IRCE Tips: 15 Easy Website Changes…

IRCE Tips: 15 Easy Website Changes to Boost e-Commerce Conversion Rate

In a fascinating presentation at IRCE (Internet Retailers Conference & Exhibition) today, Scott Smigler (Founder & President at Exclusive Concepts) presented his learnings from a series of tests he’s run to optimize conversion rates on various e-Commerce sites, including the website of his client and co-host, Mike Griggs (President and Co-Founder at Strings and Beyond). The pair provided 15 simple website changes that resulted in anywhere from a 10-15% lift in conversion rate on their products:

  1. Promote value propositions in the “buy box”: Strings and Beyond tested adding a small box directly under the “Add to Cart” button which reminded shoppers of benefits like “same day shipping” and “free shipping over $25”— this lead to a 12.6% increase in conversion rate.
  2. Bucket your payment options: Avoid having a haphazard cluster of different payment buttons. Move your various payment and credit card buttons (Visa, MasterCard, PayPal etc.) under a “Proceed to Checkout” button or section, and standardize their size and appearance (see photo below).Proceed to Checkout
  3. Remove the “review your cart” page: You may assume shoppers want this opportunity to review, but testing showed that taking online buyers directly to checkout lead to a huge lift in completions.Straight to Checkout
  4. Add to cart button should stick out like a sore thumb: It can’t be the same color as the rest of the buttons, options or design. Don’t be afraid to make it a bright, loud color—more shoppers will be drawn to it and click it.Add To Cart Should Stick Out
  5. Don’t put a purchase call to action (“buy now”) under product thumbnails on category pages, this scares away shoppers. Give them other “quick view” or “shop now” so that they can read more about the item on the product page.
  6. Trust symbols and verbiage: Trust symbols and wording are important for increasing consumer trust and conversion. You can add a trust symbol like eTrust or Bizrate Insights badges, or start your checkout with the phrase “Enter Secure Checkout.”                      Trust symbols and verbiage
  7. Advertise shipping promotions near your “add-to-cart” button: This led to 15% more revenue in tests.Shipping Promotions
  8. Confirm free shipping throughout the checkout process to qualifying shoppers. Consistent reminders in the cart, payment page and checkout lead to a lift in conversion.
  9. Keep the checkout process under 2 steps: Combine your shipping and billing pages to reduce customer drop-off.
  10. Surface product review stars on category pages: Customers are more likely to buy products with customer reviews, but the ratings and reviews are usually confined to the product page. Considering that a lot of product page traffic enters through the category page, shoppers are more likely to click through to products if you surface those ratings on the category page as well.Product Reviews
  11. Don’t display left-hand navigation on the product pages—it’s overwhelming. Removing the navigation on product pages lead to a 10% boost in Conversion Rate.
  12. Make site search wider and more prominent: Help shoppers find it and encourage them to use it by moving it to the top and center, and making it extremely wide.
  13. Make sure the Add to Cart button is above the fold. Even if the product description is long, make sure the “Add to Cart” button is always visible above the fold.
  14. Make sure checkout errors have an explanation: For example, let the shopper know “credit card expiration date is not correct”—and then actually highlight this box in red. Shoppers will often stick it out through an error if they really want to buy something, but they will abandon if they don’t know how to fix the problem.
  15. Offer cart abandonment tools or offers to seal the deal: such as discounts or promotions, perhaps for a limited time. In tests they were able to get about a quarter of their abandoners back.
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