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15+ eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices

GemPages Team
Updated:
13 minutes read
15+ eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is such a crucial strategy that every eCommerce business must implement.

With an effective CRO strategy development, your business can achieve a better conversion rate — which eventually helps you to:

  • Reduce your customer acquisition cost
  • Increase your revenue through more sales
  • Increase your profit margin

However, the conversion rate optimization strategy is so broad that it covers several different strategies and best practices within its umbrella.

In this blog post, we’ll share conversion rate optimization best practices that will help you build a great CRO strategy to grow and scale your business faster.

The Basics of Conversion Rate Optimization

What is a Conversion Rate?

In eCommerce, a conversion rate is one of the most popular metrics to analyze the performance of different digital assets such as your website, landing pages, ad creatives, etc.

What we’re covering in this article is the conversion rate of your website/eCommerce store.

A website conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that take a certain action as per your business goal.

Now, this goal could be different from business to business, and thus, the desired action may also vary from case to case. For example, let’s say your goal is to have the website visitors complete a purchase. In this case, the conversion rate would be the percentage of website visitors that complete a purchase.

How to Measure Conversion Rate?

Here’s the formula to measure the website conversion rate:

The formula of website conversion rate with an example

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the master plan that includes various strategies and tactics to increase the conversion rate.

In simple terms, CRO is about implementing strategies and tactics to increase the number of sales against the number of website visitors. This way, you can maximize the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing and advertising campaigns.

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15+ Best Practices for eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization

Whether you’re looking to learn how to build a solid “conversion rate optimization strategy” or enhance your existing strategy, these best practices will help you achieve your goals:

1. Research and Understand Your Buyer Persona

No strategy could work if you offer your product to the wrong customers or to the right customers but in the wrong way. That’s why you must research your customers and have a clear understanding of your buyer persona(s).

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character of your ideal customer describing traits like gender, age, profession, location, income, goals, pain points, etc. 

Understanding your buyer persona will help you in several aspects such as:

  • Designing your store for better conversions
  • Brand positioning and website copy
  • Creating offers that entice the customers to purchase

To create a buyer persona, you can use tools like Semrush. Here’s an example of a buyer persona created with this tool:

A buyer persona example

2. Design High-Converting Store Pages

Every page on your website has opportunities to create an impact that leads to conversions. Optimize your store pages with elements that increase the chances of conversion. Here are some of those elements:

  • Branding elements: Your store’s overall branding elements such as the color scheme and typography can influence customer behavior.
  • Website layout: Aim to provide a great user experience by providing seamless navigation and organized information.
  • Content elements: Create a balance of text and visual content. Images and videos immensely help customers in making the buying decision.
  • Trust Badges: Display badges like safe checkout, 30-day return policy, money-back guarantee, certifications, etc. (As applicable, of course!)

Pro tip: GemPages can help you create an entire Shopify store with a high-converting and visually appealing homepage, collection pages, product pages, and much more. You can also add trust badges and many other marketing elements.

GemPages visual editor with customizable templates

3. Create Dedicated Landing Pages

A landing page is a standalone web page created for specific advertising or marketing purposes. It focuses on a specific goal about a certain product or offer, and thus, it increases the chances of conversion.

GemPages is one of the most popular landing page builders for Shopify. Thousands of merchants use GemPages to create their store and landing pages. For example, Cookie Chips was able to increase the conversion rate of its landing pages by 12% using GemPages.

Landing page of Coockie Chips

“My experience with GemPages has been overwhelmingly positive. The templates are wonderful, the ease of use is phenomenal, the integrations are helpful, and what I must emphasize is the technical support. It’s unbeatable. There’s never anything that cannot be accomplished.”

- Alexander Schwartz, Co-Founder & CEO - Cookie Chips

Landing pages are also great for running A/B tests to experiment with your ad copy or offers. However, we’ll cover more on that later.

4. Build Your Website Conversion Funnel

A website conversion funnel is the strategic design and structure that takes customers through the journey from being a website visitor (or potential customer) to an actual buyer.

Graphical representation of website conversion funnel

Here’s how the website conversion funnel implements different strategies at five different stages of the funnel:

  • Awareness: Raising awareness through search engines, social media, paid ads, or referrals.
  • Interest: Evoking interest in your offerings through your homepage, collection, and product pages.
  • Desire: Taking the initial interest to the next level and making customers desire your product/service through copy, images, social proof, discount offers, etc.
  • Action: Enticing the customer to take action and purchase your product or service.
  • Re-engage: Encouraging the customers to repurchase from your brand (after the completion of the initial purchase) through post-purchase offers.

Learn more: How to Create an eCommerce Website Conversion Funnel

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5. Write Compelling & Conversion-Oriented Copy

Right from a visitor lands on your website till exiting your website — and even beyond that — if there’s anything that can leave a lasting impression on them, it’s your copy.

Here are some of the key elements to write conversion-oriented copy:

  • Speak to your target customers
  • Write catchy and click-worthy headlines
  • Promote benefits over features
  • Help customers visualize using your product
  • Put the key information at the top
  • Action-oriented CTA with urgency and scarcity tactics

Learn more: Transforming Words into Wealth: 10 Copywriting Hacks for the Best Conversion 

6. Optimize Your Website for Mobile

We can’t emphasize this enough. Mobile optimization plays a crucial role in conversions as there’s a major customer base that prefers to buy through their smartphones for convenience.

If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re at risk of losing a major chunk of your potential customers. Here are the things you need to take care of for mobile optimization:

  • Responsive website design suitable for desktop, tablet, and mobile
  • Website content and layout that fits mobile screens
  • CTA buttons designed for smaller screens
  • Faster page load speed

7. Enhance the Checkout Experience

    Checkout is the final stage before the conversion event takes place on your store. Thus, it carries a significant importance in the CRO strategy.

    Here are some of the interesting findings shared by the Baymard Institute that are related to the checkout experience:

    Bar graph showing the reasons for abandonments during checkout

    • 26% of consumers abandoned checkout because the site required them to create an account”.
    • 22% of carts were abandoned because the checkout process was either too long or complicated.
    • 21% of carts were abandoned during the checkout as the customer couldn't see or calculate the total order cost up-front.

    All these findings tell us there’s a huge need to improve the checkout experience. Here are some of the things you must take care of:

    • Be clear and transparent with your customers.
    • Offer customers a “guest checkout” option.
    • Provide them with multiple payment options.
    • Showcase your refund and returns policy in your checkout flow.

    Learn more: How to Customize Your Shopify Checkout Page in Minutes 

    8. Showcase Your Social Proof

      Before buying any product or service, customers want to ensure what they’re going to buy is worth the money and safe to use. Social proof helps them make that decision.

      According to the “State of User-Generated Content” report, 75% of consumers prefer to go through reviews and testimonials before buying something.

      Here are some of the things that can work as social proof:

       

    1. Customer reviews or testimonials
    2. Expert reviews or statements
    3. Press mentions
    4. Awards and recognitions
    5. Business certifications or credentials
    6. Social media appreciation posts
    7.  

      Learn more: Leveraging Social Proof to Skyrocket Conversions: A Deep Dive into Building Trust and Driving Sales

      9. Show Your Product in Action

        How does your product look in real life? Add lifestyle images and videos to show this and it will help your customers visualize them using your product. Ruggable does a great job at this by displaying how its product works:

        Ruggable’s product page

        Use user-generated content (UGC) on your website. Encourage customers to share their pictures with your product with a branded hashtag on social media platforms like Instagram. Then, display the Instagram feed on your website.

        Pro tip: Encourage your existing customers to share photo and video reviews — and highlight them on your website. It will not only work as social proof but also as a great visual to help customers make the buying decision.

        Build high-converting product pages with GemPages
        Quickly create and customize compelling, conversion-optimized product pages to wow visitors and convert them into buyers.

        10. Use Enticing Elements to Drive Action

        Certain elements that show urgency, scarcity, or exciting offers could influence customers to take action, i.e., to purchase your product or service.

        Here are some of these elements that you can use on your website:

        • Countdown timer for a limited-time offer
        • Stock count for items low in stock
        • Free gift on purchase within a certain time

        GemPages has eCommerce and marketing design elements to use for various purposes and strategies:

        GemPages’ eCommerce and marketing elements

        That said, be mindful about using such tactics. Too many of these tactics can annoy your customers and you might lose their trust in your brand.

        11. Run A/B Tests

        For effective decision-making when your conversion rate needs a boost, the A/B test can help you with great insights.

        A/B testing is a technique in which you create two different versions of the same web page (or other digital assets) to measure and compare their performance — and figure out which one works the best for your business goals.

        Graphical example explaining A/B testing

        Among the many other features, GemPages also has the A/B testing feature:

        A/B testing feature on GemPages dashboard

        Learn more: How to Run a Proper Shopify A/B Testing on Your Store? 

        12. Develop a Data-Driven Approach

        Your business decisions and strategies should be mostly driven by data and not assumptions or feelings. Here are some tools that you could use to collect, measure, and analyze the data:

        • Google Analytics 4: A free platform by Google that helps you collect and analyze data of your website and app visitors.
        • Hotjar Heatmaps: A tool that lets you visualize where your website visitors click, scroll, and move to analyze the user behavior patterns and find areas of improvement.
        • GemPages: As we discussed above, GemPages can be used to experiment with different web page designs and analyze the conversions of each one.

        13. Provide Live Chat Support

        Sometimes, customers might get stuck on something before making the purchase. If they have the option to seek assistance and resolve their doubt, it could lead to a conversion event.

        Especially if you’re selling high-ticket items, live chat can help you convert potential leads into your paying customers. According to Kayako, 79% of businesses that offer live chat support observed a positive effect on sales as well as customer loyalty.

        Many brands have started configuring chatbots, which is fine, but keep in mind human support is necessary. If they can’t resolve their query or concern with a chatbot, they should be offered human support.

        Gymshark — one of the popular Shopify-powered brands — is a great example to learn from. 

        Chat support widget on Gymshark’s website

        14. Offer Installment Payment Options

        If you’re selling high-ticket products, offering installment payments is a great way to increase your conversions.

        When customers have the option to pay in installments, the concern of making a huge upfront payment is taken care of, and it makes the purchase affordable to them.

        Here are the payment providers you can use on Shopify to offer installment payments: 

      1. Shop Pay
      2. Afterpay
      3. Klarna
      4. PayPal
      5.  Here’s an example of how OLAPLEX offers Klarna installment payments.

        Klarna installment payment on OLAPEX’s product page

        Learn more: What is Shop Pay? How Does Shop Pay Work?

        15. Offer Personalized Experience

        Customers love personalization in many aspects such as personalized product recommendations, customizable products, personalized offers, personalized communication, and so on.

        According to McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect brands to offer personalized experiences — and 76% of consumers feel frustrated when they aren't offered personalization.

        Curating a personalized experience keeps your customers happy, and as a result, it also helps boost your conversions. 

        16. Optimize Your Site Speed

        Customers don’t like waiting for a long time waiting for your website to lead. Research by Bidnamic shows that a website's conversion rate goes up by 17% for every second it loads faster.

        Bar graph showing the impact of site speed on conversion rates

        Follow the best practices to optimize your store speed, especially for product pages. For example, optimize images and videos, use lazy loading, remove unnecessary apps, and optimize your site’s CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.

        Learn more: How to Improve Shopify Store Speed: 11 Actionable Tips
        10+ Fastest Shopify Themes - Tested | Free and Paid 

        17. Display Clear Store Policies

        When shopping online, customers are usually concerned about the product quality — what if the received product is damaged or something totally different than what they expected?

        Store policies help build the credibility and trustworthiness of your business. And when you have a generous policy, e.g., a 30-day returns policy, customers won’t hesitate to buy from your brand.

        Also, make sure to display these policies at the right places on your website for visibility and quick access. For example, your checkout page should have the link to the refund policy.

        Final Thoughts on Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy

        Apart from using the right strategies, you must ensure you have the right tools or solutions for conversion rate optimization.

        For example, GemPages is one of the best CRO solutions for Shopify stores. Similarly, you can also leverage other tools for live chat, social proof, personalization, and so on.

        Join the GemPages Facebook community to learn from other entrepreneurs and GemPages experts. Build your business along with like-minded people in the community.

        Not ready to commit but still want to kick the tires?
        No problem! Get started with GemPages' free plan. Explore wonderful features that can do wonders for your store.

        FAQs about eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization

        How to optimize your conversion rate?
        Create and implement a robust conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy to increase your conversion rate. Optimize every area of your eCommerce store for conversion with elements like compelling copy, solid design, mobile optimization, social proof, personalization, smooth checkout, live customer support, and so on.
        What are the 6 primary elements of conversion rate optimization?
        Here are the key elements of conversion rate optimization: 1. Researching and understanding your buyer persona 2. Designing high-converting eCommerce store 3. Mobile optimization 4. The data-driven approach in decision making 5. A/B testing and 6. Social proof.
        What is a conversion optimization strategy?
        The conversion optimization strategy is the master plan that includes various strategies and tactics to increase the conversion rate. In simple terms, it’s a strategy to increase the number of sales against the number of website visitors. It helps maximize the ROI of your marketing and advertising campaigns.
        Why is conversion rate a good KPI?
        The conversion rate is a good KPI because it gives you a clear picture of the effectiveness of your eCommerce store and marketing campaigns. It also works as an indicator of any area of improvement in your store or marketing strategies.
        What is the formula for conversion rate?
        The formula for conversion rate is (total number of conversions ÷ total number of website visitors) × 100.
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