ecommerce optimization

Concerned with your mobile ecommerce checkout conversion rates? Discover how to maximize these seemingly fickle mobile visitors.

There are approximately 50 million mobile-only users in the US alone. That’s roughly one in five American adults who are “smartphone-only” internet users.

If all they have is a smartphone that’s what they will use to shop from someone. And that someone better be your ecommerce site. How? Maximizing mobile ecommerce checkout conversions. Here are a few ways to convert these mobile visitors into shoppers you may want to test on your online store.

And don’t miss out on our “bonus track” that shows you how to test your mobile checkout flow to boost conversions at the end of this article.

Gauge Mobile Ecommerce Checkout Success: the Add-to-Cart Rate

When we think about mobile ecommerce sites we tend to imagine small versions of our desktop sites. The screen is smaller. The images are smaller. The conversion rate is smaller.

Even as mobile traffic is eclipsing that of desktop and tablet visits, our mobile conversion rates remain low. We typically see mobile ecommerce conversion rates that are one-fourth to one-half that of desktop rates.

You could just say that people don’t buy your products on mobile devices, but there is a metric that says this isn’t so. It’s the Add-to-Cart Rate.

Mobile visitors are adding products to their carts. According to research the add-to-cart rate for smartphone users is only 25% lower than it is for desktop users.

When mobile visitors are adding products to their carts at higher rates than they complete checkout, we could say we have an abandonment problem.

Begin the Conversation on Maximizing Mobile Conversions

Just because a mobile buyer isn’t ready to checkout, you shouldn’t assume that you can’t begin a conversation with them. Offer to help them out in exchange for a first name and an email.

This tactic won’t be unfamiliar to most ecommerce sites.

  • Email me this cart
  • Save this cart
  • Get a discount in Facebook Messenger
  • Get a discount code

REI offers a “Save for Later” button in their cart. Clicking this takes the visitor to the account creation page. Nice save, REI.

Maximizing Mobile Conversions: REI offers a "Save for Later" option in their cart.

REI offers a “Save for Later” option in their cart.

Asking Visitors to Create an Account: Do or Do Not?

Which happens first? A visitor trusts you enough to create an account before they buy, or they buy and that builds the trust they need to create an account?

The truth is that you have a segment of each of these visitors coming to your site. You need to understand which is larger.

For some visitors, asking them to create an account with you to buy is going to be too much. It exacerbates the fact that buying or entering information on a mobile device is more difficult and the buyer is often victim to distractions around them.

Having an account can be a liability. If customers have an account and forget their password, they they are likely to abandon their carts. You need to know the abandonment rate at the account creation step. This will tell you how big your problem is.

The good news is that there are ways to increase conversions for these mobile shoppers. Check out the following example from Victoria’s Secret. A smooth and simple transition from shopping checkout to account creation.

Mobile ecommerce dilemma: create an account or guest checkout to maximize conversions?

Victoria’s Secret offers a guest checkout.

Victoria's Secret mobile ecommerce checkout example. Victoria's Secret asks the visitor to create a password after all information has been entered.

Victoria’s Secret still asks the visitor to create a password after all information has been entered.

Want more guest checkout inspiration? Check out these rocking mobile guest checkout tactics by major online retailers.

Always test account creation. The negative impact can be substantial, even taking into account future purchases of those who do create an account.

Mobile Ecommerce Checkout: Change the Order of Entry

When working with human beings, it is often surprising how changes that seem inconsequential can have a big impact. Changing the order of your cart is one of those things.

For example, look at Lowe’s mobile checkout. They ask for the credit card information before they ask for the buyer’s billing address.

Why on earth might this be better than asking for the billing or shipping address first like (almost) everyone else?

Who knows. It may require the buyer to dig out their credit card. That increases the sunk cost perception. At this point, they might as well finish entering the address — and anything else you ask.

Lowe’s asks for the credit card number before the billing address in their mobile checkout.

I can’t tell you that this will work for your audience, but it is certainly part of our playbook for maximizing mobile conversions.

Proper Use of Discounts

Automatically applying discounts not only eliminates one more step on the mobile ecommerce checkout, but it will entice your customers to keep moving forward.

How to Offer Third-party Payment Options and Boost Mobile Conversions

If entering your name, address, credit card number is a pain on a mobile device, you would think that using third-party payment systems might be a boon for mobile ecommerce checkout. After all, these services have your address and multiple purchase options on file, options that include direct deductions from your bank account.

Nonetheless, we find that simply offering Paypal and Amazon often won’t improve mobile checkout completion rates as much as we would expect.

Part of the reason may be when these options are offered. If the option to pay with Paypal is made after the visitor has entered their billing address, then a big part of the reason to use Paypal —  to avoid entering the address — is lost.

Etsy offers a Paypal payment option, but they do it after the billing address has been entered on the smartphone device.

How not to offer third party payment options: Etsy offers the Paypal option only after the mobile visitor has entered the payment details.

Etsy offers the Paypal option only after the mobile visitor has entered the payment details.

REI, on the other hand, offers both Paypal and Venmo payment options, and does so early in the mobile checkout process. Note that this also removes the requirement that the visitor create an account.

How to Offer Third-party Payment Options and Boost Mobile Conversions: REI offers PayPal and Venmo at sign-in.

REI offers PayPal and Venmo at sign-in.

You can explicitly position these payment methods as “Express Checkout”, “Fast Mobile Checkout”, or “Fastest on your phone”.

Magic Spoon leads with "Express Checkout" options on their mobile shopping cart.

Magic Spoon leads with “Express Checkout” options on their mobile shopping cart.

Use Trust and Proof in your Mobile Ecommerce Checkout to Boost Sales

This is true for both big-screen checkout as well as mobile. Remind your customers that this transaction is safe and secure.

Yes, you have less screen space to deal with on a mobile device. Nonetheless, you should test the following elements in your checkout.

These elements should generally be non-clickable. Don’t take your visitor out of the buying process. If you need more space to express something like your return policy, use a modal dialog box that opens over the mobile checkout screens.

Return policy

Summarize your risk reversal strategy. This can include anti-spam policies.

Maximize conversions on your mobile shopping cart checkout. Warby Parker reminds visitors of free shipping and returns near the "Place order" button.

Warby Parker reminds visitors of free shipping and returns near the “Place order” button.

Your value proposition

Offer a bulleted list of your key differentiators, such as free shipping, free training, free installation, fast service, years in business, etc.

Galeton reiterates their guarantee and return policy right below the Checkout button.

Mobile ecommerce checkout best practices: Galeton spells out their generous return policy right below the Checkout button on mobile phones.

Galeton spells out their generous return policy right below the Checkout button on mobile phones.

Testimonials

Yes, you can use testimonials in mobile checkout to reinforce the sale.

Customer support rating

If you have high marks on your net promoter score, brag a little.

Certifications. Make sure your certifications are there in the checkout. An example includes Google Trusted Store.

Security badges. Remind them that this is a secure transaction.

REI uses a Norton security badge to express the security of their site.

REI uses a Norton security badge to express the security of their site.

Phone number. You can build trust by putting a phone number in your checkout and avoid losing a sale. Use the right call to action and you may save sales with phone calls. Even if few buyers use the phone number, it can add credibility. It says, “Yes, we’re here for you.”

REI may lose some of the benefit as they bury their phone number in the footer. Warby Parker, on the other hand, offers a variety of contact methods throughout their cart.

REI buries their phone number way down in the footer.

REI buries their phone number way down in the footer.

Warby Parker offers a number of ways to complete the transaction if the customer has doubts or prefers them. Discover how to increase mobile ecommerce checkout conversions.

Warby Parker offers a number of ways to complete the transaction if the customer has doubts or prefers them. Discover how to increase mobile ecommerce checkout conversions.

Live Chat. Test this. We don’t yet have evidence that it can improve mobile ecommerce checkout completions, but it could save some abandoners.

Be careful how these kinds of tools render on smartphones.

Even a small Chat badge can get in the way of key information on a mobile device.

Optimize Mobile Checkout Element Placement: Experience a Lift in Conversions

With limited space, it’s important to decide where to test these elements on your shop’s mobile checkout. Here are some placement options for highest impact to experience a conversion boost.

Near call-to-action buttons

Test security badges, customer support ratings, and your return policy above or below buttons such as “Continue”, “Preview”, and “Complete Purchase”.

When a customer decides to buy, there is a natural desire to delay the decision before thumbing the button. We always want to “think about” our decisions involving money. You can counter this with an affirmation of the transaction.

We have written the most extensive guidelines for placement, copy and design of your mobile call-to-action buttons to increase conversions. Check it out.

Near requests for personal information

When a mobile visitor is about to submit personal information to you, there is a natural hesitation. Giving you their email address, physical address, credit card number, or CVV number can feel intrusive.

This is another great place to inject risk reversal messages, testimonials, and a reminder of your value proposition.

In a “sticky” header or footer

Sticky elements are very important in a mobile interaction. One of the first things we address on a mobile site is the contents of the sticky elements.

The header or footer that is always on screen should probably change when the visitor enters the mobile shop checkout process. This is a great place to test trust builders.

Almost any of these elements can be placed in a header or footer. Don’t underestimate the number of things you can place in a sticky header or footer.

As a stand-alone sticky element

Elements such as security badges, certifications, and ratings can be individual elements that stay on screen. These are typically at the bottom. Be careful that these elements do not take the visitor away from the checkout process.

Can I Increase my Mobile Store Checkouts with Apps?

We see apps as a retention and loyalty tool. Apps do have advantages. Apps can provide a more controlled environment, such as making the phone vibrate when you purchase.

If your app provides a feature that can’t be duplicated online, you may consider promoting it on your site.

Warby Parker offers their app in a sticky footer featuring their “Virtual try-on” feature.

Word of Caution: In case you were wondering about an app effectiveness in acquiring new customers, we don’t have any experience that indicates this, even if the shoppers are familiar with the brand. Besides, an app requires two high-commitment conversions: one to install that app, and then one to buy.

In essence, an app becomes part of your offering, a part of a beloved product line. If you have a rabid tribe of enthusiastic customers, the app may be your best retention and repurchase strategy.

Bonus Track: How to Test and Develop your Mobile Checkout

Imagine that your website’s mobile version is strictly targeted at aliens, beings from another world. These beings have oversized thumbs. They live on a world near black hole, so time changes much more slowly. And their world is covered in volcanoes, so there are always distractions around them.

This pretty much sums up your mobile shoppers. They are VERY different from your desktop and tablet visitors.

As such, you should test your mobile ecommerce checkout separately. Letting it evolve independently from your desktop checkout as you learn more about your smartphone visitors.

You can create a different mobile checkout experience in several ways.

Modify your Responsive Web Template for small screens

Your developers will be able to add, remove, and modify elements based on the size of the screen being reported by your visitors’ browsers.

Use third party add-ons that target mobile

Ecommerce sites like Shopify offer plugins that can implement elements such as exit-overlays and sticky headers and footers.

Use Javascript and change things in the browser

There are a number of testing and personalization tools that will allow you to change mobile checkout elements in your visitors’ browsers. You can shape the mobile checkout experience in this way to maximize mobile conversions.

Live User Testing

Would you like to see just how difficult your mobile checkout process is for visitors? If so, we recommend virtually looking over your visitors shoulders.

We are fortunate to live in a golden age of marketing tools. Services like Validately and UserTesting will bring people to purchase something from your website on their smartphone, while recording and talking through their experience.

You will have at least one “palm-to-forehead” moment watching these videos.

And then you can make it easier for your mobile customers to go through your ecommerce checkout process.

Here are 6 very smart ecommerce strategies that will help you minimize the impact of COVID-19 on your business revenues. Take notes.

We like to make business decisions with data. We’ve looked at the data that is available about the coronavirus, COVID-19. Based on our analysis, we believe there is going to be a change in character of the web traffic for many of our ecommerce customers.

These challenging times have already impacted supply chain and will continue to have a serious economic impact on businesses in the future. But there’s always winners, even during recessions.

  • The closing of physical stores may drive more online business. We want you to be ready for this.
  • The closing of offices, factories, and warehouses may disrupt supply chains. We want you to be ready for this, too.

As always, we want to help you minimize the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on your ecommerce store and embrace the positive.

Don’t Go Down Without a Fight: Six COVID-19 Ecommerce Strategies from Smart Businesses

According to behavioral economics, our memories are enhanced during periods of high emotion. The uncertainty created by the coronavirus and its financial impact is putting all of us into an emotional state.

What you do now will be remembered by your customers and prospects more than at any other time in your relationship.

Adding some certainty back into the equation is a great way to position your online shop for a big big recovery.

We work with a variety of businesses all of which are grappling with the same question:

How are we going to survive this (and maybe even thrive)?

We thought we would share some of the ecommerce strategies they’re putting in place to cope and recover.

Pull back. Save money. Cut expenses. Slash programs. Wait and see. Your competitors are pulling back. Make the most of this. These are strategies every business in America is facing, even if you are unaffected by the virus. These are strategies in times of uncertainty.

These are defensive strategies.

There are offensive strategies you can implement as well. Your approach will determine if you take market share during this time or not.

If you are getting slammed by new online shoppers, you need to cut acquisition costs and support your existing customers. If demand for your products has cratered, you need to eek as much value from this traffic that isn’t buying right now. They will buy again. We promise.

Here’s what the smartest ecommerce businesses are doing right now in the face of the coronavirus.

1. Best Ecommerce Strategy to Minimize CoronaVirus Impact on Revenues: Reposition Your Products for New Visitors

More than eight in 10 (85.6%) respondents ages 60 and older said they were likely to avoid shopping centers and malls. That’s not surprising given that COVID-19 has hit older people the hardest, but it may have an unintended consequence on their shopping habits. emarketer

When your customers change, your messaging should change.

Flexispot was quick on their feet. The world shifted and now the world needed to setup their home workspaces. Flexispot shifted with them.

Best ecommerce strategies to minimize Covid-19's impact on revenues: Flexidesk before and after image

Flexidesk before and after image.

Be careful with this. You don’t want to make tone-def mistakes like many companies. This can come across as profiteering.

Not so Smart Ecommerce Strategies: Pure Herbal bad corona virus example Bobby Hewitt

Pure Herbal may appear to be profiting from a bad situation. Source Bobby Hewitt

2. Traffic Dropping? Focus on Existing Customers to Minimize Impact of COVID-19 on Revenue

Why spend money on acquiring new customers if they just aren’t buying. Spread some love on your existing customers.
Free products. Free advice.

What could you do during this time to make your existing customer feel loved.

Most businesses are simply telling their customers whether or not things are business as usual. Others are using this to let their customers know that they’re with them.

IKEA’s ecommerce marketers sent an email to their IKEA Family members offering advice on how to setup an office space in their home.

Smart ecommerce strategies on times of coronavirus: IKEA emailed existing customers offering tips on setting up a home office.

IKEA emailed existing customers offering tips on setting up a home office. Source Dennis van der Heijden

3. Smart Ecommerce Strategies when Conversions are Down: Grow the List

People aren’t spending money like they were a few weeks ago. This doesn’t mean you can’t get value from them.

Use this time to build your list. The most successful ecommerce companies are very good at email.

Conversion Optimization is getting the most value from every visitor to your website.

Here are some options for building your list when visitors aren’t buying.

Offer Content Instead

Offer something of value directly related to your customers. Of course, the virus itself is fair game. How will people who normally buy your products go on without them?

It will be quite easy to create a small report “Six alternatives to ___________ during the COVID-19 outbreak”. Insert your product.

Why would you tell your visitors how to live without your product? If they need your product, but aren’t able to buy right now, you’re doing them a real favor.

You don’t have to go to this extreme. But you must offer relevant content, something that will entice qualified visitors to share their name and email address.

When things begin to recover, the people on your list will be well-qualified future customers. And you will have their name and email address.

Offer Free Products: Think of them as Free Trials

Here’s another smart ecommerce strategy to minimize the pandemic’s impact on your revenues. If you can’t sell it, give it away. At least you’ll be building a list of future buyers and taking market share from your more timid competitors.

One of those sectors that will boom as more employees work from home is online video conferencing. One company sells online video conferencing, virtual meeting rooms and secure instant messaging.

Even though business is booming, they are offering their service for free to non-profits and healthcare professionals. Why? To help the cause and to gain customers who may buy after the crisis recedes.

Minimizing the impact of COVID19 on ecommerce stores when conversions are down: RingCentral home page notice.

RingCentral home page with an excerpt from their coronavirus offer page.

Popups and Sticky Bars

When you enter an ecommerce site, you are likely to get a popup offering you a discount code in exchange for your email address. If people have stopped buying, however, discounts won’t work.

Replace them with your content or free product offers.

Sticky bars are another way to inform your visitors that you are offering things for which they may want to give you their email address.

The beauty of these solutions is that they can be implemented easily without changing your entire website. Services such as Optimonk, OptinMonster, Hello Bar make it easy to implement these on your site with minimal IT intervention.

We recommend trying these approaches:

  1. “Welcome mat.” Opens when the visitor arrives.
  2. “Jilted lover.” Also called an exit-intent overlay, it displays when a visitor is leaving the site.
  3. “Wheelie popper.” Popup that appears when the visitor scrolls a certain distance down the page.
  4. “Poptart.” These ads pop up after a certain amount of time passes. Like a toaster pastry.

4. Media Strategy 101: Do you need to advertise products that are going to sell out anyway?

We did an analysis for one client who was getting rushed by new online buyers. We found that most of the purchases were coming through paid search ads. The acquisition cost of this traffic ate up much of their profit compared to organic search, email and other channels.

So, they responded by decreasing their ad spend and letting the other channels buy.

5. Getting Slammed? Focus on profitable traffic.

Several of our clients are getting slammed right now. Some for obvious reasons. Some for reasons we can’t fathom.

This creates a problem, however. In a worst-case scenario, the virus will shut down the factories and warehouses that are needed to replenish depleted inventories.

The solution: maximize profits on the inventory you have.

We don’t consider it ethical to jack prices up in order to decrease demand. The demand is going to be there regardless of the price.

But you may want to reduce spending on high-acquisition-cost channels in favor of lower cost channels.

6. Unexpected Ecommerce Strategy to Minimize COVID-19’s Impact on Revenue: Digital end-caps

End-caps are the displays you see at the end of the aisle in grocery stores. They are used to increase product sales, like putting gum and candy at the checkout stand. You can use this technique in your digital store.

For example, promote in-stock products on the pages of out-of-stock products.

One of our clients sells industrial safety gear online for manufacturing and construction. They stock respirators, gloves, and other products in high demand due to the virus. They also sell products that aren’t getting depleted, such as spill containment kits and work gloves.

The in-demand products are bringing a whole new segment of visitors to their online store. Just because there is a virus doesn’t mean that these new visitors don’t need those other products.

By strategically placing messaging over products that are depleted, the company can position in-stock products for purchase. They are also communicating their offering to a whole new group of visitors that may not have been familiar with their brand.

Who’s going to do all of this?

If you don’t have the resources to implement these marketing strategies, let us help.

For several of our clients, dropping traffic volume means we can’t run as many tests as usual.

We have excess capacity.

Our COVID-19 response package is inexpensive and can be implemented very quickly.

  1. Review your analytics to determine where you should stop spending and where you should double down.
  2. Identify the strategies from this list that apply to your business.
  3. Setup the necessary tools to support the strategy.
  4. Design several versions of the creative and copy.
  5. Launch, monitor and measure.
  6. Adjust based on the data.

We can offer all of this for a lot less than the money you’re losing right now. Why? Because we hope that, when things return to normal, you’ll want some more of our data-driven strategies on your site.

Jump on a call with us today to see if you qualify for this amazing offer.

Who better than a scientist to come up with the best definition of conversion rate optimization ever? Read on. Be the Judge.

What exactly is conversion rate optimization? You’ve read about it over and over, but you may not have a proper understanding of how to apply it to your ecommerce store or to your online lead generation efforts.

Today we will cover not only the best definition of conversion rate optimization ever written, but its benefits and impact on profit. Plus, best practices and how and where to learn CRO. We’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO?

Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, is the process of maximizing the value you get from every visitor you bring to your website.

The value you get from every visitor is expressed as a rate – the famous “conversion rate“.

And the reason it’s called conversion “rate” optimization is that, in general, we are trying to increase the rate at which site visitors become buyers, subscribers, leads or callers.

Now, most people believe their website only has one conversion rate. The truth is, it has several. Therefore, conversion rate optimization, or CRO, attempts to improve each of these conversion rates – either by increasing value or reducing the associated costs (e.g. ad spend).

How does this process work? CRO is the process of making changes to a website, and measuring how those changes increase or decrease the conversion rate.

Today we will cover not only the best definition of conversion rate optimization ever written, but its benefits and impact on profit. Best practices, how and where to learn CRO and some FAQs on the topic.

Drawing of a digital laboratory by Conversion Sciences.

To accomplish this, we use data to understand how changes to your website affect the behavior of visitors and measure conversions.

Let’s dive in a little deeper.

The Applied Definition of Conversion Rate Optimization

The number of potential customers, visitors or traffic we get to our site will grow, decrease or fluctuate over time. It is generally believed that the rate at which these visitors convert will be more consistent over time than changes in traffic.

This is only partially true.

For example, you may decide that your home page will be better if you put images of your products near the top of the page. You can make this change and see if you get more sales.

But what if traffic decreases on the day that you make the change? You would get fewer sales due to the lower traffic, and it may look like your change was to blame. The percentage of buyers – the conversion rate – may have gone up. But lower traffic caused the total number of conversions or transactions drop.

Let’s assume you make a change to your site the night before Black Friday – the biggest shopping day of the year in the US. And you get a massive increase in sales. You might think that your conversion optimization change was the reason for it. But it was the market that changed.

“Hidden variables” – changes in traffic, in your competitors’ offers, changes in your advertising – can lead you to make bad choices. Fortunately, we have a complete set of methods and disciplines to ensure we don’t make bad decisions as we find out what our customers really want from our website.

Why is Conversion Rate Optimization Important?

As the digital world grows, it becomes harder and more expensive to attract visitors to your website. Organic traffic requires an investment in infrastructure and content. Advertising prices are rising on each new platform: Google, then Facebook, then Instagram, then…

Getting value from this hard-won traffic is the key to sustained online growth. Extracting value means converting visitors to email subscribers, leads or shoppers who add something to their carts or to return customers.

Finally, we want to eliminate those visitors who would not use your solution or buy from you because they cost resources.

In every case, the relationship changes. It converts to something new, and this is a conversion. Our goal with conversion rate optimization is to maximize the percentage of visitors that we convert into customers, and therefore grow our online business.

Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization

The first benefit of conversion rate optimization is generating more revenue from your website’s current traffic. The second benefit is increased conversions, maximizing ROI, ROAS, cost reduction, and cost streamlining. But this is only the beginning.

A good conversion rate optimization program will also:

  • Get more visitors to return
  • Get more customers to buy again
  • Tell you what your best visitors want – and don’t want
  • Help you understand the different kinds of visitors to your site
  • Get your customers to advocate for your business

The data you gather about the people coming to your website is a massive competitive advantage. One that you can leverage for on-going growth and higher customer satisfaction.

What scientific knowledge is fundamental to conversion rate optimization and where can i learn CRO?

What scientific knowledge is fundamental to conversion rate optimization and where can i learn CRO?

Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices

Every successful conversion rate optimization program starts by collecting data and generating hypotheses to evaluate and test. Of course, at Conversion Sciences we have been coaching, writing how-to guides and defining CRO best practices for decades. Here are a few to get you started:

Feel free to visit our CRO Articles & Guides blog section for more articles. Or if you’d rather have our scientists help you, you may want to check out our CRO Services.

Is Conversion Rate Optimization for eCommerce the same as it is for Lead Generation?

The CRO process for ecommerce sites is exactly the same as it is for lead generation websites. It is based on a scientific method and it is designed to keep us from making bad decisions based on a small amount of data that may seem sensible.

Whether you are optimizing for an ecommerce store or for a lead generation site, your questions are the same:

“How much revenue am I generating from the visitors to my website?”

The way you measure success is different for lead generation and ecommerce sites. So, this requires a change in the way you calculate value.

For an ecommerce site, calculating value is easier than for a lead generation site because the transaction happens on the actual website. So, it’s very easy to attribute a visit to an ecommerce transaction. Besides, a visitor can complete a transaction in one visit. You measure value instantly based on the amount each person purchases.

For a lead generation website, the sale happens at some point after the visitor has left the website. You only know the true value of a new customer later, and often the sale happens over the phone or in person.

When we make changes to an ecommerce website, we can see the results almost instantly. However, changes made to a lead generation website may drive more leads, but are these leads as good? Are they turning into customers at the same rate? To answer these questions, a bit more work is required to value leads than buyers.

What Scientific Knowledge is Fundamental to Conversion Rate Optimization?

Analytics. Scientific method. Statistics. This is the fundamental knowledge you should have. Or learn. Or hire.

Sometimes, analytics isn’t enough. In this case, we need to figure out how to generate the data we need. This can be done by conducting experiments. We devise a hypothesis, figure out how to test it, and then run the test until we have some statistical confidence in the data.

The biggest obstacle to a high converting website is sitting between your ears. Our brains are festering lumps of bias.

We tend to make decisions in our daily communication projects based on what we think is effective. Not on what our audience actually wants. We tend to call “effective” those things that match our preconceived notions. What we’ve seen most recently. What matches our most emotional events – big wins and big losses.

Confirmation bias and availability bias blind us to what our audience is really telling us. The conversion rate optimization process is designed to prevent these biases from influencing our decisions.

To do this, we rely on data and experimentation.

The other important thing you need, besides scientific knowledge, is curiosity. If you aren’t curious, you probably won’t care enough to take time to experiment, to feed your curiosity.

Where can I learn Conversion Rate Optimization?

Everyone learns differently.

If you are new to conversion optimization, I recommend my book, Your Customer Creation Equation.

Some prefer to learn by reading and studying. We’ve tried to make sure that our website is a reference that answers the questions that will come up as you explore conversion optimization.

If you’re like me, you prefer to learn from specific examples and then generalize the learning. This is the mark of a highly intelligent learner. I espouse this process in my online courses, which are geared toward self-teachers. I use video and examples to illustrate larger concepts.

Ultimately, your web visitors are unique. They are unlike any other audience, even your direct competitors. The best lessons you will learn will be found in trying new things, measuring precisely and improving your conversion rates.

Would you like to know why your mobile visitors don’t buy from your ecommerce site? Brian Massey, the Conversion Scientist®, unveils the mystery – and tells you what to do about it.

If you are like most ecommerce sites, you’re getting more mobile visitors, but the conversion rates are significantly lower than your desktop and tablet visitors – a lot lower.

Find out how to reverse this trend, increase your sales, and learn to love the small screen.

Understand your mobile ecommerce website visitors

Let’s take stock of your mobile visitors. What are they really like? This will require some analytics work. Even if you aren’t yet comfortable with analytics, get a Google Analytics login and follow along.

Are tablet visitors mobile or non-mobile?

Tablet visitors are generally happy with a desktop-like experience because they have large screens. However, tablet visitors are often in a “lean back” context, browsing for entertainment rather than to accomplish a goal. If your tablet visitors have conversion rates and average order values similar to your desktop visitors, you can regard them as, what I call, “non-mobile” or “big screen” visitors.

Look at your mobile visitors and non-mobile (desktop plus tablet) visitors separately.

Why your mobile visitors don’t buy from your ecommerce site: Questions to ask

To fully understand why your mobile visitors don’t buy from your ecommerce site, answer each of the following questions. There are no right or wrong answers.

1. Is your mobile traffic growing?

Look at the total number of visits (or sessions) for mobile and all visitors over time. Then look at the last month. Google Analytics has a report (Audience -> Mobile -> Overview) that will show you the percentage of these visitors to your site.

The Google Analytics Mobile Overview report shows mobile traffic (green line) is clearly trending up as a percentage of all traffic (blue line).

Figure 1: The Mobile Overview report shows mobile traffic (green line) is clearly trending up as a percentage of all traffic (blue line).

Has the percentage of mobile visitors changed over time? Is this percentage bigger or smaller in more recent months?

2. Does your mobile traffic convert lower than your desktop traffic?

How much do you make from each mobile visitor? Look at the revenue per visit or session value for mobile visitors and compare this to non-mobile visitors. You’ll find this by clicking the Ecommerce tab in the Mobile Overview report.

Choose the Ecommerce view to see average session value reports.

Choose the Ecommerce view to see average session value reports.

If your mobile visitors are converting less or spending less per transaction, you will see it in these metrics.

Report showing the average order value for mobile is less than desktop. Figure 2: In this example, the average order value for mobile visitors is only $0.20 compared to $3.75 for desktop visitors.

Figure 2: In this example, the average order value for mobile visitors is only $0.20 compared to $3.75 for desktop visitors.

You may want to analyze a longer period of time if you have seasonality in your ecommerce business.

3. Do your mobile visitors convert in other ways?

Look at non-ecommerce conversions, including email, subscriptions, registrations, phone calls, and social messenger permissions. Compare these conversion rates to your big-screen or desktop conversion rates.

report showing registration rates for mobile vs desktop visitors. Looking at Goal Set 1, we see that mobile visitors have a lower Registration rate (last column) than desktop visitors.

Figure 3: Looking at Goal Set 1, we see that mobile visitors have a lower Registration rate (last column) than desktop visitors.

4. Do your mobile visitors buy as much their desktop counterpart on the first transaction?

Look at your average transaction size, or average order value. Is it larger or smaller for mobile visitors? In Figure 2, we can see that the average order value for this online store is considerably smaller for mobile visitors ($46.60) than for desktop visitors ($160.43).

5. What channels make up your mobile traffic?

Do you have more mobile customers coming from email and social media?

While more visitors from YouTube are coming on desktop, the opposite is true for Facebook visitors.

Figure 4: While more visitors from YouTube are coming on desktop, the opposite is true for Facebook visitors.

6. What is your ecommerce cart abandonment rate?

This is the number of visitors who add to cart, but don’t check out.

CAR = Transactions / Sessions with Add to Cart

Related Reading: Mobile Call-to-Action Buttons: Best Guidelines for Placement, Copy, and Design

7. What is your mobile checkout abandonment rate?

This is the number of visitors who start to check out, but don’t complete the process.

COAR = Transactions / Sessions with clicks on Checkout

Answering these questions will help you determine the particular behavior of your small-screen visitors. When you are campaigning for resources, you need to be able to tell the story of your mobile visitors.

Report showing mobile visitors have higher abandonment rates than desktop.

Report showing mobile visitors have higher abandonment rates than desktop.

In the example above, we see that mobile visitors have much higher Cart Abandonment (75.66%) and Check-Out Abandonment (68.88%) rates than desktop visitors (52.43% and 37.62% respectively).

This is an indication that this mobile checkout process may have some issues.

The reasons your mobile visitors aren’t buying from your ecommerce site

It costs more to buy on a small-screen mobile device because it takes longer and it extracts a psychological price. There are three major reasons your conversion rate is lower for smartphone users.

  1. Your mobile visitors are coming with a lower level of urgency. They are standing in line, waiting for a table, or checking out of a group conversation.
  2. Your responsive website template assumes a mobile site is just a small desktop site. It’s just too hard to checkout.
  3. Your website is too slow. Mobile visitors have to wait much longer for a slow site because their connections have lower bandwidth.

Conversion Rate Optimization Tips: Mobile visitors aren’t here to buy. Don’t fight it

Mobile users are likely to have a “lean back” attitude compared with your big-screen visitors. For a portion of your visitors, their shopping experience is less urgent, driven more by opportunity than by purpose.

Mobile visits are more often sourced by interruptions than by intent-driven search advertising. They are clicking through, based on a recommendation on Instagram, clicking on your Facebook ad, or coming from your abandoned cart email. In these cases, they are responding to an interruption. They may have a need for your product, but they weren’t shopping intentionally. They were interrupted.

Visitors coming from a search engine are intentional. They are signaling that they are actively trying to solve a problem.

Your mobile traffic is more likely to come from interrupt-driven sources: email and social media websites. Accept this, and move on.

“If you are investing more in the cheap clicks of social media, you are going to attract more “lean back” mobile visitors.”

Start a conversation instead

If you have a large percentage of mobile visitors coming from interrupt-driven campaigns and they are not converting, don’t focus on the sale. Focus on getting an email address or permission to communicate via a social messaging app, like Facebook Messenger.

What call to action would a mobile visitor respond to?

Content: Offer sizing guides, buyers guides, style guides, installation, and how-to videos in exchange for an email address.

Save my work: Offer to store the items they’ve added to their cart in exchange for an email. We call this a “screen hopper”. They may be more willing to buy later when they are checking emails on their computer at work. Offer to send them a link to their wish list via Facebook Messenger. Just know that their return visit will probably be on their smartphone.

Join our community: Offer to make your more passionate mobile visitors a part of an exclusive community.

Discounts. Offer a future discount in exchange for their email address or permission to send them a message.

Don’t redo the whole site. Land mobile visitors on specially designed pages in your online store.

Focus on getting the second visit.

It’s hard to complete forms on a smartphone

Forms are frustrating. They take the joy out of the purchase. No one likes entering their address once, let alone twice. And we tend to make more mistakes on a mobile keyboard. It’s not hard to track form errors in analytics. If you do, you will likely find more errors from mobile visitors.

The reason mobile is harder is the input method: 2 thumbs vs. 10 fingers for a keyboard. And on-screen keyboards aren’t tactile. There’s no feedback. Mistakes happen more often, extracting a psychological price.

Your clue that you have a user-experience problem is a high checkout abandonment rate (see above). If so, you should help your mobile visitors out.

Watch some screen captures

The recommendations I give here may or may not be affecting your visitors. Before you begin making changes to your site based on my rantings, find out which issues are affecting you.

The best way to do this is by watching screen recordings. I KNOW IT’S BORING. But it will take you less time to watch 100 of your visitors interact with your checkout than to make all of my recommended changes.

Screen recordings are pretty easy to get these days. Look at tools such as CrazyEgg, Sessioncam, Mouseflow, and Hotjar.

I recommend watching 50 to 100 visits that include a checkout or an abandonment. The best tools will let you search for these particular recordings. As you watch, tally the number of visitors who struggle, and notice which fields trip them. Star the visits that result in an abandonment. You’ll want to play these for your development team later.

Reduce the form fields

It may seem obvious that you need a credit card billing address, expiration date and CVV number. But, do you really?

Can you get this information from PayPal, Apple Pay, Visa Checkout, or some other service?

Use the right mobile keyboards

There is no good reason to make me enter sixteen numbers using a QWERTY keyboard. The number targets are tiny. Give me the numeric keypad.

The same goes for entering a phone number, CVV, expiration date, PIN, and US postal codes. Use the numeric keypad please.

Choosing the wrong keyboard may be the reason mobile visitors don't buy from your ecommerce site. Use the numeric keyboard for numeric fields.

Figure 5: Use the numeric keyboard for numeric fields.

If you want my email address, please use the email keyboard. It doesn’t require me to do anything special to enter “@”, “.” or “.com”.

Eliminate the endless drop-downs

How many countries are there in the world? If you are choosing your country on a mobile device, you know there is a lot, about two minutes worth of scrolling through a dropdown. I’m from the United States. I have to scroll to the bottom of a long list of countries to find “United States”.

If you don’t ship to Mars and Venus, they shouldn’t be on the list.

Your mobile visitors know the abbreviation for their country. Let them enter “USA” or “Canada” or “UK”.

Also, I’m from Texas, which means I scroll through 40 states. I hate your state dropdown, but not as much as those poor souls from Wyoming.

Avoid fancy fields on mobile forms

There’s been a trend toward auto-formatting fields. Phone numbers magically get parentheses around the city code. Dashes magically appear.

Fancy fields fail too often on mobile devices. If you have the resources to continuously QA all of the new browsers on all of the new devices coming out, you’re probably okay.

Cover the exits

Use exit-triggered, or exit-intent popups to make a final pitch to your mobile visitors. These popups appear when your mobile visitor tries to leave the site. This is a great place to offer to continue the conversation, save the cart, or provide a discount.

Use trust and proof in your mobile ecommerce checkout

You can’t make mobile visitors wait

I often hear that web visitors have the attention span of a goldfish. Mobile visitors could have the patience of a redwood tree and still abandon your page because it doesn’t appear to load.

Your mobile site is slow. This is because no one has a 4G connection to the internet, even if they’re standing right under the cell tower. Have you tested your website with the WiFi turned off? Probably not.

Your mobile site must be snappy. Google considers a mobile page speed slow if it takes more than 2.5 seconds to load over a 4G connection. There is nothing more painful than having to wait for the information needed right there and then when on a smartphone. Even a goldfish won’t hang around if you’re not responding quickly.

Barriers to Sales in Mobile Ecommerce Websites: Someone else designed my shopping cart

You will run into some barriers in optimizing your mobile checkout.

We’ve all been told to think “out of the box.” But “out of the box” shopping carts do not let us customize for our mobile visitors.

Third party services such as Shopify and BigCommerce do their best to give you a strong starting point. But you’ll need resources to customize their default experience for mobile.

Integration with third-party payment options requires work. Services like PayPal and Stripe need to balance security with integration that looks seamless. This is just the first step toward mobile-optimized checkouts.

Your mobile website isn’t a mini desktop site

Google successfully convinced most online businesses to go to a responsive web template with its Mobilegeddon threat. As I said in “Is Google Using Mobilegeddon to Lead You Astray?”, a responsive desktop website only gets you part of the way there.

  • Mobile visitors want more than a mini-me of your desktop site. They want:
  • Smaller forms.
  • Faster load times. Have you tried using your mobile site outside of your corporate WiFi network?
  • Thumb-driven content. Sliders and carousels work on mobile.
  • Custom keyboards for numbers, email addresses and text.
  • Location-based content, like maps.

Mobile visitors want something fundamentally different. Give it to them. Expect to make changes to the way your responsive template works. After a period of testing, your mobile site will evolve away from your big-screen site. That’s as it should be, and it’s the only way to get your mobile site converting as high as your desktop site.

Related Reading:

A must-read guide to increase your Shopify store conversion rate – better yet, conversion optimization rates – with step by step instructions. Check it out.

There is no denying that increasing your Shopify store conversion rate will lead to a growth in sales and revenue, assuming your traffic remains constant. That is why we crafted this complete guide for those Shopify store owners or marketers that want to take their ecommerce site to the next level.

Let’s cover a few of the basics first and then we can dive into how to increase your Shopify store conversion rate steps.

Enabling Google Analytics for your Shopify store

You can’t improve your conversion rate unless you enable measurement. Fortunately, Shopify has you covered.

Shopify offers a satisfactory implementation of Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce tracking. This tracks visitors as they view items in your store, add things to their cart, remove items, and go through checkout.

You’ll need this to track the metrics you’re interested in. For example, the “Google Analytics Ecommerce / Shopping Behavior” report tells you your abandonment rates.

Shopify implements enhanced ecommerce to track shopping behavior in google analytics. Out-of-the-box Shopify Google Analytics integration calculates your abandonment rates for you.

Out-of-the-box Shopify Google Analytics integration calculates your abandonment rates for you.

What Is a Good Ecommerce Conversion Rate For a Shopify Store?

Every ecommerce business on Shopify sells a unique product to a unique audience. There really are no industry benchmarks that you can rely on.

Besides, your Shopify store has more than a single conversion rate. You can have conversion rates for different types of visitors, customers, traffic sources, devices, geos, and customer journey paths.

Any improvement to any of these conversion rates will help you increase your Shopify store conversion rate.

But if your sitewide conversion rate is below one percent, you will struggle to make advertising profitable. At two percent to three percent, you can say that you’ve found a solid mix of traffic and shopping experience for your audience.

To get above this level – to reach the five to ten percent sitewide conversion rate – you have to get good at selling to return visitors. This includes those who have bought from you before, as well as those who have visited but haven’t bought yet.

Ultimately, the best conversion rate for your ecommerce business is one that is better than last year at this time. We are going to tell you how to optimize your Shopify store for higher conversion rates.

How to Increase Your Shopify Store Conversion Rate

As we mentioned earlier, your ecommerce site doesn’t have just one conversion rate. It has several, each depending on the source of the traffic and where they land.

For example, look at the difference between your New Visitors and your Returning Visitors. For most Shopify stores, your returning visitors will have a much higher conversion rate than your new visitors.

This makes sense.

And this is why your Shopify dashboard has the “Return customer rate” metric. Return visitors mean repeat purchasers. Return visitors may also be new customers who are more ready to buy.

You want more return visitors.

So, there are some key realizations that every high-converting Shopify site owner must understand to improve the overall business.

Realization #1: You can’t increase your conversion rate unless you decrease your abandonment rate.

The Abandonment rate of your site is about the opposite of your Conversion Rate. It tells you how many potential shoppers came to your online retail store, but didn’t purchase. Basically, you cannot increase your conversion rate without decreasing your abandonment rate.

Your sitewide abandonment rate is calculated by the number of visitors who leave your site divided by the total number of visitors to your site.

Abandonment = Visitors who don’t buy / All visitors to your site

To make this more interesting, you can consider only non-bounce sessions.

What is the difference between bounce rate and abandonment rate?

The bounce rate tells you how many people left your site immediately after arriving. Abandonment tells you how many people left your site without buying or subscribing.

Bounce rate is a good measure of your traffic qualify and your landing page experience. Abandonment rate is a good measure of your entire shopping and buying experience.

There are two additional ways to calculate your abandonment rate that are very helpful for Shopify ecommerce store owners: Cart Abandonment and Checkout Abandonment.

  • Cart Abandonment = Visitors who added something to their cart but did not buy / All visitors that added something to their cart
  • Checkout Abandonment = Visitors who started to checkout but did not buy / All visitors who started checkout

Cart abandonment includes checkout abandoners, but each tells a different story about your Shopify site.

Visitors often add items to their Shopify cart in order to calculate the total cost of their purchase. Cart abandonment is often simply a part of their shopping process.

On the other hand, those who abandon the checkout process are sending a different signal altogether. They started the purchase process and got spooked for some reason. We can treat each of these visitors differently.

It’s important to understand the difference between your cart abandonment rate and your checkout abandonment rate. Each of these abandoners are called segments of your visitors and they have to be treated differently to be able to boost your Shopify store conversion rate.

Realization #2: Email (and its cousins) is critical to ecommerce success, no matter what generation your visitors are.

If return visitors are so important to the success of your Shopify store, how can you get more of your visitors to return? Get their email address. Every Shopify store owner must be good at email and at building an email list. The stand-out businesses gets email right.

Email has a couple of cousins. These are pixels and text messages.

Pixels set a cookie on your visitors’ browsers, allowing you to target ads at them elsewhere on the web.

Text messages are like email, but with a 90% open rate (as opposed to email, whose open rates often below 30%). None yet has the ROI of email, however.

All of these play a role in getting visitors back to your Shopify store for another shot at a purchase. There are three segments of visitors you’ll want to target with these strategies: customers, abandoners and mobile visitors.

How to increase your Shopify store conversion rate: upspringbaby uses a discount to get remarketing email addresses.

Upspringbaby uses a discount to get remarketing email addresses.

How to Increase Shopify Purchases for Customers

Promotional email may not seem sexy, but it is a proven way to increase the long-term value of customers by getting them to buy more, or offering them other products they may be interested in.

Like brand advertising, email has a direct measurable effect and an indirect effect. The direct effect is when recipients click on the email and buy. The indirect effect is to keep top of mind with your brand. They may come to you through search when they are ready to buy, but thought of you because of the email.

If you have some chops with analytics, take a look at a segment of return visitors who came through organic search or through branded search ads. You can call these awareness-influenced visitors.

Email services like Klaviyo have tight integrations with Shopify. If no direct integration exists (hello, Mailchimp), there is probably an app that will integrate with your email service provider.

So, start crafting those promotional emails to increase your Shopify store conversion rate amongst your customer base.

How to Increase Shopify Conversions for Abandoners

There are two strategies you can put in place for catching visitors who abandon your website: keep them from abandoning and get permission to communicate with them after they leave.

Implement Shopify Permission Marketing

Abandonment remarketing is one of the first strategies every Shopify store manager should implement. This involves collecting a visitor’s email address or setting a cookie on their browser. Or both.

Both of these strategies require you to be good at getting abandoners back to your store. One uses advertising, the other uses email.

First, pixel all of your visitors. The most popular pixels are Google Ads and Facebook. However, you may also find your visual shoppers on sites like Pinterest and Instagram if your products are in the fashion, decor, or food industries. These pixels gives you the ability to craft remarketing ad campaigns to help these visitors see your products again on those social media networks or while they are performing online searches.

Next, select an email service provider that has abandonment remarketing features. This has two parts.

  • A popup app to get an email address.
  • A series of emails that gets visitors back to your site.

We have a client that uses the Justuno app to generate popups. They integrate with email service provider Klaviyo, which delivers a series of emails enticing abandoners to return.

How to Keep your Visitors from Abandoning your Shopify Store

What reasons would you give a visitor to give you their email address? Here are some strategies.

Offer a discount

When a visitor arrives to your site offer a discount in exchange for their email address. This is one of the most popular ways to prime your site to support abandonment emails.

NOTE: Offering discounts may seem like an easy way to overcome buyer objections, but you may want to focus on building value on your site with copy and images before offering discounts.

Offer to save their cart

Throw up an exit-intent popup in your cart and checkout process that offers to save their cart and send a link, so they can come back and finish. Yes, your cart is persistent, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sell this as a benefit.

Pacific Coast offers to let you save your cart. Shopify store save your cart example to help boost your conversion rates.

Pacific Coast offers to let you save your cart.

Offer content

Offer a buyer’s guide or how-to guide to help in their search for products and solutions. Someone who is leaving your site is often comparing you to other solutions. Be the one that helps them choose. Solid and complete product descriptions, measuring charts, and guides can help your shoppers take the desired add to cart action.

How to Increase your Shopify Store Conversion Rate for Mobile Visitors

If you look at your Shopify store results for mobile visitors, you’ll realize two very disturbing things: They have much lower conversion rates and they are more than half of your visits.

And if you are successful with email and Facebook ads most of these visitors will come to your site on smartphones. Disturbing.

Mobile visitors don’t buy for two main reasons: They aren’t in a situation where it’s easy to buy or they find it too difficult to purchase on their mobile devices.

Related reading: Mobile Call-to-Action Buttons: Best Guidelines for Placement, Copy, and Design

We recommend that you focus on different conversions for small screen visitors. Feature click-to-call or chat for those that will, and focus on getting an email address or permission to send a message.

Cheapstairparts presents a phone number in a sticky header. We show you how to increase your Shopify store's conversion rates.

Cheapstairparts presents a phone number in a sticky header.

The goal of click-to-call should be obvious. They have a phone app built into their handset. For those who won’t call, we need to get another chance to invite them back when they are in a better place to buy. That’s the role of email, Facebook Messenger messages and text messages.

You may cause buyers to take the easy way out, but the positive effect of getting more of your mobile visitors back can outweigh the negative impact.

As always, test these strategies on your Shopify store and see which ones improve your mobile conversion rate.

How to Increase Shopify Store Conversion Rate on Your Landing Pages

Your Shopify store conversion rate is a function of two main factors: the type of visitors you are driving to your site and the shopping experience they have once they land on your ecommerce shop.

If you are using paid ad campaigns to attract new visitors, or to draw abandoners, give thought to where you bring them. Choose the right landing pages for your ads as this can help you increase your Shopify store conversion rate.

The best decision depends on the visitor’s source and the promise made.

Should your Shopify Homepage be the Landing Page?

This is one of the most common landing pages on your site, but makes the visitor work the hardest. The home page is designed for every kind of visitor, and as such serves none of them perfectly.

A Shopify Product Page as a Landing Page

If you are investing in Google Shopping Ads, this is the destination where visitors will have the best shopping experience. For people clicking on specific products, it is an ideal place to land. They can add to cart without a lot of effort.

Conversion Rate Optimization advice: Use product pages as landing pages for any product-specific ads to increase your add to cart conversion rate.

Using a Collection or Search Results page as a Landing Page

This is often a poor substitute for a dedicated landing page. If you are having a special on a class of product, you can drive traffic to these pages. However, they require the visitor to do a lot of work to choose with confidence. The more specific your offer, the less appealing these pages are and the lower your conversion rate.

When to Create a Custom Landing Page on Shopify

Use Shopify pages as dedicated landing pages when you have specific offers in your ads. For example, if you have a discount on a certain brand or category of product, don’t send the visitor to a collections page. Bring them to a page that reinforces the ad and lists the products that are discounted.

Leverage the Shopify Blog to Increase Store Conversions

Blog pages can be great sources of organic search traffic. Don’t forget to advertise your products on these pages! In the content, beside the content, and in overlays. Choose the products relevant to the blog post topic.

Your Cart as a Landing Page

If you are bringing abandoners back to your site, their cart may be the best place to bring them. You may try to persuade them to checkout by offering free shipping or a discount. But beware of some choices that can hurt your conversion rate when setting up your Shopify store. Here is one of them.

Don’t CAPTCHA your customers

Shopify gives you the option of using Google reCaptcha on your store. This may reduce some of the spam you receive. But it is putting the burden of managing your spam problem on your customers.

Shopify allows you to setup RECAPTCHA but this is not recommended to increase conversions.

Shopify allows you to setup RECAPTCHA but this is not recommended.

And it is one more step in your process. One more potential mistake that can convert buyers to abandoners.

Shopify Apps that Can Help Lift your Store’s Conversion

There are plenty of ecommerce business apps in the Shopify’s App Store for you to try and test to see if they can help you get a boost in conversions, sales and revenues.

Some very well known examples are Yotpo for rating and reviews, Chatty People, Swatchify, natural language processing site search apps like InstantSearch+, among others. Look for some that leverage AI and personalization to easily deliver targeted shopping experiences.

We are currently working on an article to cover these Shopify Apps in more detail. Sign up for our newsletter to be amongst the first ones to be notified.

Too Many Shopify Apps can Slow Down your Store and Lower your Revenues

Each app that you add to your Shopify store slows your store’s page load time. This is just unavoidable. Slow load times often mean lower conversion rates, especially for your mobile visitors who access your ecommerce website over 3G or 4G.

If you can configure your site using your theme or a tag manager, choose that before adding another application. For example, you can add one of many pixel apps to your site from the Shopify app store. But a better way is to using the Online Store -> Preferences page in Shopify. Don’t get drawn into an app by features you may never use.

Whenever you add a new app, I recommend running several pages of your site through the free website site speed analyzer from Google. You will see an overall speed classification, compare with your competitors, and your potential revenue if you improved your Shopify store’s page load speed.

You’re also going to have to focus on elements that optimize conversion rates in any type of online retail shop. Feel free to read and download our Complete 110-Point Ecommerce Optimization Checklist. It will help you increase your Shopify store conversion rate.

Test and implement these guest checkout tactics to reduce cart abandonment, grow ecommerce sales and conversion rates, and have your customers complete the purchase.

As a customer, do you really want to create an account for every single website you interact with? Absolutely not. On the other hand, if you are a customer, you want these online retailers to know who you are. This is why a website without a guest checkout is regarded as a “conversion killer”.

Having a guest checkout is one way to keep people from leaving your ecommerce site before they buy.

You may be worried about losing that connection with the customer. But don’t fear. If you implement some of these guest checkout ideas, you will be able to continue the conversation – even if they say they can’t stay for long as of now.

Let’s review these guest checkout tactics to help us grow sales and improve the user experience. It’s jam-packed with examples and ideas from a group of top US ecommerce sites we evaluated to illustrate this article.

Guest Checkout Tactics: What can I do to increase my ecommerce conversion rates?

34% of the users in a Baymard Institute study abandoned an order because they were not offered an ecommerce guest checkout option.

Guest checkouts are an increasingly standard feature of most ecommerce sites today. But what sets the real winners apart is the checkout experience or the finesse with which they give the customer a choice between registering and proceeding as a guest.

If we ignore the segment of visitors that are “just browsing”, and look at the remaining reasons for abandonments, we get the above distribution. Source: Baymard Institute cart abandonment rate statistics.

Baymard Institute cart abandonment rate statistics.

If we ignore the segment of visitors that are “just browsing”, and look at the remaining reasons for abandoned carts, we get the above distribution. Source: Baymard Institute cart abandonment rate statistics.

1. Create account after purchase

Ironically, the only bit of additional information an ecommerce site needs is a password to create an account. Anyone paying with a credit card is providing their name, and it is standard practice to provide an email address for receipts and order updates.

Allow guest shoppers to create an account after the purchase is complete. Most of the information will have been filled in, and it would probably be a matter of adding a couple of fields. This will certainly help raise conversion rates, and may have only a small impact on the number of accounts your customers create.

Did you know that your customers are more likely to create an account after they purchase? This may seem counter-intuitive, the best time to ask someone to do something for you is right after they’ve purchased. They like you more because they chose you.

If you want to take it a step further, offer a guest checkout only and tell them they can create an account later, if they so desire.

Victoria’s Secret secret (and subtle) approach to account creation. Guest checkout tactics to grow ecommerce sales.

Victoria’s Secret secret (and subtle) approach to account creation.

2. Express payment options or social signups

A good way to complement a guest checkout, which will also save time filling out forms, is to offer a social signup or PayPal as the payment method. Notice how your customers can then go through the checkout without having to enter lots of details.

Not only will these options make for a smooth checkout UX, they will have a big impact on mobile checkout rates. No matter how short you make your forms, nothing beats a pre-filled option, especially when you are doing it on your phone.

Be careful, though. Not everyone trusts ecommerce websites with their social data. Thanks, Cambridge Analytica. Instead of “Login with LinkedIn”, try language like “Auto-fill from LinkedIn.”

Add this AB test to your mobile conversion optimization list, and see if you can grow the number of completed orders with express sign-ups.

3. Save your details for the next time

The smartest ecommerce sites give visitors clear reasons for creating an account at the time of purchase. They know repeat customers spend 67% more than new customers.

Of all the guest checkout tactics, this is the one I favor the most. Nothing pushy about signing up for an account or registering for future savings. Just a plain “would you like to save your details for the next time?” Why not? If I enjoy your products, I will definitely be coming back to your shop.

Do you offer a customer loyalty program? Well, there’s no better time to promote the incredible benefits of your program than right after a purchase.

Conversion Sciences Pro Tip: Craft a special exit-intent pop-up on your thank-you page that invites your new customer to enjoy the benefits of having an account. An exit-intent popup appears when the visitor is about to leave your site. This is a good time to offer something like, “Let us save your details and earn loyalty points.”

Nothing is more worrisome than your website conversion rate dropping. You’ll want to know why, so you can fix it. Breathe. Here’s where to check.

Watching your conversion rate drop is not fun. It will make you lose sleep until you know what’s causing it. And maybe worse until you see it climbing back up again.

Fortunately, any drop in conversion rate has an explanation and one or more solutions.

Bringing it back may be just a matter of time, but just waiting is never a good answer. Sudden drops in conversions can be quite frustrating if you do not know where to dig. Do you agree?

It may be some of the obvious culprits that are to blame for your website conversion rate dropping – website redesigns, landing page changes, new offers, pricing, promos, or sales. But if it’s not obvious, keep calm. Go through this checklist and get it taken care of.

 

Keep calm and read this post if your conversion rates are dropping.

Keep calm and read this post if your conversion rates are dropping.

1. Those Devilish Tracking Codes

It happens. You may believe your analytics tracking codes, also called tags, are working and reporting on your conversions without a hitch. You may find that’s not the case anymore. Incorrectly installed tracking codes could be the cause of your conversion rate dropping.

Maybe they got corrupted when making small tweaks to your site or when implementing a new campaign or when versioning a landing page.

Retrace your steps. Try to remember what you have modified lately. Yes, this is when you’ll realize you should make it a habit to use Google Analytics’ Annotations. This is a great way to easily find the changes you’ve made, changes that may have broken your tracking.

To make sure all of your analytics tracking codes work as they should, we recommend Google Tag Assistant. This is a plugin for your Chrome browser. It will tell you if your tracking is setup properly on any page of your site. Heed the recommendations in the tool. Nothing should be misconfigured.

Here are some places to look:

  • Did you launch any new landing pages? If so, are the tracking codes setup on them?
  • Did you release any new offers? Make sure you’re creating goals in Google Analytics for all of your reports, demos, trials and purchases.
  • Did you add any third-party tools to your site or ecommerce plugins? Make sure they are properly integrated with Google Analytics.

2. Conversion Rate Dropping due to Lack of Browser Compatibility?

Google Analytics has very handy reports to identify where the problem may lie. Check for a significant drop in conversions for a particular browser. Your major browsers include Chrome, Safari, IE, Firefox & Edge and on mobile, Android and iOS.

Found it?

Browser testing: Target Chrome 71.0.3578.98 / Windows 2008 R2.

Browser testing: Target Chrome 71.0.3578.98 / Windows 2008 R2.

Now we test the Target website on Chrome 51.0.2704.103 / Windows 2008 R2. Notice the differences.

Now we test the Target website on Chrome 51.0.2704.103 / Windows 2008 R2. Notice the differences.

Finally, Target website tested on Firefox 30.0 / Debian 6.0.

Finally, Target website tested on Firefox 30.0 / Debian 6.0.

Test your checkout flow, your forms, on-exit intent pop-ups, even your landing pages with that browser. Keep in mind that not all browsers behave in the same way on every operating system. Therefore, you have to check on Windows, Mac and Linux, at the very least. Has some of your website’s CSS or Javascript become obsolete?

Google Analytics has a very handy report for this: Audience > Technology > Browser

Google Analytics browser report.

Google Analytics browser report.

Then select the Ecommerce report. You’ll be able to look for browsers that underperform.

If it’s not a particular browser, check for mobile, tablet, desktop or amp technical bugs or issues. Is an element of your responsive landing page now hidden from view on a mobile device?

3. Don’t Underestimate Website Performance

If your server or your CDN are experiencing glitches, or your website is suffering from a sudden slow down in page load speed, you may not have dropped your organic rankings yet but your customer UX has degraded.

Moreover, your visitors are currently sending those unhappy experience signals to search engines. Ouch!

Check the Search Console coverage report to make sure you didn’t have any 500 internal server error. If so, talk to your hosting company or sys admins to have them resolve it.

Google Search console coverage report. Is your server or CDN misbehaving? Could this be the cause of your conversion rate dropping?

Google Search console coverage report. Is your server or CDN misbehaving? Could this be the cause of your conversion rate dropping?

Now take a look at the Google Analytics speed reports and compare it with the previous period. A slowdown of the average server response time will point to a need for additional server resources or to a software upgrade. If the average page load time is the one that has increased and you are running a CMS like Magento, Shopify or WordPress, start digging into extensions, plugins and image sizes.

Improve visitor experience by addressing page load speed issues.

Improve visitor experience by addressing page load speed issues.

I guess, pinpointing why your website conversion rate is dropping can get a bit technical, huh?

4. Have you Forgotten to Optimize for Mobile Devices?

Ok, you already checked that your site was displaying correctly when you checked for technical issues. But, it’s possible that your mobile customers require a different conversion experience than the one you crafted for your desktop users.

Access Google Analytics and compare traffic for devices under Mobile Audience overview year over year. Maybe it’s time to contact our Mobile CRO experts. We wrote the book on it.

 

5. Your Marketing Personas Changed Behaviors

Usually, customer behavior takes quite a long time to reflect negatively on your conversion rates. So, concentrate on other issues unless you’ve noticed your conversion rate dropping for a while.

If the latter is the case, maybe it’s time to take a fresh look at your marketing personas. Times do change.

6. Conversion Rate Dropping with a Traffic Increase?

A decline in traffic volume can obviously decrease the number of conversions and possibly your online shop conversion rate. But what if there’s an increase in traffic? Yes, even an increase in traffic can badly affect a website’s conversion rates.

First things first. Make sure you identify the traffic source that has experienced a decrease in conversion rate. Is it the same as the one whose traffic volume increased? Remember to check their landing page functionality. If that’s not the problem, review a few of these scenarios.

6.1 Paid Traffic Increase

A lower conversion rate with a paid traffic increase could be pointing to non-relevant campaign targeting or to a lack of understanding what will persuade your visitors to buy or try your products or services.

Maybe you need to put things in perspective and understand that in some occasions such as Black Friday, prospects perform a lot of comparison shopping. Therefore you may experience much higher traffic driven by your social or ppc campaigns but a decline in conversion rates. I bet you are spending more on these campaigns as well, aren’t you?

Optimize your ad copy and landing pages accordingly so your site won’t be left behind in this increased competition and avoid significantly lower conversion rates.

Answer this, have you been running the same campaign for a long time? People are clicking but not converting? Maybe it’s time to change the landing page.

Examine each step of your funnel and look for weak points. Arm yourself with Heat Maps. They can definitely help you identify what your visitors are seeing or missing. Engage in split testing and get those conversion rates back up.

6.2 Sudden Surge in Social or Organic Traffic Volume

A spike in social or organic traffic may be attributed to the creation of clickbait blog posts. The problem with these articles, is that while traffic may increase, these visitors tend not to convert – at least not immediately. You will experience a perceived “drop” on conversion rates as a similar number of conversions are being diluted in higher traffic. Social traffic tends to react faster than organic, so look for correlations there first.

6.3 The Attack of the Bots or Ghost Spam

Bots can also generate a sudden growth in direct or referral traffic. It’s quite easy to identify those bots on analytics – unless they were spectacularly well coded. This is rarely the case. Bots don’t have gender, age and they have 100% bounce rate.

They will produce the same effect as any spurt in irrelevant and non-converting traffic: declining conversion rates.

6.4 Are You Emailing Less?

Email is one of the highest converting traffic sources for most businesses. If you have reduced the frequency of email or have changed the kind of email you are sending, this may impact you overall conversion rates.

Nothing more worrisome than your website conversion rate dropping. Evidently, you’ll want to know why so you can fix it. Breathe. Here’s where to check.

Nothing more worrisome than your website conversion rate dropping. Evidently, you’ll want to know why so you can fix it. Breathe. Here’s where to check. This image has been designed using resources from Freepik.com.

7. Blame Seasonality for Your Conversion Rate Dropping

Does your conversion tend to drop at this time of the year? Seasonality usually causes a very rapid change in conversion rates and it may be accompanied of lower traffic or not.

If your traffic has not changed, compare with last year’s data and see if you are following trend. We tend to think of seasonal changes as holiday times but professional services like website design tends to drop during those times.

One of the most interesting seasonality drops I have ever seen happens in the wedding services industry every New Year’s eve. I guess one celebration offsets the planning of the other. So, tread carefully when making website changes without considering these seasonal effects or they could play against you.

The same seasonality may affect traffic, therefore always keep track of decreases or increases in seasonal trends.

8. When your Competitors Cause your Conversion Rate to Drop

If your conversion rate is dropping and you cannot find anything wrong with your site or with your actions, you may want to check what your competitors are up to.

Maybe they are running a special discount or a promotion that drives conversions away from you. Monitor their actions and respond accordingly. This may help you address some of the conversion loss.

Of course, lower conversion rates don’t mean as much as Return on Investment (ROI), so don’t leave that metric aside, You may be alarmed because you see your conversion rate dropping but in the end, that’s not what really matters What counts is your bottom line. Looking at a single conversion rate could be narrowing your view of the business, especially on this day and age of omnichannel marketing.

And, if all else fails, you can hire Conversion Sciences for a CRO Audit. Having a pair of expert eyes analyze your site, your 360 degree customer journey and review your conversion rates is always a plus.

Sales funnel or full funnel conversion optimization? Which should you use and when? It all depends on what you want to understand.

Full funnel conversion optimization – or the Conversion Sciences Profit Funnel™ – provides the analysis and insights needed to help positively impact your business bottom line. Analyzing a sales funnel helps improve those issues found in a specific buying process.

There is nothing wrong about analyzing a sales funnel conversion rate or a sales funnel model for a specific segment of a customer journey. But your online business will definitively benefit from performing a Profit Funnel™ or full-funnel conversion optimization as well.

A highly experienced team of conversion experts can leverage both models when optimizing, instead of narrowing the view and hurting profits. An inexperienced conversion consultant will only see a siloed series of sales funnels, evaluate them independently and make decisions based on their own unique ROAS instead of their interactions.

Deliver double-digit sales growth every year, year after year. Increase revenues and profit. And shorten your sales cycle with our ecommerce and lead generation solutions.

Let’s review the key differences between sales funnel and full funnel conversion optimization or Profit Funnel™. We’ll begin with a great example of both models, a definition of a full marketing funnel. Finally, we’ll cover their differences in scope and the metrics used by each funnel.

Happy customers means returning customers. The starting point for full funnel conversion optimization is the customer blueprint and guess whose CRO audit services include a map of the customer journey for your online shop? Conversion Sciences.

Happy customers means returning customers. The starting point for full funnel conversion optimization is the customer blueprint and guess whose CRO audit services include a map of the customer journey for your online shop?

Example of Sales Funnel vs Full Funnel Conversion Optimization

Imagine an addiction treatment center that offers both low-cost at-home testing kits and treatment programs. Their at-home drug testing kit sells for $10, and it costs $5 to manufacture and ship. Their treatment programs start at $15,000.

They have an effective social media presence, paid campaigns to engage and attract their target market. And they also provide valuable resources for people with addiction problems and for their loved on their website. These range from informational articles to online quizzes to help find out whether or not one is suffering from an addiction and what is the best course of action.

Ok. Time to tackle sales funnel optimization. If they analyze their PPC sales funnel they will realize that it is costing them $20 in ad spend to convert each home testing kit sale. This added to the manufacturing and shipping costs may lead them to determine that this $10 sale is costing the company $25. But they are not looking at their profit margins, they are simply calculating Return on Ad Spend or ROAS.

Thus, they may decide to turn off the ad spend and stop this failing campaign because they “lose” $15 per sale. Or they may attempt to improve a Google Ads campaign that is already performing quite well.

But what if this addiction treatment center looks at the full-marketing funnel or Profit Funnel™ instead?

They would find that 20% of their customers have repeated their kit purchase every 3 months.

By the same token, they have not estimated the impact that their content development and social media efforts have on those conversions. And they were attributing the sale to the last touch-point.

As the buyer journey is not limited to a single channel, analyzing a single sales funnel could narrow your business focus and marketing assessment scope.

Moreover, this treatment center finds that 2% of the people who purchase their $10 test later sends a loved one to their center for a $15k treatment program. Those $20 in ad spend for each testing kit sale got the family to notice their services and inquire about their drug-rehab program. Therefore, for every 100 tests they sell, an average of 2 patients will join their treatment program generating a minimum of $30,000 in revenue.

Before I became the CMO, I was more focused on how we were spending our marketing budget than on how marketing could help drive long-term business objectives.But thinking like this holds businesses back. Marketing should be valued for its long-term potential, rather than its short-term efficiencies.

-Monty Sharma, CEO and CMO, Jenny Craig

So, What is Full Funnel Conversion Optimization or Profit Funnel™ Optimization?

As we have noticed, a full funnel evaluates the 360 degree customer journey with a company or brand. Its goal is not only to acquire a customer but also to understand, nurture and improve their relationship and experience with the brand.

It focuses on not only pre but post-transaction because it takes into account how this will affect the probability of increased number of subscription renewals or sales, lower customer rotation, lower customer acquisition costs, and increased profit margins.

As we can clearly see, even though it’s called a funnel, this model looks more like an infinite loop with many potential touch-points throughout the buyers journey, over time and across a multitude of devices and online/offline experiences.

Have you even thought of people interacting with your site or buying from you via Alexa? Full funnel analysis and optimization will deliver a more cohesive personalized experience to your online customer segments.

Have you even thought of people interacting with your site or buying from you via Alexa? Photo: Grant Ritchie via Unsplash.

1. Sales Funnel vs Profit Funnel™ or Full Funnel Optimization: Differences in Scope

One of the main differences between sales funnel and a full funnel conversion optimization is its scope. The oftentimes narrow span of a sales funnel is overshadowed by the number of elements or touch-points that a Profit Funnel™ considers.

Let’s check them out.

Single Path vs Infinite Loop: Are you optimizing for Omni channel yet?

The most evident difference between the sales and the Profit Funnel™ models lies in their reach. Highly restricted to a specific conversion path for the sales funnel versus a very broad view of the customer journey for the latter.

While most sales funnels are focused on a single transaction (such as a lead, sale or subscription) the full funnel or Profit Funnel™ acknowledges the entire lifetime of a potential customer or client. Its purpose is to allow us to take a step back and look at the entire customer journey or full marketing funnel and help optimize by what is most profitable without discarding the customer experience.

One Decision Maker vs Multiple Stakeholders

Have you been optimizing for a single decision-maker? Maybe you were leaving some marketing personas out of the equation. The higher the ticket price, especially for B2Bs, the higher the likelihood of having more than a single decision-maker involved in the purchasing process. Most companies will include different stakeholders’ input through the funnel and each one of them may further or delay that coveted B2B sale.

Sales funnel conversion optimization targets one person. Profit funnels recognize there is often more than one decision-maker.

Conversion Sciences Profit Funnel™ recognizes and accounts for this fact. Trying to optimize a single funnel to convert this lead is short-sighted, when understanding the 360 degree customer journey and optimizing for it, will significantly increase conversions and boost profit margins.

Single Device vs Cross-Device

We often find – when auditing a client’s conversion efforts – that their sales funnels don’t include mobile customers. Addressing this gap via mobile conversion optimization efforts has increased their profits manyfold.

The Profit Funnel™ recognizes the value of determining which of those platforms holds the highest potential for each particular conversion and finding a way to best optimize each path.

Sales funnels often focus on increasing conversions on a certain page on either mobile, tablet, or desktop. Thus, leaving out the reality that customers will interact with your brand, product or service in multiple ways and through as many devices as exist.

Have you even thought of people interacting with your site or buying from you via Alexa?

Full Funnel Conversion Optimization Enables a More Personalized Online Experience

The data-driven strategy of optimizing the full marketing funnel helps you identify consumer segments. Behavioral information can be collected in-store, online, and post-visit. The insights derived from this analysis helps you craft and deliver online personalized experiences to boost conversions and increase their contribution to your bottom line. All the while deriving insights to improving your marketing strategy.

“You are engaging with the consumer on an intimate level — they are telling you what products are interesting. That customer data is one of the most important things to grow your brand.” – Kate Kibler, Timberland’s VP of direct-to-consumer.

For high-traffic sites, Conversion Sciences offers the latest martech stacks – ML and AI-powered – via the Conversion Catalyst AI™. Our Conversion Catalyst AI™ builds a predictive model that identifies which visitors are ready to buy, and delivers the perfect experience so that they are more likely to buy from you. So you can deliver the most optimized experience be it on your website, on wearable devices, voice search, augmented-reality or any of the myriad of experiences the IoT brings us.

Full funnel analysis and optimization will deliver a more cohesive personalized experience to your online customer segments.

2. Sales Funnel vs Full Funnel Conversion Optimization Metrics

It’s hard to take a look at your full marketing funnel and try to gauge how well it’s working besides ROI and profit margins. But following those metrics without fully understanding which effort or efforts made the difference, is no way to run a business either. But lucky you. Full funnel is optimized with your bottom line in mind and a bespoke full funnel attribution will help you identify what’s helping and what’s hindering your conversions.

Therefore, the difference between sales funnel and full funnel conversion optimization is that you will end up concentrating your marketing spend on those efforts who bring in profitable returns. Much better than looking at a measly conversion rate. right? ;)

Sales funnel conversion optimization targets one person while Profit funnels recognize there is often more than one decision-maker.

Sales funnel conversion optimization targets one person while Profit funnels recognize there is often more than one decision-maker.

ROAS vs ROI

Are you narrowing your business focus down to sales funnels and conversion rates? Are you making decisions that affect your whole business by a simple ROAS? Or are you leveraging a 360 degree customer blueprint to improve your company’s profit margins?

Do you need your customer journey mapped? Check out Conversion Sciences conversion rate optimization audit services.

In the addiction treatment center example, when the sales funnel was not profitable (its ROAS was negative), they could have shut down the ad campaign. But when they looked at the full funnel (in-patient treatment registrations), the ad investment was profitable and it justified the initial losses in the funnel. It had a positive ROI.

Thus, by using both metrics, you can isolate those efforts whose ROAS may be positive but not their ROI, which takes into consideration not a single digitally advertised campaign but how each contributes to the business profit margins. And you can spare from killing efforts with negative ROAS because, in the end, their revenue-generating power is much larger than the one calculated from the revenue from ad campaign/cost of ad campaign.

By doing so, you change the focus to driving business performance, not just advertising performance.

Single Attribution vs Custom Attribution

Going back to the addiction treatment center example. There are things they do that contribute to their bottom line – such as informational blog posts, quizzes, etc. But their attribution model assigned the conversion value to a single Google Ads campaign.

People have several contacts with a brand before they even consider converting on that landing page, clicking on that PPC ad or that Instagram shoppable image. Which means that any and all contributions along the 360 degree funnel, or full funnel or Profit Funnel™ must be taken into account and their value toward each of the conversions (testing kit purchase, treatment) attributed properly to measure its impact on revenues and on profit margins.

While a single touch attribution model is a fast and simple way to allocate credit to a campaign, full funnel must use a bespoke or custom attribution model to understand what is working and what is not.

It’s common yet dangerous and naive to make assumptions about which touchpoint to attribute credit for a conversion. Oftentimes these assumptions are created from unrecognized personal bias and proven false through data analysis. This is one of the biggest reasons that analyzing all metrics is vital to a company’s long-term success.

It can be dangerous to delay asking for the sale on your website. Optimizing for buyer intent helps you ask at the right time.

You should hire me.
I’m good at what I do, have helped some pretty awesome companies achieve killer results, and I reckon I could help you achieve similar levels of success.
If you’ve got copywriting or PPC optimization needs, I’m your man. Click here to pay your deposit now and secure my revenue increasing services!

Crappy pitch, right? Even overlooking the dreadfully generic benefit, poor copy, and woeful CTA there’s still something important missing.

An omission which would stop you from reaching out and laying down that deposit I so desperately want.

That something is your complete lack of knowledge and trust in me.

99% of the people who read this will never have heard of me. They’ll have no idea who I am, only a vague idea of what I do, and absolutely no inkling as to whether or not I’m good at it (save for my poorly worded benefit brag).

This is first contact for you and I. And for a first contact, that pitch is far too aggressive.

Unfortunately, this is the exact approach I see countless brands across the globe making day after day. They think all they need is a hard pitch, a well optimised landing page, and some relevant traffic.

But that’s not how sales are made.

No one makes big purchase decisions based on impulse. It might work for low cost items, but for big-ticket products or high end services you’ve got to foster a little trust before a pitch will be effective.

You’ve got to establish yourself as an authority; a provider of the highest quality. Only then will a hard pitch for high-priced products work.

This is the element missing from so many campaigns. It’s the element that not only makes the sale, but keeps your customers coming back to you time and time again.

It’s a shame that more business don’t focus on building relationships. And if I had to hazard a guess why, it’s because very few understand that…

Not all your Leads are Ready to Purchase

In fact, very few are at the point where they’re ready to open their wallet.

If you’ve spent any time in marketing and sales you’ll have heard the statistics. It takes anywhere between 6 and 12 touchpoints with customers to make a sale. You’ve probably also seen countless images like the below.

Customer touchpoints

Customer touchpoints

Source

There’s an element of truth to these beliefs. The view of a wholly linear sales funnel might be outdated, but the principle stands.

People don’t trust you enough to purchase after a single interaction.

Check the modern consumer’s browsing habits and you’ll see what I mean. Modern users jump from site-to-site, they use various devices, abandon, reengage, and complete purchase journeys at completely random times.

It’s honestly a bit of a mess. But figuring out how to make the most of the modern consumers scatterbrained approach to online purchases doesn’t have to be. And it all begins with…

Ignore the Concept of Touchpoints

When you follow the old linear journey and the belief that you must have X touchpoint for the sale it blinkers your focus.

The thought of there being a set number of touchpoints to make users purchase is absolute bullshit. I don’t walk into a store 6 times and on the 7th feel as though I must buy something simply because I’ve hit my touchpoint limit.

The same is true for the online purchase journey. People don’t buy based on the number of touchpoints alone. They purchase based on value.

Let’s put this in real terms, I recently assisted a client in optimising their PPC campaigns. When I took over, all campaigns targeted industry related keywords before directing users to the primary landing page.

If we imagine the client was in the real estate space, that meant searches like the below all directed to the same page:

  • What are the house sale processes in [area]
  • the best real estate broker in [area]
  • what’s in [neighborhood] for [kids/elderly/students]

The client believed that if customers stopped by his site often enough, they were eventually bound to hire him. He thought this repeated hard pitch was guaranteed to wear his customers down until they bent to his will.

It didn’t work well for him because, whilst he had a frequently visited site, it offered no value.

If he had instead offered something of value related to the user’s search, then people would have remembered him. Something like:

  • An eBook/guide explaining the house sale process
  • A sales page explaining why he was the best
  • A neighborhood guide that detailed all relevant areas

Taking this approach gives people what they want. It offers the value they’re searching for and would raise him in their estimation.

You have to shift focus to the customer. You have to examine the reason the user comes to your page/site, understand the problem they’re facing, and optimize to address that problem.

As Brian mentions in this piece:

A landing page has two very focused jobs:

  1. Keep the promise made in the ad, email or link that brings visitors to the page. We call this the Offer.
  2. Get the visitor to take action on the offer.

The offer is what I want to bring attention to here. People at different stages of the customer journey need different things from you.

Your traffic generation makes a promise that attracts them, your pages need to reflect and deliver on that promise.

So the first step is to stop directing users with different needs to a single hard sales page. You first need to optimize each page for buyer intent.

What Do I Mean Buyer Intent?

I’m sure you’re aware of the different stages of awareness and how they impact the length and detail of your landing pages.

If you’re not, I’ll offer a very quick explanation. Basically, the less aware someone is of your brand, the longer your landing page usually is.

Someone who’s having their first contact with your brand will need more information before they take any action.

On the other hand, someone who knows your brand well, understands the products you offer, the benefits, and maybe has bought something from you before won’t need as much information. All they need is the bare essentials of the product and offer.

The guys at Copyhackers put a great image together explaining this.

Awareness and Long PagesIt’s some killer advice. But, it’s excluded something something the marketing community has generally overlooked.

Buyer Intent

Length of page is great when considering the stages of awareness, but it doesn’t take buyer intent into consideration. Not all people buy products for the same reason.

Some products and services are indeed universal and customers from all walks of life purchase for the same reason. In those cases, you only have to consider the stage of awareness.

Take the below, once again from Copyhackers, as a perfect demonstration of a universal buyer intent.

Copyhackers address "Universal" buyer intent.

Copyhackers address “Universal” buyer intent.

The above would resonate with all people suffering from substance abuse. It’s a perfectly optimized page for those seeking help because intent, in this case, wouldn’t deviate between different people.

But in cases where buyer intent will differ, you have to consider what the user’s intent is and optimize accordingly.

I’ve chosen an extremely obvious example to highlight this in Upwork. Upwork is a great place to hire cheap freelance work (and a terrible place to offer freelance services).

The site ranks well for all terms relating to freelancing on both the client and freelancer side.

However, they have two distinct sides to the site. One is optimised for those who are looking to hire a freelancer, the other is for those looking for work.

Upwork optimized each of these pages for different buyer intent.

Upwork optimized each of these pages for different buyer intent. 

Both are optimized for different intent. They’re focused on a service which overlaps, but are completely different in their approach because they’re trying to convert two distinct groups of people.

I know this example is something of a copout because, whilst the services overlap, they have very different demographics with different goals.

However, it proves the point that the same service can have different pages targeting different buyer intent. Each one is aimed at providing a high level of value to its respective audience.

Optimizing for buyer intent in this way should be a common practice in every business’s marketing.

For example, eCommerce product pages should be optimised not just for the product, but also for who might be shopping. A woman shopping for jewelry herself will need different information than her partner who’s buying it as a gift.

Unbounce have good examples of this. They’ve built campaigns (from the look of it both PPC and SEO campaigns) that direct users to pages that mirror explicit needs and the search terms users are using.

For example, a search for “consulting landing page builder” directs to the below page which is set up to sell their consulting specific landing page templates.

This page is targeted specifically to consultanta building landing pages

This page is targeted specifically to consultanta building landing pages

Pop in a similar search for “SaaS landing pages” and you get the below.

This page is similar to the previous, but targeted at SaaS businesses.

This page is similar to the previous, but targeted at SaaS businesses.

Both are specific to the search term and offer the answer the user is looking for.

The service wouldn’t change as the end goal is still to get the user to sign up for an Unbounce account where, if I’m not mistaken, they’d get access to all of the free templates outlined on both pages.

The difference is simply in focusing on the need of the customer. If you want to implement something similar to the above, here’s what you need to do.

Focus on the Immediate Value

I’m a huge proponent of the one page, one purpose rule.

Whatever you’re selling, your landing page should only have one purpose. Anything more and you’ll just end up confusing yourself, and your customers.

However, buyer intent will dictate that immediate conversion goal. Let’s again imagine that my goal is to understand landing pages and that I’m a complete newbie to marketing.

My first search might be “what is a landing page?”, with that search I’d find the below ads.

There is one ad for "What is a landing page?" on the results page.

There is one ad for “What is a landing page?” on the results page.

One ad from Wix,which leads to this page.

Thsi page does not tell the reader what a landing page is.

Thsi page does not tell the reader what a landing page is.

The intent for me was to educate myself on the basics of landing pages. Does this page do that?

No (the dictionary response did a better job)! Again, it’s focused only on the sale and getting people to sign up.

It tells me that I can try a free landing page and create a stunning site, but doesn’t answer the question I asked. If I were truly seeking for information on landing pages, I’d bounce almost immediately and forget Wix within minutes.

What they should have done was provide something that educated me on the basics of landing pages.

That could be a comprehensive beginner’s guide blog post or even an eBook/guide behind an email gate.

The value for people at the highest level of awareness is not being answered here. And there’s a huge gap that could be filled.

What about those later in the purchase journey for landing page services searching “how to create a highly optimised landing page

Search results for “how to create a highly optimised landing page”

Search results for “how to create a highly optimised landing page”

There’s a couple of potentials in here. The WordStream result is the highest relevant result so we’ll use that in this example. If I click though, I find the below.

This page is highly relevant to the search term “how to create a highly optimised landing page”

This page is highly relevant to the search term “how to create a highly optimised landing page”

Does this answer the question I asked and is it targeted at those with an intent to learn more about the perfect landing page?

Hells yeah it is.

It’s exactly what I’d need at this stage. I’m looking for information on what makes a great landing page, and that’s exactly what I’m being offered. If this were a real search, I’d likely stop my search here to see what this guide is all about.

If they’d linked to the main WordStream page and tried to sell me their service I’d leave because I’m not interested in purchasing just yet. But no, they perfectly answered my question and offered the value I need.

Whether you’re running PPC campaigns or are optimising your SEO to bring in relevant traffic, ask yourself about the user’s intent. Ask yourself what’s the most valuable thing you can offer them right then and there. What’s the offer they won’t be able to refuse?

Stop thinking about the sale, and start thinking about the value.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll create more valuable touchpoint that create a longer lasting positive image of your brand. And once that touchpoint is down, you need to focus on the next step.

Build a Solid Follow Up Based on Previous Action

We all know email as the ROI king. As such, much of the follow-up information out there is focused on how to build relevant email sequences.

It’s all great advice and can really help in driving revenue numbers up. However, it’s also something that’s been covered time and time again.

So rather than flog a dead horse, I’m going to link to a great post on some awesome email campaigns from Jacob and move on to something that’s not covered as often.

What I want to cover is a tactic I recently stumbled across from Ezra Firestone of Smart Marketer. It’s a relatively simple idea (as all great ideas are) that details how to offer value through some smart retargeting. A strategy which helped Ezra sell 84,000 units in three months.

Here’s the image of the sequence in action (and a link to a podcast where he explains it)

How to add value through retargeting.

How to add value through retargeting.

What I love about the sequence is how it’s focused on value which is in direct contrast to how most advertisers run their business.

If you check out a store, you’re usually just then served the same ad across either the display network or through Facebook ads.

The same ad the visitor abandoned is offered through retargeting.

The same ad the visitor abandoned is offered through retargeting.

Source

An example of a "hard sell" retargeting ad.

An example of a “hard sell” retargeting ad.

There’s that hard sell mentality of “well, they looked at the product so shove it down their throats until they buy”.

But with Ezra’s method you’re focusing on providing a more logical user journey packed full of value.

You can see how the initial video ad kicks things off. Ezra explains that he breaks things down by the engagement.

If they watch less than 25% then they’re not retargeted and tagged as a poor lead.

Between 25-75%, he’ll retarget them with more value building content. Something to establish the brand and product in a favorable light.

Over 75% consumed indicates a highly interested user, and so they’re sent to a long form sales page.

Ezra only pushes the sale on those who are most interested and most likely to convert. For those who aren’t ready, he focuses on the value they need to make an informed purchase decision.

This pre-sell engagement tracking and retargeting is an incredible way to build value with your customers and, for Ezra, led to $18,000,000 in sales form a single page.

It’s also not just a viable method for eCommerce. If we look once again at the WordStream example above we can apply the same processes.

They could track all users to that landing page (which I’m sure they are) and track how many make it through to the “thanks for downloading” page. Those who don’t might benefit from a retargeting campaign that either linked back to that page, or one with more information that offers the same download.

For those that download, you could retarget with the next logical step in their customer journey.

After downloading the basics of landing pages, you could retargeted with an eBook or article on the best landing page services for beginner CROs and copywriters through Google Display Network, Facebook Ads, and of course the follow-up email campaign.

You could also see if user’s are ready for the hard sell at that point.

This multi-touch campaign focuses on value. It provides the user with multiple touchpoints but, unlike most campaigns, doesn’t feed everyone you’ve contacted to your sales page.

Instead, it offers them the next logical step ensuring they take it with your brand. You’re still hitting those multiple touchpoints, but you’re packing each one with value which builds more trust in you and your brand.

Multiple Touchpoints Build Trust, But Only if Optimised into a Comprehensive Customer Journey

Each step you optimize needs to be focused on the immediate value the consumer is most looking for. However, you also need to keep your eye on the overall conversion goal.

As a starting point I’d recommend starting as close to the money as possible. Look at how you can optimize the sale and work backwards. Doing so brings more immediate gains, but it also means that with each subsequent optimization you’re simply adding more fuel to the fire.

You’re not optimising a stage for which there is no logical follow up established.

So stop focusing only on grabbing the sale. Look at the immediate value you can offer and build it into your wider conversion funnel. Do that, and you’ll see more people buying from you and becoming long term advocates of your brand.

Etsy.com is good at selling niche products. Here are 10 ideas you can apply to your ecommerce site.

As of November 2017 the Etsy marketplace had 31 million active product listings, created by 1.9 million unique sellers.

At any given time, there are between 20 to 25 million active buyers on the site, and consumers purchased an incredible $2.64 Billion worth of products from the site in 2016.

While Amazon.com’s mastery of commodity products makes it the undisputed king of ecommerce, Etsy.com is any many ways the queen, having established itself as the go-to marketplace for all things niche, boutique, and custom made.

In an ecommerce environment where small, niche brands continue to gain collective market share, there is a lot we can learn from Etsy on how to effectively sell niche products to consumers.

Today, we’ll be looking at 10 profitable lessons on selling niche products, courtesy of Etsy’s astounding success.

Lesson 1. Cart abandonment emails increased sales by $24 Million.

A lot can happen between the moment a customer adds a product to their shopping cart and they moment they hit “confirm purchase”.

A Baymard Institute study identified the following top reasons behind shopping cart abandonment.

  1. High shipping, tax and other charges (61%)
  2. Required account creation (35%)
  3. Complicated checkout (27%)

There’s various things you can try to decrease shopping cart abandonment:

  • Offer free shipping
  • Ad trust symbols
  • Make the checkout process more streamlined
  • Add social proof throughout the checkout process
  • Offer a compelling return guarantee

But one of the best strategies for reducing cart abandonment actually comes after the abandonment takes place. This strategy was used by Etsy to increase sales by $24 Million.

Cart abandonment emails.

A report from Salescycle says that around 30% of the clicks generated on cart abandonment emails result in purchases. In this talk, Etsy’s former CEO explains how conversions improved when they started sending cart abandonment emails 5 days after abandonment.

This tactic alone increased Etsy’s total sales by 1%. And while that may not seem like a large number, at $2.4 Billion in sales in 2015, that’s a $24 Million increase in sales.

For most of us, 5 days is a tad too long to wait. Consumers have short memories, and you might benefit from shortening the followup time and sending your emails sooner. Most of the successful case studies I’ve reviewed send their emails in the 1-3 day range.

Furthermore, the more specific and personalized you can be in your email, the higher your conversion rate will be.

For example, include products that were in the cart, like in this email from Jack Wills:

Personalized abandonment emails

Personalized abandonment emails

You can also create a sense of urgency like in this example from Google. This is very easy to do if you offer a limited time discount as part of your abandonment email.

Google uses cart abandonment emails, tool.

Google uses cart abandonment emails, tool.

Finally, don’t throw in the towel after sending one email. Sending multiple emails can mean more clicks. Try a 3 email sequence and see how it performs.

2. Continuous A/B testing increased conversions by 457%

AB testing certainly isn’t a new topic here at Conversion Sciences. It’s also not a new topic at Etsy, where the team has been fostering a culture of continuous split testing.

This culture was initiated for the same reasons you are pushing for an increased optimization budget this next year: informed decision making and data-driven growth.

“Experimentation at Etsy comes from a desire to make informed decisions, and ensure that when we launch features for our millions of members, they work. Too often, we had features that took a lot of time and had to be maintained without any proof of their success or any popularity among users. A/B testing allow us to tinker with small pieces and measure if those pieces are moving in the right direction. We can say a feature is worth working on as soon as it’s underway, or even before, having measured the impact of small changes on our buyer and seller experiences.”

The team runs tests in an attempt to improve UX across different verticals be it their mobile app, product interface or anything else.

For example, the team changed the way people experienced Etsy on tablets to closely mimic the user-experience on PCs, both being large-sized screens.

Like desktop like tablet

Like desktop like tablet

In another instance, after hearing complaints about the mobile checkout process, they optimized the flow to make it simpler. The design and the development teams work hand-in-hand to roll out these changes which are tested on a big segment of the daily traffic before rolling them out sitewide.

While Etsy hasn’t shared any of their specific data, we can pull some hard numbers from another site.

Over a period of 10 months, digital marketplace Fiverr ran approximately 400 A/B tests, resulting in a conversion increased of 457%.

Testing isn’t a guessing game. With the right framework, you can achieve consistent wins, like we do for our clients here at Conversion Sciences. Click here to download our proven conversion framework that results in an average 20% boost for our clients in the first 3 months.

So what should you test?

A. Test landing and product page videos.

According to multiple studies, placing videos on product pages is a proven way to increase conversions. Home retailer OrganizeIT found that visitors who watched videos were 144% more likely to purchase a product. Adding product videos to your top selling products could be a great place to start.

You can also go in more of a content marketing direction, as Blitsy does well. They have a prominent section on the site called ‘inspiration’ with video tutorials that feature products available for purchase on the site.

The videos aren’t on product pages, but Blitsy leverages videos to educate visitors who may want to skip the hard work and order something from the site or get inspired to purchase craft supplies from the site. Either option is a win-win.

Video is key to Blitsy's strategy for selling niche products.

Video is key to Blitsy’s strategy.

B. Test button copy, messaging and size.

There are a lot of little things you can test on a product page. Just look at the below example.

This product page makes the savings obvious.

This product page makes the savings obvious.

Savings is displayed in large and clear font followed by a large add to cart button that’s in stark contrast to everything else. I really like how they introduce the old pricing as “was” and strike it out.

The rule for button color is this: Choose a color that is not in the color palette of the page. In this case the add-to-cart button could be almost any color but pink, black or light blue. Red, green or purple would certainly stand out.

Test and see what works for you.

3. Highly visible reviews increase orders by 10-50%.

User reviews are one of the most powerful tools in your eCommerce arsenal.

Since a large majority of people trust online reviews as much as they trust a recommendation from a friend it makes sense to invest in acquiring and promoting reviews. It also helps that reviews can drive a 10 to 50% increase in orders. Just 15 good reviews is enough to make most people trust the review content, and this threshold results in a noticeable spike in sales.

According to a Harvard study, each additional review star on sites like Yelp results in a 5-9% improvement in product revenue.

Purchases on Etsy are fueled by a 5 star rating system that display review counts and dates for individual stores. You can an example for one Etsy store below:

Prominently displayed reviews with plenty of white space

Prominently displayed reviews with plenty of white space

Notice the bright colors, large font, and plentiful white space. These reviews are meant to be read. They aren’t just there to fulfill an item on a checklist.

Meanwhile, in the example below, the review count is small and monochromatic.

Monochromatic review

Monochromatic review

Telling you to publish reviews is hardly re-inventing the wheel, but take this is a reminder that not all review displays are created equal.

4. Include an estimated or guaranteed ship/arrival date

With custom products, there can be a long time gap from start to finish. Etsy gives an estimate of how long it’d take to create a product and ship it. This lowers cancellation rates and reduces buyer anxiety.

Estimate to build and ship

Estimate to build and ship

BHPhotoVideo (quirky name) follows on the same footsteps. The “order now to ship tomorrow”— call to action kills two birds with one stone— playing on urgency and giving a shipping estimate in-tandem.

Order now to ship tomorrow

Order now to ship tomorrow

You can also try a few additional techniques to improve conversions related to shipping.

A. Offer free shipping

The biggest hurdle that 61% people cite to purchasing online is shipping and associated costs. Free shipping makes a large part of the iceberg dissolve.

Probably free shipping is one big reason why Amazon prime members outnumber free members. As of last count there are 63 million people who hold the prime membership.

Blitsy, ensures that free worldwide shipping is the first thing visitors see.

Worldwide shipping is prominent

Worldwide shipping is prominent

Throughout the homepage you’ll find instances that highlight free worldwide shipping.

B. Introduce an element of urgency

For instance, here’s what happened when I visited BH again. This time I only had 10 minutes to make the purchase.

image11 6

A countdown timer that urges the visitor to purchase a product he’s interested in can definitely tilt the scales in your favor.

Another example.

Limited time

Limited time

5. Utilize geo-targeted messaging.

On Etsy product pages you can always see geo-targeted messaging that mentions the country of the visitor. Example:

Targeted messaging

Targeted messaging

This is a small example and nowhere near the vast capabilities of geo-targeted messaging on offer today.

Let’s analyze a familiar scenario. Familiar because most of us have experienced the bane of retargeting ads.

For some reason, ads from the site eLabelz have been shadowing me since the past few days.

However, they’re wasting their ad budget.

They don’t ship to where I live. Plus their currency targeting is off.

Missed targeting

Missed targeting

Targeting me with some unfamiliar currency, SAR in this case, puts me off as soon as I visit the site.

Changing the currency to match the currency of the country your visitors live in is crucial to get more conversions. It alleviates some of the fears and questions like if they’ll ship to their country or not.

With IP based targeting you can automatically figure in and add shipping costs for the customer to his country and in his currency.

For example, Bed Bath and Beyond targets me with a pop-up as soon as I visit the site that tries to placate most of my fears with international shipping viz— customs duty and shipping costs.

They then proceed to show all products in my currency.

Better targeting

Better targeting

When running geo-targeted campaigns here are few ideas you can use:

Change the language according to the visitor’s country of origin.

Show products on the homepage according to the season in that place. Works really well for clothing stores.

6. Make returns and exchanges easier

Most stores on Etsy outline a return policy which makes buyers confident about their purchase. The freedom to return what they don’t like is a big purchase driver.

Here’s an example.

Returns and exchanges

Returns and exchanges

A Wall Street Journal research reported that a third of all internet transactions are returned.

The trend’s in the upswing because a lot of millennial shoppers now buy stuff to try them out.

Still, 48% of millennials feel returns are a hassle.

And that’s one reason to provide hassle-free returns.

The second reason—despite many shoppers returning purchases, they remain loyal to brands that provide a better experience.

A four-year long study tracked spending habits of buyers at two large online retailers and found that introducing a free return policy increased average spend by $620 on one store and $2500 at the other.

Everything said and done, it won’t be easy to introduce easy returns. You’d have to calculate shipping costs and allocate a part of the marketing spend to factor in for losses. But ultimately easy returns start paying for themselves and the surge in sales would make up for the losses.

Many online craft stores provide easy returns like the example below from Folksy.

Easy return policy

Easy return policy

7. Exploit trends as they occur

During early 2000s, indie craft shows mushroomed all over the US— a time when an online marketplace for crafts wasn’t even a distant possibility, but a big need.

Coincidentally, this was a time when to-be Etsy founders were working on a community forum for crafters. Users on the site one after the other were all saying the same thing— they wished for a place where they could sell crafts. The consensus was Ebay “sucked,” and fees were too high.

That was the opportunity.

The founders jumped head-first and created a new avenue for craftsmen. Etsy lists over 30 million items as of today.

You don’t need a crystal ball to identify trends and jump on the bandwagon before anyone else. Google trends, news and forum talk is often enough.

Fugoo capitalized on Bluetooth technology to introduce world’s first waterproof Bluetooth speakers much before stalwarts like Apple or Google could smell the trend. By the time design and product teams get past red tape in corporate, startups like Fugoo can milk on a trend and establish themselves as industry leaders.

It need not always be a trend. It can also be a popular overarching theme.

For instance Nine Line an apparel retailer has a patriotic color to its line of clothing. The site especially espouses veterans.

Exploiting trends

Exploiting trends

Further down the road, they realized that the patriotic angle was well-received by Americans as a whole and not just veterans.

Patriotism shines through their tees, promotional emails, homepage and product copy and even product packaging.

They also hire only veterans.

With a 3-year growth spurt of 4,402% and $14 million in revenues, anyone can see how solid the strategy is for them.

For custom products, there are a number of avenues for fresh ideas.

For instance, the Craft and Hobby Association runs an annual trade show that packs insights from hundreds of successful craftsmen. That and similar trade-shows can give you a swipe-pack full of ideas enough for a year.

8. Feed personalized suggestions to return customers

Machine learning and customer feedback helps Etsy show personalized listings that make sense to the buyer.

Starting 2013, they began offering personalized recommendations and it immediately improved conversions.

Personalized Suggestions

Personalized Suggestions

94% of senior-level executives believe that personalization is the lynchpin of marketing. Online shoppers reflect that sentiment in that 59% of them attribute personalization to the ease of finding relevant products.

Needless to say that a lack of onsite personalization can hamper shopping experience.

Amazon aces on-site personalization on more than one front. Considering how much they upsell and downsell, it’s safe to assume that they generate a lot of sales thanks to their recommendation algos.

Not only is the homepage customized to a shopper’s tastes, showcasing products they’re interested in; there’s also a browsing history they can access to get back to anything they looked at before. On the customer’s shopping cart, price changes and changes in availability are promptly made available.

Consider another example.

The majority of the traffic to Build.com comes from affiliates. People click on the affiliate link and are redirected to Build. But this often left visitors wondering if the coupon had actually been applied. To counter this and improve conversions, Build created personalized CTAs that changed depending on the site that drove the traffic.

Personalized call to action

Personalized call to action

This step alone helped them lift conversions by 6%.

9. Improving page load speed increased conversions by 27%

There’s more than one reason to come up to speed with regards to your page speed.

If your site doesn’t load fast enough you’re effectively sinking sales. Etsy loads under 1.56s with a low page size of 1.5mb.

Improve load times

Improve load times

AliExpress found that when they reduced load time of their pages by 36%, conversions increased 27%.

Page speed also dents your conversion in other deceptively innocuous ways. A mobile visitor may still scroll the site if takes longer than 4 seconds to load.

But since the elements didn’t load, they’re well likely to miss out on special offers and promos that you’ve on the top. That can hurt.

That’s to say if Michaels (craft deals site) didn’t load their site quick enough, many mobile visitors wouldn’t see their richly done promo deals.

Rich promo deals with fast load time

Rich promo deals with fast load time

QuBit’s survey of 60,000 eCommerce consumers found that a slow loading page is a major factor driving them away from the site.

According to their estimates, the number of abandoners who quit due to slow load times alone would result in an annual loss of £1.73 billion GBP.

Using a CDN, optimizing images that you’ve tons of and ensuring you’ve a mobile-friendly version of your store are a few steps in the right direction.

10. Highlight special events, limited time offers, and new arrivals

Be it Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas or any special occasion Etsy includes custom CTAs on the homepage. This boosts sales and something you ought to consider for your store as well.

Highlight events

Highlight events

Hold your horses though.

Etsy isn’t the perfect lead to follow in this case.

Their CTA merges with the color and feel that the rest of the site carries. It doesn’t stand out— which is last thing you want for a CTA.

As such it can be and is easily ignored.

It wouldn’t be an overstatement if I said that they did a piss poor job at crafting CTAs. It feels like since everybody is offering a sale on Cyber Monday they too had to do something.

In contrast, ArtFire’s homepage ticks all conversion optimization boxes.

Example of great conversion optimization

Example of great conversion optimization

The homepage holiday offer hogs all the spotlight. The messaging is in place and stands in stark contrast to the surrounding dark colored them.

When you click through to the CTA you find an assortment of categories that further leads to products like the ones below.

Click through to categories

Click through to categories

And then drop the ball. There’s no attempt to interest me as a potential buyer. Sure, a few items have SALE written next to them but it doesn’t answer how much I am saving.

That’s a potential deal-breaker.

When people click through to the CTA, it would do well to offer discounted set of aggregated deals.

Blitsy does it best. The discount amount is highlighted in bold pink and the sub-headlines call the offers limited time. The font size could be bigger but still that’s an example you can follow.

Blitsy does it best

Blitsy does it best

One more example.

Blitsy does it best

Blitsy does it best

Pay attention to how they highlight the new price by striking out the old price. There are countless occasions, days, and events when you can run special promos.

Or just announce an inventory clearance.

10 Profitable Lessons On Selling Niche Products from Etsy.com Conclusion

As with any technique, it’s important to test and see what works.

Don’t be disappointed if some of your marketing promos fall flat on the face. It’s only when you analyze your failures that you learn.

Try some of the ideas that we have compiled so carefully and let us know how it worked out for you.

Testing isn’t a guessing game. With the right framework, you can achieve consistent wins, like we do for our clients here at Conversion Sciences. Click here to download our proven conversion framework that results in an average 20% boost for our clients in the first 3 months.