Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a systematic and organized method of improving your website experience and performance. CRO is driven by insights and information gathered from analytics and user feedback. It’s primary concern is to optimize the website in a way that not only brings new users but also make the most out of current traffic.
Optimization Secret: Start small but think big
One of the biggest hurdle faced by e-Commerce marketing teams when doing web testing has little to do with testing itself but with the assistance they receive from other teams. This lack of support challenges the marketers to think of the right e-Commerce website optimization opportunities.
If you have little organizational support or if you think that you could be easily mislead then the most appropriate thing to do is to start small. Observe your analytics and see for any unusual traffic patterns on your web pages, get feedback on those pages from several customers and run short scale tests.
Regularly dedicate a certain amount of time improving those metrics and execute small tests, ultimately you will be able to prove it’s worth to your organization.
“One accurate measurement is worth more than a thousand expert opinions” – Admiral Grace Hopper
Let’s review some tests and tactics that could help you retain and attract traffic for your e-Commerce outlet.
1. Assist Visitors with Clarity of Design and Content
Marketers in recent times are employing more online tools in their website than they need.
At times, as a marketer myself, I get confused and irked to see multiple pop ups as soon as I open a website followed by a web page filled CTA buttons that I have no idea about.
“Anything on your website in general and homepage in specific that is not directly contributing in achieving your goal is a distraction.”
The tough part is figuring out what elements are confusing your visitors. This could be cleared by defining the primary goal of your homepage.
A recent study by Kinesisinc found that over 75% of your website visitors judge your business based on how good is your web design.
It’s a fact that e-Commerce businesses focus on solid website strategy that is driven by fulfilling customer needs with a good design. Place all the important content above the fold as nearly 80% of your website visitors focus on this section.
The picture of a website homepage that displays a listing of all the product details below the fold which might result in high bounce rate and decreased average order value for an e-Commerce store.
This is a good example that uses top and side banners instead of a slider image. It also uses a special offer banner below the categories. This layout could be used if your e-Commerce store offers discounts regularly.
2. Test Your Website Search Functionality
Your search box or search button serves as an interactive CTA button on your e-Commerce website. If done right it will not only add to a better experience but also increase revenue for your store through specific search results for your customers.
Although the color and style of your search button is an important element to test, what is more important here is the place of your button on your page and what CTA message you choose to display.
A simple search bar on e-Commerce store would look like this:
What to test?
Suggested text is shown that highlights the range of products being offered and how the search can be used. Whereas the other shows suggested text on the search bar with either an icon or text CTA.
How to measure results?
The results of the test could be measured by tallying the previous product page views and the new one.
3. Testing Security and Trust
Although e-Commerce is not a new concept, conveying a sense of security and trust to your customers has always been a challenge because customers are still afraid of providing their credit card and address information because of the presence of fraudulent sites.
Studies have shown that displaying trust seals at important places of your website and homepage can increase conversions. These recognizable and trustworthy badges assure your customers that your website is completely secure, tested and it comes with a guarantee from a neutral stakeholder in case of problems.
Source: Which Site Seal do People Trust the Most? (2013 Survey Results)
It’s an industry norm to put security badges in the footer but a research conducted on Petco revealed that their revenue increased by $2,646,351 by placing hackers free badge on their header.
4. Adding Contact Information in the Header
Adding contact info especially a telephone number in the header can help you build trust. An A/B test showed that Databox conversion was increased by 0.5%, although the test was not significant it showed positive results.
Another trust factor that is adding the physical address of a company to the header. Your customers always feel trusted and can easily put a face to the brand once they start their shopping journey. This helps lower distrust and fear of scams or fraud.
5. Highlighting Free Shipping Information
Offering free shipping is a huge turn on for customers but it can kill e-Commerce store owners profit margin if not dealt the right way.
Various case studies of different e-Commerce stores have proved the success of free shipping:
- Comscore offered free shipping day and not surprisingly there conversion increased by 16%
- Red Door Interactive ran a similar test on NuFACE, resulting in boosting orders by 50%
Free shipping should be a part of your overall pricing strategy and store owners should keep in mind the following consideration before opting to provide free shipping:
- Start off with increasing the minimum order value for free shipping and observe the difference in order margins.
- Provide free shipping to products of higher value that are profitable.
- Increase price a little on all the products and offer free shipping throughout the product range and see your customer’s response.
- Lastly, run a simple test to see conversions response on free vs. charged shipping.
Your customer won’t give you multiple chances when it comes to conversions, while many e-Commerce stores and online marketers feel the importance of homepage but very few are taking time out to improve it.
The five A/B test discussed in this article will help you improve conversion and performance of your e-Commerce homepage. All the tests discussed here will take time and only regular testing, twitching and result measurement will ensure that you are on the right track to fulfill your customer’s interests.
Have you tried any of the recommendations explained above? Feel free to share your journey and results, and if you consider that this information could be valuable to one of your colleagues, please share.