Publication: Jan 20, 2023
3 easy steps to improve the conversion rate of your ecommerce store
Conversion Rate Optimization can be hard. How do you get visitors to buy, subscribe, contact or download?
Let's simplify it to three easy steps: understanding your visitor's behavior from insights and data, creating improvements and validating your assumptions (improvements).
Step 1: Understand visitor's behavior
First of all it's good to know if people understand your offer within 5 seconds. I love to use the 5 second test from Usabilityhub to ask an open question to visitors: Do you understand what the offer is? You'd be surprised how much you can learn from that. With Usabilityhub you can recruit a panel of users that fit your audience. The first 20 users are for free.
Next to that: look into Google Analytics - how are mobile and desktop performing, where do most visitors exit?
Sometimes tools like MS Clarity (free!), Hotjar (not so free anymore) and FullStory (nice trial of 2 weeks from which you can learn a lot) show session recordings and heatmaps and clickmaps. Watch 10 session recordings and note down the behavior of users, look at heatmaps and clickmaps for an hour and see if you understand what's going on.
Step 2: From the insights you collected, start thinking of improvements
Sometimes the answer is easy: you see a user clicking on something that's not clickable and you can facilitate this click or answer his question in a different way: you immediately know what to change to help this user.
Sometimes it helps to get inspiration from competitors. Learn from big websites such as Booking.com, Amazon and Facebook what kind of UX patterns visitors are used to and base your improvement on this.
Study the insights and user problems collected in step 1 and try to come up with solutions. Give the same insights and user problems to other people and see what they come up with. The more multidisciplinary your team, the better. So ask your designers, developers and CEO.
For one problem are often many fixes. Don't stop at one iteration. Think about variations.
A list of proven eCommerce checkout improvements can be found here.
Step 3: Validate your improvement
Any idea you come up with in phase 2 is just an idea, assumption or opinion. No matter how much you love your idea - you won't know if it will work on your website. Grab your science mindset and think of how to falsify/validate your idea. For example: if I make this button sticky, it will help my visitors find my service and I will get more leads.
Now you need to test your assumption. You can do this with showing a wireframe to a group of people in UsabilityHub and asking where they would click, you can just implement the change and hope to see a difference or you can A/B-test. A/B-testing (or: experimenting) is the heartbeat of CRO. It takes away all the background noise, and just verifies your change.
Once you verified your change will have a positive impact (and not negative!) you can put it live.