Conversion Rate Optimisation – Maximising Revenue Part II

This is a companion piece for an article written for the Retail Excellence Ireland magazine.

Unfortunately, space in the magazine did not permit me to include a list of some of the easier tweaks you can make to your website to increase your Conversion Rate. However I would hate being told that there are some easy changes to be made and not get a proper list of them, so unlike Fermat I won’t leave anybody wondering what these are and include the missing list here:

Tracking: Monitoring your Conversion Rate

It’s all well and good talking about optimising your conversion rate, but how do you monitor it in the first place? Well in ecommerce, nothing could be simpler. There are a number of tracking and statistics packages you can use, but one of the best is Google Analytics which is free and easy to implement.

With a little setup Google Analytics will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you: monitoring your turnover, your ROI on Pay Per Click advertising, the leaks in your Ecommerce funnel, and calculating your Ecommerce Conversion Rate.

There are no excuses for not tracking, without it you are flying blind.

CRO: The Big Wins

Beyond a certain stage CRO is a subtle art form, and every percentage-point improvement takes effort. But if you’ve never looked at CRO on your site before then getting the basics right can be simple and will have an enormous and immediate benefit to your sales figures.

The basics

These focus on clear communication with your customers:

  1. Delivery: Do you have a great delivery service, offer free delivery, have an express option, or a guaranteed delivery time in Ireland? If so, make sure you shout about it!
  2. Returns: 63% of customers check the returns page before deciding on a purchase – make sure you have one and that it’s informative.
  3. Customer Service: make it easy for customers to contact you and offer multiple points of contact: email, contact form, phone number, live chat.
  4. Security: Needless to say this is a big concern online. Let your customers know that you take their security seriously and what policies you have in place to ensure security on your site.
  5. Guarantees: If you have guarantees, no-quibbles refunds, or warranties on your products make sure you let your customers know.
  6. Testimonials: a testimonial, with a name, location and ideally a customer photo – will greatly re-assure potential customers. Tell visitors that real people buy your products and like them.

The Product Page

  1. An obvious Buy Now button and Call to Action colours: there’s a lot of talk about what colours say “buy now” – but the simple fact is, whichever colour you choose has to stand apart from the rest of your site design – your Buy Now button must have “pop”.
  2. Good Product Images: these can make the sale for you – if possible include a shot of the product in use (showing a product is good, showing what you could look like when you use it is better).

The Cart

Remove Navigation: okay this is a bit of a controversial one and demonstrates the tension that can exist between good usability and good conversion rates. Removing the navigation can have the effect of focusing the customers on moving forwards through the funnel, however – make sure to test this one before you commit!

The Checkout

  1. Only ask for what you need: many checkouts include things like fax numbers, company names, etc – do you need them? If you don’t remove them.
  2. Checkout as Guest: not everybody wants to register on your site or go through the process of choosing passwords. Give your customers the option to checkout as a guest without registering.

Always Be Testing

And finally don’t believe everything you read here – test it for yourself!

Testing is one of the main tenets of Conversion Rate Optimisation and there are a lot of tools and methods that allow you to test absolutely everything on your site to understand whether it contributes to your bottom line or not.

If you haven’t done so already, please read part 1 of this article. Our Beginners Guide To CRO might also be of interest.

Gerard Keohane
Gerard Keohane |