6 E-Commerce Tips to Improve Your Online Store’s Conversion Rate Optimization

11What makes someone act?

There have been countless hours of study devoted to this question. Today, though, it’s usually considered in the light of sales: what will it take to help my conversion rates go up? Is there a way I can get more people to buy my product or service?

The answer is yes. And it’s not as hard as you think.

Here are six tips to improve your conversion rate optimization.

#1 Have a Strong Value Proposition

The number one question you have to answer when someone new comes to your site is this:

What’s in it for me?

“I’ve been working for a while on ways to tell people why they should use my e-commerce program, and I still don’t think it’s there yet,” said Nick Peroni of Ecom Empires. “But it’s definitely helped that we created a video on the sign-up page that lays out the value proposition clearly.”

When you’re trying to bring someone on board, don’t start with “Welcome!” or “Hello!” Tell them immediately why they should listen. Grab their attention instantly and tell them what’s in it for them instead of beating around the bush, and you’ll improve the likelihood they actually follow through on what you’re asking.

#2 Be Trustworthy

Why are you more comfortable buying something from a friend than someone off Craigslist, even if you’re buying the same thing from a friend at the same or a higher price?


A lot goes into building trust.

  • Make your site easy to verify. Use testimonials, trusted links, appeals to authority.
  • Make it easy to contact you. Put contact information out publicly, and keep social media profiles that are easily verified.
  • Highlight your credentials and the credentials of your employees.
  • Maintain your site. Keep it updated, easy-to-use, and professional in appearance.

You’re talking to someone who may never have come in contact with you or your organization before. First impressions are key.

#3 Compare Yourself to Your Competition

You’re an expert in your field, but your customers may not be.

A lot of things that go into making your product or service different or better may not be immediately apparent to the eyes of a layman. Your best chance of competing on something other than price is to immediately get out in front of the objections that the customer raises. A product comparison page is a great way to do this, especially if your competitors are already doing it.

Apple did a stellar job of this with their “Get a Mac” campaign.

Though exaggerated for comic effect, the ads did a great job of highlighting the differences in focus between the two. When you do the comparison first, you have the chance to bring out the things you do the best, giving the customer incentive to choose your product or service.

#4 Add Incentive for Immediate Action

One of the most powerful motivators is the fear of missing out. We respond to scarcity.

There are two different kinds of scarcity you can use to induce action: time scarcity—Hurry! Sale Ends Soon!—or quantity-related scarcity—Hurry! Supplies Are Limited! Both work well, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Some things aren’t necessarily scarce—maybe you have a ton of product to move, or you’re selling a service that will always be around. In that case, you can run time-sensitive specials that still cause that feeling of urgency.

And make sure it’s real. Your customers can sense fake. In this, as in all things, be genuine and honest.

Michael Phuong, Director of Conversion World Conferences, goes into every interaction with this in mind. “When we put together Conversion World Conferences, we wanted to help people understand business and digital marketing technology better,” he said. “That bleeds through when you’re trying to sell people on coming. It has to come from a genuine place.”

#5 Put Your Checkout on One Page

Sounds simple. You’d be surprised.

When the 2010 Vancouver Olympics store was trying to put together a new checkout page, it tested two different options: a single page and a two-step checkout. The single page outperformed the two-step checkout by 21%, increasing incentive to follow through.

If you want to improve your conversion, reduce the friction at the point of sale as much as possible. Give your customers less chances to rethink things and they’ll be more interested in following through.

#6 Use Video to Explain

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is 30 pictures per second worth?

Ask Dropbox, who saw a significant boost in conversion after integrating an explanatory video into their home page. Showing customers what they were getting themselves into made it easier for Dropbox to get them to take the next step, and especially with less tech-savvy customers, it went a long way towards easing their concerns.

Leverage the value of video to tell a story your customers want to hear and guide them towards conversion and you too may see a similar boost.

It’s a crowded marketplace out there, and when it comes to conversions, every percentage point helps. Applying these six tips will go a long way towards making your e-commerce more effective, your profit margins larger, and your company more successful.

So what are you waiting for? Go change some minds.

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