eCommerce CRO Checklist [Free Download]

Updated on 17 Nov 2021 by Elliott Davidson

If you could double your eCommerce site’s conversion rate, your store would make double the profit without having to acquire any additional new users. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?

When we work with our eCom clients, we run our high impact CRO audit. This way we can quickly uncover and look to improve our clients’ eCommerce conversion rate, having an impact on their bottom line in a short period of time.

In this post we’ll walk you through several eCommerce CRO checklist items you can check on your own to hopefully have a positive impact on your store’s conversion rate.

Want a free copy of our high impact eCommerce checklist? It has extra checklist points we don’t cover in this article, so it’s worth downloading.


One thing I think people overlook when launching a new store (and who are also running paid ads to generate sales that haven’t hit their break even ROAS (return on ad spend) KPI) is that the CPA (cost per acquisition) might not be too expensive, but rather that their site’s conversion rate is too low.

If you reframe your mindset and instead think about how you can increase your store’s conversion rate, your CPA will reduce, making it commercially viable to then scale the ads to drive sales.

For example, if your store's conversion rate is 1% and your current CPA is £20 and your break even ROAS is £15, if you were able to double your conversion rate to 2%, your CPA would go down to £10, allowing you to scale.


We’re going to break this conversion rate optimisation down into the different site sections like homepage/sitewide, category, PDP (product detail page), cart and checkout pages.

Homepage/sitewide CRO Checklist

Offers / discounts / memberships / rewards?

Most commonly in the footer sections of eCommerce sites you’ve seen an offer or discount in exchange for you to sign up to their email list.

You can see an example of a discount site wide section up below on the Muc-Off website. They’re offering new customers 15% off their first order for signing up to their email list.

You can see an example of an offer pop up below on Look Fantastic’s website. Again, they’re offering a discount, in this case 20% off a new customer’s first order.

The reason behind these incentives is if the potential customer is on the fence about making a purchase, this will encourage them to take action.

The site will just class these discounts or offer amounts as their CPA (cost per acquisition). They know as a business that they’ll win in the long run, as the average customer LTV (lifetime value) is high enough that they can break even, or even potentially lose money on the first order.

Before you commit to doing something similar, run the maths and figure out what you’re able to offer.

Is there a live chat?

Customers today are impatient and want answers instantly. They don’t want to have to wait 24-48 hours for the customer services team to respond to them via email if possible.

One of the great ways of overcoming this is to offer live chat functionality on your store. If you don’t offer this and a competitor does, they’ll be in a better position to convert this potential customer.

Shopify has this native functionality built in. Outside of this, to keep a centralised inbox we recommend Zendesk or Gorgias. If you then go ahead and install a chat solution on your site, make sure it’s positioned in the bottom right corner. This I believe is due to a couple of reasons: the ease of reach on mobile devices and the material design framework.

One of the other benefits of leveraging live chat is that you’ve essentially got free user testers. If they have an issue, someone will report it as it’ll cause them inconvenience. You can create a priority list based on this information from the frequency these issues are mentioned.

A client of ours recently launched a new store and throughout the process you try to think of everything and put in place a solution to solve any potential issues. Inevitability though you’ll have overlooked something or something doesn't quite work/interacte how you intended.

The client started to log the chat conversations into categories of common themes and we saw a recurring topic that product sizing wasn’t clear enough, even though there was a link to the size guide in the main body of the product description. Once this was fixed, unsurprisingly these questions almost went away. This also reduces the strain on the customer support team which is another bonus.

Are there any trust marks/badges on the header and/or footer?

Trust badges and marks come in a few different forms and you’ll mostly have seen these on some of the largest DTC (direct to consumer) and eCom retail stores.

The most common ones are:

  • Guaranteed Safe & Secure checkout badge

  • Free shipping and free returns trust badge

  • Accepted payment trust badges

  • Money-back guarantee badge

  • Third-party endorsements

A common practice you’ll see on eCommerce sites is just below the navigation bar in the header they’ll display several trust badges.

For example on Casper’s website below, they’re wanting to highlight potential objections a customer might have from buying a product from them. These trust badges have purposely been highlighted to draw attention to them, so should you skim the pages (which a lot of people do) then you know these key points.

They’ve even highlighted these points again on the individual product pages, just below the product description, to reinforce the message.

Retailers and brands use third party endorsements to help bolster their credibility to position them as an industry leader and someone that can be trusted.

Again, all of this is to make potential customers more relaxed or resonate with their core values that they’re more likely to make a purchase.

One of the most common use cases you’ll see is eCommerce sites displaying quotes from relevant industry or national publications. For example below you can see Mejuri has quotes from 5 sites including the likes of Forbes.

Third party endorsements come in all different shapes and sizes; it doesn't have to be an influencer or publication saying something about your company or products. Instead it could be something like a governing body, organisation or a certification.

For example we’re seeing a big movement over the last few years around sustainability. There are a few well recognised certifications and organisations out there like B Corporation and 1% for the Planet. You can see in the footer section below on the 4ocean site (who sell bracelets made from recycled materials) that they’ve achieved this industry recognition.

Is shipping and returns information easy to find?

Something that’s very basic, but most of your potential customers will all have similar questions around when looking to buy from you, is what’s your shipping and returns policy?

This is why it’s so prominent in the footer across most of the eCom stores you visit. This means no matter what page you’re on, you can quickly and easily navigate to these pages to review the policies.

You can see an example of shipping and returns pages in Missguided's website footer.

An alternative approach to this would be to do the above AND add this information to the individual product pages too. This would normally be done through an accordian. You can see an example of this below on the WIT's website. This means the potential customer doesn't have to leave the product page.

A great way to figure out if people are wanting to know this information is to look in your Google Analytics data to see the behaviour flow to see which product pages then have users viewing your shipping/refund policies.

Category Pages

Are filter tools (faceted navigation) sticky?

You should be looking to leverage faceted navigation on your product category pages to help your users explore the different sections of your website. This way they can find a style of product they might want i.e. Size or Colour. Not only does this help your users, but also means you have the potential to rank for other keywords with targeted pages to help increase your store’s organic traffic.

As a product category page displays lots of different product images (sometimes they’re up to 12 rows long), it means you’ve scrolled a long way down the page, putting you a long way away from the navigation/filters. Should you want to update your search query or go to a different section of the site, this makes it a more drawn out process and experience. This is why we suggest making use of sticky faceted navigation as it makes it up to 22% quicker for your users to navigate your store.

You can see an example of this below in action on ASOS's website.

Sticky navigation tends to come in two different forms: fixed and on scroll. We recommend on scroll as this then is only shown when a user starts to scroll back up a page. Whereas fixed means it is permanently stuck and is always on display. The reason we don’t like this option as much is because it then takes up a lot of real estate.

Are there reviews across category pages?

The reason why reviews are important is they give potential customers an insight into the experiences past customers have had with your store or brand. Normally people are looking for reassurance that you’re legitimate and that people haven’t run into any big issues while buying from you.

When starting out, you tend to see stores feature some hard coded reviews on their site. Potential customers have become wise to these as they know you’ve chosen them (or even made them up). This is where showcasing third party reviews, where customers can leave their true thoughts, is a better alternative.

Having third party reviews on your site from solutions like Trustpilot and (who Contrast is partners with) can have a big impact on what people think of your store and brand. It’ll remove the little voice in the back of their head asking ‘do I trust them?’, which is normally what’s blocking people from buying from you.

You can see an example of an inline reviews widget and carousel below on Aquaproofs’ website.

Product Pages

Are there reviews across the product pages?

We now need to think about the customer journey from start to finish to make sure we have these trust factors at every stage.

For example, let’s say Aquaproofs is running Google Search ads. They’d be targeting terms like “waterproof socks”. When a customer clicks onto this ad they’d be taken to the category page above.

If they were interested, the next step would be to click into an individual product page. They’d then be taken to an individual product page where they’d instantly see a product review count under the product title.

Here;s an example of this. Plus below the product description they should also be able to see a full section on these individual product reviews to read them in more detail.

Then when a customer adds a product to their cart and continues to the checkout, this is when we could look to customise this purchase experience to include a featured third party review, plus a collective company review rating. One thing to note is that you can’t edit the checkout page on Shopify unless you’re a Shopify Plus customer.

Is scarcity highlighted across the product pages?

At a product page level it’s important to try and add in some scarcity to try and get your potential customer to act and buy your products. It’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t use false urgency as it can backfire. Also don’t overdo it by adding lots of different scarcity elements on your page, as this can then have the opposite effect and put the potential customer off from buying from you.

The main ways in which you can add scarcity to your product detail pages is through:

  • Low stock inventory count

  • Order before x time to meet shipping cut off time

  • Limited time price offer

  • X people have bought X in the last X period

You can see an example of this below in action on Smiffy's website. They’ve got two countdown timers one in the header where the announcement bar is and the other just below the add to cart button. Both of these are letting the potential customer know when the have to order before x time to meet shipping cut off time.


The long and short of it is to put yourself in your customer's shoes and go through the whole customer journey. We need to make sure at each stage there are USPs, offers, reviews, trust signals, faceted navigation, up-sales and cross-sales.

If you’re able to implement these eCommerce CRO elements into your store, it’s only going to increase the chances that customers will want to purchase from you and not your competitors - ultimately helping increase your bottom line.

Want a free copy of our high impact eCommerce checklist? It has extra checklist points we don’t cover in this article, so it’s worth downloading.

Alternatively if you want us to help increase your eCommerce store’s conversion rate, get in touch with us.