There were roughly 322 billion retail e-commerce sales in the United States in 2016.
Retail e-commerce sales are expected to exceed 480 billion in the year 2021. While these reports sound promising for new and growing eCommerce stores, brands like Amazon, Costco, Target, and Walmart are the dominant forces behind the numbers.
Attempting to compete with these large retailers may seem overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t compete with your website’s own conversion rate. If you have an eCommerce store that gets consumer traffic through paid ads and organic search, you have an opportunity to implement these conversion rate hacks and gain more market share.
8 Less common conversion rate hacks for eCommerce stores Click To Tweet
In this post, we cover a few of the less common ones – you won’t find any “A/B test your button colors” here!
1. Improve Checkout Speed with rel=”prerender prefetch”
You’ve heard about the importance of page speed and mobile site speed, but you may have skipped over a golden nugget for improving the checkout speed.
In a site speed post by SEO blogger Mike King, he shares a coding nugget that can help improve the checkout experience and reduce cart abandonment rates.
The rel=prerender directive allows you to load the checkout page in an invisible tab once the product page has finished loading. By prerendering the check-out page, buyers experience a much faster check-out process and minimal page load delays in the most important step of the buying process.
Prerender Prefetch Resources
- Css-Tricks.com gives prefetch and prerender HTML codes
- Mozilla Developer Network Link prefetching FAQ
- Chrome Team Guide
2. Optimize Placements of Best Selling Products
Ecommerce data gives businesses a goldmine of information to optimize websites for featured product placements.
The landing page below is an example from an Unbounce Shopify Template.
Optimize placements of your best selling products. Click To Tweet
The top of the page can serve as a click through to a high-value category page while showcasing a best selling product.
Review conversion data and identify the products that represent the highest volume of your sales. If the product page isn’t modern, clean, and inviting, consider a refresh like the one above and design a call to action that viewers can’t resist.
There’s no limit to the number of custom product landing pages you can offer. Use the data and individual conversion-optimized landing pages to help you move your most popular and your most profitable items.
Marketing tip: Once the new product landing page shows a higher conversion rate, use it in a remarketing campaign or paid social media advertising.
Image courtesy of Unbounce/Shopify
3. Optimize High Traffic Category Landing Pages
Category landing pages tend to perform well in SEO searches, but the lack of calls to action and search options negatively impact conversions and bounce rates. Also known as “grid pages,” the designs are outdated and don’t offer enough search options or related product mentions.
eCommerce Category Page Optimization Guide for Higher Conversion Rates
- Parent Category Pages. Ensure parent categories are “clickable.” It’s common for parent categories to show up in a menu with clickable submenus, but the main high-level category page doesn’t exist.
- Filters. An eCommerce UX study from The Baymard Institute found that the majority of sites had a mediocre experience. If your site contains a search bar, review the data and create filters based on this information. If your site doesn’t have a search bar, you can use a keyword tool to identify common related search phrases.
Shortcut: Give one of your team members a list of high volume search phrases and ask them to record the results page on a spreadsheet alongside the search phrase. Review each category page and ensure the search phrases are included in the filters, and the product is easy to locate from the main category page.
4. A/B Testing for Category Names
Brands like to show off their creativity on category page names, but too much creativity can kill click-through rates and conversions.
A/B testing (aka split testing) shows two different pages to similar website users.
You can set up A/B Testing and track results with any of these tools:
At the end of the testing period, one set of category names will deliver a higher click-through and conversion rate than the other.
5. Deliver an Interactive Experience for Repeat Customers
The future of eCommerce is bright but competitive. Keep existing customers coming back for more by delivering an interactive eCommerce experience.
Offer a game with rewards.
A successful interactive game experience will engage customers and keep them coming back to the site again and again. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity.
Our client Regency Furniture recently launched a Cookout Game in celebration of summertime and cookouts. Not only does the game attract new website visitors, but it keeps existing customers coming back to play and encourages them to share the contest on social media, driving new website visitors and new conversion.
Create a “New Deals” or “New Arrivals” Category
Add a category that attracts the attention of repeat visitors. You can implement A/B testing to ensure your word choice is attractive to customers, and once the wording is finalized, you can draw attention to the new category throughout the site with buttons and clear call to actions.
Create a “New Deals” or “New Arrivals” category to improve your conversion rate. Click To Tweet
Offer Feedback Rewards
Nothing improves a website like honest feedback from customers. After the check-out process, offer a Rewards or Loyalty program to customers in exchange for feedback on their website experience. Rewards and Loyalty programs can focus on points accumulation, discounted shipping rates for an annual fee (think Amazon Prime), or consider a partner program like Plenti, an American Express rewards partners pooling system.
6. Optimize Site Search Features
Offering a search box on your eCommerce site is a good start, but optimizing the search features will drive even higher conversion rates.
Econsultancy partnered with several eCommerce retailers and created a best practices list for site search function:
- Prominent shading/colors on high-volume pages
- Consistent on-page location so users can find it easily on every page
- Offer a drop-down menu for filtered results if you offer a large inventory
- Offer an advanced search feature if a general search produces too many results
7. Suggested Products Feature
On Amazon, it’s called the Recommendation Engine. If a user is browsing dog leashes, they will see a row of related products, such as dog collars, dog treats, dog harnesses, etc.
8. Establish Trust
A recent Inc.com article outlines the main trust factors for eCommerce:
Reviews. Prominent customer reviews on product pages. Studies show that consumers consider online reviews to be just as trustworthy as personal product recommendations.
Social proof. Social media provides another outlet for reviews and demonstrating good customer service. Even if social media produces a lower ROI than other channels, an active social media channel can improve conversion rates from new customers who aren’t familiar with your brand.
By optimizing your eCommerce site for a higher conversion rate, you avoid wasting time and money on new marketing initiatives that have questionable ROI.
The best part? The changes will give you an edge over competitors who are ignoring these conversion hacks.