• Explore. Learn. Thrive. Fastlane Media Network

  • ecommerceFastlane
  • PODFastlane
  • SEOfastlane
  • AdvisorFastlane
  • LifeFastlane

9 Strategies To Achieve A Higher Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the holy grail metric for many ecommerce websites. The higher the percentage of people who visit your site and buy something, the more profitable your business can become.

There’s no need to increase marketing budgets to drive them back.

A higher ecommerce conversion rate also significantly influences total cost of ownership. How much it costs to operate your ecommerce site should be a fraction of the revenue you’re generating from it.

Considering the average conversion rate for an ecommerce site is just 5.2%, there’s tons of room for improvement. Assuming your average order value is $50 and you generate 80,000 monthly sessions, just a 1% higher conversion rate could net $40,000 in extra revenue every month. In this guide, we’ll share nine different strategies to bump up yours and increase conversion rate site-wide.

Essential factors impacting conversion rate

Conversion rate is a complex metric that’s impacted by multiple factors across the entire buying journey. A few of the most essential include:

  • Website design: According to CXL, people form their first impression of a website within a tenth of a second, and 94% of those opinions are design-related. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure your website design is responsive, professional, and engaging.
  • User experience: You’ll stand a hard chance at converting website visitors if they struggle to interact with your ecommerce store. Simply ensuring that the site works and is free from glitches can prevent 17% of people who’d otherwise abandon their online cart.
  • Calls to action: What counts as a conversion on your site will differ by page, but shoppers must know what the next step is if you’re to stand any chance at securing a higher conversion rate. Buttons make this desired action clear and obvious.
  • Urgency: Time-sensitive offers convert up to 332% more visitors than evergreen deals. When people have a limited time frame to take advantage of an offer, there’s no reason to exit your site with a mental note to return later.
  • Relevance: When your website caters to a buyer’s goals, pain points, and motivations, it becomes a no-brainer to purchase what you’re selling.

Strategies to achieve a higher conversion rate

Optimize the checkout process

Conversions live or die at the checkout. Baymard’s research found that 70.19% of shopping carts are abandoned. Extra costs are the main driver of exited carts, accounting for almost half, shortly followed by sites that require shoppers to create accounts (26%) and a lack of trust in the website (25%).

Instead of pushing more traffic to your site in a bid to get a higher conversion rate, look at optimizing the checkout flow you’re providing to existing customers. The cost of acquisition can go down significantly with a great checkout experience.

Bar chart showing the reasons why people abandon online shopping carts
A complicated checkout is the fifth most popular reason for shoppers to abandon online carts.

Effective techniques to optimize the checkout process include:

  • Allowing guest checkout: Some 26% of abandoned carts happen because the retailer required the customer to create an account. Guest checkout allows people to bypass unnecessary form fields, leaving them less time to second-guess their buying decision.
  • Showcasing trust signals: “Can I trust this brand with my sensitive information?” is a question that runs through most customers’ minds. For a quarter of online shoppers, the answer is no. Prevent these people from exiting your site with trust signals like five-star reviews, customer testimonials, and money-back guarantees.
  • Accepting various payment methods: The same report found 13% of people abandon their cart because the retailer didn’t accept their preferred payment method. Cover all bases by accepting debit or credit cards, mobile wallets, and buy now, pay later services through Shopify’s integration with AfterPay.

“Our customers’ experience is the most important thing to us,” says Kyla Robinson, vice president of digital product at Spanx. “They need to trust our checkout as much as they trust our products–and recognize the path to purchase as easily as they recognize our brand.”

Shopify checkout does the hard work for you. Ranked the #1 converting accelerated checkout on the internet*, Shop Pay allows you to offer guest checkout and accept multiple payment methods. Plus, when customers save their card details on another retailer’s website that also offers Shop Pay, they can buy items using stored credit card information to checkout in one click.

The best part? Shopify’s overall conversion rate outpaces the competition by up to 36% and by an average of 15%. And even if someone doesn’t use Shop Pay, the presence itself leads to a 5% conversion lift.

Shopify’s average conversion rate compared to three other ecommerce platforms.
Shopify outperforms peers up to 36%.

Communicate your value proposition

Shoppers are more price sensitive than ever before. Retail Economics and Metapack found that inflation is a concern for 57% of all consumers. This uncertainty on whether they’re getting the best product for the best price can drive people away from your site and therefore worsen conversion rates.

This is where your value proposition comes into use. The statement tells people why they should choose your brand over a competitor. And if someone knows that the brand they’re shopping with shares the same values as themselves, there’s one less reason to exit the site in search of a competitor that does.

Phantila Phataraprasit, founder of Sabai Design, is one retailer using the sustainable angle. “We ourselves are part of a demographic that is very aware of our impact on the planet,” Phantila says. “The climate crisis is such a top of mind issue for us. And so being part of a demographic that’s younger and so we’re also on a budget, we wanted to create a solution that spoke to those values, but then also took into account accessibility and budget as well.”

Screenshot of a product page for a sofa that is made with SFI-certified wood.
Sabai showcases its commitment to sustainability on product pages.

Remove distractions

The longer someone has to debate their purchase, the more chance they have of exiting your site without becoming a paying customer. Speed up a potential customer’s buying process by limiting any unnecessary distractions such as:

  • Pop-up boxes: Pop-up boxes that ask for a customer’s email address or phone number can be intrusive, especially on mobile devices when they take up the entire page.
  • Too many calls to action: The paradox of choice is a psychological bias where people find it hard to make a decision when they’re presented with too many options. Stick with one call to action per page. If that’s a product page, it might be “Add to cart.” If it’s a landing page, it might be “Take the quiz” or “Opt into emails.”
  • Form fields: If people need to complete a form (like a checkout form or email subscription), only ask for the required details. Baymard’s report shows 22% of people abandon the checkout process because the checkout process was too long.

These website elements do still offer their advantages. In particular, pop-up boxes cater to two-thirds of millennial and Gen Z shoppers who are willing to pause their shopping journey until they receive a coupon.

Provide people with the promotions they’re searching for with time-based or exit intent pop-up boxes. These only appear after someone displays an intention to leave the site, or if they’ve already been lingering on a specific page for a long time.

Offer free shipping

Sometimes it’s not the product that a customer is debating, it’s how they’ll receive it—and whether it’ll come at an extra cost. Over 68% of global consumers say they’re more likely to buy a product online if free shipping is on offer, beating next-day delivery in terms of preference. But the issue is that someone does pay for shipping. If it’s not your customers, it’ll be you.

The simplest way to negate shipping costs is to negotiate shipping rates with carriers. Shopify Shipping handles the first aspect. Baking delivery rates into your product pricing strategy solves the other. If an item costs $34, you could bump the product’s RRP up to $39 to cover the flat-rate cost of shipping. Then buy the discounted label through Shopify Shipping and still turn a profit (depending on the item you’re shipping).

If profit margins are tight or price-sensitive customers won’t pay the markup, set a free shipping threshold. It’ll incentivize customers to complete their purchase and spend more, especially considering 78% of online shoppers will spend more money to qualify for free delivery.

Run personalized marketing campaigns across the funnel

People flow through a specific customer journey before they convert on your online store. This is demonstrated in the marketing funnel—a logical process that starts with someone first becoming aware of your brand, through to making the decision to buy from your storefront.

Customer journey maps help you paint a more accurate picture of what your marketing funnel should look like. Run an ecommerce data analysis to pinpoint the touchpoints someone has prior to converting, and map your marketing campaigns to reach people with the messaging that’s most likely to help them progress to the next stage.

“We have just achieved a £35K return on a £750 test campaign ad spend for a sports and leisure client that was all down to our multi-channel marketing approach,” says Geoff Haigh, head of operations at 10 Yetis. “Taking consumers through the initial discovery, consideration, and research stages via one social platform, through to making sales either natively in the same platform or directly through to the Shopify-powered store.”

Chart showing the different layers of a customer journey: awareness, consideration, acquisition, service, and loyalty.
Popular touch points across an ecommerce customer journey.

The most important aspect of a multichannel marketing campaign? Consistency. “Our customers expect a seamless experience, regardless of the channel they are using,” says Kerri Economopoulos, managing director of Titan AV. “Maintaining a consistent brand message, visuals, and tone across multiple channels has been challenging but Shopify Plus has allowed us to centralize our branding to efficiently and consistently manage all our channels from a single dashboard.”

Address objections on product and landing pages

Website visitors will only convert into paying customers if they’re confident that they’re making the right decision. Any sales objections that they’re pondering beforehand must be answered confidently, such as:

  • Are there any extra costs associated with my order?
  • Can I get this item cheaper elsewhere?
  • Will I be waiting too long for delivery?
  • What do my options look like if I need to return the product?
  • Does the site accept my preferred payment method?
  • Is this really important to me right now?

Peepers is an example of how product pages can be optimized to address these concerns. The photography carousel promotes their virtual try-on service that helps people confidently choose the sunglasses that best suit their style.

There are also five-star ratings beside the product price to address any value concerns, and mentions of the brand’s free shipping and returns policy to cater to on-the-fence shoppers.

Product page for a pair of blue sunglasses.
Peepers addresses common sales objections on product pages.

Incorporate social proof

Speaking of sales objections, trust is a common barrier that prevents people from converting. Baymard found that a quarter of online carts are abandoned because the potential customer didn’t trust the site with their sensitive information. It’s a sentiment shared with most online shoppers: 8% of Americans have already been personally victimized by scammers.

You don’t need to become a household name in order to build trust and increase your conversion rate. Social proof psychology shows that when people are uncertain about something, they’ll look to others for guidance—including whether they should make a purchase.

Powerful social proof elements to experiment with in your quest of higher conversion rates include:

  • Third-party scientific tests and studies
  • Case studies, testimonials, and reviews
  • Influencer or celebrity endorsements
  • Endorsements from trusted advisors

Hiya Health, for example, has an endorsement from a pediatric specialist for its vitamin gummies that are marketed at children. People are more likely to trust that the gummies are, in fact, good for their children’s health if they’re endorsed by a professional.

Quote from Dr Monica Madan on Hiya Health’s vitamin gummy product page.
Hiya Health is endorsed by a pediatric specialist.

Localize your storefront for international shoppers

The beauty of global ecommerce is that you can sell to anyone, anywhere. But it’s not as simple as driving website traffic to your site in hotspots of potential customers. The experience they’re receiving on your online store plays a major role in how likely they are to convert—starting with the language they’re reading in.

Shopify data shows a 13% relative increase in conversion rates when buyers are shown a store translated into their own language (versus the store’s default). The simplest way to cater to these languages is with Shopify’s Translate & Adapt app, which auto-translates your store into two of your customer’s most frequently spoken languages.

Pair the translation app with Shopify Markets Pro for greater localization for international shoppers. When an overseas customer visits your store, the tool will automatically detect which country they’re in and divert them to the online storefront that’s already been localized for that region. You’ll be able to accept 136 different currencies when processing online payments, and boost conversions at checkout by including taxes, duties, and tariffs in order totals.

Run A/B tests to maintain high conversion rates

Conversion rate optimization is an ongoing process. What works this month might not work next month as customer preferences, markets, and competitors are constantly evolving.

Split-testing, also known as A/B testing, helps you stay ahead of the curve. You can proactively test website elements to determine which messaging, creatives, or design your website visitors respond best to. It works by monitoring the conversion rate on a page, then making a single tweak or adjustment, and running the new version for the same length of time with no other changes. Any increase or decrease in conversion rates can be safely attributed to the element you’ve changed, such as:

  • Website or sales copy
  • Value proposition
  • Social proof elements
  • Formatting choices
  • Images or video

“The strategy with ads and marketing, we try to be as proactive as possible,” says Selom Agbitor, cofounder of Mad Rabbit. “If you’re reactive, you’re just waiting for someone else to do something for you to copy.

“We tried our best to make sure that whatever we are putting out there is a new concept and we also made sure that we were testing a lot of different things to try to find what was working. The key to being successful was testing and making sure whatever you’re putting out, your audience can resonate and engage with it to end up purchasing from you.”

Measuring the success of conversion rate efforts

The phrase conversion rate is most frequently used to describe the percentage of website visitors who convert into paying customers. But conversion rate can span a range of actions. We can describe most of them as micro conversions—smaller activities that someone takes to progress further down the funnel, such as email sign-ups, “add to cart” button clicks, or live chat submissions.

Consider the conversion rates of these micro conversions to see the bigger picture on how effective your page is. Your product page might have a purchase conversion rate of just 0.2%, but if 15% of the people who land there end up adding something to their cart, it might be the checkout page that’s causing them to drop off.

Other important metrics to consider when evaluating the success of your conversion rate strategy include:

  • Bounce rate: This metric shows the percentage of people who land on your ecommerce site and only visit one page before exiting. A high bounce rate is considered to be anything above 40%. Shortlist pages that exceed this benchmark for optimization. The more pages a person visits per session, the more chance you have at convincing them to buy.
  • Scroll depth: This CRO metric shows how far people tend to scroll down your page. A low scroll depth (combined with low conversion rates for above-the-fold calls to action) indicates that the top of your page needs optimizing.
  • Customer acquisition cost: Higher conversion rates are associated with lower customer acquisition costs since you’re not forking out extra money to drive potential customers back to your ecommerce site.

Conversion optimization tools and technologies

Your website toolstack plays a huge role in not only your ability to make changes on the fly, but also to monitor conversion rates as your strategy develops. The most important bases to cover include:

  • Website analytics: Shopify’s ecommerce reports show your overall conversion rate, though you can supplement this data with Google Analytics or combine it with other data sources through Shopify apps like Triple Whale.
  • Page builders: If website developers aren’t accessible or you want to make smaller changes to your site, page builder apps like Shogun and PageFly offer drag-and-drop editors. Most tools also allow you to create different variations of a product or landing page for split-testing.
  • Heat mapping tools: What do website visitors look at when they’re just about to exit your page? Spot these conversion killers and prioritize these page sections for A/B testing with scroll maps in tools like Hotjar.
  • Marketing automation tools: Instead of manually pushing digital marketing messages to potential customers who are lingering in specific parts of your conversion funnel, use apps like Klaviyo or Drip to detect who is where and which messaging would be most effective at pushing them through.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software: Sometimes website visitors need a more hands-on approach. CRM software allows you to combine support tickets from multiple communication channels (like live chat, email, and social media) to build customer profiles that give a 360-view of what a customer needs.

“As a Shopify Plus customer, we have access to the tools, apps, and integrations needed to succeed in a multichannel world, allowing us to put the customer first and deliver a seamless experience across all channels that builds trust and loyalty in our brand whilst driving growth for our business,” says Titan AV’s Kerri Economopoulos.

Shopify analytics report showing a site’s total sales, visits, conversion rate, and average order value.
Find your store’s conversion rate in Shopify Analytics.

Case studies on conversion rate improvements

All4cycling

All4cycling is an expert-led brand that was founded by former professional cyclist Luca Nardello. Part of their marketing strategy is partnering with cycling events like Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France—peak times for the brand since they’re exposed to a huge volume of cycling enthusiasts during either event.

All4cycling migrated to Shopify Plus with hopes of converting these peaks in incoming traffic. They did so with Shopify Flow. “With the tagging functionality we are now able to manage the management system independently, saving time to the administration department,” says their IT manager Silvana Scimone. “We have created flows and rules that enable us to manage orders and invoicing.”

The cycling retailer also took advantage of Shopify Markets to localize the shopping experience for its international customers. Those looking to buy from the brand could see products in their preferred language and currency, which founder Luca Nardello says helped All4cycling “change the look and feel of the website, adapting the shopping experience to the local market.”

The migration to Shopify Plus was a smart decision. Traffic to All4cycling’s website increased by 25%, and those shoppers are converting. The brand’s conversion rate skyrocketed by more than 40%, resulting in a 35% increase in turnover.

Stoov

Stoov sells heated blankets and cushions from their online storefront, which was previously hosted on Lightspeed. Stoov needed a website infrastructure that could handle multiple SKUs and personalize the shopping experience for international customers, therefore making the switch to Shopify Plus a relatively obvious decision.

Stoov worked with Code, a Shopify Plus partner agency, to build a new online storefront. They installed 30 apps from the Shopify App Store (like Klaviyo for email marketing and Gorgias for customer support enquiries), helping the brand reach international shoppers and sell an infinite number of products.

Since moving to Shopify Plus and localizing their site, Stoov has gone from selling 10,000 products in 2019 to half a million in 2022 alone. They’ve also seen higher conversion rates, jumping from 2.2% in 2021 to 2.8% the following year.

Stoov’s plans to sell internationally are only just beginning. “We would like to expand to the United States,” says their technology manager Joost van der Weiden. “It will be a big thing, but it’s on our list. There are also talks about growing to Australia! With Shopify Plus we can now go everywhere.”

Filtrous

Filtrous is a multimillion dollar company that sells laboratory supplies online. They prove that CRO isn’t just for direct-to-consumer brands. In a bid to stand out from old school distributors, Filtrous replatformed to Shopify Plus to give B2B buyers more personalized buying experiences that wholesale typically lacks. That included features such as:

  • Shopify Flow to automate repetitive tasks
  • Customer-specific catalogs and price lists
  • Vaulted credit cards to save payment details securely
  • Customizable discounts

“The constant updates to B2B on Shopify have left us pleasantly surprised,” said Filtrou’s director of ecommerce Yin Fu. “It seems like these releases are highly tailored to the needs of B2B merchants and makes us feel like we’re being heard.”

Not only did Filtrous launch their new wholesale storefront in around two months, but the new and improved B2B buying experience significantly impacted conversion rates. B2B customers can now self-serve, helping Filtrous increase their organic conversion rate by 27%.

Integrate conversion rate optimization into your business strategy

Conversion rate optimization is an ongoing task. By continuously monitoring and tweaking your strategies, you’ll spot patterns in consumer preferences and maintain optimal conversion rates. This helps reduce total cost of ownership and enhance profitability in the long term.

Higher conversion rate FAQ

What is considered a high conversion rate in ecommerce?

The average conversion rate for an ecommerce website is 5.2%. Anything above this figure is considered a high conversion rate.

How can I measure the improvement in conversion rates?

Divide your total website visitors by the number of people who convert into paying customers to find your purchase conversion rate. Alternatively, consult your Shopify analytics to see your site’s conversion rate. Monitor this metric to determine the success of your conversion rate optimization strategy.

What are quick wins to boost conversion rates online?

  • Optimize the checkout page.
  • Incorporate social proof.
  • Run A/B tests.
  • Offer free shipping.
  • Share your value proposition.
  • Limit distractions on your website.
  • Run personalized omnichannel marketing campaigns.

How often should I optimize my website for better conversions?

There is no “best practice” for how often you should optimize a website. Generally speaking, high-traffic websites can afford to run more A/B tests because the control and variant groups will generate enough data for your conclusion to be statistically significant.

What are common misconceptions about conversion rates?

  • CRO is just for DTC ecommerce websites.
  • You should copy your competitor’s website design.
  • It’s okay to make multiple changes in an A/B test.
  • Website changes should be based on a hunch, not data.
  • Conversion rate optimization is a one-time task.

* based on a study completed with a Big Three global management consulting firm in April 2023

This article originally appeared on Shopify Plus and is available here for further discovery.

Prev
How To Determine If Section 321 Is Right For Your Business
how-to-determine-if-section-321-is-right-for-your-business

How To Determine If Section 321 Is Right For Your Business

Next
How Reducing Costs Helps Your Ecommerce Business Grow

How Reducing Costs Helps Your Ecommerce Business Grow

You May Also Like
Share to...