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Britain is renowned for its hit and miss weather, so to help online retailers react to the ever-changing forecast this summer I’ve pulled together five top tips for boosting conversions, whether it’s rain or shine.

1. Nudge your users towards filters

Filtering is an industry best practice to help users find the products they need faster and more efficiently.

Positioning a layer to point at your category page filters will encourage engagement by your visitors and will create a more positive user journey - no one wants to find the summer dress they’re looking for only to learn it’s not available in their size!

2. Offer cross-selling promotions rather than discounts

If customers are going to purchase anyway, why give them a discount that eats into your bottom line?

Offer a discount on a bikini if it’s purchased alongside a sunshade once the customer has put something in their basket.

3. Highlight your wish list function

Using a pointer within your page that highlights to visitors that they can save a product in their ‘wish list’ can really drive conversions.

This allows them to view the product at a later date or save it for comparison against another item. It’s a useful feature that will allow your returning visitors to review their choices and remind them of products they were waiting to purchase - don’t forget that sun cream! 

4. Use a welcome message

Welcome new visitors to your website with a message that highlights your key USPs and why they should shop with you.

You claim you’re a friendly supermarket website with your mind on the customer? Welcome people with a link to the page where you order Pimms (and show them you mean it). You can even add a little sweetener to a deal with a new customer promotion (free strawberries and cucumber for Pimms, anyone?).

The adoption of ecommerce best practices mean so many online retailers look the same. A welcome message helps you stand out from your competitors and shows that you are the better choice. It’s a personal, positive and user friendly touch that targets people who may have just been introduced to your brand. 

5. Marketing campaigns to increase engagement and drive customer retention

Implement techniques such as daily deals (with email retargeting) or a summer related campaign in order to keep people interested in your site when conversion rates are rising.

People might not return just because you have a picture of a sunflower on your site, but if they can get cheap sunflowers one day and petunias the next, you’ll drive long-lasting engagement with your brand!

Don’t target people with the same message too frequently, though. Customers who see the same messages too many times can lose interest. Don’t drive away converting customers!

These tips are designed to help ecommerce websites update their content quickly and react to changing external factors so that visitors receive timely, relevant offers and products.

Overall, the key to optimising online sales is to understand your visitors, their wants and needs and tailor your website’s messaging accordingly. 

Ian McCaig

Published 20 August, 2013 by Ian McCaig

Ian McCaig is Founder at Qubit and a contributor to Econsultancy.

29 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas, MD at X Blinds - Nottingham

Interesting, one thing often over looked is to have metaDescriptions which are different to your competitors to ensure that your website stands out.

This technique has worked well for us.



about 3 years ago


Joe Bush

"Overall, the key to optimising online sales is to understand your visitors, their wants and needs and tailor your website’s messaging accordingly."

Interesting. How do you properly understand your visitors? Understanding the ones who buy is a bit easier. You can see what they bought and there may be some dialogue post sale but its rare in the eCommerce world. Feedback is generally down to those who have a strong compulsion to tell you. But there is a big gap missing.

What about the ones who come to your site and don't buy? The analytics give you the "what" happened but not the "why". With average online conversion being around 2%, there is a huge number of visitors who could potentially be converted into a sale/lead.

When we first set up http://thechatshop.co.uk, we knew we could increase conversion rate with our live chat service. It was only when we started chatting did we realise just how much feedback live chat generates. Barriers to purchase, broken links, missing information, unfair shipping charges, confusing shopping cart, security issues, trust, size confusion, special requests.... the list goes on.

By incorporating a strong feedback loop back to our clients we were able to help them build a higher converting website in more ways than just the live chat itself.


about 3 years ago

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