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14 CRO Strategies for Boosting Your eCommerce Game

14 CRO Strategies for Boosting Your eCommerce Game

You’ve spent untold hours building the perfect online store. The products? Mwah! The branding? Right on. So, why is it not selling as planned?

The brutal truth is that even a great eCommerce site can hit a snag if conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is not your thing.

CRO aims to attract more website visitors who take specific actions you want them to take, such as buying from you, subscribing to your email newsletter, or any other goal you may have in mind. Isn’t it simple? Of course, such straightforwardness should not be expected.

Increased conversions are an art and science combined, which means there are precise moves that can convert browsers into buyers. That’s why we’ll be immersing ourselves in this whole CRO thing and looking at ways to skyrocket your eCommerce biz!

The Conversion Rate Struggle is Real

We’ve all been there. You work extra hard on your online store and put all your love into it (and probably all your life savings) to make it perfect. Then silence. Your sales dashboard is empty while you are wondering what has happened.

Are you disappointed by low conversion rates? Well, you are not alone. On average, the e-commerce conversion rate stands at a mere 2-3%. Wow!

Nonetheless, don’t be in a hurry to give up on that entrepreneurial spirit for an ordinary nine-to-five job. By making intelligent CRO moves, you will go way beyond this small number of conversions achieved so far; think of rates doubling and even tripling.

For the brightest eCommerce brains out there, an increase in conversions by only 1% may produce substantial revenue growth. More prominent companies could get millions more in sales without doing anything else.

Therefore, people, don’t ignore CRO! It can convert your online store from being a sorry, lonely person wallflower into becoming the most beautiful and popular girl at the eCommerce party!

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Understanding the Customer Journey

Customer Journey Funnel Outbrain

Behind every sale is a unique journey your customer travelled to get there. Think of it like a virtual “yellow brick road” leading them to make that purchase.

You must deeply understand this all-important customer journey to supercharge your conversion rates. Where are people getting stuck or dropping off along the way? How can you grease those rusty wheels and get them gliding smoothly toward a conversion?

The Main Customer Journey Stages:

1. Awareness: Your potential customers become aware they have a need or desire for your product/service.

2. Interest: They start showing interest by researching options that meet their needs.

3. Consideration: After evaluating multiple solutions, they narrow it down to a few potential options (hopefully including yours!).

4. Intent: They signal an intent or desire to purchase by visiting your website, reading reviews, or adding items to their cart.

5. Evaluation: They take a final look, weighing the pros and cons of each option. This is where the conversion tipping point lies!

6. Purchase: If all goes well, the customer completes the purchase with your eCommerce store. Ka-ching!

By mapping out your customer's journey and pinpointing friction points, you can implement CRO tactics to smooth out those rough patches. More on that in a bit!

CRO Strategies to Accelerate Conversions

Ready to kick things into high gear on that conversion rate climb? Here are 14 powerful CRO strategies to transform your online store into a lean, mean, revenue-generating machine.

1. Optimise for Mobile

Ecommerce Conversion Targets

Mobile-friendly sites are no longer a choice but necessary in today's world dominated by mobile phones. A substantial 50% of all e-commerce traffic can be attributed to mobile devices.

If those precious conversions matter, your site must be optimised for small screens.

What about your mobile encounter? Miserable navigation, diminutive words and buttons that demand the accuracy of a surgeon can ruin conversion rates. Imagine what kind of rage quits this would cause!

Spend time making sure your mobile experience is like butter. Apply responsive design, simplify buying steps and ensure you conduct tests on multiple devices at all times; trust me – your conversion rates will thank you!

2. Eliminate Friction in the Checkout Process

Your customer is about to pull out their wallet and type in those cherished digits of a credit card. And that’s when you should prepare for a hallelujah chorus, right?!

However, what if the case is not so? Instead, they find themselves in a long, confusing checkout funnel with distracting form fields and more friction than a scratchy tree.

That was not good because you just jammed on the brakes of conversion. Ouch!

You must streamline your check-out experience as it is one of CRO's priorities for any online business. Eliminate unnecessary steps and distractions; introduce guest check-out and multiple payment options; and try to make everything less cumbersome.

Would you like to jump through flaming hoops or glide down a waterslide? Yeah, that’s what I figured. Make checking out feel like sliding down one!

3. Use Strategic CTAs

In eCommerce, your CTAs (Calls-to-Action) are like little conversion champions, valiantly wooing customers toward clicking that “Add to Cart” button.

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Are yours solid and clear enough to seal the deal? Weak CTAs like “Click Here” or “Submit” are utterly unconvincing. You might as well say, “Meh, Do Whatever”, for all the impact they'll have.

Powerful words and active language are key for high-converting CTAs. “Add to Cart” outperforms “Buy” since it feels less committed. “Get Your Free Ebook” is more enticing than “Download.”

Play with word variations, colours, and designs, and get creative! CTAs can make or break whether prospective buyers feel compelled to follow through.

4. Nail Your Value Proposition

Common Value Proposition

Here's the sad truth: most eCommerce sites need to do a better job at quickly conveying why people should choose them over competitors. They bury the lead, so customers bounce before figuring it out.

A standout value proposition solves that issue by showcasing the unique benefits and reasons to buy from you right up front. It should highlight:

  • What you offer (products/services)
  • Who it's for (target customers)
  • What pain points/needs does it address
  • What makes your solution different/better

Crafting a compelling, customer-centric value prop will boost conversions by reassuring visitors that your store is the one for them.

Just look at how effective Unbounce's value prop is: “Landing pages with higher conversion rates: Build, publish and test without I.T.” It is Short, sweet, enticing, and aimed right at their target user.

5. Showcase Social Proof

As humans, we love following the herd. An inherent herd mentality means we're more inclined to buy products or services others have already validated.

So, don't be stingy with that sweet social proof if you want to spur more conversions! Sprinkle it liberally across your site through:

  • Customer reviews & ratings
  • Customer photos & videos
  • Celebrity endorsements
  • Media Mentions
  • Client logos and testimonials
  • Influencer shoutouts
  • Numbers showing popularity (“Over 100,000 customers served!”)

You want to surround prospective buyers with evidence that many others love your offer. It squashes objections and boosts confidence in taking the conversion plunge.

Pro tip: User-generated content like reviews and pics also works wonders. That authenticity resonates!

6. Use Strategic Scarcity & FOMO

Have you ever noticed how many eCommerce product listings say things like “Only 3 Left in Stock?!” or “Sale Ends in 24 Hours!” That’s the intelligent use of scarcity and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) at work.

Creating urgency and scarcity about your products forces visitors to make quicker purchase decisions before it is “too late.” Nobody wants to be that dude who dragged his feet only to miss out on a dope deal or a must-have item that sold out.

However, you should be careful regarding scarcity and FOMO strategically, ethically, and in moderation. Overusing these tactics will quickly make them lose their punch.

Yet, sparingly scattered across your articles can increase conversion rates rapidly as they urge visitors to act immediately to avoid losing the chance.

7. Leverage Exit-Intent Popups

You know that sinking feeling when a customer gets to your checkout page only to abandon their cart like a heartbreaker walking out mid-date? Talk about a brutal conversion sting.

Enter exit-intent popups – those well-timed overlay messages that detect when someone's about to bail on your site prematurely.

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You can reel those would-be defectors back for the conversion win with a last-ditch discount offer, free shipping incentive, or other persuasive call-to-action. It's the eCommerce equivalent of a closing hail mary!

Despite their bad rap, exit-intent popups can be a potent CRO tool when used judiciously. Just don't be that annoying person blasting them at every opportunity. A strategic, well-timed popup focused on real value can rescue tons of otherwise lost sales.

8. Optimise for Search Intent

Keyword Search Intent

Conversions often start way before someone even hits your eCommerce site – at the initial search phase of their journey. That's why nailing search intent optimisation is so pivotal.

What terms and phrases are your target customers using to look for solutions like yours? More importantly, does your site content align with those search intents?

For example, if someone searches “best countertop dishwasher 2023,” they're likely looking for informational listicles comparing the top models and features of portable dishwashers. Your optimised content needs to match that intent.

But if the search is “countertop dishwasher for small apartments,” you're now dealing with a more product/transactional intent that requires different content.

The better you can understand search intent around your offerings and create tailored, optimised content, the smoother you can guide those prospects toward converting on your eCommerce site.

9. Reduce Buyer Hesitation & Risk

Even when people want to buy what you're selling, nagging doubts and hesitations can throw up roadblocks preventing them from completing the purchase.

High price points, uncertain product quality, security concerns, and return policy fears can squash conversion rates faster than a bug on a windshield.

So it's critical to proactively address and squash those customer hesitations ahead of time through:

  • Reassuring guarantees and warranties
  • Transparent pricing with no hidden fees
  • Secure payment badges and banners
  • Prominent return and refund policies
  • Customer support contact info and chat
  • FAQ sections addressing common doubts and objections

The more you can reduce perceived risks and instil confidence in your store, the easier it'll be to blow past those last-minute conversion roadblocks.

10. Invest in Live Chat

When a prospective customer has a burning question or concern, getting an immediate answer can make or break whether they bail or buy.

That's where live chat can be an absolute conversion rate game-changer. This little customer support powerhouse makes it easy for people to get their issues resolved in real time by an actual human.

With fast response times and personalised service, live chat builds trust and bulldozes conversion barriers from frustration or confusion.

Pro tip: Make it apparent that live chat is available on your site. Use eye-catching buttons and prompts to drive utilisation and facilitate more conversions.

You can even leverage live chat for proactive sales, too. With targeted messaging, your team can offer personalised recommendations to engaged visitors based on browsing behaviour.

11. Leverage Personalisation & Segmentation

Woocommerce Personalisation To Increase Conversion Rates

Customers are different, yet most eCommerce experiences treat them as such with bland, generic, one-size-fits-none approaches. What a conversion rate killer!

The companies crushing it know that delivering hyper-personalized, segmented experiences aligned with different visitor groups is pure CRO gold.

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Think about it:

  • New visitors need different info/messaging than returning ones
  • Mobile users have distinct needs and preferences
  • Shoppers from paid ads should get tailored experiences
  • Messaging should be customised for cart abandoners
  • Your recommendation engine shouldn't show hiking boots to someone only browsing bathing suits

By leveraging user data, customer profiles, behavioural patterns and more, you can surgically segment and target different groups with hyper-relevant experiences that delight and convert way better than generic versions.

Personalisation results can be staggering, like 25% more conversions or 40% more revenue per visitor for some brands. No wonder Amazon, Netflix and other personalisation pros slay at CRO!

12. Run A/B Tests… Constantly

Even the most brilliant CRO strategies and site tweaks are just educated guesses until cold, complex data validate them. That's why A/B testing is an indispensable part of the optimisation puzzle.

With A/B tests, you can pit different variations of a page or element against each other, then double down on whatever variation produces the highest conversions.

For example, you could test different product images, headline phrasing, form designs, or any other element that could impact conversions. Sometimes, even the most minor changes can yield massive lifts in your conversion rates.

The key is never to stop A/B testing. Customer preferences and behaviours are constantly evolving, so pivoting quickly is critical.

What worked like Gangbusters last year could be Duddsville now. Only through meticulous testing and iterating can you keep maximising conversions over time.

13. Speed Up Your Site

29 Google Speed Report

In our app-happy, tap-tap-tap world, slow website speeds are the digital equivalent of cruel and unusual punishment. Excessive load times strangle the life out of conversion rates as impatient shoppers bounce like hyperactive jackrabbits.

It's a cold, hard fact: Even a 1-second delay in your site speed can tank conversions by a whopping 7%. Crippling, bandwidth-clogged 10+ second load times? You've effectively hung an “Out of Business” neon sign on your eCommerce store.

From compressed images and browser caching to CDN hosting and lean code, do everything possible to strip weight and shave milliseconds off your site's load times. The faster and zippier your store is, the higher your conversion rates will soar.

You can quickly test your site speed using free tools like WebPageTest, GTMetrix or PageSpeed Insights to identify (and fix) any sluggish problem areas.

14. Don't Just Set It and Forget It

Effective CRO is an iterative, ever-evolving process. Not a single campaign or static set of tactics you can simply “do” and walk away from.

Customer behaviour patterns and preferences are shapeshifting goliaths. What works to boost conversions for your eCommerce store today may be tomorrow's cold, soggy mashed potatoes.

The companies that treat CRO as an ongoing commitment—analysing data, running tests, updating tactics—dominate the conversion rate game.

They launch at least hundreds of site tests annually and vigilantly track metrics like bounce rates, user recordings, split tests and heat maps to surface new insights and double down on winning tactics. ‘Rinse and repeat' is their mantra, not one-and-done.

If you want to consistently reach those hallowed upper-echelon eCommerce conversion rates of 10%+, this unrelenting iterative testing must become your new religion.

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Is CRO Worth the Effort?

Cro In Ecommerce

After hearing all the intricate tactics and constant upkeep involved with a great CRO program, you might wonder if it's even worth the headache.

Trust me, friends—CRO is more than worth the effort. And here's why:

Over time, even small incremental conversion rate lifts can equate to millions of dollars in extra revenue for bigger businesses. Consider scoring 3, 5, or 10% more conversions for every 1000 visitors. Those compounding totals add up FAST.

For smaller eCommerce brands, a strong CRO can be the difference between toiling away in unprofitable obscurity versus enjoying sustainable growth and success. Higher conversions also mean scaling marketing and ad budgets further since every new visitor is worth more from a revenue perspective.

Then, there are the less measurable benefits, such as having a smoother, more user-friendly site that attracts better quality visitors and builds brand loyalty. Where do you think customers prefer shopping – a clunky, friction-filled mess of an online store? Or a streamlined experience optimised around their needs?

So, while killer CRO tactics may require upfront time and effort to implement, the payoff from continually refining and improving conversion rates is beyond worth it. It's an investment in your long-term growth and prosperity that will keep paying dividends.


For eCommerce entrepreneurs looking to take their online sales to Bezos-like heights, CRO must become an ingrained priority, not an afterthought.

The competition out there is downright fierce, and optimising your funnel to maximise conversions will be the critical competitive advantage that separates the eCommerce wheat from the chaff.

By mapping the customer journey, removing friction, instilling urgency, personalising experiences, and relentlessly testing/iterating, you can systematically increase the percentage of website visitors you can turn into paying customers.

It's not just a nice-to-have anymore. In today's cutthroat eCommerce landscape, having a structured CRO process is the difference between going out of business versus thriving and growing into the following industry titan.

So don't sleep on this, my friend. Start auditing your store through a CRO lens TODAY—you might just uncover some juicy conversion rate upside that can send your sales into the stratosphere.

And getting 1% better at converting is far easier than trying to drive 50% more website traffic, right? A savvy CRO strategy lets you wring out way more revenue potential from the customers already knocking at your digital doorstep.

The choice is yours: keep leaving money on the table with a leaky, unoptimised funnel. Or join the digital big leagues by embracing CRO wholeheartedly as your path toward eCommerce glory. The data has spoken!

FAQs About CRO Strategies

How much can CRO potentially increase my conversion rates?

The upside potential from CRO depends on your starting conversion rate, the tactics you implement, traffic volume, and how diligently you test and optimise over time. However, case studies show conversion rate lifts anywhere from 25% to 300+% are achievable for committed CRO practitioners.

How long does it take to see results from CRO efforts?

It depends on the complexity of your tests and how much traffic you must work with to generate statistically significant results. Simple A/B tests on high-traffic pages could surface learning in days or weeks. More advanced personalisation or UX overhauls may take months to execute and analyse properly.

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What CRO metrics should I be tracking?

Some essential CRO metrics to monitor include overall conversion rate, bounce rate, cart abandonment rate, form abandonment rates, time on page, clicks and click maps, scroll maps, exit rates, traffic sources, and A/B test results. Use these to diagnose issues and identify focus areas for CRO efforts.

How do I know which areas of my site need CRO help most?

Leverage tools like hot jar heatmaps, user session recordings, funnel visualisation reports and more to pinpoint your most significant dropoff points and friction areas. Identify where people need clarification, stall out, or abandon most frequently along the customer journey.

What are some quick CRO wins I can implement?

Some relatively quick CRO tactics to try are clarifying your value proposition, using urgency and scarcity cues, optimising CTAs, streamlining your checkout process, adding live chat support, compressing images and files, and creating an FAQ page to address objections proactively.

How much does CRO software/tooling cost?

Various solutions at different prices depend on your needs and traffic volumes. Many have freemium versions to get started. Expect to pay $100-500+/mo for more robust CRO tools with enhanced testing capabilities, personalisation features, analytics integrations, etc.

Should I hire a CRO agency or do it in-house?

Running an in-house comprehensive CRO program requires a dedicated headcount, tools, processes, and solid analytical capabilities, which can be pricey. Agencies can provide deep CRO expertise and extra bandwidth at higher ongoing costs. Many companies start with an agency audit and then transition to in-house once foundational learnings are in place.

How do I find a good CRO agency if I need one?

Look for an agency with extensive hands-on experience and case studies in the eCommerce vertical, not just general digital marketing. They should follow a structured process, leverage advanced tools/technology, and have robust analytics, user research, A/B testing and personalisation capabilities. Get referrals and check online reviews thoroughly.

How important is mobile CRO versus desktop?

With over half of eCommerce traffic now coming from mobile, you must prioritise optimising for mobile experiences and conversions. Poor mobile UX and site speeds lead to cart abandonment and high drop-off rates. Conduct device segmentation and testing to improve your mobile conversion rates continually.

What CRO skills should I develop in-house if doing it myself?

Critical CRO skills on your team include web analytics and data mastery, user research and mapping customer journeys, copywriting and brand messaging, A/B testing and statistics, basic coding and UX design, and project and program management. You may need to cross-train or hire specialised roles.

How do I build a CRO culture and get company buy-in?

Evangelise the power of CRO and how even small conversion uplifts can generate millions in revenue. Share case studies showing the impact of CRO programs. Clearly define KPIs, success metrics, and reporting cadences up front. Get leadership committed to data-driven decision-making rather than going by gut instinct. Make testing a habit.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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