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Apr 22, 2024 | 17 minute read

18 eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Tips to Boost Site Sales

written by Seamus Roddy

If you’re managing a digital commerce program, you want – and even need – a site that delivers leads, subscribers, and purchases. But a revenue-generating site doesn’t come out of nowhere, and isn’t guaranteed even if you surge traffic.

To drive real business results, your brand needs to invest in eCommerce conversion rate optimization. eCommerce CRO improves your customer experience and helps you meet revenue-driven business goals. Learn about eCommerce conversion optimization, how to calculate eCommerce CRO, and 18 eCommerce CRO tactics your brand should try.

What is eCommerce CRO?

eCommerce conversion rate optimization (eCommerce CRO) is the process of enhancing your online store to increase the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action, like making a purchase. eCommerce CRO involves analyzing data to understand:

  1. How users interact with your site
  2. What changes would boost desired actions

Effective eCommerce CRO involves changes to all aspects of a high-performing digital storefront, including website design, content, navigation, and checkout processes. The role of eCommerce CRO is to fully capitalize on existing traffic to an online site as opposed to spending more to attract additional visitors.

How to Calculate an eCommerce Conversion Rate

An eCommerce conversion rate or online conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your online store who convert. Conversion represents the action that you want your site visitors to take. Stereotypically, that looks like direct purchases, but signing up for an email list, upgrading a subscription, or setting up a sales appointment may be your desired conversion events.

To calculate an eCommerce conversion rate, you divide the number of conversions by the total number of visitors to your website. Then, multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage. For example, if your online store receives 1,000 visitors in a month and makes 50 sales:

  • 50 divided by 1,000 = .05
  • .05 multiplied by 100 = 5
  • Your conversion rate is 5%.

Now, you know that your site turns visitors into buyers 5% of the time. Increases, decreases, and stability in this number gives you an indication of your online store’s performance.

How to Increase Your eCommerce Conversion Rate

The exact steps to increase your brand’s eCommerce conversion rate will depend on your business, your site performance, and your industry. But as you consider strategies for increasing your eCommerce conversion rate, consider the following 18 eCommerce CRO actions.

  1. Streamline the Checkout Process
  2. Use High-Quality Images and Video
  3. Product bundling
  4. Offer Multiple Payment Options
  5. Implement Live Chat
  6. Utilize Customer Reviews and Testimonials
  7. Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)
  8. A/B Testing
  9. Personalize the Shopping Experience
  10. Enhance Site Speed
  11. Use Urgency and Scarcity
  12. Improve Site Navigation
  13. Offer Free Shipping
  14. Secure Website Trust Signals
  15. Optimize Product Descriptions
  16. Retargeting Campaigns
  17. Loyalty Programs
  18. Offer Add-Ons At Purchase

1. Streamline the Checkout Process

Streamlining the checkout process is essential for eCommerce CRO. By reducing the steps and complexity involved in completing a purchase, you can significantly decrease friction and cart abandonment rates. This could include decreasing the number of pages a customer must navigate, limiting the required fields in the checkout form, and providing clear, concise instructions throughout the process. Implementing auto-fill for returning customers and integrating real-time error messaging can further streamline checkout, boosting conversion rates and business revenue

An example of clear, simple, streamlined checkout comes from our customer, Catchbox. Catchbox has a checkout page with clear design, an obvious CTA, and no unnecessary pop ups or information.

2. Use High-Quality Images and Videos

Incorporating high-quality images and videos into an online store helps improve conversion rates. Strong visual elements help bridge the gap between online shopping and the physical experience, giving customers a clearer and more attractive view of the products. High-resolution images and well-produced videos can showcase the finer details and usability of a product, boosting consumer confidence in a purchase decision. Moreover, interactive images or videos that allow customers to see products in 360-degree views or in action can significantly enhance user engagement and satisfaction.

Our customer, Vivrelle, a luxury accessory membership club, uses high-quality images and displays of products on its site. The luxury products are featured in crystal-clear images that zoom in and out as customers toggle on individual products. This way, Vivrelle members get a sense of accessories texture and appearance before renting.

3. Product bundling

Product bundling is offering customers a combination of products at a reduced or fixed price instead of having them purchase each item separately. Product bundling improves eCommerce CRO by offering complementary products that are frequently bought at the same time.

Product bundling leads to quicker purchase decisions and improved customer satisfaction. This approach can be particularly effective when targeting customers who are looking for convenience and value, ultimately driving more conversion and higher sales volumes.

Our customer, Serena & Lily, sells luxury, design-driven home interiors, including furniture, bedding, rugs, lighting, bath, pillows, wallpaper, and mirrors. These products are often complementary – for example, when a Serena & Lily customer purchases a pillow cover, they are also offered a pillow insert.

4. Offer Multiple Payment Options

By including a variety of payment methods, you remove potential barriers at the crucial final step of purchase. Offering multiple payments options caters to a broader audience, accommodating preferences for traditional credit cards, digital wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, and even newer options such as cryptocurrencies. Offering multiple payment options is an especially important eCommerce CRO tactic for international customers who are likely to favor local payment methods. Simplifying the payment process in this way helps decrease cart abandonment and increases the chances of completing sales, leading to higher conversion rates.

Billfold, our customer and a POS solution for live events, expanded its business after switching to Elastic Path Payments by offering Samsung Pay and Apple Pay in addition to credit card payments.

5. Implement Live Chat

If you’re pursuing eCommerce CRO, you should offer real-time assistance to answer any queries visitors might have while shopping by using live chatbots. Live chat provides instant access to help, allowing customers to receive immediate answers to their questions or concerns while shopping. This real-time interaction increases customer confidence and satisfaction by offering a personal touch similar to what they might experience in a physical store. Furthermore, live chat can help guide customers through the buying process, from finding the right product to troubleshooting any issues during checkout. By resolving doubts quickly and efficiently, live chat can effectively reduce bounce rates and encourage more completed purchases, boosting overall conversion rates.

6. Utilize Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials add trust and credibility to your commerce site. With reviews and testimonials, prospective buyers get firsthand accounts of product quality and customer satisfaction from others who have already made purchases. Additionally, reviews can provide valuable information about product benefits and potential issues, helping future customers make more informed decisions that boost their happiness with your brand. By prominently displaying testimonials and encouraging customers to leave reviews, eCommerce businesses can enhance transparency and foster a more engaging shopping experience, opening the possibility of boosting conversion rates by up to 380%.

Elastic Path customer Mood, an online cannabis dispensary, uses our instant-on, no-code Yotpo integration for reviews and ratings. By using Elastic Path Composer, Mood now embeds products on its site with both a review rating and total number of reviews.

7. Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

When pursuing eCommerce CRO, ensure that your calls-to-action (CTAs) are clear, compelling, and easy to find. A strong CTA guides customers on what to do next, whether it’s to "Buy Now," "Learn More," or "Sign Up." By using direct, actionable language and making these buttons visually distinct, you ensure they stand out on the page, drawing attention and encouraging clicks. Placement is also critical; CTAs should be positioned in logical, easy-to-find locations across the website, particularly on product pages and in the checkout process. Effective CTAs remove ambiguity, reduce hesitation, and improve customer flow and conversion rates.

Pella, a windows and doors company, includes simple, effective CTAs throughout its website. In particular, Pella’s CTAs point site visitors to a conversion event: scheduling time with a Pella representative.

8. A/B Testing

Regularly test different elements of your website (like CTAs, layouts, and images) to see what works best for your audience.

A/B testing involves creating two versions of a web page or element, such as a call-to-action button, and testing them against each other to see which one performs better. By systematically comparing different variations, you can gather data on what resonates best with your audience, from layout changes to different promotional messages. This data-driven strategy allows you to make informed decisions that enhance user experience and increase effectiveness. Over time, continuous A/B testing can lead to significant improvements in website performance, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, higher conversion rates. This iterative process ensures that your commerce site is always evolving to meet the needs and preferences of your visitors – making it an eCommerce conversion optimization must.

Compt, an IRS-compliant employee stipend software, uses Elastic Path CX Studio to manage a lead generating website. CX Studio’s substantial A/B testing capabilities mean that Compt is able to make data-driven decisions about content placement and structure, boosting conversion rates, lead generation, and new business.

We used CX Studio to test the copy on our request-a-demo landing page. The test showed a 9.4% conversion rate for version A and a 16.7% conversion rate for version B. When we needed to decide on the final copy, we had clear, specific data to help us make a conversion-boosting decision for version B.

compt logoSarah Bedrick CMO

9. Personalize the Shopping Experience

Use customer data to provide personalized recommendations and content.

Creating a personalized shopping experience is a highly effective eCommerce CRO strategy. By leveraging data on customer behavior, preferences, and previous purchases, you can tailor product recommendations, promotions, and content to individual users. The result is a more relevant and engaging experience for each customer, increasing the likelihood that they will find products that appeal to them. For example, displaying items that complement previous purchases or highlighting new arrivals based on past browsing history can significantly influence buying decisions. Personalization not only improves customer satisfaction but also encourages repeat visits and purchases, leading to a higher overall conversion rate and fostering long-term customer loyalty.

Brands that use Elastic Path to power commerce get a no-code integration with Twilio Segment that helps operationalize customer data and bring true 1:1 personalization to life. Vivrelle, for example, was able to implement our integration with Twilio Segment in minutes – improving customer experience and reducing engineering team work.

For Vivrelle, a luxury membership club, providing a white-glove experience is essential to our brand; the integration between Twilio and Elastic Path allows us to deliver that experience digitally with personalized experiences that truly delight our customers. We were able to implement the integration in a matter of minutes and expect this to save our engineering team over 60% in data analytics implementation time long-term. The impact on our members was immediate, and we can see members finding bags they love faster than ever.

Vivrelle company logoJeff Neil VP of Software Engineering

10. Enhance Site Speed

Enhancing site speed improves eCommerce conversion rates. A fast-loading website ensures a smooth, seamless experience for users, which is vital in maintaining customer interest and reducing bounce rates. Research shows that even a one-second delay in page load time can significantly impact customer satisfaction and can lead to a substantial decrease in conversions. To optimize site speed, consider compressing images, leveraging browser caching, and minimizing the use of heavy scripts. Additionally, using a content delivery network (CDN) can help deliver content more efficiently to users worldwide. By prioritizing a swift and responsive website, eCommerce businesses can keep potential customers engaged, directly leading to increased sales and a better overall user experience.

Not sure if your site speed is better, worse, or about the same as your competitors? Try our Storefront Grader™ to analyze your site performance in minutes.

11. Use Urgency and Scarcity

Urgency and scarcity are powerful tactics in eCommerce conversion rate optimization. By creating a sense of urgency, you can prompt customers to make a purchase decision quickly, rather than delaying or abandoning their cart. Tactics such as displaying countdown timers for deals, noting limited-time offers, or showing low stock levels can drive action. This approach leverages the psychological principle that people are more motivated to act when they perceive something as scarce or in high demand.

One merchandising strategy that leverages urgency and scarcity is offering a flash sale, a time-boxed sale that lasts for hours, days, or weeks depending on your business and products. Elastic Path Product Experience Manager has revenue-boosting flash sale capabilities that merchandisers can set in minutes. No IT, no dev work, no complications. Just a conversion improving merchandising tactic brought to life fast.

12. Improve Site Navigation

Improving site navigation is key to enhancing eCommerce conversion rates. A clear and intuitive navigation structure ensures that customers can find what they're looking for quickly and easily, without frustration. This involves organizing products into logical categories, using descriptive labels, and providing a robust search function that can handle queries with auto-suggestions and filters. A well-structured website not only enhances user satisfaction but also encourages longer sessions and deeper engagement, which are directly linked to higher sales and better conversion performance.

13. Offer Free Shipping

If feasible, offer free shipping, as it’s often a key decision factor for purchase.

Offering free shipping is a highly effective strategy for increasing eCommerce conversion rates. Many consumers consider shipping costs when deciding whether to complete a purchase; eliminating these fees can significantly lower the barrier to buying. Implementing free shipping can be positioned as an incentive, such as a limited-time offer or a benefit of reaching a certain order threshold, which can encourage larger purchases. Additionally, prominently displaying free shipping offers on the website, especially on the homepage and during the checkout process, reassures customers that no additional costs will be added to their purchase.

Our customer, Charlotte Tilbury, offers free shipping to customers who spend at a certain threshold. On the customer’s checkout page, they have messages informing them that they have “redeemed Charlotte’s free gifts” and will enjoy free delivery on the order.

14. Secure Website Trust Signals

Nobody wants to be scammed or to put their data at risk while buying online. Displaying secure trust signals, such as SSL certificates, security badges, and HTTPS URLs, reassures customers that their personal and payment information is safe. Other trust signals, such as visible customer service contact information and a straightforward return policy, also serve to assure customers that they aren’t making a mistake by purchasing, asking for more information, or scheduling a sales call. Trust signals, then, are important for any brand pursuing eCommerce CRO.

15. Optimize Product Descriptions

Optimizing product descriptions is crucial for boosting eCommerce conversion rates. Effective descriptions should emphasize the benefits of the product, using persuasive language that resonates with the target audience. The descriptions should be easy to read, using bullet points to highlight key features or benefits. Also, including customer reviews within the descriptions can enhance credibility and encourage purchases, significantly increasing conversion rates.

16. Retargeting Campaigns

Use retargeting ads to bring back visitors who didn’t convert on their first visit.

Retargeting campaigns boost eCommerce conversion rates by re-engaging individuals who have previously visited your site but did not make a purchase. These campaigns work by displaying targeted ads to these potential customers as they browse other websites or social media platforms, reminding them of the products they viewed or left in their cart. By keeping your brand and products top of mind, retargeting encourages return visits and increases the likelihood of conversion.

17. Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs improve eCommerce conversion rates by incentivizing repeat purchases and fostering customer loyalty. Loyalty programs typically offer points, discounts, or exclusive deals that customers can earn and redeem on future purchases. Well-structured loyalty programs also help in gathering valuable customer data, which can be used to personalize the shopping experience, making offers and communications more relevant to individual preferences. This personal touch enhances customer satisfaction and engagement, leading to higher retention rates and increased conversions over time.

See how Elastic Path enables merchandisers to manage a loyalty experience with ease.

18. Offer Add-Ons At Purchase

Offering add-ons at the point of purchase is a highly effective tactic for increasing eCommerce conversion rates and boosting average order value. This strategy involves suggesting complementary products or services as customers are finalizing their purchases, often referred to as upselling or cross-selling. For example, if a customer is buying a camera, you might offer a discounted camera case or an extra battery at checkout. These recommendations should be relevant and add real value to the primary product, enhancing the overall customer experience. By making it easy for customers to see the benefits of additional items, you not only increase the likelihood of them accepting the offer but also enhance their satisfaction by ensuring they leave with a complete solution.

Add-ons don’t have to take the form of an additional product. ISSA, one of our customers, is an educational and wellness certification provider. Because someone signing up for one certification may eventually want another, ISSA includes in its checkout process the ability to join an email club that grants a one-time purchase discount. This way, ISSA improves cart conversion rate and gathers information for future sales.

eCommerce Conversion Optimization FAQs

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