What are the Steps to Improve Ecommerce Conversion Rate?

Andy Haskins
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February 09, 2023
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2023 is all about optimizing the customer experience for e-commerce, and this means improving the conversion rate. The goal is to convert more visitors into customers or leads by providing an enjoyable and user-friendly shopping experience.

Now, this isn’t as easy as it may sound. Improving the conversion rate is a process of analyzing data, identifying weak points, and testing solutions.

It involves a lineup of activities and strategies, working on all the areas of ecommerce, such as website design and usability, product offerings, content marketing, SEO, PPC campaigns, and more.

You see, the benefits of having a higher conversion rate outweigh the efforts, struggles, and strategies you need to take.

We have written a complete ultimate guide to Ecommerce conversion rate. Check out this guide to find out more about the process of improving conversion rate.

Meanwhile, let’s understand one part of this guide; the process of improving an ecommerce conversion rate:

But first thing first.

What is conversion rate optimization?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of improving user experience and optimizing web pages for higher conversion rates. This one-liner is deceptively simple. In reality, a lot of data mining, analysis, and testing is involved in the process.

The goal is to identify the barriers and pain points that prevent visitors from converting into leads or customers and then make improvements based on data-driven insights.

What is Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization?

Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization (ECRO) is a specialized version of CRO that focuses on improving the conversion rate of an ecommerce website or app.

The goal is to drive more sales by optimizing the customer journey and improving user experience. Let’s say you have a website that has 10,000 visitors a month. If the conversion rate is 1%, you’d be getting 100 sales per month.

If you could increase the conversion rate to 2%, that would mean 200 sales per month.

This is how an ecommerce business can make more money without having to invest in additional marketing. It’s about making the most of what you already have and improving the overall customer experience.

But why is 2023 eyeing on converting traffic into customers?

Why are e-commerce businesses more focused on improving their conversion rate?

In short, why e-commerce conversion rate is important?

The answer is simple. In the last decade, online shopping has become integral to our lives.

According to the US Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales accounted for 14.3% of all retail sales in 2019, and this number is expected to grow even more.

With the increased competition in online shopping, it’s becoming increasingly important for e-commerce businesses to optimize their websites and increase their conversion rate.

If you have just started your e-commerce business, or if you’re running an existing one and want to further increase your sales, then you need to optimize your website for conversion.

So, how do you actually improve the ecommerce conversion rate? How can you optimize your website and maximize sales?

Let’s take a look at the process that most e-commerce businesses are using to improve e-commerce conversion rate for their websites.

Step 1: Check for the Speed of the Site

CRO is all about site speed, so it is essential that your ecommerce platforms load quickly and perform well, especially on mobile devices for mobile users.  If your site is slow to load, it will result in high bounce rates and low conversions.

Google hates slow sites no matter it is an e-commerce site or a blog. In fact, in 2021, Google officially announced it would penalize sites that take more than 3 seconds to load.

If your site takes too long to load or frequently experiences downtime, it could negatively impact your ecommerce conversion rate.

So, the first thing you should do is make sure that your site is fast and performs well on all devices.

You can use Pingdom to test your ecommerce website speed and identify areas where you need to make improvements.

You can also use Google PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix to analyze your site performance and identify ways that you can optimize it for speed.

Ideally, you should aim for a page load time of under 3 seconds to get the best results from your conversion optimization efforts, as stated by Google.

In the ecommerce marketplace, improving speed is crucial for success in converting visitors. This way, you can ensure that your ecommerce website is fast and responsive so potential buyers don’t get frustrated or leave your site before they convert.

If you identify areas where your site is slow or experiencing performance issues, you can take steps to improve its speed and boost your conversion rate.

For example, you may check your site’s source code and remove any unnecessary files or plugins that are slowing it down.

To drive conversions, you may also upgrade your hosting plan to a faster and more reliable service to ensure your site stays up and running. Which hosting plan you choose should depend on how much traffic and resources your store requires.

Usually, an ecommerce site needs more resources than a regular blog or website, so you may need to opt for more expensive hosting plans.

You can also use a CDN service like Cloudflare or MaxCDN to speed up your content delivery, which can help improve site performance and reduce web page load time. It is also important to utilize server-side caching and client-side caching to boost your site’s speed.

Server-side caching involves storing website files on a server, and client-side caching involves storing them locally on the user’s device. The use of both types of caching can significantly improve page loading speed.

Next, you need to clear up tracking tags and pixels. Tracking tags and pixels help you monitor your site’s performance, but too many can slow your site down or clog up your code.

To reduce the number of tags and pixels on your site, only install those that are essential to your conversion optimization efforts.

For instance, if you are using Google Analytics for data and analysis, then you can keep that tag.

Once your ecommerce site is running at optimal speed, you can move on to the next step. You can check these audits our team did for a few ecommerce websites so that you can get some ideas.

Step 2: Improve Your Product Copy

After the first step is followed, it is time to work on your copy. Your product copy and other pages on your site should be written for clarity and to eliminate ambiguity. It is also important to write engaging copy encouraging users to take the next step.

The first thing your visitors see is the above-the-fold content – the content that is visible without scrolling. This should grab their attention and encourage them to continue reading your site.

You need to apply AIDA principles to your product copy – that is, write valuable content that follows a sequence of Awareness (getting new visitors’ attention), Interest (building interest in your products), Desire (creating a desire for your products), and Action (encouraging visitors to take the next step).

In addition, your copy should be optimized for search engines so that it ranks well in search results.

This can help you get more conversions and more visitors to your ecommerce websites, as well as improve the visibility of your products.

To optimize your copy for SEO, you can use keywords and keyword phrases strategically throughout your site’s text.

Another important factor to consider is readability. You want to write your content in a way that is engaging and easy to read.

Use white spaces to improve readability and break your content into short paragraphs and bullet points to make it more accessible as well as improve conversions.

Checklist for above-the-fold content:

  • Is your CTA (call to action button) clear and noticeable?
  • Have you used AIDA principles in your product copy?
  • Have you optimized your content for SEO?
  • Is your copy benefit-driven and readable?
  • Is your product image high quality and engaging?
  • Do you provide different angles or variations of your product?
  • Is the price clear and competitive?
  • Does your above-the-fold have social proof, testimonials, influencers, and press mentions?
  • Does it mention your return and refund policy?

If your answer to any of these questions is no, then it’s time to go back and optimize your copy. By improving the clarity and readability of your product copy, you can better engage your visitors in your ecommerce store and encourage them to convert to your site.

Check this screenshot from Intuit Mint:

It’s a perfect example of a well-formatted and above-the-fold product copy. The engaging and high-quality images and the text clearly communicate the main benefit of the product/service. The photo is also accompanied by testimonials to enhance the service’s credibility further.

Step 3: Make CTAs Look Like Buttons

CTAs, or calls-to-action, should look like buttons. Why do I say this? Research shows that CTAs with a button design convert better than those without.

This is because customers are familiar with buttons and know what to expect when they click on one. The more familiar customers are with the action they’re taking, the more likely they are to take it.

Make sure your CTAs are eye-catching. Use colors that stand out and make them look like buttons.

Action colors, such as red and orange, work best.

Lastly, make sure your CTA copy is clear and easy to understand. Don’t go for traditional phrases like “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart.”

Instead, create an enticing CTA like “Discover Now” or “Get Mine.”

Now, these are very minor changes, but they can make a huge difference in terms of conversion.

Step 4: Offer to upsell and cross-sell recommendations

Next, you need to consider upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

Upselling involves encouraging site visitors to buy more expensive products, while cross-selling involves suggesting related products to complement their purchase.

Both strategies can help boost your profit margin and encourage visitors to take action on your site, so it’s important to incorporate them into your ecommerce conversion optimization efforts.

Some tips for upselling and cross-sell recommendations include:

  • Offering better deals or discounts on your upsell and cross-sell recommendations. For example, you can offer a bundle package with two or more products often bought together.
  • Offer monthly deals and discounts on your upsell and cross-sell recommendations.

This can help encourage users to sign up for subscription services or regularly purchase your products.

  • Provide multi-product deals on your upsell and cross-sell recommendations, such as offering a discounted bundle of products that all work together.

When upselling and cross-selling, it’s important to make sure that the products you are recommending are relevant to your customers.

This will help ensure that they make a purchase and stay engaged with your brand.

You should also make sure that your product recommendations are visible and easy to find on your site.

You can also use dynamic product recommendations to improve your ecommerce conversion rates.

Dynamic product recommendations are automatically generated and tailored to individual customers, making it easier for them to find the product they’re looking for.

Step 5: Make the checkout process easy and streamlined

According to Baymard, the average abandonment rate for e-commerce sites is 69%, and a large portion of this is due to a complicated checkout process.

A streamlined and easy-to-navigate checkout process is essential for improving ecommerce conversion rates.

Following are some prone strategies you should consider to streamline the checkout process:

Mobile-friendly checkout: Now, this is a must-have for any ecommerce website. Most online shoppers prefer to shop from their mobile devices which is because of its convenience.

So, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and offers a simple checkout process. We suggest using a responsive design for an optimized checkout experience on all devices.

Secure payment options: Depending on the customer’s preference, providing different secure payment options can help improve the checkout process.

People are very conscious about their data and the security of their transactions. So, you should always make sure that your payment gateway is secure and trustworthy.

Think of what payment methods your customers prefer, and then offer those payment options on your website.

Offer guest checkout: According to a survey done by Sale Cycle, 23% of the customer said they abandoned the site because they were asked to create an account.

This means that offering a guest checkout option to customers can help reduce abandonment rates and improve your ecommerce conversion rates.

Here are some more strategies that will surely help make the checkout process easy and streamlined:

Creating a simple checkout form with just a few required fields, such as name, email address, and payment information.

No, what does it mean is no additional fields should be there. For instance, address, phone number, etc.

Including a progress bar or other visual indicator that shows users how far they are in the checkout process.

When customers can see where they’re in the process, it helps reduce their anxiety and encourages them to finish checking out. This ultimately leads to a higher conversion rate.

Using cart abandonment emails to re-engage customers who left items in their shopping cart but never completed the checkout process. Sending these emails can help remind customers that the items are still in their cart and encourage them to complete their purchases.

Allowing online shoppers to save their payment information for future purchases. This will make it easier for customers to complete their purchases quickly without having to enter the same information every time.

This has been proven to improve the checkout process and conversion rate.

Also, as we know, the checkout process varies according to what’s popular in regionally specific markets,  so make sure to check in on how customers from different countries are completing their purchases.

This enables you to tailor the checkout experience for your customers and ensure that it is optimized for all customers.

By following these strategies and optimizing the checkout process according to user behavior, you can improve ecommerce conversion rates.

This will help increase sales and revenue and build customer loyalty, making it essential to running a successful ecommerce business.

Step 6: Collect Qualitative Data

Qualitative data is also a key component for businesses. But unlike quantitative data, qualitative data is more focused on customer experience.

This type of data helps you understand why customers are behaving a certain way and can help identify potential areas of improvement.

You can use following resources to collect data:

1. Surveys: Asking customers to fill out surveys after checkout can help you identify any pain points they encountered while completing the process. You can also use survey data to measure customer satisfaction and get insights into their preferences.

Well, sometimes customers dont have enough time or are not willing to answer surveys. In such cases, you can offer an incentive for filling out the survey.

2. Testimonials: User-generated reviews and testimonials can be a great source of data. You can use this to evaluate customer experiences and see what areas need improvement.

3. User testing: User testing can also be great for qualitative data. This helps you identify any usability issues that customers encounter and allows you to optimize the checkout process to make it easier and more efficient for customers.

4. Customer interviews: This is a tiring activity, but very helpful in understanding user behavior and getting customer feedback. You can use this data to make changes to the checkout process that will improve the user experience.

So, there are hundreds of ways to get this useful data.

Now, what kind of questions should you’d ask?

That’s really business specific.

You should ask questions that are specific to your business.

Let’s say if you’re selling shoes, you should ask what customers think of the style and design of your products?

How could you make the checkout process easier for them?

What payment methods do they prefer?

These are just some examples, but the questions will vary depending on the type of business you run, the questions will vary.

Collect all the data, get insights and use them to make the necessary changes.

A/B testing is very helpful in this regard, as it will give you an idea of which changes are working and which aren’t.

If things don’t work out as expected, then you have to go back and try other approaches.

Step 7: Eliminate distractions on your homepage and product pages

Now, this is a must-do step.

In order to ensure that customers are focused on the purchasing process, it is important to eliminate any distractions from your homepage and product pages.

Remember, UX /UI is as important here.

Keep the design of your pages clean and easy to navigate. Utilize whitespace to create a sense of calm and focus.

Make sure the number of options and calls to action are limited so that customers aren’t overwhelmed by too many choices.

If I’m visiting an eCommerce store, the last thing I want to see is a bunch of ads, popups, and surveys.

These will only detract from the purchasing process.

So, you should make sure that your pages are free of such distractions.

When users land on your homepage, you want to make sure that the main focus is on your call-to-action and conversion opportunities.

But it doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate all distractions; just make sure they don’t interfere with the purchasing process.

I will explain it as an example; if you want to promote a new product or offer, show it in a way that doesn’t take away from the main objective of the page.

You don’t want to draw customers away from the product page and your checkout process.

To do this, consider removing any unnecessary elements, such as flashy graphics or drop-down menus.

If the page is cluttered with distractions, it sends the wrong message to viewers. They will think that you’re not trustworthy and won’t buy from your site.

This has happened to many eCommerce stores, and it will only hurt your business in the long run.

A cluttered homepage, landing page, or sales page will likely confuse visitors, causing them to exit the page prematurely.

Check this screenshot from Pacific Northwest X-ray Inc.

Seeing the home page of Pacific Northwest X-ray Inc., we can see that it looks like the theme of the 1990s is applied.

It doesn’t look like a modern eCommerce store and is full of distractions.

There is something that disturbs our eyes and minds because it is not clean enough for the most important information to appear in front of us.

The color scheme of this website is too dark, which makes it difficult for people to focus on important information.

So, if your home page or landing page is too cluttered or distracting, consider removing these elements to increase conversions and make your site more user-friendly.

Step 8: Design a Site Search That is Simple and Effective

The next step in the conversion optimization process for ecommerce business is to design a site search that is simple and effective.

When the target audience visits your site, they will often be looking for specific products or information; it’s s simple as that.

To help them find what they’re looking for, a search bar or search function in your main navigation is essential.

This allows customers to quickly and easily search for the products or information they need.

This lets users quickly and easily search for specific products, content, or other information on your site.

Also, optimize the search results for maximum effectiveness –  make sure that the most relevant results are shown first.

For example, if someone searches for “red shoes” on your site, you want to ensure that the search results list all of the red shoes in your inventory first before anything else.

This not only helps customers find what they’re looking for quickly, but it also encourages them to browse around and explore other products.

It can also help to include filters and other navigation options in the search results page so that users can refine their search.

This will make it even easier for customers to find what they need and increase their chances of making a purchase.

To optimize your site search, consider incorporating features like autocomplete and search suggestions to make the process faster and easier.

Check this screenshot from PetSmart:

If you search for a hairball, the site shows details about the product and an information section that users can find.

The relevant blog section alongside the product section encourages users to explore and increase the time on the website.

PetSmart also has an auto-complete option that will further simplify product search.

This is a great example of how an effective site search can help improve ecommerce conversion rates.

With a simple and effective site search, PetSmart can help users find exactly what they are looking for while encouraging them to explore and browse multiple products on the site.

Let the misspelled words slide and use other features like auto-complete to ensure users can find what they’re looking for quickly.

Check the example from Habitat:

We searched the term ‘table’ on the Habitat website, but it didn’t have any relevant products, so instead, it showed what visitors might like to buy.

It’s a good way for visitors to find what they’re looking for, and it also makes the website more engaging by showing them other products they might be interested in.

Overall, the key to optimizing your site search is to ensure that it is simple, effective, and easy to use.

Improving user experience is the key to increasing e-commerce conversion rates. Thousands of articles have been written, and many tips have been shared on how to effectively optimize your website for conversion.

However, improving ecommerce conversion rate starts with having a clearly defined plan that considers user experience, design, and functionality.

Step 9: Measure, Experiment, and Optimize

The final step in the conversion optimization process for your ecommerce business is to measure, experiment, and optimize. It’s not easy to implement practical changes to your site and improve average ecommerce conversion rates, but with the right tools and strategies, you can measure your performance and make adjustments based on the data you collect.

One effective method is to use A/B testing, which allows you to compare two versions of your site and measure the performance of each one. This can help you identify what changes work best and optimize your site for increased conversions.

In addition to A/B testing, you can also use tools like Google Analytics to monitor your site performance and identify areas for improvement. This data can help you understand how users interact with your site and what changes you can make to improve their experience.

Hack what your customers are looking for. So you can increase ecommerce conversion rates and keep visitors engaged on your site. When it comes to optimizing your site search, it’s important to experiment and try different tactics that can help you improve user experience and increase conversion rates. You can measure, experiment, and optimize your site search to maximize results with the right tools and strategies.

What is a good conversion rate for e-commerce?

The average conversion rate for e-commerce stores is around 2%. However, this can vary greatly depending on the type of products you sell and how you optimize your site.

How do I track my e-commerce conversion rate?

You can use Google Analytics to track your e-commerce conversion rate. This data can help you measure the performance of your site and identify areas for improvement. You can also use ROI calculator by ConversionWise to understand your ROI and track your progress.

Is a 7% conversion rate good?

A 7% conversion rate is definitely above average and considered ideal for most e-commerce stores. However, it’s still important to track your conversion rate and always strive to optimize your site for the best results.

What are KPIs for e-commerce?

Some of the most important KPIs for e-commerce include website traffic, pageviews, average order value, customer lifetime value, conversion rate,  and bounce rate. These metrics can help you understand how your e-commerce store is performing and identify areas for improvement.

How do I convert more sales to my website?

To convert more sales to your website, you should focus on optimizing your site for user experience and search engine rankings.

Make sure that your pages load quickly and all of your content is easy to read, understand, and navigate. Additionally, leverage SEO techniques to get more organic traffic to your site and create targeted campaigns to reach more customers.

Finally, test different strategies and measure your results to see what works best for your store.

How to increase conversion rate on Shopify?

The process to increase the conversion rate on Shopify is similar to that of other ecommerce platforms.

In order to maximize conversions, you will need to optimize your website for better user experience, create relevant and engaging content, reduce distractions on the page, make checkout process simple and secure, optimize for search engine visibility and consider using remarketing or retargeting campaigns.

Analyzing data on customer behavior and segmenting your target audience can also help you improve your conversion rate.

Time to Leverage These Steps to Improve Ecommerce Conversion Rate!

Shopping online has become increasingly popular due to its convenience and the wide range of products available. Whether you’re just starting with your ecommerce site or looking for ways to improve ecommerce conversion rate, the strategies, tools, and tips outlined above can help you maximize your results and get insane profits. Remember, a good ecommerce conversion rate is a key metric for the success of an online store, as it indicates the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase. By focusing on the user experience and optimizing your site search, you can make it easier for website visitors to find the products and content they are looking for. This can help you in increasing conversions and generate more revenue from your ecommerce site.

So don’t delay – get started with ecommerce conversion rate optimization for your online business today!


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