What is Conversion Rate: 11 Ways to Boost Your Essential Ecommerce Metric

Reading Time: 9 minutes

What is conversion rate? It is the percentage of your traffic or site visitors who bought your products or your services.

It’s easy to generate traffic to your site, but increasing your online conversion rate along with it isn’t as straightforward. In fact, it does not follow that if your online traffic is high that your conversions follow a similar upward trend.

It may be challenging to increase online conversion rates, but there are certain factors and ways you can do to effectively bring it up, which will determine the success or failure of your ecommerce venture. In this article, we will discuss 11 effective ways to boost your most essential ecommerce metric.

Design your website accordingly

Did you know 93% of consumers consider visual appearance a key deciding factor whether they should purchase from a particular online store or not? Additionally, 52% of shoppers abandon and decide never to return to a site if they dislike its overall aesthetics.

How your website is designed should not only please your customers’ senses, but guide them to your conversion goals.

Images should always be high-quality, large and with a zoom option. Action shots are preferred to give your products clarity and context.

Videos help provide more context to your products also. When done right, videos can lift conversions by up to 80%. Especially for products that require a demonstration of how it looks like or how it should be used, provide videos accordingly.

Colors also affect how customers shop on your site and there are certain colors that can elicit a conversion response from them. For instance, black, red and blue attract impulse shoppers, blue attracts shoppers on a budget and pink and red attract traditional shoppers. Learn more about color psychology before deciding and applying it on your site.

Navigation, search bar and search filters should always help improve your visitors’ interaction of your site. When a site is easy to use, the smoother the path becomes to your conversion goals. Check out our guides on making onsite search more effective and smart tricks on site navigation.

Fast loading speed is also a conversion booster. Aside from it being an SEO factor, majority of shoppers leave if a site loads slow. In fact, a one second delay is equivalent to a 7% loss in sales. Check out our practical tips to optimize your site speed before it is too late.

To see if your site design is working, check your ecommerce heatmaps if the elements essential to your conversions are used and given the right attention or not. Have a look at your Google Analytics as well to double check your findings.

Tip: Is your computation right?

We previously covered how to calculate ecommerce conversion rate more accurately with this formula:

Ecommerce Conversion Rate = Total Transactions / Total Sessions from Visitors In Your Target Market

Initially, Google uses your total sessions from visitors from all over the world when computing your conversions. As not everyone who visits your site is a target market, you have to filter your divisor for a more accurate value. Check out our guide for more of the best practices in improving conversion rates.

Make your numbers standout

Majority of shoppers are price sensitive, which means they want to know the price first or the discounts available before clicking through a product page.

Recognizing people’s price sensitivity is crucial as this will guide you design how your ecommerce site should look like. Like Macy’s, make your prices and latest discounts standout on your homepage. Have the banners link immediately to the category or product pages where the offers are available and ensure the numbers are in larger fonts than the other elements on your page.

Macy's discounts homepage

Use pop-ups

Did you know 10 to 15% of visitors leaving your ecommerce site can be saved by an exit pop-up?

Yes, pop-ups may be annoying, but these can work wonders for your conversion rates. A significant amount of money can be earned with a simple, last-minute offer.

It can be overwhelming for your visitors to think of what they should do when on your site. They might find your products expensive or rationalize that they do not need it yet at the moment. A pop-up allows you to present a single offer hoping to change their minds and make their decision to purchase easier.

If you’re concerned these might not work for you, test it. It’s the only way to know. Check out our article on exit-intent popups too for guidance.

Have a frictionless checkout page

The perfect, frictionless checkout page helps consistently with conversions. It is, after all, the final step in the buying cycle and having a less demanding checkout process is one of the best ways to fix shopping cart abandonment.

How can you streamline your checkout process and ensure a higher conversion rate?

Keep your checkout forms short. Have as few form fields as possible so completion is a breeze.

Make it easy to modify orders. For any last-minute changes your customer wants to apply on their carts, make it easy for them to go back and apply the necessary changes. When it’s easy to modify orders, the smoother it is to finalize a sale.

Have a diverse list of payment options. PayPal is a wise choice for cross-border transactions. Aside from credit and debit cards, check payment options popular in your region.

Also, dynamically convert currencies and compute taxes and present it clearly on the checkout page. More than meeting tax compliances, informing your customers the actual price they need to pay should make checkout truly frictionless.

Be transparent in your order fulfillment and delivery information. It’s always better to set the right expectations than make empty promises. This not only satisfies customer satisfaction, but can also encourage repeat purchases.

Trust seals should be seen and clear. SSL certificates, money back guarantee badges and other security seals should be prominent on your checkout page. Nothing can be more assuring to your customers than letting them know you are on top of their safety and any security threats.

Leverage on social proof

When asked what is conversion rate and what can be done to improve it, the idea of social proof always enters the picture.

Social proof is getting the help of your customers so you can sell to other people. People tend to follow the actions majority of others are doing, hence social proof is an effective marketing strategy used for many years.

So, how can you use your customers’ wisdom in boosting your conversions?

Tap your social following. Encourage your customers to share how they are using the product they bought from you. Curate them on social media by making them use a branded hashtag so it’s easy to bookmark on your end. Embed the images you will receive on your product pages.

Get in touch with your client base. Especially if you have well-known clients, their popularity can lend credibility to your business. And aside from asking them to speak about your business, you can display the number of clients you have and the names and logos of your big clients on your site for an extra boost.

Invite customers to write product reviews. Product reviews are reliable conversion boosters. Request for them thoughtfully via post-purchase emails.

Create the fear of missing out. This is where people are encouraged to act on impulse because the same opportunity might not be offered to them again. This famous marketing phenomenon is effectively convincing.

Remember that your customers are social creatures. They seek cues and validation from other people before they feel sure of their decision to purchase. By properly leveraging on social proof, you can definitely keep your conversions and sales high.

Always be there for your customers

Did you know that live chat can help increase conversions of B2B customers by at least 20%?

Recognize that there will be problems your customers may experience no matter how simple or straightforward your checkout process seems to be. For any issue that may arise, make your customer service available. It shows you care and that your customer’s purchase matters. It also demonstrates goodwill, which can also influence repeat purchases in the future.

Research how your shoppers would like to contact you for any issues that may arise. Although it is wise to have your all your phone numbers, email address and social media channels easily seen on your site, make the one that they will most likely use more prominent all over your site. Set expectations too on how soon you will get back to their queries especially for email correspondences.

Engage and invest on customer loyalty programs

Nothing can be truer to the statement that repeat and loyal customers are profitable. It’s even more cost-effective to nurture relationships you already have than create new ones. In fact, it costs 500% more to acquire new customers.

However, like in all things you do to sustain your business, you need to strategize your customer loyalty program well so it’s a win-win situation for your business and your customers.

Keep the process of your loyalty program simple (e.g. 5 dollars saving for every 50 dollars spent), your customers can easily join in (e.g. customers can sign up immediately on their first purchase) and the rewards are easy to reap and enjoy (e.g. discounts are easily to apply on checkout). And ultimately, the experience should get better for every new purchase your customer makes.

Aside from making your customer loyalty program available on desktop, let your customers easily engage with it via their mobile devices with an app as 48% of customer members would love to do so on their smartphone or tablet computers.

Use social media as an additional channel for shopping

With the popularity of social media these days, it is possible that new products can be discovered on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. And since it’s not always your ecommerce site that your customers interact with first, make your store available on social media.

Facebook’s Shop Section is an example of extending your digital storefront on social media. By using this Facebook feature, you can sell products straight on your Facebook page and link your customers to your online store once they are ready to checkout.

Using Facebook dynamic product ads, Facebook canvas ads, Instagram ads, and Buyable Pins on Pinterest all with a link to your ecommerce site can bring definitely bring more traffic to your store. And even if you are simply posting on your social media accounts, make it a habit to have links to the specific product pages you are talking about.

Have your blog regularly updated too with links to your product pages included in your articles. The information you publish on your blog also plays a role too in your shoppers’ decision-making processes.

Boost your average order sizes through upselling

Upselling is encouraging your customers to spend more money than what they initially planned to by recommending products that cost more or by offering upgrades.

Upselling is proven to be 20 times more effective than other marketing methods. It results in higher regular order totals and exposes your higher margin products, which significantly boosts revenues all in all.

When done right, upselling can enhance customer satisfaction as you are able to help them find the product best suited to their needs. It can also boost customer lifetime value aside from just average order sizes.

One way to upsell is to show options similar to the product your customer is interested in, but cost more. You can tag these more expensive options as ‘People Also Liked’ or ‘Customers Who Viewed this Product Also Viewed’.

upselling tactic

Another way to upsell is through upgrades and Apple does this manner of upselling quite conveniently.

upselling strategy

Achieve the same goal through cross-selling

Cross-selling is similar to upselling, except that it encourages customers to buy more products not related to the item they are interested in.

Items for cross-selling are often displayed too as recommended products bought by other customers who purchased the same item. It works for complementary products like a pair of shoes and a pair of socks or a camera and a camera bag.

Aside from significantly increasing conversion rates, cross-selling builds customer equity. It can help enhance customer loyalty and even deepen dependence to your business.

Try cross-selling by bundling complementary products in saver packs. By offering multiple complementary products at lower rates, you can boost the amount of money spent on what initially is just one order. Another practical way of cross-selling is giving your customers freedom on what they want to bundle up together.

A “You May Also Like” or “Customers who bought this also bought…” segment on your product pages is a great way of cross-selling too. Check out how Sephora does this elegantly on their product pages.

cross-sell strategy

Consider down-selling as well

Everyone may be more familiar with upselling and cross-selling, but there is a relatively unknown technique called down-selling that does the same effects for your online conversion rate.

Down-selling is making a one-time offer of a product that costs less than what a customer initially considers. This technique works because it allows you to access more customers with varying purchase powers. Although it is true that more expensive items will earn you more profit margins, down-selling allows you to still make a sale even if your customers cannot buy the item at the price you want them to.

Down-selling also makes you more sympathetic to your customers’ current buying circumstances and a fantastic way to build loyalty too.

To down-sell effectively, make your offer only after you are certain that your customer isn’t going to purchase the product they are initially eyeing on. Offering it too early may confuse your customers and cause them to decline both options.

Down-selling is commonly practiced in the form of price markdowns and discounts on select items. If you notice that your sales are dropping because not a lot of people can afford certain products in your store, down-sell those particular items with a discount instead of slashing prices on everything all at once.

Check out how Zalora introduces down-sell items as fashionable as they always have. Discounts are applicable on select items only.

down-selling through discounts

Bonus: Another way to boost average order sizes is to offer unconditional free shipping to your customers. Purchases with unconditional free shipping average around 30% higher in value.

With unconditional free shipping, there is a bigger chance that people will put more products to their carts, helping you increase your profits and conversions in the process.


Now that you know how to effectively boost your conversion rate, it’s now important to ask – what’s a good rate to aim for? A rate worth aiming for is anything better than what you currently have right now.

While there is no harm in referencing the conversion success of ecommerce giants like Amazon, Target and Macy’s, the only benchmark you should be basing your conversion rate from is your own. It is, after all, the only one you have 100% control over.

Remember that context matters too when effectively increasing conversions. The rate of an ecommerce store selling 50-dollar items is vastly different from another site selling 10,000-dollar jewelry items.

Values and percentages may be high, but it does not mean the site with bigger revenues and conversion rates are doing things way better than the other one. Businesses are unique and you have different marketing strategies and traffic sources to begin with.

After implementing these 11 ways to increase your conversion rates and knowing how to calculate ecommerce conversion rate, track performance afterwards. Aside from focusing on increasing your sales, equally prioritize your other key performance indicators like customers registering an account with you, signing up for your newsletter, downloading your mobile store app, or spending a certain length of time browsing your site or reading your articles on your blog.

Is there anything else you are doing aside from the 11 ways we discussed here? Share them with us and let’s try it out.

About the Author

John Komarek is the founder of Pixelter. He helped over 63 e-commerce businesses boost their mobile sales by up to 183.5%. He uses advanced UX research, A/B testing, and AI-driven personalization to deliver the results. Learn more about how he can help you grow your sales.

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