Paul Rouke
Founder & Director of Optimisation
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  • Conversion Rate Optimisation

8th Apr 2009

4 min

2009 more than the last few years looks like being a year where retailers are more focused on improving the performance of their existing e-commerce site rather than re-platforming.

Top Tips for Increasing Your E-commerce Conversion Rates

Below are a few top tips for improving both the usability of your e-commerce site and small changes which can help improve conversion rates. Further resources are provided at the end of the article.

Search and Navigation

  • Make search an integrated and intelligent piece of functionality – if it isn’t, visitors will quickly dismiss the tool as something that will help them find what they want, and in turn could consider jumping over to a competitor site.
  • Provide predictive/suggestive search results – benefits include reducing the number of ‘no results found’ pages, promoting saving information which will appeal to shoppers, plus exposing some of your product catalogue which the shopper may not have realised existed
  • Allow visitors to filter your product range by relevant attributes (price bracket, specification, colour, size etc) – the easier you can make it for shoppers to find products which match their requirements the more likely they will be to purchase from you

Shopping Basket

  • Don’t hide your delivery costs until the checkout process – even if a shopper can specify a more expensive delivery option in checkout, at least ensure your standard delivery charges are provided
  • Make it clear what payment options are available, before the checkout process – especially important if you don’t accept debit card payments like www.booking.com
  • Promote free delivery options clearly, if you provide them – this can play a significant part in persuading visitors to both make a purchase, but also increase their order value if it means triggering a free delivery level

Checkout Process

  • Rule number 1 – enclose your checkout process. There are a range of key reasons why this is so important for retailers, one of which is ensuring you are focusing the shoppers mind on the 1 key action you want them to do – place their order with you. More advice on why you should enclose your checkout process can be seen in the resources at the end of this article
  • Make it absolutely clear the levels of security you provide – concerns over credit card fraud are here for the long term, and you should make sure your visitors have every confidence in you to keep their details secure
  • Pay close attention to how to present forms – by adopting form field best practice you make the checkout process more streamlined and you keep the shopper in a positive buying mood. Straight to the point error messages that point the finger at the visitor is one way of putting a small usability barrier in front of them

All Areas, Especially Shopping Basket and Checkout

  • Carry out split testing and multi-variate testing – alongside best practice principles, this is one of the primary ways of affectively measuring the differences in click-throughs and engagement when adopting different designs, buttons, colours and messages

Looking for More Best Practice Tips and Advice?

If you are interested in gaining a much greater understanding of how small but integral changes can be made to e-commerce sites to help improve conversion rates, then the upcoming training course on the 23rd April in London is for you.

There is also funding currently available which could cover the cost of the course.

Below are further details on what will be covered in the days training course:

Product page best practice

  • how to introduce best practice into your customer experience
  • how some of the biggest e-tailers are following or defining best practice
  • how to cross-sell and up-sell affectively
  • how to introduce persuasion architecture

Shopping basket best practice

  • pros and cons of the most popular implementations
  • understand the impact you can have on consumer confidence
  • how to channel customers into the checkout process

Checkout process best practice

  • the rational behind enclosing the process to reduce checkout abandonments
  • a framework for delivering a best practice checkout process
  • how to reduced usability barriers to completing forms during your checkout process

Advanced user experience techniques

  • how to engage and delight customers with memorable interactions

Useful resources

  • best practice tips for search implementation
  • benefits of suggestive/predictive search (scroll down the page)
  • benefits and best practice for multi-faceted navigation, for both users and retailers
  • the importance of enclosing your checkout process
  • form field best practice, vital for checkout processes

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