Why every ecommerce retailer needs a CRO strategy—starting today

A lot goes into conversion rate optimization (CRO)—but at the end of the day, it all comes down to one targeted outcome: more conversions to drive more revenue without additional effort.

Think about conversion like a giant game of fishing. Much like going out in a tinnie (a very small boat for those less familiar with the ways of the water) with a small net, some ecommerce merchants start with a basic tech stack. They use generic bait and have some idea of where to fish. When they cast that net, they catch a few fish and notice a few important things. Firstly, only some of the fish are the ideal catch. Secondly, there are many slipping through that net.

What would happen if that same fisherperson hopped into a more robust boat with a stronger net, i.e., a strategically built ecommerce tech stack? What if they took carefully planned steps to improve the quality of bait and focus on fishing areas brimming with the ideal catch? You don’t need a trawler to find out.

Let’s dive into the cool waters of conversion rate optimization to understand why you should start your strategy here and now.

Why should you invest efforts into a CRO strategy?

Research from Wordstream shows that, across industries, the average landing page conversion rate is 2.35%. However, the top 25% of sites are converting at more than double that rate—at a massive 5.31%.

How would doubling your conversion rate impact revenue?

Let’s say your site attracts 20,000 visitors per week, has a 2.5% conversion rate, and an average order value of $150. Bumping that conversion rate up to 5.0% would take your annual revenue from $3.9M to a whopping $7.8M. When you can make these kinds of revenue gains without attracting any additional traffic, it’s clear why conversion rate optimization is one of the most valuable strategies in which you can invest.

Where to focus your efforts

In the Klaviyo Marketing Spend Report, 81% of retailer marketers say they expect competition to increase or significantly increase in 2024. With countless retailers working in the same ecommerce ocean, you must be equipped to reel in the best results.

Ensure your site is mobile-ready

It is crucial to emphasize the significance of catering to mobile users on websites. Ensuring your ecommerce site is mobile-ready and thoroughly tested on various devices, including desktops, mobiles, and tablets, is imperative. This comprehensive approach ensures you increase loyalty, drive retention, and boost sales in 2024 and beyond.

As of April 2024, 59.6% of all internet traffic globally takes place on mobile devices, according to StatCounter. This figure reveals an incredible increase compared to just 10 years ago, considering that in January 2014, mobile traffic reached just 22%.

Your online store must be mobile-optimized to convert shoppers who are using their mobile devices. How? Set the right pace.

74% of mobile users in the US will also leave a mobile site if it doesn’t load within five seconds, as reported by WebsiteBuilderExpert. Find out your mobile speed benchmark with tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights and consider testing and reviewing improvements one at a time to understand their impact on mobile site speed, including:

  • Image optimization to reduce the file size and load time of all images
  • Limiting redirects to reduce the number of times a shopper is passed from one URL to another
  • Minifying CSS and JavaScript files to remove unnecessary code that can slow things down
  • Understanding whether a shared hosting solution (which is impacted by other websites’ traffic on the same server) or a dedicated server configuration is suitable for your store
  • Using a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce the distance between a shopper’s location and the physical server that’s delivering your website’s information

Additionally, keep your mobile site thumb-friendly. Consider how shoppers naturally grip their smartphones and whether the elements on your site are easy to reach. For example, high-value interactions such as add-to-cart and checkout buttons should be easily accessible to all customers.

Enhance your on-site search

Help more online shoppers swim toward your conversion net rather than away from it. Furniture and homewares retailer Early Settler has experienced a 3.3x higher conversion rate using on-site search functionality than without it.

What does an excellent on-site search solution look like? Search bar autocomplete gives shoppers text and image previews of the most relevant terms and products—as they start typing their search query. Look for a solution incorporating merchandising rules, filtering options, and individual shopper behaviors to save shoppers time, effortlessly show them what they want, and help them convert faster.

Provide personalized product recommendations

Imagine having a personal shopper beside you during every online shopping journey; that’s the concept of personalized product recommendations in a nutshell. Personalization solutions use shoppers’ behavioral data, such as purchase and browsing history, to suggest other products likely to appeal to each individual’s preferences. Not only does this help them discover new items, but it also encourages conversion by providing more relevant on-site experiences.

Need proof that personalization converts? Check out the Milton & King case study. After implementing a solution, this lifestyle brand and wallpaper manufacturer has seen 23% of total revenue come from personalized recommendations.

Keep your online window-shoppers engaged 

Retail store window displays have a rich history of captivating passing shoppers and drawing them into stores. Formroom’s article provides a few stunning examples to illustrate what we mean.

In the online space, your homepage, collection pages, and campaign pages all have the opportunity to build anticipation and excitement, just like those physical window displays. How?

Think about how these pages can connect with shoppers through high-quality imagery, story-driven elements, and curated products and collections. Jonathan Adler furniture and homewares store is one example of how beautiful imagery and product selections are used to paint a vivid picture.

Brands should also keep pages looking fresh with new products to create more excitement with each online store visit. Automated merchandising technology can drive this sense of newness to merchandising collections while doing the heavy lifting. Automatic boosting of featured products, best-sellers, or even sale items can put the right products in front of shoppers without the need to manually rearrange item displays—a huge time saver for merchandisers and an experiential win for customers.

Give shoppers multiple reasons to convert

Product bundling shows shoppers multiple related or complementary items at the same time. This simple tactic can enhance the shopping experience by offering more relevant items and speed up the conversion process by allowing multiple products to be added to the cart simultaneously.

Additionally, bundling can reduce the “pain of paying” by showing customers they’re getting a good deal on the included products, further encouraging conversion. Predictive Product Bundling solutions can even leverage customers’ buying and browning history to boost the relevance of items on offer.

See our in-depth article, Why product bundling works: Connecting psychology with sales, for a strategic approach to bundling.

How to implement your conversion rate optimization strategy

Once you’ve defined your CRO strategy focus areas, it’s vital to take a “test and prove” approach to determining which will have the most impact.

Running A/B testing is an extremely valuable form of experimentation to improve conversion rates. The A/B testing process involves comparing two webpage, content, product listing, or marketing campaign versions to determine which one yields better results. You might A/B test something as simple as the number of fields on a form to see which acquires more contacts or as involved as A/B testing two versions of a product display page (PDP) to understand which layout appeals more to customers.

The key to successful A/B testing is to make one change at a time, test, and draw conclusions from the results before moving on to the next test.

See our in-depth webinar, From Click to Online Conversion for more information. The chapter, “Developing Compelling Conversion-Driven On-site Journeys”, provides real-world examples and outcomes of A/B tests designed to boost conversion.

Learn how to cast your CRO net even wider

Now you know why you should invest in a CRO strategy and where to start. However, that’s just a drop in the ocean of building an exceptional framework that enables you to maximize online revenue and outperform competitors.

Whether you’re looking to update your conversion rate optimization strategy or build one from scratch, we’ve compiled all the actionable tips you need in one comprehensive ebook.

Learn how to:

  • Attract the right audience through better SEO 
  • Create engaging experiences that encourage conversion
  • Build trust in order to put shoppers in a purchase-ready state
  • Re-engage buyers after checkout
  • And more! 

Download your ebook now and discover how to increase traffic, boost engagement, and convert more customers this year and beyond!

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