Conversion Rate Optimization seems like a thing of the past, taken lightly by eCommerce people who discover they’re actually struggling to get more customers or even retain their current ones.

Well, surprise, surprise! Having a bad website and worse communication with your clients is definitely not going to save your eCommerce business. By the way, are you paying attention to your customers’ journey throughout their shopping experience?

Thankfully, this new session of the eCommerce Growth Show will bring to light a few aspects you might be still missing out on.

Check it out!

Who is Kelly Vaughn?

Kelly Vaughn is the CEO and founder of The Taproom, a Shopify Plus agency rooted in Atlanta. Kelly and her team have helped hundreds of Shopify merchants build successful marketing strategies; map out customer journeys that convert; and provide the insight, experience, and tools businesses need to keep growing.

Key takeaways from this episode

Why CRO still matters

It’s been an interesting transition to see how CRO has evolved over time and what we really focus on. For example, back in 2014, there were plenty of people using their mobile devices. But it’s not like what you see today when over 60 percent of your customers are shopping on a mobile device.

So you’re working on optimizing more for mobile these days than you would originally, just for making sure your site is responsive. I still remember the days when Shopify had two separate themes, one for desktop and one for mobile, which was thankfully a thing of the past now. 

Another really great example is for SEO since SEO and CRO definitely merge at some point. With SEO, you’re talking more about long-tail keywords. So people are doing more voice searches now, like Siri or Alexa or Hey Google. 

When you’re looking at doing the optimization on the messaging side for CRO, you’re thinking of these long-tail keywords. That’s the kind of thing that you have to actually include on the e-store’s website now instead of just like keyword plugging here and there. It’s a very different kind of approach you take to it.

How to analyze your site and spot conversion killers

  • Website speed

I forget the exact statistic, but some ridiculous number of customers abandon the site if it takes longer than three seconds to load, which in the eCommerce space, that’s terrifying because your online store is not a standard blog or anything like that. You’ve got a lot more going on there.

So, naturally, it’s going to take longer to load, which is why I like to remind my clients that you have two different kinds of speed scores you’re looking at:

  • The actual speed score: this is going to be using Google PageSpeed Insights or Lighthouse to actually run the speed test.
  • The perceived speed score: this is going to be what it feels like the site is actually running, how fast a site feels, not actually looking at the numbers. 

They’re often quite different. A really good example is when you’re running a test on Lighthouse for mobile, it’s looking at a mid-range device on a generally slow-ish connection. So we’re talking like a Moto G4 on a 3G connection. And that makes me laugh because 3G not that long ago was the fastest we had available. But here we are now!

But you might see that according to that store or that score the time to actual interactive, it’ll say it’s going to be like 25 seconds, when you know you’re immediately interacting with your store 3-5 seconds in. So take those scores with a grain of salt, but really focus on what that perceived speed looks like.

  • Messaging

Keep in mind what pages are actually advertising. So if you’re running Google Ads or social media ads, you’re often marketing a specific product, for example, or you could just be marketing your homepage.

The reason why I’m saying this is that whatever page your customers are landing on, that’s going to be the first taste they get of your company, the first taste they’re going to see, like, what does this business actually mean?

One of the things that I often see missing specifically on product pages, because a lot of ads serve you straight to a product page, there’s no actual company information on the product page. You’re only talking about the product. If customers don’t know who you are as a business, they’re required to navigate away from that product page to learn who you are. I recommend adding some information on your product page about the company itself. Who are you? Why should I be buying from you? Why should I trust you?

Another area on the product page it’s often forgotten is shipping and returns. You’re wanting to build trust as quickly as possible. We often wait until we hit either the cart or most commonly the checkout to actually tell you how much shipping is going to cost. That is the number one reason why customers abandon their cart, because they did not expect that they were going to have to pay additional for shipping.

Make that crystal clear upfront on your product page, how much shipping is going to cost, and also what your returns policy is. If you have free returns within 30 days, scream that from the rooftops, because that is something that’s really going to build that trust with new customers, because it’s a risk. If they have never purchased from you before, they need a reason to know what if this doesn’t work out? Nobody wants to find out they purchased something that doesn’t work out and then they’re kind of stuck with it. 

  • Mobile version

We tend to run our businesses from a desktop. We tend to forget what our site even looks like on mobile because we don’t shop on our own site. So I highly, highly, highly recommend this which is something you can do today!

Go on your website on your phone and browse through it from the homepage all the way to checkout and place an order. You know your business, so you’re not going to be able to see the immediate areas of confusion that a customer might see. But you’re likely going to see something like, “Oh, that kind of function is kind of funny, or this text is really small!”

There are a lot of little things that you can find just from you browsing your own store on your phone.

Top 5 industry best practices that you can start using today

  1. Educate the customer about the business and why they should trust you.
  2. Add product reviews.
  3. Social proof: share Instagram photos of other people or influencers with your products.
  4. Make your customer service process really seamless on your website. If you can offer chat, that’s a really great way to answer any last-minute questions.
  5. Have a really strong FAQ page.