In the world of eCommerce, driving traffic to your website is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in converting those visitors into paying customers. That's where conversion optimization comes in, or the skills of an expert eCommerce conversion rate optimization agency.
But what exactly is conversion optimization, and how can you use it to boost your sales? The answer lies in the science behind consumer behavior. By understanding how people think and make purchasing decisions, you can tailor your website and marketing strategies to meet their needs and preferences.
In this article, we'll explore some tips and tricks used by Media Contour, an eCommerce conversion rate optimization agency, for optimizing your ecommerce site for conversions, from tweaking your copy and design to implementing social proof and urgency tactics. Whether you're a seasoned eCommerce pro or just starting out, these ecommerce conversion rate optimization strategies will help you increase your conversion rates and drive more revenue for your business. So let's dive into the science of eCommerce conversion optimization and take your online store to the next level!
Understanding the customer journey
The customer journey refers to the steps that customers go through before making a purchase, from awareness of your brand to post-purchase evaluation. By mapping out the customer journey, you can identify areas where customers may be dropping off or experiencing friction, and tailor your optimization strategies accordingly. This will help you take a targeted approach to where customer pain points are occurring, and avoid making site wide changes with hopes that the journey will improve as a secondary result.
The customer journey typically follows a few key stages: awareness, consideration, decision, and post-purchase evaluation. During the awareness stage, customers become aware of your brand and products through channels like search engines, social media, and advertising. During the consideration stage, they evaluate your products and compare them to competitors. The decision stage is when they make a purchase, and the post-purchase evaluation stage is when they evaluate their experience and decide whether to make repeat purchases.
For ecommerce conversion rate optimization to work effectively, it's important to understand each of these stages and tailor your messaging and strategies accordingly. For example, during the awareness stage, you may want to focus on building brand awareness and establishing credibility through social proof and testimonials.
During the consideration stage, you can emphasize the unique benefits and features of your products compared to competitors. And during the decision stage, you can use urgency and scarcity tactics to encourage customers to make a purchase. The post-purchase evaluation is your opportunity to highlight pain points in your customer service, order fulfillment, and creating lasting relationships with your customers.
Make sure you know where these touch points are occurring online and offline. Make sure your messaging is consistent across platforms, and remove unnecessary touch points that are convoluting your messaging and confusing the customer journey.
Common obstacles to conversion and how to overcome them
Even if you have a strong understanding of the customer journey, there are some common obstacles that can prevent customers from making a purchase. By identifying and addressing these obstacles, you can improve your customer experience which leads to more purchases.
One common obstacle is a lack of trust or credibility. Customers may be hesitant to make a purchase if they are unsure of the quality of your products or the security of your website. To overcome this obstacle, you can use social proof and testimonials to establish credibility and build trust with customers.
You can also display trust badges and security certificates to reassure customers that their information is safe. Make sure to display which payment vendors you accept. Seeing that Visa, or Mastercard, etc. is willing to do business with you goes a long way in establishing trust with new customers.
Another obstacle is a confusing or frustrating user experience. If your website is difficult to navigate or if customers can't find the information they need, they may become frustrated and abandon their purchase. To overcome this obstacle, you can simplify your website design and navigation, use clear and concise product descriptions, and provide helpful customer service resources like chatbots or FAQ pages.
A helpful navigation hack is to employ what we call user self selection in your navigation. Allow users to search by activity, pain point, price/sale, condition, etc. This allows users to search based on their criteria, and delivers on the expectation that your site has what they’re looking for.
Lastly, another obstacle is a lack of urgency or motivation to make a purchase. Customers may be interested in your products, but they may not feel an immediate need to buy. To overcome this obstacle, you can use urgency and scarcity tactics like limited-time offers, countdown timers, and low-stock notifications to create a sense of urgency and motivate customers to make a purchase.
Using data to inform your optimization strategy
To truly optimize your eCommerce site for conversions, you need to base your strategies on data and analytics as if you were an eCommerce conversion rate optimization agency. By tracking and analyzing onsite customer behavior, you can identify areas for improvement and test different strategies to see what works best.
One key metric to track is your conversion rate, which measures the percentage of visitors who make a purchase. By tracking your conversion rate over time through eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Services and identifying any changes or trends, you can identify areas for improvement and implement targeted optimization strategies. Be sure to A/B test (split test) any changes to track exactly which optimization strategies worked and remove any guesswork.
Another metric to track is your bounce rate, which measures the percentage of visitors who leave your site without taking any action. A high bounce rate can indicate a problem with your website design, messaging, or user experience, and can be fixed by implementing targeted optimization strategies. See which pages have the highest bounce rate, and focus your efforts there.
Finally, you can use tools like heat maps and click tracking to analyze how customers interact with your website and identify areas where they may be experiencing friction or confusion. Heat maps are a great way to identify where user’s attention is focused on each page, and determine what they find valuable, and which elements are missing their mark.
Best practices for optimizing product pages
One of the most important areas to focus on when optimizing your eCommerce site for conversions is your product pages. These are the pages where customers make the decision to purchase your products, so it's important to make them as compelling and persuasive as possible.
One best practice is to use high-quality product images and videos to showcase your products in detail. This can help customers visualize the product in use and get a better sense of its features, benefits, and how it can fit into their daily lives.
Another best practice is to use clear and concise product descriptions that highlight the unique benefits and features of your products. Avoid using technical jargon or overly complicated language, and focus on communicating the value proposition in a way that resonates with your target audience. A great tip for writing product descriptions is to focus on the result instead of the feature or benefit itself.
For example, a portable charger with a long battery life is a feature or benefit. However, a portable charger that allows you to recharge your phone to 100% while traveling without access to a plug-in is a result. While a simple example, hopefully this helps illustrate the point of how a result allows your audience to solve their existing problems, versus a benefit that doesn’t allow them to visualize using your product.
Finally, you can use social proof and reviews to increase the credibility and trustworthiness of your products. Display customer reviews prominently on your product pages, and consider using social proof tactics like showing how many people have purchased the product or displaying customer ratings.
Best practices for optimizing your checkout experience
Don’t fool yourself that your job is finished once a customers adds a product to their cart. Ecommerce checkout conversion rate optimization is as much a mouth full as it is important. Optimizing your checkout experience is how you ensure your customers can easily take that last step to purchase pain free.
Shopify and other platforms allow for a pretty standardized ecommerce checkout conversion rate optimization process that most users will be familiar with (i.e. you don’t have much room for changes). It’s important to make sure that you’re not asking for any unnecessary info, double check that all of your promo codes are working correctly, and give users options to expedite the experience. Buy with Prime, Shop Pay, and PayPal all have extensions that will help give users more options for quick and painless checkouts, and help your store decrease its checkout abandonment rate.
Lastly, make sure you’re not adding hidden fees or unnecessary shipping costs. The number one user-reported reason for checkout abandonment is extra/hidden costs at checkout (i.e. taxes, shipping, package protection, etc.). Some of these things are necessary, so be transparent about what people are paying for and your ecommerce checkout conversion rate optimization process will drive results.
The importance of user experience and design in eCommerce conversion
When it comes to eCommerce conversion optimization, user experience and design are crucial factors to consider. A poorly designed or frustrating user experience can quickly turn customers off and prevent them from making a purchase.
One key aspect of user experience is website speed. Customers expect websites to load quickly and smoothly, and a slow-loading website can lead to frustration and abandonment. To improve website speed, you can optimize your images and code, use a content delivery network, and leverage caching and compression techniques.
A well-designed website with a clear and intuitive layout can make it easier for customers to navigate and find what they're looking for. Consider using a simple and consistent color scheme, clear and easy-to-read typography, and intuitive navigation menus to improve the overall user experience. Finally, consider using user testing and feedback to identify areas for improvement and refine your website design and user experience over time.
Implementing effective calls-to-action
A well-designed and strategically placed CTA can motivate customers to take action and make a purchase, while a poorly designed or confusing CTA can lead to frustration and abandonment.
When designing your CTAs, it's important to use clear and concise language that communicates the value proposition and motivates customers to take action. For example, instead of using generic language like "submit" or "click here," use specific language like "buy now" or "add to cart" that clearly communicates what the customer is doing and what they can expect. A tip is make sure your CTA answers the question, “I want to…” for your customers.
It's also important to use a contrasting color for your CTA button to make it stand out and grab customers' attention. And consider using urgency and scarcity tactics in your CTAs, like "limited time offer" or "only a few left in stock," to create a sense of urgency and motivate customers to take action.
Testing and experimentation for continuous improvement
Finally, it's important to remember that eCommerce conversion optimization is an ongoing process that requires continuous improvement and experimentation. By testing different strategies through Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Services, tools, and strategies, and measuring their impact on your conversion rates, you can identify the most effective tactics and refine your optimization strategy over time.
The best (and only way 🙂) to this is through A/B testing, where you compare two versions of the same page or element to see which performs better. For example, you could test two different headlines or two different CTA buttons to see which drives more conversions.
Be sure to consider what secondary metrics would show a positive impact during your test. A new headline may not increase conversion rates, but maybe it significantly increased pages per visit and time on site. This could mean you’re on the right track and still want to implement a change even if it didn’t increase your conversions. Or, it could mean it's time to bring help from an eCommerce conversion optimization company.
Another effective strategy is to conduct user surveys or focus groups to gather feedback and insights from your target audience. By understanding their needs and preferences, you can tailor your optimization strategies to meet their specific needs and increase your conversion rates the same way as eCommerce conversion optimization services experts.
Next steps for optimizing eCommerce conversions
Optimizing your eCommerce site for conversions requires a deep understanding of customer behavior and a strategic approach to website design, messaging, and marketing. By focusing on key areas like user experience, social proof, and effective calls-to-action, you can increase your conversion rates and drive more revenue for your business. This can be a lot, so there's no shame in hiring a third party ecommerce conversion optimization company to help spearhead your efforts with expert guidance and eCommerce conversion optimization services.
To get started with optimizing your ecommerce site, consider conducting a thorough analysis of your current conversion rates and customer behavior, and use that data to inform your optimization strategy. This is usually the first step performed when outsourcing ecommerce conversion optimization services. Experiment with different tactics and measure their impact on your conversion rates, and continuously refine and improve your approach over time. Lastly, don’t forget to test, test, test if you want to create lasting growth that can be attributed to specific improvements.