The average ecommerce conversion rate is 2%. Yet successful retailers consistently achieve a higher number. Amazon boasts a whopping conversion rate of 13%.

So what is it they’re not telling us? While it’s impossible to put conversion rates that exceed the industry average down to any single factor, CTAs are one of these ingredients that boost online retailers’ results.

CTAs are among a small handful of on-page elements – along with graphics, urgency-building features, and reviews – that can dramatically increase the conversion rate of product and checkout pages with relatively minimal effort.

So in this post, we’re going to give you nine actionable tips for creating highly-clickable and ultra-converting CTAs. But first, let’s look at exactly what a CTA is.

The average ecommerce conversion rate is 2% #ecommerce #stats #CTA #ConversionRate Click To Tweet

What Is a Call to Action?

It’s a ubiquitous term but what does “call to action” actually mean?

In simple terms, a call to action is a button or link that signifies your most-desired action for a site visitor.

This “most-desired action” can vary from page to page, and different CTAs will serve different functions throughout the customer journey.

When a visitor arrives on the homepage, for example, you will likely want them to subscribe to your newsletter. When they arrive on a product page, you want them to add a product to their basket. During checkout, you want to ensure they fill out the form and hit the purchase button. After purchase, the ideal action might be for customers to click a social share button.

Whatever the case, clicking a CTA represents the best possible outcome for visitors to your site.

9 Tips to Create Great Ecommerce CTAs

1. Use Proven Call-to-Action Phrases
2. Make Mobile CTAs Fill the Width of the Screen
3. Test Different CTA Colours, Shapes and Sizes
4. Use an Imperative Phrase in Call-to-Action
5. Don’t Make Visitors Scroll Below the Fold to See the CTA
6. Place Important Information Next to the Main CTA on Product Pages
7. Limit Clutter (Especially on Mobile)
8. Display Security Seals Next to CTAs
9. Include Urgency Building Elements Next to CTAs

So, without further ado, onto the tips themselves…

1. Use Proven Call-to-Action Phrases

Certain phrases have been shown to drive more clicks. The best phrases for your pages will be unique to your brand and site, but by focusing on a handful of proven examples, you can much more effectively hone in on the winners.

Here are some of the best phrases to use in a variety of ecommerce scenarios:

  • Learn More – A “soft” phrase that doesn’t ask for commitment and can be used to advertise offers, discounts, sales, etc.
  • Join Free – The word “free” is always a sure bet. Use it for CTAs that lead visitors to join a loyalty program.
  • Buy Now (With One Click) – The phrase “Buy Now” is simple and to-the-point. You can also provide a one-click option like Amazon to make the purchase process appear even more frictionless.

Amazon includes a one-click purchase option on many of its product pages.Amazon includes a one-click purchase option on many of its product pages.

  • Add to Cart – The reason that “Add to Cart” is so popular is that it works. Customers recognize this CTA instantly and you’re leveraging an automatic behavior by using it on your product pages.

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2. Make Mobile CTAs Fill the Width of the Screen

Have you ever tried to make a purchase using a mobile phone, only to become annoyed at how difficult it is to tap the main CTA? With the ever-increasing use of mobile devices to shop online, it’s vital that you make the mobile experience as seamless as possible. And this means that CTAs need to pass the “thumb test”.
Screen-wide CTA on Asos mobile ecommerce product pageMost top online retailers, like ASOS, have screen-wide CTAs.
Mobile CTAs are one of the most overlooked elements on product pages. Ensure that customers can click mobile CTAs with either thumb by making them the entire width (or nearly the entire width) of the screen.

3. Test Different CTA Colours, Shapes and Sizes

There’s no conclusive data about which color or shape works best for calls-to-action. A simple Google search will yield multiple and apparently conflicting case studies about how retailers have boosted their conversion rates with a single CTA color change.

Choosing the best color for your CTA isn’t as simple as it seems. It has to fit with other visual elements on the page and can vary from industry to industry. It’s also important to remember that making a CTA standout is about finding the best mix of three essential elements – size, shape, and color.

Testing is the key word here. It’s easy to run A/B split-tests and evaluate multiple colors, shapes, and sizes. In terms of color, generally speaking, blue, red, green and orange work best. But best practices can vary significantly from site to site.

You shouldn’t implement changes blindly, of course. Relying on the results of a few hundred visitors is a bad idea. But industry standards are no substitute for your own data based on properly-formulated sample sizes.

All of the suggestions in this article lend themselves to simple, easy-to-measure A/B split-tests. And by conducting regular optimization tests, you can make incremental positive changes that will have a much greater long-term impact than simply going in blind.

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4. Use an Imperative Phrase in Call-to-Action

An imperative verb, phrase or sentence is one that “orders” somebody to do something. “Do that”, “Pass me the ketchup”, and “Click here” are all imperatives. In ecommerce, “Buy Now” and “Add to Cart” are examples of commonly-used imperative phrases.

In ecommerce, 'Buy Now' and 'Add to Cart' are examples of commonly-used imperative phrases. #ecommerce #stats #CTA #CallToAction Click To Tweet

Don’t worry about offending customers – CTAs won’t be interpreted as commands when used in the right way. Data shows that they’re more effective than alternatives at driving clicks. A phrase like “Learn More” is much more to-the-point and compelling than a question like, “Would you like to learn more?”
Longer CTAs have more impact than one or two-word phrasesLonger CTAs have more impact than one or two-word phrases if they answer the question: “What’s in it for the customer? Why should they click here?” Source.
Furthermore, try weaving proven words and phrases like those outlined in tip number one into your imperative CTAs. “Buy Now and Save 20%” is more impactful than simply “Buy Now”.

5. Don’t Make Visitors Scroll Below the Fold to See the CTA

This is also known as placing the CTA “above the fold”. Only 20% of visitors will see a CTA that’s below the fold, especially on mobile, where it’s more common for customers to make snap buying decisions in situations that aren’t conducive to reading information further down the page.

Place the CTA 'above the fold'. Only 20% of visitors will see a CTA that's below the fold! #EcommerceTips #ecommerce #CTA Click To Tweet
Placing CTA above the fold From eBay to Home Depot, the universal importance of placing CTAs above the fold is recognized by virtually all major online stores.

It has been argued that the practice of placing the main CTA above the fold has diminished in importance over recent years. In an ecommerce setting, however, studies show that it’s still important to give customers the option to purchase without requiring them to scroll. This view is mirrored in the way that virtually all large online retailers structure their product pages.

6. Place Important Information Next to the Main CTA on Product Pages

Optimizing product pages is all about making the buying process as simple and seamless as possible. Visitors shouldn’t have to struggle to find the information they need to make a decision.

Clustering the most essential details about a product in one spot, next to the main CTA, is one of the most effective ways of achieving this frictionless customer journey.
Standing out CTA on ecommerce product pageNorth Face shows the price, availability, delivery policy, reviews, and product options for items all in close vicinity to the main CTA on product pages.
Include the following information alongside, or in very close proximity to, your main CTA on product pages:

  • Price (including any discounts)
  • Availability
  • Delivery Policy
  • Aggregate Reviews
  • Color, size, and quantity options.

7. Limit Clutter (Especially on Mobile)

Remove any unnecessary distractions on pages for which you have a single desired action. Remember that you want users to click the “Add to Cart” button, not to navigate to your Facebook or Twitter page or your store’s latest blog post.

This is especially the case on mobile, where space is at a premium and distraction is easy. Focus on creating minimalist footer links, removing social media icons, and minimizing navigation bars.
Apple has mastered the art of designing beautiful, clutter-free product pages. Apple has mastered the art of designing beautiful, clutter-free product pages.
Also, ensure that visitors have no doubt about which button is your main CTA. Buttons shouldn’t compete with each other! Your main CTA should have a unique color, shape, and size and shouldn’t resemble any other generic links on the page.

8. Display Security Seals Next to CTAs

Including seals and payment processor logos on product and checkout pages to build trust is one of the easiest ways to overcome buyer hesitancy that arises from security concerns. Including them specifically on product pages also reassures customers that they can check out with their preferred payment method – whether it’s PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, etc.
Security seal in online storeA simple security seal, like the “Norton Secured” one displayed by REI, can work wonders.

9. Include Urgency Building Elements Next to CTAs

Building urgency is one of the most foolproof ways to motivate customers to purchase. Online retailers that effectively create urgency through their product pages increase conversions by up to 12% (find out our Budapester case study).
Include some of the following urgency-building elements on your pages:

  • Low Stock Indicators – Showing that you only have a certain number of items left, and even that some items are out-of-stock, indicates that a product is popular.

Showing which items are in stock and which aren'tThe Vans website clearly shows which items are in stock and which aren’t.

  • Sale End Dates – Show sale end dates next to CTAs to remind customers that they have limited time to act.
  • Countdown Timers – You can even consider showing sale end dates with a countdown timer as this gives the deadline more immediacy.
  • Recent Purchases and Current Viewers – Booking sites have this tactic down to a tee. Whenever somebody is viewing a room on a site like Booking.com, a notification will be displayed next to the main CTA.

Urgency technique on Booking.comBooking.com shows how many people are viewing a hotel listing.
Check out our in-depth guide about building urgency on product pages for some more tips.

Summing Call to Action (CTAs) up!

CTAs are important. But they should always be part of a broader optimization strategy. Over-focusing on CTAs will lead to less-than-optimal increases in crucial ecommerce metrics like conversion rate, average order value (AOV), average lifetime value (AVL), revenue, and profit.

Remember that CTAs should be tested in conjunction with other crucial elements like copy, images, urgency-building factors, email campaigns, promotions, and so on.

Also, if you want to know How To Get 3X More Revenue From Mobile Devices, watch our YouTube video with tips!

Final Call-to-Action: Want to Boost Your Conversion Rates, Average Order Value, and Profits? Download the 115-Point Ecommerce Checklist

If you’re interested in learning about all the different ways you can improve your ecommerce pages, not just your CTAs, we’ve written a 115-point checklist that covers everything you need to know. Download it for free now!
Ecommerce Optimization Checklist


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