This is a guest post from Johnathan Dane, Founder and CEO of KlientBoost.
Landing pages, especially eCommerce landing pages, have just one job — to get visitors to buy something.
But if eCommerce "best practices suck and are worthless," as GetUplift founder and conversion optimization expert Talia Wolf says, how do you make improvements that actually move the needle?
Well, as most marketers would agree, the strongest tactics and best “best practices” are always based on hard-earned data. So we’ve collected five eCommerce landing page tips and tactics that have created significant, measurable growth for eCommerce vendors.
In fact, the first example shows the importance of collecting measurable results in the first place…
Example 1: Testing & Optimization
Creating an eCommerce landing page without testing in place is like shooting a basketball with a blindfold on. You might get lucky and score once or twice, but you won’t improve if you can’t see what you’re doing.
Let’s take one common landing page bugaboo, page length, for example. Some conversion experts cite short landing pages as their favorite examples. Others will tell you to go long.
For example, SEO software provider Moz created a landing page variant that replaced their basic model with an entire buyer’s journey:
They say size doesn’t matter, but… - image source
In the end, the test results showed a 30% higher conversion rate for the longer page. So longer pages are better, right?
Well, in the second test, below, the shorter landing page variant increased conversions by 70.1%:
Wait, size really doesn’t matter? So confusing. - image source
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the length of your landing page—but there is a way to find out what your visitors want.
How, you ask? Test it.
Testing variations on your landing page is the only surefire way to find out what your particular audience needs to convert. The right page length — just like the right headline, the right call to action, and the right form fields — is easier to find when you can back up blue-sky ideas with real information.
Why It Works
In both instances above, the data provided measurable results (not educated guesses) that the designers could work from and improve upon.
Testing elements of your landing page and making changes based on those results will help you close gaps in your conversion funnel and bring in more qualified leads.
Here’s another example: one of our recent clients, a Southern California-based credit union, increased their landing page conversion rate by 174% and reduced cost per conversion by 81% — after just one round of testing.
The three different examples prove the same tactics’ value through-and-through: strategies are one thing, testing and providing actionable data is another. The strongest changes and strategies aren’t based on hunches, they are built on cold, hard, numbers.
Example 2: Breadcrumb Technique
The Breadcrumb Technique is a fancy term for multi-stage landing page forms.
With this tactic, you don’t ask for your visitor’s name, phone number, and email up front. Instead, you start with some qualifying questions to demonstrate that you and your visitor are a good fit for each other. This filter also helps reduce leads that weren’t going to convert anyway.
In this example, the Advanced Grass’s landing page form wasn’t converting well, despite the incentives and benefits listed throughout the page:
Advanced Grass’s original four-question form. - image source
Instead of reducing the number of form fields or changing the offer entirely, this landing page added an initial stage of questions before the contact information request:
Stage one of Advanced Grass’s new two-stage landing page form. - image source
Adding questions with preset responses before the contact form actually boosted Advanced Grass’s conversion rate by 214%.
Why It Works
Adding more questions might seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to reduce user friction, but the Breadcrumb Technique is effective for three simple reasons.
First, inciting engagement is much easier if your lead off with low-impact, non-threatening questions like those in the second image above. Compliance Psychology states that the smaller the initial ask, the more likely you are to receive a yes as your request grows in size and significance.
Once you have your “foot in the door,” high-impact questions like contact information becomes less threatening.
Second, user psychology. Getting visitors to answer your innocuous first-stage questions, especially questions that don’t require personal information, creates a commitment that they’ll naturally want to follow through to the end.
Third, if you have your tracking set up correctly, you can start to identify where in your conversion form users are giving up. Maybe your initial questions are perfect and users are starting to convert, but your offer is still too strong and users are “bouncing” between the penultimate and final stages of your form. This type of actionable data makes it easier to tweak your offer.
Either way, the Breadcrumb Technique primes your conversion forms for more engagement and more quality leads.
Example 3: Dynamic Keyword Insertion
Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) allows you to customize your ad text without creating an overwhelming number of ad groups.
DKI is a useful tool for eCommerce systems with large inventories or products with different names but the same description. By inserting specific terms that match searches, your users will be more likely to convert.
In this example, AskNicely is promoting software that records and reports customer feedback through Net Promoter Scores (NPS), which can appear under a variety of searches. The primary term, “software,” appears in the original headline, but if a user looks specifically for “NPS software,” that phrase appears in place of the original word:
The keyword or phrase you searched for would determine which headline you’d see in the ad above. - image source
DKI can also help with reaching a local audience. If you’re trying to reach a specific geographic area with your marketing, the same feature that inserts the location name into your ad can add it to your landing page, like in the section below:
Will Northern Ontario have to keep shopping for carpet the hard way? - image source
Why It Works
Dynamic Keyword Insertion adds specificity to your eCommerce efforts that make your landing pages seem more personal, local, and attuned to your user’s needs.
An AYTM Market Research study found that, even online, American buyers largely prefer the personalized service and local benefits of purchasing from small businesses over large companies.
By adapting your copy to match the local and/or specialized keywords your audience is looking for, you’re more likely to engage and convert these visitors into qualified leads.
Example 4: Micro-Conversion Tracking
Micro-conversions are the steps a visitor must take to convert on your landing page.
While they don’t count as actual conversions, some trackable landing page micro-conversions include time on site, video views, partial form completion, cart abandonment and more.
When clothing subscription service Le Tote wanted to increase the scale of their online advertising, they realized they wouldn’t get far without tracking and improving upon the steps that led to a conversion.
It’s like Rent-a-Swag, but not ridiculous. - image source
By combining updated landing pages with micro-conversion tracking, Le Tote was able to increase conversions by more than 250% and reduce cost per conversion by more than 60%.
Why It Works
Think of each successful micro-conversion as a forward step on your “conversion bridge,” which users need to cross to complete your desired action.
Tracking micro-conversions can illuminate where users are getting hung up on your landing page, which will help you address those obstacles and make your landing page more effective.
Example 5: Live Chat
Adding a live chat box to your eCommerce landing page can also improve your qualified leads, conversion rates, and sales. By actively engaging your visitors, you can guide them through the sales funnel and respond to their concerns in real time.
Financial software provider Intuit added a live chat box on their product comparison page and saw sales increase by 211%:
Having a specialist on hand to answer questions is especially useful for large or complex online transactions. – image source
Intuit also tested a “Chat Now” prompt on their shopping cart page to offer assistance during the later stages of the buying cycle and reduce cart abandonment:
Note the message match: Because QuickBooks is in the shopping cart, it’s mentioned in the chat prompt. – image source
The live chat on this page led to a 43% increase in average order value and a 20% boost in conversion rate.
Why It Works
An eDigitalResearch customer service survey found that consumers preferred live chat for customer service over email, phone, and social media. Furthermore, 67% of the respondents that were already using live chat found it easy to use, and 73% said they were highly satisfied with their system.
Live chat boxes can help you reduce any friction your visitors may be experiencing while allowing them to chat anonymously, which is less pressure than phone, email or video chat. It also helps build confidence in your brand and puts your users at ease; they know that you’re an expert who is ready and waiting to help them in any way they may need.
Implementing these five tips and tactics into your own eCommerce landing pages can help you increase your conversion rate, leading to more qualified leads, sales, and improved customer value.
But keep in mind, just as the first tactic stressed, eCommerce campaigns are peculiar little beasts. Each will bring its own problems, pain points, and solutions. So make sure you take the time to customize your campaigns and testing to your audience to get the best results possible.