Conversion Rate Optimization | Definition & Hacks

18 Hacks to improve Conversion Rate in E-Commerce

What is a Conversion Rate?

The conversion rate is a central key figure in online trading to calculate success. The conversion rate is the percentage of users who execute a particular promotion. A possible conversion target is the completion of the purchase. So if 20 users out of 1,000 visitors bought something in the shop, we have a conversion rate of 2 percent. However, the number of purchases is not the only possible conversion. Subscribing to the newsletter, following social media and performing other desired actions can also be conversions.

What is Conversion Optimization?

With the conversion optimization we pursue the goal of increasing the conversion rate in the online shop. So we want to increase the percentage of visitors who perform a defined action. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a purchase or another promotion. In order to optimize the conversion, we analyze the behavior of the users on the website. Then we create theses, which could lead to an increase of the conversion rate, in order to test these theses.

How do I calculate the conversion rate?

Calculating the conversion rate is easy. We simply take the number of conversions within a given period, multiply that number by 100 and divide the result by the total number of visitors. 

Conversion Rate Optimierung Tipps

1 | Optimize Conversion with AB Testing

An excellent way to optimize the conversion rate in your shop are AB tests. Here you test two or more different versions of your website against each other. The variant with the better conversion rate wins. The advantage of AB tests to increase the conversion rate is that decisions can be made based on data. 

2 | Focus on call to action for more revenue

A clear call to action. Exactly that is a call to action. This means that you ask the visitors of your online shop to do something specific. Follow on Facebook, subscribe to newsletter, Add to notepad, Add to shopping cart, Continue shopping, Checkout, Buy now, Well placed, the Call-To-Action signals help to give the customer the missing impulse to buy and give him orientation in your shop. The result is a better conversion rate.

3 | Optimize Check-out

The products have landed in your shopping cart. Then, at the last moment, the customer jumps off again. What happened? Did the customer possibly only use the shopping cart as a notepad? Has he been disturbed and will come back later? Was he not sure whether the shop was serious? Did the high shipping costs interfere? Should he register before the purchase? Countless conversion killers are hidden in the check-out. That’s why you should always take a critical look at this area and test how you can optimize the check. 

4 | Texts for a better conversion rate

Headlines, product descriptions, category texts, button texts. Text plays an important role in many places in your online shop. The headline can decide whether the visitor stays or jumps back to Google. The category text can influence my decision which product I buy from you. And the text on the Call-To-Action button affects how often the button is clicked. 

5 | Change your layout

Design and layout are among the first things visitors to your shop notice. Therefore there is a lot of potential to optimize the conversion rate. Especially landing pages are a good way to experiment with the layout and find out which layout is best for improving the conversion rate.

6 | Ensure user-friendly navigation

Okay, nice product, but how can I buy it? Where is the shopping cart? And why do I have to search so long? Have you ever seen shops where you find it hard to find your way around? It’s not fun to shop there. Therefore, a cumbersome navigation or a missing search function are also bad for the conversion rate. You can test the usability of your navigation, for example, by letting people who don’t know your shop search for something.

7 | Optimize your shop for mobile devices

Actually a matter of course. Nevertheless. If it is not yet clear to anyone, such an online shop should be optimized for mobile devices. Because now every third German also uses his smartphone for shopping. If you don’t make a mobile optimized webshop available to these buyers, the conversion rate will go into the basement. 

8 | The 5-Second Conversion Test

The conversion test for poor people. That’s what the 5-second conversion test is also called. Because the effort is minimal. It tests whether visitors understand the core message of your shop and what impression your site gives. To do this, you show a person who does not know your online shop a picture of the start page or a landing page for 5 seconds. Only the area above the fold is shown, i.e. the part that is visible without scrolling. After 5 seconds you take the picture away and let the person explain to you what your page is about, who the target group is and what is waiting for the user when scrolling down. If the impression does not match your intention, it makes sense to improve it. Because a page that is not understandable usually does not have a good conversion rate. 

9 | Better images, better conversion rate

Logical, actually. If you buy online, you want to get as good a picture as possible of the product you have ordered. And for that you need good product pictures. Nevertheless, there are still online shops that use mediocre pictures. Also the product pictures of the manufacturers are often suboptimal. If you invest in good product photos here, this can not only have a positive effect on the conversion rate, but also on the return rate.

10 | Show product videos to your customers

Depending on what you sell, product videos or video tutorials can also help increase the conversion rate in your store. A nice example of the use of videos in the online shop is Benedikt Lünen’s video blog in his whiskey shop. The videos are shot with manageable effort, but they strengthen the expert status and trust in the shop and thus also the conversion rate.

11 | Why 9 can improve conversion

Conversion Rate Steigerung durch die Macht der 9 am EndePricing: Whether at Aldi, Mediamarkt or other large retailers, the majority of prices end with a 9. And for good reason. Because most of us have a price threshold in mind, which decides whether we perceive a price as cheap or expensive. Here the 9 at the end helps to make the price appear cheaper. If you work with round prices in your shop, a test with the 9 can be worthwhile at the end. Also descending numbers in the price (example 7,65 Euro) and optical representation, can change the price perception and thus the conversion rate.


12 | Let your customers compare prices

Customer willing to buy gets lost in your shop. Actually perfect. It’s just stupid that online shoppers are conditioned to compare prices before buying. If you’re unlucky, you lose customers just before the deal, just because they want to compare prices. Therefore, satisfy the customer’s need to compare prices. For example, you can actively suggest and compare similar products within your shop. 

13 | Use Cross-Selling

With Cross-Selling you don’t directly optimize the conversion rate, but the turnover per conversion. Also customer satisfaction can be improved with clever cross-selling, which in turn can lead to a better conversion rate by returning customers in the long run. With cross-selling, you offer the customer products that complement the product in the shopping basket. These can be, for example, batteries or a protective cover.

14 | Trustworthy shop, better conversion

Professional design, user-friendliness, the appropriate payment methods, quality seals, customer ratings, a photo of the shop operator. There are a number of elements that help to make your shop more trustworthy and thus optimize the conversion rate. 

15 | Offer a live customer consultation

When customers have a question, they expect an answer. Not tomorrow, not in 3 hours, but immediately. With a live customer consultation, you have the opportunity for better consultation, more customer proximity and thus a higher conversion rate. The best way is to test whether a chatbot, live chat or messenger support works best in your online shop. 

16 | Optimize Conversion with Social Proof

Most of us tend to orient ourselves to our fellow human beings. Since we assume that they behave correctly. This is called Social Proof. You can use this psychological phenomenon for your online marketing. Some ways to use Social Proof for conversion optimization: Product reviews, expert reviews, influencer marketing, recommendation of your shop on other websites, many followers on social media. 

17 | When a low conversion can be good

Although a good conversion rate is one of the central KPIs, a low conversion rate can also be positive. In most cases, visitors to your online shop will come to the appropriate product page via long tail keywords (affiliate link). For Long Tail your shop will rank better than for hard keywords. If you manage to rank for hard keywords, you can count on a lower conversion rate, but because the traffic is much higher with hard keywords, this can still mean more sales.

18 | Always be testing

Improving the conversion of your website always means being open to new things, testing hypotheses, putting yourself in the shoes of your customers and working data-based at the same time. Any conversion optimization idea you read here or anywhere else can work, but doesn’t have to. The only way to find out what works on your website is through continuous testing and evaluation. 

What is the benefit of optimizing your website?

Conversion optimization is costly and never ends. So you might ask yourself, what is the use of such an effort? But as a shop operator you know that your turnover depends not only on the number of visitors, but also on the conversion. That’s why the conversion rate is such a central component in marketing. If the analysis shows that the number of buyers is too low in relation to the number of visitors, it makes sense to deal more intensively with the conversion rate in marketing. The time and money spent on marketing normally pays for itself quickly. Because a better conversion rate ultimately also relieves the marketing budget, since the costs for the acquisition per new customer decrease.

Why micro conversions also count in online marketing

There are different types of conversions: Micro and Macro Conversions. When the visitor has bought an item, we usually talk about Macro Conversion. For some shop owners only this macro conversion counts. For marketing it makes sense to analyze the micro conversions. Because even if a visitor doesn’t buy an item immediately, the visit can be considered successful. If, for example, the user has registered for the newsletter or has become your follower on social media, then this is one of the micro conversions. Because through these micro conversions, marketing has the opportunity to stay in contact with the visitors. After all, experience shows that visitors rarely buy at first contact. Conversion only occurs on repeated contact. Nowhere is the conversion rate as high as in e-mail marketing. That’s why micro conversions are so interesting in e-commerce.

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