When you run an online store, you are probably wondering how to make your store swarm with buyers. The first thing that comes to your mind is to pump more traffic into the website. There is a lot of truth in this, because by increasing the volume of potential buyers, you increase the chances of making a sale. What should we do when increasing traffic alone does not produce any effect, we have hit a wall in terms of traffic costs or we simply have the impression that the traffic we provide to the website is of low quality. Well, we should consider optimizing the conversion rate in our online store. Maybe let’s start with this – what is conversion on a website?
What is conversion?
Well, this conversion is nothing more than a valuable action performed by the user on our website. Such as, for example, making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, filling out a contact form, downloading a file or performing other activity that contributes to achieving a specific business goal. Conversion can also have different forms and “materiality”. For example, for an online store, a more important conversion, i.e. macro conversion, will be making a purchase, while the conversion leading to it will be adding a product to the cart or registering on the website (i.e. micro conversions). The situation may be different in the case of an information website, where the conversion will be a newsletter subscription or downloading an e-book, and even different in the case of a service website (where the conversion may be filling out a contact form or signing up for a free consultation).
Conversion success is measured by the conversion rate, which reflects the number of users who completed the desired action in relation to the total number of visitors to the website. Conversion optimization aims to increase conversion rates by adapting content, user interface, and experience to persuade users to take the desired action.
Therefore, a website conversion refers to a specific action we want the user to take in order to achieve a specific business goal.
There are many ways to optimize conversions…
So you can already see that website visits are one thing, but conversions are a completely different story. By optimizing conversions, you can fully utilize the potential of your website, increase sales and turn visitors into customers. Here are a dozen suggestions on what to pay attention to when optimizing conversions.
Simplifying the purchasing process. Don’t make them think!>
Let’s start with simplifying the purchasing process. This is a simple way to increase the number of transactions in your online store. Obviously, the simpler the better. The first thing you need to do is analyze your current purchasing process. Identify unnecessary steps and complicated forms that may discourage potential customers. If you force users to register, be aware that some users will drop out of the purchasing path. Instead, enter „guest”. If the purchase form collects a lot of irrelevant information (e.g. selection of Mr. or Mrs.) – then know that in this case too some users may decide not to proceed further.
An interesting option to simplify the purchasing process is to automate filling in the address data, e.g. based on the postal code. Remember that for customers, a quick and easy purchasing process is as important as the product itself. The less complicated the purchasing process, the potentially greater sales and revenues. Monitor, test, implement changes. Even the smallest change can have a significant impact on the customer experience and therefore on the conversion rate in your online store.
Customize the product card. They buy with their eyes first…
Another way to improve conversions in your online store is to customize your product page. Remember, high-quality, detailed product photos allow customers to thoroughly understand the product. This alone significantly increases the likelihood of purchase. In addition, if you describe the product you want to sell in a clear and specific way, focusing on the benefits, a potential customer will definitely appreciate it. Don’t forget about User Generated Content, i.e. authentic opinions evaluating the product. This is a factor that increases trust and is a kind of proof of validity and transparency. Thanks to this, the conversion rate will soar higher than before. All this without a highlighted „add to cart” or „buy now” button may come to nothing. If the user doesn’t know what to do next, he will run away.
To sum up – to buy a product, the user must first see it (photos), then rationalize his decision (benefits and opinions described) and make the only right action, i.e. purchase by clicking the appropriate button. Again: monitor, test and implement changes. Without it, it won’t get better, only worse – of course it can always be.
Web page speed. Does speed matter?
We already have a simple purchasing process and a refined product page. So what if each page loads several, a dozen or so, and in some extreme cases, even several dozen (the most persistent ones find out about this). Well, website speed is one of the key factors influencing conversion in an online store. This is because it directly affects the user experience. Page speed analysis, for example using tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights, will allow you to identify areas requiring optimization.
An important element affecting page speed are images, as I mentioned a moment ago, they have to be beautiful, clear and encouraging to buy. These are very important aspects, but you cannot forget about their size, weight or format. “Slim down” your photos, change their format from jpg/png to webp and use lazy loading technology. Optimizing photos in this way will significantly speed up page loading.
The next step is to optimize the website code. Unfortunately, you often won’t be able to do it on your own, but identifying the elements of the website will be worth its weight in gold. Modules and plug-ins that slow down the website can be replaced with clean code that will relieve the website engine and speed it up. It is also important to choose the right hosting that ensures fast server response time. Remember that website speed optimization is a continuous process that requires regular monitoring and adaptation to changing user expectations.
Adjustment to mobile devices. Selling from a smartphone or not at all.
In the mobile era, optimizing websites for mobile devices is becoming essential to increase conversion efficiency. Most of the traffic you provide to your online store comes from mobile devices. Consider that, according to Google, 50% of consumers will not make a purchase if a website is not mobile-friendly. If you adapt your store to mobile users, you will increase user satisfaction and thus improve your website’s positioning in search engines. The key elements to optimize will be:
- responsive design, i.e. adapting the appearance of the website to the screen size.
- adjusting the readability of text and the appropriate size of touch elements,
- or the previously mentioned image and video optimization for fast page loading.
Testing the website on different devices and browsers will give you a better idea of what you can improve. The introduction of responsive design, improved readability and ease of navigation, and multimedia optimization increases the attractiveness of the website for mobile device users, which translates into higher conversion rates. Remember, in a world dominated by mobile technology, neglecting this issue is not an option.
Live chat. Let’s talk – here and now!
An interesting way to increase the conversion rate is to implement live chat, which allows for real-time interaction. This is an important tool for increasing engagement on the website and therefore increasing the likelihood of purchase. Research has shown that most consumers are more likely to return to a site that offers live chat, and almost 40% of them make a purchase thanks to direct support received through this tool.
The implementation of the chat itself is relatively simple. Many providers also offer features such as automatic replies or integration with other customer service platforms. Remember to match the tool to your individual business strategy.
If you want to get the most out of live chat, you need to remember a few rules. First of all – response time – customers expect an immediate response. No less important will be the personalization of messages – adapting the response to the individual needs of the customer will increase his engagement. It is also important to have well-trained staff. All of the above activities help build trust and potentially increase your conversion rate.
Special offers. Only in moderation.
In the era of enormous online competition, special offers, promotions and sales are becoming an important factor increasing the number of transactions. A sales strategy based on „discounts” allows you not only to attract new customers, but also to build the loyalty of existing ones, increasing the conversion rate and the average basket value. However, for promotions to be effective, they must be tailored to the recipients. By segmenting your customers, you can provide personalized offers that increase the likelihood of purchase. Limiting the time of special offers will, in turn, create a sense of urgency.
Appropriate use of these tools will significantly increase your conversion rate, becoming a key element of the optimization strategy for any online business. However, you must remember that excessive use of promotions may be associated with the phenomenon of „getting used to discounts” and may effectively reduce the number of conversions. Promotions are a double-edged sword, so use them carefully.
Command program. The recommender recommends to recommenders.
Another way to improve the conversion rate of your online store is to create a referral program. Rewarding existing customers for recommending products or services to their friends can be an interesting lever to drive sales in your store. This form of word-of-mouth marketing is extremely effective because recommendations from trusted people have greater persuasive power than traditional advertising. Through a properly designed referral program, offering attractive rewards or benefits for both the recommender and the new customer, it can significantly increase the conversion rate.
Gamification? No, it’s not a joke 🙂
A non-standard method may seem like the next one I want to tell you about. It’s about gamification. This is a technique that uses elements taken from games to increase user engagement. By introducing points, prizes, challenges, or a promotion system – you can increase the motivation of users and arouse emotions and a kind of competition in them – which in turn (for you) will increase the likelihood of performing valuable actions. You can implement gamification directly in the structures of your online store, but it is not necessary, because a well-prepared strategy will also work, for example, in social media.
Social media. About the brand loud and clear!
And… speaking of social media, thanks to them you can increase the number of conversions because they allow you to reach a wide audience who can be interested in your products. HubSpot research has shown that 71% of consumers are more willing to make a purchase when a brand is present on social media and is recommended. Optimizing conversions through social media involves building relationships with customers through regular, valuable communication.
There are many ways to reach them. You can conduct activities organically, serve ads to your target group or cooperate with influencers. You can also use all of them at once. Regardless of which path you choose, know that properly managed social media will be an important element in increasing the number of conversions in your online store.
Remember! Monitoring results is just as important as communication. Without checking the results on an ongoing basis, you will not be able to determine whether you are going in the right or wrong direction. The key is to adapt the strategy to the specifics of your brand and the needs of your target group. In the age of digitalization, social media are an integral part of business success, so don’t forget to optimize conversions using them.
SEO and relevant keywords. Show up in the search engine.
Since we have touched on the topic of quality traffic from organic sources, which I mentioned in the previous message, I cannot fail to mention the optimization of the online store in terms of SEO. Keyword optimization of the website involves adapting the website to the preferences of search engines: Google, Bing, etc. The aim of such optimization is not only to increase traffic on the website, but above all to improve its quality, which leads to more conversions.
SEO is crucial because it attracts users looking for the products you offer. Appropriate selection of phrases consistent with user intentions will increase the likelihood of attracting the appropriate target group. High-quality content and a simple, intuitive website structure build trust in the brand and make it easier for users to find the information they are looking for. SEO is a continuous process that requires regular updating and optimization in response to changing search engine algorithms and consumer trends.
Valuable content. Less is More!
Create valuable content. Not only because of SEO or just presence in social media. Preparing valuable and engaging content will not only attract attention and build trust among users, but will also significantly increase the chances of conversion. Content may include articles, infographics, videos, podcasts or guides, e.g. in the form of a newsletter. The content should be substantive, visually attractive, and tailored to the needs and interests of your target group. Remember! It is important to regularly update and promote your content to reach as many potential customers as possible.
Retargeting. You can’t move without it.
Finally, an element you cannot forget about: retargeting, which allows you to reach people who have previously visited the website or have already had contact with the brand online. There are several steps you should take to effectively use retargeting campaigns to optimize conversions. First of all, data analysis. Understand user behavior on the site. Thanks to this, you will identify areas that require improvement and adjust your marketing activities. Another important element is audience segmentation. Creating target groups based on the collected data will allow you to adapt the advertising content to the individual preferences and needs of users.
We cannot forget about the appropriate personalization of the content. Using data about a user’s previous interactions will allow you to display ads related to their interests, which will attract their attention and increase the chance of a transaction. Limiting the frequency of displaying ads is also important because it allows you to avoid displaying an excessive number of ads to one user, which can lead to frustration and may prevent you from achieving a goal that is valuable to you. Finally, testing and optimizing communications will be an essential part of running retargeting campaigns. Regular A/B testing will allow you to check the effectiveness of different ad variants and adjust the campaign to achieve the best possible results.
Retargeting is a powerful conversion optimization tool that allows you to reach interested users and direct their attention towards the desired action.
When is it worth optimizing your conversion rate?
Okay, we have so many options for optimizing conversions in an online store, but when is it really worth doing conversion optimization in your case? It is recommended when the current activities do not bring the expected results. Regardless of whether you already run an established online store or are a beginner, conversion optimization can be a key tool. It will help you set a goal and achieve or improve the conversion rate, which will help you plan further activities. Conversion optimization is necessary when you suspect or are aware that:
- The website is not designed according to UX best practices.
- The content on the website does not meet the needs of users and does not lead to the finalization of purchases.
- The site loads slowly, which may discourage users.
- There is no clear and intuitive interface that meets customer expectations.
- The website does not inspire trust among customers and does not answer their questions during the purchasing process.
Conducting a conversion optimization process will help you understand user behavior on your website. This will allow you to draw conclusions and identify areas requiring changes in the online store in order to increase the effectiveness of the website.
To sum up, conversion rate optimization (CRO) in an online store involves examining various elements of a website to determine which aspects translate best into conversions. A key technique is A/B testing, which compares the effectiveness of different versions of a website. An important element of CRO is understanding your target group, which allows you to create a personalized experience. Then you need to define what a conversion is for you and analyze your current situation according to it, using analytical tools, of course.
Based on the collected data, you can create a hypothesis and think about potential changes that could improve the results. After testing, you analyze the results and implement corrections. Effective optimization is not only about increasing conversions, but above all about ensuring a better experience of using the store for the user. Ultimately, the conversion rate optimization process is a cycle of continuous tests, analyzes and optimizations aimed at increasing the profitability of activities.
At Nine Cats, before cooperating with a brand that has an online store, we check which elements we can improve and present recommendations for implementation in the short and long term. We work in partnership because we care as much as the client about very good results and long-term cooperation. We grow together with our clients. If you are interested in optimizing the conversion rate in your online store and/or want to have better returns on your marketing activities. Contact us. We will prepare something especially for you!