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10 Tips to Increase the Conversion Rate of Your Online Store
Posted Sep 12, 2016 by Jana Podpleská, MonkeyData

10 Tips to Increase the Conversion Rate of Your Online Store

Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action. If 100 people visit your store and 5 of them purchase something, your conversion rate is 5%. The reason why you should care about increasing your conversion rate is so you can generate more sales from the same amount of traffic.

Conversion Rate = Number of Sales / Number of Visits

To explore your conversion rate you should first establish how you want your website’s visitors to convert.

Conversion rate is mostly seen as a ratio of orders to visits, but you can set up other particular goals such as acquiring new customers, registrations, subscribers, etc. You can measure different metrics and use different tricks and tools for their optimization. The main objective is to turn passive browsers into valuable conversions.

Conversion rate is also used as a KPI to review the effectiveness of e-commerce websites, so CRO (conversion rate optimization) is a very valuable activity. Unfortunately, it is not only about following guidelines or best practices. You probably build your brand (or business) as a unique piece of the e-сommerce universe and keep a unique approach in everything you do. CRO is no exception.

Technical skills for optimization go hand in hand with other factors, but marketing strategy is most important.

The first step is the correct segmentation of your audience. CRO is useless if the people you are targeting don’t fit for your business. Focus on customers who will love your product and join you in spreading the word. It’s also much more cost-effective to convert a higher percentage of the visitors you already have than to attract new ones.

If you have an e-store, it’s always better to segment your existing customers into separate groups based on customers’ interests and preferences, so whenever you launch a new product you can easily find your target audience.

Another biggest thing that will set you apart from your competitors is your content and design. Make both beautiful and functional and apply them in your chosen channels. How to define these channels? Think about your customer behavior step by step. How do they find you and what actions do you want them to take?

The 4 main checkpoints on visitors’ journeys through your website

Try to implement conversion rate optimization according to your desired action and watch positive results roll in.

  1. Expose yourself. It is naive to think that your website will automatically be at the top of Google search results. Don’t hide — use banners, improve your search engine optimization and mention your business name in referrals so that your prospects are able to find you.
  1. Stay in touch. Create blog and social media posts, film videos. Send emails to your users. Always be thinking of new ways to talk to your community. Share… if you have something interesting to say. Distribute content based on which customers will find it interesting. Create content in a way that visitors can clearly understand what action they should take afterward. Each channel is best for a different purpose but all of them can benefit your business.
  1. Help. Make everything on your website so easy that even a kid could do it. Everybody likes simple things. If they have difficulties finding what they want or are unable to complete purchases, they will leave. It’s even worse if they don’t understand your call to action. Use microcopy to help improve conversions.
  1. Pamper them. After they make a purchase, maintain the relationship with them. Make them feel important. Send them “happy birthday” emails or offer coupons as a reward for being a registered customer for six months. Try to get good references from them after they shop so that they bring you more customers.

High traffic alone is not enough

Every click matters to keep your visitors’ attention. The main point of conversion rate optimization is to increase the quality of your traffic, not the quantity.

To lead people to your site you probably have several marketing promotions going on across multiple channels. Besides free social media campaigns, you may use pay-per-click (PPC) to drive visitors to a landing page where you most likely intend to convert them to potential customers.

To manage your sources effectively you need to be able to look at the cost and profit generated by each source. The total cost of generating traffic divided by the total number of conversions is called cost per conversion. Do not confuse the CPC with PPC. :)

Most channels have their own statistics, but wouldn’t it be fantastic to keep them all in one place, even in your mobile?

10 tips how to change details to upgrade your store

What really earns you money is the conversion rate optimization of your website. Use it wisely and try to improve its performance as much as possible. This costs you no money — just your creativity and time. There are many elements that can be dedicated to different kinds of visitors depending on their buying process stage.

Let’s go through the most important pages that help to increase conversion rates!

1. Make a good impression with your landing page

A landing page is a specific site with limited options for your visitors and a direct pathway to the conversion goal. Boost your e-commerce business and optimize your landing page either to click through to another page, generate leads or create relationships with your customers.

If you use banners to attract visitors, keep the same visual design from banner to landing page to keep the journey from the banner to your website consistent.

A common mistake is when your landing page offers a shopping cart or registration form immediately. Instead, link your visitors to a specific product to “warm up” a little bit and make them feel more comfortable before trying to convince them to make a purchase. Introduce your product with a beautiful picture and unique copy that will help you appear professional.

Here is some inspiration for great landing pages.

2. Sell the product as the philosophy

Make your customers interested not only in your products but also in YOU — the seller. People are likely to make a purchase or engage with a brand if they know who they are buying from. You have your own identity and that’s a big advantage that you don’t pay for. Don’t hesitate to show your photo or share some personal activities on your social networks.

Write about your interests, news from your field or give advice on how to customers can choose the best product according to their needs. Write a blog post with valuable content for which your audience will be willing to exchange for their email address. Send them direct messages relevant to their interests. It’s true — 79% will not read the message, but 16% read everything and  this 16% is your main target group.

3. Keep categories simple

Though you may have a lot of products for different purposes, try to keep navigation quick and simple with precise labels. The longer visitors look for something, the less patient they are.

If you have many ideas how to vary your products, make a special edition and offer them occasionally. Not only this prevents your product from getting lost and going unacknowledged but it also adds extra exclusivity to it. Your shop is your business, not a gallery. According to the research, people don’t want to be overwhelmed by products. When it comes to complex consumer behavior, simplicity sells. Keep this rule also for your website and communication.

AngelFlorist selling flowers and accessories online solved the navigation easily and clearly. In the line offer, you can choose the category according to the main purpose why you want to buy flowers. The vertical panel offers a simple list of detailed items.


4. Be outstanding — the one and only

Give your unique product a unique name. If you create lavender pillows (and you are probably not the only one) make it different for your brand. You can call it something like “Herbal Meadow — sleeping cushions” this implies your product’s purpose. Promote its features in a detailed description. Mention the materials and hand-planted herbs used to increase interest. You may have the best product ever, but that doesn’t mean anything unless you can prove it to your customers.

a girl holding a decorated skull

5. Make your product come alive with excellent pictures

If you dare, make your own original photos but remember to maintain high quality. Use images to demonstrate what the product really looks like. Zoom pictures in detail so customers have no doubts about the quality — this will increase your credibility. Take the photo with individual accessories also found in your store and recommend them. Inspire your audience and show situations, even absurd ones, where the product may be used. The power of images in terms of conversion rate optimization is a specific chapter worth studying.

6. Be helpful, give advice

If possible, use live chat and be online for your customers. They will value your presence in case they need advice or some additional explanation. To avoid these situations, write supplementary descriptions of the product, shipping and payment methods.

7. Offer more payment methods

Not all customers are comfortable using credit cards. Let them pay via alternative methods. These options may vary according to website provider or country. Do research on which payment methods your prospects prefer. Some may also need to print out an invoice or at least save the shopping cart items.

8. Set return policies clearly

Reassure your customers with a clear product return policy. Write it clearly so that there are no misunderstandings between you and your customer.

Go through your store and the whole buying process. Pay attention to whether you feel comfortable and also note elements which could be improved. Apply your own experience and make your store a trustworthy, friendly and unique place to which your customers like to revisit.

9. Shorten the number of days to conversion

Offer coupons or give discounts with expiry dates. If people know they have a chance to save money this week only, they are more likely to purchase than if they have a coupon which expires in six months. This comes from their natural  fear of missing out on deal. You can easily check out if these special offers work and if their popularity differs among different customer groups.

10. Provide excellent service to your customers

Including the points from above, keep in mind that each customer is special. You need to make them feel special. Take care of them, try to track what they purchased and offer them relevant products at the right time. If your customer returns to buy something your conversion rate grows by 100%.

Find out how many people bought specific products and convince others to buy them as well. After one purchase a customer has a 27% chance of returning to your store. Take a look at a few tips on attracting current customers to repeated shopping as I mentioned in previous article.

repeated customers stats

The final, but the most important stage of applying conversion rate optimization is analyzing the results of each source and action. This might be difficult unless you have some smart analytics tool that helps you with that. If you set up a marketing strategy and just wait for results, you can wait forever.

You should consistently check how your prospects or customers behave if they are acting as you’d like or if you should change something. Finding the best way to optimize your conversion rate may take time. Don’t miss your opportunity and take a shortcut using an easy analytics app that is available for everyone.

About the author
Jana is MonkeyData’s Content Specialist. She is fascinated by the growing independence of small retailers and an avid proponent of an e-commerce (r)evolution. Outside of work, she loves knitting and you can often find her in the mountains or traveling around Europe.