In theory, running an e-commerce store is all about selling some amazing products, right?

Well, not in practice. It actually takes a lot of work and many challenges you had no idea about when you started. At the top of the list, you’ll find that the conversion rate is staggeringly low.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is typically focused on increasing sales. However, it can be used to improve any other key performance indicators (KPI’s) that are important to you – downloads, subscriptions, etc.

If your goal is to increase your conversion rate above the average 2%, then you need to take the time to optimize your website continuously. But there are a few guidelines you can follow to achieve immediate results.

Let’s break it down.

1. Improve your checkout process

When it comes to converting a visitor into a customer, your checkout process is going to be a deal breaker. Why? Because most online shoppers are not tech geniuses and a long, complicated checkout process will leave them confused.

And annoyed.

If people wanted to wait so long to get one product, they would just go to the store and wait in line. But online shopping is about being fast and simple.

I hope you understand now that optimizing your checkout process is a crucial step to improving conversions on your site.

A one-page checkout helps to make the process seem simpler. It’s easy to use on mobile as well but it might be difficult for you to cram all the information into one page. If you break it into multiple pages, use a progress bar – see the example below. It allows visitors to see how many steps they have to finish the purchase.

Another great way to optimize your checkout process is to include a “Save Cart” button on your checkout pages. In case your customer is interrupted by a phone call while shopping on your site, this feature allows them to resume the checkout process at a later time, and prevents you from losing a sale.

2. Increase the sense of urgency

Have you heard about the LIFT model?

Let’s have a look at the graphic of the LIFT model:

Image source

Basically, it shows you all the options you have to optimize conversions. You can increase the clarity of your offer or the relevancy of your offer. You can reduce anxiety and distraction, you can improve your value proposition and finally, you can create a sense of urgency.

Let’s look at another real life example from The RV Man:

RV Man

We see a smile and tranquil background of trees and one very clear CTA button.

Now, if you have the right offer (clear and relevant), adding a sense of urgency will have a huge impact on convincing your visitors to buy immediately. When people are given time to decide, they tend to delay making a decision. Thinking too much about buying a product can ultimately lead to no purchase at all or buying from an alternative, competitors’ product. Include a countdown timer to create a sense of urgency.

3. Save your abandoning visitors

Saving visitors who are leaving your site without converting is a big part of improving your conversions. Using onsite re-targeting, you can recover a significant percentage of visitors before they leave your site.

This popup below is a good example for recovering cart abandonment. When a visitor tries to leave the checkout page without finishing their purchase, the popup appears offering 10% off and free shipping. Recovering abandoning visitors this way – before they browse away from your site – is a powerful way to increase your conversion rate. And as you can see, you can use the “increase the sense of urgency” conversion strategy on a popup as well.


I hope that these tips and techniques will help you to increase your conversion rate. Open your to-do list right now and add these 3 tasks for this week. Applying them will help you to get more sales and leads out of your existing traffic. By making your checkout process simple, creating a sense of urgency and recovering abandoning visitors, you can take your store above the average 2% conversion rate. But never forget: CRO is an ongoing process, there’s always room for improvement!

What are your best tips for conversion optimization? Share them below.

About the author

Csaba Zajdo is an e-commerce specialist, founder of OptiMonk and several other projects specializing in conversion. OptiMonk is an award-winning onsite re-targeting platform, which helps small and medium-sized businesses leverage the power of onsite re-targeting. If it has to do with conversion optimization and e-commerce, Csaba is interested. He’s always looking for the best and brightest, and he’s constantly on the lookout for game-changing solutions. Csaba has been involved with web marketing including search, lead generation, e-commerce, CRO, PPC, and analytics for over 10 years. He is also a frequent presenter at seminars and conferences.