What is it and how to increase conversion rate in e-commerce

Conversion rate in e-commerce is one of the main metrics used to measure the performance of specific actions in e-commerce, such as banner and ad clicks, sign-ups, coupon usage, etc. But, in a more macro way, it also serves to measure the success of sales in the virtual store, which we call the sales conversion rate.


Have you ever wondered how to increase the e-commerce conversion rate. Well, know that he is not alone. This is one of the biggest challenges in e-commerce, especially in Brazil, where it is around 1,65%, according to Experian Hitwise.

Although this number is low, it is fundamental to the success of any e-commerce. Therefore, you need to understand what it means, how important it is and how to increase it in your online store. And that's what we're going to talk about in this article, in the following topics: 

Read on!

What is Conversion Rate?

The conversion rate is one of the main metrics in e-commerce for measuring the results of marketing and sales actions. It serves to measure whether the strategies that lead the user to some action are being effective and varies according to the context in which it is being analyzed. 

For example, you can use it to measure the performance of a banner, based on the conversion rate of clicks it received. Or to measure the performance of a popup calling to subscribe to the newsletter, based on the number of subscribers it got.

But, in general, when we talk about conversion rate in e-commerce, we mainly refer to the number of sales made compared to number of visits received in the virtual store in a certain period of time.

How important is it to invest in conversion strategies for e-commerce?

Investing in conversion strategies é extremely important for any e-commerce, especially when we think about the online store sales conversion rate.

That's because even if you invest a lot to generate traffic to the store, it won't do any good if these visitors don't turn into customers. And that's what conversion investments do: they help convert visits into sales and, consequently, into profit, thus increasing the return on investment (ROI) of your business as a whole.  

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    How to measure the conversion rate?

    Whatever type of conversion you want to measure, in general you will always need to divide the number of actions taken by the number of users who contacted that action — even if they didn't convert — and then multiply by 100, since that this rate is measured in percentage.

    For example, let's say that in one day 1500 people visited your store, but only 500 bought. To measure your store's conversion rate on that day, you would do the following calculation: 500 ÷ 1500 x 100. So, your store's conversion rate on that day was 33,33%. 

    Know the average conversion rate of each e-commerce segment

    As we mentioned earlier, the average e-commerce conversion rate in Brazil is de 1,65%, according to Experian Hitwise. 

    But know the average conversion rate of each e-commerce segment it's even better, because you can analyze more assertively if your store's performance is really satisfactory compared to competitors. 

    Fortunately, a survey conducted by NeoAtlas in 2018 managed to get the rates of some segments, and we list them below.

    Food and drinks

    Desktop: 4,5%

    Mobile: 0,8%

    Automotive accessories

    Desktop: 1,3%

    Mobile: 0,5%

    babies and children

    Desktop: 1,5%

    Mobile: 0,9%


    Desktop: 1%

    Mobile: 0,5%

    shoes and accessories

    Desktop: 1,6%

    Mobile: 0,9%


    Desktop: 2,2%

    Mobile: 1,4%


    Desktop: 1,4%

    Mobile: 0,8%

    How to increase the conversion rate according to the segment?

    Knowing the average conversion rate of each segment makes it much easier to increase it. But another key point is to know your audience very well: what they really want, need and how they behave within your site. 

    Everything inside your online store must be there for the purpose of trying to convert your customer. For this, you must have your personas well delineated and you can also use user behavior analysis tools within the site.

    With that in mind, you should keep in mind everything that is necessary for your personas to buy your type of product. For example, if you're a fashion e-commerce, you definitely need to inform the type of fabric, available colors, fit and show the product in high resolution images and from several different angles – preferably with people wearing the pieces. 

    It is these particular details that will make the difference and help increase sales conversion in each e-commerce segment.

    How to improve your conversion rate

    there are some sales strategies that you can put into practice to improve the conversion rate of any e-commerce, regardless of the segment. Check out what they are below.

    Ensure a good shopping experience

    Undoubtedly, one of the main strategies to increase conversion is to ensure a good shopping experience. In addition to influencing sales, this also builds customer loyalty and turns them into brand promoters.

    provide a good EXPERIENCE to the user it involves ensuring that they are successful throughout the purchase journey: from the moment they enter your store; search the products on search; receive relevant recommendations; puts the products in the cart; make the purchase; receives the product; and even when you need to get in touch in the event of a exchange or return

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      Engage with your target audience

      The more you engage with your audience, the more they trust you and that makes customers come into your store much more determined to make a purchase.

      One way to relate is to communicate and share quality content and with a certain frequency on social networks; by emails; and even on the blog. 

      Another tactic that helps a lot is treat you in a personal and personalized way, calling you by your first name and sending content of interest to you, in the case of e-mails; and using personalized recommendation windows, which will make him feel that he is receiving a differentiated and special treatment.

      Invest in your brand authority

      Another super important strategy to increase the conversion rate is to invest in your brand authority. This is essential, because when the customer already knows, admires and trusts the brand, they spontaneously enter your website when they need the products you sell, and the chances of making a purchase are much greater. 

      This strategy is closely related to the previous one, that is, when you relate to the public, you also generate authority. But other ways are to invest in advertising, Press office e partnerships with other brands and influencers.  

      Bet on differentials and attractions

      You can and should also bet on differentials and attractions, after all, consumers are increasingly in the habit of searching for the same products on competing websites. And in the end, the one that offers the most advantages wins.

      For that, you can offer free shipping, fast delivery, discount coupons, “get 2, pay 1” promotions and so on.

      Os retention pop-ups with discount coupons on products that have already been viewed are great allies in this type of strategy and have great potential for retention and conversion. Their performance is even better when they present a lightning promotion with a countdown timer, as this activates the urgency trigger and greatly increases the chances of purchase.

      Discover the dropout points

      Discovering the dropout points is another tactic that can go a long way in improving your sales conversion rate. After all, nothing better than directly attacking the focus of the problem. 

      For example, if you notice that most customers who abandon your store do so in the registration part, it is very likely that there is a usability problem in this section. Thus, by making the necessary improvements, customers will stop leaving the site and will complete the purchase.

      An excellent tool for this is the Hotjar, as it identifies how users interact on the site.

      How often should you monitor your e-commerce conversion rate?

      There is no specific frequency for monitoring the conversion rate in e-commerce, although it is interesting to do this with some regularity. It all depends on your segment, business model and even the moment your store is experiencing. 

      But like any other important metric, it is recommended to establish a frequency to measure it e make it a habit. If you decide to measure once a week, do so religiously. Only then will it be possible to understand whether the actions and investments you are putting in the store are having the desired effect.

      What are the mistakes that harm the e-commerce conversion rate?

      In addition to paying attention to the practices that help improve the conversion rate, it is also super important to be aware of the mistakes that harm it and that you should avoid. Check out the main ones below.

      1) Products described anyway

      2) Make it difficult for the consumer to access your contact

      3) Confusing checkout process

      4) Require registration before purchase

      5) Faulty search system

      6) Product photos that say nothing

      7) Offer few payment methods

      8) Stop listing products

      9) Confusing browsing experience

      10) Unresponsive website

      1. Products described in any way

      Put yourself in the customer's shoes. If you were looking for a product, you would want to read a well-written, clear, concise, and as detailed description of that item as possible. This would give you confidence in the product and especially in relation to the brand. But if it were the opposite, if the description was very superficial, without details and with spelling and/or typing errors, you would certainly think a thousand times before finalizing the purchase and returning to this site.

      2. Make it difficult for the consumer to access your contact

      Often the customer wants to talk to an attendant to ask questions about the product and/or purchase. Do not make this contact difficult, as this may make him withdraw from the transaction.

      3. Confusing checkout process

      Another factor that can make you abandon the purchase and greatly harm your store's conversion rate is having a confusing checkout. To avoid giving up, ask only for the necessary information; save the customer's data so he doesn't have to inform everything every time he buys something; Provide a minimalistic shopping page with no ads or irrelevant items.

      4. Requiring registration before purchase

      A very common mistake in e-commerce is forcing the customer to register in order to make the purchase. Of course, it's important to have your customer's information to communicate with them, but don't make it mandatory, as they might get annoyed and leave the site. If he wants to buy, don't make it difficult. Let them make the payment and register later, of their own volition. 

      5. Faulty search system

      One factor that greatly influences the drop in conversion rates is having a faulty search system. That's because the customers who are most determined to buy, those who already know exactly what they want, go straight to the search field and type in what they are looking for. And often, the store has the item you are looking for, but the search is not able to return it due to typos or product registration errors. Therefore, most virtual stores have increasingly bet on a system of smart search.  

      6. Product photos that say nothing

      As well as product descriptions, images also have a great weight at the time of purchase. If the store has poor quality images and/or that have nothing to do with the product, this does not convey credibility and ends up influencing the purchase decision and the conversion rate. 

      7. Offer few payment methods

      The amount of online consumers has grown and with that the profiles have diversified. This means that there are different needs. While one prefers to pay in cash, another prefers to pay in installments with a credit card, pay by bank slip or even make a PIX. Therefore, the more payment methods you offer, the greater the chances of conversion. And vice versa.

      8. Stop listing products

      For less decisive customers, it is important to know how to recommend and relate products in an intelligent way, through recommendation windows. Thus, you give more options and help you in the decision-making. But if you don't, you're sure to lose a lot of sales and have a low conversion rate.

      9. Confusing browsing experience

      Nobody likes to go to a website, look for information and not find it. So, if you don't invest in usability, information architecture and everything that involves a good user experience, you will surely suffer from the low conversion rate.

      10. Unresponsive website

      You have certainly heard of the expression “mobile first”. It means thinking about mobile devices and prioritizing them over desktop whenever you create a website or app. This is because users are increasingly using cell phones to browse online. That way, if you don't have a responsive website, which adapts to any type of screen, you will have a bad sales conversion.

      Conversion rate in e-commerce in Brazil and worldwide

      Compared to the global average, the conversion rate in Brazil is still very low. After all, according to the Brazilian Society of Retail and Consumption, while the world average is 4,14%, in Brazil it is less than 2%. 

      More precisely, the conversion rate in Brazilian e-commerce is around 1,65%, according to Experian Hitwise. But this low value is not unique to Brazil. The average conversion rate on Italy is also around 1,6%. It is us United States, one of the countries where e-commerce is most developed, reached 2,49% in the first quarter of 2018. 

      These low numbers are due to the fact that e-commerce is still developing, despite the rapid growth it has had in recent years. 

      Consumers are still getting used to this new consumption model, so they often go online to search, but end up buying in physical. And even when they decide to buy online, they do a lot of research and comparisons, so walking into a store doesn't mean actually buying there. 

      According to a survey carried out in Italy, the main reason that makes Italian consumers abandon store websites is poor usability or lack of desired products, a cause that makes 42,8% of users leave the page while browsing looking for a product and 11,7, XNUMX% at the time of completing the purchase. And we know that these data are not very different from what happens in the rest of the world.

      The fact is that e-commerce has a lot to grow, but virtual stores need to be prepared and take all the necessary measures to generate traffic and turn that traffic into profit.   


      As you may have noticed, the conversion rate is an essential element for the survival of any e-commerce. It can be used for many purposes and differs a lot from segment to segment and even depending on the stage your business is in. In any case, it requires a lot of care and investment and needs to be analyzed frequently. 

      We hope this content has been useful and helps you in your mission to increase your e-commerce conversion rate and get the best results.

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      Tânia d'Arc

      Tânia d'Arc

      Graduated in letters and post-graduated in digital media, she is passionate about words, communication and details.
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