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5 Ways To Improve Ecommerce CVR


Read time: 10m

Picture the scene: You’ve had a brilliant idea for an ecommerce business. You’ve got your products all lined up, your website is built, your marketing plan is in full swing and you’ve got people on site. But, actual sales are not where you want them to be.

If you have a lot of site traffic but that traffic isn’t resulting in a good amount of purchases, then you need to look at improving your on-site conversion rate (CVR). Luckily, there are lots of optimisations you can make to get your ecommerce website working harder, and generating more revenue as a result.

Here are just a few changes you could trial to improve your ecommerce CVR:

1. Optimise your website for mobile

This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many websites are designed for desktop without much consideration given to how it works on mobile. Chances are, a lot of your traffic will be accessing your site on a mobile device, and if the site isn’t up to scratch then you’ve got an instant conversion blocker. 

We’re not just talking about the way the site looks either; you need to consider the user journey and ensure the site is easy to navigate. Users are generally easily frustrated, and if they can’t get where they want to go quickly and easily, they’re likely to come out of your site and potentially go straight to a competitor – which is less than ideal!

Spend some time reviewing how your site looks on mobile, and use data from a tool like Hotjar that shows you how users navigate your site. Pay attention to where users drop off, and gain some insight into how you could improve your website on mobile. You can either action your changes immediately, or trial them as A/B tests – either way, getting the mobile version of your site up to scratch should see an upswing in CVR. 

2. Create a sense of urgency

Encourage your potential customers to convert by making them feel like they’ll miss out if they don’t take action now.


There are lots of ways to create a sense of urgency – for example, you could run a flash sale with an end date in the near future. Try a banner on the homepage in a prominent position like the hero area or above the nav, pushing a sale or discount that ends soon. You could even go one step further and incorporate a countdown timer, showing users that they only have a short number of hours to take advantage of the deal. 

Alternatively, you could trial showing the number of items that are left of your most popular products. Once you’re low in stock, display the stock count on the product listing to give that sense of urgency – if customers feel like they may miss out, it will prompt them to make the purchase there and then. Not only can this encourage conversions from cold customers, it could prompt users that are further down the sales funnel to convert quicker – improving that all-important conversion rate and driving revenue. 

Again, you could trial these changes as A/B tests before they’re implemented in the website code – run it as a test for a few weeks, and assess the data to check how much of an impact the change has on your conversion rate. We’re betting it will be positive! 

3. Create a killer email campaign

This one goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway; it’s easier to sell to existing customers than new ones.

If you’re not already running a retention email campaign to your existing customer base, then you really should be – tempt your customers into purchasing again and again with special offers and product promotions, tailored to their past behaviour. If you know that a customer is interested in a particular range, show them other products in that range, or offer them a discount on related products. Retained customers who come back to your site over and over will give your conversion rate a nice boost. 

You can also use your email marketing to help to convert new customers. If they’ve added an item to their basket but not checked out, follow it up with an email to give them a nudge. You could even offer them a small discount on that item to encourage them to convert. 

Setting up these email campaigns can take some doing, especially if you want to really segment your data to tailor your activity to your customers. We promise it’s worth it though – research suggests that ROI on email marketing is around 4,200%. If that’s not worth at least trialling, then we don’t know what is! 

If you want to tap into the goldmine that is email marketing but you’re not sure where to start, our team of email marketing experts are here to help.

4. Refine the checkout process

As a rule, users are lazy. We want to get to where we want to go with as little effort as possible. So when it comes to that all-important checkout, it’s important to make the process as intuitive and simple as possible, so that your customers can convert. If the process is too convoluted, it could result in users dropping off and you losing that all important conversion.


There are dozens of things you could try to improve your checkout process – it could be a whole separate blog in itself. But here are a few key actions you could take, or tests you could run, to improve your conversion rate at the checkout stage: 

  • Strip out as many buttons and distractions as you can, so that it’s quick and easy for a user to complete the process. Keep the checkout area clean and simple, with clear actions that guide the user through to completion. 
  • Make sure the checkout process is completely transparent. According to research, more than 60% of online shoppers report leaving a transaction due to an extra cost (such as shipping fees). That’s not to say you shouldn’t charge a shipping fee; just make sure it’s clear from the start of the process how much it will be, rather than adding it at the last minute. 
  • Simplify the payment form. Retailers should ask only for the essential information – not only does this simplify the process for the customer, but it reassures them that their data is not being harvested for improper use. Try to keep the whole payment form on one page – this reduces the chance of the customer becoming frustrated and dropping off before they convert.
  • Enable guest checkout. As much as we’d like customers to have to register with you, the reality is not everyone wants to create an account or register for email updates. You need to be flexible in your approach here – although account registrations are nice to have, the purchase is the ultimate goal. You can always prompt users to create an account after they’ve made a purchase. 

By testing these optimisations of your checkout process, you’re sure to find some improvements that drive an increase in your on-site conversion rate. 

5. Add trust building content

When purchasing from an online retailer, especially for the first time, users need to feel confident that the store is legitimate and the product will be of good quality. After all, it is difficult to tell when you can’t see the product in real life. And with online scams on the rise – reported online shopping scams rose by 65% during the pandemic – including trust building content on your website is key to pushing through those conversions.

Trust building content comes in many forms; probably the easiest and most effective one to add to your site is customer reviews. These could be individual product reviews, or reviews of your business as a whole. 

If you haven’t already, make sure your business is on an independent review site like Trustpilot or Feefo, and integrate it with your website – reviews from an independent platform tend to be seen as more trustworthy than those that are native to the website. You can set up email automation through these platforms and email your customers after they’ve purchased, encouraging them to leave a review. If you can build up your review base, this will go a long way to encouraging new customers to make that purchase with you. 

You can even go one step further and add a widget to the homepage – this can show your star rating, or even pull through your most recent reviews, so that they sit in a prominent position on the homepage rather than within individual products. 

In conclusion…

These are just a few of the ways that you can optimise your ecommerce website to improve your conversion rate. Of course, what works for one business may not work for another, so we’d always recommend A/B testing these changes before committing them to the website – but the above should serve as a good starting point. 

If you really want to see your conversion rate skyrocket, then professional CRO services compiled of a strategy with regular testing and data analysis could be the way to go.

Our CRO experts are always around for a chat - get in touch today to find out how we can help your ecommerce business.

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