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Published January 15th 2015

5 Top Tips for Increasing Conversions for Online Retailers

For online retailers, conversions are everything.

Many retailers don’t realize that the bulk of their possible conversions are leaking out through holes in their shopping cart and the processes of check out pages. This article will give you five simple tips for easy changes that you can make to your online shopping cart and check out process that will increase conversions well beyond the money spent on improvements.


Run test orders weekly and set up alerts

One of the most important things for increasing conversions that you should do as an e-commerce business owner or manager is run test orders on your own site weekly.

It is one of the most overlooked but also the easiest way to pinpoint problems that your customers might be having.


It doesn’t cost you anything and is only a few minutes of time each week. If something is broken in the checkout process, or something is not working right, you will know immediately.

Also, setting up an alerts system in a social listening tool means you can be alerted whenever your brand or product is mentioned a certain amount of times more than usual, perhaps indicating that there is a problem you need to address.


You can also take the weekly test order as an opportunity to test out usability and ask different employees or even family members and friends to place the order for you and then evaluate how they feel about the ease of the checkout process.

Make the process seamless

It is important to recognize the amount of trust you must earn in order to have shoppers give you the details necessary for their order, especially their credit card details. The first step to earning that trust is to make the transition to your shopping cart section and checkout pages as seamless as possible.


If the design of your shopping cart is different, then make sure the color scheme is the same and that your logos are carried through.

You should add screen shots or details about your shopping cart to your ordering information page and shipping information page if it looks different so that shoppers might at least see that and know what to expect. Regardless of whether your shopping cart looks the same or not, you should have badges and logos showing your security, authority, and privacy.

Map out a clear path to the goal

Consider how you are familiar with your shopping cart process because you created it and are intimately familiar with it.

However, guests to your website may not know what to do or where to go next. Paint a clear picture for your shoppers and make it as easy as possible. Remember that not everyone shopping online is as familiar with the checkout process as others. Use easy to understand language and don’t use industry jargon that is not well-known outside of your industry.


One of the most important things to remember when plotting out paths from the beginning to the end is that you don’t put up any barriers in between – the most common barrier that prevents conversions is making online shoppers register for your site before allowing them to check out.

Do not require anything of your online shoppers, and make it as easy as possible with as few steps as possible for them to complete checkout.

Find the right balance between information and simplicity

Developing the right balance in your shopping cart can be a bit tricky because you want to provide the most information that all of your shoppers might be looking for but at the same time, the process needs to be simple with minimal distractions to help shoppers reach the goal as soon as possible.


When you have links to other information such a return policies, guarantees, and privacy policies, make sure that all links open in a new window so that customers won’t get lost and have a hard time getting back to the shopping cart pages.

Remember that listing the information that provides confidence, safety, and security is still important, so testing what works best for your website and your customers is vital to finding the balance that leads to success for your shopping cart.

Constantly A/B test for the best results

Probably the trickiest thing about shopping carts and check out pages is that there is no silver bullet formula that will work best for every website.

Each website is different and has a unique set of customers that might react differently to differing set ups. Therefore, you have to run usability and A/B multivariate testing on a regular basis to see how the shopping cart performs for users on your site.

The A/B multivariate testing will show you which of two different options perform better for users on your site.


The options you test can be placement of buttons, colors of buttons, different text options, etc. Usability testing shows how actually users perform on your site. Regular testing is part of the up keep of your shopping cart and website as a whole. You should also be sure to keep your shopping cart up-to-date with the latest technology as well as the shipper interfaces.

Shippers regularly update and change their shipping costs and algorithms, so it is important for you to keep on top of those changes and regularly update your shopping cart so that it calculates the correct shipping rates.

Summary and takeaways for your business

Shopping cart maintenance and upkeep should be one of the focal points of your website.

Many e-commerce companies spend time focusing on products, images, and design and forget about the shopping cart when the shopping cart is what can make or break your business’ sales.

Following these five tips: running test orders weekly, keeping the transition from website to shopping cart seamless, mapping out a clear path to the goal, finding the right balance between details and simplicity, and constantly testing and keeping your shopping cart up to date will help keep your shopping cart converting well and working for your business.

Retailers, are you interested in finding out more about how to boost business?

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