Guide: Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Ecommerce is all about converting traffic; it doesn’t matter how many visits you’re getting; if you’re not focussing on converting those visitors, you are losing money.

If you’re getting a good stream of visitors from organic SEO, referrals, paid traffic, social etc… then the real challenge lies in converting those visitors into paying customers. This involves understanding and optimizing your conversion funnel to track conversions across different stages and simplify the conversion process.

This is where Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) comes into play. Selecting the right tools for conversion optimization and understanding user intent behind keywords are crucial steps in this process.

CRO involves making strategic changes to your website to improve the percentage of visitors who complete desired actions, such as purchasing or signing up for a newsletter (which is sometimes more valuable than getting an initial single sale).

This article will explain the basics of CRO and provide actionable tips for optimising your e-commerce site for better conversions.

Understanding Ecommerce Conversion Rates

Conversion rates are the percentage of visitors to your website who complete a desired action.

Common examples include:

  • Online Sales: The most direct measure of success for an e-commerce site.

  • Adding Products to Cart: Indicates interest in purchasing.

  • Wishlist Additions: Shows future purchase intent.

  • Email Sign-Ups: Useful for building a customer base.

  • Social Shares: Expands your brand’s reach.

These actions can be tracked and optimised to improve your site’s conversion rate. CRO focuses on enhancing the user experience to drive these key performance indicators (KPIs). Improving the site’s conversion rate through CRO strategies can address issues like shopping cart abandonment and significantly boost revenue, as seen in successful case studies.

How to Calculate Conversion Rate

Calculating your conversion rate is straightforward:

Conversion Rate (%) = (Number of Conversions divided by Total Visitors) multiplied by 100

For instance, if your website had 1,000 visitors and 50 made a purchase, your conversion rate would be:

(50 / 1000) × 100 = 5 (%)

Tools like Google Analytics can automate this process, allowing you to track and analyse various conversion activities easily. These tools are essential for conversion optimization, helping you understand the user intent behind keywords and improving the website experience.

Additionally, the conversion rate optimization process involves multiple steps to improve conversion rates, and various frameworks can guide you through this process.

The Importance of AI in CRO

By 2025, approximately 30% of companies are expected to leverage AI to enhance their testing processes, up from 5% in 2021. AI can transform CRO by quickly generating testing ideas and summarising survey results, allowing for more efficient and effective optimisation. AI can be used for conversion optimization by quickly generating testing ideas and summarizing survey results.

Implementing Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies

1. Create Text-Based CTAs in Blog Posts

Text-based CTAs integrated within a blog post web page can boost conversion rates by as much as 121%. Unlike banners, which can be ignored (banner blindness), text CTAs blend seamlessly with content, offering a clean, reader-centric experience.

Here’s an example of a text-based CTA:

…so you’ve seen just how amazing it can be to have a professional e-commerce accountant on board with your e-commerce business, you can see the value it brings…

Utilising simple, text-based links to product pages makes it look like you’re not trying to sell, but to be helpful. People are more likely to click a simple text link with no visible offer (that looks to be forcing them to click) than a text link as they feel they are still making the decision to click it rather than being forced to. This approach aligns with conversion optimization by improving user experience and increasing conversions.

2. Optimise Website Copy

Your website copy should be clear, concise, and persuasive. Focus on two key areas:

  • Headlines: These are the first things visitors see and should immediately communicate value.

  • Body Text: Should provide detailed information that educates and convinces visitors to take action.

Optimizing landing pages is crucial for conversion rate optimization. Creating optimized copy that’s not pushy or fake makes the visitor trust you and the product you are talking about. If they can get some real value from the information you give, then you are more likely they will purchase, or, at the least, sign up to get some information from you that will allow you to market to them. This is the route a lot of high turnover ecommerce websites go; they aim not to sell, but to get an email address as they know that it’s more valuable to them and they can continue to market other products for more conversions, rather than just getting one sale.

Optimizing website copy is a crucial part of conversion optimization, as it directly impacts the effectiveness of your landing pages.

3. Conduct User Research

Understanding how users interact with your website is crucial. Use heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys to gather qualitative and quantitative data. This will help you identify areas of improvement and implement targeted strategies. User research is essential for effective conversion optimization.

This data can be used to decide what split tests you want to run, i.e. if you see a lack of people clicking on your main purchase button, then you might need to move it or make it more visible – you can then split test this to find out the best placement, text, colours etc…

Run A/B Tests to Optimize the Conversion Funnel

Split testing involves comparing two webpage versions to see which one performs better. This can help you determine the most effective headlines, images, CTAs, and other elements. A/B testing is a critical part of conversion optimization.

The process would be:
Take page to test and duplicate it to create a new page with a difference. I.e. change where you add to cart button is shown.

Test those pages with 50% of visitors seeing each version.

Track the number of conversions on each page – the highest converting page wins.

Now, take that optimised page and change something else. Split test again and see which wins. You can keep this process going until you eventually have the highest-converting page.

5. Add Live Chat and Chatbots

Implementing live chat or chatbots on high-performing pages (e.g., pricing or product pages) can enhance user experience for your target audience by providing real-time assistance, potentially increasing conversions. Live chat and chatbots can also be used for conversion optimization by offering immediate support and guiding users through the purchasing process.

Customers can ask instant questions about the product they’re looking at, allowing you to answer their queries and potentially offer a personal discount to get them to purchase – this is one area where Ai can assist, and a well-set-up chatbot can sound human-like and offer this service day and night.

6. Use Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials can significantly influence potential buyers. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and feature them prominently on your site. Including these reviews is crucial for conversion optimization as they build trust and increase conversions.

One of the biggest conversion assistants is user-generated video reviews, and the second is image reviews. These kinds of reviews can be used in social media promotion and go a lot further than text-based reviews.

7. Optimise Design and Copy Together

Effective CRO requires that your landing page design and copy work harmoniously. The design should highlight the copy, making it easy for visitors to find and understand your value proposition. Optimizing design and copy together is crucial for conversion optimization.

Although the product, reviews, brand proposition and pricing all play a part, if your product images, copy and design are poor then this will have a large negative impact on conversions.

8. Utilise Exit Pop-Ups

Exit pop-ups can reduce cart abandonment rates by engaging website visitors with attractive discounts or incentives before they leave your site without making a purchase. They can be a powerful tool for conversion optimization by effectively reducing cart abandonment rates.

It’s kind of a last-ditch attempt to keep the visitor before they’re gone forever.

You have two choices, whether you offer a good discount that is only aimed to get the sale, i.e. you give an instant discount without the visitor having to do anything to get it.

Or, you could offer a much better-looking offer but only if the visitor leaves an email address or mobile number to receive it.

Sometimes getting contact details and a bigger offer work better, as long as it’s in line with excellent email follow-up strategies.

9. Add Social Proof and Trust Signals

Include social proof such as customer reviews, ratings, and trust badges to build credibility and trust with your visitors.

As above, you can also add awards you’ve been nominated for or won. Have you been featured or mentioned in any magazines or newspapers? Link to all these and feature them on your website for a book in credibility – don’t be afraid to shout about your achievements. Social proof and trust signals are important for conversion optimization.

Conclusion

Conversion Rate Optimisation is a crucial strategy for any eCommerce business looking to improve its sales and user experience. By understanding your audience, conducting thorough research, and implementing targeted CRO strategies, you can significantly increase your conversion rates and drive business growth. Remember, the key to successful CRO lies in continuous testing, learning, and optimizing. Continuous testing and learning are essential for effective conversion optimization.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I improve my eCommerce website?

Focus on user experience, optimize for mobile devices, and ensure your site loads quickly. Use CRO strategies like A/B testing, improving website copy, and leveraging customer feedback.

Is SEO worth it for eCommerce?

Absolutely. SEO helps drive organic traffic to your site, which is crucial for long-term growth and reducing customer acquisition costs.

What is the best SEO for eCommerce?

Effective eCommerce SEO involves keyword research, optimizing product pages, improving site structure, and ensuring mobile-friendliness.

How can you improve conversion rate?

Conduct thorough user research, use A/B testing, improve website copy, enhance page load speed, and use social proof. Improving the site’s conversion rate can address issues like shopping cart abandonment.

What should be the ideal conversion rate?

This varies by industry, but a good eCommerce conversion rate typically ranges between 2-5%.

How do I create my own eCommerce website?

Choose a platform (e.g., Shopify, WooCommerce), design your site, add products, set up payment gateways, and launch.

How much does an eCommerce website cost?

Costs vary widely based on features and complexity, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand pounds.

What is ecommerce Optimisation?

Ecommerce optimisation involves improving various aspects of your site to enhance user experience and increase conversions.

What is a good conversion rate for eCommerce?

A good conversion rate is generally around 2-5%, but this can vary based on industry and target market.

How do I optimize my online store?

Focus on site speed, mobile optimization, user-friendly design, clear CTAs, and personalized customer experiences.

What is the conversion rate for ecommerce in the UK?

The average conversion rate for eCommerce in the UK hovers around 2-3%, though this can vary by sector.

What is meant by conversion rate optimization?

CRO involves improving your website to increase the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action.

What are the 6 primary elements of conversion rate optimization?

  1. User Research

  2. A/B Testing

  3. Website Copy

  4. Design and Layout

  5. Social Proof

  6. Analytics and Tracking

Is conversion rate optimization worth it?

Yes, it can significantly improve your return on investment (ROI) by making the most of your existing traffic.

How can you improve conversion rates?

Through user research, A/B testing, optimizing website copy, improving site speed, and using social proof.

What is the difference between conversion rate optimization and SEO?

SEO focuses on driving traffic to your site, while CRO focuses on converting that traffic into customers.

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