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Increasing eCommerce conversion rates

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How retailers thrive online with WooCommerce  

Starting a new WooCommerce project? It’s likely that your priority is to drive your customer to checkout, but it is also essential to consider how they feel when they get there if you want to improve eCommerce conversion rates long term.

Given that 88% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience, a clumsy, confused or frustrating store will undermine your website’s longevity and ultimately its success.

Read on for our take on how to use WooCommerce to build an effortless user experience (UX) into your online store — and convert one-time visitors to loyal customers. 

Where to focus your efforts for an effortless WooCommerce user experience

Your WooCommerce site should be beautiful, but it must also be functional. A user-centric design will prioritise usability and simplicity.

Ditch nonsensical layers of menus, cluttered listings or visual overwhelm and, instead, design a site which gets your customer’s attention without using up all of their time. 

Intuitive user journeys from product page to order confirmation 

When you’re exploring how to improve eCommerce conversion rates, user experience is one of the most important factors.

The best user interface designs should make it easy to find products and buy them in as few clicks as possible. Stores like Amazon and Argos funnel users into product pages within 2-3 clicks: then to order completion in no more than 3 further clicks. 

Screenshot of Argos website

The frustration of clunkier, arduous navigation stays with shoppers — bear in mind that 44% of shoppers would share negative sentiments about a brand with others and yet shrewd UI and UX design will have a fluidity that goes largely unnoticed. 

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Help customers buy into the brand 

What you’re selling might seem obvious: the products you list, right? But modern shoppers want to invest in more than the physical purchase. 

Never before have consumers focused so much on a brand’s reputation and attached so much emotion to the brands with which they engage.

64% of women and 68% of men have felt an emotional connection with a brand. Brand identity and brand values are part of the package, adding purpose to a customer’s purchase.

To communicate why customers should buy, first study your market:

Dungaree aficionados Lucy & Yak use the landing page of their Shopify site not only to offer a visual feast of the pieces and people who wear their clothes, but also to highlight their commitment to sustainable, slow fashion. Menu items allow customers to navigate easily to learn more and engage with these values. 

Buying from this brand often becomes a statement about ethical fashion, as much as about the want or need for the piece itself.  

Screenshot of Lucy and Yak website

Carefully curate the visual experience to improve eCommerce conversion rates

The tactile experience of shopping in person (or IRL) cannot be replicated online, but as an online seller, you have an incredible asset: as shoppers’ other senses are muted, what they see is heightened.   

Your curation of the visual aesthetics and the click-through experience of your site can make it a powerful tool in communicating your brand identity, showcasing your products and eliciting excitement from your customers, with the end goal of improving eCommerce conversion rates.

Three things to remember

  • Represent your products and your brand
  • Form enables function
  • Do things dynamically

1. Represent your products and your brand

Your imagery should represent your products, but also represent your brand. Plan for a consistent method of product imagery — which can and should evolve over time — and creative but clear ways to frame the images on your site. (Read on for an example of this done well by Petalon flowers.)

2. Form enables function

Your site’s visual design is not a superficial aspect of your commercial platform: crucially, it has to have function! 

Colour choices can generate customer confidence and improve brand recognition by up to 80%. The visual elements should all coalesce, so make your colour choices consistent with your branding. This visual harmony means it’s easier for your identity to be intelligible to customers: they can ‘read’ your brand, understand it, and form that all important emotional connection to it. 

Colour contrast supports you to create an effective and accessible user interface. Adopting striking colour choices or contrasts for calls to action can visually guide customers to the parts of the site you want them to engage with.

Note how Mariner Eyewear’s monochromatic, clean aesthetic is punctuated by an arresting vivid orange for banners and account buttons. There’s some clever harmonising here with the product colouring, making both pop and be visually satisfying.

Their site could be even more accessible with better use of opacity layers behind the text that sits over the image of a mountain. 

Screenshot of Mariner Eyewear’s WooCommerce site

3. Do things dynamically

Get things moving by utilising visuals or animations as signposts. You could use these for: 

Using the right plugins for your WooCommerce site can make all the difference when it comes to creating visually rich pages that won’t ruin your SEO or CRO strategies by harming site page loading times.

For example, ShortPixel compresses all images including custom size/thumbnails on upload. This keeps page load times speedy and performance rates high, offering you the freedom to showcase your products with any visual you like. 

Conversion rate optimisation

Drive forward your WooCommerce site with conversion rate optimisation (CRO). To find out how we can help your online store achieve its commercials goals, email

Pic of the bunch from Petalon 

Flower farmers, florists and deliverers, Petalon, hits the mark on a variety of fronts with their WooCommerce site:

Screenshot of Petalon WooCommerce site showing the week's flower deals to show how aesthetics can drive eCommerce conversion rates

Amplifying your eCommerce conversion efforts through marketing

To support your WooCommerce site to achieve its commercial goals, consider how a holistic digital marketing strategy which harmonises paid or targeted advertising could support the other facets of your online presence and communications. 

Social media

Create and sustain a conversation with your customers across all platforms. Strategise and mix it up between product posts, offers and insights or expertise while retaining that all-important brand synergy. 86% of consumers prefer an authentic and honest brand personality on social networks, so find your tone of voice and sustain it.

Content creation

Content marketing is central to effective branding with 82% of consumers feeling more positive about a brand after reading customised content.

With a WooCommerce integration to MailChimp, using email marketing and newsletters to create meaningful content and publish it regularly to reaffirm your values and keep you visible in the marketplace, pulling users back in to increase eCommerce conversion rates over time.

It’s here you can personalise marketing material and really get creative:

Content, commerce and conscience 

Industry-innovators and environmental defenders, apparel brand Patagonia score high for content creation and hit the mark when choosing the best mediums for their messages. 

A HubSpot study that included 3,000 respondents revealed that video content is the most engaging, and more than half of the people surveyed indicated they wanted to see more video content from the brands they support, followed by interactive articles and social content.

Screenshot of Patagonia's WordPress site showing video of Martin Johnson running by the River Thames to demonstrate how rich media supports eCommerce conversions

The use of video content on Patagonia’s site reinforces their connection between product and planet. Call to action buttons allow customers to readily engage.

Much of Patagonia’s content not only amplifies their message of corporate social responsibility but also encourages consumers to get involved with environmental activism themselves, with the brand positioned as a facilitator to this goal. 

Like over 8.5 million other websites, Patagonia uses the Yoast SEO plugin, increasing the reach of this company’s unique content, as well as its apparel. 

If you’re building with WordPress, Yoast SEO makes sure your site meets the highest technical SEO standards. It also gives you the tools to optimise your content for SEO with keyphrase analysis and overall readability ensuring superlative SEO standards are met. 

Can too much traffic affect eCommerce conversion rates?

You want more visitors to your site, so increases in traffic is a good thing, but what about too much traffic? (Surely there’s no such thing? Think again.)

If you’ve perfected your imagery, aesthetic, experience and marketing, you must also be ready to receive higher traffic. Don’t wait until that all-important product launch to check if your current hosting package is up to the challenge of handling more visitors.

Free load testing tools such as k6 can help you estimate what will happen to the user experience if you have a boost of visitors due to an ad campaign, sale, launch or simply more consistent engagement as you grow. 

Finally, explore your payment gateway’s capacity: will it be able to process a higher volume of traffic efficiently? Once new customers are shopping with your brand, you want them to be able to check out swiftly.

Consider installing a plugin such as Mollie to integrate all major payments in your WooCommerce shop, reducing potential barriers to sales. 

Screenshot of the Mollie website showing how the WordPress plugin helps eCommerce conversions by taking a range of online payment methods


Achieving better eCommerce conversion rates

How do you build a successful WooCommerce site which pays out in both sales and brand kudos? Understand your customers, refine the user experience and build in your brand values. Here’s the run-down of how we suggest you do that best:

  1. Study your market to learn how you will stand out to your customers and from your competitors. This helps you meet your consumers’ physical and emotional needs, which gives them reasons to visit and return to your site to buy your products
  2. Decide how your products are best visualised both in terms of how you use product photography and how multiple images appear on your product pages
  3. Consider how colours can showcase products more vividly while being mindful of visual harmony within your branding and using accessible colour contrasts
  4. Introduce dynamic visual elements on landing pages to capture your customer’s attention and create an engaging experience from the very beginning
  5. Make sure clicks are concise by curating a seamless user experience from landing page to order confirmation
  6. Load test your site and your payment gateway to ensure your user experience won’t suffer with traffic or order spikes
  7. Use strategic digital marketing to support your site’s reach, engagement and longevity
WooCommerce strategist, Piers tincknell, faces camera wearing red jacket and blue shirt

Book a session

For bespoke expert guidance on building your next WooCommerce site, book a session with Atomic Smash: we can help you evolve your site to grow your business. Email

Piers looking at camera in front of an industrial backdrop

Piers Tincknell Co-founder & Managing Director

Friday 4th March 2022