Conversion rate optimization for eCommerce – 14 tips on how to increase your conversion rate

Every company wants to have a well-visited website. However, high traffic alone is not a meaningful indication of the success of a website or online store. The challenge is to convince website visitors of one’s own offer and thus generate new customers. The conversion rate provides information about how well this works on your own website. 

In this comprehensive article, we would like to show you how you can improve the conversion of your online store with easy-to-implement measures and sustainably increase your conversion rate.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

But first: what is Conversion Rate Optimization? What is meant by a “conversion”?

Anyone who wants to go online with their own website should first define a clear goal of what they want to achieve with an online presence.

Most of the time, these goals are of a business nature. After all, the ultimate goal is almost always to increase the company’s sales and profits.

A prospective customer does not necessarily have to buy a product from your store directly. Conversion also occurs when a customer voluntarily registers on your website or subscribes to your newsletter. In this way, they do not directly perform a sales-promoting action for you, but by voluntarily handing over their contact data, they at least express a basic interest in your offer. In the course of time, they may well be converted into a paying customer.

The following conversion targets are therefore conceivable:

  • contact form submits
  • newsletter registrations
  • add products to a wishlist
  • accounts registrations
  • adding product reviews

The goal of conversion rate optimization

However, many website visitors leave a page again without leaving their contact details. There can be various reasons for this. Maybe they simply didn’t find what they were looking for. Maybe there were technical problems or other stumbling blocks that led to an abandonment.

Conversion rate optimization is about finding and improving such weak points on a website or in an online store. This way, more visitors are converted into leads and customers, which ultimately results in more sales.

The advantages of conversion rate optimization are therefore obvious.

Reasons for missing conversions

E-commerce conversion rate monitoring with Convertmind

There are many reasons for a poor conversion rate. In an online store, we usually identify the following weak points:

  • Poorly structured online shop
  • Unclear navigation
  • Technical problems
  • Slow pages, mainly checkout and cart
  • Trust signals are missing
  • Poor usability/user experience
  • Cumbersome navigation on mobile devices
  • Complicated order process
  • Too few payment options
  • Poor content
  • Deterrent design

Nuff said.. just give me the tips

Alright already. Here are the tips to improve your conversion rate on your eCommerce site.

First impressions count

Your site should be easy to find on the web. When customers visit your store for the first time, the first impression counts. As a store owner, your top priority should be to appear trustworthy and reputable. A professional presentation and preparation of your website is the first step. The web store is the linchpin of your core business. The products on the site should be assigned to their respective category so that the visitor can immediately find his way around. Both the website and the design can be created by an external service provider. When doing so, make sure that the design is customized and appropriate for the store and invites the visitor to make a purchase.

From cart to wishlist

Once the goods are in the shopping cart, it’s time for the decisive phase, because the checkout process acts as a key element of the entire store. Many online store operators know only too well: the shopping cart is increasingly taking on the role of a general notepad. The potential buyer usually decides at the last second not to complete the purchase.

Therefore, as an online store operator, you should integrate an additional watch list for your products on the site. The advantage is that you can analyze the process between shopping cart and purchase and optimize it if necessary.

Optimize the order process

The ordering process in the store should be as simple and clear as possible for the customer. The customer must be able to ascertain at any time where he is in the ordering process. A clear status display allows the customer to check the individual steps.

10 additional bonus tips for optimizing the checkout process

  1. Demonstrate security: Highlight security elements for data protection (e.g., through SSL certificates) to increase trust in the store.
  2. Share feedback: Linking positive customer reviews and customer feedback on the home page is considered an authentic advertising tool.
  3. Boost trust: Well-positioned trust elements such as seals of approval, and brand logos from reputable cooperation partners create additional trust. These are best placed near the shopping cart, in the header and footer, where they are easily visible to the customer.
  4. Underline control: A step-back button suggests to the customer that they are in control throughout the checkout process.
  5. Delay purchase abandonment: If the customer abandons the ordering process midway, offer the option to request an email with their current cart balance after the fact. This way, the customer is kindly reminded that there are still items in their cart, giving them the opportunity to complete the purchase later.
  6. Create reminders: With thumbnails of the selected products, visual incentives are created in the reminder email so that the customer is reminded of what they originally wanted to purchase.
  7. Enable guest status: Many users don’t want to set up a customer account the first time they place an order. A guest account is a smart interim solution to prevent purchase cancellations.
  8. Shorten the process: Every additional click in the checkout process contributes to the fact that the customer considers the ordering process to be complex. The checkout process should therefore be kept as short as possible. The fewer steps the customer has to take, the higher the probability of a successful purchase.
  9. Enable autofill: By implementing auto-complete tools, the checkout process is further accelerated. The customer is assisted in filling in the name and address fields by the auto-complete and autofill functionality of the browser used.
  10. Facilitate purchase continuation: If the customer has already entered some personal details, these should be saved temporarily. This ensures that the information is not lost if the customer interrupts the process. This means that they can seamlessly re-enter and complete the checkout process at a later point in time.

Free shipping often increases your conversion rate

High shipping costs are real conversion killers.

57% of consumers even expect a free shipping option in the checkout.

New online stores in particular often shy away from offering free shipping for cost reasons. However, since many other online stores have recognized that free shipping is an important part of conversion rate optimization, consumers will always opt for the store where they save on shipping costs when in doubt.

It is advisable to offer free shipping above a certain minimum order value. This way, you can not only increase your conversion rate, but usually benefit from customers adding another product to their shopping cart. For example, 73% of online shoppers say they have already made more purchases than planned in order to reach a minimum order value for free shipping.

For example, if you offer free shipping from a minimum order value of €30 and the total value of the customer’s shopping cart is €27, they will most likely opt for another product from your store to reach the minimum order value of €30.

Don’t let people wait for their products. Keep delivery times low.

High shipping times are absolute no-go’s. Most of us are used to waiting no longer than 3 business days for a product ordered online – maximum – due to large providers like Amazon.

We all do it.. If I want a certain product as soon as possible, I always choose Amazon because I know I will receive the product 1-2 business days later. Even if the product costs 1-2 more at Amazon than at another provider, where I would have to wait longer for delivery. If you want to increase your conversion rate, you should keep the shipping time as low as possible.

Offer a variety of payment options to your customers

Store operators underestimate the high number of abandoned purchases that result from a potential customer simply not finding his or her desired payment method in a store. A lack of payment options is actually one of the most common reasons for abandoning a purchase. Therefore, offer your users a variety of payment options – the most popular payment methods include:

  • Credit card
  • PayPal
  • Purchase on account
  • Instant bank transfer
  • IDeal

Prepayment and the option of payment after delivery like Klarna for expensive products are also decisive for many customers.

It is also advisable to display the payment options offered in your store clearly visible on your website in the form of icons of the respective payment service providers.

Searchers tend to convert higher than non-searchers

Screenshot from site search conversion rate audit (Convertmind)

Something we always see at Convertmind: customers who used the search functionality convert more than customers who didn’t. 

Many users find it annoying when they can’t find a certain product right away and leave the website in frustration to look around at the competition. Therefore, ensure that your online store has a user-friendly search function that also allows customers to filter by specific criteria. Search functions in online stores are often gratefully accepted and used by many – myself included. Therefore, test the search function of your online store extensively and also ask friends and acquaintances to assess whether they find the search function helpful in finding certain products more quickly. A well-functioning search function is one of the most important elements if you want to increase your conversion rate.

Appealing product texts and product images can improve the conversion of your online store

A good product text is worth cash and can significantly increase the conversion rate – well-optimized product descriptions can even increase the conversion rate and sales by 100%!

In a store, it is usually the salesperson who answers the customer’s questions and explains the advantages of a product. In an online store, it is usually the product text that takes over this function and thus makes a decisive contribution to the success or failure of a business. As a store operator, you should therefore pay particular attention to your product texts if you want to increase your conversion rate.

Ensure a user-friendly design and clear structures

Internet users decide within a few seconds whether it is worthwhile for them to stay on a website or an online store or whether they would rather take a look at the competitor’s offer. The design of a site arouses emotions and influences decisions. If the design and the resulting user-friendliness do not meet the demands and expectations of the visitor, then he will not make a purchase. A contemporary and clear design with a consistent color scheme is a must-have for any online store that wants to improve its conversion rate.

Reduce high purchase abandonment rates with simple and fast checkout processes.

Every additional click until the completion of the buying process increases the abandonment rate. So, if you want to increase your conversion rate, you should reduce the steps a buyer has to go through before it comes to the final purchase of your product. For example, you can decide whether users can purchase a product through a shopping cart or a buy-it-now functionality.

Also, throughout the checkout process, you should reduce the clicks needed to finalize the purchase as much as possible to improve the conversion of your online store.

Don’t ask for unnecessary data during registration if you want to improve your conversion rate

Nowadays, users are particularly sensitive when it comes to disclosing personal data. The more they have to reveal about themselves, the more likely they are to decide to abandon a purchase. So only ask for the data that is really needed to buy your products. For example, ask yourself if you really need your customers’ phone number, or if they can ask for it later. Alternatively, you can let your users decide for themselves which data they want to disclose, for example by leaving fields with rather unimportant data optional.

Modern e-commerce sites are secure, fast & reliable

Graph from the Convertmind Core Web Vitals monitoring

Imagine standing at the checkout in a retail store and whispering all your sensitive data like bank details, PIN, address etc. to the saleswoman and there is someone standing next to you listening with pricked ears. That wouldn’t be so great, would it?

But if your online store doesn’t have SSL encryption, then your customers are taking exactly that risk. Because when a person visits a website, their computer communicates with the web server that hosts the website. The computer sends a request, the server sends a response. All the data that is sent back and forth in the process is usually not protected, so that someone who gets in the way can read everything. And especially in online stores, a lot of personal data, including sensitive payment data, is transmitted that is nobody’s business.

Only SSL encryption ensures that communication between computer and server is encrypted. Therefore, it should be a matter of course for every store operator to use SSL in his online store. You can recognize SSL by the fact that there is an “https” in front of your web address in the browser.

The way to your own SSL certificate always leads through your web hoster, because only he can install the certificate on your server.

Use call-to-actions cleverly to increase the conversion rate

Call-to-actions are buttons that are designed to encourage users to take action. The power behind call-to-actions is now widely known, which is why we frequently encounter buttons with specific calls to action, especially on modern websites. A button that says “Contact us now” has been proven to bring more conversions than a button that simply says “Contact us.” Unconsciously, Internet users are more likely to respond to a discreet call-to-action, which is ultimately reflected in a higher conversion rate. Call-to-actions offer users a common thread that they can follow. Call-to-actions are an enormously cost-effective way of taking site visitors by hand and guiding them through your offer in a targeted manner.

Not only the label of the button plays a decisive role, but also the size, color, and position on the website. Even a small change in size or color can have a big impact on the overall conversion rate. A call-to-action should catch a user’s eye immediately, but at the same time not be too intrusive.

In an online store, increased attention should be paid to the “Buy now” button in particular. It should be visible at first glance and be designed in a contrasting color to all other elements because the contrast helps customers to reach their destination more quickly. The “Buy” button can be green if the rest of the corporate colors are yellow-red, for example. Insisting on the corporate identity here often costs companies sales in this case.

With high-contrast and discreetly striking call-to-actions, you can increase your conversion rate, which is why you should definitely take this point to heart in your store optimization.

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Increase conversion rate through fast loading times

Long loading times are a real conversion killer and one of the most common reasons why visitors leave a website prematurely and never come back. Store operators often underestimate how much revenue is lost due to long loading times. It should take no more than two seconds for a website to load completely. 

So if you want to increase your conversion rate, you should take all the necessary measures to reduce page load times. Since more and more users are also browsing online stores via mobile devices, you should also optimize the loading time on mobile devices in particular.

Contact option on every page

Users expect to find all contact details of the merchant or website operator already on the homepage. This provides security and trust. Make your contact details easily accessible to visitors, and it’s best to make sure that they are easily accessible (with just one click) from every page.

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I can imagine that after reading this article you’re excited to start increasing your conversion rate(s). At Convertmind we made this our daily job.

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