How to Increase your Online Shop Sales with Conversion Optimization

Nils Koppelmann Last updated 20.10.2020
6 Min.
Conversion Rate Optimization4
Last updated 20.10.2020

Having a lot of visitors on your own site is already something great. However, traffic alone is often not the right measure of success. Rather, it is interesting - and also economically relevant - to know how many of these visitors actually become real customers. That's why I'll show you in this post how you can effectively increase the sales of your online shop with conversion optimization.

What actually is conversion optimization?

Conversion optimization explained simply:

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) - or also conversion optimization - deals with increasing the so-called conversion rate. This is the percentage of visitors to a website who perform a previously defined action.

Conversion optimization is not a project, it's a process: just as successful companies work to constantly improve their products and services, they also work to optimize their conversion rate.

This is how your competitors also practice conversion optimization as a permanent, strategic optimization process. Once improvements have been achieved, they are lost again over time. Therefore, it is very important to implement conversion optimization as a sustainable and long-term process in the company.

By its very nature, the discipline is data-based: A recommendation that worked for one site does not necessarily work for all other sites .

However, a catalogue of proven and scientifically supported methods can be derived from the experience of various experiments. I would like to present a few of these methods and best practices in this article.

7 tips for conversion optimization

Before we go into detail, I would like to talk about an important aspect that is, in a way, a basic prerequisite and on which the rest builds: About 95 percent of all purchasing decisions are known to be made unconsciously. This means that it is primarily not only the first impression that counts, but rather the overall impression that a visitor has of the site .

Factors such as error-free operation and fast loading times play a major role here. If these are not given, a solid basis on which to optimize and build is missing. In the following you will find a few approaches that will give you an insight into where and how you can optimize your website :

  1. The 2-second rule
  2. Visual focus
  3. Features, benefits and advantages
  4. A call-to-action
  5. Reviews and customer testimonials
  6. Warranty
  7. Storytelling

The 2-second rule

With a clear headline that delivers a value proposition (value proposition / value proposition), you draw visitors into your spell. The attention of your visitors is short, so you should get to the point as quickly as possible so that they do not leave your site early.

On average, 8 out of 10 visitors will read the headline. However, only 2 of these 10 visitors will also look at the rest of the site . So if you formulate the main headline attractively, then significantly more visitors will continue reading.

Visual focus

In addition to the textual aspects, every landing page should have a clear visual focus that grabs all of your visitors' attention. This can be in the form of an attractive product image, a video or an image that conveys emotion.

The moment someone reads the headline, you need to draw their attention to the rest of the content via the image. At this very moment, at best, something incredibly important is happening in your potential customer's mind: He's engaging with the topic of your site .

Using visual elements is so important because it's easier for most people to perceive and understand a topic in a visual context. This often has a direct impact on the conversion rate, as you will see.

Basically, the higher the quality of your images and text, the better your site will convert.

But how do we measure the quality of images and text? With images and graphics, it should be clear that they should be high-resolution and load quickly. If this is not given, it creates friction, which negatively affects the conversion rate.

Likewise, your texts should not contain spelling mistakes - that looks unprofessional. For headlines and texts, you should clearly consider what you want to say and whether it helps your visitors to understand your offer. If this is the case, then you are already on the right track.

Features, benefits and advantages

Thirdly, you should consider what particular features you want to highlight and, more importantly, what benefits this will bring to your customer.

Most of the time, the benefits / services solve the problem of your customers, for example, by saving them time and / or money through your product or service. You can highlight these benefits and explain them with the help of the features and make them attractive.

Your customers don't buy your product because of the features, but because of the benefits they expect to get from the features. This is the reason why many people always want the latest smartphone: They promise themselves an advantage through the newly added features.

Conversion Optimization
Emphasize your features, benefits and advantages clearly.

Call-to-action only

In the fourth step, you should definitely present a single clear call-to-action (CTA). Often a landing page is just plastered with different CTAs - unfortunately, this rarely helps.

The reason why you do not place a CTA or at most one at the top of site is that your offer must first be understood and objections to your argumentation must first be dealt with. 

If someone has grasped everything and understands what it's all about, then they are more likely to take action and buy your product or contact you - ergo respond to your call-to-action.

Conversion Optimization
Focus on a single CTA.

Reviews and customer testimonials

Fifth, you should include testimonials or reviews and other visual evidence. By including reviews and testimonials on your site , your visitors can independently assess whether the offer is something for them or not.

Make sure that the reviews and customer testimonials are as genuine as possible and come across as such, for example by including the names and companies of your customers or using a testimonial video. The reviews have to be authentic.

Basically, the structure of such testimonials should always describe which problem or challenge was solved for your customers - and how.

Warranty

In the sixth step, you should still give a guarantee. A guarantee can be designed in many different ways. With digital products or software it is often a test phase, with a fitness studio a free trial training, with online shops a satisfaction guarantee if necessary.

It's important that the customer doesn't feel like they're making a final decision that they can't back out of. Again, very important: your customer must feel comfortable when he completes the purchase.

Conversion Optimization
Satisfaction guarantee of the popular BODYGUARD mattress.

Storytelling

The last advice: Your landing page should definitely tell a great story. Good storytelling will have a significant positive impact on your conversion rate.

Even if there is no direct, personal contact on your website or in your online shop: A story conveys this feeling - to be more precisely: compassion. With storytelling you better reach the emotions of your customers. After all, you take them on a very special journey and tell them a story.

Telling a story here does not mean telling fairytales - but selling your product framed in a compelling story. For example, you can illustrate the typical before and after scenario in a story.

Testimonials are also suitable for great storytelling. Here's another important tip: Storytelling can and should be emotional. Talk directly about the problems and challenges your customers typically face and discuss how you or your product helps them overcome these hurdles.

If you manage to use storytelling to take your customers on a journey and on the rollercoaster of emotions - with all the ups and downs - they will be much more willing to convert. This is not only true for your website, but for all your sales channels.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are many ways to improve the conversion rate of your website or online store. The mentioned approaches are just a small selection. However, in most cases you can assume that the implementation of these principles is a good basis from which you can always improve.

Once these basic principles are in place and yours website is running fast and flawlessly, you can move on to other conversion optimization topics - such as using A/B testing to improve your conversion rate bit by bit.

What questions do you have for Nils about conversion optimization?

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Nils Koppelmann is the founder and managing director of 3tech GmbH. Starting with web design and software development, his professional focus today is on conversion optimization and user experience. His eye for design and aesthetics accompanies him professionally and privately.

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