5 tips for increasing E-commerce homepage conversions

This is the question I get asked often: “How can we increase our conversion rate and convert more visitors into buyers?”. In this blog post I will focus on your online store homepage, for many of your visitors the first page that they will see. Here is the 5 key steps checklist you can follow to make sure you are doing it right.

1. Create your buyer personas

To optimise your homepage to better match expectations of site visitors, it is useful to develop buyer personas. A buyer persona is an overall description of everything you know about your typical buyer. This description can include your buyer name, photo, age, buying habbits, etc., you can go into details as much as you want. My advice is to focus on creating 2 or 3 buyer personas, no more than that. Once you have your buyer personas in place, you can get a better insight and understanding of what do they expect from your site, and what you must do to meet those expectations.

2. Declutter and simplify

Whether you already have an online store, or planning one, keep in mind that simplicity is the key of a great customer experience. Too often, visitors are bombarded with lots of irrelevant content that just gets in the way, and if a visitor is having trouble finding their way through the website, chances that he will buy something are decreasing quickly. The only way for the great content to stand out is to remove other things away. Ask yourself: “Do I really need to have this feature?”, “Does this headline include clear call-to-action?”,”Can I reduce the amount of text?”, etc. Answering these questions will help your customers to perform their task much easier, and ultimately will increase a chance for successful sale.

3. Place your most important content above the fold

“Above the fold” is the area on your website that visitors will see without having to scroll. For a E-commerce site, this area is mostly used to display featured product, products on sale, main navigation, logo, contact email and/or phone, and a search form. Consider carefully what content will you be placing “above the fold”, because small mistakes can make a big impact on your conversion rate.

4. Test your Call-To-Action (CTA) buttons

Call-to-action buttons combined with great offer are one of the most important conversion drivers. Variables that will determine the effectiveness of your CTA button are size, color, text and placement. For example, if we compare “Add to Cart” vs. “Buy now” text, research has shown that “Add to Cart” will function much better just because users think that they will be charged immediately after they click the “Buy now” button. These are some of the general guidelines you can follow, but the best idea is to do some A/B testing on your own to find out which combination works best for your store.

5. Conduct A/B Testing

Before you start, decide what elements do you want to test – website layout, headline, CTA buttons, etc. To conduct the testing, you can use Content Experiments in Google Analytics and compare how different web pages perform using a random sample of your visitors. Here is the nice video that explains the whole process.

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  1. Hi Ewa, thank you for your feedback.

    It depends of course where the customer is in the buying process, but here is an interesting research that shows clearly that the right call to action to be used on this type of buttons should be “Add to Cart.” http://bit.ly/9vtygh

  2. I think “Add to Cart” in some ways can me more confusing than “Buy Now”. Add to cart? what cart I have no carts… And “Buy Now” just means buy and get it now.

  3. Has the “Buy Now” fad yet passed?

    This was one of those “Amazing” pieces of information being touted as a conversion enhancer by many “Tom, Dick and Harry Conversion Specialists” that ended up causing customers to quit committing in droves.

    The customers look at it, immediately think it’s the equivalent of Amazon’s “One Click Checkout” and decide that you don’t let them add stuff to temporary storage for aggregation so they can make the decision to buy later and leave for another site fairly quickly.

    A/B testing has proven “Buy Now” and any of it’s variants to be a deal breaker and a heart breaker.

    Talk about Bait ‘n Switch.

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