If you run an eCommerce business, then you know how important conversion rate optimization is. You know that even just a small change to your website or product page can make a massive difference in your conversions…and sales.
For those who don’t know, a conversion is when a website visitor performs a desired action on the page, whether that be filling out a form or clicking the “buy now” button. In the eCommerce world, a “conversion” generally translates to “sale.”
The average conversion rate for eCommerce stores in the U.S. is 1%-2%. If your conversion rate is below that, or if it’s already at 2% and you’re trying to increase it even more, then good news: you’re in the right place.
For this blog post, we turned to 16 eCommerce experts to find out their favorite hacks for increasing eCommerce conversions. The experts featured in this blog post are all CEOs, founders and executives of companies that help eCommerce stores grow, so you can trust that they know what they’re talking about here.
Now, let’s dive in!
1. Ben Jabbawy
Ben Jabbawy is the Founder & CEO of Privy, an eCommerce plugin that helps to turn website visitors into subscribers and buyers with exit popups and email marketing. So far, Privy has helped to drive over $2 billion in sales for over 250,000 businesses around the world.
“We crossed 250 Million email signups across our merchants and have helped our merchants drive $2.5B in sales. I find there’s really a few tactics that outperform when it comes to site conversion.
Understand that the content of your lead capture display carries the biggest impact on conversion. ‘Join our list’ will convert 1%. ‘Join and get a code for X’ will convert ~5%. ‘Join and enter to win X’ will convert 15%, but the leads will be lower quality.
So, it’s not that you need to use an offer, but it’s a great lever to accelerate list growth. Next, you need to think about segmenting site traffic. Don’t get overly complex. I’ll give two quick examples on uses cases that have driven massive results for merchants:
A – Top of funnel – target a display to first-time visitors on the site that have not made a purchase. I recommend a small offer. This will contribute to the largest amount of new contacts. Simple targeting can ensure only new visitors see this.
B – Pre-abandonment, and “cart savers” – all of us tend to let people abandon their carts, wait until they are off our sites, then trigger a checkout abandonment email. That’s fine, but remember that the majority of folks who abandon remain completely unknown.
Target a display to visitors who currently have product in carts AND are exiting the site without purchase. A small offer can help reduce the number of carts that go abandoned by 10% and still capture leads.
Advanced versions of a cart saver would tier offers based on how much is in the cart that is getting left behind. i.e if cart contains less than your average order value (AOV), show a 5% cart saver offer vs if cart contains 2X AOV, show a 15% cart saver offer.
Thing of note here is that a cart saver really combines the concept of exit intent WITH the targeting rule that this person also currently has product in cart. So they are way further down the funnel then someone visiting the site for the first time, and exiting without cart value.
These are literally the highest impact things you could execute today, in 10 minutes, to accelerate list growth and reduce abandonment.”
Bottom Line: Personalize your offers.
2. Apu Gupta
Apu Gupta is the CEO & Co-founder of Curalate, a platform that is used by over 1,100 eCommerce companies, helping them use social content to sell more effectively online. Prior to founding Curalate, Apu was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for MedPlus Health Services, helping it to become the second largest pharmacy chain in India.
“Leverage user-generated content. Repurposing Instagram imagery and making it shoppable on eCommerce sites is increasingly becoming table stakes for brands, for good reason. Across the over 1,200 brands and retailers Curalate works with, we find that consumers who engage with user-generated content convert at more than 2X the rate of those who don’t.”
Bottom Line: Take advantage of user-generated content.
3. Matt Moog
Matt Moog is the CEO of PowerReviews, a platform used by more than 1,000 eCommerce brands and retailers to display product reviews on their websites. Matt is an active angel investor and has been cited as an industry expert in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and Fortune Small Business, along with other publications. He has also appeared on Fox News, CNN, CNBC, WGN, CBS 2 Chicago and WTTW to share his thoughts on the future of digital media.
“Prioritize customer engagement. Ask every shopper to write a review, contribute an image and join a ‘feedback club’ to provide ongoing advice and insight into how to make your products and customer experience better. Offer these shoppers recognition, rewards and special access. Treat them like part of the company. In return, they will help you build your business and give you a sustainable competitive advantage. And then make sure to bake it into the culture of your company to act on the insights they provide.”
Bottom Line: Prioritize customer engagement.
4. Katie Keith
Katie Keith is the Co-founder and Operations Director of Barn2 Media, which sells WordPress and WooCommerce plugins that power over 5,000 websites worldwide.
“My favorite eCommerce hack is to think carefully about what sort of layout will maximize conversions for the type of products you sell. Lots of store owners use off-the-shelf themes and templates to design their store, not realizing that the default layout may not be the best way to sell their products.
For example, if you’re a restaurant creating a food order system, or if you’re creating an eCommerce wholesale store, then you don’t want a grid-type layout with large images. Instead, install a plugin that lists products in a more appropriate way that will increase conversions, such as a product table or order form plugin.
Customers can view more products per page and quickly choose options and add multiple products to the cart, without having to visit a separate page for each product. This is an excellent way to increase conversions because it speeds up the buying process while also encouraging people to buy more.”
Bottom Line: Give careful consideration to your website layout.
5. Rytis Lauris
Rytis Lauris is the CEO & Co-founder of Omnisend, an eCommerce marketing automation platform.
“There’s no limit to the hacks and tips you’ll find everywhere about making more money in our industry. However, like with any business and any niche, the best way to improve your profits is to think about your customers.
My expertise is in messaging marketing, and until now, my field has been obsessed with their marketing campaigns: how to optimize it, how to test this or that subject line, this copy, those visuals, etc. Really, we should be focusing on what the customer wants.
Creating a great campaign is completely dependent on knowing your customer and creating that campaign around what your customer needs at any moment in their customer journey. When you make sure that your message is always relevant, your customer will better respond to what you have to offer.
So if you really want to increase your online sales? Move from a campaign-centric approach to a customer-centric approach. Put your customer first, and make sure each interaction you have with your customer is personalized. They’ll reward you with more purchases, higher spend per purchase, and more loyalty.”
Bottom Line: Have a customer-centric approach.
6. Summer Lindman
Summer Lindman is the CEO of Talkable, a company that launches and optimizes eCommerce referral campaigns. In 2018, Talkable drove $180M in sales for their customers.
“Launching a referral program! A properly optimized referral program can boost sales by 3% to 10% in a couple of months. It can be a basic refer-a-friend campaign where you reward customers for inviting their friends to your store. The secret to turning your referral program into a powerful conversion channel is just two simple words: optimization and promotion.
Optimization means A/B testing and adjusting your campaign’s design and reward logic to maximize every metric and reach the best possible results. Simply changing the copy in your referral program screen can result in a 9% increase in sales!
Promotion is quite self-explanatory: the more customers you get to see your referral offer, the more referrals and sales you will get. I suggest launching an email boost dedicated to your referral program or including your referral offer in your existing newsletters.”
Bottom Line: Launch a referral program.
7. Adii Pienaar
Adii Pienaar is the Founder of Conversio, an eCommerce marketing dashboard. Before launching Conversio, Adii founded WooThemes, which developed the massively popular eCommerce platform, WooCommerce (fun fact: Our team specializes in WooCommerce development).
“As an industry, we know that social proof helps with on-site conversions, but there’s still so little of this being used in email marketing. Including product ratings or reviews (or even better, customer-submitted photos) for products that are being sold/promoted in email is a fantastic way to deliver personalized, rich email experiences. At Conversio, we’ve especially seen how this approach really boosts abandoned cart recovery rates.”
Bottom Line: Leverage social proof.
8. Matt Warren
Matt Warren is the CEO & Founder of Veeqo, an omnichannel retail platform that manages inventory, orders and shipping for eCommerce brands. Before Veeqo, Matt founded Jura Watches, the U.K.’s first official online luxury watch retailer.
“My #1 tip for increasing online sales would be to work at and invest in improving the overall experience for your customer. This rings true even greater for businesses that are somewhat established and wanting to grow, rather than just starting out looking for first sales.
Simply driving traffic to a product and 50% discount isn’t enough anymore for serious brands. Consumers want fast websites, integrated omnichannel experiences across multiple different channels, fast shipping, click-and-collect, easy returns.
It’s not that you have to offer all of this stuff (and the multitude of other experience tactics out there). But just know that investing time and resources in making your overall experience better than that of your competitors’ will make you stand out, so you attract and retain customers over the long run.”
Bottom Line: Improve the customer experience.
9. Finbarr Taylor
Finbarr Taylor is the CEO of Shogun, a drag-and-drop eCommerce website builder.
“Make your site faster!”
10. Charlie Casey
Charlie Casey is the CEO of LoyaltyLion, a software that lets eCommerce merchants create loyalty programs.
“The top 20% of ecommerce customers generate 53% of the revenue (LoyaltyLion 2019). Use loyalty tiers to treat your top customers to the best rewards and retain more of your loyal customers.
Customers who redeem points from a loyalty program spend 2.5x more than non-members. Encourage point redemption using personalized emails to inform customers they have rewards waiting and increase revenue.
Customers who create accounts spend 2.2x more over their lifetime. Drive a 70% increase in account creation using post-purchase notifications that offer rewards when the shopper creates an account.
Referred customers spend 200% more. Work to make your existing customers feel valued so they become advocates on your behalf.
Increasing AOV is an effective way to improve your bottom line. We’ve found that the basket size of a customer who uses a loyalty reward is 39% higher than one who doesn’t. Use our on-screen notifications to show customers that they’re near a point threshold and to encourage them to spend more in exchange for rewards.”
Bottom Line: Spoil your top customers.
11. Reza Khadjavi
Reza Khadjavi is the Co-founder and CEO of Shoelace, a platform that builds customized retargeting journeys for eCommerce stores.
“My favorite hack to increase conversion rates is actually no hack at all. Building delightful experiences for customers is hard work but it’s the only way to achieve lasting results.”
Bottom Line: Build delightful experiences.
12. Shashank Kumar
Shashank Kumar is the Founder of PushOwl, the #1 web push notification platform on Shopify that powers over 10,000 eCommerce businesses around the world.
“Well, we have been working with online stores across different industries and we found one thing in common – you can’t turn a shopper into a customer on their first visit and getting them to subscribe to newsletters has become really tough. That’s where web push notifications are becoming really popular!
They don’t require shoppers to share their email address—so you automatically growth hack your subscriber list.
And they let you reach the shoppers even when they’re not on the site—on both desktop and mobile. So you’re growth hacking customer engagement, leading to more sales.
I feel in the end, it’s about reaching the shopper where they are the most active—and that’s their device screens. That’s the one growth hack that some stores have seen 126x ROI from!”
Bottom Line: Go mobile.
13. Nick Edwards
Nick Edwards is the Co-founder of ShopMessage, a marketing automation platform for Facebook Messenger, used by over 12,000 eCommerce brands.
“My eCommerce marketing hack is to communicate with customers through the channel that they prefer. Email is a great channel for many customers, but generally only sees a 20% open rate. The other 80% of your customers want to hear from your brand in their preferred channel—Facebook Messenger, SMS, and others. So offer your shoppers to get updates from you from the channel they prefer and you’ll start to see insane open rates, engagement, and purchases.”
Bottom Line: Communicate with customers through their preferred channel.
14. Andrew Schmid
Andrew Schmid is the Founder & CEO of Partial.ly, an automated payment processing platform used by over 6,000 businesses.
“Eliminate unnecessary fields from your checkout form. Ask yourself, do we really need to collect this information? Any fields you can remove will make the checkout experience easier for customers and likely increase your conversion rate. This is especially true of information customers may be reluctant to give, such as phone numbers.”
Bottom Line: Eliminate unnecessary form fields.
15. Jason Goldberg
Jason Goldberg is the President and Co-founder of Carro, a platform that helps eCommerce companies connect with influencers that are already fans and customers.
“Would have to be using your existing customer’s positive experiences to get more sales. Whether it be facilitating word of mouth, incentivizing referrals, adding social proof to your product detail pages, growing your social media presence so that you build confidence with site visitors and potential customers. The list goes on and on :).”
Bottom Line: Rely on your existing customers to sell.
16. Luke McKeever
Luke McKeever is the Chief Executive of Attraqt, a software platform that optimizes eCommerce stores for onsite search, merchandising and personalization. Before Attraqt, Luke led several successful international tech companies.
“25% of searches on Google are on Images—yet this is still a much neglected hack opportunity for eCommerce marketers. Shoppers are visual creatures and images provide product reassurance, inspiration and a clear discovery path to purchase. Particularly true in the case of eCommerce brands where product details are difficult to articulate with text—style detail, color, pattern, ‘looks’ and the like.
Think about what your product image search will look like out of the context of your site and optimize accordingly to drive immediacy in traffic and conversions.
Tips to optimize images?
Think about what the image conveys outside of your site in search engines and complement it with good copy description like price and USPs, not obvious in the image. It’s all about providing enough relevant information to reduce the steps to purchase.
Choose one or two sensible keyword combinations in image filenames and URLs. Keywords that make sense to shoppers, not your product teams.
Remember that what people search for on Google is likely to be different to what they search for on your site, and optimize keywords accordingly.
Google rarely duplicates image results in searches, so use unique images where possible. If this is difficult, only focus your image search efforts on high-performing pages. Compress images to reduce load speed in searches and prevent shoppers from moving on to the next search result.”
Bottom Line: Optimize your images for Google.
As you surely know by now, there’s no shortcut to eCommerce success. But the more you work on optimizing your store, improving your customer relationships, and creating remarkable experiences for your shoppers, the greater your chances of success will be.
Sure, there are a number of things that you can do on your website to increase your conversions. The importance of a beautifully designed, fast, highly functional and easily navigable website cannot be understated.
But if there’s one common theme in this blog post, it’s this: get to know your audience. Spoil them with personalized offers and experiences. And in return, they’ll reward you with sales…and referrals.