Imagine you’re going over your eCommerce store’s marketing analytics and discover that website visitors leave your website without doing anything.
What would you do?
Some would suggest overhauling their website pages with more useful content by analyzing heatmaps. Others would consider changing the calls to action (CTA) or product descriptions. Either solution is an example of conversion rate optimization (CRO).
In eCommerce CRO, online retailers strive to always improve their websites in order to drive conversion rates. Investing in a CRO strategy helps online marketplaces adapt their marketing efforts to the ever-evolving nature of online shopping and the competitive environment of eCommerce.
In this guide, we’ll cover all the aspects of eCommerce CRO to help you develop your own strategy.
What Is CRO in eCommerce?
Conversion rate optimization is the process of improving a website’s conversion rate. Conversion rate is a ratio that compares the number of people who visit a website or landing page to the number of people who go a step further and take a desired action.
Conversion rate is one of the most important digital marketing metrics to track because improving your store’s conversion rate means getting more people to buy your products. Thus, the primary goal of CRO is to increase eCommerce conversion rate and sales.
An effective CRO strategy requires a data-driven approach to determine why a specific website or page doesn’t meet conversion goals and how to improve it. In addition, digital marketers have to fully understand the user behaviors of their target audiences. In doing so, they can create better marketing and sales products that drive user satisfaction and boost the number of conversions.
CRO vs. SEO: What’s the Difference?
CRO and SEO are both digital marketing techniques, but they differ in execution and specific purpose. Search engine optimization (SEO) can improve an eCommerce site’s online visibility on major search engines like Google and Bing.
On the other hand, CRO is a means to convert site visitors. In eCommerce, the goal of CRO is to convert site visitors into paying customers. CRO is a much broader growth marketing principle and can work for mobile apps, websites, and landing pages.
Why Is CRO Important for eCommerce?
Now that you know the basics of CRO in eCommerce, let’s explain why it’s essential for any online store’s marketing strategy.
Embracing CRO helps eCommerce businesses convert website traffic into paying customers, so creating an effective CRO strategy can directly impact your bottom line. The more you tailor your website and content to your target audience, the more likely they will stay and buy.
Refined User Journey
A major aspect of CRO is optimizing your store’s customer journey. This is simply the route a prospect takes to become a qualified lead, then a paying customer. With CRO, you can refine your user journey by collecting real data and insights about how people interact with your brand.
Establishing a CRO strategy isn’t just about increasing sales and conversions — it’s about delivering a seamless customer experience that positions your brand above the competition.
An effective CRO campaign can boost brand perception and provide users with an enjoyable shopping experience that drives referrals and keeps customers coming back.
Increased Customer Retention
Satisfied customers become loyal customers, and customer retention is vital for eCommerce brands’ long-term revenue. If you want to retain customers and increase repeat purchases, developing a CRO strategy is definitely in your company’s best interest.
Improved Google Rankings
Having an established CRO strategy can indirectly affect your website’s SEO. For example, if you can get more people to stay on your website, you can reduce its bounce rate.
Bounce rate is a metric in Google Analytics that defines how quickly a person leaves your website without doing anything. Reducing bounce rate signals to search engines that your website provides a great user experience (UX).
Better Customer Knowledge and Understanding
A CRO strategy also delivers key data and insights about your target audience and their shopping habits. Not only is this data valuable for increasing sales, but it’s also helpful for realizing customer pain points and friction. The former is essential for answering customer doubts, and the latter removes obstacles to convenient user shopping.
The benefits above work together to give you an advantage in your industry. Against giants like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, the eCommerce market is notoriously competitive. If you can optimize your customer journey and improve your reputation, your brand has a better chance of standing out alongside your fiercest competitors.
The Fundamentals of eCommerce CRO: Tips To Know
There are plenty of benefits to setting up an eCommerce CRO strategy, but let’s discuss the most important conversion rate optimization strategies you need to master to enjoy these benefits.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile Experiences
More than 55% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices. If your unoptimized online store doesn’t display properly on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, you miss out on potential sales. A website audit can tell you if your online store is mobile-friendly and provide recommendations for how to improve its mobile usability.
Include Product Videos
Few people see a product they want and buy it immediately. Some people question whether or not the product is in their budget. Others want to see pictures and online customer reviews.
The more you can increase confidence among your buyers, the more you’ll get them to buy. One way of doing this is through product videos that showcase your products to the customer.
Videos give them all kinds of vital information — from product dimensions to personal fit — and can increase their confidence to purchase.
If you want to leverage product videos for your brand, try Gander today and convert customers with engaging, high-quality videos.
Streamline Your Checkout Process
According to surveys, 97% of customers have backed out of a purchase because the buying process was inconvenient. An ideal checkout process is both quick and convenient, offering features like credit card and address auto-fill, easy payment options, and other functionalities.
Oftentimes, retailers add unnecessary checkout details that do nothing but increase shopping cart abandonment. For example, forcing shoppers to create an account can deter people who just want to make a quick purchase.
You should audit your checkout process and check for any friction that increases your cart abandonment rate. It’s a good idea to remove anything that acts as an obstacle between a shopper and the checkout button, whether it’s a website form or unnecessary shipping details.
Try A/B Testing
A/B testing, or split testing, is an experiment to improve a website's conversion rate. This process involves comparing two aspects of a website to find the better variation.
For example, if you want to improve the conversion rate of a particular product page, you can perform an A/B test to compare your original CTA to a new one. This way, you can determine if your original CTA hinders your website’s performance and make improvements accordingly.
Implement Reviews and Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are social proof that can help boost trustworthiness and credibility with potential customers. Including reviews and testimonials on each product page gives buyers the confidence to purchase.
Examples of Successful CRO in eCommerce
Ready to see CRO in action? Here are some notable examples of successful CRO strategies in eCommerce.
Amazon’s “1-Click” Purchases
Amazon, the world’s largest eCommerce platform, realized the need to simplify its shopping process. In turn, it introduced the "1-Click" feature, which allows customers to make a purchase with a single click using stored payment details.
Doing so helped Amazon create a competitive advantage and boost its reputation for easy online shopping.
ASOS’s Interactive, High-Quality Catwalk Videos
ASOS uses interactive product videos to showcase some of their most stylish products — catwalk style. By embracing CRO, ASOS realized customers missed the in-person experience of seeing clothing items worn before buying.
As a result, ASOS incorporated catwalk videos for many of its clothing items, allowing customers to see how the clothes fit and move.
Shopify’s Mobile CRO Efforts
In recent years, Shopify wanted to optimize its platform for mobile users after seeing a rising trend in mobile shopping. So, they emphasized mobile-responsive themes and created a seamless mobile checkout process.
The result? Vendors on Shopify saw a significant increase in mobile conversions, confirming the importance of mobile optimization.
Let Gander Help You Improve Your eCommerce Website CRO
In short, eCommerce conversion rate optimization is an exhaustive growth marketing principle that enhances your website to meet customer needs. If you make it easy for customers to shop and buy products, you’ll increase conversions and ultimately improve your bottom line.
If you want to build your own eCommerce CRO strategy, start by creating quality product videos using Gander. Get started today!