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Ecommerce Optimization Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Updated on May 19, 2022

11 Min Read
How-to-Optimize-Your-Ecom-Store-For-More-Conversions

Do you think that your ecommerce store is doing as well as it should? There’s no such thing as achieving perfection in the world of ecommerce, but you can definitely strive to get as close to it as possible.

Ecommerce optimization is all about making minor tweaks here and there to improve your store’s performance and increase conversions. But, how do you figure out what changes to make?

Remember, changing the wrong things won’t work; it’ll have little impact on your store’s bottom line, and might even end up hurting your store’s performance.

To help you better understand what changes to make and how they might impact your ecommerce store’s conversion rate, we’ve created this all-inclusive ecommerce optimization guide.

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know to optimize your ecommerce store properly and set it up for maximum success.

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How To Calculate Your Conversion Rate

Before you start working on ecommerce site optimization, it’s important to get the basics right. You’d be surprised at how many store owners don’t know much about optimizing their store owners.

A key part of improving your store’s performance relates to conversion rate optimization. But, before you do that, it’s important to understand what the conversion rate is, and more importantly, calculate your store’s current conversion rate.

A conversion can mean several things, but in most cases, a conversion generally means a sale. According to the Statista, the average desktop conversion rate is around 2.1%.

The conversion rate is simply expressed as the percentage of the number who make a purchase as compared to those who visit your site.

So, a considerable part of this ecommerce optimization guide will focus on how you can improve your conversion rate. This means get more people to act and buy from you.

10 Ecommerce Optimization Tips to Improve Your Conversion Rate

Ecommerce optimization generally refers to a detailed approach that you can take to improve your website’s conversion rate. From the layout to the navigation and the design elements in use, the focus should be on removing friction to get more people to purchase from your website.

So, without further ado, here are 10 of the best ecommerce optimization tips that you can follow to improve your conversion rate.

1. Regularly Update and Improve Your Product and Landing Pages

Image of shoes on Nike store

Ecommerce website design trends continue to change very quickly. If you don’t update your landing pages or your product pages regularly, you’ll notice a steep drop-off in traffic.

Your landing pages are critical for making the right first impression and are a key part of ecommerce site optimization. These are the pages on which your audience will land, so it’s important that you optimize them carefully.

If your product pages and your landing pages haven’t been optimized properly, your bounce rate is going to go through the charts. There are several things that you can do to improve your product and landing pages:

  • Add special offers. You can add special offers to generate more interest and incite customers.
  • Curate your best sellers. Another excellent option is to curate your best-selling products on your site so that shoppers can view them right away.
  • Use product reviews. A great way to improve ecommerce conversion rate is by including reviews on your site. People trust other people’s opinions over brands. If they see that similar people bought and loved your product, they’ll be more likely to buy.
  • Use high-quality images. Showcase your product through high-quality images. This is important to help buyers make an informed purchase. Show the product from different angles. Let them zoom in on the details.
  • Use A/B testing. A/B testing tests different versions of your on-page elements to determine which version converts more visitors into buyers. You can use different A/B testing plugins for this.

2. Focus on Improving Page Load Times

Metrics

A fast-loading ecommerce site is critical for your store’s success. Numerous studies have shown that the bounce rate increases depending on the speed at which your website loads.

Ideally, you’d want your website to load up within a couple of seconds. Because no matter how engaging your site is, it won’t matter if shoppers leave before it loads. That’s how crucial speed is to your conversion. So consider it an incredibly important element of your ecommerce conversion rate optimization strategy.

Here are some steps that you can take to improve your website’s speed:

  • Check improvement areas. Both the Pagespeed Insights and GTmetrix are excellent resources that you can use to determine how your website is performing. They also tell you where you can make changes, helping you identify key improvement areas.
  • Switch to a faster host. Avoid using shared hosting for your ecommerce store. You need fast, scalable ecommerce hosting for your store.
  • Switch to a faster theme. The theme you choose can also impact your website’s performance. It might be a wise idea to switch to one of the many fast WordPress themes to improve your store’s performance.

3. Remove Distractions from Your Site

screenshot of Larq website

What you see above is an excellent example of a well-designed ecommerce store. Adding too many distractions or moving elements on your site is a bad idea, and it’s going to affect your store performance.

A key part of ecommerce optimization is to identify needless elements on your site and get rid of them. For instance, do you really need a sidebar on all pages to encourage users to sign up for your email list?

Perhaps a footer would do the job well on a product page? A thorough site audit might be just what you need to get started.

There are quite a few SEO audit tools that you can use to better analyze your website’s performance and get rid of elements or objects that you don’t need for proper ecommerce website optimization.

4. Personalize Your Content

Personalized shopping experience screenshot

Modern shoppers want a highly personalized shopping experience. They prefer on getting the “red carpet treatment,” and it’s a key differentiator for most ecommerce store owners.

If you can’t offer that, you will lose out on sales. If you haven’t personalized customer journeys based on your buyer personas, you will lose sales. Here are some simple steps that you can take for ecommerce optimization:

  • Offer recommendations. Amazon does this to devastating effect, and so should you. Offer related products and recommendations to your customers. Product recommendations boost purchases considerably.
  • Use geolocation. If you’re offering products globally or in different regions, you can use geotargeting to offer the products in the same currency or provide regional recommendations.
  • Customize based on device type. A key part of ecommerce optimization focuses on customizing the shopping experience based on the type of device your shoppers are accessing the store from.

5. Optimize for Mobile Audiences

mobile audience stats

The chart above shows the global mobile ecommerce sales from 2016 till 2021 and should give you an idea about how important mobile-readiness is to optimize your ecommerce website. As you can see, the rate of change has continued to grow dramatically, and it’s easy to say that mobile ecommerce is poised for growth.

If your ecommerce store isn’t mobile ready yet, you’re missing out. Therefore, you need to optimize your ecommerce store for mobile audiences. Here are some steps that you can take:

  • Check mobile compatibility. Test the mobile compatibility of the content and graphics on your site with tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Check if your product descriptions are readable. Make sure your site is responsive and easy to navigate even on mobile.
  • Opt for a minimalistic design. Avoid using excessive elements on your site, which leaves adequate space for CTAs and product categories.
  • Reduce text-heavy content. Try to be as articulate as possible in your writing.
  • Compress images. This one’s a no-brainer; you should always compress images before uploading them on your site.

 6. Use Tracking Tools

Screenshot of Google Analytics page

Analytics tools allow you to track important KPIs and metrics to help you see what’s working and what isn’t for your ecommerce store. You’ll also get to see what areas in your website caused users to drop off, or what pages or elements in your pages led more users to buy.

Armed with this data, you can optimize your conversions by improving poorly performing elements. Any decision you take for ecommerce optimization should be fueled by data.

Ideally, you can integrate tools such as Hotjar, Google Analytics, and MixPanel in your website to track user journeys and your store’s performance. Some important types of data you’ll want to know is as follows:

  • Your store’s KPIs and metrics
  • Find your main traffic acquisition channels
  • Important sales data, including customer lifetime value and average order value
  • Any conversion data

It’s important that you track these before and after making changes on your store to see whether the changes improve your store’s performance.

7. Create Relevant Upsells

Screenshot of MacBook Pro upsell product page

The image above shows just how well Apple offers upsells. You can easily improve the specs of your machine with a single click. This is one of the most common upselling techniques that many companies use.

You can generally offer upsells on various places, including on your checkout pages, on your product pages, or even after checkout. Upselling is a great way to offer more value to your customers, and charge a higher fee for it.

8. Run A/B Testing to Get More Feedback from Users

AB testing illustration

A/B testing is a phenomenal way to generate more feedback from users. If you have an idea for a new color scheme or perhaps a new idea for a UX redesign, you can use A/B testing to determine what works and what wouldn’t.

There are several A/B testing techniques that you can try for landing pages. A/B testing tests different versions of your on-page elements to determine which version converts more visitors into buyers.

For example, for your ecommerce conversion rate optimization, you can test the conversion rates for two headlines: one that’s short and punchy, versus a longer headline that’s more detailed.

9. Align Your Messaging with your Target Audience

Screenshot of ecommerce hosting page on Cloudways

It’s also important that you align your messaging with your target audience. If you take a look at the image above, it’s easy to understand that Cloudways is targeting an ecommerce audience through this page.

The messaging on the website is geared for ecommerce audiences, and it clearly highlights how the product (hosting) can help them.

When writing the copy for your website, it’s incredibly important that you align it with your target audience. Identify their pain points and list them down.

Then, start by figuring out which of these your product resolves before you eventually begin to write the copy.

10. Streamline Your Checkout Process

Screenshot of Checkout page

Optimizing your checkout process is also very important. You need to make sure that there’s no friction from the moment a user places an order until the moment they’re about to check out. Try to keep things simple and offer more options, such as providing a guest checkout.

If you are not offering a guest checkout option on your store, you are missing out. It’s imperative that you offer a guest checkout if you want to improve your cart abandonment rate.

Nobody wants to go until the final checkout page, only to find that they have to make an account before they can finalize their purchase.

There are many other checkout page best practices that you can follow for proper ecommerce store optimization.

5 Ecommerce Optimization Tips from the Pros

Here are five tips from the pros on ecommerce optimization that you can follow:

1. Ahmed Mir Believes CRO is Key

Ahmed Mir profile

Ahmed Mir, the founder of Nature & Bloom, says, “I’d recommend focusing on conversion rate optimization (CRO) if you’re getting enough traffic that lets you conduct viable experiments. If you already have decent traffic, improving conversions is better than trying to drive more traffic.

You can perform CRO in iterative steps, making one change at a time (on a high traffic page) and then determining the changes. This can help you identify any improvements. If you notice a jump in revenue, you can always expand those changes sitewide.

2. Eric Siemek Says Organic Content is Critical for Growth

Eric Sienek profile photo

Eric Siemek, the VP of Marketing at Youtech Agency, says, “It’s imperative that every product on your site has its own organic content. You should avoid copying content from the manufacturers’ page. 

SEO obviously plays a critical role in ecommerce. Original content that answers any questions about the product is critically important.” 

3. Matthew Myre says SEO is the Way Forward

Profile photo of Matthew Myre

Matthew Myre, the Chief Marketing Officer at PurpleCup Digital, says, “My number one tip for eCommerce stores to grow is to invest in their SEO strategy. 

It might sound simple, but there are way too many ecommerce stores that fail to pay attention to SEO and rely primarily on PPC advertising or other paid forms of advertising. SEO helps improve engagement and offers long-term returns.

4. Bruce Hogan Talks About Optimizing Conversion Funnels

Bruce Hogan profile photo

Bruce Hogan, the CEO of SoftwarePundit, says, Your growth efforts should focus more on steps that generate the highest impact. This means working on the bottom of the funnel first and then making your way forward. 

A 10% improvement in the checkout flow, for instance, will improve sales by 10%. But, with better optimization, a 10% improvement on a product page that accounts for a total of 20% of sales will only result in a 2% increase in sales!”

5. Forest Richter Says Optimizing Checkout Pages is Important

Forest Richter profile photo

Forest Richter of Fresh Coast Labs, says, “Almost ‘everyone’ should be redirecting to a checkout page after an item is added to the cart. Most business owners want shoppers to buy multiple items (rightfully so) and are afraid shoppers will checkout too early. 

However, the reality is that most ecommerce stores don’t actually support a broad enough inventory to support that type of online consumer shopping. What instead happens is that consumers get busy or distracted and abandon the item in their cart. 

Then, the owner is forced to remarket *and *discount the item to regain a sale they could have had any way. If a shopper puts something in their cart, send them to the checkout page. 

There, you can make recommended upsells of complementary products or often purchased together products, but keep the consumer moving down the checkout funnel.”

Ecommerce Optimization is an Ongoing Process

Remember, ecommerce optimization is an ongoing process. Trends continue to change, and so do user interests. It is important for website owners to adapt accordingly and make appropriate changes to their sites as new trends become prominent.

Q1. How do I optimize my ecommerce website?

You can optimize your ecommerce website in different ways:

  1. Identify target keywords
  2. Personalize the shopping experience
  3. Use alt tags with your images
  4. Use SEO-friendly URLs.
  5. Optimize your product pages.

Q2. Why is ecommerce optimization important?

Ecommerce optimization is important as it helps you maximize your conversion rate and increase revenue. This also expands your audience and allows you to reach more customres.

Q3. How do you increase conversion rate?

Conversion rate allows you to track the performance of a website. It helps understand how visitors of a website are performing and allows site owners to take measures for improvement. By keeping a track of conversion rates, website owners can take actions to lower customer acquisition costs and increase revenue per visitor.

Q4. How should you start a conversion rate optimization campaign?

There are several ways to increase your conversion rate, such as:

  1. Simplifying website navigation using mega menus
  2. Adding testimonials and logos
  3. Using trust signals
  4. Removing unnecessary elements
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Najam Ahmed

I work as a digital content producer at Cloudways. Besides that, I love to read, and i love to play the guitar. Fan of all things Arsenal and the Patriots. Occasional gamer. I like to fly drones too. Jack of all trades.

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