.Is your women, veteran, or minority-owned e-commerce business lagging in online sales or conversions? While there is no precise goal to measure against (as there are many factors that determine what a good conversion rate should be), in general low rates are a common affliction for online companies. Find some easy to implement, yet effective, CRO suggestions below for your veteran, LGTBQ or MWBE owned online store.

Businesses don’t stand out in the ultra-competitive e-commerce market by chance. It takes hard work with a well optimized site or online store. As remember you will be going up against behemoths like Amazon or WalMart as well as other corporations and countless other small business owners.

E-commerce businesses must establish a strong conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy, especially those with limited resources. CRO strategies aim to increase e-commerce revenue by converting more web traffic into paying customers. Optimizing your website is essential to meet your online business’s sales goals. Here are 11 easy e-commerce conversion rate optimization tricks to get started. 

1. Enable Guest Checkouts or Use a Payment Network 

Today’s average consumer already juggles so many usernames and passwords. Forcing potential customers to make yet another account on your e-commerce site can and will most likely backfire. Some online shoppers say “sayonara” to e-commerce stores that require account signups.

Thus, let people finish their purchase as guests. Or even better, use an another payment or business solutions provider like PayPal (or Venmo) and their one-click check out option, as they have over 400 million people in their network and the shoppers information is automatically logged as they check out with PayPal. Even better, also note PayPal has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to help fight inequality with grants given to many women, LGTBQ, and minority owned businesses.

Or of course giving shoppers a guest checkout option might help as well to make online conversion rates soar as well, but even that is not the best option as it does require the shopper to manually enter the data (vs. an option like PayPal that is not even required). Don’t fret since your e-commerce business can still collect email addresses for marketing.

2. Add Virtual Chat Widgets

Consumer indecision will make your e-commerce conversion rate sink. Online shoppers won’t follow through if they’re unsure about your business’s products. Appeal to hesitant buyers on your women or minority e-commerce store with virtual chat widgets. And of course also have your customer service email prominent on the site.

Online chat interfaces let your company reach out to site visitors in real time. Install live chat software, such as ChatBot, Olark, Intercom, Velaro, and SnapEngage. Use pop-up chat widgets to immediately answer each consumer’s questions to increase sales odds. These can be a great way for disadvantaged businesses to stand out as well.

3. Improve  and Optimize your Website Speed

A number of studies show that over 60% of visitors will leave a website if it does not load within two and one half (2.5) seconds or so. In addition, Google will boost a website in its rankings if the website / e-commerce site loads quickly, and that is known as Core Web Vitals. The bottom line is when you optimize your e-commerce business, you need to ensure the site loads fast.

Some of the optimization tips include Lazy Loading, using a CDN (Content Delivery Network), cache and more. Google provides a variety of tips, suggestions, and tools that can help you both (1) measure how fast your website loads as well as (2) how to improve the load time. Find details here. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9205520?hl=en

4. Keep Shipping Free for More Conversions

Internet users often flee when shipping costs aren’t free. Don’t give customers shipping sticker shock. Doorstep delivery shouldn’t require a dime more. Unpleasantly surprised shoppers will simply go to e-commerce stores like Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart. To improve your conversion rates, promise free shipping to keep up with these big-name competitors. Optimize your website as well and be sure the free shipping notification is easy for the shopper to find.

If you’re using a free shipping order threshold, keep it below $35. Ticking up your product prices to cover shipping costs is better than adding a delivery charge.

5. Display Security Credentials

Online shoppers shouldn’t have to search for website security details like a scavenger hunt. Consumers will be leery of online stores that don’t prominently showcase their security. For conversion rate optimization, making site visitors feel safe is pivotal.

Post the logo of your internet security providers like McAfee or Norton. Set up Secure Sockets Layer for an encrypted https:// website. Display your SSL certificate to appease customer concerns about identity theft. 

6. Accept Many Payment Platforms

E-commerce businesses need to accept every major credit card from American Express to Visa. And using a “one click check out” button like PayPal and their 400 million+ clients/shoppers who trust PayPal is even better.

Having only one or two ways to pay won’t cut it. Conversion rate optimization requires making it effortless for consumers to click the “submit” button. Even with the best security, online shoppers may be wary of typing in their digits though. Go beyond traditional credit cards. Sign up for secure online payment processors like Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Venmo too. Even try a buy now pay later service (BNPL) from PayPal which lets your customers pay for the items over the course of weeks, at no risk to you as PayPal manages the process.

7. Improve and Optimize Website Navigation

Conversion rate optimization could be as simple as adding a search box. Enable online consumers to internally search your e-commerce inventory with keywords. Avoid making shoppers wade through endless web pages. The faster internet users locate their desired product, the more likely they’ll convert.

Also, tidy up your upper navigation bar. Index products with easy-to-find categories. Help customers sort online products by size, price, and color.

8. Give Consumers Trust Signals for Conversions

Why should online shoppers choose your women or minority online store, e-commerce website over the other millions? How can internet users trust your brand? Remember that trust isn’t given until it’s earned, and building that trust is simple CRO trick that will only help your conversions. 

Post testimonials from previous satisfied customers. Add ratings and reviews to each product’s page. Publish positive press mentions. Create a confident, professional business logo. Resolve complaints on your Better Business Bureau profile. The “About Us” page should tell when your MWBE started, as well as the history and genesis of it.

Prove your online business’s worth with social proof. And highlight the fact you are Black, Veteran, Latino, Women or LGTBQ owned, as more people are looking to try to spend some of their money to support small businesses that are disadvantaged when it comes to capital, resources, etc.

In addition, be sure there is contact information for your women, veteran, minority owned business. An email address for customer support is the bare minimum. If you have a business address, even a PO box, be sure to add that as well to optimize your e-commerce site and help increase trust.

9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you talk to someone about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it may sound so technical, magic, even mythical. The truth is no one (not even google engineers) knows exactly how search engine algorithms work as google and Bing use tens of thousands of “signals” and they are always tweaking and changing their algorithms. Not to mention they also use machine learning that adds its own twists to the results. There is no “magic button” to press to make your website shoot up the rankings. There are a few basic, simple to do SEO optimization steps to take for your WMBE business.

The title of each page on your website needs to be short, unique and to the point, but also descriptive. Ensure there is a meta description of the page too, and that will be 10 to 30 words or so that give a concise description. Optimize any images you have such as alt attributes. Speed (as noted above) is also another key SEO factor. Those are some of the top, simple, basic Search Optimization Tips that can help your e-commerce site.

10. Enlarge and Optimize Checkout Buttons for Higher Conversion Rate

Many e-commerce websites have tiny checkout buttons shoppers need to squint to see. Even worse, some online businesses don’t have a shopping cart icon at all. Consumers can’t convert if they don’t know how to. Put the checkout button above the fold, and ensure it is on the home page to increase sales and conversions.

Build a big, beautiful button for site visitors to finalize their purchase. Pick a vivid, eye-catching color like red or blue. Double-check that shoppers can easily click an “Add to Cart” prompt. Consumers also prefer checkout icons that count their cart items as they shop

11. Advertise Your Return Process

It seems counterintuitive to plan for returns during conversion rate optimization. However, more consumers take the purchase plunge when they’re given a money-back guarantee. It’s less terrifying to buy an online product when the item can be returned and refunded.

It is even possible to use a free return service for your MWBE or veteran owned e-commerce site, such as Happy Returnshttps://happyreturns.com/ which is owned by PayPal. It is a free return service with thousands of drop off points for shoppers. It is one of the many services that Paypal offers women and minority owned e-commerce businesses. 

Be clear and transparent about your return policy to allay each customer’s fears. Optimize your site and checkout section to say the returns are free, and this can increase CRO too. Have a 60-day window in which your e-commerce business accepts full returns. Risk-free buying boosts conversions.  

12. Proofread Product Descriptions and Images

Errant typos will make your e-commerce brand look unprofessional and can break that all important trust. Yet, you shouldn’t only look for spelling and grammar mistakes. Pore over product descriptions to make certain they’re 100 percent accurate. Correctly described products, with accurate and optimized pictures of them, are less likely to get returned.

Make shoppers rest assured in their decisions with detailed product descriptions and clear pictures. Avoid gimmicky language that sounds like a sales pitch. Honestly tell customers how your product will benefit their everyday life. Unique selling propositions are must-haves for CRO.

13. Send Email Cart Reminders

Online shoppers may stuff their carts with items they wish to save for later. Unfortunately, some consumers forget to return to your veteran or MWBE owned store and finish their orders. Abandoned shopping carts kill e-commerce conversion rates, with some studies showing about 50 to 75% of carts end up abandoned,

Cart reminders could be an easy Conversion Rate Optimization fix. When people enter their email addresses before leaving, you should follow up. Devise an email template for telling shoppers about their cart contents. Motivate consumers to come back by tucking a handy coupon code into the email.

Track, Monitor, Continue to Tweak – Conversion Rate Optimization is Never Ending

Track your business’s conversion rate with software or plug-ins  like Google Analytics or BigCommerce. If conversions stay stagnant, there are many more CRO strategies to try. But keep monitoring the data and keep trying new Conversion Rate Optimization tips and tricks. Then monitor and tweak again….do this as may times as needed for your LGTBQ, women, or minority owned online store.

For example, invoke urgency by hosting limited-time website deals. Create a sense of scarcity by displaying the number of products left. Develop a responsive website design for mobile shopping. Record enticing videos of product demonstrations. Incentivize word-of-mouth marketing with a customer referral rewards program. Utilize split, or A/B, tests to determine which website layouts convert better. Make your sales numbers soar with these easy e-commerce conversion rate optimization tricks.

By Jon McNamara