On August 2nd, Apple became the world’s first trillion dollar company.
Now, I spend most of my time crunching numbers. As a professional ecommerce optimizer, my days are filled with analytics reports, split-test results, metrics, spreadsheets – the list goes on.
But that’s still a lot of zeros to take in!
Let me just write it down, because my head’s already starting to spin a little:
$1,000,000,000,000.On August 2nd, Apple became the world's first trillion dollar company! How can that success be replicated? #ecommerce #business #development #CR #CRO Click To Tweet
Not bad for useless information, eh?
But, as interesting as that is, there’s a big question that every ecommerce retailer on the planet (and the moon for that matter) wants an answer to. How can that success be replicated?
In this post, I’m going to answer part of this question.
I’ll show you how to grow your own online sales by stealing ten powerful conversion optimization tips from Apple’s online store.
Growcode also recommends this eBook:
Ecommerce Optimization Checklist of a 7+ Figure Online Store
#1: Offer Incentives With Contextual Promotional offers
#2: Create Urgency by Offering Same-Day Delivery for Orders Made Before a Certain Time
#3: Communicate Fast and Free Delivery Like a Pro
#4: Prevent Users From Escaping the Checkout
#5: Let Users Checkout As Guests
#6: Cross-Sell Like Crazy
#7: Let Users Correct Their Mistakes Easily
#8: Let Users Easily Compare Their Options
#9: Dispel Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts Like a Pro With Contextual FAQs
#10: Create Great Checkout Forms
Sound good? Let’s dive in.
If you prefer to learn about my conversion rate optimization tips you can steal from Apple, you can easily watch below.
If you offer product-specific incentives, ensure they’re highlighted on individual product pages. Place information about these offers and promotions within the flow of text and images.
This is what is meant by offering incentives “contextually”.
Apple, for example, offers free next-business-day delivery and a smartphone trade-in service. When this kind of added-value is offered unobtrusively, it encourages customers to purchase.
The real key is to make incentives stand out in a sleek and seamless way, grabbing visitors’ attention without making them feel as though they’re being pitched to.
By using subtle contrasting colors, tasteful pop-ups, and placing the incentives within the natural flow of the page, Apple has created an example we can all follow.
Offering same-day delivery for a product if it’s purchased before a certain time is one of the best ways to create urgency while also incentivizing visitors to buy RIGHT NOW.Offering same-day #delivery for a product if it's purchased before a certain time is one of the best ways to create #urgency while also incentivizing visitors to buy RIGHT NOW. #ecommerce #CRO Click To Tweet
At Growcode, we’ve boosted conversions for dozens of clients simply by adding this simple element to their product pages.
By reminding users that they will get the same-day or next-day delivery if they make the purchase before 5 PM, Apple sets a clear deadline for action.
If you already offer free or same/next-day delivery, there’s no excuse for not leveraging this urgency-building tactic.
If you don’t offer same day or next-day delivery, consider how you can create any kind of time-limited offer, whether it’s discounted delivery or delivery within a certain time.
Do you offer free, super-fast, or (best of all) free and super-fast delivery?
Make sure you communicate it everywhere.Do you offer free, super-fast, or (best of all) free and super-fast #delivery? Make sure you communicate it everywhere. #ecommerce #EcommerceTips Click To Tweet
Promoting free delivery isn’t just a way of encouraging visitors to add products to their baskets. It also incentivizes them to complete the cart, checkout, and payment pages.
Everybody loves fast delivery. But visitors love it, even more, when it’s free.
And free is a magic word that you should highlight everywhere along the user’s path!
Just like Apple does.
Highlight it on the product page.
Highlight it on the cart overview page.
Highlight it during checkout.
Repeat it wherever possible.
And remember, “free” is a magic word that highlights a benefit, creates a warm fuzzy feeling in your customers, and is far better than a simple zero.
So hurry up and replace all those noughts!
With average cart abandonment rates north of 70%, it’s wise to do all you can to keep your customers from leaving during checkout.
There are many tactics that Apple uses, including simplified checkout forms, mobile-friendly design, and streamlined payment options. Of course, you’ll also want to repeat the fact you offer free delivery.
In particular, Apple makes use of a pop-up, which renders whenever a visitor is about to leave the checkout process.
It reads simply: “Leaving Secure Checkout.” and is a confirmation that should give visitors second thoughts.
Notice how they also hint that checkout is “secure”, easing a major concern that some customers may have.
If you want to ensure your checkout process is fully optimized, check out our 23-point checklist for checkout pages.
Let me say this as plainly as possible: don’t force users to register up front.
Offer the option for visitors to create an account with a secondary CTA or log into an existing one if they wish, but don’t make it mandatory.
Let them place an order without having to go through a lengthy sign-up process.
Provide a more obvious option to create an account later in the checkout process when their level of engagement is higher!
There’s also another pro tip here.
It’s wise to collect an email address just before users click the “Continue as Guest” button.
That way, if they abandon the checkout page, later on, you can still retarget them with your email campaigns.
Good! That was the 5th conversion rate optimization idea! That means that we are in the middle of the list 😉 5 more to go!
Your average order value is one of the key metrics by which you can measure your overall optimization strategy. If visitors are buying more higher-priced items, then you’re doing something right.
And one of the easiest ways to do this is by promoting additional items.
But please be smart about it like Apple is!
First, offer accessories to the primary item, not some random stuff. Promotions of additional items should leverage interest that you know already exists.
Second, offer additional services and extended support. Warranties, security packages, and insurance are all great options.
Three, offer cross-sells in many different places. Just make sure they’re as closely related as possible to the primary purchase.
If you do this, you will not only grow your average order value, but you will also grow your profit margins, as both accessories and additional services tend to have comparatively higher margins.
Anybody who regularly shops online know how easy it is to accidentally delete a product from their cart.
But it’s usually a lot more difficult to get it back!
And that’s incredibly frustrating!
There’s a lesson we can learn from Apple here.
Apple does a great job of enabling users to bring back an item they’ve just removed. A simple top-layer bar allows customers to quickly undo this action, returning the product to the basket.
If customers do accidentally delete an intended purchase, you don’t want them to go back, wandering around your store looking for what they’ve just removed.
The chances that they’ll leave without making a purchase are sizably increased!
If you offer similar products, it’s often hard to tell the difference between them.
In the case of Apple, where a small number of limited ranges is offered, each made up of highly-related products and sometimes with identical designs, this is especially the case.
If the same is true for you, replicate Apple’s approach and create a simple, easy-to-use tool for users to compare available models and options.
Remember when there was just one iPhone model?
Well, those times are long gone.
And Apple does a remarkably good job of enabling you to compare currently available options.
Using its comparison tool, you can easily see the differences between the latest iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and so on.
When you do your shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, your questions are quickly answered by a sales representative.
Any fears, uncertainties, and doubts are quickly erased.
But what if you have doubts about a product, delivery method or payment option while shopping at an online store?
There’s no smiling sales clerk to put you at ease.
Usually, the questions different visitors ask are very similar. It’s wise to provide online shoppers with accessible, dedicated FAQs that are available on every page of your store – whether it’s the product page, delivery, or pickup page.
Checkout forms cause a lot of problems.
They have among the highest average abandonment rates of all ecommerce pages.
If you’ve ever wondered how to create a highly-converting checkout form, Apple provides a great example.
You can immediately see its form is simple, clean and makes liberal use of white space.
It has visible floating labels, which are a practical and visually-pleasing solution, especially on mobile.
What’s more, the validation function that shows mistakes is contextual and explicit.
Finally, if you have forgotten to fill a field when you click the continue button at the bottom of the page, you are reminded and taken to it directly.
And we’re done! That was the last conversion rate optimization idea stolen from Apple’s online store.
Any successful ecommerce optimization strategy will involve lots of moving parts. A/B tests, multivariate tests, analytics, key performance indicators (KPIs) that are actually useful – the list of necessities goes on.
But one of the biggest parts of testing is figuring out what to test.Any successful #ecommerce optimization strategy will involve lots of moving parts. A/B tests, analytics, #KPIs - the list of necessities goes on. But one of the biggest parts of testing is figuring out what to test! #EcommerceTips Click To Tweet
You need a steady stream of new ideas that you can incorporate into your site, trial, and (if the outcome is successful) implement over the long-term.
And one of the best ways to find good conversion optimization ideas is to pay close attention to what the big players – the Apples and Amazons of the web – are doing and mirror those strategies on your own site.
With that in mind, don’t just read this list, try out some of the conversion optimization tips, and then forget about Apple until you need to order your next iPhone. Follow the main ecommerce sites, monitor how they’re optimizing their pages, and then trial their tactics, designs, and page elements with your own store.
Once you see the results, you’ll be glad you did!
Just remember one thing: always test every single idea!
Drawing on eight years of experience, we gathered all our top insights into one book: The Ecommerce Optimization Checklist of a 7+ Figure Online Store. If you want to increase the performance of all your pages — from the homepage to checkout – grab your copy here.