Conversion Optimization

eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization: 40+ Practical Ideas, Examples, Checklists

As your online business starts to grow, conversions need to grow too. Here are 40+ ideas to make your store amplify your conversion rate.

eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimization: 40+ Practical Ideas, Examples, Checklists

It’s common knowledge that the average eCommerce conversion rate is anywhere between 2.5% and 3%. 

But hey, who said this is set in stone?

Here’s the truth: many eCommerce businesses in that average haven’t come around to optimizing their storefronts. 

And you don’t want to be one of them—so here are 41 quickly actionable ideas we’d like to share with you that can make the conversions roll—let’s go!

The sections we’ll cover in this piece are:

SITEWIDE

HOMEPAGE

PRODUCT LISTING PAGE

PRODUCT PAGE & CART

CHECKOUT

CONVERSION OPTIMIZATION IDEAS FOR ECOMMERCE - SITEWIDE

1. Use visuals with an aspirational quality

 While they need to create context of use for your shoppers, the images across your site are also meant to create desire for purchase and owning.

Feature a mix of people and product photography to make this more compelling. If it’s a clothing brand, go for the lifestyle, if it’s supplements, show how the real-time results look. 

eCommerce men’s fashion brand nails this as their visuals speak directly to their casual, dressed-down style loving audiences: 

ASOS uses distinct imagery to drive eCommerce conversion optimization

2. Display social proof at crucial points

Put simply, as an eCommerce business owner, you’re trying to recreate the comfort 82% of shoppers seek for in recommendations from friends and family. And the effect of social proof creates greater impact when it is displayed in key areas: 

✔ After you’ve described what your brand does on the homepage

âś” As a snippet in the product content layout within the product page

✔ As image labels on the category pages (labels like “top rated” and “flying fast” are self-explanatory)

Men’s personal care brand Apothecary 87 has an elaborate reviews section on their product pages, but what takes the cake is the layout they use:

Apothecary 87 features social proof across their site for conversion rate optimization

3. Use sale/deal banners across your store 

This is an eCommerce conversion rate optimization hack that can especially be helpful for third party aggregators or businesses with a greater number of products. This can be a great persuasion tactic also if you declare different deals everyday. 

eCommerce brand Chewy features enough number of brands and products to declare unique daily deals and increase their conversion rate:

Chewy sale banner as a sitewide conversion optimization idea

4. Personalize your promotions 

Since acquiring new customers can often be 5X more difficult and expensive, personalizing deals for existing customers can contribute to your customer lifetime value. 

Show relevant recommendations on sale, send an email-only discount for subscribing to a previously purchased product or even announce a discount for those who create UGC or respond to feedback forms. 

5. Make your bundle offers stand out

Bundles offer higher value to shoppers and improve your store’s AOV—so it’s a win-win. 

And this means how you display your bundle offers & nudges matter a lot—here are a few ideas:

✔ Show an additional product & nudge shoppers to bundle it with the main product (create a “special offer”)

âś” Feature homepage bundle recommendations & call out the discount on the CTA through anchoring

✔ Reserve a separate “bundle & save” category in your main menu (ideally in a different color)

Outstanding Foods makes their “bundle & save” prompt their hero header—and uses microcopy to drive the benefits:

Outstanding Foods highlight their bundle & save offers as a conversion optimization idea

You could even make an “upgrade to a bundle” callout within the cart, like MindBodyGreen does:

MindBodyGreen bundle & save upgrade in cart to drive conversion optimization

6. Use a sticky but non-intrusive live chat

Live chat is an important piece in the eCommerce optimization puzzle—it’s about creating a sense of reassurance even before a shopper has begun to pore over product content. 

But the idea is to give it an icon that’s recognizable and feature it as a sticky button across your high intent pages. 

We love Bugaboo’s chat feature because it also offers hint text that’s inviting—”Want us to cover shipping?” But then again if you visit when the support team is away, the chat opens up into:

Bugaboo live chat eCommerce conversion optimization example

7. Use trust signals across the store

Customer trust is non-negotiable. 

So your website needs to carry a variety of trust signals across it—here are a few we’ve seen to work for eCommerce conversion rate optimization:

âś” Any kind of third-party validation (could be a review platform, a press mention etc.)

âś” Certifications that are relevant to a category (like a B Corp certification is high valuable for sustainable brands)

âś” Logos of payment methods accepted (the more popular, the merrier)

✔ Site security certifications (like SSL) 

8. Include a clear “about us” page

Reassurance is key to creating success with eCommerce conversion rate optimization. 

This is especially true of lesser known brands, which need to tell shoppers why they exist, what their values are and how their products trump competition. 

eCommerce brand Warby Parker’s “our story” page is an epic example that offers shoppers a BTS glance into how the founders came together to make the brand a reality—what’s better they end the page with their brand USPs:

eCommerce conversion rate optimization

We recommend you read: Building the Perfect eCommerce About Us Page (& Inspiring Examples)

9. Use progress indicators where multiple steps are involved

This is primarily applicable for your eCommerce conversion optimization efforts within the cart and checkout. This is also applicable for a personalization quiz if you feature more than five pages. 

In the cart, show a progress bar to help shoppers understand how farther away they’re from free shipping. 

At checkout, make the progress bar about the sections the shopper needs to complete—ensure the color coding in it changes as a section is completed. 

For a personalization quiz, the progress bar can indicate the number of questions and show movement as each one gets answered.

10. Remove unnecessary plugins

Too many plugins or plugins that are not compatible with your current applications cause what’s known as database bloat. Run an audit to see what’s lying unused and weed them out. Without doing so, you run the risk of longer loading times and your storefront potentially getting hacked. 

11. Enable lazy loading

Lazy loading enables the way content delivery happens on your eCommerce site. 

With it, you can essentially de-prioritize sections of your store to load slower, so that the most important elements can load immediately. 

Caveat: Never apply lazy loading to the first fold section of any of your pages. 

12. Compress those images

And make sure they’re in a format that doesn’t compromise on quality even when compressed. 

eCommerce website conversion rate optimization audit checklist

CONVERSION OPTIMIZATION IDEAS FOR ECOMMERCE HOMEPAGE

13. Feature clear categories & subcategories

This includes maintaining a visual hierarchy that’s easy to absorb at one go—work with either downward pointing or sideward pointing arrows as a combination may be confusing. What can also help is color-coding the category and subcategory sections differently like Walmart does: 

Walmart uses a neat primary navigation that promotes conversion rate optimization

14. Build an amazing search experience 

In your eCommerce conversion rate optimization efforts, the idea is to make the search function as appealing as possible. 

Use hint text that immediately calls out and arm it with auto-correction and autosuggestion. 

Also, make sure at no point does it return a no search results page. 

eCommerce furniture brand Crate & Barrel asks “What can we help you find” and shows recently viewed products even before the visitor has started typing: 

Crate & Barrel search shows recently viewed items for homepage CRO

15. Talk about benefits, and support with proof 

This is the most assured to set your brand’s tone for a first-time visitor who knows little about you. Whether that benefit has to do with a product you create or your brand approach, this will differentiate you from competitors while creating customer trust. 

Supplement brand Huel, for example, doesn’t just state a clear benefit but also supports it with the reviews they’ve received on third-party review platform Trustpilot:

Huel hero header benefit call-out for homepage conversion rate optimization

16. Enable a geo-location prompt

This is a great alternative to showing dynamic content to existing customers—geolocation prompts help you target first time visitors so that you can show them suggestions and display offers that are more in sync with their seasonality, region etc. 

This is exactly what cosmetic brand Tarte does, with their prompt enabling shoppers to choose their preferred currency as well:

Tarte Cosmetics geolocation prompt is a homepage CRO tactic

17. Make your notification bars compelling (and visually appealing) 

If sales banners attract visitors explicitly, notification bars do the same a little more implicitly. But since they’re subtle by design, what you put on them can make all the difference. 

While “enjoy sitewide free shipping when you shop for $50 +” may not be that attractive, “Love it Or Your First Pair Is On Us” certainly will. 

eCommerce brand Western Rise packs in punch into their notification bar in this example by employing two powerful ideas: the tiered discount and a limited time offer:

Western rise notification bar shows a limited time offer to improve homepage conversion rate

18. Bring your bestsellers upfront 

It’s not just for nothing that they say 20% of your products drive 80% of your revenue. One way to do this effectively is to feature you bestsellers along with their ratings and the number of reviews they’ve received—this is exactly what Girlfriend Collective does for eCommerce conversion rate optimization:

Girlfriend Collective highlights bestsellers for better homepage CRO

19. Build conviction with your headlines

Whether you display them on your homepage or pepper them through various sections of your product pages, your headliners need to:

âś” Generate trust

âś” Solve a problem

✔ Offer an alternate view / perspective 

One eCommerce business that gives a lot of thought to headliners across their site is skincare brand The Ordinary—here are a couple of examples:

The Ordinary uses distinct headliners as homepage copy for better conversions
The Ordinary uses distinct headliners as homepage copy for better conversions

20. Engage with a quiz (& highlight it in key places)

When visitors come into your store with the knowledge that you don’t know about their preferences, a funnel quiz comes in handy. 

What also becomes crucial in increasing conversions is where you place it—here are a few high-converting locations:

âś” Dedicate a clear section where you talk about the quiz (some people do it in the hero header)

âś” Reserve the quiz as a separate category in your main navigation

✔ Feature it above-the-fold in every product page with a simple callout “Not a fit? Take this quiz to find yours”

Sephora, for example, features multiple quizzes on their site, because of which they’ve reserved a separate section:

Sephora clubs its quizzes in one section to improve homepage conversion rate optimization

21. Target organic visitors with exit-intent pop-ups

Unlike paid visitors, organic visitors may or may not have high purchase intent. 

What this means is you can wheel them in differently: make them micro-convert through a pop-up. 

But since every brand’s pop-up is going the lines of “sign up and get X% off,” yours has to be more exciting. 

Here’s an example from Western Rise—notice how they nudge through urgency:

Western Rise limited time pop-up to increase homepage conversion rate

And here’s another from Tropic Skincare—instead of monetary benefits, they try and engage the shopper with the promise of value-add content while asking for their preference: 

Tropic email opt-in on homepage asks for preferences for better conversion optimization

Pro Tip: At the ToFu stage, shoppers are always comparing. So, showing a secondary CTA to make the primary one attractive is a great idea. Something as simple as “claim your offer” flanked by “no, I’ll pay full price” works!

You might like: Exit-Intent Pop-Ups: overcoming common mistakes + 20 brilliant examples

22. Promote membership plans

If you can aim for the long haul, why aim for just one buy? 

High-converting eCommerce brands often feature rewards in their primary navigation, or right above it on the notification bar or even as a sticky button across the site. 

But Underarmour explicitly pulls attention to their rewards program through a pop-up and we think this is highly compelling:

Underarmour highlights membership perks through a homepage CRO pop-up
CRO audit checklist for eCommerce homepage

CONVERSION OPTIMIZATION IDEAS FOR ECOMMERCE PRODUCT LISTING PAGE

23. Feature sub-categories 

Scrolling fatigue is real and brands that have hundreds of products can add to it—even with a “Load More” button that staggers loading all results at the same time. 

An alternative is to feature sub-categories right at the top of a category page, instead of relying only on the main menu—exactly what outdoor brand Patagonia does: 

Patagonia shows clear subcategories in product listing pages as a CRO hack

24. Use thematic filters for crowded categories

Some categories naturally have multiple sub-types and even deeper sub-layers. In such cases, it makes sense to go beyond your typical product filters to include themes that cover the sub-types within the crowded category. 

Exactly what fashion brand ASOS does to improve their CRO success—look at the sheer number of thematic filters they present on a subcategory page for “dresses”:

ASOS uses thematic filters for crowded categories as product listing page CRO

25. Create simple, user-friendly filters 

Context is king in eCommerce conversion rate optimization. 

And when it comes to filters, you need to feature what drives context in your industry or category. 

Plus, a long list of filters may cause confusion in shoppers—which is why what eCommerce fashion brand Loft does is ideal (zeroing in on the most contextual filters):

Loft features friendly filters to improve their product listing page conversion optimization

For more advice, read: Product Listing Pages: 23 High-converting Examples For 2024

CRO audit checklist for eCommerce category pages

CONVERSION OPTIMIZATION IDEAS FOR ECOMMERCE PRODUCT PAGE & CART 

26. Create context around your CTA buttons

Since one of the main ideas of eCommerce conversion rate optimization is to inspire shoppers to click, only focusing on CTA design isn’t enough. It’s equally about what you show around the CTA. 

Here are a few things that shoppers generally like to see around the CTA to find the latter convincing: 

âś” Info on return policy

âś” Free shipping statement

âś” Money back guarantee

✔ Brand differentiators 

Here’s a look at what eCommerce jerky brand Krave does:

Krave product page CTA optimization to improve conversion rate

27. Experiment with pricing (but stay competitive)

When pricing is in the charts of your eCommerce conversion rate optimization efforts, it needs to be a balance between charging high enough to not be perceived dispensable and low enough not to be beaten by competitors. 

A good way to assess pricing is to see what sort of products you sell—for example, value-based pricing may be more ideal for aspirational or luxury products while those in crammed categories may do better with competitor pricing (which is more dynamic). 

28. Promote wishlisting 

Where you show it, how easy you make it to wishlist and how effectively you nudge towards account creation through the wishlisting function matter. Since wishlisting is a valuable micro-conversion 

âś” Use wishlisting as a secondary CTA

âś” Use wishlisting as an icon right next to the primary CTA

âś” Use the wishlisting icon right next to the product name

Australian underwear brand Boody keeps wishlisting prominent and simple by using the icon next to the primary CTA, and when one clicks on it, a login prompt opens up without taking the shopper to another page:

Boody prompts shoppers to wishlist as part of their product page CRO

29. Make your product names unique

As part of your eCommerce conversion rate optimization tactics, optimize your product names too. 

The idea is to include a key feature, benefit, material or color to make it stand apart. 

Also, make your product name state if it falls under limited edition. 

For a full optimization lowdown on product titles, read: eCommerce Product Titles: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

30. Feature product features as icons

No matter how great a product is, few shoppers stop to read a product description in full detail. 

And this makes it necessary for you to include product highlights (which can also be brand standards in some cases.)

Take a look at how eCommerce food brand Outstanding Foods declares their food grade standards through icons on their product pages:

Outstanding Foods highlights brand best practices to improve conversion optimization on product pages

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31. Make your videos shoppable

It’s not news anymore that video content on your storefront can elevate your sales—after all 84% of shoppers claim they’ve bought after watching a brand video. 

To improve your conversion optimization success on this front, we recommend:

âś” Using your best UGC to great effect, or/and

✔ Making your videos shoppable 

That’s exactly what Tarte Cosmetics does—they even play the videos serially to avoid distraction:

Tarte Cosmetics displays shoppable videos as product page CRO hacks

32. Feature a friendly return policy

When it comes to eCommerce conversion rate optimization, a flexible, shopper-centric returns policy can change the way your sales happen. 

In fact, some eCommerce brands use this element to score over competitors—a case in point is inner wear brand ThirdLove offering 60-day returns:

Third Love friendly return policy eCommerce example

Everlane, on the other hand, offers 15 extra days to shoppers outside of US and Canada for the returns & exchanges process to be smooth and easy. 

You might like: 14 Brilliant Examples of eCommerce Return Policy (+ Proven Tips)

33. Show cart updates clearly 

The most common way eCommerce businesses employ to make this happen is to use a number against the cart icon, depending upon how many items a shopper adds. 

However, for even better UX, it’s ideal to use the drawer mode, that is, show the mini cart every time an item gets added to it. 

34. Showcase recommendations smartly 

Truth be told, eCommerce shoppers are overwhelmed by all the “you’ll also love” and “people also bought” recommendation sections. It’s just that almost every eCommerce brand is trying to play this game. 

So how do you make your recommendations come alive—here are a few ideas: 

✔ Offer a linked “mix and match” prompt right beneath the product pricing, CTA, description section

✔ Feature a clickable “view the look” nudge on one of your product images

✔ Show a “frequently bought together” section beneath the wishlisting prompt (& ensure the options are editable)

eCommerce health brand Joy Organics recommends products while displaying social proof:

Joy Organics features recommendations with social proof as a conversion optimization idea

35. Upsell & cross-sell like a champ 

To get your eCommerce conversion rate optimization right in this area, make cross-sells and upsells seem like a choice or a benefit. 

Some eCommerce brands bring in the “customer who bought this also bought” and feature complementary products in the cart. 

However, what Chubbies does makes it more attractive without making the shopper feel forced (because there’s a clear benefit involved):

Chubbies quantity discount upsell is used to improve conversion optimization on product pages
eCommerce CRO audit checklist for product pages

36. Feature cart deals to fight abandonment

Second thoughts upon reaching the cart is normal—and this makes eCommerce conversion rate optimization in this space difficult. But not if you can make some last-minute offers so relevant, the shoppers decide not to jump off:

âś” BOGO nudges make shoppers see more value instantly

âś” Special subscription price nudge can make shoppers give the product long-term consideration

âś” Membership pricing nudge can point towards long-term benefits

Hair extension product brand Luxy Hair offers free gifts in-cart when shoppers make purchases of a certain price: 

Luxy Hair cart deal example

37. Time your browse & cart abandonment campaigns well

The answer to this typically depends on the segment you’re sending either to, on your email list. 

What seems to be a good idea is to assess the general interest a segment shows an interest in buying from your store. 

For shoppers with lower intent, triggering a browse abandonment campaign within a day of abandonment works. 

For shoppers with higher intent, whether it’s browse or cart abandonment, trigger the first email with 30 minutes to 2 hours of the abandonment event. 

CONVERSION OPTIMIZATION IDEAS FOR ECOMMERCE CHECKOUT

38. Make your checkout flow feel safe

Is how much you’ll charge for shipping vague? 

Do you feature a shipping calculator?

Do you show “additional taxes” but don’t specify them?

Are your trusted payment methods in full view across product, cart and checkout pages?

39. Feature guest & express checkout options

Feature your express payment options at the top of the checkout page. 

And enable the shopper to checkout as a guest from right below the order summary. 

Even if you feature an account creation prompt, ensure you talk about a benefit to drive the point—that’s what makeup band Ilia does:

Ilia offers multiple checkout options to improve conversion rates

You might like: Guest checkout: Still a good choice? (+16 way BETTER alternatives)

40. Reduce distractions on the checkout page 

In terms of visuals, it’s ideal to just keep the thumbnail images of the selected products with quantity labels. 

Avoiding recommendations is ideal. Use microcopy to either state that shoppers can apply a code they have with them or that a discount has been auto-applied. 

And don’t forget to keep your live chat button present on this page!!

41. Keep it short & sweet

Feature three to four clear sections to avoid confusion, and for each section let the number of fields not be more than 7 or 8. 

If you don’t feature a one-page checkout, feature a bold CTA button to indicate what the next page (or section) is going to be about—this is what Chubbies does:

Chubbies maintains a short checkout to optimize conversions
CRO audit checklist for eCommerce checkout

People also ask: 

1. How to get started with Conversion Rate Optimization?

If you’re just starting out on CRO for your eCommerce store, here’s what you’ll need to keep a lookout on:

✔ Assess which conversions are most crucial based on business goals—typically buying a product, joining your email list, wishlisting and creating an account are considered critical

✔ Find gaps in your conversion funnel—from early buyers to more mature buyers, your analysis needs to cover points that are “leaky” when it comes to customer retention

✔ Derive data from across channels—take a look at browsing behavior, which pages visitors are lurking on, what kind of CTAs are getting more clicks than others etc.

✔ Develop hypotheses for the whole conversion funnel—look at behavior patterns or even feedback to see what visitors may not be able to trust or don’t feel interested in because they’re getting better deals

✔ Test and review your hypotheses—this may involve several iterations and may even need you to test several elements to come to a final conclusion

2. Which are the most important places to implement CRO in an eCommerce store?

In short, at Convertcart we look at 5 areas before answering this question: navigation, information, safety, reward and action. 

So, in alignment with the above, the 5 most crucial places would be:

✔ The primary menu—and how it’s designed for both desktop and mobile, how clearly it layers the categories and subcategories etc. 

✔ The search function—again a part of navigation, an optimized search can land visitors where they want to go on your site

✔ Product / brand content & microcopy—in the absence of an in-store experience, can visitors differentiate your products & brand?

✔ Messaging around discounts—but more importantly, where they are placed and how easily they’re convincing visitors to continue engaging and buying

✔ Calls to action—this is a combination of CTA buttons as well as headliners that incite interest, excitement and desire to add to cart

3. How to choose a CRO agency?

As eCommerce booms and CRO roars, it may actually be a bit tricky to land an agency that can truly match the rhythm of your conversion goals—but as an agency that’s been at it for 5 years, here’s what we’ve got to say:

✔ Trust one that prioritizes quality over quantity—agencies that try to cover too many areas typically fail at scoring qualitative results over a period of time and this could mean a bad hit to your ROI

✔ Assess the size of the team—typically CRO projects are time intensive and if you’re looking for an agency that can handle, let’s say, a multi-brand move, you’ll need to understand if someone has the time for it

✔ Pressure test the guarantee—along with the cost, if the agency is making tall claims about absolute guarantees, you may have to ask for proof or previously delivered results

To get more sound advice, read: Hiring a CRO agency: 12 key considerations (and expert advice)

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