Guest Post: 11 Ways to Optimize Your Online Store for Better Conversions

Jun 17, 2022

(Image Source: Pexels)

An essential indicator of site performance is whether it converts visitors into buyers. But it often happens that people open an online store, look through several pages, and leave with nothing. Visitors fail to perform the desired action, and, accordingly, potential profit is lost. To fix this, companies implement different solutions. They improve site performance in many ways, from conversion rate optimization to specific methods like image optimization.

Usability is another important factor making a shopping experience decent. An eCommerce store must have flawlessly thought-through UX\UI for various touchpoints. It should be equally convenient to browse an online store on mobile and desktop devices. And with the user expectations continuously growing, simply scaling down a desktop version design for smartphone view might not be the right path to follow.

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Do you want to skyrocket your conversion rates? Read this article to find eleven effective techniques for increasing website conversion, which you can immediately implement in practice.

Five Conversion Rate Optimization Practices for Online Stores

1. Enable a Site Search Functionality

Another way to boost conversions is to provide visitors with the opportunity to search for goods on the website. Site search is aimed at users who know what they want. Thanks to this, they will not waste time searching but will immediately receive the desired product and convert into buyers. Your task is to return precise Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento on-site search results.

There are different types of requests:

  • brand-related, such as “Tiffany ring”. It’s the most precise search query as the user knows what to buy;

  • product-related, such as “blue dress”. A visitor is more interested in the product type and qualities rather than the brand;

  • problem-related, such as “hair loss”, when a person doesn’t know what helps but needs a solution;

  • other questions. For example, “delivery terms” or “returns”.

According to statistics, eCommerce on-site search can double your conversion rate. The eConsultancy study found that connecting this feature to the website results in a 4.63% conversion rate compared to 2.77% as the average conversion rate for websites without the search function.

You don’t want your potential clients to leave the store frustrated, do you? So put time and effort into configuring the site search engine. If the website returns the results well enough, visitors will find the desired product and convert.

Below is the SugarBabies online store. You can see that the site search understands my request and automatically suggests goods while typing. However, when I mistype a word and click on the loupe, the website doesn’t show anything. Or when I insert “yellow dress”, the bar says that nothing is found, but the website will give you results. So there’s still room for improvement.

11 Ways to Optimize Your Online Store for Better Conversions - Sugarbabies website

(Image Source: Sugarbabies)

2. Optimize the Store’s Mobile Version

In Google, the daily number of desktop queries falls short of the smartphone ones, as about half of website visitors are mobile users. Therefore, back in 2018, the search engine giant, Google, announced that the mobile version of the site would have a priority in ranking search results from now on. It’s needed so that sites meet the majority of users’ needs.

To not lose this segment of the audience, you need to make sure that your site is well-designed for viewing from smartphones. It is especially applicable to impulsive purchases, which can be done on the spur of the moment and on the move, e.g., sites for food delivery, clothing, jewelry, and cosmetics.

Aside from mobile preference when ranking, content tailored for smartphones is more shareable. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, it will be impossible to distribute your information from computer to phone. The user will receive an unattractive format and won’t set aside time to save the link to open it on the desktop. If you still haven’t done it, it’s high time to work on a top-notch mobile version of your store.

The necessary solution for such cases can be getting progressive web applications. One example of such a store is the Butcher of Blue menswear store shown in the screenshot. The site is ideally thought out from the point of view of a smartphone user, as evidenced by, for example, the location of the menu at the bottom of the screen so that it is convenient to reach with a finger, as well as has lightning-fast page load speed.

11 Ways to Optimize Your Online Store for Better Conversions - Butcher of blue

(Image Source: Butcher of Blue)

3. Experiment with the Text of the CTA Buttons

Standard “Sign Up” and “Shop Now” buttons are unlikely to bring you the highest conversion rate. Think about more original and attractive texts.

Customized CTA buttons work better than automatically generated ones. It’s worth testing out different button designs and texts to see what works best for you.

Heatmaps and records of user visits to the site will help to understand which issues you might have with the CTAs and suggest possible solutions.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see how the Juniqe brand has replaced the classic text on the button with a more attractive “Find the Perfect Gifts” caption for the holiday season.

11 Ways to Optimize Your Online Store for Better Conversions - JUNIQE

(Image Source: Juniqe)

4. Using the Countdown Timer

This technique can ideally stimulate visitors to your store to make a purchase. That’s why it’s worth using it on the homepage.

When looking at a counter clearly showing that promotion is limited in time, the user feels certain anxiety and an urge to place an order, thereby boosting the CR of your store.

As a successful example, we can consider a timed counter placed on the homepage of the iHerb online store. At the top of the page, there is a message about the promotion along with a countdown and a prominent CTA.

11 Ways to Optimize Your Online Store for Better Conversions - iHerb

(Image Source: iHerb)

5. Remove Unnecessary Fields at Checkout

Surprisingly, many shoppers abandon their orders right at the checkout phase. There could be multiple reasons for that, but a lengthy and seemingly insecure checkout is what disconcerts customers most often. Hidden fees, a scarce selection of payment methods, and the lack of opportunity to checkout as a guest are also common abandonment factors.

Cutting down the number of fields to fill out in a form, rethinking element size, and placing secure checkout markers can help to increase the chances of the order being submitted.

11 Ways to Optimize Your Online Store for Better Conversions - Benefit Cosmetics

(Image Source: Benefit Cosmetics)

Here’s what the checkout process on the Benefit Cosmetics online store looks like when browsed on a mobile device. On the plus side, users can checkout as a guest or sign in (we see that on the left shopping cart screenshot). Right at the top of the checkout area, there is an indication that there are three steps of the checkout process (perhaps a progress bar would have been a more intuitive UX\UI choice, though).

On the other hand, although the checkout is split into three steps, there’s a lot of irrationally used page space. I.e., the order overview section could have been shrunk in size or placed in a pop-up for convenience. Likewise, if the fields were smaller, more information would fit in one screen view, and the user wouldn’t have to scroll so much.

These are just a couple of examples and ideas of how an eCommerce store’s checkout could be improved to boost conversions.

6 More Tips for Increasing Conversions

There are some more free but effective methods to increase conversions. You can perform the following work at the online store.

  • Connecting the analytics systems to track the conversion rate on the site

    The functionality of analytics systems will help you track user behavior on the site, record their actions, and analyze why customers leave without making conversion actions.

  • Mapping out the perfect customer journey on the site

    Describe all the steps of the customer from the moment of entering the site until they perform the desired conversion action.

  • Matching the perfect customer journey with the real one, based on information from analytics systems

    It helps to identify deviations from the script that take the customer away from the path you want and identify the problems preventing placing orders.

  • Correcting all problematic areas in the client’s path

    If there are several ways to fix the problem, it is worth conducting A/B testing. It will help you choose the best method to increase the conversion rate.

  • Publishing of customer reviews

    Doing so will help to increase the trust and loyalty of future buyers. People are much more willing to buy from online stores that can prove their reputation through reviews from real customers. Therefore, it is worth being honest and posting only real reviews left by your customers.

  • Offering gift certificates

    It’s convenient for both customers and the store. The client gets the opportunity to buy a gift for the holiday, and the store receives a guaranteed conversion increase and retains clients.

Final Thoughts

What do you do to boost sales and keep your business growing? You can’t just encourage prospects to click on your link on ads or search engine results page (SERP). Continue to interact with them on the website or increase conversion rates with email marketing for shoppers to purchase goods.

As you can see, there are many methods to boost conversions. Using them wisely can help increase the number of visitors who convert into customers. However, it is essential to remember that optimization work should be done continuously.

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About the author

11 Ways to Optimize Your Online Store for Better Conversions - Author bio

Kate Parish is the Chief Marketing Officer at Onilab with over 8 years of experience in Digital Marketing in the sphere of eCommerce web development. Kate always aspires to broaden her competency in line with cutting-edge global trends. Her primary areas of professional interest include SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, Magento PWA development, and online retail in general.

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