Where to Start With eCommerce Conversion Testing

Your web designers follow a combination of industry best practices and visual cues when they create your pages. They know what makes users convert and will do their best to drive sales. However, not all audiences follow these best practices. Something that is commonplace for one website could be driving away users on another. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to go in blind when you start with conversion testing. There are a few common pain points that most brands experience. Learn what to look for in your conversion testing and specific “low hanging fruit” tests that you can try on your eCommerce site.

Why Invest in Conversion Testing?

Every company wants to make a few changes to their website and watch their conversion rates and revenue soar off the charts. However, these tests will also focus on small improvements and audience behavior. There are micro changes you can make on your webpage that can reduce friction and make the experience better for users. The end result will be increased conversions, but you can also look at other metrics that gauge how people view your site. 

A few metrics to keep in mind as you start conversion testing include:

  • Bounce Rates and Abandon Cart Rates: stop giving your customers reasons to leave your website. Keeping more people on your website and making it easier to complete a purchase can significantly grow your sales. 
  • Time to Purchase: how long do customers spend checking out in the cart? A few seconds here and there can show just how easy – or hard – it is to buy something from you. 
  • Average Order Value: make sure you are creating a website where your customers will spend more than they planned. Promote add-ons, upgrades, and additional choices for buyers. 
  • Returning Customers: do your business and website bring people back? Make sure your website upgrades result in loyal customers who enjoy browsing your pages. 
  • Top Pain Points: where do your customers slow down on your website, and what parts of the site process do they breeze through? How can you fix these problems?

While these are quantitative, tangible metrics that you can track over time, you can also collect qualitative data relating to the user experience. A/B testing software tools, heat maps, and even customer feedback surveys can show you where your website is frustrating users and how you can improve it.

15 Conversion Tests for Your eCommerce Brand

The tests you will use for your eCommerce page will likely fall into one of five categories: forms, payment options, AOV, shipping, and customer trust. While there are hundreds of different elements that you can tweak and test on your website, these problems are some of the most common that site managers experience. These are also the categories that we base our tests off of.  

Improving Forms

The forms your audiences fill out during the checkout process can make or break your conversion rate. Sure, you want to know the birthdays of your customers to send them discounts, but they might not want to share them. There are a few different ways you can test your forms to see what your audiences like. Try these three options to start: 

  • Change the Number of Fields: reduce the number of fields in the cart that your customers need to fill out. See if this makes the checkout process faster and reduces the overall bounce rate.  
  • Allow for Optional Form Fields: if you still want to collect data without isolating customers, test the ability to make certain fields optional. That way if someone wants to share their birthday with you, they can, while others skip that field. 
  • Design Your Fields for a Single-Page Layout: you might think that you’re breaking the work into digestible sizes by using multiple pages, but your customers could be annoyed. See if a single-page form makes a difference in how it holds the attention of your customers.

As you can see, there are so many conversion testing improvements that you can make just to the forms in your cart or contact page. You can work with these multiple tests to see what your customers like.

The WWF makes donating easy with a single-column donation page.

Simplifying Payment

If the fields in the cart aren’t affecting your conversion rate, the next round of tests to consider involves the payment process. Payment is easier than ever for many major sites like Groupon, which can save user information for a two-click conversion. Your customers could be frustrated if they think your checkout process is laborious or clunky.  

  • Keep Top Conversion Elements Above the Fold: your customers may be getting lost before they have a chance to buy from you. Look at your conversion pages on various screen sizes and mobile devices, then make adjustments so everything fits on the screen. 
  • Incorporate Easy Payment Systems Like Paypal or Apple Pay: these payment systems add trust and can simplify the payment process. Track to see what kind of impact these additions have. 
  • Allow Customers to Check Out as a Guest: Two-thirds of websites allow guest checkout, and customers are 1.2 times as likely to check out as a guest. If you don’t currently allow this option, run a test to see if it prevents customers from bouncing away from your site. 

You may need to run multiple tests to understand why your customers aren’t converting. However, these three options can get you thinking about the user experience and potential roadblocks that customers face.

Old Navy allows customers to check out as guests or create an account.

Increasing Average Order Value

Increasing AOV can be just as valuable as growing your conversion rate. When people are spending more, your revenue grows – especially if you are upselling customers on items with a high gross margin. 

For example, soft drinks bring offer a 90% profit margin to restaurants, which is why these places always ask if you would like to add a drink to your meal. Your goal through conversion testing is to make your business more profitable by promoting optimal items:

  • Recommend Similar Products: convince customers who are on the fence to convert by promoting similar items. They might find an item that they otherwise hadn’t seen before. 
  • Upsell Customers with Additional Optionals: promote accessories, perks, and unique experiences on your website to drive up your AOV. These value-add items will typically be a favorite of loyal customers who spend more. 
  • Suggest Pricier Alternatives: show alternatives to customers who choose low-margin items. Promote these pricier alternatives as a better option for customers than their current choice.   

Different tests can help you find the sweet spot that makes your customers add more, or different, products to their carts.   

Dick’s Sporting Goods upsells customers when they add items to the cart.

Testing Shipping Sensitivity

Your shipping rates may impact your conversions more than you realize. Shipping costs, time, and awareness can all affect whether or not customers buy from you. Unfortunately, changing these rates and options may be out of your hands. Below are a few common ways brands test their conversion rates to make sure shipping costs aren’t holding them back.

  • Be Clear About Shipping Costs: if customers know how much they are going to pay upfront, they might not be shocked by a shipping charge in the cart.  
  • Test Different Free Shipping Thresholds: see if it actually makes much of a difference if you lower your threshold. If not, you may want to raise it again.
  • Present Goals to Customers to Reach Free Shipping: see if your customers respond to notifications about free shipping to boost their AOV. (Ex: spend $5 more dollars to receive free shipping!) 

What works for some audiences might not work for your customers. This is why you test – to see what your customers want out of the shipping experience.

conversion testing
How Barnes & Noble shares shipping information.

Building Trust

When you ask someone to make a purchase, you are asking them to put trust in you. They need to give you their credit card information and believe that the items will meet your promised quality and shipping deadlines. For new customers, this is a risk – and is one of the main reasons shoppers turn to Amazon over individual retailers. However, you can build trust in customers when they reach your cart. 

  • Clearly State Your Return Policy: make sure your return policy is clearly displayed in the cart and around your website. Test the placement in different locations so people can see it. 
  • Clearly State Your Privacy Policy: let your customers know that they can trust you with their data. Once again, test the placement and messaging of this copy. 
  • Display Badges and Awards: build trust by promoting your Better Business Bureau score and other accreditations that you are part of.  

Small steps that build customer trust can make people convert. You are overcoming their anxiety barriers of your site security and customer service. 

Dillard’s is clear about its shipping and returns policies.

Improve Your Conversion Rate With Trinity Insight

A few small issues might not seem like a big deal, but these problems can add up and take a big chunk out of your revenue. Let us review your website and identify problems with your conversion rate. Start with our Free UX Checkup and get feedback from a usability expert on how you can improve.