13 tests worth trying to boost your eCommerce conversion rate
This post was last updated on July 29, 2022.
When you’re managing an eCommerce site, it’s not all about gaining traffic.
What people decide to do after they land on your site is equally—if not even more—important. This is where conversion rate optimization (CRO) comes into play.
Regularly testing and optimizing your eCommerce site for conversions is crucial for making sure that your eCommerce marketing and advertising efforts aren’t done in vain. CRO is also instrumental in finding holes, blockers, and other areas for improvement in your overall site experience.
To get you started, we’ll cover everything you need to know about eCommerce CRO. Learn how to calculate conversion rate, analyze user behaviors, and run tests to better convert visitors into customers.
Create a site built with conversion in mind. Check out Wix’s eCommerce website templates alongside Wix’s powerful eCommerce features for optimizing your entire operations.
What counts as a conversion in eCommerce?
A “conversion” can entail any meaningful action that you want your visitors to take on your site. For example, it could mean when a visitor:
Clicks to a product page
Adds a product to his/her cart
Adds a product to his/her wish list
Shares a product on social media
Users a coupon code
Signs up for your email newsletter
Completes a purchase
You could be measuring (and testing) several types of conversions at once. And multiple events or smaller “conversions” could lead to one primary conversion, like making a purchase.
It’s best to map out all of these desired events first, then decide which to focus on improving. Each page of your site is likely targeting a specific type of conversion. Depending on where results are falling flat, you can begin your CRO efforts there.
A simple formula for calculating conversion rate
Of course, to start improving your conversion rates, you need to know how to calculate them. Conversion rates can be calculated using this simple formula:
Conversion rate = (total number of conversions ÷ total number of visitors) x 100
To put it into practice: let’s say you want to track conversions across your overall store. A “conversion” in this case is when someone completes a purchase. In one month, 50,000 landed on your store, and 2,000 shoppers completed a purchase. As a result, your conversion rate would be 4%, because (2,000 / 50,000) * 100 = 4.
The same formula would apply if you decided to get even more granular with the data. For instance, you could choose to track conversions from visitors’ shopping cart pages. Conversions here would mean the total number of people who completed the checkout process. So, if you see that 6,000 people actually added a product to their carts, but only a third checked out—you know that you need to look into the checkout process and find ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Once you know your baseline conversion rates, you can begin taking steps to increase it. Even an increase of one or two percentage points could translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional sales if you’re a large seller. Set a realistic CRO goal for yourself, and regularly revisit your conversion rate.
What’s a good eCommerce conversion rate?
Average eCommerce conversion rates vary widely based on product category. A “good” website conversion rate also depends on your geographic location, store maturity, target audience, and other factors specific to your business.
With that said, recent studies have measured eCommerce conversion rates as follows:
Luxury handbags - 0.6%
Home furniture - 0.6%
Luxury apparel - 1%
Home appliance - 1%
Sporting goods - 1.5%
Active footwear - 2.1%
Electronics and accessories - 2.2%
Toys and learning - 2.3%
Beauty and makeup - 2.4%
Active apparel - 2.5%
General apparel - 2.7%
Food and beverage - 5.5%
Helpful tools for measuring eCommerce conversions
As you investigate your own conversion rate, the following tools can help you collect the insights you need to make informed decisions.
Wix Analytics - Available to any Wix merchant, Wix Analytics gives you data on how many people visit your site, which pages they linger on, where they enter from, and more.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) - GA4 provides highly customizable reports that let you drill into user sessions, events, and custom goals. It is instrumental in seeing what people do after entering specific pages of your site.
Google Tag Manager - Google Tag Manager allows you to create specific events that can be tracked via Google Analytics. You can create events tracking your exact conversion goals, e.g., track the number of clicks on the “buy now” button on your homepage.
Hotjar - Hotjar offers the tools to generate heat maps and screen recordings, showing how people move through your online store. View real user sessions, and see where your buyer clicks and/or gets stuck.
13 tests you can try to boost your eCommerce CRO
With the right data, you can start running experiments to see which site enhancements improve conversions. Remember to avoid testing too many variables at once and polluting results with unclear data.
Create distinct A/B testing plans per each conversion goal or page you want to enhance. A small change, such as where you place your “Buy Now” button on a product page, could potentially have a big impact.
Beyond this, there are several larger steps you should try to enhance your overall eCommerce conversion rate.
Let’s look at 13 CRO tests worth trying:
01. Optimize the checkout process
The average cart abandonment rate in eCommerce is nearly 70% these days—and 17% of those shoppers abandon their carts because the checkout process is too complicated. Make sure your checkout process is as frictionless as possible by experimenting with these updates:
Add a “Quick View” option to your product gallery so customers can view product details into a popup without leaving the page that they’re on
Include both “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons on your product pages, giving buyers the option to complete their purchases right away if desired
Add more payment options (like BNPL options or PayPal) to your website
Enable auto-fill to limit the number of fields a user must fill in manually at checkout
Include progress bars that show buyers how far along they are in the checkout process
02. Test new product photos and videos
It goes without saying that if a buyer can’t see or touch your product themselves, then having high-quality visuals is critical. Whether you’re optimizing your homepage or product pages, refreshing your visuals could compel shoppers to take action.
Provide more professional-looking shots of your products taken at all angles
Capture more close-up shots of your product showing details such as the stitching, material, and more
Provide more lifestyle photos, allowing people to envision themselves using your product
Include more size charts and instructional images where appropriate
Add 360-degree product photos allowing users to view your product from all angles
Integrate user-generated photos to serve as social proof
BeagleDrones seamlessly integrates videos into their product pages. As you scroll, you visually discover more and more things their drones can do (from filming high-speed car chases to aerial landscape views). In BeagleDrones’ case, these videos offer two main benefits—first, they highlight the quality of the drone footage, underscoring the value of the product. Second, they inspire you, subtly motivating you to imagine the films you could create with your own drone.
03. Improve your site navigation
The larger your catalog, the more complicated your nav menu may become. However, it’s possible that your customers aren’t hitting “buy” because they can’t easily find what they’re looking for on your site. Here are several tests you can run to improve site navigation:
Make your parent categories more obvious by removing them from any dropdown menus and placing them at the top of your site
Create distinct labels and pages for certain groups of products, e.g., if you sell sporting goods, you could create separate pages for fishing rods, baseball equipment, and workout gear
Add breadcrumbs to your pages so that shoppers can easily trace their steps from any page
Add filters and “sort by” menus to your pages, making it easy for customers to filter products by price, color, and other factors that are important to them
Test the right amount of parent categories your store should have based on the way your shoppers navigate to specific pages
04. Make your return policy easy to find
Up to 67% of shoppers will check the returns page of an eCommerce store before making a purchase. That’s why it’s important to make your returns policy easily accessible.
Adding a link to your returns page on the footer of every webpage is one potential way to make sure shoppers can access the information they need about returns quickly. Another option is to test whether including your return policy—or a link to that policy—on your “contact us” page will help increase conversion.
05. Make your calls-to-action (CTAs) clearer
The appearance, location, and wording of your buttons and links could elicit different responses from you shoppers. Considering how your CTAs are the main pathways to a conversion, it’s worth looking into several factors:
A/B test different button colors and formatting to see if they help make your CTAs “pop”
Place more CTAs throughout various areas of your page
Remove ambiguity by using clear, action-oriented wording, e.g., “start shopping” and “add to cart”
Replace “sign up” buttons with embedded forms that can be completed without ever leaving the page
06. Design for mobile
Mobile commerce represents about 73% of all eCommerce sales. That’s why today’s consumers expect mobile experiences that go beyond the basics. Your best first step is to see how well your site currently performs on mobile. Enter your store’s URL into Google’s free tool and get instant insights into the mobile-friendliness of your site.
Use a tool like the Wix Editor to enhance and customize your mobile site, taking these factors into consideration:
Can a person navigate through your site using a single thumb (no pinching required)?
Are text, images, and buttons easy to view on a small screen?
Does your mobile site load quickly?
Is your mobile menu easy to find and use?
What search features do you offer (or should you offer) for mobile users?
Are forms easy to fill out on mobile?
Are you users being bombarded with too many popups or animations?
07. Highlight customer reviews and testimonials
The likelihood of someone purchasing a product that has five customer reviews is an astounding 270% higher than a product with zero reviews. Needless to say, reviews and testimonials boost trust in your brand and products.
If you don’t currently show reviews on your site, enable the option for users to leave a review after completing a purchase.
Test the location of reviews on your product pages, alongside other areas of your website. Consider embedding social feeds that put user-generated content front and center so that other customers are more compelled to complete a purchase.
08. Offer promos and discounts
Promos and price cuts are hard to resist, and might be just the push your customers need to hit “buy.” Of course, you’ll want to minimize the impact to your margins, plus avoid degrading your brand by offering too many discounts.
For starters, consider running limited-time promotions. Test various lengths, timing, price cuts, messaging, and more to see what resonates best with your audience and makes the most financial sense for your business.
To bring attention to your promos, experiment with homepage banners, sliders, and pop-ups.
Wix eCommerce users can integrate the Popify app to additionally use banners to show off recent purchases made by other buyers and further create a sense of urgency.
09. Offer free shipping
While it may not be feasible for every retailer, offering free shipping can help to spur more shoppers into action. You can test this by offering free shipping for a limited time or for specific items. There’s also a chance that your customers don’t necessarily expect free and fast shipping at the same time; it’s worth exploring which is more valuable to them and adjusting your shipping policies accordingly.
10. Offer curbside pickup (if able)
If you have both an online store and brick-and-mortar locations, then testing whether curbside pickup can increase your online conversion rate is a smart step. In 2021, retailers who offered curbside pickup had a median conversion rate of 3.4%, one percentage point higher than in 2019.
11. Debut a chatbot or live chat
When your customers have a question about a product on your website, they expect answers—fast. Chatbots and live chat are a way to give them what they want and potentially improve CRO. Many eCommerce retailers use live chat during normal business hours, then leverage a chatbot for after-hour inquiries. Studies show chatbots and live chats are best used to answer specific user questions. Test this theory out on your site and measure its impact on conversions.
12. Implement features for cross-selling and up-selling
Time is of the essence—and it’s possible that your customers aren’t spending enough time digging through your catalog to see everything that you have to offer. Make the job easier on them by implementing more page elements showing “Related products” or “Customers also bought” items.
Not only do these help with product discovery, but they could also serve to increase AOV.
13. Send cart abandonment emails
People may abandon their carts for a number of reasons. Maybe they got distracted, or had to answer the phone. Maybe they started wandering to other sites and exploring other products.
Whatever the case, sending emails reminding shoppers of where they left off could rekindle their interest in your brand. Studies show that as many as 45% of cart abandonment emails are opened, so you may want to try your hand at sending more email reminders.
Begin your eCommerce CRO journey
When it comes to eCommerce conversion rate optimization, there are endless elements and strategies that you can test.
If you use Wix for your online store, a great place for you to begin is by reviewing our list of eCommerce features. You’ll find solutions for creating richer website experiences, enhancing checkout, expanding payment options, and more.
Take advantage of all of these out-of-the-box perks and brainstorm your own ways of driving site visitors to take action.
Managing Editor, Wix eCommerce
Daniel is the Managing Editor at Wix eCommerce, where he uses his experience as a merchant, journalist and marketer to create content that helps online businesses grow.