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How to optimize conversions at your ecommerce store

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This blog is an extract from our latest eBook ‘The Digital Transformation (DX) Revolution: Growth Strategies for ecommerce brands & retailers’ by Whiplash partner Justuno, the ultimate AI visitor conversion optimization platform for ecommerce merchants.

As marketing messaging and consumer engagement channels expand, the need for a holistic brand experience becomes increasingly necessary. Omnichannel marketing is the key to creating seamless customer experiences across your channels. Outside of the integrations between applications (which Justuno excels at), there are several best practices we can show you here today that will have you set up for success and growth for the long term.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) refers to strategies that merchants can use to increase the number of conversions at their online store. Conversion rate is a common ecommerce metric that is expressed as a percentage of the total amount of traffic to your website within a specified time period. 

For example, if you had 20,000 visitors to your website within 30 days and 600 converted, you would have a conversion rate of 3%. 

What qualifies as a conversion in ecommerce?

A conversion is any desired action that you want visitors to make during a session on your website. So, while conversions and online sales are often talked about interchangeably, this is by no means the only definition that ecommerce merchants can use. 

If you’re a B2B business, for example, having site visitors fill out a lead capture form to get in touch with a sales associate would qualify as a conversion because this represents a successful lead generation exercise. If you’re selling high-ticket items, such as new cars or software packages, this approach makes a lot more sense because the sales cycle is far longer than for something like a pair of sneakers.

Merchants may also want to use different kinds of conversion metrics for different activities. If you’re running a webinar, the number of sign-ups the event receives could be considered conversions for marketing purposes, especially as these visitors can be retargeted later on. 

Why should you use a conversion rate optimization (CRO) platform? 

Unfortunately, many merchants have it in their heads that those crisp and clean website experiences belonging to larger brands simply aren’t available to them. From the intuitive pop-ups that appear (and are easy to close!), discounts and offers, and personalized product recommendations appearing just when you need them, it can seem hard to compete. 

The reasons for merchants not implementing conversion rate optimization strategies are often a mixture of bandwidth, budget constraints, and believing that they don’t have enough traffic to create a personalized experience for each visitor. 

Fortunately, intelligent and high-converting website experiences are more accessible and achievable than ever. If it’s a budget issue, you can get incredibly high-converting promotions live on your website at a low cost by using a CRO platform. 

Using CRO and intelligent on-site pop-ups not only improves conversions (whether it’s lead capture or purchases) but also helps to improve the customer experience with personalized, relevant messaging from the moment they arrive on-site to the post-purchase experience. 

4 CRO strategies for success in ecommerce

In terms of bandwidth, many of the more basic promotions can be set up quickly, though there is ample room to create highly specific and targeted promotions:

1. Exit intent pop-ups

One of the promotions we recommend practically every brand incorporates, small or large, is a lead capture and exit intent pop-up. A lead capture promotion fires after a new visitor lands on the page (with a set time delay or after a percentage of the page is viewed) and asks the visitor for their email or SMS number. This is often in exchange for a discount, free gift, or other benefits to the visitor. 

These promotions are one of the best ways to directly engage with new visitors, be creative with your brand voice, and give them something nice, just for showing up. In exchange, you get their contact information for remarketing efforts down the road. Plus, seamless integrations between all major ESP and SMS platforms make this process easier than ever. 

With the average conversion rate sitting at around 2-3%, the truth is that the vast majority of your visitors will arrive and leave, never to be seen again. Thus, getting that contact information is crucial for building your marketing lists and converting them down the road. 

2. Abandoned cart promotions

Using an Exit Intent or Cart Abandoner promotion, which fires only when a visitor is about to leave the page, is your last opportunity to get them to convert or at least give you their contact information. These often pop-ups include an even higher discount or otherwise compelling reason to stick around. The beauty of these promotions is that they can be set up in a matter of minutes, personalized and edited to showcase your brand voice, and meaningfully engage with your website visitors. 

However, there are many other types of promotions you can use, such as banners, in-cart, slide-ins, gamification (like a Spin-to-Win or Slot Machine), and personalized product recommendations.

3. Personalized product recommendations

While product recommendations often take longer to set up (but always with the help of the Justuno team), incorporating upsells, cross-sells, or showing off your best-selling products (and so much more) can make a huge difference in your bottom line. One of the best examples of this is Bryan Anthonys, who was able to improve their AOV, lead capture, and overall conversion rate using a variety of promotions. 

4. Behavioral analytics

Lastly, you can collect data from every visitor and review their behavior in a comprehensive analytics dashboard to help understand them further. There are numerous examples of merchants using highly specific, targeted, and high-converting promotions, despite a small overall traffic volume when compared to larger brands. 

CRO for All

At the end of the day, there’s no reason a brand shouldn’t be using a CRO platform to help them meet their goals, whether it’s bottom-line revenue, improving their lead capture, boosting AOV, or selling a greater variety of products. It’s more accessible and customizable than ever before, so let CRO help your brand start doing more.

Enjoyed this extract? Check out the rest of our eBook on how the digital transformation of online storefronts is creating new opportunities to target and retain customers.

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