8 Ways To Increase Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate – Faye Watt

09 April 2019

Posted in: BSEO

From your customer journey and your home page to your checkout process and beyond, Faye provided insightful, actionable, and downright awesome tips for increasing conversion rates, complete with data-backed insights and real-world examples.


Faye’s talk here was insightful and easy to digest: a presentation delivered confidently and assuredly. It was built around 8 actionable CRO tips, and it certainly delivered. Here’s what she had to say about them:


Some of the most notable facts cited here were that personalising your homepage can increase sales by 7% and that 35% of Amazon’s sales are made from their personalised recommendations (though they weren’t sourced, to my knowledge).

Here are the personalisation areas Faye recommends looking at:

  • Previous browsing history: display products on the homepage that a user has previously browsed but not purchased.
  • Current cart contents: display items on the homepage that a user has in their cart, as a subtle reminder to complete the purchase journey.
  • Gender: display products that are relevant to the user’s gender.
  • Previous purchase history: display products that are relevant to the user’s purchase history, showing similar items or items that people frequently bought after buying items within the user’s purchase history.

Faye cites a good example of homepage personalisation as WayFair and a bad example as HP.

Cross-sells of alternative products

Faye detailed how important it is to cross-sell with alternative products on product pages. Your product pages will most likely offer the highest conversion rates, so it makes sense to start maximising their value from a CRO perspective.

This technique includes:

  • Recommending further products on the product pages that are compatible or work well with the products they are currently viewing.
  • Recommending alternative products – maybe products with higher ratings or more benefits.
  • Recommending similar products or ones that can be packaged together.

A good example of a site that uses cross-sells well, she stated, is River Island, whereas Oasis shows a bad example of this.

Faye added an additional top tip; that when carrying out UX reviews on your page before it goes live, you must make sure you test what it looks like with ad blockers on. Supposedly, 22% of users use ad blockers while ad blocker extensions hide secondary products on 26% of ecommerce sites.

Multiple product images

Faye went on to discuss the importance of using multiple product images on product pages. She highlighted a few examples, Sainsbury’s in particular, of companies offering only one product image without the option to zoom.

As well as showing multiple images, she noted how it is important to show the product in scale, use lifestyle images so the prospect can visualise owning it, and show the product in use. Incorporating video can be a key differential also.

Overall, site owners should aim for at least five product images. She stated that 56% of users interact with product images before any other page elements. A good example of a site that uses multiple product images is John Lewis.

User reviews

Most are aware of the importance of user reviews, but Faye did a great job of highlighting how to improve your reviews and what more to look out for.

Forget the old adage of quality over quantity: it works a little differently for reviews. The most important thing is getting as many reviews as possible. Faye highlighted that a user is more likely to buy a 4.5 star rated product with 50 reviews than a 5 star rated product with 5 reviews.

Here are some ways to improve your reviews:

  • Allow users to leave reviews without setting up accounts. You can authenticate purchases using just their email addresses.
  • Ask for as little personal information as possible. You only need their email.
  • If you NEED personal information, explain WHY you need it. It’s annoying to be asked for a phone number but not told what it will be used for.
  • Don’t forget to remind each buyer to leave a review! Send follow-up emails and incentives to encourage users to leave reviews.

A bad example of a site using user reviews is Nike, while a good example is Adidas.

Delivery costs

Faye explained that 55% of users will abandon if delivery costs are too high.

A good idea is to either absorb cost of delivery in RRP so you can offer free delivery, or be transparent and include costs in the journey.

Ancestry offers a bad example of how delivery costs are handled as it only vaguely informs the prospect the cost is ‘plus shipping’. Apple, however, shows how this can be done well, being completely transparent about costs and offering free delivery.

Guest checkout

Faye opened this section with the fact that 25% of sites don’t offer guest checkouts and 34% of users abandon checkout if there isn’t a guest checkout option available.

It is important, therefore, to make user checkout the first option on the page. It is also a good idea to add the option for guest checkout to the top left-hand side of a web page, as this is typically the first place a user will look.

A bad example of a checkout (with no guest option) is Top Shop, while a good example of a guest checkout is Debenhams.

Checkout interruptions

In this section Faye informed us that 26% of users will abandon the checkout process if it is too long or complicated.

She advised it is a good idea to:

  • Display each step in the checkout process so a user can see progress.
  • Use shipping address and billing address as default.
  • Minimise the number of form fields.
  • Hide the coupon field behind a link so that a user doesn’t get distracted by it and end up leaving your site in search of a coupon that might not even exist.
  • Don’t set character limits so that users with long names or addresses are able to fill out the form with no issues.
  • Keep password requirements to a minimum. Don’t force users to have special characters, numbers or capitalisation – a minimum of 6-10 characters is enough.

A bad example of this is Apple with 35 form fields to fill in, whereas ASOS’s process is simple and easy.

Promoting trust

Faye told us that 17% of users will abandon a website if they don’t trust your site.

Because of this, it’s a good idea to add reassuring copy that isn’t overly salesy or pushy, and reaffirm trust signals with trust icons and security badges like the Macaffee or Norton Security logos.

A bad example of this is American Eagle Outfitters, whereas Tesco shows how it’s done well.

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