How to Increase Your Conversion Rate (17 Ways)

If you are getting traffic to your online store but not getting many sales, then you need to optimize your sales funnel.

And while there are many elements to consider when it comes to optimizing your conversion rate, they all fall under three main sections:

  1. Site Speed
  2. Optimizing the on-page experience
  3. Streamline the checkout process

And you want your customers to have a good experience on your site as they are more likely to remember a bad experience than a good one and as they say, you only get one chance to make a good first impression!

Site Speed

Site speed is of huge importance when it comes to conversion rates as slow websites generally have a higher bounce rate due to potential customers either having to wait to get on your site or possibly not being able to get on at all, which means they are more likely to click off and go somewhere else and I’m sure you have probably done that.

This is backed up by a 2020 study carried out by Deloitte, which found that a 0.1 seconds decrease in load time lead to an 8.4% increase in conversion rates and a 9.2% increase in average order value, so speed truly does matter.

To test your site, you can use tools such as Uptrends speed tool, which allows you to test your site on mobile and desktop from many locations around the world and it will also show your site’s Google PageSpeed score, it will also show you what is causing your site to load slowly.

But what are some general things you can do to improve your site’s load time?

1. Use Web Optimized Images

In most cases, the largest element on a page are images and as every product page has a product image (well it should do!), you want to make sure that you are using an image that has been optimized for use on websites, so that it is:

  • The Right Size – many websites make the mistake of uploading images that are way too big, so check with your web builder to see what the ideal sizes for images are
  • The Right Format – not all file types are the same and generally JPEGs are smaller file sizes than PNG but you may also want to consider using WebP as that offers more compression than JPEG, without compromising quality
  • Optimized For Web – if you have access to Photoshop, then you can use the save for web feature that compresses the image so that it is optimized for web use. Online photo editors such a Canva also do this when you download images from them

Correctly optimized images can be considerably smaller than normal image files and the smaller the file size, the quicker it will load. 

2. Keep the Number of Elements on a Page to a Minimum

Every element on a page has a size to it and each one of these needs to be loaded when a potential customer visits your page and it is for this reason why you want to keep the number of elements to a minimum as the lower the total size of the page, the quicker it loads.

3. Try and Avoid Using Pop-ups

Lots of marketers like using pop-ups to capture email addresses but they can be a hindrance to mobile performance as they are another element to load and sometimes they can be delayed in appearing, which if you have ever experienced this yourself, can be very frustrating.

There is also a potential secondary negative to using pop-ups as you are putting a barrier between your product page and the customer and from a user experience perspective, you want to get their eyes on the product as soon as possible.

4. Avoid Redirects 

Redirects can cause web pages to load a lot slower as the site is trying to bring up the right page but might go through 2 or 3 versions of the URL to get to the one that works. Common redirects can include:

  • Going from a http url to a https url
  • Going from a non www. to a www. url
  • Redirecting from an old product page using a 301 redirect

It can sometimes be a combination of these and not only does it take longer to load but it might not look good to potential customers as it may seem like the page keeps reloading. 

So make sure that your website is set up properly in terms of URL structure to help avoid these annoying redirects. 

5. Check Mobile Performance & Usability

Mobile ecommerce or mcommerce is growing every year and in 2021, 55% of all traffic came from mobile devices, so you want to make sure that your site works well on mobile, you can use tools like Uptrends to also check your site’s mobile performance.

The minimum for this is using a mobile responsive theme or template for your website, if you aren’t doing this, then your site won’t be user-friendly on mobile devices.

You also want to check the usability of your mobile site and this can be done in most platforms customizers or by actually visiting your site using a mobile device and if you find it is slow, then look at ways you can improve it.

Optimize the On-Page Experience

Now that you have got a potential customer on your product page, you want to make sure that their experience of this page is a good one as this is an important part of your sales funnel, so what can you do?

6. Site Security

This is something that should be done anyway but you want to make sure your site has an active SSL certificate and that ALL the pages on your sites are running on the https protocol, this is because you want to show customers that your site is secure and browsers such as Safari and Chrome, will let people know if a website is not secure.

And if people see this, it can knock their confidence in your site and they may opt to go and shop elsewhere. 

One of the most important selling aspects of your products is to use high-quality images of your product and it is amazing how many people buy just from the images.

You also want to avoid using manufacturer’s stock images as you want your site to stand out from the rest, so you want to:

  • Take your own product images
  • Show the product from all angles
  • Include relevant information such as dimensions for applicable products

For some products, it can also be useful to show them being worn or used as this helps the customer visualize what the product will be like in real life, which is why most clothing retailers use models to show how good the product looks when being worn.

8. Add Videos to your Page

For some products, adding videos showing the product being used can lead to a jump in conversion rates as a video can show things that normal pictures can’t and once again, it gives customers an idea of:

  1. What the product will be like in real life such as how big it will be
  2. Whether the product will be suitable for what they need it for

And once again, creating an original video for this will be better than one from the manufacturer, especially if you can provide more information in your video than they do in theirs.

9. Write an Original Product Description

Even though there are people who just buy from the pictures, there are also a lot of people who read the product description and an original, well-written product description can help improve conversion rates and also help your store’s SEO.

When it comes to writing a product description, it can be very easy to just talk about the features of the product but the best converting product descriptions sell the benefits of the product, let’s look at an phone for example:

Features: “This phone has a 6″ OLED screen, the 4,000 mAh battery time provides up to 7 hours use and a 12mp rear camera and 8mp front-facing camera, both of which can record in 4k video.”

Benefits: “The phone has a stunning display, whether you are browsing Instagram or watching YouTube thanks to its 6”, high-definition OLED display and the large 4,000 mAh battery lasts for up to 7 hours, which is great for binge-watchers or gamers on the go.

If you enjoy taking pictures, then this phone has you covered with a 12mp rear camera and an 8mp front-facing one for those all-important selfies, you can also record videos in up to 4k resolution.”

Neither of these are perfect, but the second one surely invokes a lot more emotion than the first one as people will be picturing how buying this phone could benefit them.

10. Include All Relevant Information

Your product page should include all the information that person needs to make a decision whether or not they are going to buy that product or not, including:

  • Product Specifications – use a bulleted list to show all the important info such as size, color etc
  • Delivery Info – whether you offer free posting or charge for it, tell the customer on the product page, don’t make them go looking for it or start going through the checkout to find out

You can even include return information, should they not be happy with the product but by providing this information, you are making life easy for your customer and the easier it is, the better the experience, which usually results in more sales.

11. Add Customer Reviews

You can provide all the information in the world but a lot of people, want to know how other people have found the product before they commit to buying it themselves and this is where having product reviews can be very helpful.

Product reviews are a form of social proof and can help increase conversion rates along with having some SEO benefits (highly rated products usually rank higher) and can also help with marketing your store on social media as you can say the product is highly rated.

Getting reviews to start with can be tricky but providing some kind of incentive, such as 10% off your next order can encourage people to leave one.

12. Make Your Add to Cart/Buy Now Button Stand Out

No one should struggle to find your add to cart or buy now button as it should stand out on your product page and one of the best ways to do this is by changing the color of the button.

Many websites use a color that is in keeping with their theme but this can in some cases result in the button not standing out, for example, say your branding colors are black and white and are used a lot over your website, then a black button isn’t really going to stand out all that much but a red, orange or green one would.

There is quite a lot that goes into color science but often choosing a complimentary color can help your button stand out and a tool like Canva’s color wheel is great for this.

Streamline The Checkout Process

When a customer decides that they want to buy from you, you want to make the process from clicking the add to cart button (or whatever you have) and the order confirmation page as easy, quick and efficient as possible.

13. Keep the Number of Pages to a Minimum

You want to minimise the amount of clicks your customer has to make and they best way to do this is to limit the amount of pages you have in your checkout process and the Maximum you need is:

  • Cart Page – where they review their order
  • Checkout Page – where they enter their payment and shipping information
  • Order Confirmation – where they confirm everything is correct and complete the order

Any more than this and you are just placing too many barriers between your customer and the order complete page. 

14. Reduce The Number of Forms

Filling in forms on mobile devices can be frustrating and filling out multiple forms can be downright annoying!

And it is for this reason, you want to keep the amount of forms your customer has to fill in to a minimum and if possible, allow them to use autofill on your site as this can make things a lot easier. 

But really, the only form that the customer should be filling out is their Shipping Address and possibly their Billing Address if you need higher fraud protection but any more than this and you are increasing the chances that they will abandon their carts. 

15. Enable Guest Checkout

Not everyone wants to create an account on your site, this might be a one and done kind of transaction or they may be in a rush, so by enabling guest checkout, you can let customers quickly and easily place an order and get on with their day.

16. Offer Free Shipping

One of the biggest reasons for abandoned carts is unexpected shipping costs as many customers now expect free shipping, it also ties in with streamlining the checkout process. 

This is because the customers have an idea of what they are spending before they start the checkout process as they have seen how much the product costs and if the shipping charges seem unreasonable or disproportionate to the value of the item they are buying, then it can be enough to cause them to go and shop somewhere else. 

Whereas if you are offering free shipping, the customer feels comfortable with what they are paying and also feel like they are getting something for free, which gives them more encouragement to go through and complete the order process. 

It also doesn’t have to cost you as a business money as you can factor the shipping costs into the retail price of the product and if the customer buys multiple items at the same time, it can make the transaction more profitable. 

17. Offer Multiple Payment Options

Not everyone likes to use the same method to pay for their products and this is why you want to offer a couple of different options, with the minimum being:

  • PayPal
  • Credit Card (Stripe, Square etc)

But you also want to think about mobile payment options such as ApplePay and GooglePay as more and more people are shopping using their phones and this makes the transaction easier for them.

Other options you might want to consider are AmazonPay as most people seem to have an Amazon account and also flexible payment options such as Klarna, which allows for this like pay after delivery or split over 3 payments.

But you don’t want to offer too many options as this can be a negative.

A/B Testing

When it comes to improving your conversion rate, you don’t just want to implement everything and hope that something works, you want to take an analytical approach to this and this is called A/B testings and to do this is quite simple:

  1. Take the data from a selected time period (2 weeks, 1 month etc) 
  2. Then implement a change and run with it for the same time period
  3. Compare the data from the two period to see if anything changed or improved

Then repeat this process again and again until you find a formula that is optimal for your website as every ecommerce site is different and what works for one, won’t always work for another.

Conclusion

Increasing your conversion rate often doesn’t need to be a major overhaul of your ecommerce website but instead is about making small changes that can often make a big difference. 

So take some time, have a look at your own site and come up with a plan of what and when you are going to change things and start working towards increasing your conversion, while continually monitoring your analytics to see what is working and you should see an increase in sales.

Hi, I'm Paul, the Owner and Founder of EcommerceGold.
I ran my own Ecommerce Business for over 7 years and now help others start their own online retail empires!