Your customers should be at the forefront of your store’s design.
Although increasing traffic may increase sales, it is equally important to turn your existing traffic into paying customers.
There are many opportunities to improve the customer’s purchasing experience at every stage. You can refine your website through rigorous experimentation and analysis to get people closer to purchasing. This is known as conversion rate optimization (or CRO).
- 1 What is conversion rate optimization?
- 2 Calculating the conversion rate
- 3 How to maximize conversion rates using A/B testing
- 4 Strategies to optimize the conversion rate of ecommerce
- 4.1 Homepage
- 4.2 Product discovery
- 4.3 Product pages
- 4.4 Checkout experience
- 4.5 Returns and shipping
- 4.6 Additional Information
- 4.7 Website performance and speed
- 5 Higher conversion rates are possible with more experiments
What is conversion rate optimization?
Conversion rate optimization, also known by the term “conversion”, is a method to increase the percentage of website traffic that purchases. To encourage people to take the desired action, it uses the psychology for persuasion.
Conversions are big business. Conversions are that moment when someone walks into your store and buys one of the products. Conversions on a smaller scale are also happening every day leading up to this moment.
A conversion on your homepage could be a visitor clicking through to a product. A customer might click Add to Cart on a product page. The purpose of a particular part of your website can have an impact on conversions.
Here are some examples of website conversions for ecommerce companies:
- Online sales
- Add product to your cart
- Visitor adding items to your wishlist
- Email signups
You don’t have to stick with the examples above. Tracking and optimizing for any key performance indicator (KPI), or metrics specific to your business is possible. Conversion is a broad topic because it affects many aspects of your website as well as digital marketing channels.
You must constantly test every aspect of your site to increase sales.
Calculating the conversion rate
It is essential to track conversion rates across all channels in order to maintain a viable optimization process for conversion rate optimization. You need to be able to calculate CRO.
Let’s say your store had 1,000 visitors and 50 sales last month. Your conversion rate equals 50 times 1,000 (.05), multiplied 100 times, and that’s 5%.
What is a good conversion rate? According to the latest studies and surveys, the average conversion rate of ecommerce websites is 2.86%. A good goal for a new store owner is to aim for between 1%-2%. These conversion rate optimization strategies can help you improve your conversion rates over time.
How to maximize conversion rates using A/B testing
There are many ways to increase conversion rates. This guide will concentrate on the one we have found to work. This is a method of experimentation known as A/B Testing or Split Testing.
A/B Testing allows you to compare two versions of the exact same webpage and see which one produces better results. Two versions of the same page can be shown simultaneously to two sets of similar visitors using A/B testing. The winner is eventually the one that performs better and converts more visitors.
Before you can conduct an A/B testing, you need to determine if your website receives enough traffic to produce statistically significant results. Your results won’t reflect the true usage of your site by a larger sample.
To calculate the sample size required to run an A/B testing, simply drop your current conversion rate from the web page to be tested into this calculator.
If traffic to the website is lower than the required sample size, you should focus on driving more visitors to your site first and not optimizing for conversions.
Find out the current conversion rate for a single page
First, make sure that you have Google Analytics installed for your online store. Google Analytics will allow you to determine the conversion rate of specific pages on your website.
Not to be used to measure the results of your A/B tests, this method will only give you an indication of your conversion rate. This data can only be used to determine if you have enough traffic for an A/B test.
You can quickly find out the conversion rate of specific pages on your website by using the Landing Pages report from Google Analytics.
First, go to the Behavior section. Next, click on Site Content. Click on Landing Pages in the dropdown. You should ensure that you are looking at the same timeframe that your test will run. This section of the process will only be applicable if you use the last 30 days.
Select the landing page you wish to test from the drop-down menu. For instance, if you’d like to test your home page, click on www.youronlinestorename.com.
To find the conversion rate of a goal on this page, add a secondary dimension. Click on Add Secondary Dimension, and then type “Second Pages.” This dimension will show us which pages visitors navigated to next and how many of them went to those pages.
Let’s take, for example, the possibility that you want to test how many people visit your products page from your homepage.
Simply choose your homepage to find the current conversion rate. Next, look under the Second Page section for your product page. Your conversion rate for this action will be the small grey percentage listed under the Sessions section.
Create CRO experiments
You can begin experimenting with your online store if your site is sufficiently popular to conduct an A/B test.
You will need to use tools like Optimizely or Convert. Set up goals for your online shop using Google Analytics. You should create a goal for each action that you want to test on your website.
Google Analytics goals is a method of measuring how visitors use your website to accomplish a task or goal. You can set goals for anything from a product purchase to a subscription to a newsletter or simple navigation. You can track and analyze data from your customers’ decisions by setting goals for your test.
Google Analytics offers five types of conversion goals: destination, duration and pages per session. Event goals are also available. The destination and events goals should be the main focus for CRO.
Destination goals can be used to track things such as purchases and navigation.
You can track a purchase by setting the Thank You or Order Confirmation page as the destination. A conversion will be recorded every time a customer places an order.
You can track navigation goals, such as someone who is heading to a collection collection from your homepage.
You can use event goals to track actions on your site that don’t necessarily lead to a landing page.
You can, for example, set the action of a customer clicking on a button on your website to be an event. This will allow you to track who is subscribing or adding items to their cart.
Michael Steele, CEO, FlywheelDigital, says that while data analysis is important for CROs, qualitative feedback can uncover key insights. Qualitative feedback is also a benefit as visitors can tell you what they want, rather than inferring from others. It can reveal the causes of issues and what users really want, which allows you to get to the root of the problem rather than trying to hypothesize. This will allow you to come up with a better solution to drive higher conversion rates.
Emma Williams, Digital Marketing Manager, Edge of the Web adds that Google Optimize is a free and accessible tool to perform A/B testing of your website. She explains that this software lets you make changes to a page or entire website using code or a WYSIWYG format.
You can set your goals and link it with Google Analytics. This allows you to measure based upon custom events. Google will show both versions to site visitors, and determine which version performs best. This will provide you with actionable insights that can help improve your conversion rates.
Strategies to optimize the conversion rate of ecommerce
Optimizing your online shop is not a one-and done solution. It’s a continuous process that will allow you to learn more about your customers and help you better serve them. This is not a strategy that has an endpoint. It is something you must continue to improve upon.
Michael says that CRO requires growth-driven design and continuous iterations. To help Shopify reach its full potential, ongoing analysis and testing with tools like Google Optimize will lead to incremental improvements.
Keep a record of all experiments you plan to run in the future, so you are never without an idea.
Here are some CRO strategies that you can try in your store to get your list going.
- Product discovery
- Product pages
- Checkout experience
- Shipping and Returns
- Additional information
- Website performance
Your homepage is like a physical storefront. Your homepage is the window to your storefront. It attracts attention, ignites curiosity and draws people in.
Your homepage should feel welcoming and make it easy to navigate and enter your store. It should be visually appealing and consistent. This will help you achieve one goal: to get people to your store to find the products they are looking for.
1. Simpler user experience
Simple is the key to creating a website that is effective. It takes only 50miliseconds to give a customer a first impression. Make sure you do everything you can to make those moments count. Don’t overwhelm potential customers with too many images and text. Keep your brand consistent and communicate your message using a simple, appealing design.
Take a look at Province of Canada. It used a large image of a hero for its homepage that occupies the majority of the space above and below the fold. Its copy is clear and concise, and includes a call-to-action (CTA), which encourages visitors to create a collection.
It’s best to choose your most popular or profitable products or collections such as new arrivals and current promotions. This is especially important since 86% website visitors would like to see product information on a website’s homepage.
Once your customers have visited your homepage, you can start to build excitement and drive them towards your products. Shopify store owners can use a variety of apps to increase traffic and encourage purchasing.
- Welcome bars. Apps such as 20+ Promotional Sale Tools allow you to share sales, coupons codes, promotions, etc. with your customers right away they visit your site. These apps will add a floating bar to your homepage to grab customers’ attention instantly and direct them to where they need to go.
- Pop-ups. Pop-unders and pop-ups are great for building your email lists. To add a pop-up to your homepage, use an app such as Privy and Popup that offers a coupon code for signing up for the newsletter.
- Real-time purchase. Fomo Social proof adds a notification to the bottom of your store that displays real-time orders made by customers. These apps create a sense of urgency and give customers social proof other customers are buying your products. Researchers in behavioral psychology at the University of Kentucky have found that urgency causes people to act quickly and impulsively.
Our Place is one example. The welcome bar promoted a BOGO deal and free shipping and returns.
Visitors are also served this beautiful pop-under after a few seconds. This encourages them to enter Our Place’s free pan giveaway.
3. To build trust, add testimonials
Are you featured in major publications Have any prominent influencers used your products? To build trust and project credibility, add testimonials, reviews and badges to your homepage below your main content. 88% consumers trust online reviews just as much as recommendations from friends and family.
RT1home has a page dedicated to features and press on its website.
Customers need to be able find the products they are looking for on your homepage and to discover new products that might interest them.
Customers need to be able navigate your website using a well-thought out search function, intelligent category design, and engaging methods to find products.
4. Use intelligent search
Chances are, if your customers are searching for a product on your site, they may not know where it is.
You might consider displaying your search bar prominently on the homepage if your store sells a lot of products. This will allow your customers to go directly to where they want to go, rather than searching through different categories.
You can enhance your search bar with apps such as Smart Search and Instant Search to provide predictive results that will help customers find the right product. Intelligent search bars can suggest products and results based on what users type, while also taking into consideration spelling mistakes and alternative product names.
Alo uses Smart Search & Instant Search to help customers looking for yoga products find what they need. The search bar suggests related products and categories even after you have entered a few letters. This is useful for cross-selling.
5. Organize your categories effectively
Your customers should find it easy to navigate your website. Avoid separating your products into too numerous categories. Instead, choose four to six broad categories with more detailed subcategories.
Your navigation bar will order your categories based on how popular they are, with the most popular at the top.
Are your 404 pages a dead end? Instead of leaving customers confused when they reach a 404 page, guide them to other areas of the website. Your 404 page can be customized to include links to your most-popular collections, products, or promotions.
7. Instagram: Add shoppable feed
For product discovery, Instagram is a great tool. You can inspire your followers with beautiful photos and showcase your products in everyday situations by embedding an Instagram account on your website.
Instagram accounts that are shoppable can be used to display user-generated content. This is a growing trend in millennials’ purchasing behaviour. According to research, 29% more conversions are achieved by sites that have user-generated content than those that don’t.
An app called Instafeed allows you to embed your Instagram feed into Shopify stores. It is similar to the one created by MMT. These Instagram feeds can be embedded to promote your top products, and then link directly to their product pages. This will give your followers a visually appealing way to discover new products.
Every page on your product page should be focused on clearly communicating the benefits of your products to customers. It is essential to create immersive experiences that include every aspect of your products without allowing for confusion or frustration.
8. High-quality images of your products are important
A product page that is well-photographed and high quality is the most important element. Justuno data shows that 93% of consumers consider the visual appeal to be the most important factor in making a purchase decision. Include images that accurately portray the appearance and feel of your products.
Include a video of your product in action as an added bonus. If you sell t-shirts, let customers see the motion of your shirt by adding a video to your product page that shows a model wearing it. A product video can make younger consumers 85% more likely than they are to buy .
Love Hair offers some wonderful examples of product pages. The page above features beauty-grade coconut oil. It includes a lot of high-quality photos and fun product descriptions. There’s even a video that makes the product shine.
9. Make sure you are upfront about the price, delivery time, as well as out-of-stock items
It is the worst thing that you can do to your customers. The latest shopping cart abandonment statistics shows that 69.6% of online shopping baskets have been abandoned. Why is this? The top reason?
Do not be afraid to tell them the whole story about things such as pricing, delivery times, and inventory. Customers will pay more for shipping if you are able to sell your products effectively and communicate their value.
You can use an app like Back In Stock if you have a Shopify shop to notify your customers when out-of stock products are added to your store.
Reviewing products is a great way for reassure hesitant buyers and to give them the social proof they need before they click the Add to Cart button. 66% say that online product reviews influence their buying decisions.
A positive product review can help convince shoppers that the product works and it is worth buying. They can also use reviews to help make informed purchasing decisions about sizing and colour.
Businesses in the beauty and skin care industry can benefit from product reviews. Beardbrand uses Yotpo to display reviews on all its product pages.
11. Heatmaps are a great way to visualize heat
Heatmaps are a popular tool for CRO in ecommerce. They take large amounts behavioral data and convert it into a visual representation.
Heatmaps show areas of engagement on your website. They are usually displayed in “warm” or “cool” colors. A heatmap that is red, orange, or yellow indicates high activity. Lower activity is indicated by cooler shades.
Heatmaps can show you which elements your website visitors are most interested in. It shows you which parts of your website people click, scroll, or move. Scroll heatmaps display how far people scroll before they leave. Apps such as Lucky Orange allow you to study engagement patterns using dynamic elements like drop-downs and pop-ups.
Lucky Orange offers additional conversion rate optimization tools that can help decrease cart abandonment and increase sales.
- Screen recording replays which allow you to watch people navigate your site and how they interact with it.
- Live View, allows you to see visitor activity in real time. You can also open a chat with the person via the app if you notice hesitation.
- Segmentation, filtering,which filters heatmaps, recordings, and traffic source by device type, browser and more so that you can target more specific customer groups.
Heatmaps can be a great way for customers to view your store. To increase conversions, you can find out what works and what doesn’t.
The checkout experience will be the final step in every customer’s buying process. It must be seamless and easy to use to prevent frustrated customers from abandoning their carts.
Your customers are ready to purchase at this stage in their journey. It is important to ensure that the purchase happens quickly and easily without any confusion or stress.
Prefilling customer billing and shipping information can make repeat purchases even easier for customers. Customers should not have to provide too much information. According to Google, customers fill out forms 30% quicker with autofill. This can lead to more conversions at checkout.
Navigate to Settings in your Shopify admin and click on ‘Checkout.
Select Accounts can be accessed under Customer Accounts. Your customers can still check in as guests with optional accounts. However, they will be able save their information so that they are available for future visits.
You can also download ShopPay, Shopify’s checkout solution for merchants. ShopPay remembers and encrypts customer details, so customers can speedily complete checkout. Customers can choose their preferred payment method, and they can even choose how to pay it in installments or full.
The average conversion rate for checkouts made through Shop Page was 1.72X greater than regular checkouts, according to our study. How to enable Shop Pay in your store
13. Email abandoned cart emails
Customers sometimes abandon their carts after filling them with products, and they leave the store without ever returning. Abandoned Cart Email can be used to remind customers about the products they have expressed an interest in, and to encourage them to return to your shop to complete the purchase.
You can set up abandoned cart emails in the Settings section on your Shopify admin. Scroll down to the Abandoned Cart section. You have the option to send abandoned cart email one, six, 10 or 24 hours after abandoning a cart by a customer.
You can personalize your abandoned cart emails within your Shopify admin, to make them match your brand’s tone and image. Click on the button to customize email under Abandoned checkouts.
14. Optimize your thank-you/order confirmation emails
You can customize your order confirmation emails by going to the same section in your Shopify admin.
Once a customer places an order, you still have the opportunity to bring them back to your buying funnel. Optimize your order confirmation email to encourage customers to sign up for your newsletter and link to your content on your blog. You can also offer discounts or promotions for future orders to show your appreciation.
Returns and shipping
Once a customer completes the checkout process, it is important to remind them that the purchase doesn’t end until they receive the product. You can delight customers by handling returns and shipping.
It can be stressful to wait for a package. Even worse is receiving a product you are unhappy with. It is important to do all you can to make shipping and returns easy for your customers.
15. Free shipping
Customers may be discouraged from purchasing if they are concerned about shipping costs. To encourage customers to place orders, offer free shipping. Free shipping can make a big difference in conversions. 73% report that free shipping has influenced their decision to shop online.
Learn how to offer free shipping without losing your bottom line .
16. A clear policy regarding refunds
Some customers may be hesitant to make online purchases. It can be hard to determine the exact fit of clothing items online.
UPS reports that 68% of web shoppers verify a website’s exchange and return policy before they make a purchase.
Many brands advertise that they offer “free”, “easy” and “no-hassle returns and exchanges in order to increase conversion rates and online sales.
Your business should have a clear policy regarding refunds. This will help customers feel relieved and know what to do if they’re not satisfied with their order.
Shopify’s policy generator allows you to create a policy regarding refunds for your store.
Optimizing elements such as your homepage, product discovery tools, and product pages are crucial to driving your customers through the conversion process. However, it is also important that you include additional information, such as contact details and an About section, on your website.
17. Your About page can tell a story
Your About Page should be more than just a summary of your store. Your About page should tell your customers a story about your brand and products. Your About page should help you create a lifestyle that your customers will love.
You should create a story about your products and the relationship you have with your customers. You might ask yourself: How did you get your idea? What is it that makes them unique? What is an average day like for your ideal customer?
Endy offers a detailed About page that explains how it sells its mattresses. You’ll also find a video and a hero image at the top that explains how the brand began.
Scroll down to see more information about the company’s product development process as well as why their mattresses are among the best in Canada.
Customers should be able contact you easily if they want to reach out to you. A web usability study by KoMarketing showed that 44% survey respondents abandon websites if they don’t have contact information or a telephone number.
Customers find it frustrating to not be able share their feelings and thoughts, whether they are positive or negative. Customers should have a way to contact you if something goes wrong. There should also be opportunities to interact with your brand in exciting and fun ways.
Here is a quick list of all the things your Contact Page should contain:
- Contact form or email address
- A map and directions will be provided along with your physical location.
- Hours of operation at your retail store
- These are links to your social media profiles
- Contact options for support, such as a phone number and email
Website performance and speed
Your success as a business is directly tied to the performance of your website. Google reports that 53% mobile visitors will abandon your website if it takes more than three seconds to load. This is a lot of traffic that you might be losing without realizing.
Imagine that you were standing outside a shop and had to wait for the store owner to open the door. You might wait a few seconds before they open the door. But fifteen? Thirty? You can count those seconds loudly and you’ll quickly realize how much you could be putting customers through.
19. Mobile responsive websites are essential
Your business should make mobile responsiveness a priority. According to Statista, 54% of web traffic is generated by smartphones and tablets. Mobile site visitors should have a great experience.
Shopify themes are automatically optimized for display on all devices if you have a Shopify store.
Drop your URL in Google’s mobile friendly test tool to see if your website responsive.
People will abandon your website if it is slow, as we have already mentioned. Websites that load quickly are not only more user-friendly, but also better for SEO. Your bounce rate is a measure of how long people spend on your site. This signals search engines that your website’s credibility and worthiness for traffic.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is the best way to see how fast your online store loads. PageSpeed Insights gives you detailed information about how fast your website loads. It also lists any problems you can fix.
Optimizing your store’s load time can be complicated. Here are some things you should keep in mind. Your website’s load speed can be affected by the size of your images. Use ImageOptim to optimize each image. ImageOptim removes all unnecessary data from every image file. This results in a smaller file size and no visible visual differences.
Shopify store owners should also try uninstalling any apps you don’t use, since these apps can add additional load to your website even if disabled.
Find out more: How do you find and plug leaks in your conversion funnels
Higher conversion rates are possible with more experiments
You have one goal, no matter if you are a marketer or business owner: to get people clicking that CTA button. Every ecommerce marketing strategy must include page optimization and conversion rate. The above-mentioned experiments will improve the user experience and encourage visitors to take desired actions, such as email signups or add to carts.