ensure your images are resizing correctly, your text is legible, and your CTAs are easy to click.

Optimize page design

Your website's design has an impact on whether or not shoppers will convert. So start with a clean, uncluttered design.

Make sure important information, like product details, shipping policies, and your CTA, are easy to find – especially on your product pages.

Make CTAs clear and actionable by testing different button sizes, copy, colors, and placement.

Improve your site load time

Shoppers will likely give up if your pages take too long to load. In fact, according to Portent, ecommerce stores that load in 1 second have a 2.5x higher conversion rate than ones that load in 5 seconds.

Losing even a small amount of revenue can be significant, so you don't want your ecommerce site to be slow.

Cache images at the browser level to speed up your load times. Serve scaled images -- a lower-resolution version that loads quickly and a higher-resolution version for shoppers who want to see details up close.

Minimize redirects. And make sure your checkout process and payment gateway load as quickly as possible to reduce purchasing friction.

Craft enticing product descriptions

If you're using dry or technical language to describe your products or long, flowery sentences that don't actually explain the product, you can optimize your descriptions.

Keep descriptions concise, and use bullets to help people skim quickly. Emphasize the benefits of your products so shoppers will understand how it fits into their life, not just the features.

Use high-quality imagery

Since customers aren't seeing your products in person, your images need to accurately convey a product's features and how it can be used.

Show the product from multiple angles and add close-up shots of key features.

Show the product in context, if relevant. For example, seeing apparel on a model can help your audience understand how clothing fits. Or, if you sell desk organizers, showing them in use on a desk helps a customer understand what supplies can fit.

Include social proof

Prospective shoppers are more likely to purchase a product if they see that others have enjoyed it.

There are several ways to create social proof. One way is to use logos and quotes from prestigious publications. This shows that your product has been featured in respected media outlets.

Another way is to use customer reviews. This lets potential customers see what other people who have used the product think of it.

Create a sense of urgency

There are several ways to create a sense of urgency to increase conversions.

  • Offer a limited-time discount

  • Offer free shipping for a limited time:

  • Offer a limited-time bonus like free gifts or extra points for loyalty program members

  • Display a countdown timer for a sale that's about to end or for a limited-time offer

  • Show low stock levels

This will encourage customers not to wait and to buy now.

Offer easy customer support

One of the main reasons why customers shop online is because it's convenient. They can shop at any time of day or night and have items delivered to their door.

However, one of the downsides of shopping online is that it can be difficult to get help when you need it. Offering clear ways to get support can help increase conversions by making it easy to get their questions answered and, therefore, more likely for them to purchase.

Make it easy to find contact information and set goals for your customer service team to respond efficiently. Consider offering live chat or support via text so customers can get help in real-time.

Follow up with automated flows

Abandoned carts are incredibly common in ecommerce. According to Fresh Relevance, 68.7% of carts are abandoned in the United States. Automated email and text flows can help an ecommerce store increase conversions by sending reminders to shoppers who have items in their shopping cart.

These reminders can prompt customers to complete their purchases and can also include special offers or discounts to incentivize them to do so. Read up on how to save more abandoned carts with SMS marketing.

A/B test everything

A/B testing is important for optimizing conversions because it allows store owners to test different aspects of pages and campaigns to see which version results in the most conversions.

Test different copy, images, colors, layouts, CTAs, subject lines, and timing (for campaigns). Test just one aspect at a time. Then, measure your conversion rates between your two options. Use the most effective version, and then move on to the next aspect you want to tweak.

Increase your conversions with SMS

Ecommerce is more competitive than ever. Optimizing for conversion rates can make sure you get the most out of every campaign and that you don't lose shoppers who could have purchased.

The first step is to pull conversions data (for your pages, campaigns, and store overall). Now, divide the number of conversions by the number of unique visitors or viewers over the same time period.

Then you'll have a baseline to grow from.

When you're ready to scale your business, SMS marketing is a powerful tool that can help you boost your conversion rate.

Use SMS to automate flows, send engaging campaigns, and for conversational texting.

Not sure where to start? Emotive is a best-in-class SMS marketing software that can help you take your business to the next level. Create dynamic audience segments and automate two-way conversations to boost conversions. What's more? White glove services can help you write SMS copy, refine your strategy, and optimize your campaigns.

Learn about how Emotive can serve as a partner to win more sales with a guaranteed 5X ROI.