Small Tweaks to Improve Ecommerce Conversion Rate

First time I’ve learned and applied an eCommerce conversion tip was in 2008 when I read about color psychology in eCommerce and how it can influence buying behavior, basically the color pallet on your website can influence the conversion rate. What I did at that time was to change the color of our “add to cart” button from something like yellow to red. Doing that we saw a boost of 20% in sales, but looking back I don’t think that was the only thing that influenced our sales increase, at the same time we are adding more products on the website and also we were started doing better SEO with more target traffic but still it added to all this. My point here is that sometimes is hard to pinpoint the exact causality of  an improvement in this case if you are doing more things at once and you don’t properly measure it.

Since then from the things I’ve tested and worked the stuff bellow will always have an impact. How big? Well, it depends on how many transactions your website has on a daily/monthly basis. If you have just a couple a day it will be hard to measure the impact of these changes/improvements. Your focus should be getting more traffic, not spending time to improve the little you’ve got.

You will read a lot of articles that say “I’ve increased my sales with 300%”, just to find out that they had 5 sales a month making $250 and now they got 15 sales and $750 which for me is not always relevant, these kind of conversions are not scalable when you have a relatively big store. Or they might say “I’m making 3 times more money with these tweaks”, but they’re doing 3 times more money from social media, and the real number is $300. The increase in conversion rate for this guys might be from something else, the biggest change that influence your eCommerce store conversion rate is the quality of traffic you are getting. More targeted traffic=more money.

3 years ago I’ve doubled the sales from onsite search and mobile traffic for a store that was making $1.3m a year. But that added only to an extra of $80.000 for that year in real numbers for that particular store, the cost for this was around $200 in software and about 3 hours of work. I’m telling you this to not be overly excited that your sales will just blow up, just be real. The beauty of these small changes is that it compounds and costs usually are insignificant at the start and as your store grows it really adds up every month.

Search & Filters

If you have hundreds or thousands of products on your website your search should be awesome and return relevant results. One of the issues with WordPress and WooCommerce is that that the basic search sucks (read more about why your site search is important). So now we have to come up with a plugin to make it better, the first that comes to mind is Relevanssi, free and easy to use. It has a premium version as well if you want more options. You can see others here.

Cart Recovery

Cart recovery software basically tries to make those that wanted to buy and didn’t to come back to your store and finish the transaction. These work and adds up to your margin but the problem I have is their marketing is “Did you know 68% of people who put something in a shopping basket online, don’t complete their order?”. Well yeah I know, I am one of them. Sometimes I do that, that doesn’t mean I really wanted to buy. So those billions of dollars lost to cart abandonment is bullshit.

Stats from a small store for a week

These might look nice and wow what a good job the software does, actually the software assigns to it’s recovery more than it should. The store does also remarketing other things  to get clients back, maybe the real stats are half of that. At the end of the day not bad.

Tools I’ve used and tested and recommend for WooCommerce are Jilt and Recart. If you know others that work fine, let me know.

Checkout Page

This is usually a tricky one and you can do more harm than good, test test test. Again test when you have enough conversions to make the tests viable. A good resource to learn more about eCommerce conversion and usability is the Baymard website. I have bought, learned and used their reports to improve our websites, there’s a lot of information but if you are the DIY kind of guy/girl it’s great.

Lots of tips about this at Neil Patel and some more straightforward from Crazy Egg.

I am testing now a 3 steps checkout vs. one step checkout, I think the 3 steps is going to win, will see.

Mobile Experience

Mobile first is goes without saying that your website/store strategy should be. Everyone has a smartphone and is using it to browse and buy for products. Maybe the transaction is not always ending on mobile but a lot of times the journey starts there. From my point of view the mobile website should be fast and easy to use, gives me the info I want and just a pleasant experience, whatever that means.

Sometimes depending on what you sell, how many products and so on this might not be the easiest job but always test your mobile experience. Put your friends make a sale on your website, ask questions where do they struggle, what can you do better. Most of the WooCommerce themes now come with a beautiful mobile experiences so make sure you test that as well.


Do you have any tips? Maybe you disagree with things I’ve said or maybe I was to vague, let me know.


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