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The Retailer's Complete Checklist to Conversion Rate Optimization

Shane Barker
Shane Barker

Your website is your strongest sales tool. Drive sales by following these five steps.

As a retailer, you're constantly on the lookout for better ways to through ads and other marketing channels, you may be missing out on the one thing that can make all the difference: your website. When your conversion rates are dropping or aren't rising quickly enough, you should be looking at your website to see if there is any scope to optimize it for conversions.

If you're going to build a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy, it's important to include some of the most crucial aspects of it. Here is a complete checklist to help you with your CRO efforts.

Optimize your website's navigation

First, your website should be very easy to navigate. Make sure it's easy for visitors to find what they're looking for. Your top navigation bar should have a clear structure with drop-down menus that shoppers can expand as needed. It should also be easy to filter products based on various aspects such as price, color, brand, etc., within a category.

The Bath & Body Works website is a good example. There's a drop-down menu on the top navigation bar. Once shoppers select a product category, they have other options to filter the results and find what they're looking for.

Optimize your website's search function

Although your site may be very easy to navigate, there's still a chance people are unable to find what they're looking for. Or they may have come to your site looking for something very specific. In these cases, it’s important that your site search is distinctly noticeable and easy to use.

Home Depot's site search is an excellent example. It's positioned at the top of the home page. Despite being big, it's not taking up more space than required, so there's still a sense of aesthetics that is maintained.

You can also see the question, "What can we help you find today?" to show visitors what the bar is for. The search button is the only other element, aside from the logo, that is presented in color so there's no trouble noticing it.


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Answer questions using live chat

If visitors still can't find what they're looking for, make sure they can easily get help. There may be specific questions your FAQs page is unable to answer. And people may not be so keen on calling you and waiting for several minutes just to ask a quick question. So make sure you use live chat to provide shoppers with the answers they need.

Live chat is convenient and quick, allowing shoppers to talk to a real agent without a long wait time. This is probably why customers who use it have a higher satisfaction rate than customers who use other customer service channels. gives visitors plenty of options to get their questions answered – whether it's tracking an order, finding an invoice or returning an item. They also give customers the option of getting immediate self-help, they can call for help or chat with the team to have their questions answered.

Optimize your product pages

Your CRO efforts aren't complete without optimizing your product pages. If optimized properly, a product page does the job of thoroughly informing and convincing shoppers. Your product name and description should be compelling, clearly explaining what the product is for and what it is capable of.

Product descriptions on are clear and concise with important specs that are listed in bullet points, making it easier to read.

You should ensure that product images are high quality, clearly showing all the important aspects of the product. Make it possible for shoppers to zoom in on the image so they can get a closer look at the details. Some retailers even include a 360-degree view of the product or include videos that properly showcase the product's details.

Target's product images are an excellent example as they allow shoppers to properly view all the details of each product.

It's important that your product pages have reviews and ratings so shoppers can find proof of the product's quality. The Pew Research Center found that 82 percent of U.S. adults read online reviews and ratings before buying something for the first time. And 84 percent of respondents in a BrightLocal study believe that online reviews are as trustworthy as personal recommendations.

Include both negative and positive reviews as it shows your transparency and helps shoppers make an informed decision. If possible, try to include photos of the product taken by customers who have bought it before as further proof.

Sally Beauty clearly displays all the reviews for their products on the product pages. They make it easier for shoppers to make a decision by highlighting the most helpful favorable review and the most helpful critical review.

And make sure your call-to-action (CTA) button is clearly visible. It should be the main focus, so use a color that stands out yet still complements the rest of the page's color scheme. Once a shopper has read the product description and is ready to make a purchase, the CTA button should be the next thing they notice.

Ensure a quick and easy checkout

A long and complicated checkout and compulsory sign-ups are some of the biggest reasons why shoppers abandon their carts. If you want to optimize your site for conversions, it's important that you optimize your checkout process as well. Introduce a guest checkout option or allow shoppers to register using social media buttons. You can also display progress indicators and reduce form fields to further optimize the checkout page.

Lululemon has a guest checkout option. In addition to that, they clearly display the number of steps required to complete checkout: shipping information, payment and review. This sets visitors' expectations as to how long the checkout process takes.


These are the essentials that retailers need to consider when optimizing their websites for conversions. Make sure you run a test after making each change to see what improvements occurred or whether it made a difference at all.

Image Credit: anaken2012/Shutterstock
Shane Barker
Shane Barker Member
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.