Every eCommerce business is fiercely competing to get a potential customer’s attention, which makes it tough to gain a competitive advantage. Most sellers seem to have decent products and messages, and are advertising on the right channels … so how can a business owner compete? Conversion rate optimization or CRO just might be the answer you’re looking for.
By using what you already have, but in a much more optimized manner, you’ll be able to get the most out of every website visit. An optimized site makes for a better customer experience, which can also contribute to a higher chance of conversion and even a repeat purchase. Use these 10 CRO tips to help improve your eCommerce business today!
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1. Showcase Reviews
Thanks to platforms like Amazon, reviews have become a standard in the eCommerce industry. Consumers are so used to seeing reviews on a site that, if they can’t find them, they will resort to third-party websites to find them. Implementing a platform for capturing and displaying user-generated content like product reviews can help your business gain the social proof and credibility it needs to encourage users to purchase.
If you are using major platforms like Shopify, you can easily implement reviews with apps available at an affordable price. Once you get this set up, make sure to actively look for reviews by sending follow-up emails after every purchase. Otherwise, your review section will remain empty, which can make your store look worse.
Getting the first bunch of reviews will be the hardest but, once you get going, customers will feel encouraged to write reviews just by seeing others are doing it.
2. Free Shipping
Offering free shipping is another one of those things that has practically become a standard. It’s recommended to at least offer one free shipping option to increase conversions. There are plenty of ways you can make this work for your business. For instance, you can slightly increase pricing to include the cost of shipping, in order to offer free shipping on all orders.
Alternatively, you can opt to offer free shipping once the customer gets to a certain purchase amount. This may be the most common offering in the industry. Just make sure to make this an attainable number. If your products have a very low cost, and your minimum order to get free shipping is too high, you’ll make visitors feel like they won’t be able to take advantage of the deal.
3. Use a Website Recording Tool
We can discuss best practices forever, but we’ll only know what really works by testing and seeing how visitors actually respond to conversion rate optimizations. What better way to see this response than watching a recording of the actual visit and how the user interacted with the site? That’s exactly what you can do with tools such as Inspectlet or HotJar.
You’ll be able to see user recordings and view heatmaps to see where visitors focus their attention. Although it can be time-consuming, I love watching these recordings because they have been extremely useful in making accurate CRO decisions. I’ve been able to witness broken website sections, frustrated clicks, and even what is distracting the user from buying a product.
4. Use Personalized Product Recommendations
Personalized product recommendations offer two main benefits: They help the user better navigate the site and help the user discover new products. By offering a better navigation experience, users are more likely to find exactly what they are looking for and make a purchase. Alternatively, if they are unsure about what to get, they can always use recommendations to discover popular, new, or top-rated products.
They are such a powerful tool to drive conversions, that Amazon once said it significantly helped increase their revenue. They can be implemented with the use of apps when using major platforms and can be set to feature items according to a series of logic. For instance, I always find the recommendation “people interested in this product also viewed” very useful. Set your goals and priorities for the tool to create recommendations that work best for your business.
5. Offer Guest Checkout
Consumers take their email addresses very seriously. Adding an email address to the wrong list can represent thousands of useless spam emails piling up in the inbox. That’s why many users are hesitant to register on a new website when it hasn’t gained their trust. Offering a guest checkout option that is free from long, tedious registrations can make your visitors feel at ease and more comfortable shopping.
6. Optimize for Mobile
With increasingly accessible payment plans and options, more and more people around the world are using their mobile devices for purchases. This has shifted the buyer journey. Before, a user might have started on a desktop and completed a purchase on a desktop. Nowadays, users can start their searches on mobile, land on your website and add items to their wishlists, and then finish the purchases on their desktops.
Therefore, you have to make sure your website is optimized for mobile and offers a similar experience to the one on a desktop to avoid a disconnect. Users have to see a cohesive look and feel between both presences. When optimizing your site for mobile, keep in mind font and button sizes. The font has to be large enough to read on small screens, and the buttons should preferably cover the majority of the mobile screen.
As we discussed before, many consumers will not be ready to make a purchase on their first visit. That’s why it’s very important to retarget them in order to stay at the top of their mind until they are ready to make a purchase.
This can easily be done with the help of social media. Try using dynamic remarketing, which is one of the most powerful remarketing ads types. This shows previous visitors and exactly what products they added to their carts or viewed so the products displayed are dynamically generated—hence, the name! Also, this type of campaign tends to have a lower cost per click and higher conversion rate than other ones.
I’m still very surprised to find out how many people miss out on the power of email. They either neglect it entirely or leave it as a secondary option for conversions. Don’t make that same mistake! Not only can email marketing be more cost effective than many other channels since your email contacts are already familiar with your business, it can also have a higher conversion rate because your targeted users are already in-market for your products or services.
One of the key emails you should have set up in your store is the abandoned cart email. This type of email is the one that reminds previous visitors of the products they almost purchased. Additionally, make sure to encourage your visitors to sign up for your newsletter, to build your email list, and send recurrent newsletters to drive repeat purchases and new conversions.
9. Optimize Your Website Structure
An optimized website structure doesn’t only refer to a neat organization; it also refers to having a structure that is optimized according to user experience to drive the most conversions. It all starts with menu organization, products, and filters. For instance, if you notice that many visitors are going to the “gadgets” section of your site, that section shouldn’t be buried or hard to find. Showcase it on the main menu.
Forever21 applied the same concept to its menu. As you can see below, the Plus Size section is in the main menu when it could have been a subsection of Women and Men. This section generated a lot of traffic to that particular page, and the company decided to make it easily accessible to everyone.
10. Have High-Quality Product Images
Online users can’t physically touch or see the actual products you are selling, so photos and videos are the only materials they have to get an idea of the quality and product details. If your product photos are grainy and poor quality, they will make your products look less valuable and decrease the chance of someone purchasing them.
Invest in a solution that will provide you with consistent, beautiful images of all your inventory. Whether that means getting a photographer or learning to shoot yourself, it will be a worthwhile investment. Also, keep in mind that photo editing plays a huge role in photo quality. There are many affordable photo editing solutions online that can offer a decent level of functionality without breaking the bank.