How to optimise your e-commerce website to improve conversion

Posted 18.05.2020

Online shopping continues to be a rapidly growing trend in today’s world, and in light of this, we see new E-commerce stores being set up each and every day. One of the key benefits of having an online store is the opportunity to reach new customers, without the costs of running a physical store. But that doesn’t mean that the competition online isn’t fierce. In fact, new research carried out by Google found that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds. Does it get any tougher than that?

It’s now more important than ever that you provide an excellent user experience on your E-commerce site, after all, that’s the difference between your customers progressing in your sales funnel, or going back to the search results page and clicking on one of your competitors’ sites. E-commerce is about more than the prices and quality of your products, it’s about providing a quick, easy and intuitive shopping experience; something the tips in this post will help you to achieve. Continue reading to find out how to optimise your E-commerce website to improve your conversion rates. Who doesn’t want to make more sales from their existing website traffic?

1) Work on your homepage first

Nine times out of ten, the homepage will be the most popular page on a website, getting the most traffic – made up of both new and existing visitors. Because of this, getting the homepage right is really important, it can even be the difference between converting a user to a customer and them going elsewhere.

With this in mind, it’s important to strike the right balance between aesthetics and functionality; a great looking website is useless if it fails to serve a purpose – getting sales! Use your homepage as your shop front; present your brand, clearly show your product/service offering and your USP. Make it clear what makes you different from your competition, and why users should stay on your website. Part of this will involve displaying reviews, awards you’ve won and other trust-building techniques (something we’ll go into more detail on later in this post). Make sure you include key call to actions (CTAs), to make it clear where you want your visitors to go next. Your homepage is your biggest opportunity to engage your potential customers, so ensure you have a clear user journey in place so that visitors can easily visit subsequent pages on your website, and take a step closer towards converting to a paying customer.

2) CTAs

Whether you know it or not, you’ve all seen and interacted with CTAs before. They’re generally displayed as a button and they contain short, snappy and assertive copy that prompts the user to take an action. When you use CTAs well, you help a user to easily navigate their way through your website, right through to the final checkout stage.

Wondering what copy to use in your CTAs? Try some of the following:

  • Buy Now!
  • Try Our Free Trial!
  • Get In Touch
  • Checkout Now
  • Get Started
  • Download
  • Sign Up Today
  • Add To Cart

In terms of colour choice, choose something that contrasts with the page – you want it to attract attention (without looking too garish of course).

3) Trust Signals

Did you know as many as 88% of customers now put as much weight on online reviews as they would on personal recommendations? What’s more, on average reviews produce an 18% uplift in sales! What does this tell us? A lack of reviews creates a barrier to entry when it comes to converting a customer. If you don’t have social proof to tell people how great your products are, you will struggle to secure new sales. Focus on displaying reviews, testimonials, case studies and awards you’ve won – these all count as trust signals and help to add some credibility to your brand, which in turn will help to improve your conversion rate.

4) Answer FAQs

Think about the type of information you want to see when you visit a website. Are you in the 86% of people that want information about products and services? In light of this, make sure that website users are easily able to find out everything they want to know about the product that they are interested in buying. Focus on answering the questions your website users will have about your products, brand, delivery and returns service.

5) Navigation & Menus

When it comes to your menus and on-site navigation, you should apply the same care, and intuition you would if you were setting out a physical store. You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find the products that they are looking for. If the process is deemed too difficult they’ll either give up or think that you don’t offer the product that they are looking for – either way, the result is the same; no sale will be made.

Instead, make your menu clear, simple and visible at the top of each page – this will ensure it is as easy as possible to find and use. Put your key products categories in the initial menu, then users can dig down into the specific products that you offer under each category. Think logically, and organise pages in a way that makes the most sense for a user.

6) Checkout Process

Your checkout process is the final step in converting your website visitors into paying customers – so you need to make sure that you get it right the first time. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Avoid long forms – There’s nothing worse than filling out a long-form, it can even encourage users to drop off, meaning they fail to complete their purchase. Instead, stick to collecting information which is strictly necessary to keep the process short and sweet.
  • Offer guest checkout – Similarly to avoid drop-offs, offer a guest checkout option. Nothing will deter customers more than having to create an online account with you, especially if what they’re ordering isn’t likely to be a repeat purchase any time soon. That being said, you can still provide users with the opportunity to make an account throughout the process, and show them what is in it for them.
  • Use multiple CTAs – Give users more than one opportunity to progress to the next stage in the checkout process, so that whether they are at the top or bottom of the page it is easy for them to complete their order.

When fine-tuning your checkout process, make it as easy as possible for users to complete their online order, and they will be more likely to do so!

How do you handle an increase in orders?

With the inevitable increase in online orders that you will receive from optimising your E-commerce website, it’s important to have the right infrastructure in place to be able to get those orders out to your customers. By outsourcing your order fulfilment process to a company such as UK Fulfilment Service, we’re able to pick and pack and deliver orders quickly and accurately to keep your customers happy. The offline service is just as important as the online ordering processes, so it’s key to ensure this is as efficient as possible – we can even handle your returns process for you too!

If you’d like to find out more about our E-commerce fulfilment service, get in touch with our team today. We offer a trial period, letting you try UK Fulfillment Service for free to see if we are the right partner for you.

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