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5 Conversion Optimization Tips for E-commerce Websites

Conversion optimization is the process of using data and feedback to improve your website, ultimately to increase sales and generate more leads. For an e-commerce site, optimizing conversions is especially important as it can have a significant impact on each transaction. If you can earn more on average from each customer, you can afford to invest more into advertising and promotions, while also developing additional products. For all its benefits, though, many e-commerce site owners don’t carry out any optimization tests, often due to the sheer number of testable elements. The following techniques offer a path for anyone looking to start carrying out their own conversion optimization testing.

1) Checkout Page

Most checkout pages benefit from fewer distractions, but there are still plenty of elements you can try adding and removing from the page. Navigation can be significantly reduced on a checkout page, with a progress bar often helping to avoid abandonment. Ensuring the order details are clear will prevent confusion, while shipping and returns policies must be readily available. Finally, you can test adding testimonials and related offers to the page, assessing whether they offer any benefits to conversion rates.

2) Product Pages

Product pages often vary in complexity, with some sites benefiting from a minimal approach. Some common elements you might expect to find include a product description, feature list, quality images, video demonstration, related products, and price information. These elements will typically have some benefits for both the consumer and your conversion rate. Test the layout of the page, placing critical information above the fold. Offering a related product bundle may lead to an increase in the overall earnings per sale.

3) Email Subscriptions

Building an email list is one of the most effective ways of generating recurring sales. There are, though, a number of ways to build your list, with different elements to test. One option is to use a pop-up, offering a discount or coupon code for new subscribers. You can also try placing your sign-up box at various points on the page. Additionally, you can create a dedicated landing page or exit splash to focus exclusively on gaining subscribers. Buyers can be added to your list after purchase, but you could also test asking for an email address at the first stage of the checkout. If people leave the page before buying, you can follow up by email and secure some additional sales.

4) Reviews

Reviews can offer a valuable way for buyers to contribute their feelings, influencing sales of subsequent visitors. Negative reviews could, however, reduce conversion rates. You can test adding reviews to the site, the prominence they have on a page, and the format they take. Showing a star rating is a quick way of adding social proof, indicating that the product has a number of previous buyers.

5) Navigation

Navigation for e-commerce sites must be user-friendly and streamlined. Stores with small inventories will probably not face any issues, but larger stores must ensure visitors can find the type of products they are most interested in. The search box can often benefit from being on the screen at all times, while categories must be clear and accurate. You can test a mega menu that features product images and also breadcrumb navigation that creates a clear path to the individual items.

Conversion optimization will inevitably lead to some test results you weren’t expecting. Every site owner anticipates certain things, but testing can often reveal the opposite. Additionally, there will be changes that have next to no discernible impact, making the decision-making process even harder. By following many of these simple techniques, however, it is possible to improve your conversion rate, leading to increased store revenue. It is unlikely the first attempt at a website will ever yield optimum results, but gradual testing can slowly reveal a store that appeals to visitors and leads to sales levels you can be happy with.

Tewfic Kattan
About Tewfic Kattan
Tewfic is managing partner and head of Paid Channels at Sandstorm. His 15+ years experience spans both traditional and digital marketing with specialism in PPC, Analytics and E-commerce Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) working with some of the region's largest brands including Aramex and DAMAC.
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