Launching an e-commerce website can be lucrative, financially, but only if you are able to identify a targeted traffic source, and also convert a high percentage of that traffic into actual sales.

The barrier of entry is very low, and because of convenient platforms like Shopify and methods like drop shipping, anyone can have an “e-commerce business” up and live in less than a day. This is why most e-commerce websites fade off into the sunset without ever making any money.

But, you don’t have to become a statistic.

Whether you are brand new to e-commerce or if you own a seasoned store that converts at 4.5% and you want to improve it, this information should prove to be helpful.

Increasing your conversion rates is one thing that can really have a major impact on your business. You are able to generate more revenue, sell through more inventory, and ultimately your customer acquisition cost drops.

Pay attention, these simple tips can really help you increase your conversion rates and generate more money.


1. Incorporate 1-Click Upsells

If you have a customer in your shopping cart about to complete a purchase you have done the hard work already. You have found a customer, they liked your offering and prices, and they trusted your company enough to commit to purchasing. So, why not increase their order value, which generates more revenue and makes that customer more valuable.

It doesn’t matter where you are pulling your traffic from, whether it’s organic via SEO or paid clicks via social media, each visitor that lands on your website has a cost associated with it. Anytime you can increase the order value it dramatically improves your ROI.

There are many plugins and features that can be added that allow you to assign upsell offers that a customer is likely to be interested in. As long as the discount is attractive enough, you will see your average cart value and conversion rates increase, as these hard to resist offers will often keep a customer on the patch the checkout rather than abandon the order.


2. Allow “Guest” Checkouts

Have you ever started to purchase something online and then when it came to complete the order you were asked to create an account? That is the fastest way to get a potential customer to leave your website. Not only is it an extra time-wasting step, but many consumers don’t want a company storing their details for fear of a data hack in the future.

You can make it an option, for those that do want to create an account in case you offer loyalty programs or incentives to repeat customers. But, many visitors will buy and never return, so allow them the option to checkout as a guest and complete their order as quickly as possible.



3. Remove “Surprise” Shipping Charges

A lot of e-commerce website will advertise very low prices, but then surprise the customer with an abnormally high shipping charge during the checkout process. This pisses customers off and causes them to leave, killing your conversion rates. Since you upset them you can be certain they won’t return — ever.

They aren’t stupid. They know the business is tacking on a high shipping charge to make up for the low price advertised. Be transparent. You will see better conversion rates if you have regular prices but emphasize that you offer “FREE shipping” in key areas of your website.

Consumer psychology comes into play, and they will often overlook the price because in their mind they are receiving something for free. Or, even if you do charge for shipping make it known. Something along the lines of “$2.99 Flat rate shipping on ALL orders” will go over much better than a surprise charge at checkout time.


4. Feature Sales and Promos in Your Hero/Header Image

You want to make it a habit to always change up your website, highlighting your specials and sales. Most e-commerce themes and templates have a large hero header section that you can customize.

I would make it a regular occurrence to change this up. If your traffic numbers are strong, or you have a large email list and social media following to market to you might want to introduce a weekly or monthly special that your customers soon look forward to seeing, which can help drive repeat traffic to your website that converts into additional sales.

This is also effective for first-time visitors, as it’s the first thing they see. If the offer is attractive and your call-to-action is strong you will see many customers take you up on your offer. Then, when you introduce them to one-click upsell offers you really see the magic happen.


5. Make Your CTA Buttons Impossible to Miss

You have to assume every visitor that lands on your website needs his or her hand held the entire way, all the way through to the checkout process. This is why your call-to-action buttons are so important.

I see some e-commerce websites that have little “Buy” text links next to items, which are very hard to see and many people will skip over them. If there is any confusion as to how to order, the user will leave.

If you look at any wildly successful e-commerce brand you will see they use very large CTA buttons, often with capital “BUY NOW” text that is impossible to miss. Why? Because of just that — they do not want anyone to miss how to order.

While the Millennial generation is used to buying everything online, the older generation is still getting used to the concept. Having large, very specific, CTA buttons ensures that everyone that wants to purchase knows how to.


6. Set Up Automatic Cart Abandonment Email Offers

This is a feature that is available to all Shopify users and takes just a little time to set up and can also be implemented on other platforms like WooCommerce with a little coding. If someone starts the checkout process and enters his or her email and then their address, and then for whatever reason doesn’t complete the order you can set an automatic email to be sent out reminding them of their order.

You can set it up to send a simple “oops, you forgot” message with a link that will bring them back to the cart and then another second email that even offers a discount code to help push them to the conversion.

Many people are multi-tasking while shopping online or doing so on their phone and if something like a call or text comes in they may forget to finish the process. These abandonment emails can really improve your conversion rate with little to no effort on your end.


7. Simplify Your Navigation

The harder you make it for a visitor to find what they are looking for, the lower the odds are that they will eventually buy. Navigation menus with several different layers create major customer repellant.

This is why very niche focused e-commerce stores perform better than those that are offering thousands of random products. If you are in an industry with several different products and SKUs then you want to have a search bar located on each page that is hard to miss.

Someone is more likely to perform a search rather than trying to navigate a confusing menu. You can even have one main menu that has broad categories and then on each of those pages you can have more detailed menus. You want your main one to be as simple as possible, offering the least amount of options. If you turn the customer away before they can start to explore you waste the opportunity entirely.



8. Use Professional Studio Images (Not Stock)

I was looking at a potential client’s e-commerce website the other day and something made me cringe. The images they were using were taken from their supplier on Alibaba. The images were so bad. No potential customer would ever buy simply because the photography was so bad.

Stock images from the manufacturer or generic stock photography is a major turn off and makes a website look amateurish and not trustworthy at all. If you are serious, then invest in professional photography. Not only does it look better, but it makes your company look legit and not just a copy-cat drop shipper.

With so many new e-commerce websites launching every day you want to be certain that you don’t get labeled as a low-quality vendor. Hire a local photographer to create great images or send your product(s) to a photo studio to work their magic.


9. Offer All Payment Options

Remember back in the day when most e-commerce websites only accepted Visa and Mastercard? It was a process for some to also accept Discover and American Express. Then more customers were demanding that they accept PayPal because of its easy online use and the protection it offered.

Now, those are just the basic payment methods and the savvy websites are now accepting Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and even crypto currency. It takes little effort on your part to accept them all, and many payment processors like Stripe, make it as simple as checking off boxes in your settings.

Even those that are concerned about crypto currency need to understand that you are paid according to current dollar value, so you are not going to suffer any loss, as long as you use an exchange integrated by your payment processor.

Simply put, you are leaving money on the table if you don’t offer every single payment option available and stay up to date on current offerings. There is absolutely no reason to omit any option.


10. Provide Full Company Contact Information

Transparency is something that builds trust, and it’s important that you do everything possible to make your visitors feel confident doing business with you. So many e-commerce websites will have zero contact information on them. You have no idea where the business is located. Many “Contact” pages simply have a submission form and no other information.

This will not fly if you expect visitors to whip out their credit cards and purchase on your website. You should have your company name, address and a phone number listed, along with other details that are available like a BBB listing or any other association memberships that validate your business and prove you are indeed real, and not some sham operating in a basement.

A lot of businesses use virtual mailboxes, and that is fine. Remote companies are very common now, so if you have a virtual office address list it. The cost is minimal — $50 a month. Also, you need a phone number, which you can get for free via Google Voice or you can get a virtual 800 number for about $3 a month. Make sure you look legit, as it directly impacts your conversion rate.


11. Highlight Customer Reviews

Reviews help gain consumer trust, and many visitors will not take the time to read them, but they will glance at the total number of reviews and the average rating and decide whether they want to continue on your website based on that 0.02 seconds of “research.”

Programs like Shopify have review/rating systems built in and there are also several third-party plugins that allow the customer to review on their preferred review platform and then it will display them all.

I like to keep things simple, so I would suggest you stick to one system, such as the basic review system. This allows you to delete fake reviews and control the process. Competitors can stink up your Google reviews and there is little you can do about it, but if your reviews are hosted within your site only, then you can make sure only 4 stars and above are public.

Don’t worry — all the major sites do this. Most review systems are BS, but you need them if you want to drive conversion numbers north.



12. Have Multiple Real-Time Customer Support Options

What happens if a potential customer is on your website and they have a question but no way of receiving an answer? It’s simple — they leave.

Most online shoppers demand answers right away. They don’t want to pick up the phone and they don’t want to submit a form and wait for a response. They want answers to their questions right away, and you need to play to their demands.

Live chat is a must-have feature, and you can even outsource it if you don’t have the ability to handle it yourself. Your live chat agent can help convert more sales than you think. You can even set alerts to prompt help. For example, if someone has been looking at a product for more than 3 minutes, you can have the chat box popup and offer assistance.

Phone and email support should also be an option, promising an almost immediate response time. This type of customer support can really spike your conversion rates.



Anyone can start a free Shopify trial, make a few changes to a free theme and have an e-commerce website running instantly. But, that is the easy part. The hard part is getting the people that land on your website to pull the trigger and make a purchase.

Taking little steps to improve your conversion rates is the best investment you can make, and often, it only requires a little bit of your time. You cannot be lazy and expect to make money in the competitive world of e-commerce. It’s only going to become more saturated and harder to compete, so the sooner you understand CRO (conversion rate optimization) the better off you will be.

Give the tips above a shot and I promise you will see positive results.

What tips are you most excited about trying? Let me know in the comments below.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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