Conversion Optimization

23 Scientific Strategies to Increase your eCommerce Conversion Rate

Still using the age-old conversion tricks in 2023? Try out these proven scientific strategies to increase your eCommerce conversion rate.

23 Scientific Strategies to Increase your eCommerce Conversion Rate

How do I increase my conversion rate—the one problem every eCommerce founder grapples with—every day.

And rightly so: over 98% of visitors to eCommerce sites do not buy. (The average conversion rate for eCommerce is just 1.82%.)

But at the same time, there are successful eCommerce stores that convert up to 20% of their visitors.

What do they do differently? Science: they rely heavily on user behavior studies.

We're not saying they don't use hacks, they just use them scientifically.

23 Scientific Ideas To Boost Your eCommerce Conversion Rate

In this blog, we've explained 23 scientific (and proven) strategies, to help you increase your conversion rate.

Jump to:

1. Recommend only 3 or fewer choices

2. Use simple (yet compelling) copy

3. Offer something for “free”

4. Display persuasion triggers

5. Drive FOMO with timely pop-ups 

6. Place your star products in the middle

7. Use compelling visual cues

8. Use Priming to nudge shoppers

9. Prioritize experiences on different devices & screens 

10. Use product bundles to increase AOV

11. Reduce cart page drop-offs

12. Optimize your checkout pages  

‍13. Apply guest checkout alternatives 

14. Use ‘social proof’ to nudge shoppers to buy 

15. Convince customers with smart imagery

16. Offer more information - gradually

17. Inspire shoppers to engage—with smaller actions

18. Build a memorable brand

19. Encourage loyalty to boost conversions 

20. Enable livestream shopping 

21. Build shopper-friendly returns

22. Increase conversions through "Instant Gratification"

23. Provide customer support consistently

1. Recommend only 3 or fewer choices

"We regularly analyze customer data and feedback to refine our product offerings and tailor them to our target audience's needs. Invest time in writing persuasive product descriptions and high-quality images to showcase your product's full potential." - Steven Light, EVP of eCommerce & Digital Solutions, Avenue B

Choice Paralysis (noun) aka decision paralysis involves:

  • when customers are overwhelmed with choices and cannot make a decision 
  • overthinking a purchase when faced with too many options

Smart eCommerce brands reduce the choice paralysis for customers yet offer them relevant options––reducing cart abandonment

See how ASOS neatly categorizes its product options—this segmented approach helps shoppers to find what they're looking for and convert faster:

23 Scientific Strategies to Increase your eCommerce Conversion Rate

How to apply & increase eCommerce conversion rate:

- A/B test the number of recommendations on each product page. You can start with 3 per page and gradually decrease or increase to 5 per page. (anything beyond 5 recommendations can cause information overload.)

- Hide some product stock and show more exact-match results.

- Add product comparison charts to aid in buying decisions. 

Related read: 13 Ideas on How to Overcome Choice Paralysis & Boost Sales 

2. Use simple (yet compelling) copy

We have noticed two commonalities across high-converting eCommerce websites, which are:

  • simplified messaging, and
  • unbiased & helpful information.

This reinforces customer trust and increases conversions. 

Research says that the human mind deconstructs complex and ambiguous elements into simpler forms to understand and act on them— known as the Law of Prägnanz or Pithiness.

Buyers are more likely to convert when they know they’ll get an answer to their questions.

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

It all starts from your homepage—so here are a few conversion optimization techniques you need to apply:

- Use clear, concise, and easy-to-understand copy on your homepage

- Communicate who you are, what you do, and your value proposition within 10 seconds — and guide them on the next steps without ambiguity

- Make your messaging convey how they should act next

- Display testimonials: the sooner, the better.

- Highlight the Unique Value Proposition—this is what will tell shoppers why your brand and products are a better choice (tall about methods, ingredients, benefits, and even the people who make the brand)

- Quantify your USP if possible. Numbers indeed make a better impact than words. See how Realm does it:

23 Scientific Strategies to Increase your eCommerce Conversion Rate

3. Offer something for “free”

Who doesn’t love when you get something for ‘free’?

Perhaps the greatest example of this can be understood from the experiment carried out by psychologist and behavioral economist Dan Ariely.

In a stall were displayed 2 products—Lindt truffles, a luxury product, and Hershey’s Kisses, a lower quality product.

When the prices for them were 15¢ and 1¢ per piece respectively, around 73% of customers purchased Lindt.

However, when the prices for Lindt dropped to 14¢ per piece and Hershey’s was offered free, then 69% of customers chose Hershey’s and only 31% chose Lindt. 

See how Zappos highlights the zero-price effect. 

How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

Customers are usually loss-averse and effort-averse (free items help them avoid the associated emotions)—so if you can optimize by keeping this in mind, then the results will follow.

How to apply & increase eCommerce conversion rate:

"Most customers will abandon their carts due to high shipping costs. If possible, offer free shipping. While it's not always feasible, consider offering free shipping if customers spend a certain amount. The result? Higher average order values and improved conversions." - Christy Pyrz, CMO, Paradigm Peptides

If you don't want to offer free shipping, there are some other alternatives as well -

- Offer small product samples with repeat orders

- Feature a free shipping threshold on lower-price products (which means if they buy for a certain value, they get free shipping)

- State what’s free (be it a sample or a surprise gift) through the entire checkout funnel

- Instead of BOGO, use other models such as Buy 3-Get 1 free (this can prevent you from severely affecting your bottom line)

4. Display persuasion triggers

A study found that it takes an average of 8 touches to generate a conversion. 

Persuasion triggers can help online stores go as far as converting buyers into long-term, loyal brand advocates. 

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Label differently priced products appropriately (for example, if something is on a flash sale with a steep discount, add labels on images or product pages so shoppers are able to see it easily)

- Add prompts under the products in search results like 

  • Selling Fast
  • Only 3 products left
  • Influencer Faves
  • Top 10 bestsellers 
  • Editor’s Picks
  • Currently in 25 carts 
  • 7 shoppers are eyeing this right now
  • 10% off until stocks last 
  • Trending on Tiktok

- Show error messages or extra information in checkout forms. 

5. Drive FOMO with timely pop-ups 

First identified by a marketing strategist, Dr. Dan Herman in 1996, FOMO can be the basis of better sales. 

60% of millennial consumers said they often make reactive purchases within 24 hours after experiencing FOMO.

You can create scarcity by announcing discounts for a short time and allowing pre-orders only to the first x number of takers (humans have a primitive desire for exclusivity).

People convert when they get the feeling they won't get such a sweet deal anywhere else

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Tailor the pop-up copy to fit the shopper type. For example, offer a one-off deal with a longer timer to new visitors but use shorter limited offers for returning visitors

- Use numbers to make an impact. A countdown timer can inspire shoppers to hurry up and get moving.

Related read: Cart Abandonment Pop-Up: 14 Amazing Examples (That Actually Work)

6. Place your star products in the middle

Given a choice of products, customers like to choose the one in the middle. 

Due to the central fixation bias of humans, the tendency is to look at the "middle".

So, the central fixation bias combined with the central gaze cascade effect is what makes us choose something placed at the center unconsciously. 

This propensity for the center or the middle item is seen in various instances such as numbers, multiple-choice tests, game shows, shopping, etc. 

Here’s an example from subscription-based eCommerce brand Beer Cartel:

ecommerce conversion rate How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

How to apply & increase conversion rates:

- Keep your most popular (or more expensive) products highlighted in the middle 

- Promote those products that have the edge of exclusivity in them (for example, if you do a brand collab, price those products higher)

- Promote upgrades on products they've already bought and pitch these at a higher price

Pro Tip 🚀

An exception when the center stage effect doesn’t work is when there is plenty of distinctiveness between the options. The way out is to serially arrange similar products or bundles with only one or two distinct aspects—this works to optimize a shopper’s decision-making. 

7. Use compelling visual cues

65% of the world population happens to be “visual learners.”

Compared to 2020 when 46.5% of marketers claimed they’d used visuals in 91%-100% of their content, 2021 saw 56% claiming the same. 

Over some time, this has become a proven fact in eCommerce optimization:

Content, when visual, is processed better by shoppers than when it’s in text. 

Scientifically, this is called the picture superiority effect—the phenomenon that makes people remember visuals much more than text. 

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Use icons to highlight any immediate benefits you want to convey (for example, if your product is sustainable, bring in a suitable yet familiar icon for it)

- Use arrows to direct the shopper’s attention to specific elements such as the CTA button.  

- Show logos and visuals for line items like payment methods or third-party certifications.

You can also read: 22 Ways to Use Visual Cues to Drive More Conversions in eCommerce

8. Use Priming to nudge shoppers

We are going to explore priming, which occurs when a certain stimulus gets people to respond, without them being conscious of it. 

In real life, this happens when we see a good or relevant advertisement.

Next, when we actually see the product in a store or online, we’re wired back to how positive we felt viewing the advertisement & are more likely to make a purchase. 

A smart way many stores prime users: they show the product in use or the lifestyle context it can be used in.

How to apply & increase eCommerce conversion rate:

- Use incentives for product exploration & gamification to boost engagement (for example, a spin-wheel with multiple discounts can be exciting for a new customer)

- Offer multiple options for subscription-based or repeat orders (before the add-to-cart option, you can ask if they want the product for the short term or long term and show quantity options accordingly)

- Build experiences based on the feedback you get (you can drop a survey asking if they’re looking to choose products based on price, quality or both. Most will likely go for the 3rd option because it promises better value)

BUT KEEP IN MIND → Prime in moderation

‍Negative priming leads to the opposite results (for example, during email signup, you can decide whether to mention that you won’t spam them since mentioning it will prime them into thinking about spam.)

In a survey, coupon codes were found to be priming users to expect products at a cheaper price.

The presence of coupon codes made users leave the checkout page to find a code and reduce the total.

To counter this, Vox makes it possible for shoppers to apply coupon codes at checkout without having to leave the page.  

How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

9. Prioritize experiences on different devices & screens 

"Prioritize mobile optimization. We observed that a significant portion of our traffic came from mobile devices. Without a seamless mobile shopping experience, you risk losing a substantial number of potential sales. It's essential to ensure that your site is responsive, loads quickly, and is easy to navigate on mobile devices." - Chris Cho, Founder, DroneSourced

A report shows that out of 60% of eCommerce traffic, 53% of sales are through mobile commerce sites.

The Fitts Law states that the time it requires to move a pointer (e.g. cursor) to a target area (e.g. CTA button) is a function of the ratio between the distance to the target and the width of the target.

In simpler words, when you apply this law to your UX optimization, it becomes easier for shoppers to:

→ find elements on mobile within the “thumb zone”

→ scan for information discovery 

→ get distracted due to secondary CTAs

However, while most eCommerce stores implement responsive or adaptive websites for mobile and other devices, they still don’t apply mobile-specific user experiences. 

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Show elements on mobile within the “thumb zone” on the screen for ease of navigation.

- Apply habitual gestures. On mobile and touchscreen devices, infinite scroll creates a smoother experience for shoppers. Moreover, mobile shoppers also instinctively use swipe and button features. 

- Under the Enhancements tab in the Google Search Console, check if you have the ‘Text is too small to read’ error. Also, keep in mind that the ideal font size for mobile screens is 16 pixels. 

- Place the search bar at the top right (and ensure some helpful text like "what are you looking for today?" features in it)

- Place the primary add-to-cart CTA before you bring in checkboxes for product add-ons

- Ensure your icons have appropriate labels (otherwise callouts can become meaningless)

- Put an attractive product alternative within the buyer’s view (for example, side banners)


When designing for mobile, forgetting that fingers work as cursors can prevent you from making the most of this strategy.

You might also like: 35 Tactics to Increase Mobile Conversion Rate

10. Use product bundles to increase AOV

The higher the price, the lower the quantity demanded—this is basic economics.

They use decoys to get more consumers to opt for the more expensive price package or drive more sales.

Product bundles, point systems, different pricing options, varied subscription-based price points, and tiered loyalty rewards can all be used to apply this principle. 

Here's how Bellroy leverages the decoy effect. 

How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

The brand includes two or more products into a bundle and offers a single price lower than the aggregate of the two prices.

Bellroy backs its offers with a three-year warranty.

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Offer different pricing options and bait the package you want shoppers to pick

- Bundle products that complement each other well

- Help shoppers build their own bundles (and price them based on how many items they add)


Use in moderation: The decoy effect in the eCommerce business gives up part of the profit for more sales—this might affect the company’s bottom line.

You might like: eCommerce Pricing Tactics: 20 Smart Examples to Help You Sell More

11. Reduce cart page drop-offs

"We saw many cart page drop-offs. Research showed that our shoppers were hesitant to buy due to unclear shipping costs at checkout. After showing shipping estimators earlier in the journey, we saw a significant reduction in cart abandonment." - Zach Dannett, Co-founder, Tumble Living

While many stores focus on product pages and checkout pages, they often don’t optimize the cart page. 

The cart page is the last page before shoppers step into checkout. 

So, if you see a big number of cart page drop-offs, then it’s time to take a look at how you can improve the experience. 

How to apply & increase eCommerce conversion rate:

- Break down all costs (shipping, handling, tax) and show customers exactly what they’re spending and on what services. This ensures price transparency and is aligned with the free shipping nudge. If customers can see that they’ll save money on shipping by spending more on the products, they will do that.

- Make the cart easily editable. If the customer wants to remove a product and increase or decrease the quantity.

- Offer an additional layer of authenticity with trust badges in the price summary area. If your average order value is higher than most online stores, make sure to offer as many verified credentials and payment gateways as possible for a smoother checkout process.

- Enable subtle cross-selling is OK. Recommending 1 complementary product works best on the cart page.   

12. Optimize your checkout pages  

"Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. How many steps till you make a purchase? Is it confusing? You want to make the checkout process as simple and seamless as possible. Make sure if a shopper adds to cart on their laptop, but wants to complete the order on their phone, the experience is seamless and friction-free." - Christy Pyrz, CMO, Paradigm Peptides

‍Too many steps after a product has been added to the cart can annoy customers.

Research shows the average cart abandonment rate across all industries is around 69.57%

More drop-offs mean more revenue loss.

That’s why eCommerce business owners must keep trying new things to decrease those checkout page drop-offs.      

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- For products that will be delivered sooner, display the expected shipping time. Show the text in a different color so that it’s easier to read. 

- Show error messages or extra information in checkout forms. 

- Auto-detect the “City” and “State” form fields when a shopper enters a postal code. 

Related reading: How do I increase my website’s checkout rate? (26 proven ideas)

13. Apply guest checkout alternatives 

Almost 60% of all online retailers offer guest checkout as an option. 

However, there’s a catch:

Shoppers don’t leave behind vital information for a brand to act on for building engagement when they opt for checking out as a guest. 

And businesses don’t have ample data to personalize and connect with shoppers when the latter pick guest checkout. 

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Social account signup options like Google and Facebook are excellent alternatives. Since it captures real email addresses, it’s very easy to send highly targeted messages

- Prompt shoppers to save their wishlist or save their cart through account creation. 

-  Let shoppers save whatever billing address they are typing in for future transactions with an email ID. This way, when they return to your store, they don’t have to fill in the details again.

14. Use ‘social proof’ to nudge shoppers to buy 

Social psychologist Stanley Milgram experimented with measuring people’s willingness to obey an authority figure that instructs them to perform acts conflicting with their conscience.

He found that a very high proportion of the subjects would fully follow the instructions, though reluctantly.

You see this can't be great news for improving your eCommerce conversion rate in the long run.

Successful eCommerce brands understand this and as an antidote, feature endorsements, buyer reviews, and testimonials to reinforce brand authority.

70% of teens trust influencers over traditional celebrities and 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations

The North Face runs a social media challenge—#NeverStopExploring—that encourages their customers to share a photo of themselves wearing the gear.

How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

User-generated content is a goldmine—85% of consumers find them more influential than brand images or videos and 43% say it’s a great way to discover new products.

On their product page, they share the percentage of the reviewers that recommend the product to other buyers. 

If a product has received glowing reviews, don’t forget to highlight it to establish trust. 

See how bareMinerals does it:

How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Use “Those who bought this also bought” on the product pages to recommend products to buyers.

- Add reviews and product ratings from verified buyers—a “verified buyer” badge highlight helps.

- Enhance the ways customers can create reviews (along with text, make it easy for them to upload their photos and videos)

- Display images of real people, authority figures, or celebrities that endorse or use the product. 

- Issue gift cards (makes it easy to ask for a review later).

- Use an affiliate program to expand your reach, dive into uncertain terrains and piggyback off people’s goodwill.

- Feature a Q&A section across product pages, where if a shopper asks a question, another can answer.

- Feature cases of success on your product pages (and other high-intent pages like the product pages).

15. Convince customers with smart imagery

It’s been proven that across eCommerce social channels, images & other visuals are the biggest drivers for audience engagement. 

Moreover, 75% of shoppers rely on product photography to make purchase decisions. 

The scientific principle that upholds such behavior is the visual principle of figure-ground. 

When the figure-ground is stable, shoppers can discern the foreground from the background. 

Designers also use this principle in unstable ways to create a differentiated dynamic around images. 

Here’s an example from a product visual from Huel (where it’s clearly established that the object is in the foreground). 

How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Maintain a neutral-colored background––white, black, or beige works best

- Make the subject of the image much smaller than the background (or a lot bigger)––this size contrast helps shoppers focus through figure-ground stability

- Position your subject lower in an image if you want it to clearly be seen as the figure––elements positioned higher are naturally considered the ground

- Convey taste, mood, lifestyle, and aspiration through the images (ensure your product pages build context through the image gallery)

16. Offer more information - gradually

Just like choices, too much information can make shoppers overwhelmed. 

How to apply & increase eCommerce conversion rate:

- Use vertically collapsed sections for FAQs & returns 

- Let shoppers see more information through pop-ups which expand when clicked. 

On the product listing page, allow shoppers to discover more information such as rating stars, a short description, and even a secondary image through hover. This way, they can quickly assess information without having to leave the page. 

How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

17. Inspire shoppers to engage—with smaller actions

Even if you want your shoppers to move towards a big purchase, they may want to build trust first through smaller actions.

In the world of eCommerce, these "smaller actions" are referred to as “micro-conversions.”

Micro-conversions are preliminary activities (like visiting various pages across your site, adding products to the cart, etc.) that finally add up to the big conversion (or purchase) later. 

The principle you can work with, to make this happen is the foot-in-the-door (FITD) technique.

The FITD technique allows businesses to ask for smaller requests when they're first courting the customer, and then make them more significant as time goes by.

Paying attention to the nature of requests becomes crucial to the success of this principle when applied—you have to achieve a balance so that potential customers don't remain skeptical and refuse the initial request completely. - Luke Perry, Convertcart

How to apply & increase conversion rates:

- Share tips, tricks, and product guides when a shopper signs up.

- Offer a free consultation call (and if they become ready to buy your service or product, charge them)

- Offer a discount to shoppers to fill up feedback forms etc.

- Let shoppers take a quiz where they can select their preferences and then offer them relevant recommendations.  

18. Build a memorable brand

The principle of framing suggests that how a piece of information (visual/ideological/values) is received has a lot to do with how it is crafted in the first place.  

Brands that use the frame of stories manage to create a deeper, long-term connection with customers

So, how you frame the narrative behind your brand makes all the difference to loyalists (and attract those who can be potentially loyal customers).

And in turn, has an impact on your eCommerce conversion rate.

eCommerce brands can take advantage of the confirmation bias by running ads that match a shopper’s beliefs, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

Furthermore, when a brand promotes relatable communication, shoppers sit up and take notice.

Shoppers will recognize your brand if you implement brand familiarity, such as common elements across social media profiles, email, and websites.  

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Bring your brand’s values to the forefront (use your homepage, about us page, and product pages to drive informational value)

- Follow your brand narrative with aligned actions (for example, if you talk of 24/7 customer support, make sure it’s a feature)

- Use color contrast in design, images, and colors to make an impact in a shopper’s mind.See how it can be done:

How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

- Set down a design theme according to your products or brand and use it across channels. For instance, a fashion brand selling an autumnal collection, then use similar colors in your emails and social media. 

- Write consistent copy. If your website copy refers to pop culture references, then make sure to write copy that reflects the same in your email communication. 

19. Encourage loyalty to boost conversions 

The unity principle is based on the concept that people, by human nature, like to be included in groups, belong to something, and share a common identity with others.

Paid loyalty programs generate more value from customers than free reward programs.

Research has proven that 43% of customers spend more on the brands they feel loyal to. 

Some of the smartest eCommerce brands cultivate higher levels of customer lifetime value (CLV) by cultivating a sense of community. 

This is related to the scientific principle of unity, which belongs to the social tier in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. 

A brand that has done this for years is Gymshark. 

How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

From sending emails that spark both warmth & curiosity to creating Gymshark Central, their content hub that lets members share, comment, and interact with each other.

How to apply & increase eCommerce conversion rate:

- Offers customers long-term benefits. For instance, let customers progress up tiers of a loyalty program with every purchase.  

- Celebrate milestones with incentives such as birthday rewards, anniversary gifts, and access to parties and artistry events.

- Reward loyal customers with early access to sales or product launches.  

20. Enable livestream shopping 

Live Shopping allows customers to shop directly with the brand through a LIVE session. 

This feature is perfect to respond to customer requests in real time, addressing any queries they may have, and even offering exclusive deals and limited-time offers.

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Leverage Facebook or Instagram live features to build exciting product launches, run AMAs & build a community

- Offer exclusive discounts & limited-time offers for customers who join the LIVE sessions.

21. Build shopper-friendly returns

An average human will rather not lose $5—than gain $5—this primitive tendency is what psychologists call loss aversion.

And it shows in the way people shop online:

  • Customers want an easy return process—67% of shoppers check the returns page before making a purchase—92% say they’ll buy again if the return is easy
  • People don’t want to buy something they’ll regret—a money-back guarantee helps eliminate buyer remorse & free returns increase security

Let's take an example from Dollar Shave Club.

How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and also allows customers to cancel their subscriptions anytime.

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Introduce a shopper-friendly return policy (some brands offer an extended returns window)

- Offer a money-back guarantee (attach necessary terms & conditions)

- Offer a year’s warranty

- Offer buyer/seller protection (if you run an eCommerce marketplace)

- Make easy cancellations possible

22. Increase conversions through "Instant Gratification"

Customers love instant gratification—they hate to wait—they crave immediacy.

47% expect websites to load within two seconds—and the fast loading optimization technique has proved to be an eCommerce conversion driver.

Customers are willing to spend 17% more on a company that has outstanding customer service.

How to apply & increase eCommerce conversion rate:

- Deliver products in a couple of days (or the same day if possible)

- Make the website lightweight and fast loading

- Make digital downloads easily accessible

- Provide product delivery tracking

- Make your contact details instantly visible and usable

- Offer express shipping (at a differentiated price)  

23. Provide customer support consistently

‍74% of senior business executives believe customer experience impacts the willingness of customers to become loyal advocates.

Positive experience drives return visits and conversions––74% buy based on experiences alone.

Behind these numbers, is the principle of psychological safety.

When a shopper feels like they can ask questions, clarify doubts and explore more relevant options with additional support, their chances of buying increase.

Successful eCommerce brands create positive, optimized experiences for buyers to make them feel at home.

They provide robust customer support, send real-time notifications, and create personalized experiences—consistently.

How to increase eCommerce conversion rate: 23 ideas backed by science

How to apply & increase conversion rate:

- Make live chat non-negotiable—42% of customers prefer live chat compared to just 23% for email and 16% for social media or forums

- Provide helpful support articles on the website

- Use email & push notifications to send updates on offers & restocks

- Nurture existing customers with product guides and emails featuring how-to videos

How we can help you 2X conversions:

98% of visitors who visit an eCommerce site—drop off without buying anything.

Why: user experience issues that cause friction for visitors.

And this is the problem Convertcart solves.

We've helped 500+ eCommerce stores (in the US) improve user experience—and 2X their conversions.

Our conversion experts can audit your site—identify UX issues, and suggest changes to improve conversions.

More about increasing conversion rates:

20 UX principles for higher conversions (Updated 2023)

FAQ(eCommerce Conversion Rate)

1. How is eCommerce conversion rate calculated?

eCommerce conversion rate explores the relationship between the total number of sales and the total number of website visits.

So, the following becomes the formula for eCommerce conversions:

Total number of conversions / Total number of visitors * 100

Google uses the same formula - only replaces ‘conversions’ with ‘transactions’ and ‘visitors’ with ‘sessions’. 

So, let’s say you’ve had 200 sales in a month and visits from 1000 shoppers, then your conversion rate would be 20%. 

2. What is considered a healthy eCommerce conversion rate?

eCommerce conversion rates across industries seem to lie between 1% and 3% generally. 

According to merchant net profit platform IRP Commerce, as recently as May 2022, the conversion rate across eCommerce businesses averaged at 1.78%.

When businesses aim for a baseline conversion rate of 3% +, it’s considered to be a good benchmark to have. 

3. What factors contribute to eCommerce conversion rates staying low?

There are a bunch of varying factors that can come together to make your eCommerce conversion rate fall or keep it at a low level. Here are some of the most significant ones:

Unoptimized product pages

This essentially means visitors are not converting on your product pages for several possible reasons: not knowing how to act, not finding the information they need, not seeing good deals, not seeing suggestions that match their preferences & lifestyle etc. 

Confusing or outdated search & navigation

The search functionality on an eCommerce website is the foremost factor that contributes to shoppers finding their way through the complexity of landing, product and category pages

Low or badly timed customer support

In the lack of a brick and mortar setup, customers may need advice and information on a bunch of queries.

A lack of either can lead them to feeling lost and not converting at all. 

A painfully long checkout process

Too many steps after a product has been added to the cart can annoy customers no end.

Once they have already picked a product, they don’t want to spend extra time paying for it or being offered a payment confirmation notification.

Lack of mobile optimization

Many eCommerce businesses have the misconception that whatever works for their websites, will also work on mobile.

However, mobile needs very targeted optimization strategies to impact conversions in a positive way. Here’s an exhaustive list.

4. For what length of time is eCommerce conversion rate measured?

While there’s no standard answer for this, most businesses come to conclusions about their conversion rate over a period of time. 

For example, if you’re running a marketing campaign, it may be wise to observe the trends across a minimum of two to three months to come to conclusions about conversions. 

5. Does improving eCommerce conversion rates need a strategy?

The short answer to this is: yes. 

The strategy aspect is often referred to as eCommerce CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization). 

eCommerce CRO looks at optimizing various key parts of your web and mobile sites to make them more engaging, accessible and relevant for potential customers. 

Some key aspects that you can consider making more effective through eCommerce CRO are:

- High-intent pages (like the homepage, landing pages, product pages and checkout page)

- Overall design and UX

- Copywriting

- Quality and relevance of visuals

- Navigation menus

- Product recommendations

- Pricing & offers

- Returns & shipping

6. What are the common misconceptions around eCommerce conversion rates?

Implementing eCommerce CRO best practices will instantly resolve conversion issues.

This is a big illusion because uplifting your eCommerce conversion rate means a bunch of other things, including having a robust marketing strategy and innovating on product offerings as time goes by, amongst several more. 

Some branding tweaks here and there, and sales will improve

This is a dangerous assumption made by many businesses that think branding is ONLY about the look and feel. In reality, branding is about WHAT you do to make your customers’ buying journey a whole lot easier and enjoyable. 

Doing what a competitor is doing will change the eCommerce conversion rate for the better

Nothing is farther from the truth. Even in the same category, every business is different - right from their USP to the way they prefer engaging with customers.

So no two businesses employing the same techniques can ever have the same results. 

Wondering how to turn around your eCommerce CRO efforts? Read 17 *Underrated* Conversion Rate Optimization Ideas for eCommerce

7. Does eCommerce funnel optimization help eCommerce conversion rates?

Yes,it absolutely does.

To start with, visualize your conversion funnel to know the journey a potential customer is going to make. 

The idea is to make sense of every little detail that a customer might encounter as they negotiate engagement with your brand and either decide to buy for the first time or decide to buy again. 

To ensure you optimize your eCommerce funnel in a relevant way, here are some questions you may want to ask - 

- Where are your customers in their buyers’ journey? (Typically some customers will be at different stages of the usual 5-step funnel process)

- What are their main problems behind why they want to engage with a brand like yours?

- Given where they are in the funnel, what are their expectations from you as a brand?

- How can you help customers solve their primary problem AND offer them enough reasons to keep engaging with you?

8. What are some unusual ways of improving eCommerce conversions?

There are a number of understood ways of improving eCommerce conversion rates, but there are some rare ones too.

If you’re keen to implement some unusual practices, you’ll need to remember that the devil is in the details.

Here are some that work well when applied with care and consideration. 

Use your primary CTA to talk about the value proposition

More than something feel-good, customers are willing to take action on something that promises them tangible benefits.

A prime example is Shopify’s “create your store”. 

Make your live chat feature multiple languages

You guessed it right - everyone talks about the live chat feature but not enough about how the chosen language of communication keeps it relevant.

We suggest featuring at least two more important languages apart from English to make it relevant for a wider audience. 

Employ odd pricing

It leverages slight adjustments to pricing and reaps big benefits.

It creates the illusion of a much better price alternative whereas it in fact is not. For example, consider $12.79 instead of $13.

This is an instance of odd pricing that makes the customer pay attention only to the first two digits to come to a positive buying decision. 

Before great conversions comes memorable UX...

98% of visitors who visit an eCommerce site—drop off without buying anything.

Why: user experience issues that cause friction for visitors.

And this is the problem Convertcart solves.

We've helped 500+ eCommerce stores (in the US) improve user experience—and 2X their conversions.

How we can help you:

Our conversion experts can audit your site—identify UX issues, and suggest changes to improve conversions.

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Conversion rate optimization
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100 Conversion Hacks for eCommerce (2023 Edition)