November 6, 2015

Ecommerce Conversion Optimization

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Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency


Any eCommerce web developer will tell you the biggest challenge to building a quality e-commerce site is getting the conversions.

Generating traffic through paid or non-paid search(SEO), while challenging is nothing compared to getting users to take their wallets out of their pockets to pay you for your services.

That is why many of the best sites in the world continuously test what works best for their ecommerce sites. In order to help you learn from their improvements, we found a few case studies showing some best practices you should consider for your audience.

Before you do, remember that everything you do in ecommerce is about testing. So, even though they found success. You still eventually want to test everything out to determine the best course of action.

5 Case Studies on Ecommerce Conversion Optimization

Words are everything- Stanley Black & Decker is one of the largest suppliers of power-tools in the world. In order to increase sales on their site, they used a number of A/B/N split tests.

Not only Black & Decker website, every eCommerce SEO agency always run this test to finalise their client’s website.

A/B/N is a little less comprehensive than multivariate testing where multiple items are tested on a page at the same time across multiple versions of the website page. In an A/B/N test, only one item is tested across multiple similar pages.

Specifically, the company focused on the call-to-action (CTA) for their Dewalt product pages.

By making a small change in their CTA from Buy Now to Shop Now the company was able to increase their clicks by 17% along with a six figure increase in sales.

The word Shop is less intimidating to clients psychologically than Buy. Therefore, using it in the CTA helped increase their conversions.

The Power of Testing– Speaking of the power of testing, let’s examine how powerful testing can be in your sales process.

GoCardless did a test on their home page. They wanted to see if more users would sign up for a recorded demo of their product compared to a personal phone call from their sales team.

Essentially, this test determines whether more customers would sign up just to receive instant gratification or whether they would wait to receive a personal communique.

The test was successful. By changing the CTA to Request a Demo they increase conversion rates by 139%.

Reduce unnecessary choices– As you might have guessed from a site called UK Tool Centre, the website has a lot of power tools on their website. While providing a variety of products can be a good thing, including unnecessary choices can significantly dampen your results.

That is why when the removed a filter for Cuprinol wood care products on their wood care page, it increased engagements on the page by 27%.
With fewer distractions, customers were able to focus on buying their products.



This also works with removing social share buttons on eCommerce pages. While every merchant wants to increase the number of sales on the page, including them on the sales page can decrease conversions.

Finnish hardware eCommerce site

The page without social sharing buttons increase (clicking Add to Cart) by 11.9%.

Site with Social Share Buttons

And without:

Make your product pages scanable– SmartWool.Com sells a number of different wool socks to men and women.

In order to determine the best way to convert their traffic, they conducted an A/B split test of two different layouts of their website page.

After 25,000 visits to the two pages, they were able to determine that B layout (see below) had a 17.1% advantage in revenue per client that the A layout.

Client enjoyed being able to scan the page to look at all the different products quickly and easily. When they had different sized boxes, it made it difficult to do this visually.

Image source
Mobile Commerce is Huge – With all of the changes in mobile search over the past few months, it should come as no surprise that mobile commerce is changing the way eCommerce sites operate.

Take By updating their outdated and non-responsive website for mobile responsiveness and have a website that was more in line with their target market.

The new website also further reflected the company. The previous website was very dark. It had all the makings of a tie store for your grandfather.
The new version used lighter colors to help tell the tale of skinny ties. These visuals pop even more when they are mobile and tablet devices.

Skinny Ties results are impressive. Revenue grew 42.4% across all devices on the e-commerce site with a 13.6% increase in conversion rates. Even more impressive is the growth of their mobile revenue. iPhone revenue grew 377.6% with a 61.9% increase in their conversion rate.

Finally, the bounce rate decreased by 23.2% with a 44.6% increase in the time per visit for users.

All said this case study demonstrates the vital importance of making sure your site is responsive to users’ needs.



Saving abandoned carts– One of the greatest challenges for any eCommerce site is retaining as many abandoned shopping cart visits as possible.

67.91% of all visitors abandon the shopping cart before purchasing. While you can never save all of those visits, it is possible to save many of them with the right strategy.

Here are three tips to help you recapture those leads.

  1. Timing is crucial– According to SalesCycle, if an email is sent within 20 minutes of a user abandoning their shopping cart, the right message can increase the conversion rate by 5.2%. In comparison, an email sent 24 hours later increases conversion rate by only 2.6%.
  2. Send them to the right page– If you want a user to finish the transaction, your email should send them directly to their basket with a credit card ready to purchase your goods. Make it ridiculously easy.
  3. Include the correct subject line- The vast majority of readers never get past an email subject line. If you want to pique interest, you need to have an appropriate and intriguing subject line to lure prospects back to your site.

Final Thoughts

As you can see improving your ecommerce conversions is not as simple as snapping your fingers. You have to do a lot of testing before you know what works and what does not. In this purpose, you can handover this task to a conversion rate optimisation agency. They already done experiments on different projects and knew that which one will be the best for your business.

In fact, you might even have to redesign your website as Skinny Ties did.

However, the ability to encourage visitors to purchase your products is a skill that can be extremely useful.

That is why these ecommerce conversion case studies are a perfect example of how to use ecommerce conversion optimisation.

Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

    Book a free 45 minute consultation today.


      As Founder and Director of Shout Web Strategy, Michael Jenkins is at the forefront of digital marketing. Since it’s inception in 2009, Shout has built a strong reputation as one of Australia’s leading strategic SEO agencies, assisting online businesses to formulate, implement and track successful marketing strategies. Michael is a respected thought leader and digital strategist, specialising in online strategy, corporate SEO, Google retargeting, email and conversion rate optimisation, and online reputation management. Follow Michael on Google+, connect with him through LinkedIn or visit the Shout Web Strategy website.

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