8 Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices

Better conversion will grow your ecommerce business. Explore 8 expert conversion rate optimization strategies designed to transform leads into loyal customers.

Small components of your company's ecommerce experience could make or break your ability to convert customers. You know you should make it as clear and easy as possible for customers to buy from your brand. With so many variables, however, it can be difficult to focus your conversion rate optimization (CRO) efforts. 

Fortunately, even minor improvements to your online store can encourage browsers to buy from your brand. If you're putting off the optimization process because you aren't sure where to start, this comprehensive guide provides 8 strategies that can dramatically boost conversion. 


What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion rate optimization is the process of making changes in the ecommerce user experience to increase conversions. You'll update elements of your website like the checkout page, CTAs, product descriptions, and other components and track the impact of these changes on your conversion rate.

Most ecommerce sites define conversion rate as the percentage of website visitors who make a purchase. ‘Conversion’ can also refer to any action you want the customer to make on your page, such as clicking add to cart or signing up for your email newsletter.

You can find the conversion rate for your ecommerce site by dividing the number of purchases or desired actions for the month (or another time period) by the total website visits during that same month or time period. Then, multiply the answer by 100 to change the decimal into a percentage.

Why Is Conversion Rate Optimization So Important?

CRO can increase your revenue while reducing the cost of acquiring new customers. You'll achieve a higher conversion rate, driving higher profit for your ecommerce business. Beyond the bottom line, benefits of a solid CRO strategy include:

  • Boosting the average order value and frequency of your existing customer base
  • Encouraging new customers to buy from your brand
  • Building trust in your brand through strong security measures and an attractive, professional online presence
  • Refining your target audience and your message so your marketing speaks to the right people
  • Creating a seamless user experience, which encourages customer loyalty
  • Understanding how and why your visitors interact with your brand so you can address their preferences and needs

8 CRO Best Practices

Effective CRO requires constant evolution to meet ever-increasing customer expectations. You can apply these best practices whenever you want to adjust your strategy to address slow conversion.

1. Look for Conversion Leaks

Periodically audit your customer experience to find friction that interrupts conversions. Most conversion leaks fall into three categories:

  • Shoppers think your product won't meet their needs
  • Issues with the user experience, such as a slow website or limited payment options
  • Content that doesn't create a personal connection

Communicate with audience members to determine why they browse but ultimately don't make a purchase. You might learn about a major issue that you can easily fix, like high shipping costs or a glitch on your product pages.

2. Prioritize the Right Updates

Once you've identified the areas where you're losing leads, determine where you want to invest your CRO time and money. Your first optimization effort should focus on just one or two areas, so address the largest leaks in conversion to make the biggest impact.

Next, brainstorm possible ways to fix those leaks and keep customers in the conversion funnel. Decide which improvements to execute based on your goals and budget. Then, test to see if your conversion rate rises. If it falls or remains flat, it's time to take a different approach. From there, you can use this cycle to continuously optimize your customer experience. 

3. Add More Payment Methods

Accepting multiple methods of payment improves the chances of conversion. Customers are more likely to complete checkout when they can use their preferred, trusted payment methods.

Pay.com makes it easy to accept credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets, and many other popular payment methods. You can add options for your customers at the click of a button. Your Pay Dashboard includes detailed data and reporting so you can see how new payment methods influence conversion.

Click here to sign up for Pay.com now!

4. Review the Right Metrics

Once you've identified areas that need optimization, you should set benchmarks to track your progress toward better conversion rates. To determine the success of a CRO campaign, you can analyze:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): This is the percentage of people who click through to your site after viewing a marketing message or ad. If you see a low CTR, consider optimizing your emails, social media ads, and other materials. For example, you can boost engagement with more compelling CTAs.
  • Average page depth: This number shows the average number of pages someone views before leaving your site. High page depth is often a sign of high engagement, but could also mean you need to streamline a confusing user experience.
  • Session duration: The average amount of time that visitors remain on your site. High session duration means high audience engagement, a key element of conversion.
  • Bounce rate: The overall number of visitors who look at one page, then leave your site. If you see a high bounce rate, your brand's online presence isn't meeting audience needs. You may need to conduct research to refine your target market, update your product descriptions with better photos, or upgrade your site for better speed. Most ecommerce sites should aim for a bounce rate of less than 40%.
  • Exit rate: This metric provides the percentage of people who leave your site after viewing specific pages. Your CRO campaign should start with pages that have the highest exit rates to maximize the impact of your efforts.

5. Gather Qualitative and Quantitative Data

A/B testing allows you to find and address issues in your marketing funnel. You'll be able to see which elements attract more conversions. You can refine and test just about any element of your ecommerce journey by varying:

  • The types of media you include (plain text, images, videos, or other multimedia elements)
  • Action verbs used in your CTAs
  • Descriptive words used in your product copy
  • Page layout
  • CTA button size, color and placement
  • Headline wording 

It's also important to consider the real people behind the raw data. Gather qualitative information by talking to prospects and customers. Get to know your audience and find out what they really need and expect from your brand.

6. Aim for Friction-Free Checkouts

Remove all page elements that could cause cart abandonment at checkout. For example, shorten the length of your forms. Too many fields to fill out creates friction that could interrupt the sale. Gather only the details you need for the transaction. You should also add a guest checkout option to retain people who don't want to create an account.

Pay.com has the tools you need to refine and streamline your checkout process. You can customize the entire experience to fit your audience, whether you add your branding to our hosted checkout or integrate our components with your existing site through our API.

7. Speed Up Your Site

Customers click away quickly if you have a slow-loading site. Aim for a loading time of less than 3 seconds on all types of devices - after that, you'll lose about 40% of your audience. Every additional second decreases conversion by about 7%.

 Try these strategies to accelerate the speed of your ecommerce experience:

  • Find and remove elements that create lag
  • Reduce the file size of large images and videos
  • Select a good website hosting service with the resources to handle your traffic

8. Show Off Security Measures

Buyers want to know that your site will shield their payment information. Pay.com meets the highest level of PCI DSS compliance, so you can add official badges to your checkout page when you use our services. Displaying your commitment to security will encourage conversion among new visitors. 

We tokenize card details during transit, which keeps them from being intercepted for fraud. 

The Benefits of Working with Pay.com as Your Payment Service Provider 

Pay.com provides a full-service payment infrastructure that can flex to fit the needs of your ecommerce business. Your brand will benefit from:

You can set up your Pay.com checkout and get started quickly whether you use one of our customizable no-code checkout options or integrate our tools in your existing design with our developer-friendly API.

Click here to create your Pay.com account now.

The Bottom Line

You can always tweak aspects of your website to improve conversion, but it's more effective to take a systematic approach. By following these best practices for CRO, you'll be able to make the most of your efforts by focusing on changes that really work. 

When you sign up with Pay.com, you'll be able to update your checkout page to boost conversion. From adding new payment methods to removing friction from your user experience, we're ready to serve as your CRO partner in the payment services space.

Get started with Pay.com now!


What's the best way for an online business to accept payments?

Pay.com is the best way for your online business to accept payments. We offer a wide range of payment methods and the peace of mind that comes from Level 1 PCI DSS compliance. We handle security and all the other back-end details so you can focus on converting your leads into new customers.

Click here to create your Pay.com account!

What is an ideal conversion rate for ecommerce?

Your ecommerce shop should ideally have a conversion rate of about 3.5%. The average conversion rate across industries is 2.35%, and ecommerce has an above-average conversion rate of about 3.3%. Aiming for above-average conversions could give you a bigger share of the competitive ecommerce market.

What is a realistic conversion rate?

A realistic conversion rate for the ecommerce industry is around 2 to 3%. The average for all types of online stores is 3.3%. However, a realistic target for your business depends on your specific ecommerce niche. 

For example, online arts and crafts shops have an average conversion rate of around 4%. On the other hand, conversion averages less than 1% in agriculture, baby products, and food and beverage.

Is conversion rate a good KPI?

Conversion rate is a great KPI to track as an ecommerce business. A high conversion rate reflects effective marketing efforts, while a lagging number indicates that it's time to try a new approach. You should regularly audit your website to look for problems that can lower your conversion rate, a process called conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Meet the author
Andrea Miller
Andrea Miller has been a writer and editor for more than two decades. Specializing in business and finance, she has written for some of the major websites in the financial sector. Outside of work, she spends most of her time with her family and enjoys hiking, yoga, and reading.
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