In 2006, a Cambridge scientist began applying the scientific methodology to digital marketing, and the term “conversion rate optimization” was coined.
Nowadays, many e-commerce businesses are solely obsessed with paid customer acquisition on Facebook, Instagram, Google, Snapchat, and other channels. Many of them forget that you can double your sales by either driving twice more traffic to your store or by turning more existing visitors into buyers by increasing your store’s conversion rate.
Evidently, conversion rate optimization remains one of the most overlooked areas in e-commerce, so we put together a list of five essential CRO tactics for an e-commerce store.
1. Be Meticulous About Gathering Data
Conversion rate optimization, like any scientific experiment, requires data. Often, entrepreneurs and marketers are so set on traffic acquisition they forget to ensure that analytics is working effectively. And to be effective, it needs to be accurate and exhaustive. To make an impactful decision, you have first to collect and process enough data to make assumptions on where your marketing funnel can be improved. You can then begin experimenting and A/B testing (testing two alternative elements or pages) with confidence.
Luckily, there is a catalog of tools available for marketers to collect data, including:
– Heatmaps & Recordings
These are the best way to gather qualitative data about your users’ behavior (how far they scroll, where they click, etc.). We recommend using Hotjar or Crazyegg – both affordable and easy to use solutions to track on-site behavior.
– Google Analytics
As one of the most active marketing tools on the web, it can be easy to one-click install it and forget about it. But there’s so much more power to this tool than most people realize, particularly within e-commerce tracking.
– User testing tools
With tools like UsabilityHub, Qualaroo, or Hotjar, you can quickly gather feedback from real people. This not only provides data on user-actions and engagement but allows you to ask questions about people’s motivations for doing things, which is essential for a successful experiment.
– A/B testing
Also known as split-testing constitutes the core of conversion rate optimization. With tools such as Google Optimize, Optimizely, and Convert, you can test variations of page elements or even pages themselves to determine what is working best for your users.
2. Have a Clear Brand and Product Positioning
While there are so many incredible tools and growth-hacks out there, some of the most effective CRO tactics come down to how you position your product or brand in front of the traffic you’re acquiring. No other CRO tactic is as effective as creating a “me too” connection with your prospective customer.
A large part of this comes down to understanding user-intent. If you’re aware of why people are clicking on your ads or arriving at your site, make sure you confirm that they’re in the right place. The best way to do this is by making sure you align the messaging on your landing or product pages with your ads or the search keywords that drive the most traffic to it.
3. Design for Functionality
Your store doesn’t need to be aesthetically beautiful to convert better than your competition. Quite the contrary, think of eBay, Amazon, Walmart, Craiglist, or other online giants – they don’t have beautiful graphics or slick design. But functionally, they are remarkable. A book titled Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability is a great starting point to learn more about functional web-design. If you’re in a rush, though, here are some key recommendations for functional design.
– Color Contrasts
Your product copy should be easy to read – think the back text on a white background. In fact, this applies to all call-to-actions, too, such as your “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” or any other call-to-action buttons that need to look like they can be clicked on. Don’t risk the chance of a user having trouble reading or finding something. Make it as easy as possible to extract information and navigate your site.
Ideally, the only choice the prospective customer should have on your product page is to click the “Add to Cart” button. The more options they have, the more they need to think, the higher the probability of decision paralysis and leaving the page altogether.
– Use UGC – User-Generated Content
With Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok influencers at your fingertips, along with your customers and their cameras, it has never been easier to obtain photography or videography that’s created by others. Using user-generated content increases trust and boosts the conversion rate as a result. Still, not nearly enough brands are doing this, reverting to sterile factory product photography that really doesn’t give the customer a visual cue of what it’s like to own a particular product.
4. Increase Your Page Load Speed
47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. While you can easily be distracted by glamorous tools and exciting split-tests, optimizing your store load time is one of the most crucial parts of the CRO process.
5. Look at Conversion Optimization From an Omnichannel Perspective
The e-commerce conversion rate optimization doesn’t stop on your website.
It would help if you also optimized all other channels where you interact with your customers. If you can properly leverage email and SMS marketing, it will significantly boost your overall conversion rate.
– Optimize Your Abandoned Cart Email & SMS Sequence
Sure, sending the standard Shopify abandoned cart email will recover a sale or two, but creating an optimized email and SMS sequence will result in a notable increase in sales.
We recommend sending at least five abandoned cart emails and two texts. You should include FAQ, customer testimonials, Trust Pilot, or Google Customer Reviews badges, and your brand mentions in the press, if you have any. In other words, anything to increase trust in your company.
These five conversion optimization tactics for e-commerce is just the tip of the CRO iceberg. We at Upstate.Media believe that research, psychology, statistics, analytics, UX & design, and copywriting are the core components of proper Conversion Rate Optimization. It’s what we’ve been doing every day since 2013 for our own brands and our customers.
If you’d like to understand why more visitors are not converting into buyers on your e-commerce website and then fix it, reach out to us for a FREE CRO audit.