We all know how hard it is to build and execute an effective marketing strategy that will get visitors to your store in the first place, so here’s how to make the most of those new visitors once they start browsing your online store.

1. Make sure delivery dates are obvious

Product pages should always provide as much key information as possible to answer any potential buyer’s questions. You should also include a prominent method for them to contact you if they can’t find the information they’re after.

Pro tip: Keep a record of the past questions that you’ve received and use these to continuously improve your product page information. You can also use these to build an FAQ section.

You can end up with a lot of information to show on a product page, which is why a lot of online stores use tabs to divide up product descriptions, delivery and return details. You should also include a size guide if relevant.

We like to include a box beneath the Buy button that shows a couple of key points, and delivery information is usually one of these. You could say ‘Next day delivery available’ or you could be more precise with ‘Estimated delivery: [date]’.

Ginger Rose Website

In addition to the above, it’s always a good idea to use your main website header to show the key selling points of your store, such as ‘Free UK shipping’ or ‘International delivery available’. You could also include information about your ingredients (‘100% organic’) or product quality (‘2 year guarantee on all products’). This information deserves to go in the header so that visitors see it regardless of where they arrive on your website. Remember, it’s not always going to be the homepage.

2. Countdown timer for free delivery

TOTW Timer B Circle

A recent test on WhichTestWon (sadly this page is now behind a page wall) showed how a little change can make a big difference.

Adding a timer that showed the remaining time for next day delivery resulted in a huge increase in conversions.

The example below uses the same technique but the counter is in the header of the store, so it is visible at all times.

Same Day Delivery

The most common way to use this technique is to show the time left for next day delivery, but if you can’t offer next day delivery, you could change the wording to ‘Dispatched today if ordered before 5pm [counter]’.

3. Show low inventory amounts

A similar technique is to show a warning when the stock levels of a given product go below a certain threshold. This is a great way to instil urgency for the purchase by creating scarcity. Cynical I know, but if a customer wants the item and there is a risk of it becoming unavailable, they are far more likely to buy.

I like to use the following example, not just because it’s a client of We Make Websites (shameless plug) but because it shows that you can have a best practice ecommerce site that is also elegant. If you decide to include lots of conversion and selling techniques, it doesn’t mean your website has to be garish and messy.

Low Inventory Amount

For bonus points, extend this technique to your category pages, so that browsing visitors know early on which items are close to running out. It goes without saying that sold out items should either be removed from these listings or clearly marked as out of stock, to avoid the frustration of clicking into the page of an unavailable product.

Low Inventory Amount

4. Use cart recovery emails

Cart recovery emails are sent automatically if a customer doesn’t complete checkout within a certain timeframe. 30 minutes is a good starting point, though some shops like to set their recovery emails to go out 24 hours later, based on the assumption that the visitor will be in the same place and in the same shopping mood. For example, the visitor may tend to browse when they’re bored at work in the afternoon.

All cart recovery emails include a list of the current cart items, but we like to use Nosto which includes additional recommendations based on a comparison of this customer’s browsing habits to those of similar customers. Needless to say, these emails convert well, at around 20%. That’s an extra 1 in 5 sales that would otherwise have been lost.


5. Introduce a pop up with incentive

Let’s say the visitor really doesn’t want or need to buy this time, but likes your brand and products. What should we do to avoid losing this potential customer completely? This technique will not be suitable for every brand, but for some, a pop up will help capture these customers that would otherwise disappear off into the ether.

If your average website conversion rate is 2%, you are losing 98% of customers, never to be seen again. If the conversion rate on your pop up is 7%, which is not unreasonable, that’s an extra 7 in 100 customers that go on to your mailing list. As we all know, mailing lists are golden in ecommerce when it comes to generating sales on demand.

When asking for an email address, it’s essential that you give away something in return. This is usually free shipping or 10% off the next order. If you just say ‘Sign up for the latest news’, be prepared for a very low subscription rate.

Join our mailing list

Bonus point: Gather Feedback

An essential part of running any business is to look for continuous improvements to the customer experience. The easiest way to do this is to ask people what they thought of the purchase experience. These can include:

  1. ‘Prospects’, i.e. people that are part way through checkout
  2. New customers
  3. Your most loyal customers.

Your ecommerce platform should be able to give you a list of email addresses for each of these groups.

It’s also worth observing someone as they use your site to look for usability issues. Studies have shown that once you’ve received feedback from five people using your site, you’ve usually covered most of the issues. This simple approach is more effective and cheaper than a lot of the paid services that offer user feedback.


Apply some or all of these tips and I’m sure you’ll see a lift in your conversion rate for new visitors. At the same time, getting customers on your mailing list will help with long-term sales and brand awareness.

For more advice on improving your ecommerce sales follow me @alwaysmaking

Thanks for reading!