I’m primarily an SEO, but I also have a strong love for conversion rate optimisation as this can significantly increase the number of sales a website receives once I have driven traffic to it via search – today, I’m going to focus on the ‘add to cart’ rate with a couple of things which I recently implemented for a client.

Remember, there are many tactics that can be used and it will differ from site to site and industry to industry, but the 3 things I am going to write about will usually be effective in any industry and on any website.

1) Round the Sheep

This is one of the simplest tactics in the book, and more effective than you’d ever expect.

The quicker you can get a visitor to add a product to their cart, the more likely they are to follow through with a purchase from you – if you leave them to search through page after page on your site then it is very likely that they will get bored and leave, thus dramatically decreasing the likelihood of a sale from your visitors.

Solution? Put the products they’re likely looking for in front of them right away.

You will need to look at your history of sales – what does the last 3 months look like vs. the last 12 months?

From this you can get a great idea for which products the majority are looking for when they land on your website, although fast-changing industries will need to be based more around trends and product launches.

Once you have compiled a small list of your bestselling products, you need to re-order the products on your site to reflect this – in categories AND on the homepage. You should re-order your entire category in this way, but the homepage should be showing maybe 4 or 8 of your bestsellers as well as new releases (if any).

TIP: If you don’t have any sales history, ask a friend or even explore search trends.

2) Feed the Sheep

The homepage is often the busiest page of any website and so it is extremely important that it is used correctly – it’s literally your shop window and you can’t afford to waste it by filling that space with random products.

A pet hate of mine on online stores is sliders. They’re unbelievably overused – nobody seems to launch a store without one these days. I mean, they’re great when you have a really good offer or sale to announce, or even a widely anticipated product launch, but outside of those occasions? Most definitely a waste of your shop window.

Your homepage should clearly highlight these things:

  • Sheep Relevancy – Bestsellers, New Releases, Latest Positive Review, etc.
  • Trust Indicators – Trust Pilot, Norton Secure, SSL Certificate, etc.
  • Clear Benefits – Free Delivery, Accepted Payment Methods, Lowest Prices, etc.

In an ideal world, these things would be clearly displayed across your entire store as you’re also likely to receive plenty of long-tail traffic to internal pages, too, but do ensure that they are obvious to the eye on the homepage first.

3) Reassure the Sheep

A lot of people don’t think like you or I – many need extra reassurance and support in order to gain enough confidence to go ahead and purchase something on a website they’ve never heard of, so make it easy.

All of the trust indicators in the world simply aren’t enough for some people, and that’s when a human being is required to assist with the potential sale at hand – either via live support or on the telephone. Again, in an ideal world, you would provide both of these options to your visitors in order to increase your chance of a sale.

Some may simply feel better placing their order over the phone. That’s fine.

And others may simply have a couple of questions they need answers to before adding to cart.

Whatever their mindset or comfort zone online, you should be catering to it in order to maximise your chances of them adding to cart and, in the end, completing a purchase from your store. It really is that simple.

Did this help you? Let me know in the comments below.