11 Ways to Boost Your E-commerce Store's Conversion Rate

Nov 14, 2023

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In the highly competitive world of e-commerce, success hinges on the ability to convert visitors into paying customers. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a strategic approach that can significantly impact the bottom line of an e-commerce business. By understanding and enhancing the user experience, businesses can boost their conversion rates, drive more sales, and ultimately thrive in the digital marketplace. In this article, we'll cover why CRO is important, some key strategies, and some tips for doing it right. So grab a cup of coffee, a pen and paper, and let's get started!

Optimizing your conversion rate includes anything that improves your website or online store to increase the percentage of visitors who take a desired action. In e-commerce and DTC, this typically involves making a purchase, but it can also include signing up for a newsletter, downloading a resource, or any other goal that aligns with your business's objectives.

How to Calculate Conversion Rate

The formula for calculating the conversion rate is pretty straightforward:

Conversion Rate = (Number of Conversions / Total Number of Visitors) x 100

For example, if your online store had 10,000 visitors last month and 300 of them made a purchase, then:

Conversion Rate = (300 / 10,000) x 100 = 3%

The Importance of CRO in E-Commerce

Let’s dive further into why conversion rate optimization is so crucial to e-commerce and DTC businesses:

1. Increased Revenue: Improving the conversion rate directly results in higher sales and revenue. A 1% increase in your conversion rate could translate to a substantial boost in profits. Companies like Foodpanda (Delivery Hero) have managed to see a 58% increase in their revenue by focusing on CRO, you can read more about their initiatives here. (link case study)

2. Cost Efficiency: Let’s be honest, we do not have endless marketing budgets to continuously spend on acquiring new customers through advertising or marketing campaigns, and even if you do right now, it simply isn’t a sustainable growth strategy. CRO is a cost-effective strategy that allows you to make the most of the traffic you already have, making sure you grow with a better ROI and ROAS.

3. Better Customer Experience: It’s not simply about acquiring new users, for your company to grow sustainably, your customer retention plays a key role. Focusing on CRO not only leads to an improved user experience but also helps enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Competitive Edge: E-commerce is highly competitive. In fact, certain studies show that 175 new websites are launched every minute! Businesses gain a competitive edge by investing in CRO, refining websites, and keeping up with customer preferences in an era of high competition and growing user demand for an excellent experience.

5. Data-Driven Decision Making: It’s not just about gut feelings and subjective views, CRO relies on data analysis, which provides valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. CRO when done well doesn’t simply account for the data of your platform but also includes principles of behavioral economics, product psychology as well and regional nuances to inform future business decisions.

11 Steps to Improving Your E-commerce Conversion Rate?

To master conversion rate optimization in e-commerce and DTC, businesses need to adopt a holistic approach that covers various aspects of their online presence. Some key strategies for you to consider are:

1. User-Friendly Design

A key component of conversion rate optimization (CRO) is an intuitive and user-friendly website design. Your website should be easy to navigate, ensuring that visitors can quickly find what they're looking for. A good way to avoid this is to focus on creating clear and organized product categories, adopting a responsive design that works effectively on all devices, and streamlining the checkout process to make it as efficient as possible. 

2. A/B Testing

A/B testing involves creating two or more versions of a webpage and comparing their performance to determine which one is more effective at driving conversions. Never underestimate continuous testing and improvements. Test elements like headlines, images, call-to-action buttons, and product descriptions to identify what resonates best with your audience.

3. Optimize Loading Speed

In today’s world, users do not have the patience for longer wait times. Slow-loading websites can deter potential customers. When a website’s load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds, the respective bounce rate increases by 32%. Optimize your website's loading speed by compressing images, minimizing HTTP requests, and using content delivery networks (CDNs).

4. High-Quality Product Images and Descriptions

Visuals matter in e-commerce since through the screen is generally the only way that the user gets to interact with your product before purchasing it. Provide high-quality images that allow customers to view products from different angles. Adding a 360° spin to the image can increase the conversion rate by up to 27%. Similarly, detailed and accurate product descriptions are also crucial in helping customers make informed purchase decisions.

5. Simplify Checkout Process

A lengthy and complicated checkout process can lead to cart abandonment. Roughly 70% of customers worldwide abandon their carts on e-commerce sites. Streamline the process by reducing the number of steps required, offering guest checkout options, and providing various payment methods.

6. Trust Signals and Social Proofing

Establish trust with your customers by displaying trust signals like security badges, customer reviews, and a clear return policy. Assure customers that their personal and financial information is safe when making a purchase on your website. 

7. Personalization

Users value items that belong to them a lot more. Leverage customer data to personalize the shopping experience. Tailor product recommendations and content to individual customer preferences, which can lead to higher conversion rates. Making your users feel a sense of belonging and ownership with your product and services can help increase customer lifetime value (CLTV) significantly.

8. Clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

Users notice items that stand out. Do not let your users get lost in a sea of content, instead use compelling and clear call-to-action buttons that guide visitors toward the desired action. Experiment with button colors, text, and placement to find what resonates with your audience.

9. Mobile Optimization

58.5% of global internet traffic uses mobile phones to browse sites. With this growing number of users shopping on mobile devices, it's essential to ensure that your website is fully responsive and optimized for mobile users. This includes creating responsive design, ensuring mobile-friendly navigation, and enabling fast loading times on mobile devices.

10. Exit-Intent Pop-Ups

The cart abandonment rate on mobile is even higher, as 80% of users do not end up completing their purchase cycle. Exit-intent pop-ups can be used here to capture potential customers who are about to leave your website. Offer them a last-minute incentive, such as a discount or a free resource, to encourage them to stay or return, or simply ask them to share their email address so you can reach out to them with personalized offers.

11. Upselling and Cross-Selling

You will grow your revenue not just by getting more users to convert, but also by getting your users to place orders of a higher value. Maximize the value of each order by implementing upselling and cross-selling techniques. Suggest related or complementary products to customers during the checkout process. Delivery Hero’s Foodpanda was able to increase its average order value (AOV) by 35% by making a few changes across their platform that you can read more about here.

Best Practices for CRO in E-Commerce

Now that you have a good understanding of what conversion rate optimization (CRO) is and what steps you need to take to start optimizing your business’ conversion rate, take these best practices into consideration as you chart out your roadmap:

1. Continuous Improvement: CRO is an ongoing process. Regularly analyzing data and user feedback allows for incremental changes to be made to your website.

2. Prioritize Mobile Users: As mobile shopping continues to grow, optimizing your site for mobile devices is crucial. Do not forget to test all changes on mobile platforms to ensure a seamless experience.

3. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Base your CRO strategies on data and user behavior. Use tools like Google Analytics and heatmaps to gain insights into how visitors interact with your site. Use product psychology principles to create better experiences and interactions.

4. Multivariate Testing: In addition to A/B testing, consider using multivariate testing to assess the impact of multiple changes simultaneously. This can help to uncover any interactions between different elements on the site.

5. Conduct User Surveys: It's crucial to understand that the most reliable source of information is your customers. Therefore, it's essential to keep in touch with them regularly and ask for their feedback and constructive criticism. By doing so, you can get valuable insights into your customers' experiences, identify any issues, and find ways to improve.

6. Monitor Load Times: It's important to regularly check your website's load times and optimize them as needed. Faster load times improve user experience and positively impact search engine rankings.

7. Create an Effective Sales Funnel: Identify where visitors drop off in your sales funnel and tailor CRO efforts accordingly.

Final Thoughts

Boosting revenue in e-commerce relies heavily on conversion rate optimization. By implementing user-friendly design, A/B testing, site speed, and other key strategies, businesses can continuously improve their conversion rates. Data-driven decision-making and a commitment to ongoing improvement are crucial aspects of mastering CRO in e-commerce. Those who embrace this journey stand to thrive in the competitive online marketplace.