How To Optimize Your E-commerce Website To Drive More Conversions

An e-commerce website is your online storefront. Let’s take a look at what e-commerce website optimization is and how you can drive more conversions.
John Ahya
John Ahya

Reading time: 5 minutes

The global e-commerce market is expected to reach $5.55 trillion in 2022 and this number shows no signs of slowing. With so many people now shifting their shopping habits online, it’s no surprise to see that every e-commerce store out there is working towards enhancing the customer experience.

How you make them visit your e-store make them buy — that’s what you strive for and that’s what optimization is all about: The conversions.

There is no pragmatic rule to this. It is a well-thought experiment. The key here is to know what alteration you need for your e-commerce store for a seamless customer experience. Changing the wrong things won’t help (it may hurt your website more), so here’s a list of the right things to check to optimize your e-commerce website!

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Why should you optimize your e-commerce website?

Your website is your storefront. It gives an identity to your brand name and helps people to identify you. It’s what helps customers form an impression of your brand, products, and services

Statistics show that 75% of people base a company’s credibility on how its website looks, feels, and performs. You also only have about 10 seconds to impress your visitors before they leave. 

And if we’re talking SEO, your website loading time, organic traffic, and bounce rates all affect your one ultimate goal: which is to drive more conversions to generate sales

10 ways to optimize your e-commerce website

Improve load times

No matter how engaging your site is, it’s inutile if shoppers leave before it even has a chance to load. Customers won’t wait more than three seconds — that’s how crucial site speed is to your conversion. 

In fact, a study by Portent showed that the first 5 seconds have the highest impact on conversion rates. The same study showed that the highest e-commerce conversion rates occur with load times between 0 to 2 seconds. Also, with each additional second of load time, website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42%.

To test the page speed of your site, you can use tools like Page Speed Insights to get a report on your website performance (both desktop and mobile). If you notice that your online store is taking a while to load, you should: 

Find out what’s causing the delay

Page speed can be affected by a variety of factors — user behaviour, file sizes, file formats, website servers, broken codes, and incompatible plugins. 

To eliminate the guesswork of what the root cause is, use page speed tools (like the one we mentioned above). These tools give you insight into where and how you can make changes, helping you identify key improvement areas.

Recheck the theme

There is a possibility that the theme you chose might be causing slow loading times. If you’ve recently changed your theme, restore your backup and check if the issue persists. 

A good rule of thumb is to use themes that are less clunky — those with lesser codes. 

Switch to a better host

More often than not, your hosting provider could be the one causing the issue. It’s advisable not to have a shared or free web hosting for your e-commerce store. Saving on hosting is not an option as you need a dedicated, scalable host for your online store. 

Optimize your checkout page

A checkout page is easily one of the most important pages of your e-commerce store. You should ensure that your checkout page is as frictionless as possible. There shouldn’t be any glitches from the moment a user places an order to the time they’re about to checkout. 

Having a slow and clunky checkout page can lead to high checkout abandonment rates, which ultimately leads to lesser sales. 

Keep your checkout forms simple and intuitive, and avoid asking your customers too many questions. We highly recommend setting up a one-click checkout process so that customers only need to fill in their details once.

Also, allow your customers to checkout as a guest — one of the reasons why customers choose to abandon their carts is because they’re forced to commit to a brand and create an account to purchase.

Reasons why customers abandon their carts.
Reasons why customers abandon their carts.

Optimize for mobile

This is an absolute no-brainer — your e-commerce store has to be mobile-ready. In this digital age, most of your customers are using their mobile devices; so much so that 50% of e-commerce revenue comes from mobile users. 

These numbers are proving a dramatic increase in a mobile-inclined audience and you should definitely not miss out on such opportunities. 

Again, test the mobile compatibility of your website and graphics using Page Speed Insights. Ensure that your site is responsive and easy to navigate even on mobile. Not to forget, you should always compress images before uploading them on your site as this can affect the page speed on mobile devices.

Build trust with trust badges

Trust badges are seals or symbols placed on a website to instill trust in customers and boost the credibility of your brand. 

A survey found that 76% of respondents said trust seals affected their sense of trust in a website and 48% said that trust badges reassure them that the site is secure and trustworthy

So why is this so important to you?

That’s because 17% of respondents to a study didn’t make a purchase because they didn’t trust the site with their credit card information. This shows that the increased risks of online security are what’s stopping a customer from purchasing from you. 

That said, there’s no doubt that having trust badges on your checkout page can positively impact the way customers shop on your website. 

These are the types of trust badges you can include on your website:

  • SSL certificates
  • Accepted payments
  • Secure payments
  • Free shipping and returns
  • Third-party endorsements
  • Money-back guarantee 

Improve high-impact pages

Each visitor has a different goal when they land on your website. From reading blogs in search of an answer to comparing prices and making purchases, you can’t exactly pinpoint the purpose of their visit unless you narrow in on the high-impact pages. 

High-impact pages can be your home page, landing pages, product pages, and even blog posts. Identify these pages that drive the most traffic or conversions through analytics tools like Google Analytics

Here are some things you can do to improve and optimize such pages:

  • Use high-resolution images. You want to show off your product to your customers and convince them to buy from you. Adding high-quality images leaves little room for second-guessing and helps them make an informed decision. 
  • Use convincing copies. Don’t let your customers infer about your product or service. Tell them what exactly you can offer and why they should buy it. Highlight the benefits or the pain point you can help solve.
  • Add customer reviews. Nothing tells your customers more about your brand than if you have tons of good reviews. It instills trust and confidence that you’re legitimate and trustworthy.
  • Make your promotions obvious. People love a good discount, but they wouldn’t know about it if you don’t tell them. Include website banners or call-outs to broadcast your sales and avoid using small text that’s hard to read.
  • A/B test your pages. This tests 2 pages based on different variables to see which performs better. There are several A/B testing apps on Shopify like this one to help you identify the best layout and design for your pages. 

Offer discounts

Go seasonal on discounts, offer birthday sales, and even exclusive abandoned cart discounts. Discounts are loved by all and they show proven revenue growth results. As mentioned earlier, make sure the discounts are seen clearly on the website. 

Sell a great story with lucrative discounts. But remember, don’t oversell!

Run a site audit

A site audit accesses your website’s overall performance and can highlight important information about SEO, content, traffic, and conversions. Using tools like SEMrush, you can run a site audit for your site that will tell you about: 

  • Your site’s technical framework and infrastructure
  • Your SEO
  • Your site’s loading time
  • Any broken javascript or CSS codes

This helps you prioritize any errors and fix them as soon as possible so as not to affect the performance of your website. 

Provide contact information

If you don’t give customers a way to contact you, they’re less likely to trust you. It will give customers the impression that you’re suspicious and not trustworthy. In fact, about 44% of web visitors will bounce off your website if there’s no contact information available. 

That said, include your business’ contact information on your website. It’s best to include such details in the top fold of your website, navigation bar, or footer. 

Of course, don’t limit your customers to just contacting you by email or phone. If possible, provide more contact options, like a chat widget, social media, live chat, and more.

Personalize the shopping experience

Personalization is one of the biggest marketing trends in recent years. As we’re surrounded by personalized experiences every day, there is certain expectation customers have towards companies with regard to offering personalization. 

80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience, and 66% of consumers expect brands to understand their individual needs. So, if you’re not investing in personalized marketing, you’re missing out on tremendous opportunities.

That said, here are some ways you can personalize the shopping experience:

  • Run retargeting ads. Because of how highly targeted they are, remarketing ads are 76% more likely to be clicked as compared to regular ads. Present items that your customer viewed or added to their carts, and include a convincing CTA to get them to click through. 
  • Segment your customers. Not every customer is the same. So, segment your marketing leads into different groups based on their needs or stage of the sales funnel. This way, you can send more targeted marketing emails that speak to the right group.  
  • Highlight related products or services. When a customer searches for a particular keyword on your site, recommend related items that they might be interested in. For example, if your customer searches for shampoo, recommend other types of bath products. 

Include relevant CTAs

A clear and relevant call-to-action (CTA) makes it clear to your customers what action they should take and removes the friction of moving them through the next stage of the buying journey. 

Here are some common yet actionable CTAs you can use:

  • “Shop now”
  • “Add to cart”
  • Schedule a demo
  • “Contact sales”
  • “Add to wishlist”

Keep in mind that you want your CTAs to be short and sweet, preferably with an action word. Avoid using dull colors that have no contrast or text that is too small. Finally, include primary CTAs throughout your site so that customers won’t miss them.

Conversion is the goal, and optimization is the route

Plan your e-commerce website optimization strategy by knowing exactly what needs to be changed. 

Work on enhancing user experience, test your pages before deployment, and keep adapting according to the latest trends. As your business grows, your website should grow along with it. It’s a constant iterative process as trends and choices keep on varying. 

We hope that this article has given you some insight into how you can optimize your e-commerce website. If you’re looking for help and don’t know where you start, the e-commerce development company can guide you through this journey. 

For more of such tips and advice, check out these resources! 👇👇👇

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