When it comes to fashion, first impressions matter. And in the context of online fashion retailers, the same applies. However, on a website, it’s not just one first impression; every page, action, experience and product contributes to the first impression. Because every touch point plays a critical role in customer experience, investing in conversion optimisation has never been more important for online fashion retailers.

According to a report by McKinsey&Company, the fashion and apparel industry is set to experience double-digit sales growth between now and 2020. Analysts are also predicting that the eCommerce segment of fashion and apparel will hit $706 billion by 2022. With increased competition killing brand loyalty and profit margins, making the most of every click-through and potential customer is crucial.

A few years ago, conversion rate optimisation was reserved for the top end of town with CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) reports costing tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. As data becomes ubiquitous and eCommerce platforms providing easy-to-use native data analysis tools, retailers of all scales and sizes can factor CRO into their equation.


Making the Most of CRO

Where SEO, social and paid ads focus on getting traffic to your site, CRO happens once the user is on your site. Traditionally, CRO focused on optimising single pages, and while this is a significant aspect of it, the overall process is mainly about optimising decisions.

By understanding how users interact with your website and what movements they make, eCommerce managers can use these insights to remove any barriers and increase conversions on their site. In the context of eCommerce, conversions are usually related to sales. But, a conversion could be anything goal-related; a quote, downloading an eBook, filling out a contact form or subscribing to your newsletter.

Through a series of ongoing, incremental improvements and tests, the objective of CRO is to optimise user experience and behaviour to prompt them to buy or take action.


Three Conversion Tips

1. Benchmark Your Conversion Rates

Before you can start measuring your conversions, you need a comparison point. Start by understanding what your average industry conversions rates are. While this varies from industry to industry, according to invesp, the current average conversion of shoppers worldwide is 2.95%. Average conversions are based on a lot of factors, so a more realistic number would be somewhere along the lines of 1.6% – 2%.

Industry metrics aside, you will also want to know how your metrics measure up.

Some key KPI’s to monitor:

  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

    This is how much it costs you to acquire a customer or sale. Ideally, you want this figure to go down over time. However, there may be seasonalities to factor in.

  • Transactions

    Ideally, investing in CRO should drive your transactions up over time. You can get a snapshot of transactions through google analytics or the dashboard of your website platform.

  • Revenue

    This is essentially the value of your transactions. Optimising your site should drive both transactions and revenue higher. It’s good to get a baseline so you can monitor your conversion metrics.

  • Product Revenue

    This is another important metric to monitor as optimising your site should drive more sales. Tracking this data can help you identify which products to promote and optimise, and can also reveal the ROI on any promotions.

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

    While this is more of a long-term metric, it’s worth earmarking what a customer is worth over the lifetime they’re with your brand.


2. Improve Site Performance and Speed

A recent report found a whopping 57% of users will click off a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Faster than you can say ‘conversion rate optimisation,’ it’s a massive blow to your conversions.

Moral of the story; speed matters and slow sites = slow sales.

Not only do slow sites cripple your conversions, but they also build lousy brand experiences, leaving your customers looking for an alternative.

A/B testing and CRO activities often add extra load to a website, so before you get optimising, check your speed and performance. Google PageSpeed Insights is a free tool you can use to analyse your website content and find suggestions on how to make your site faster.

If your website has certain high-volume shopping days, make sure your website and the mobile site is optimised to handle the influx and sudden spikes in traffic.

To improve conversion rates, you must optimise your page speed performance. According to Skilled, ‘for every 1-second delay in page speed, there’s a 7% reduction in sales.’

Here are some ways you can reduce the page load time on your fashion eCommerce site:


  • Compress and reduce image file sizes
  • Clean up poor coding of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS on your site
  • Leverage a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Reduce redirects
  • Reduce server load time
  • Optimise images and reduce file sizes


3. Create High-Quality Photos and Copy

While compressing images can help your site load faster, shrinking them into pixelated oblivion creates more problems. Because we’re visual creatures, we’re naturally drawn to website imagery; the better quality the images, the higher the click-through rate.

Online, website images and words need to work twice as hard to engage because users can’t see or touch the item before buying it. Relying on generic stock photos or low-quality images not only looks lazy but will cost you conversions.

With the perceived value of your products resting on your images, eCommerce stores need to invest in high-quality product photography. Because there’s a fine line between content and commerce, creating lifestyle-driven visual content helps boost online sales, specifically for fashion retailers selling a look or range.

While quality images are paramount, good product copy can also go a long way. Optimising your product descriptions turn your browsers into buyers by making the shift from telling to selling.


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