If sales have plateaued in your eCommerce store recently you’d be forgiven for asking “where can I find more traffic?” The answer may partly lie in generating more traffic but in our experience it’s rarely the only option for bringing more orders in. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) can bring far greater results in less time and usually for less investment. Here are a six simple tips to help your online store achieve a better conversion rate.

1. Give your customers reasons to trust you

Hackers, phishers, scammers and spammers – the internet can be a big, bad and scary place. There is no time we are more conscious of this fact than when we are being asked to hand over personal details on a site we don’t fully trust.

  • Serve your checkout and account pages via a secure (SSL) connection and make it clear to the user that they are using a secured connection. But don’t make the mistake of thinking every page on your store should be secured – an SSL connection will slow down page load times considerably and nothing shake’s a customer’s confidence like a cumbersome and unreliable store.
  • Reviews on your own site are great but mean less to the cynics among us so also consider developing an after-sales strategy for gaining reviews on a trusted review site.
  • Offer live chat on your store so that you can immediately respond to queries – this brings a vital element of human interaction which will ease any lingering doubts. Word to the wise though: don’t have a live chat option if it is going to be “offline” through business hours – advertising your lack of presence won’t help build confidence.

2. Provide detailed information

Avoid the temptation to believe that “short and sweet” is best when selling products online. Be succinct, yes, but always be thorough in offering all the information a customer could potentially require before committing to a purchase. Don’t skip on important details (such as dimensions) for fear that they will put a customer off because you will only encourage a misinformed purchase that will result in a refund and/or unhappy customer. Above all, if you are selling physical goods, always include detailed quality photograph(s) of the product.

eCommerce conversion rate optimisation


3. Provide user-friendly navigation

If your customers can’t navigate your store quickly and intuitively they will lose patience.

Ensure your store has clear and logical categories that can be navigated intuitively – avoid abstract categorisations but also be careful to not be overly-specific. For larger product catalogues consider offering a search function for extra usability. Ultimately, put yourself in your customer’s shoes – consider how effectively your store is helping you find what you want.

4. Ensure your store is responsive

The advantages to mobile optimised sites are becoming increasingly well known and increasingly valid. The simple truth is, more and more customers will be arriving at your eCommerce store via a mobile device and if you provide a sub-par user experience you will not gain conversions from that mobile traffic.

Do not implement a separate mobile version of your site (e.g, m.yourstore.com) but instead use the technology that is available today to build a responsive eCommerce design that allows your store to adapt seamlessly across all devices.

5. Make paying easy

Once a customer has made their way to the checkout with a selection of your fine products do not waste time in completing the transaction. Keep the checkout as quick and simple as possible with a short form and easy to follow steps. Ask yourself, do you really need to know the customer’s salutation, fax number, etc… probably not! Oh, and don’t make the customer write their address twice: “shipping address same as billing address” checkbox is essential.

6. Up-sell & cross-sell

Don’t forget to show a customer what else you have to offer. But before you do so consider this: up-selling (the process of suggesting a similar, albeit more expensive product) is 20 times more effective than cross-selling on the product page. Cross-selling still has its place though: a well managed cross-selling tool placed at the checkout (such as “customers who purchased these items also bought…”) can account for an average of 3% revenue.

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