Learn the best strategies to optimize your ecommerce conversion rate. Tips are organized by type to make them easier to apply to your own business.
- 23 ecommerce conversion optimization tips for on-page design
- 16 conversion rate optimization tips for your checkout item content
- 8 ecommerce conversion tactics for reducing cart abandonment
- 9 tips to optimize your store’s sales funnel
- 8 ecommerce conversion best practices for measuring analytics, KPIs, & Ads
- 8 CRO software strategies
By applying these strategies to your ecommerce store, you will begin to see improvements. Over time, you can increase your conversion rate and draw more revenue.
23 ecommerce conversion optimization tips for on-page design
When focusing on building the best ecommerce site, it’s easy to get lost in the technical details. Always remember that you are serving an actual person, and design with the customer experience as your main priority.
Many of these elements are things that the customer will actually see on the page. All of these involve your on-page design and affect the customer journey.
1. Psychology of color
Different colors convey different meanings, emotions, and moods. Consider the tone that the colors you use convey to customers, being sure to capture the mood you want. In general, reds create urgency (great for sales and discounts), blues promote trust and security (ideal for security badges), orange draws attention (good for CTAs), and purple is calming (great for self-care and similar services).
Different customers will react differently to colors, including men, women, youth, and other segments. Be sure to understand your target market and use colors that address that audience and set the right tone for your ecommerce store.
2. A picture is worth a thousand words
We process visual queues much faster than written words. Give customers visual aids whenever possible to support the copy text you’ve written. Examples and screen captures can help you show what you are explaining to customers.
Better yet, use infographics to summarize or conveniently display the information you are conveying to your customers. Graphs, charts, and other diagrams all help make information more accessible and simpler to understand.
3. Use black text on a white background over white text on a black background
While you do want to get creative and design a site that reflects your brand, you should always avoid using a black background with white text. People are used to reading black text on a white background, and this is actually proven to be less burdensome on your eyes. Black text on a white background is objectively easier to read and will cause less strain over time for the user.
Even though it may seem boring or plain, you want to stick to standard text and background colors so that content is easy to read and digest.
4. Use multimedia in blog posts to enhance your content
Using multimedia content in blog posts improves your content, and increases customer engagement with these posts by 21%. Integrate multimedia wherever possible in your blog posts, adding video, podcasts, images, and more to communicate your ideas. As people learn in different ways, the more types of learning content you create, the more likely your piece of content will be relatable for a large audience.
5. Create unique landing pages for unique customer segments
In many cases, a generic landing page will not convert as one designed specifically for the customer. Create specific landing pages for different types of users, more closely targeting them in your sales efforts.
Segment customers by device type, traffic source, shopping cart item count, and more. Then create a unique landing page for each segment, so that you speak directly to that demographic and their needs. These landing pages may take more effort, but they will convert at a much higher rate than a generic, one-size-fits-all landing page.
6. Each landing page should focus customer’s attention on a single CTA
Your landing pages have a specific goal – to convert customers. Make sure that you limit distractions on all landing pages and use one, clear, prominent call-to-action on the page. It takes a lot of effort and money to get a customer to a landing page, and you want to make the most of this.
Focus your attention on the main CTA, and remove all other distractions for the customer. Eliminating unnecessary distractions keeps the customer on track and makes checkout easy.
7. Display big brands you’ve worked for
After working for major brands, it’s a good idea to display their logos prominently on your site. This will show that large businesses have trusted you with their ecommerce site. More than that, it will show that you can get the job done up to – and beyond – the standards customers are seeking.
If possible, include a testimonial or review of their experience working with you. These build confidence in other businesses that you are a reliable, high-quality platform offering great service.
8. Design your CTA to stand out
Your call-to-action shouldn’t fit the same design as the rest of your page. Otherwise, the CTA will blend in with the rest of your ecommerce store, failing to draw the attention of your customers. Instead, design your CTA to stand out and be featured prominently. In most cases, it should appear above the fold.
Using a slightly different design style can really make it pop out at customers, draw their eye to the CTA, and motivate them to click.
9. Follow the 80-20 rule
The 80-20 rule is that 20% of your design elements can lead to 80% of your conversions. The premise is that if you focus on the design elements that actually lead to conversions, you will be able to drastically increase conversions and revenue. By focusing on making the right improvements, you will drive significant sales and growth.
Use this rule to focus properly on the design elements that will give you the best results.
10. Include a CTA on each landing page
Every landing page your ecommerce site has should have a call-to-action somewhere. We recommend limiting landing pages to a single, clear CTA so that you don’t confuse customers. Your ecommerce site should be designed to guide visitors through to purchase, and any landing page without a CTA fails to do this.
11. Use social proof to build confidence and engagement
Social media is a main channel that can be used to connect with customers. Use social media to enhance your content and build confidence in your users. A social presence makes customers trust your site, and will give customers a means of interacting with your ecommerce site more.
12. Visually direct customers to call-to-actions
You want to focus your customers’ attention on the call-to-action on your landing pages. To do this, remove clutter and use visual cues to help guide the user to click. Use negative space, arrows, and more to direct users towards the CTA. Also design the CTA itself to pop out at the user, drawing their attention. Use bright, clear colors to get customers to click.
13. Use high-quality images and video on product pages
When displaying products on your site, you want to use high-quality images and video. Higher quality images and videos lead to higher conversions, as customers are able to see the product they are getting clearly before buying. More than this, high-quality image and video help build authenticity and legitimacy with customers buying on your site. Customers are much more likely to abandon if they find poor quality images that either don’t show the product or create a lack of confidence in your ecommerce store.
14. Set up simple navigation for customers
Always keep your user in mind. Think about their experience on your platform and the customer journey they must go through in order to buy. Design your ecommerce site to have a clear, easy-to-use navigation structure that customers can use intuitively with little instruction. Make sure your menu is easy to use and that your products are sorted in a way that is easy for customers to understand and navigate.
15. Simplify checkout forms and form fields
Make checkout order forms extremely simple to understand and fill out. Structure the information in a way that makes sense to input, and ensure that you have proper form fields to collect all information needed. Label form fields clearly so customers know the information that is being requested for each form field, helping you collect accurate customer details.
16. Always display shopping cart contents
Display the shopping cart contents for customers throughout their shopping and checkout experience. Once an item has been added to their virtual shopping cart, customers should be able to access their cart contents. If possible, display this prominently throughout their shopping and checkout so they always have this information at the ready. The customer should always be able to see the number of items in their cart, and – if possible – the contents of their cart.
17. Optimize for mobile devices
More than 50% of all online shopping is done on mobile devices. If you aren’t optimizing your mobile experience, you are likely falling behind your competitors and missing out on sales. Optimize your site for mobile devices, ensuring that you consider the navigation and responsiveness of the design. Steadily improve your mobile experience to keep customers engaged and buying while they are on the go.
18. Let customers create a wishlist
A wishlist – that lets customers save desired products for future purchase – is a great feature to use on your ecommerce site. This lets customers make a list of items they want to buy in the future, so they will remember the product (and in some cases the actual sizes, colors, and more). This is a great way to improve customers’ shopping experience and give you a great chance of recovering the sales after the customer abandons.
19. Design landing pages for the traffic they get
Landing pages should be designed based on the content of the landing page, the goal of the landing page (i.e. the call-to-action you want the customer to click), and the type of traffic coming to the page. In some cases, the traffic you drive will be very close to making a purchase, whereas other landing pages will draw in customers earlier in the sales funnel when they are less likely to convert. Be aware of your sales funnel and the traffic coming to your pages, designing your landing pages to convert that traffic most effectively.
20. Feature your buy button prominently
Your buy button is your main call-to-action on any page. These buttons should always be very easy to find, designed to stand out, and it should be clear the customer can interact with them. Keep buy buttons close to the item they are linked to, such as images and product descriptions. Be conscious of how these buttons display on tablet and mobile devices as well, as there is less screen space.
21. Collect emails without distracting the customer
If you want to follow up with customers after they’ve made a purchase, abandoned, or browsed your site, you need to collect visitor emails. It’s best to do this without distracting them from shopping or checking out. Feature a small form that lets them input their email or click to do so. This will ensure it’s not too distracting but easy to access.
22. Use product images wherever you can
Customers like to browse the items they want when shopping in store, and this is no different online. Use product images for the items you sell whenever you can. If you offer items in different colours, designs, or styles, let customers view each unique version of the item, and not just one. Consider using a slider to feature multiple images for a single product, so you can display different angles and features.
23. Use on-page remarketing
Cross-sell on your shopping cart and checkout pages, recommending products that pair with items the customer has already shown an interest in. This can be a great way of upselling your customers, and increasing the average order value for converting customers. This will help you increase revenue on the same converting customers.
16 conversion rate optimization tips for your checkout item content
Improving your conversion rate is affected by how you display your products, the amount of product information you provide visitors, and the marketing language you use with your products. Be sure to fine-tune the checkout page, including content, copy text, and design for ecommerce conversion optimization.
1. Speak to the customer’s needs
When writing copy text – whether it’s for your blog, display ads, or print – it should always speak to the needs of the customer. Emphasize what you are offering customers and what they stand to gain. It’s best to address these directly to them, as customers are savvy and want clear, direct information.
2. Use bullet points and ordered lists
Bullet points and ordered lists make it easy for customers to skim through information quickly and pick out the important points. This is a great way to format content for customers, as it gives them a great experience. This content can rank high for SEO, as you provide a substantial amount of important information in one place. It’s also easy for readers to digest this information.
3. Format copy text to highlight important information
When writing copy text, you want to convey the most information as you can in the shortest space. A great way of drawing customers’ attention and emphasising important information is by formatting copy text to make it stand out. Use italics, bold, and underlines to highlight parts of your content for users, especially to make skimming for information easier.
4. Use strong, instructional words
When writing product copy, whether it’s descriptions, display ads, or marketing text, there are power words you can use that help convert customers. Whether it’s a sense of urgency or value, all of these words motivate customers to buy on your platform:
- Best sellers
- Be the first
- Thank you
Don’t overdo it, but use them when appropriate to drive conversions.
5. Get customers to “add to cart” rather than “buy now”
Buy buttons require more of a commitment from customers, as visitors are proceeding through to checkout. However, giving customers the option to add an item to cart requires less of a commitment to buy. Instead, users will add items to their cart that they are interested in, proceeding to buy once they are ready.
6. Address your customers by writing in second person
Write in second person, speaking directly to the customer. Use words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ to address them personally, convey value to them, and instruct them what to do and how they can benefit. When written correctly, you can use copy text to give them a similar experience to a sales associate. Customers respond – and convert – better on second person copy.
7. Curiosity leads to conversions
When writing ad copy, product descriptions, and landing page copy, you want to instill a sense of curiosity in the customer. This will get them to shop your products, as well as advance to checkout. You want to do this without denying customers important, valuable information.
8. For long-form copy, repeat CTA at bottom of page
If you have long-form pieces of content, you will want to repeat the call-to-action button at the bottom of the page. In most cases, you will display the CTA high up on the page. You want to give them the opportunity to click conveniently when they finish reading the entire piece.
9. Communicate benefits of completing forms
When requesting customers to complete forms on your ecommerce site, communicate what benefits they will get for completing the form. Outline what they will actually get by completing the form and how the information will help you serve them better or improve their experience. With this information, they will be more motivated to complete the form.
10. Provide clear product descriptions
Product descriptions should be accurate, detailed, and useful to the customer. The more information the customer can get about the product, the more prepared they are to make the purchase. In many cases, more information will increase conversion rates and reduce checkout abandonment. Product descriptions should be truthful and honest as well.
11. Give customers product reviews
If possible, feature product reviews for the items you sell. Customers trust product reviews from other customers more than marketing materials. Using these reviews wisely can be the difference between an abandoned cart and a conversion.
12. State your sales proposition and value
Communicate your sales proposition clearly to customers, outlining the value they can get from buying. Explain what differentiates you – and your products – from others, giving customers a reason to buy your products.
13. Double check spelling and grammar
It may seem obvious, but you should always double check the content for spelling and grammar. While small errors like this are common and can be overlooked by customers, some customers will lose trust in your ecommerce site when they notice spelling and grammar errors. It’s a red-flag about the professionalism of the business, and in some cases can lead customers to abandon their checkout.
14. Create a sense of urgency
Use limited-time offers, seasonal promotions, FOMO (fear of missing out), and more to create a sense of urgency and convince customers to convert. These efforts can motivate customers to buy quickly, before they have a chance to second guess the purchase and abandon their shopping cart.
15. Evoke feelings to trigger sales
Psychological triggers can be used to instill certain feelings in visitors, and capitalize on this sentiment. Use your landing page, pricing pages, and email subject lines to trigger emotions in customers that will motivate them to buy and develop loyalty. Scarcity, exclusivity, and urgency are great feelings to use to motivate customers to buy.
16. Customer testimonials
Feature customer testimonials so customers can get a first hand perspective from your customers. Ideally, these should be displayed with the product image and description. This is most effective for B2B businesses, as clients will be more likely to trust you when they’ve seen that you’ve proven results. Highlight the biggest name, most popular brands that customers will recognize right away, as these will carry more weight.
8 ecommerce conversion tactics for reducing cart abandonment
Your shopping cart and checkout are key components of your ecommerce experience, and they should get just as much attention as your ecommerce storefront design. There are a number of things you can do to improve the performance, functionality, speed, and convenience of your checkout to reduce shopping cart abandonment.
1. Offer customers free shipping
One of the leading reasons customers abandon their checkout is because of additional fees at the point of checkout. Offering free shipping reduces the total cost of the order and removes the added fee associated with the convenience of ordering online. By removing shipping costs, you motivate customers to buy on your ecommerce store, as they are able to use the convenience of online shopping without having to pay.
2. Create time-sensitive offers
Creating time-based offers is a great way of instilling urgency and FOMO in your customer. If customers can get free shipping or a discount by ordering within the next 5 or 10 minutes, they are more likely to finish the purchase. They’ve already considered buying and have advanced to checkout, and the limited time offer can help convert the sale immediately, before they have a chance to abandon their checkout.
3. Use a checkout abandonment management solution
There are a number of shopping cart and checkout abandonment management solutions available that help you track relevant metrics and understand abandonment on your platform. You can then use this information to improve your shopping cart and checkout to reduce abandonment. These systems often involve abandoned checkout recovery methods, including email remarketing and retargeting efforts.
4. Optimize ecommerce checkout process
You should always be working to improve your checkout flow. Optimize using best practices for checkout design to streamline and speed up your checkout. Reduce form fields and save customers as much time as possible by auto-filling forms and verifying data entry. Use analytics to understand why customers abandon checkout and continuously optimize to reduce checkout abandonment.
5. Use a progress indicator
A progress indicator displays where in the checkout process a customer is, what steps are still to follow, and helps them gauge how long the process will take. This is especially useful for multi-step checkouts that can be more complicated and challenging to complete. These make the process simple for customers and guides the user through checkout.
6. High speeds and responsive design
The technical performance of your checkout is paramount in reducing checkout abandonment. Customers buying online want a convenient, efficient checkout experience. To facilitate this, you should offer a fast, responsive checkout for your customers. Continue to improve this over time so it still meets customer needs.
7. Autofill form fields
To save customers time, you should integrate a plugin that will autofill form fields for customers. These tools will automatically populate form fields for customers based on other form field entry data, saving the customer from repeating input. It will also predict information being input so the customer is not required to input their full details. Any time you can save customers improves their experience.
8. Provide a guest checkout option
You should always give customers the option to checkout as a guest, without registering with your site. While forcing account creation can create a long-term customer and ensure faster checkout when customers come back to buy again, it creates a direct obstacle to checkout and slows users down. For first-time visitors or one-time buyers, it slows the process down and could cause them to go elsewhere to avoid sign up.
9 tips to optimize your store’s sales funnel
Conversion rate optimization is all about perfecting your sales funnel. Analyze your customers’ journey on each device, on each browser, and through different operating systems. Understand how customers engage with your entire sales funnel, from browsing, to checkout, to delivery.
1. Surprise customers with added value to make a lasting impression
Consider giving customers a free bonus on a confirmation or thank-you page. A positive surprise makes you memorable, and leaves the customer with a great lasting impression of their experience with your business. Consider adding free shipping or a discount to customers’ first order. This small loss will give you a good chance of building loyalty and being fresh on their mind the next time they make a purchase.
2. Set pricing correctly
Pricing your products accurately is more complicated than you think. While you often want to offer customers a lower price to beat competitors, this can make some customers question if your product is cheap. In some cases, it can even devalue your product over time. For your sales funnel to work most effectively, you need to price your product based on the quality of the product and the market. When given an accurate description and priced accurately, savvy customers are more likely to convert in your funnel.
3. Allow customers to opt-out of email subscriptions
When customers sign up to your service, give them the option to opt-out of email subscriptions and other messaging notifications you use. While these can be effective marketing tools, they can also turn some people away. Many customers prefer to opt-out, and some will abandon if not given this option.
4. Build towards a final sale with micro-conversions
Gather lead information while building towards a final sale using forms with micro-conversions. Having a form that collects preliminary information about the user and their shopping preferences can lead to a sale. Rather than using a single form, use multi-step forms that help you steadily build up to a final conversion.
This is commonly referred to as the Breadcrumb Technique, because you lead the customer slowly along each step of the process towards the sale you want. Design forms that guide users and get them to offer pieces of information that are valuable to you for remarketing and retargeting purposes.
5. Display trust seals and security badges
Provide customers a secure shopping and checkout experience, making sure their personal details are protected and payment is always safe. To give customers confidence in the security you provide, display trust seals and security badges throughout. This is especially true at the checkout stage of the process.
6. Offer a good return policy
Customers are more likely to make a purchase if they know they are able to return the product. Having a good return policy gives customers more confidence in your service and product. Because of this, they will be more likely to complete a purchase, as there is less risk. In most cases, they won’t return and you’ll end up increasing your conversion rate.
7. Thank your customer after purchase
Whether it’s on the confirmation page or through a follow-up email post-purchase, the end of your sales funnel should be thanking your customer. Develop a number of emails for different scenarios, and automate these thank you emails. It won’t take much management on your part, but will go a long way in fostering a relationship with your customers.
8. Send personalized messaging
When sending thank you emails, abandoned cart recovery emails, and any other messages directly to a customer, you should attempt to personalize the message as much as possible. By segmenting customer data, you can develop personalized messages based on products, landing pages, and customer personas. You can then manage these to be automatically triggered depending on customer actions, behavior, and personas.
9. Guide customers on mobile
Mobile devices have smaller screen sizes and limited screen space. The best way to account for this is to offer customers a more guided experience on mobile. For example, a clothing store could make choosing the item size on-page as a separate step after selecting the product. Keeping customers on the same page for this makes it more convenient for them and reduces abandonment. When customers are guided through the checkout process, they are less likely to make mistakes, and therefore less likely to return their items.
8 ecommerce conversion best practices for measuring analytics, KPIs, & Ads
To make improvements that have the greatest positive impact, you need to rely on analytics. Use customer behavior to understand what customers enjoy, dislike, and want in your service. From here, you can identify the most important things to change, and optimize your conversion rate.
1. Pair an analytics tool with your website
Make sure to get a sufficient analytics tracking tool. Google Analytics is a popular tool that will meet many of your basic needs. You can also get more comprehensive tools if you need deeper analytics. Pair this with your ecommerce website to track and measure customer behavior on your site, helping you learn and make meaningful improvements.
2. Segment customers for deeper insights
You should always segment your customers when studying analytics. You will want to look at some metrics as a whole, but being able to identify specific audiences and your main customer-base allows you to market more effectively. More than that, you can use the analytics to improve your product, your ecommerce site, and your checkout.
3. Capture more valuable traffic
One of the most common mistakes is that the more traffic you get, the more conversions you will get. The problem with this mentality, is that not all traffic leads to conversions, as some leads are more valuable than others. Rather than trying to simply draw the most traffic, you need to optimize your marketing efforts to draw traffic that is likely to convert. This means assessing your customers, identifying trends in customers and their behavior, and learning to target traffic that has a track-record of buying. As you improve this, you will focus on driving leads from the highest converting target audiences.
4. Build web presence and brand recognition
Not all partnerships have to result in direct conversions. You should develop a content marketing strategy that gets you meaningful exposure. Ensure that this exposure is to your target audiences, but it does not always have to be sales copy. Feature articles, links, and guest posts on other prominent sites to help build trust, confidence, and credibility for your brand. In turn, this will help you develop more authority and gain brand recognition within your market.
5. Use retargeting ads to get browsing customers to convert
Your checkout abandonment rate will never fully reach zero, as there will always be customers just browsing your product selection. To make the most of this traffic, you should use retargeting efforts to send abandoning customers display ads. You can use a Facebook Pixel to serve customers that visit your ecommerce site display ads and attempt to recover them.
6. Run mobile-specific campaigns
When running campaigns, make sure to target mobile specifically. As most customers buying online use their mobile device, it’s important to address mobile performance, design, and navigation uniquely. Screen size and responsiveness can also be different on mobile devices. Operate mobile-specific campaigns to understand performance on mobile.
7. Use heatmaps for deeper behavioral insights
Heatmaps can be used in analytics to show you how customers interact with your page. These tools display a visualization of how customers engage with your site, tracking where they move, hover, and click with their cursor. You can use this information to make changes to your interface, navigation, and page design. In some cases, you can even track eye movements on your pages to see what draws customer attention the most.
8. Identify your most valuable keywords
Part of attracting the best traffic is understanding what content drives users to your site and gets them to convert. Monitor top-performing keywords on your site when tracking analytics. Use the most popular and highest converting keywords to help inform your future content. Develop a content strategy around these keywords, so you have SEO optimized content.
8 CRO software strategies
Conversion rate optimization relies on using multiple software tools that help you manage your ecommerce site. The core CMS is the main software you use, but you will likely use a number of plugins, extensions, and other tools that help you manage your site. Here are some CRO software strategies to improve your ecommerce site.
1. Never stop testing
Your software is essential for managing your ecommerce store. You should always test to make sure your systems are operating as they should and at optimal performance. Consistently test your backend to make sure you get maximum output and don’t run into any errors.
2. A/B test your campaigns and improvements
Your site should always be operating at peak performance, including the areas customers browse items, the shopping cart, the checkout, and any recovery messaging. A/B test different updates to see how adjustments affect your ecommerce store. Use only a small segment to test your new theory, implementing the new strategy once it’s been proven through testing. Continuously A/B testing different methods, strategies, designs, and navigation options will help you improve your store and stay up-to-date.
3. Collect customer feedback
Add a plugin that lets you collect customer reviews and feedback. This is a great way to improve your store design, the software you use to manage your store, and even your products. Integrate a tool that will allow customers to submit reviews, even prompting them to do so with a notification or email.
4. Integrate live chat software
There are a number of extensions that you can use to add live chat to your ecommerce store. These are ideal for giving customers an easy way to access support when they need it, without having to wait on a phone line. This can also be used to collect exit intent information, promote offers and specials, and even motivate customers to buy.
5. Personalization and customization
Choose a platform that features personalization options and flexibility with customization. By developing personalized pages that feel specific to certain users, you can make them feel special, increasing the chance they will engage with your business and convert. Develop unique landing pages and do your best to direct targeted audiences correctly.
6. Use filters on category pages
Whenever possible, enable filtering so customers can easily find the products they are looking for. The filters you apply will need to be specific to your product and industry, but you will want to use ones that make it easy for customers to find products they are looking for. Consider how customers shop on your platform and give them the best way to navigate and find what they need.
7. Collect exit-intent information
Use a tool that will prompt customers when they abandon checkout in order to gain exit-intent information. You can integrate a software that will manage this for you, collecting information that you can use to improve customer traction. Use the information they give you to make improvements that customers want.
8. Use dynamic text to personalize messaging
Customers respond to personalized messaging more than generic, one-size-fits-all copy text. Segment customers and integrate dynamic text boxes that will offer different content and messaging depending on the customer, product, or other variable. By automating these text boxes, you make sending personalized messages scalable, and increase the chances of converting your customers.
Armed with the ecommerce conversion strategies above, you will be able to improve different aspects of your ecommerce site. All of these tips will help you with conversion rate optimization, improving the performance of your site and the customer experience for users.
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