The trend of buying everything online has increased and it fueled the e-commerce industry a lot.
According to Statista, global retail e-commerce sales amounted to approximately $5.2 trillion in 2021. By 2026, this figure is likely to reach about $8.1 trillion, growing by 56%. As promising as it sounds, this substantial growth means intense competition for online stores.
That’s why you need to work on CRO (Conversion rate optimization). CRO means making more visitors do what you want them to do on an e-commerce store, like buying the product, signing up, or filling out a form online store. This can help you. But CRO for online stores is not as easy as it sounds.
Let’s take a closer look at:
What is conversion rate optimization?
Why is it important?
How to calculate and improve it?
Table of Contents
- I. Understanding Conversion Rate Optimization
- II. Calculating Conversion Rate Optimization for E-commerce
- III. Why Is Conversion Rate Optimization Important?
- IV. Actionable Tips for Improving Your Conversion Rate Optimization
- 1. Improve Your User Experience (UX)
- 2. Streamline Your Checkout
- 3. Use Guest Checkout
- 4. State Your Unique Selling Proposition Clearly
- 5. Increase Page Loading Speed
- 6. Proactively Engage Your Users
- 7. Build Trust with Real Testimonials
- 8. Use Smart Search
- 9. Organize Your Product Categories Carefully
- 10. Use High-Quality Product Images
- 11. Use Crystal Clear Product Descriptions
- 12. Add Trust Badges/Signals
- 13. Be Transparent
- 14. Use CTAs Diligently
- 15. Use Heat Maps
- 16. Autofill Information
- 17. Follow Up on Abandoned Carts
- 18. Add A Live Chat Feature
- 19. Optimize Your Contact Page
- 20. Optimize Your E-commerce Store for Mobile Users
- Wrap Up
Understanding Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) involves enhancing a website, landing page, or digital experience to increase the percentage of visitors taking a desired action. It involves careful analysis, testing, and adjustments.
The end goal of CRO is to improve user engagement and satisfaction. That, in turn, helps increase the potential conversions. And as you can imagine, e-commerce conversion rate optimization is no different. But it may require a unique approach as e-commerce websites are often large and complicated.
Calculating Conversion Rate Optimization for E-commerce
Here’s the simple formula to calculate Conversion Rate Optimization:
Conversion Rate = (total number of conversions/number of visitors) X 100
Say your e-commerce store made 200 sales last month and had 10,000 visitors. Now your conversion rate for the past month would be:
= (200/10,000) X 100
= 0.02 X 100
You can use this formula to calculate your conversion rate manually. You can get the required details from any website analytics tool like Google Analytics or SEMrush. However, setting up a Google Analytics conversion event is much more efficient. It can automatically calculate your conversion rate when you need it.
The average e-commerce conversion rate ranges from 2% to 4%, depending on the industry.
In 2023, the electronics industry had an average conversion rate of 2.41%, while it was 1.70% for online retail stores.
Why Is Conversion Rate Optimization Important?
The question is – how conversion rate optimization can help your business?
The focus of conversion rate optimization is on getting your sales up. There are plenty of benefits of CRO, Here are a few:
- Boosts revenue by converting more visitors into customers.
- Maximizes ROI by optimizing existing traffic.
- Lowers your customer acquisition costs.
- Enhances user experience, increasing engagement and trust.
- Provides valuable insights into customer behaviors.
- Reduces bounce rates.
- Aligns content with customer intent, creating personalized experiences.
Actionable Tips for Improving Your Conversion Rate Optimization
Now you know how important conversion rate optimization is for e-commerce marketing strategy. But this is not a one-and-done deal. You will need to keep optimizing your conversion rate regularly to ensure good results.
Let’s get you started with these e-commerce conversion rate optimization tips.
1. Improve Your User Experience (UX)
This is a no-brainer. A better user experience means more conversions. According to Forrester, every $1 invested in UX results in a return of $100, which stands for an ROI of 9,900%.
The UX improvement starts with the home page. Every website owner will have a different approach to designing an effective home page. But usually, keeping it simple and clutter-free helps.
You have only a few milliseconds to capture the attention of your users. So, write a clear message and create a simple design. This can be instrumental in designing a homepage that attracts leads.
Budder makes perfect use of this conversion rate optimization tactic. They have used large, bold fonts to keep the users engaged. But what attracts your attention is the best use of blank space. It’s not exactly a minimalist design. But it comes very close to one, and it works. It clearly conveys their brand aesthetic.
2. Streamline Your Checkout
Your checkout process is as important as your homepage design. According to a recent study, 17% of US online shoppers abandoned an order in the past quarter solely due to a lengthy/complicated checkout process. But keeping it simple and secure can help convert customers who are only a few clicks away from buying your products.
When doing so, keep in mind to:
- Reduce the number of steps
- Ask for only the necessary personal information
- Use clear and easy-to-read fonts
- Optimize the process for a hassle-free experience on mobile devices
3. Use Guest Checkout
This is one of the key conversion rate optimizations for e-commerce. This is a strategic move to improve first contact. It allows users to checkout without registering i.e. as a guest. This is especially critical when a visitor is your first-time buyer.
Another benefit is guest checkout helps convert impulse buyers. It also speeds up the checkout process. And you don’t have to worry about collecting visitors’ email and name. You are likely to have those when they make a purchase anyway.
4. State Your Unique Selling Proposition Clearly
This goes for your entire website. Your unique selling proposition or USP must be visible on your entire website. Your USP is something that differentiates you from your competitors. So, explain why a visitor should buy from you.
- What is it that you offer but others can’t?
- Why should they buy your product?
- How will it benefit them?
Ponder over these questions and their answers. And make sure your content of the product pages, website layout, logo, and everything else align with your USP.
5. Increase Page Loading Speed
One more conversion rate optimization best practice people tend to ignore is page loading speed. We live in a world of instant gratification. If your website, whether on desktop or mobile, doesn’t load in seconds, you will lose your potential customers.
According to a Google Industry Mobile Speed report, as page load time goes from one second to 10 seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases by 123%. So, optimize your website’s loading speed as soon as possible.
But first, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to understand how fast your website is. It will give you a detailed report with a list of issues you need to resolve.
Usually, the most common steps you can take are:
- Optimize images and videos for web.
- Minimize HTTP requests and use browser caching.
- Utilize Content Delivery Networks (CDNs).
- Choose a fast web hosting provider.
- Implement lazy loading for images.
- Prioritize above-the-fold content loading.
- Prioritize above-the-fold content loading.
6. Proactively Engage Your Users
The moment a potential visitor lands on your website, you should start engaging them. And there are different ways to engage your would-be customers. For example, you can use pop-ups. They are a perfect way to offer a coupon code in exchange for a newsletter sign-up or drum up a new exciting product arrival.
Another way is to use a welcome bar to share sales, coupon codes, promotions, and more. This non-intrusive floating bar instantly grabs the attention of your users.
For example, Joy Organics used the following product recommendation pop-up. It’s simple, clutter-free, and highly effective. It’s a great way to attract potential buyers and convert them.
Another example is that of Budder again. The popup is not intrusive. It clearly speaks of what benefits potential buyers can get. This is a classic example of how less is sometimes more.
7. Build Trust with Real Testimonials
Trust is critical in improving conversion rate optimization for an e-commerce store. And you can build trust by adding product testimonials and customer reviews.
Product testimonials can tell would-be customers whether a product is the right solution for their needs. Similarly, custom reviews lend your business authenticity. They tell your customers how good your business and products are. They can boost your sales conversions significantly. In fact, 98% of consumers feel that reviews are an essential resource when making purchase decisions.
But posting just star ratings isn’t enough. While 77% of consumers say the average star rating is an element they consider, 52% don’t trust star ratings without accompanying review content. In short, you need genuine review content for successful e-commerce conversion rate optimization.
You can encourage your customers to share a product testimonial or review. Maybe offer them a coupon, discount, or some other incentive. Also, respond to reviews, especially negative ones. You want to tone down the negative narrative as it can impact your conversion rate.
8. Use Smart Search
When a potential customer lands on a category page and uses the search bar to look for what they want, they expect to see products from the same category in the search results. For example, why would a user looking for men’s sneakers want to see women’s sneakers in the search results? Make sense, right? Yet, 94% of mobile e-commerce sites do not support such search applications.
You should update your search field to allow users to search within the category. The good news is you can now use an AI-powered search engine for your e-commerce website. This could help you improve conversion rate, revenue, and profit.
9. Organize Your Product Categories Carefully
Yes, organizing your product categories is equally important. Whether you have only a few dozen products or hundreds of them, sort them carefully. There needs to be a logical order to your product categories. As you can see, it also simplifies your website navigation.
Of course, category organization will depend on your niche and products. That’s why you must keep your customers’ preferences and thought processes in mind. So, conduct thorough market research to understand these aspects. Next, use the intuitive category and sub-category names that resonate with your target audience.
Keep it clear and logical to avoid confusion and frustration. Flipsy is an excellent example of this. They have designed the categories from the visitors’ point of view. That makes the website easy to navigate. Plus, you can get quick and precise access to the products you need.
10. Use High-Quality Product Images
Your e-commerce conversion rate optimization is incomplete without high-quality images. Like others, your e-commerce store will showcase dozens of products. And only clear, detailed, and visually appealing images can offer an accurate representation of your products.
High-resolution images provide intricate details, textures, and colors, mimicking an in-store experience. It’s bound to boost your results. So, invest in professional photography. Also, capture your products from various angles and different light conditions. Provide sufficient images for your would-be customers to evaluate your product effectively.
11. Use Crystal Clear Product Descriptions
Just like visual elements, the content also plays a critical role in improving conversions. Concise yet comprehensive product descriptions provide your potential buyers with vital information about your products. At the same time, they help you with keyword optimization, boosting your SEO efforts. All of this translates into better e-commerce CRO.
When writing product descriptions, you should:
- Clearly outline key features, specifications, dimensions, and benefits of your products
- Use a language and tone that resonates with your target audience
- Include relevant keywords for search engine optimization
- Add a product video or demonstration with the description
What I love about TrueKind is that they have used natural language for product descriptions. It’s simple and to the point. That’s what really matters. Plus, they have listed the most critical product features in bullets, like who can benefit the most from their product and what ingredients it has. These details are more likely to convert potential buyers. Don’t you think?
12. Add Trust Badges/Signals
This is one of the conversion rate optimization tips that people tend to forget. Your customers want a secure payment gateway if they are willing to enter their credit card information on your website. Trust badges or signals are an excellent way to enhance your on-site trust and credibility.
Here’s what you can do:
- Indicate that your site is safe and trustworthy for transactions. Add Display McAfee, GeoTrust, or other security badges.
- Add Guaranteed Safe & Secure Checkout and Money-back guarantee badges to boost your credibility.
- Add small icons of payment methods, including Credit/Debit Cards, PayPal, and mobile wallets.
13. Be Transparent
Online buyers care a lot about the actual price, delivery time, shipping costs, return policy, and out-of-stock products. It’s best to be transparent about all these. For instance, 60% of individuals will examine the return policy before purchasing your product.
What you can do is:
- Provide a link to your return policy on all product pages. Make it easy for the buyers to look up this crucial information.
- Try to offer free shipping. If not, be upfront about shipping charges. Add them on the product page or the first step of your checkout page.
- Display actual price, delivery time, and out-of-stock products clearly.
14. Use CTAs Diligently
CTAs or call-to-actions are critical in conversion rate optimization for e-commerce. Clear, compelling CTAs prompt users to make purchases, sign up, or contact you. But don’t overwhelm your visitors with too many CTA buttons.
Keep the CTAs relevant. They should align with the user journey. Design Mode has a simple yet effective CTA on its home page. As soon as you land on it, you see this popup saying Hello Discounts. As you can see, this CTA aims to convert visitors, especially those craving a discount.
The Unlock Offer CTA on WeeKett is also equally effective. It captures your attention as soon as you are about to leave the site. This simple CTA requests visitors to stay in touch with the brand in exchange for another 5% discount on the purchase. All you have to do is subscribe to their newsletter.
15. Use Heat Maps
While you can use a CTA to encourage a user to sign up, it may not always work. But you would still want to know what they like and don’t like. That’s where heat maps come in. It is a great way to ensure conversion rate optimization for e-commerce. Heat maps help you gain deep insights into user behavior.
Heat maps visually represent where users interact with your site the most. You can see the hotspots and areas of interest. With the help of heat maps, you can analyze click-patterns, scroll depth, and cursor movement to identify which elements attract attention and which get overlooked.
With this data-driven approach, you can improve your website layout, content structure, product placement, and navigation. The goal here is to create a more engaging and user-friendly e-commerce store.
16. Autofill Information
Autofill is an important functionality when it comes to conversion rate optimization for e-commerce. Giving your customers a chance to autofill their addresses, account information, credit card number, and other details has many benefits.
For instance, 44% of global shoppers trust the retailer more if they have the option to autocomplete address entries. Moreover, 24% of shoppers would make more online purchases in the future if your website had autofill functionality.
However, make sure to implement the necessary security measures. You must protect user data and privacy. It will help build trust and ensure a seamless, efficient online journey.
17. Follow Up on Abandoned Carts
Despite your best efforts, your e-commerce website will see many abandoned carts. Almost 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts. But with abandoned cart emails, you can reach out to those customers and try to boost your conversions. That’s why it is a critical conversion rate optimization technique.
Most e-commerce platforms, like BigCommerce, provide in-built abandoned cart software. But if yours don’t, you can add one to your website. It can help you follow up with customers who left your store without making a purchase.
18. Add A Live Chat Feature
A live chat feature is one of the best conversion rate optimization strategies. Almost every e-commerce website has this feature. In fact, 42% of consumers say that they prefer live chat functions because they don’t have to wait on hold. But, 51 percent of consumers also say a business needs to be available 24/7.
That means you will need to use a combination of live chat and chatbot for better results. Chatbots are available 24/7. They can resolve simple queries quickly and efficiently. And if the customer has a more complicated request, your live chat agent can take over.
Yet again, I can’t think of a better example than Budder. They have got almost everything right with their website design. How can they not leverage the live chat feature? With the live chat feature, the brand is engaging prospects – not just to offer customer support but also to boost sales.
19. Optimize Your Contact Page
Most website owners forget about this conversion rate optimization technique. But it is an important one. Whether to complement your product or return it, they will want to get in touch with you. And it can be a frustrating experience when they can’t do it easily.
Your contact page must include different ways to reach you.
- Display your customer support number. It would be better if you have a toll-free number.
- Don’t forget to add your physical location, along with a map and directions.
- If you have a retail store, be sure to add the hours.
- Include an email or a contact form.
- Also, add links to your social media accounts.
20. Optimize Your E-commerce Store for Mobile Users
This is one of the most critical conversion rate optimization strategies. A growing number of people are not using mobiles to access the web. In the third quarter of 2023, 58.33% of web traffic came from mobile users. Naturally, mobile optimization needs to be your priority.
Pay attention to your UX. Mobile users should be able to handle it as seamlessly as they would on a laptop or desktop. The leading e-commerce giant, Amazon, is an excellent example of mobile optimization. Its mobile e-commerce site works so well that you can complete a purchase in seconds, if not minutes.
It features a prominent search bar, tap-friendly navigation, super browsing speed, and an easy checkout. What more could you ask for in a successful mobile e-commerce site?
Conversion rate optimization is an excellent way to boost sales and ROI of e-commerce businesses. It allows you to make your e-commerce store more profitable without major overhauls.
Hopefully, with these 20 tips, you can start optimizing your e-commerce right away. But given the complexity of an e-commerce store, you would want to get professional help when needed.