Ultimate Guide to Conversion
Here's what no one's telling you.
Do a quick google search for how to optimize your website's conversion, and you're bound to get a variety of generic "tips" that don't amount to much. "Write a blog post" isn't a genius insight...and probably doesn't solve your challenge.
We wrote this guide to break down the buyer journey in a way that makes sense so you can optimize your site's conversion rate via practical changes that get results.
Want to know if your site could be doing better? Successful ecommerce sites have conversion rates between 1-3%.
Start with your homepage
For almost every store, the buyer journey starts on your sites homepage. And your homepage should serve two primary functions, depending on the type of visitor.
- A visitor who knows what they want to buy. You want to help these people get to their desired purchase as quickly as possible.
- A visitor who's "just browsing." You want to show these potential buyers something that's going to catch their attention and add value to their shopping experience.
Check out Revzilla's homepage below (its an ecommerce store known for top-notch website optimization - don't worry if motorcycle gear isn't your thing).
Their top navigation is broken out into categories that make it easy for shoppers who know what they want to quickly dive into a collection.
For browsers, the homepage hero image has a timely CTA. It immediately grabs the visitor's attention and gives them a place to go where they'll discover a variety of products that are likely to lead to a purchase. If they don't find anything this time around, they know your website is a place they can come for up-to-date posts, so they'll visit the next time curiosity strikes.
Next Up: Category (Collection) Pages
Funny thing is that a lot of sites have a great homepage. But that's not where users spend most of their time! An average visitor might visit a homepage once or twice in a session...but they can visit collection pages 10+ times! And most site's collection pages leave a lot to be desired. How many times have you shopped on a website where the first product you're shown is out of stock?
The goal of your collection page should be to get the products a visitor is most likely to buy in front of them as fast as possible.
That's where tools like Entaice come in. Entaice makes sure the products that visitors are most likely to buy always show up at the top of your collection pages. But Entaice isn't the only way to convert a browser into a buyer.
Faceted navigations and advanced filtering options let visitors sort through large collections to narrow down their choices. These are some of the most powerful tools sites with large collections can use, but many site don't have them. Check out Nike's faceted nav and filtering options below.
Product Detail Pages
If you're showing users desirable products, eventually they're going to end up on a product page, and that's your opportunity to seal the deal. There are four elements to great product pages.
- Multiple, high resolution images
- Easy to navigate size and color options
- Great product copy
- Social proof - ratings, reviews, and ugc
Here, you really can't overstate the values of user review to help your browsers understand the quality of your items and how they fit. If you're not at the point where you have tons of people writing reviews, you can always research what people are saying on your own and add that to your product copy.
Check out how Modcloth does their PDP pages:
Even great checkout processes only result in 40-50% of users actually making it through the purchase process. Which can seem crazy, but it's just the way it is - and it shows you how important getting your checkout right is to actually getting dollars in your bank account (or your currency of choice).
The most important think you can remember when it comes to checkout is to keep things as simple as possible. There are whole websites devoted to just this topic. But to get you started:
- Don't ask users to fill out fields you don't need. You're just slowing them down.
- Minimize the number of screens. More clicks = more places for a user to drop off.
- Show all your payment options. All $$ is $$.
If you want a super detailed breakdown of the checkout process, check out SNIPCART's e-commerce checkout guide. We weren't kidding when we said there were whole websites just devoted to this.
Maximizing your site's conversion rate is all about understanding a buyer's journey through your site. Once you understand what a user is looking for on your homepage, collection pages, product pages, and checkout, you can design each one to optimize the users experience. In the end, the result will be happier customers and higher sales.