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Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization Considerations [CRO Chat Streamcap]

CRO Chat - Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization ConsiderationsOur latest #CROchat was a great one for our clients that sell things with a question set that covered “Conversion Rate Optimization Considerations for Ecommerce”. The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: There is a lot of Optimization that can be done for an Ecommerce site. Where do you start and what gets your most attention?

  • Start with the cart!
    Carlos del Rio (@inflatemouse)         
    • The cart is very important, but sometimes there is little data going into the cart to gain insights from.
      James Svoboda         
      • Function first. That is what actually makes the $$. A little wonkiness in #Ux will be ignored if they can pay w/o pain.
        Carlos del Rio         
  • I start by manually auditing the site’s usability to see how easy it is for customers to find and add products to the cart. If the UX review uncovers anything, then that is typically the first point to work on. The cart funnel would be next.
    James Svoboda (@Realicity)         
  • I start with usability tests & looking at the site’s analytics. Analytics reveals the WHAT, user tests reveal WHY.
    Theresa Baiocco (@theresabaiocco)         
  • Not to sound reductionist, but w/ ecom payment is always the issue.
    Carlos del Rio         
    • Reviewed an ecom site recently where you needed to create an account in order to add-to-cart. Payment was not the issue.
      James Svoboda         
      • I think we have semantic difference in what we mean by payment. Barriers to the cart are = to failures in processing.
        Carlos del Rio         
  • I should clarify, that I start with UX issues if the cart is not getting enough data to test and is mostly functional.
    James Svoboda         

Q2: How do you address trust and reputation for shopping sites to build customer confidence?

  • Use and use the logo of well known SSL providers above the fold.
    James Hume (@zerospin)         
  • Always make sure payment or any page where a visitor has to enter information, is on a secure page (https).
    Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)         

  • Real testimonials are key, Tools like Feefo invaluable here. Delivery is also key, the how, when and how much can make a sale.
    Simon Cahill (@Simon_CRO)         
  • Badges for the BBB or secure shopping are great to have, and I also find that social media widgets can be another trust symbol.
    James Svoboda         
  • Building trust for ecommerce isn’t vastly different. Trust symbols must include payment safety. Still need usual trust symbols.
    Theresa Baiocco         
  • A different site auditor would help – at least provide different insights, not necessariy better!
    Mukul Mehta (@MukulMehta)         
  • Trusted customer rating badges are very helpful (BizRate, etc.) for establishing legitimacy.
    Carlos del Rio         
  • Feels like in general, badges are a win. Both in the SERP and on-site.
    Emily Las (@emlas)         

Q3: What is your approach to optimizing Category pages, and do you try to get buyers into the cart or to the product page?

  • For me, category pages are points into deeper pages. If I identify UX issues here to solve, conversions typically increase.
    James Svoboda         
    • Agreed- I think category pgs should be the initial focus of UX optimization. Then take deeper dives as needed.
      Emily Las         
  • Category pages tend to be strongest– amazing when you have nimble developers on board to create custom cat pgs based on data.
    Emily Las         
    • I agree. We think catergory pgs can work the hardest and we can help direct ppl on to where we want them to go next.
      Intrist (@Intrist)         
    • Category pages are great for helping to define and refine better performing segments.
      James Svoboda         
  • Heatmap , Check popular brands through Analytics, design tests with different emphasis, Give option for info or Buy. Cat pages should reflect how your traffic uses your site, research your internal site search, do the cust’s filtering for them.
    Simon Cahill         

Q4: How and what do you optimize for on Product pages?

  • Product pages should answer this question: Why should I buy this product from you? Answering this always helps increase sales.
    James Svoboda         
  • Headline, Offer, image, buy button, content and more.
    Mukul Mehta         
  • When possible, show a video demo of a particular product, or an image of the product in use.
    Paul Kragthorpe         
  • Ensure key marketing messages are repeated on the product pages, not just left on the home page, get the sale.
    James Hume         
    • Right! Professional photography with various angles, ability to zoom in, etc, if possible.
      Theresa Baiocco         
  • Product pages often lack the relevant information that customers need to make the buying decision.
    Carlos del Rio         
  • Latest product pg optimization recs were around social extensions. Shares/likes/pins are soft conversions w/major conv potential.
    Emily Las         
  • Product pages should highlight return policies and consumer guarantees. 
    Carlos del Rio         
  • CLEARLY state the shipping cost!
    Paul Kragthorpe         
    • Or figure out if free shipping is feasible.
      James Svoboda         
  • Cat pages help them choose your store, product pages drives the purchase.
    Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)         
    • Curious, do you push sales and add-to-cart on category pages or reserve that for product pages?
      James Svoboda         
      • We reinforce Value Props, and highlight popular products on category pages, also can add to cart from any page! <- huge! w/ a lot of prods that are different flavors of the same & repeat shoppers, having a list instead of links is a benefit.
        Chris Kostecki         
  • Add to wishlist, save as favorite, compare, email/tweet/like etc are important, but clients think they’re “fancy extras”.
    Theresa Baiocco         
    • This is why I’m really loving Assisted Conversion data.
      James Svoboda         
  • Giving a stream of “What people are saying on Twitter” can help reduce decision making anxiety.
    Carlos del Rio         
    • Totally but it can also be risky if not filtered/monitored properly.
      Emily Las         
      • Twitter streams are pretty easy to filter if you use the advanced modifiers.
        Carlos del Rio         
  • Start with Why I should buy this product, next what info does buyer need?Then how do I deliver that to make him/her buy. 
    Mukul Mehta         
    • That is a good point. Just b/c they are on the pg doesn’t mean they see the benefits of the product.
      Carlos del Rio         

Q5: What factors and elements do you take into consideration when optimizing Shopping Cart pages?

  • If you offer free shipping after an amount spent, put a section that says “$xx.xx more and you qualify for free shipping!”
    Paul Kragthorpe         
  • Drop off points, time to complete, a nice layer of assurance and finally AOV (looking for opportunities to increase it).
    Chris Kostecki         
  • Often CRO for shopping carts is improving UX & maintaining trust. They already want to by, now make it easy for them.
    James Svoboda         
  • Make sure button text says whats going to happen next and add trust where possible e.g. “Checkout using our Secure Server”
    James Hume         
  • Cart Concerns: Order of operations, payment methods, security, reiteration of value, guarantees, delivery, and satisfaction.
    Carlos del Rio         
  • Shopping cart “Status” bars help reassure customers where they are at and where they are going.
    James Svoboda         
  • When possible reduce the number of steps for checkout and payment. 
    Carlos del Rio         
  • I once had a client whose shopping cart kicked people out after they clicked the continue button. Easy improvement!
    Theresa Baiocco         
    • Big win, little effort! Browser compatibility can also be a big win with little effort.
      James Svoboda         
  • Make sure price in the cart reflects the price that was on the product page. Obvious but we had a client that failed this.
    Paul Kragthorpe         
  • Amazon is no longer a fulfillment company. They are best monetized as a payment gateway.
    Carlos del Rio         
  • If the product you buy requires something else, offer that item when they’re in the cart.
    Paul Kragthorpe         
  • Offer/promo codes. Without clear instructions on how to apply, what to add to cart…many abandon.
    Emily Las         
    • I do this. And if we can’t find out how to use them, a less web savy individual would not either.
      James Svoboda         

       

Q6: Do you measure any non-sales conversions, and if so, how do you report on them?

  • I measure everything I can, including contact form submissions, social interactions, newsletter subscribers, RSS readers.
    James Svoboda         
  • Measure all add-to-carts. They may abandon, but we got their attention, and they may be back. Same with wish lists.
    Paul Kragthorpe         
    • Great 2nd tier things to measure for ecom! 
      James Svoboda         
  • Every site needs to measure micro conversions: event tracking in GA, each step in the funnel, etc.
    Theresa Baiocco         
    • Yep. This very much circles back to Assisted Conversions. Any and all can help demystify the funnel.
      James Svoboda         
      • Right & it also circles back to user testing, another way to identify & prioritize the obstacles to conversion, then fix.
        Theresa Baiocco         
  • I find that measuring these helps better understand the entire site. Also Assisted Conversions help demystify conversions.
    James Svoboda         
  • Secondary conversions in ecom should be tied to the cost and buy cycle of your product. If you are selling durable goods an appropriate secondary would be review or social share.
    Carlos del Rio         
    • Great points. Reviews & social shares are like free content generation and marketing. They have so much value.
      James Svoboda         

Resources

More CRO Chats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #CROchat on Thursday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.

PPC Chat

Also, join us for #PPCchat on Tuessdays 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK for a similar sessions revolving about everything PPC. Those streamcaps can be found on Matt Umbro’s PPCChat Blog

CRO Chat Participants

Check out the CRO Chat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

About the Host

SEO since 1999. WebRanking CEO. MnSEARCH.org Co-Founder. MarketingLand Contributor. #CROchat Host. #PPCchat Faithful. Husband & Father in Eden Prairie, MN. If you like this post and want to find others related to it, then you can find me on Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter:

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