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Conversion rate optimization for online shops to generate more sales

Find out in this guide how to calculate your conversion rate in the online shop and what measures will contribute to increasing your CVR in the long term.

In order to turn customers into happy customers, not only high traffic in the online shop is required, but also a high conversion rate (CVR). Because let's face it, every entrepreneur dreams that potential customers not only visit the website, but also buy something!

90% of all interested parties start their product search online, but 54% of all customers abandon the purchase, which reduces the conversion rate in the online shop. This is reflected in full shopping carts without actually buying anything, website traffic without a high click-through rate, and above all in customer frustration about an insufficient search function on the shop page.

So what contributes significantly to conversion rate optimization in e-commerce?

In our guide, we show you 4 conversion rate optimization tips for the online shop, that help you generate more sales! We will discuss what you should pay attention to in the optimization process and which pitfalls you can avoid from now on.

How do i calculate the conversion rate? 

The conversion rate can be created by a simple formula. The number of sales, divided by the number of visitors to the shop, times 100 results in the CVR percentage.


The conversion rate in the online shop shows how much sales you achieve through a marketing campaign, how many prospects become customers and buy your products, and whether your conversion rate is in the lower, middle or higher range of your industry.

The conversion in e-commerce is not only used to analyze sales, but also as a benchmark for the number of downloads, newsletter subscriptions or the completion of surveys.

The more customers respond to your offer, the higher the conversion rate.

Example: An online shop in the fitness area sends a newsletter every 2 weeks to its 13,000 subscribers, in which fitness products are offered for $27 each. The turnover after each newsletter is $10,000, i.e. an average of 370 products are sold. 370 products by 13,000 subscribers times 100 results in a conversion rate of 2.85%.

What is a good conversion rate?

The numbers for a good conversion rate vary. In recent years, the conversion rate in online shops has even fallen due to a high number of new shop providers. That's why many shop operators are now trying to optimize their conversion rate.

On average, the conversion rate is 1% for B2C companies and 3-4% for B2B companies. In our example with the fitness newsletter, which achieves a conversion rate of 2.85% in the B2C sector, the conversion rate for this online shop is already very high.

The industry in which you position yourself also has an influence on the conversion rate in the online shop. To optimize your number, it's best to look at the trends. In finance, the conversion rate is on average much higher (up to 5%) than in B2B (2.5%), and B2B has a higher percentage than e-commerce (1.8%).

Average conversion rate in the online shop by industry:

👉  E-Commerce B2C: 1 - 3%
👉  B2B: 2.5 - 4%
👉  Finance: 5%

The top 25% of conversion rates are even 3.7% in e-commerce, 4.3% in B2B and 11.2% in finance. How much you should optimize your conversion rate in the online shop depends on the industry.

The definition of conversion rate optimization

The conversion rate shows how many customers are enthusiastic about a certain offer, and how much revenue you generate as a result. However, several factors play a role in optimizing the conversion rate. 

Not only the percentage of the conversion rate is decisive in optimizing your online shop, but also at what price you sell your products. For low-priced items, a visible increase in the conversion rate is advantageous so that the sales rate grows and does not just stay in the hundreds.

For high-priced offers, a minimal optimization of the conversion rate of 0.5% can already lead to high sales and even generate five-digit profits! Ultimately, it is always about turning interested parties into customers and ensuring that the user experience, as well as the usability of the shop, is as pleasant as possible so that a  purchase is concluded.

Optimize conversion rate in the online shop: Best Practices

The most important tools to optimize the conversion rate in the online shop, includes good content on the website, an excellent technical setup, marketing that promises success, as well as comprehensive information about all products, articles and services.

    1. Content for a higher conversion rate
    2. Technical optimization in e-commerce
    3. Marketing for online shop optimization

The more trust a customer gains in the brand, the longer he stays on the shop page and likes to come back. The conversion rate therefore also has to do with an excellent user experience (UX) and a simple customer journey .

1. Content for a higher conversion rate

Content is becoming increasingly important, because the right content helps firstly to place the e-commerce shop higher in the Google ranking, and secondly to convince doubting prospects. It serves to provide background information that can have a positive influence on the purchase.

For example, regular blogs with keyword optimization, articles in other media about your products, as well as appealing images and descriptions on social media channels serve this purpose.

Content helps to increase the conversion rate and position your company as an expert in the field. The more expertise you provide, the more likely the customer is to trust you and believe in the quality of your products. 

2. Technical optimization of the search function in e-commerce

What would an online shop be without the appropriate technology behind it? Because only if everything runs smoothly, the user interface works well and the website presents all products attractively, the customer decides to buy.

If you lack the technical set-up for the online shop, you will quickly throw money to the wind. Every day! Because nothing works without technology. This includes a tip-top landing page  with SEO optimization, easy-to-navigate categories of the products, a search function with appropriate filters – or even better – a digital buying advisor, also called Guided Selling!

Guided Selling is a software based on artificial intelligence that is integrated into the shop to increase the conversion rate. The first moment on a website is just as important as the first three seconds when we get to know someone new. If the customer is immediately accompanied by a digital buying advice in the product search at this moment, he feels personally cared for and finds the right product faster.

Guided Selling replaces the conventional search function in the online shop, which often leaves customers out in the rain. Instead, a digital product advisor accompanies interested parties step by step through the purchase process. Through targeted questions, the product-product is reduced and only what actually meets the needs of the customers is presented.

This not only compares complex technical details, price and quality, it also responds agilely to customer requirements . "Should it be a red or blue jacket?" - "Red". "Should the jacket be for winter or autumn?" - "For autumn". "Should it be long or short?" - "Short". 

Guided Selling helps increase sales by reducing abandoned purchases by 60% and increasing conversion rates!


3. Marketing for the online shop optimization 

Marketing is essential for every business. When optimizing an e-commerce store, it is particularly important to ensure that potential buyers who leave the site without a purchase are still contacted.

In the case of abandoned carts, interested parties can be reminded of the purchase by means of special e-mail sequences.

Abandoned cart buyers decide 15% to buy it, if they are reminded to buy, after the first abandonment! It is therefore worthwhile to pay more attention to this customer group instead of just increasing the traffic of the online shop.



4. Challenge in conversion rate optimization 

The biggest challenge in optimizing the conversion rate in the online shop is to find the right method. Be careful not to run too many tests at once, always optimize only after submission of sufficient data, and set a longer period for a test. 

A/B split tests are also ideal for comparing methods. Go with strategy so you can analyze what brings the most success. It is best to schedule at least four weeks for a test to observe changes.

We hope the 4 tricks for optimizing the conversion rate in the online shop have helped you! If you want to learn more about Guided Selling and optimizing the search function in your e-commerce to increase your conversion rate, book a personalized demo or download the sparhandy Case Story below.

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