Did you conversion rate optimization can result in lift of your overall sales by 50%, and all you need to do is increase your current conversion rate by 1%?
Sure, you can spend more on advertising or create more discounts and promos, but you can increase your bottom line at a faster and cheaper way by optimizing your conversion rate.
In this article, we will discuss 7 simple conversion rate optimization tips that bring dramatic results you didn’t see coming.
#1: Find where you are losing customers
Optimizing your conversion rate starts by knowing where you are losing customers. You do not go adjusting or changing your site based solely on intuition or on conversion rate optimization best practices, although 63% of marketers optimize their sites based purely on these two things.
Gather data about your unique customers and their shopping behaviors.
It will be challenging to know what you need to test on if you do not have any data at hand. Aside from wasted time and money, you won’t be able to identify patterns in your customers’ behaviors and activities and the tests you will run won’t be conclusive in the end.
And when it comes to the data that you will gather, it’s not just the numbers you need to focus on.
Quantitative data is a good starting point, but you need qualitative data to supplement it to get the bigger picture. Qualitative data lets you in on your customers’ minds and gives you the reason behind their actions, such as why are they abandoning their shopping carts or why they are not using your site’s product filtering system.
To gather quantitative data, a great place to start is in your Google Analytics. It gives you numerical data on how your customers are using your site, at which stage in the funnel they are leaving, and so much more.
You can also derive from Google Analytics your site’s loading time, which is important to know because every one-second delay leads to loss in conversions of up to 7%.
For your qualitative data, conduct surveys on customers who successfully made a purchase. Ask them what their motivations were for buying and leverage on this in convincing others to do the same.
Of course, you do not want your surveys to be a burden to your customers. Keep it short with five to ten questions, ask open-ended questions to get maximum insight from your customers, and if possible, offer an incentive to ensure participation.
Aside from email surveys, do on-site surveys as well. Asking questions to people who are currently on your site allows you to know what could be preventing them from becoming customers.
Understanding your customers through these data can give you better results than just following generic practices. Additionally, having too much data is better than not having enough. This makes it easier to find patterns and conduct A/B tests that yield better results.
#2: Run A/B tests for on page optimization
75% of the internet retailing top 500 do regular A/B testing, and there is no reason why you should not do the same.
You’ve already learned how to identify conversion issues on your store and you should A/B test them. It can be:
- the headline on your homepage
- your site’s overall page layout and navigation
- the forms in your checkout page
- your call call-to-action
- the trust badges on your product pages
- ..and much more
Decide which one you want to test first based on your conversion data. Prepare your two variants (variant A and variant B), and test both against each other using a platform. The statistics you will generate will validate your new design changes, which are all geared towards optimizing your conversion rates.
Before you create and run your A/B test, research well about your target audience, create a hypothesis how to make things better and setup your goal with a key performance metric.
For instance, Express Watches, a premier online Seiko watch dealer, wanted to increase number of their sales without providing any discounts.
They surveyed their target audience, of course, are fans of Seiko watches. Based on the survey results, they discovered that their shoppers felt more strongly about the authenticity of their watches more than the prices.
To increase its number of customers and reduce anxiety, they tried to replace their ‘Never Beaten on Price’ badge (variant A) to an authenticity badge that says ‘Seiko Authorized Dealer’ (variant B).
After running the test, variant B won and helped boost their ecommerce conversion rate by 107%.
That’s a great result and you can see how a small change like this can help your store achieve a higher revenue. They would never know it can make such a difference without A/B testing it.
Remember: Testing does not stop once an outcome turns out successful.
Regular and continuous testing is essential to arrive at the version of your site that is most favorable for your shoppers and your sales conversion rate.
You can run multiple tests simultaneously if they do not conflict with each other to speedup the improvement process. The best practice is starting at the bottom of your sales funnel (e.g. your checkout page) to make sure you squeeze every dollar out of the optimization process.
#3: Optimize your shopping cart
Abandoned shopping carts are major conversion busters, and yet it’s surprising to know that 73% of ecommerce sites have no idea why their customers are abandoning their shopping carts and not purchasing anything.
How to improve conversion rate starts by reducing shopping cart abandonment and there are many ways to do this.
Provide a guest checkout option. 23% of shoppers will abandon their shopping carts if they are required to create an account before checkout.
Refusing their money just because they do not want to register an account will definitely affect your conversions. Let your shoppers have a quick and easy way to your checkout with a guest option similar to Toms.
Offer free shipping & show all fees. Aside from increasing conversions, free shipping encourages 93% of shoppers to put even more items in their carts and buy them.
And to ensure that free shipping will still be profitable for you, adjust your prices or establish a minimum order value, similar to H&M.
Simplify the checkout process. To know whether your checkout process should be one-page or multi-page is, as we always say, a matter of A/B testing.
There are pros and cons worth considering for each in addressing abandoned shopping carts, so go ahead and test how your shoppers will respond to a one-page checkout and a multi-page checkout.
For Vancouver Olympic Store, their ecommerce conversion rate increased by 21.8% when they switched to a one-page checkout from their initial four-page checkout. But again, the same effect remains to be seen for your site given that your target market are different.
#4: Increase your trust signals
It’s impossible to optimize conversion rates if shoppers do not trust your site in the first place.
Similar to reducing shopping cart abandonment, there are also many ways to build your site’s trustworthiness.
Put third party trust logos. Third party trust logos show the legitimacy of your site, but it is not enough to put just about any trust logo.
As a tip, use the trust logos and the SSL badges that shoppers are confident in seeing. The graph below shows the logos and the badges that give shoppers the best sense of trust when shopping online.
Leverage on customer reviews and recommendations Nothing is a more powerful proof of your site’s trustworthiness than a shopper’s positive feedback or experience. Leverage on this as you optimize your conversion rates.
Like Amazon, allow your shoppers to rate or review products on your site.
Work on the reviews you receive on your site’s social media pages as well. In fact, 84% of shoppers refer to at least one social media site before purchasing anything online.
Make your payment security known. As an added effort to the overall trustworthiness of your site, address risks and trust issues on your checkout page. After all, 17% of lost conversions in shopping carts are due mainly to payment security issues.
#5: Market to your mobile users
One of the many conversion rate optimization tips you should not forego is marketing to the segment of your target market that are on their mobile devices.
With 50.3% of all ecommerce traffic coming from mobile, it is clearly essential to make your site usable on a mobile device.
To ensure the usability of their site on a mobile device, Topshop included a navigational pointer on its mobile homepage that will take visitors conveniently to the pages they want to see. They also tested different variations of its search box before finalizing its design.
The results were great. The navigational pointer increased products added to shopping carts by 4% and the search bar increased its sales conversion rate by 5.8%.
Asda, a chain of British supermarkets went as far as building a mobile app for their store to make shopping quicker and more convenient. The mobile app is available on both iOS and Android.
With the natural increase in mobile device usage, mobile now accounts for 18% of Asda’s grocery home shopping sales and 90% of this are all coming from their mobile app!
Aside from bringing a dramatic increase in their conversions, Asda was also able to live up to its long-term objective of creating stores without walls, resulting into happier and even more loyal customers.
Mobile usage will only get bigger as the years go by. Consider building a mobile app for your store to unlock significant improvements to your conversion rates.
#6: Market to your customers via email
One of the conversion rate optimization tips you should do is email marketing. It is the most converting traffic source with 3.31% conversion rate and ranks higher compared to search (2.27%), social media (1.08%), and advertising (0.75%).
Email marketing continues to grow in effectiveness with behavioral targeting and with our ability to segment email recipients down to their defining characteristics.
Here are a few ways to keep your email marketing truly effective and contributing significantly to your conversion rates.
Use email for your announcements. Whether it is your 50% OFF sale for the week, your free shipping, or the new products arriving in your store, announce it exclusively in an email. It’s a great way to get your customers one step closer to making a purchase.
Use email to incentivize customers in making a product review. As we always say, product reviews play a great role in improving conversion rates.
To get your shoppers motivated to write product reviews, run an email-based reviews promotion. Every product review sent by shoppers through email will earn them a chance to win a prize, such as a gift certificate or $300 to spend in your store.
This is what a British catalogue retailer, Argos, did in increasing their number of reviews. They implemented the promotion for two weeks, which added a total of 90,000 reviews to their site. More importantly, the reviewed products had a 10% higher conversion rate than those that did not have reviews.
Here’s an example from Boden UK, a British clothing retailer, on how you can craft your email-based reviews promotion.
Use shipping confirmation emails for up selling. Instead of just confirming the status of your customers’ orders, shipping confirmation emails are great opportunities for cross-selling recommendations. According to Experian, doing this can increase transaction rates by 20%.
Here’s an example of a confirmation email with cross-selling recommendations for inspiration.
#7: Make your onsite search smarter
Improving your site search can help you convert more visitors into paying customers. Up to 30% of visitors will use a site search to look for products so you need to emphasize it and make it smarter.
There are three ways you can draw attention to the search bar – position it at the center since studies have shown that placing it there allows it to garner more attention, ensure that its size adheres to your shoppers’ search behavior, and label it accordingly.
Zappos embodies all three characteristics of an emphasized search bar.
There are also three ways to make your onsite search smarter – have advanced product filters, implement breadcrumbs, and allow it to complete searches automatically.
Product filters allows shoppers to refine search results. In this example, Macy’s allows shoppers to specify search results according to special offers, category, brand, color, customer ratings, and price.
Macy’s also informs shoppers where they currently are on the site or what to click on to return to the search result page through breadcrumbs.
Auto-complete in onsite search also play a significant role in optimizing conversion rates. For Printerland, for instance, including an auto-complete feature on its search bar yielded a per visitor value 4x greater than its previous sales.
Auto-complete saves your customers a lot of effort and speeds up the search process for them. It’s a feature worth considering if you have a wide inventory of products.
We just discussed 7 conversion rate optimization tips, which we hope you can implement on your site and expect great outcomes for your site.
And indeed, there are many ways to optimize your sales conversion rate aside from the ones discussed. The key is to make and review the performance of your site, study your analytics data to find any conversion issues your visitors are having, and do regular A/B testing. Use your intuition and the industry’s best practices only as a guide, and not the overall direction of your testing.
Start small and all the little positive changes you do on your site will lead to significant growth in the long run.