With rising competition and increased buyer discretion, it’s become imperative for eCommerce business owners to focus on the three letters, which could spell magic if applied well:
Conversion Rate Optimization aka CRO
Conversion Rate Optimization is a focused attempt by eCommerce stores to reduce friction and convert more “browsers” into customers through proven and new growth hacks.
Navigation can make or break your website’s conversion rate. The design of all of the website components can have a tremendous impact on the overall end-user experience, increasing or decreasing metrics like search ranking, bounce rate, page views, time on site, return visitors, conversions, and more. See which navigational elements can improve your conversion rate.
1. Are you using mega menus?
They make it easy for the most detailed menus to be expanded under a limited number of main categories.
Here’s how Free People does it.
2. Is your search bar prominent?
Place it where shoppers will look right away (the top right is the most familiar).
Here’s how Wayfair does it.
3. Have you enabled auto-suggest in the search bar?
If your website runs across different languages, enable auto-suggest for each of them to offer a more personalized search experience.
Read more: eCommerce site search: 18 improvements that prevent drop-offs (+ actual examples)
4. Featuring the same sub-categories under different high-level categories?
This eases a shopper’s pressure to land on the most precise categories to find what they’re looking for.
In yet another example from Wayfair, observe how the sub-category “outdoor & patio furniture” appears both under the category “Outdoor” as well as “Furniture”.
5. Do you offer a glimpse into sub-categories under a high-level menu?
Here’s an example of how Zara offers a peek into their subcategories when you click on a primary one.
6. Does your fat footer cover all major links? Is it attention-grabbing?
While being “fat”, the bottom navigation menu can feature links to some of the most important pages on your eCommerce website.
Here’s a look at how Stonyfield’s fat footer has a relevant character of its own (notice how they’ve kept it engaging AND informative).
7. Have you placed your hamburger menu on the top left?
If space is a concern for you, you could even opt for a floating hamburger menu, which can act as a reminder to explore while being highly accessible.
One look at Zara’s homepage and you’ll find that they have made their primary navigation sticky - and along with it, their hamburger menu appears floating.
8. Featuring the cart icon on the extreme right—on the primary navigation?
This icon needs to update the number of products added to it in real time.
9. Are you using the top right to feature the search bar?
The next best position is in the middle at the top. Ensure to feature the well-recognized magnifying glass icon as well as the word “search” in line for quick understanding.
10. Is your brand logo placed at the top left?
According to research by the Norman Nielsen Group, 89% of users are more likely to remember a logo that’s placed at the top left than on the right.
11. Keeping the “help” and “disability” buttons/icons either on the bottom right or left?
Create a contrast through shape and color so that they stand out against the rest of the page.
A homepage acts as a gateway to the rest of the website as it contains links and/or a navigation bar that will lead them to different pages. The homepage is especially important as it serves as the first impression for the business, and it often determines whether or not the visitor will stay and explore your website or bounce off. Read on to find out homepage conversion rate optimization practices that have proven their mettle.
12. Are you using a single image for your hero header?
A single-image hero header helps in drawing attention to a brand’s USP while not distracting or overwhelming the shopper with too much information.
Take a look at Warby Parker’s homepage hero header: it’s simple, crisp, and to the point about the USP.
13. Does your most relevant home page CTA appear above the fold?
Above the fold, it’s ideal to bring out transactional CTAs that nudge people to convert.
Further along, you can present non-transactional elements through “learn more” or “know more”.
14. Are you bringing in social proof to create trust?
Bring in credibility within the first few scrolls.
Dessert brand Bon Bon Bon makes it a point to showcase the famous publications that carry mention of it.
15. Feature the most compelling benefit in the hero image itself
The topmost benefit you want your target audience to walk away with is what you need to feature on the landing page.
Look at how Golde does it.
16. Are you using any visual cues in your Hero image?
For example, do your arrows point to actions that visitors will instantly find exciting? Also, are you using your CTAs with your images acting as primary cues?
Look how MeUndies gets their visual cue for CTA right by having the model in primary focus actually face it (instead of facing away).
17. Is the page reflecting your target audience’s primary challenge?
For example, the holiday season is going to peak in a few weeks now.
And it’s safe to assume most of your potential customers will be looking to buy gifts.
Exactly what Mejuri leverages on their landing page.
18. Does your copy align with what people search for (organic keywords)?
It’s good to figure out which keywords are most searched for given the nature of your product or business. And there is no harm in using them across the page. Treat the site copy like a blog post, it helps.
Explore: eCommerce copywriting: 23 inspiring examples from the US
19. Do you use semantic keywords to assist the primary keyword?
Bring semantics into the sitewide search function by detecting typos and serving up the right suggestions and also reading into synonyms to fetch more precise results.
20. Optimizing specifically for mobile yet?
Here are some key ways in which your landing pages can be seamlessly optimized for mobile:
- Work with limited, relevant text
- Make the CTA hero in the first fold
- Make phone numbers clickable (and ensure this is understood visually)
- Create a single-column layout
- Limit the number of visuals
Here’s a glimpse of a Lyft landing page.
Read more: Science-backed Mobile Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Ideas
21. Any distractions around the main message?
Because the idea of any Homepage is to clearly communicate and get a potential buyer to act, it needs to read and look that way.
Distraction-free landing pages have the following in common:
- A single, emotive visual
- A headline that doesn’t say multiple things
- One bold CTA
- Restrict primary navigation to just “Home” and “About”
22. Are you running some kind of promotional campaign/s?
While first-time browsers are most likely looking for precise product information, repeat customers could be more interested in landing deals and discounts.
23. Have you implemented website caching?
This makes it possible for all website files to be aggregated and stored in a temporary location for quick access, reducing loading speed in the process.
24. Do you really need all those plugins?
Be wary of especially frontend plugins because they hamper loading speed considerably. Run an audit. Remove anything that you no longer need.
25. Getting rid of unnecessary redirects?
Perform an audit to find out which redirects bring you heavy referral traffic - try and retain those.
26. Optimizing images and videos effectively?
Experiment with solutions such as compressing images and streaming videos from the server.
27. Are you using lazy loading to optimize speed?
Implement this feature from right where the first fold ends - this way you can have the most compelling content at the start without compromising on loading speed.
Explore: 9 Critical eCommerce Homepage mistakes (and Creative solutions)
A well-optimized category page would send more visitors to the product page, complete the conversion funnel, and increase your conversion rate. They also have a secondary purpose where they draw readers from search engine results pages to the website. Read on to see conversion rate optimization ideas for category pages.
28. Are you adding subtle nudges?
For example, something as simple as “This item ships for free” can make cross-border customers sit up and take notice.
29. Are you bringing applicable promotions to the forefront?
Featuring them under one expandable tab as a sticky footer can be one way of making a category page more attractive.
30. Do your category pages come in easy-to-view sections?
It becomes important for potential customers to be able to process the visual info they see on a category page.
Many types and varieties can cause increased cognitive load.
Patagonia fights it by introducing further sub-categories.
31. Do you use grids to present products?
They can reduce distraction and aid the usual F-scanning pattern visitors use to consume visual and textual information.
Ikea is a brand well-known for making effective use of the grid view to display both relevant product photography and content blocks.
32. Do your category pages cut through scrolling fatigue?
One way to make your category pages visually appealing is to switch up the way you display product photography.
Create a mix of human and photo-led images like H&M does.
Explore: Build high-converting category pages (12 ideas + great examples)
When optimized well, an eCommerce product page can bring in more sales. It’s important to get your eCommerce product page elements just right. And this is why we’ve written down some conversion optimization questions to audit and create high-performing product pages.
33. Does your first fold show the name of the product clearly?
It also helps to feature the category it comes under by leaving a breadcrumb trail at the top.
Here’s an example from Kiro - notice how the section also captures the navigation breadcrumbs to pin down the exact product category.
34. Is your image gallery self-explanatory?
Ensure that the images are captured from a wide number of angles and also show how the product looks packaged and unpackaged.
35. Are color and product variants easy to view?
Make sure every swatch is connected to the gallery and when clicked on shows associated images in the gallery.
Here’s an example from Gymshark, a brand that makes sure its swatches align with the main image gallery at all times.
36. Does your CTA button appear above the fold?
Make sure a “Notify me” button takes the place of the regular CTA if the product is out of stock.
37. Are your product names easy to understand?
Include the brand name, the product type, and the primary key attribute of the product to make sure a potential customer gets a sense of the product.
38. Does your product description create a balance between features and benefits?
While features help the customer’s logical part of the brain decide on a purchase, benefits relate to the emotional part.
Here’s an example from Burt’s Bees.
Explore: How to write product descriptions for mobile: 22 proven ideas (with examples)
39. Do you show alternative product recommendations?
Consider implementing this, especially for the times when a product is out of stock.
40. How easily does a customer know your bundled offerings?
One way to do this is to feature your bundled options under a separate tab in the primary navigation of your homepage.
41. Are your upsell and cross-sell recommendations placed conveniently?
Our point is: you don’t want to appear too pushy.
But neither do you want to skip on recommending and increasing the likelihood of the AOV going up.
For example, Urban Decay features it after it’s done highlighting the main product in question.
42. Are you using pushy language to make upsells and cross-sells?
It’ll be good to step back a bit as Wayfair does in the following example. “You might also need” is suggestive and not pushy.
Explore: How to Cross-sell on Product Pages—Without Being Pushy (+ Examples)
43. Are you incentivizing upsells of the same product enough?
What if a customer wants to buy more of the same thing? You’ll need to offer a better price the bigger the number they opt for.
Here’s an example from Vanity Planet.
44. Do you offer the share button on product pages?
Bring it right beneath the CTA so that even if a browser has only found the product interesting, they can go ahead and share it across their social channels.
45. Does the live chat feature appear at the bottom right of the first fold?
Make it sticky so that as the user scrolls, they have access to instant customer support.
46. Do you feature a size guide?
Create a size guide that has comprehensive measurements across recognized regions in the world.
Gymshark, for example, offers a comprehensive size guide that also features a size calculator.
47. Can customers access applicable promotions?
Placing your promotion codes or coupons right above or below the primary CTA is a good idea.
48. Are clickable elements super evident?
Jakob Nielsen, usability researcher and co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, is known to have said, “Life is too short to click on things you don’t understand.”
Remove all guesswork when it comes to clickable elements.
Here’s an example from a product page from Glossier.
“323 reviews” is in black and underlined until it’s hovered over for clicking - upon hovering, the text turns grey.
49. Featuring stock availability clearly?
A clear indicator of stock availability helps save a lot of buyer time and frustration.
Here’s an example from Huda Beauty that simply clarifies which product variant isn’t available.
Explore: Making “out of stock” products a conversion driver
50. Are you using price anchoring at all?
Price anchoring leverages a buyer’s natural bias to believe an initial piece of information.
Here’s how ASOS ensures shoppers know how much a product was worth earlier and what its going price is.
51. Is there a wishlist option? Is it prominently displayed?
The wishlist option is a way to personalize the shopping experience while offering the shopper to save items that they can view and buy at a later date.
Here’s an example of how Pandora offers a wishlist option right beneath the add-to-cart button.
52. Are you using video to amplify engagement?
- Keep it short. The ideal length to keep browsers engaged is less than 2 minutes.
- Tell a story even if you’re trying to sell or educate in the process
- Don’t take too long to bring out the value proposition you intend to highlight
- Use video content that shows engagement between the product and a real person
Men’s skincare brand Tiege Hanley ensures a brand video is featured across all their product and systems pages.
Read more: eCommerce product videos: 30 brand examples to learn from
53. Do your product pages carry Reviews and FAQs?
Feature both within the first few scrolls.
Graze, for example, features a mix of reviews that makes it easy for shoppers to relate to real-time customers.
54. Do you show a full cart page apart from a mini cart?
Featuring both can ease UX by giving the buyer more control over viewing information. Enable a mini cart with a “view full cart” link that leads to the full cart.
Here’s an example from Sephora.
The checkout might be the last stage in the sales cycle, but it s the step that leaves a lasting impression. Customers expect a quick and easy buying process. That s why it s important to tap into their needs and decrease cart abandonment rates.
See below some growth hacks to make the checkout page more user-friendly and increase sales.
55. Any hidden costs that shoppers were not told about (on the product page)?
Ensure to summarize a payment breakdown so that shoppers don’t abandon the checkout process.
56. Are your forms simple enough?
Limit the number of fields (according to Baymard Institute, a maximum of 8 fields is ideal) a customer has to fill in the absolutely essential details, including name, address, and payment details.
For repeat customers, feature data validation and auto-complete.
57. Is the account creation process simple enough?
This includes making factors like password creation easy. Also, removing the need for CAPTCHA is a good idea.
58. Do you allow social logins?
Ensure you allow logins via some of the most used social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
59. How easy is it to edit or update cart information?
Make it easy to update the quantity of the product in the cart. Also, make it easy to go back into the shopping process through a “Continue shopping” or “Return to store” CTA.
60. Are applicable promo codes clearly visible?
Keep them handy - preferably right next to or beneath the order summary.
61. Is the guest checkout option active, and prominent on the checkout page?
This is an attractive option, especially for those who have landed on your website through ads.
Explore: Guest checkout: Still a good choice? (+ 16 way BETTER alternatives)
62. Setting clear shipping/delivery expectations?
Provide either “Shipping date” or “Estimated delivery date” and make it prominent—prevents drop-offs.
63. Have you featured a progress indicator?
Bring one in right away if you already haven’t - this helps customers know how far they are from order confirmation.
Here’s an example from Firebox.
Explore: Free Shipping: Still a Conversion Driver in 2022? (+ Brands Nailing It)
64. How optimized is your checkout process for mobile?
To get your checkout process optimized for mobile:
- Use evolving tech to route payments through arbiters like Apple Pay and PayPal and make use of biometric authentication
- Incorporate customized keypads to safeguard sensitive information
- Offer inline hints and error messages to save time
65. Are you accepting multiple forms of payment?
Offer up the logos of the most trusted payment providers. Feature a mix of locally and internationally recognized payments.
Read more: 35 Stunning Examples of Checkout Pages
ORDER CONFIRMATION PAGE
The Order Confirmation pages are the least optimized during an eCommerce conversion rate optimization checklist. The basic aim of an order confirmation page is to eliminate panic among customers by sending a trust signal that their money has reached the right destination. Read further to explore growth hacks to increase sales.
66. Featured an overview of the order?
In other words, remind the buyer of the items they added to the cart and if there were any shipping charges or additional taxes involved.
Offering a quick summary featuring the original price along with any additional costs like shipping is the way to go.
67. Do you make all necessary information on delivery & shipping available?
To support a customer’s anxiety and anticipation at the order confirmation stage, it’s essential to serve up the:
- shipping and billing address
- estimated delivery date
- order confirmation number, and
- option to manage and view the order.
Here’s a look at how Amazon manages to answer questions right on top of a customer’s mind while they’re on the order confirmation page.
68. Are cancellation & returns policies included?
Retain a couple of lines to describe the crux of your cancellation and returns policies when you confirm an order.
It can be as simple as:
“Cancellations are allowed only within the first 24 hours.”
“You can opt for exchange/return within 30 days of placing your order.”
Also, don’t forget to feature the links to the complete policies.
69. Have you added an FAQ section?
Nothing like turning your order confirmation page into a point of self-support for the customer.
Help them learn more about their order and associated actions around it by featuring a detailed FAQ section.
If that seems like too much, consider featuring a link to the FAQ page where different content blocks can be dedicated to shipping, returns, cancellations, etc.
70. Any product recommendations?
Essentially, while a customer is on the order confirmation page, you still have their attention.
Make the most of it by showing product recommendations across categories they’ve already been browsing or from related categories they may be interested in.
Explore: eCommerce Product Recommendations: Strategies, Examples, Do's/Don'ts
71. How about creating an “urgency” nudge?
For example, it’s great you’ve thought of pushing out a discount of 20% on some products your prospect is likely to buy—but make sure to enhance it with a limited-time sale ticker.
Read more: Scarcity marketing: Fix these 6 most commonly made mistakes
72. Is there a special incentive for the next purchase?
Bring in exclusivity when you throw out an incentive on the order confirmation page.
“An exclusive discount of 30% just for you” or “Avail an exclusive one-time offer of $100 off” can work well.
73. Do you feature support resources that can help post-purchase?
If there’s an expert article on a range that features the product the customer has bought, make it show up.
If there’s a much-watched how-to video on the uses of this product, bring it in.
74. Do you ask for feedback?
Offering a multi-choice question like “what do you think could have been better?” with a blank field for customers keying in unique answers, could help further.
RETURNS/RETURNS POLICY PAGE
In the ideal scenario, every eCommerce business would get more repeat customers without ever having to face product returns. However, it’s an established fact that the rate of returns for online stores is 18.1%.
Having said what we did, we know for a fact that with the right kind of conversion optimization efforts, you structure your returns policy to elevate the shopping experience.
75. Do you link to your returns page with your returns policy?
Since there could be too much fine print information, featuring a return policy page link is a good idea.
Here’s how Torrid does it.
Explore: 14 Brilliant Examples of eCommerce Return Policy (+ Proven Tips)
76. Do you show the location of the shopper?
This is one more crucial micro-step that you can use to create greater personalization for the customer who’s looking to make a return.
Just like ASOS does.
77. Do you feature a “customer validation” section?
The point is to convey the big picture of the brand - and leave a better impression in the process.
Workout Healthy shows how it can be done.
78. How about a security certification to convey safety against fraud?
Workout Healthy gets this right.
The average mobile eCommerce conversion rates are stuck at a mere 1.82%. After working with 500+ eCommerce brands, we have listed down the mobile conversion growth hacks on how to get those sales ringing!
79. Are your pop-ups optimized for mobile devices?
Ensure visual minimalism (bring in one evocative image), super crisp copy, and a standout CTA.
80. Have you optimized your mobile site for the thumb zone?
Design responsively considering the thumbs of both hands. Ensure the most important elements (like navigation menus, CTAs, etc.) are within the thumb range of movement.
81. Are your mobile forms too long?
Get rid of any fields that are irrelevant to the current context of the form being filled.
82. Do your landing pages have images?
Featuring ONE image with only one or at the most two focal points is a good idea - keeps the loading speed fast too!
Read more: Boost eComm landing page conversions: 12 scientific strategies
83. Are the headlines very wordy?
Sticking to up to 5 words for any headline is a good idea.
Here’s an example from Lush Cosmetics.
84. Is the most important information appearing in the first 2-3 scrolls?
Make sure to include delivery & shipping information, highlights of the most important product categories, information on discounts, and the search, cart, and menu icons.
85. Have you provided a one-click sharing option?
Choose between an inline sharing button and a floating one depending on what kind of page you’re trying to optimize (for example, your eCommerce blog page may do better with a floating share button).
Website security is a major factor for customers and shoppers. If your eCommerce site doesn’t have structured security, customers are bound to skip shopping on your store and go to a site that displays and utilizes secure websites and transactions. Here are some security-related strategies that can help you to increase your conversion rate.
86. Have you made an SSL certificate non-negotiable?
In fact, if you have a DV SSL certificate, consider upgrading it to an EV (extended validation) certificate. EV SSL requires a business to pass a globally standardized and recognized verification process.
87. Are you leveraging a third-party, encrypted checkout process?
Tokenization and encryption work together in safeguarding sensitive information and enabling only a unique individual to be in full control of unlocking their data.
88. Are you taking measures to prevent SQL injections?
Limit database permissions and username error display to external users.
89. Strengthening existing website security through multi-factor authentication?
Apart from leveraging the usual knowledge-based factors like email and usernames, you could use more advanced techniques like facial recognition, fingerprint mapping, and geolocation-based verification.
90. Suggesting the use of stronger passwords?
Use green and red prompts to notify them about the strength of their password (green means strong and red means weak).
91. Have you added trust seals at crucial junctures?
Focus on seals that communicate accepted payment forms (the more reliable the brand, the more is the perceived security), guaranteed safe checkout, and third-party endorsements.
92. Build trust by highlighting relevant customer reviews
A funneled approach to doing this well is to include questions on security in your feedback forms. Then, take out the most relevant bits to be featured on relevant high-intent pages such as the full cart page and checkout page.
93. Make your policies sound reliable
Shoppers often visit the website to do 1 of 4 things: learn more about the brand, understand the product range, read testimonials, and make price comparisons.
While most people aren’t ready to make a purchase just yet, there are conversion rate optimizations you can implement to increase the likelihood that they’ll buy a product from your website in the future. We have listed some of the proven growth hacks to improve micro-conversions.
94. Are you making it easy to explore more pages?
Focus on featuring more of your pages in the primary navigation, keeping general relevance as well as buying trends in mind.
95. Featuring a product comparison chart?
Create a tabular display and highlight not more than 5 to 6 major elements.
96. Is it easy to go to the product page from a category page?
While a “quick view” option is great, ensure to add “view full details” as a link too.
97. Is it easy to fill out forms?
Feature ONLY the necessary fields at any given point in time - for example, if it’s account creation, just ask for their email ID, name, and username at the first instance.
98. Is it easy to write a review?
Preferably, feature a “write a review” link right where the customer reviews list begins.
99. Is it compelling to subscribe to your newsletter?
Customers respond to give-and-take - which is why one way to do this is to declare a small discount on their next purchase.
Explore: 16 proven ideas for improving email conversion rate (+ examples)
100. Is it easy to add a product to a cart?
Feature a “quick add” on your category pages for those who’ve already made the decision to purchase.
How to use this eCommerce optimization guide
Since we published it as an ebook, 60+ brands have used our eCommerce conversion rate optimization checklist to improve their website performance.
And now, we’re opening it up to everyone, so that you can skip the sign-up and immediately get all the growth hacks. You can also bookmark this for your next CRO team meetings.
To get the best results out of this conversion rate optimization guide, you should:
- read through the whole guide,
- audit your eCommerce store according to the above checklist,
- discuss what’s working and what’s not with your growth hacks team,
- talk to CRO experts to come up with solutions for your conversion rate problems, and
- implement strategies and test what works and what doesn’t work on your eCommerce website.
How will this checklist help
From basic menu optimization to adding new elements to product pages, this super comprehensive checklist covers high-intent pages and factors. These growth hacks lead to improvement in conversions and repeat sales.
This ecommerce conversion rate optimization guide is for you:
- if you’re looking to improve your overall eCommerce conversion rates
- if your conversion rate has decreased
- if your conversion rate has stalled
- if you’re out of growth hacks
What this means is that you’ll have a firmer grip on how to help customers:
- navigate without a fuss
- move quickly from interest to purchase
- build trust across micro conversions
- come back to buy from you, time and again