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8 Tips for Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

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In ecommerce, small changes can have a significant impact on revenue. You should constantly test and optimize your website to make it more conversion friendly. Many factors contribute to a website's conversion rate, so it's important to tweak, analyze, and then iterate website elements extensively. This process is known as conversion rate optimization, or CRO for short.

Understanding Ecommerce CRO

The goal of ecommerce CRO is to increase revenue per session. This can be done by increasing the average order value (AOV) and/or increasing the conversion rate. Conversion rate is the number of visits to the site divided by the number of conversions. In Ecommerce, a conversion is a purchase. Because of the large revenue impact CRO can have, many businesses hire a CRO consultant or CRO agency to strategize and implement changes on their behalf.

According to Oberlo, the average conversion rate for ecommerce businesses is 1.78%. With less than 2% of all website visitors becoming customers, it's easy to see the importance of ecommerce conversion rate optimization.

We've put together a list of 8 essential tips to help you improve the conversion rate of your ecommerce business. 

1. Make Your Menu Simple and Valuable

Woman viewing the collections page of an ecommerce site

The first step in any ecommerce CRO strategy is to streamline your website's navigation. Cluttered or confusing menus can quickly turn away potential customers. So, it's important to keep things as simple and intuitive as possible. If you have pages on your website that aren't receiving much traffic, remove them from the menu entirely. With fewer options visitors have to choose from, the more likely they will take the desired action.

2. Use Social Proof

Once the website's navigation is streamlined, make sure to display success stories. An effective way to increase conversions is to use social proof. Testimonials from satisfied customers, client logos, or the number of people who have used or purchased your product are all strong examples of social proof that can help your CRO. Today, 61% of customers read online reviews before purchasing, making them crucial to any conversion rate optimization strategy. By showing potential customers that others have had success with your brand and product, you’ll increase the likelihood that they'll take the plunge and convert.

3. Lead with Accomplishments, Awards, and PR

Screenshot of NPDigital's website with awards logos

If your business has won any awards or been featured in the press, showcase this prominently on the website. These social signals can serve as powerful forms of validation for potential customers on the fence about converting. In addition to increasing confidence in your brand, featuring awards and press mentions also helps improve your website's search engine optimization (SEO).

4. Optimize Product Pages

The next ecommerce CRO strategy to focus on is individual product pages. Make sure that product images are high-quality and easy to scroll through. Product titles, descriptions, and pricing should be clear and concise. And most importantly, include prominent add-to-cart and buy-now buttons in an eye-catching color.

Testimonials and cross-selling are powerful tools to increase conversion rates on product pages. While testimonials help build trust with potential customers, cross-selling can help boost revenue by providing additional information about complementary products.

Product pages should constantly be A/B tested to see what language, colors, and images work best for your audience.

5. Trust Badges

It’s essential for you to gain user trust if you want them to purchase. You’re asking users to buy a new product on a site they’re unfamiliar with. One simple way to accomplish this is to add trust badges to your website. These badges, such as "Verified by Visa" or "Secure Checkout," let visitors know their personal and financial information is safe. Trust badges around fast shipping, free returns, and customer support can also be effective in increasing confidence and conversion rates. In addition to increasing conversions, trust badges can help reduce shopping cart abandonment.

6. Live Chat

Woman on live chat using her laptop

Another way to increase customer confidence and reduce shopping cart abandonment is to offer live chat support. This allows potential customers to ask questions and get answers in real time, which can help ease any worries about making a purchase. Nearly three out of five consumers report that good customer service is necessary for loyalty toward a brand, making quick support tools necessary. In addition, live chat enables your team to upsell, cross-sell, and make recommendations.

7. Free Shipping

Studies by sources like Shopify and McKinsey state that free shipping is a leading reason customers convert when shopping online. Offering free shipping, even with a minimum purchase amount, can be a great way to increase conversion rates. According to a 2021 Consumer Trends Report, 80% of consumers expect free shipping when ordering a certain dollar amount of products, and 66% expect free shipping for all online orders. By offering free shipping, you can stay competitive with other ecommerce businesses and increase conversion rates simultaneously.

8. Minimize the Steps to Checkout

The final step in your ecommerce CRO strategy is to minimize steps to checkout. The fewer steps a customer takes, the less likely they’ll abandon their purchase. Include links to the most shopped collections and best-selling products on the homepage. Change the cart to a slide out cart. Remove order notes and checkboxes for accepting terms and conditions before checking out. To minimize these steps, include essential information on the product page, such as shipping information, payment options, and return policy. Provide clear and concise instructions for checkout and make sure that all links work properly. 

By following these 8 tips, you can improve your ecommerce website's conversion rate and start driving more sales. Implementing a solid CRO strategy is essential for any ecommerce business that wants to succeed online.

Alex Golick
CRO Specialist
Former Company
Current Company
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Alex Golick
CRO Specialist
Former company
About Author
Alex Golick is a seasoned ecommerce CRO specialist who has worked with 100s of brands. He’s the founder of Intensify, an ecommerce-focused growth marketing agency.
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