Tips for improving the conversion rate optimization (CRO) of your e-commerce

Conversion rate optimization has become a great ongoing improvement system for web projects in general and others focused on e-commerce in particular. For some years, conversion rate optimization has been one of the concepts most widely used in e-commerce forums. So much so that other industries have started to show an interest in its benefits. 

18 Dec. 2019

No one in the world of digital sales understands their relationship with their products and consumers without the need for measuring, optimizing, changing and ultimately improving the revenue process. 

Conversion rate optimization is usually referred to as CRO. It is so important that it has become a discipline in its own right within online communication and marketing, halfway between web analytics and usability: 

  • Conversion: Why has CRO taken a leap from e-commerce to other sectors? Because optimizing is not only necessary for selling products, but also for increasing the volume of traffic, improving user engagement metrics, driving records, signing up in forms or newsletters… Achieving goals. 
  • Optimization: This is possibly the key concept of this discipline. It is not a finite process, it is gradual, it is about winning small battles. It is the result of hundreds of questions seeking an answer that improves the whole. Why complete three, four or five fields when signing up? What is causing problems in an application's onboarding? What is wrong with shopping carts, that have such a low conversion rate? What should images in a publication be like to encourage reading? 

This intends to be a list with some interesting tips for users who have or want to have an e-commerce business, although some of these practices can also be applied to digital projects in other sectors: 

1. Improving what is not known is difficult

This sounds like a truism, and perhaps it is, but it is not too far removed from a particularly common problem: it is difficult to introduce changes in erroneous processes if we are not aware of the noise or the frictions in those processes. Measuring and drawing the right conclusions is the first step for improving. And the user should be the ultimate goal of our measuring, attention and obsession. If you own an e-commerce business it is essential to have several web analytics tools to identify your project's potential users.

Some interesting solutions for finding out: 

  • Google Analytics: this is one of the analytics tools par excellence. The number of panels configured by default is quite high and it is also possible to create segments, events and filters to ensure that each detail is analyzed. 
  • Kissmetrics: this analytics platform displays customer information, and not so much metrics associated with other types of businesses other than e-commerce, such as pages viewed or single users. The idea is to understand where customers come from, what they do exactly when they browse an e-commerce site and what leads them or prevents them from meeting the conversion goals set in the business plan.    
  • Crazy Egg: this is the heatmap solution par excellence. Crazy Egg enables a website's owner to know exactly where the users click, assigning deep red to the hottest areas and dark blue to the coldest areas, those with the fewer clicks on the site. 
  • Optimizely: this is surely the best A/B test, multivariable test and multipage test tool on the market. An interesting option.

2. Improving the browser to the point of exhaustion

When an e-commerce page includes many products it can reach a very high number of references. The people who the lead the project can know by heart each of these products and the associated details, but customers do not. Having a good browser, with advanced search options and different filters (brand, color, size, prize…) can be a great competitive edge and a requirement in any optimization process. Kissmetrics is the perfect tool for measuring searches and the subsequent movements generated by each e-commerce customer. It measures the success of the search or else the frustration

3. Looking after the registration processes and the payment gateway

Registration and the problems associated with the payment gateway are usually two of the main reasons why e-commerce achieves a satisfactory or detrimental user experience for the business goals.

As regards registration, one interesting option is to maintain it as an optional requirement, which would enable the customer to add products to the cart and complete the purchase without having to sign up as an e-commerce user. However, that does not mean that we cannot suggest the benefits of registration, even with gamification elements such as discount coupons or gifts if the customer finally registers. Registration in exchange for something.

In the case of the payment gateway there are two very important elements: 

  • Customers need to be assured that their personal and banking data are completely safe from third parties who could use them for criminal purposes. As e-commerce has become part of the consumption culture of users, these fears have gradually disappeared. 
  • Today there are some payment gateways that have introduced obvious benefits for user experience and the interests of two kinds of customers: the e-commerce manager and the customer who buys the products. Global Gateway, BBVA's global payment platform, offers merchants a secure and frictionless solution, which is fully adapted to mobile devices. There is no need to leave the website and it accepts a wide range of payment methods other than cards.

4. Regaining the customers who do not convert

In the buying process it is quite likely that some customers will not fulfill the ultimate conversion goal: for users to buy one or more products. This is known as the shopping cart attrition rate on an e-commerce site. The idea is to use analytics tools that make it possible to determine where and when a customer left the conversion funnel and enable those customers to be contacted to try to redirect the purchase before the transaction is closed. These processes fall under the umbrella of an activity known as remarketing

  • An email as the starting point: If in the early stages of the conversion funnel the user provides us with a contact email address, this can be the beginning of a regained sales process. With an email address we can reach the customer to close a sale, offer similar alternatives at a better price, give away discount coupons… 
  • Optimal customer service proposals: Having a policy of refunds or favorable shipping costs for customers is a fantastic starting point for closing a sale. It enables preventive sales. 
  • A feeling of urgency as a conversion tool: There are some effective resources for leading customers to conversion. Limited-time offers, showing low stock levels, showing very short delivery times… This is quite usual in e-commerce giants like Amazon or in sectors as thriving as the hotel industry.   
  • Customization, customization, customization: The entire relationship between e-commerce and customers needs to be customized, from the communication processes to the product offering itself. The greater the customization, the higher the sale conversion rate. 

If you are considering setting up an e-commerce business, find out about Nimble Payments, a BBVA solution for small virtual businesses

Are you interested in financial APIs? Discover all the APIs we can offer you at BBVA

Sign up!

Sign up to the BBVAOPEN4U newsletter and receive tips, tools and the most innovative events directly in your inbox.