Conversion Review Giveaway: The Outcome

January 30th, 2014 – 20 Comments

Two weeks ago, we did a Facebook free giveaway for a Conversion Review. The lucky winner was the webshop Indigobox Jewels. In this post, I’ll highlight a few of the most important things we’ve come across during the review.

I’ll first go through the website as if I were a visitor who wants to buy something. After that, I’ll dive in a bit deeper by going into some interesting data from Google Analytics. You will be shown a screenshot of every step, which I will comment on with what could be improved. That way, you’ll be able to see everything I’m talking about.


If I were to come onto the website at the homepage, this would be my first view:

The design isn’t bad, but there are definitely a few things that could be improved on this homepage:

  1. The menu doesn’t look like the menu of a webshop. Sure, it has the menu-item shop. But is that what you’d expect from a webshop? No, you’d expect categories in the menu. Everything in this menu should be in a top menu or even a footer. The menu bar you’re seeing there should show categories: Rings, Watches, Earrings, etc.
  2. The slider takes up a lot of space, and doesn’t really do anything useful. There are no buttons or calls-to-action in there that could convince me to click through to that item. And even if it did: research has shown that just 1% will actually click the first slide. No one will click any other slide.
  3. There’s a HUGE free shipping call-to-action in the middle there, but I can’t click it! And even if I could click it, should this really be the focus of this homepage? No. The focus should be on getting people to click products, or going to one of the category pages.
  4. The other calls-to-action are way too boring. They’re black ‘Add to cart’ buttons, that don’t really make me want to click them at all. Testing with a different color, but especially shape and size could give some good results.
  5. Lastly, who are you? Why should I buy my products with you? Try to gain some trust from your visitors. Don’t just throw on a few products on a website and think people will start buying it. People will want to know their money is safe.

Category page

I’m not fully sold on any of the products on the homepage, so I’ll click the ‘Shop’ menu item. Here’s what I’m seeing next:

Here are the things I’d do differently on this page:

  1. This is exactly why the categories should be in the menu. If I’m not interested in necklaces, or that one bracelet I’m seeing, I need to click again, choosing one of the categories on the left.
  2. There’s way too much emphasis on the filtering option. There’s a black button there, that at the moment seems just as important as the ‘Add to cart’ buttons.
  3. I’m surprised by the fact that there’s suddenly a “sale” section! Why didn’t I get to see that on the homepage? I’m always interested in getting something cheaper! And these seem like some good discounts, so why isn’t there more emphasis on this?
  4. I’m missing a lot more filter options here, actually. Why can’t I filter on what material the products are made of, for instance?

Product page

So lets say I was interested in the top left necklace, and wanted to learn a bit more about it. I’d click the ‘View more…’ link and get to this page:

This is quite a disappointing page to me. Here’s why:

  1. I clicked the ‘View more…’ button! Why isn’t there actually more to view? I’m getting the same picture! Granted, I can now click on the image to enlarge it, but it’s still the same image. I’d love a 3D picture of the item.
  2. There’s no product description! This just makes that heading ‘Product Description’ even more painful, because it’s just the name of the item there. Try to give as much detail about the product as you can, including material used, size, weight, etc.
  3. There are no reviews. This doesn’t really spark my trust. Did no one like this product? It’s really important that you get some reviews on your products. And if you don’t have any on your products, include reviews on your webshop! Don’t just leave it empty.

It all comes down to creating an experience that comes as close to ‘the real thing’ as possible. What I mean by this is that people want to get the information they’d also get by holding the product in their hands and looking at it.

Shopping cart page

Now, if I were interested in buying, I’d click the ‘Add to cart’ button. This is the page I get to see then:

Now there are two obvious problems with this:

  1. If I just wanted the one product, why can’t I go to the cart immediately? This should at least be an option next to the ‘Add to cart’ button.
  2. The blue bar at the top there is to guide you to the cart. That’s just not enough emphasis for someone who’s just added something to the cart. This should pop out a lot more.

I’ll click on the ‘View Cart’ text link next:

There’s a lot going on here, especially for a cart:

  1. I put something of $15.95 in my cart, but now the order total shows me $22.18?Unexpected costs are the #1 reason for people to abandon their shopping cart. Sure, I could’ve guessed that I’d have to pay some shipping, because I’m not over the $25 limit, but the tax, at least, should be included.
  2. There’s absolutely no focus on this page. There’s three calls-to-action fighting for attention. The only distinction is that the ‘Proceed to Checkout’ button is slightly bigger. That’s too small a distinction. The ‘Apply Coupon’ and ‘Update Cart’ buttons should simply be text links.
  3. Why is that Calculate Shipping text link there? The shipping fee is already there, isn’t it? This makes it all confusing and very uncertain for someone who wants to purchase something. In conjunction with that note text there (“Note: Shipping and taxes are estimated (taxes estimated for the United States) and will be updated during checkout based on your billing and shipping information.”), this doesn’t really make me trust this is the end price.
  4. Why is there no message telling me “order for just $9.05 more, and get free shipping!”? The shipping is at least $4.95, so a quick little sum tells me that would actually just cost me $4.10 more. So this is definitely something any webshop owner should be pushing!
  5. Lastly: I’m missing a progress bar. Let me know how far ahead I am in the process of ordering your product. This will lead to gamification, which means more people will finish the whole process, and more quickly.

Checkout page

I don’t want to apply any coupon, update the cart or calculate any shipping, so I’ll click ‘Proceed to Checkout’:

There are a few things here that meet my eye:

  1. I just went to the checkout page, and I’m confronted with these ‘error’ type messages. These should really be a lot less intrusive, because now it looks like I’ve done something wrong.
  2. See that small text next to Shipping Address? That says ‘Ship to some other address’. This is really hard to read, so that should definitely be a lot bigger.
  3. I’m missing my order here. That’s all the way at the bottom of the page. I don’t want to fill in all my details before I can make sure the order is alright. So the details about what I ordered should actually be on top.
  4. There’s only one payment option on this page: PayPal (can’t be seen on the screenshot). If people see your website has (multiple) trustworthy credit card logos, they’ll feel safer on your website! Maybe even more important: 59% will simply abandon their transaction if the preferred payment option isn’t available.
  5. You should really use inline validation, which I’ve already written about in a previous post about our own checkout page. Giving people direct feedback will gamify the process of filling in your form fields. This will make it more likely they fill in the entire form!

Google Analytics

Of course the front end part of the purchase process is very important for conversion rate optimization, but when it comes down to it, the base of it all is data. And that’s why you need Google Analytics. However, in order to get useful data out of Google Analytics, there are a few things you need to do. Especially if you have a webshop.


The setup of the Google Analytics of Indigobox Jewels was missing goals. Goals are a very important measurement for any kind of website really. No matter what kind of website you have, there’s always something you want your visitors to do. And that’s why you set up goals, to see how many of your visitors are actually doing what you want them to.

Goals allow you to see how many people start in your so called ‘funnel’, and how many proceed to the next step in this funnel. This allows you to see the conversion rate of every step. Obviously this tells you a lot about where you have the most room for improvement, which is invaluable data in itself.

Ecommerce tracking

Ecommerce tracking is the tracking of your revenue. This is a must for anyone selling anything through their website. Unfortunately, Indigobox Jewels were missing a setup for ecommerce tracking as well.

With ecommerce tracking, not only can you keep track of what your revenue has been for any given period of time, but it also shows you which pages are worth the most. Google Analytics calculates this by measuring which pages eventually led to a sale 1 or 2 steps down the road. In knowing this, you know which pages to put more focus on, and which pages can use some improvement.

Mobile traffic

When going through the Google Analytics of Indigobox Jewels, I noticed the site had a very high percentage of mobile visitors:

And the orange piece of the pie there is the percentage of visitors on a tablet. This is nearly 60% on mobile devices! With numbers like these, you need to make sure your mobile website is up to par. And if you’re selling things on your website, your purchase process should be working flawlessly on mobile devices as well.

Indigobox Jewels had a pretty nicely responsive website, but there was room for a few improvements on their cart page:

As you can see, the menu and header take up a lot of space on a smartphone. Half of the screen is taken by it, in fact. The call-to-action to go to the checkout page was a long way down. You always have to make sure your most important call-to-action of every page is easily accessible, even on mobile devices. And apart from that, make sure everything fits and doesn’t “fall off” the page on a mobile device. Having your total not completely visible, as in the screenshot above, will definitely not help your conversion rate.

Optimizing for mobile devices

Optimizing for mobile devices can be quite bothersome. There are always hard choices to make, but some choices you can’t go without. With Indigobox Jewels this was the amount of visitors accessing their website using iDevices:

Of their mobile traffic, 52.7% came from an iPhone, and 21.2% came from an iPad. So if there’s any place to start the optimization for mobile devices, it’s with iDevices, in Indigobox Jewels’ case. Always check your statistics to make sure you’re making the right choices.

That’s it!

As said, this is only a small part of what we’re looking into during our Conversion Reviews. Do you have any questions or remarks? Let me know in the comments!

20 Responses to Conversion Review Giveaway: The Outcome

  1. Martijn
    By Martijn on 30 January, 2014

    Wow, I really enjoyed reading this. And I learnt a lot. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Thijs de Valk
      By Thijs de Valk on 30 January, 2014

      And thank you for reading and liking it! :-)

  2. Mithun
    By Mithun on 31 January, 2014

    Nice. Nice post and thanks for the share. As a young WordPress Blogger, I’ve learned many useful things about SEO. This post helped me a lot in understanding E-Commerce. Do you conduct competitions for normal bloggers ?? If so, I would love to participate :) :D :D

  3. Pravin
    By Pravin on 31 January, 2014


    Thanks for this wonderful article and the SEO plug-in which I have been using from the 1st day of may site launch.


  4. Shane Jennings
    By Shane Jennings on 31 January, 2014

    Fantastic inside look, very appreciated and I’m sure you already know which way the gears are turning (and have turned in the past) in my head about your service! :)

    Question about mobile, sorry if this is off topic. Have you guys seen an actual payoff in optimizing for mobile? In all honesty, I find sites that have been optimized for mobile to be annoying as the options are often reduced or less accessible than they are with pinch and zoom. When you consider refactoring for responsive design is a LOT of work if its to be done well, I’m wondering is it one of those things that people do just because they *feel* like they should because it’s (perhaps fashionably) aligned with best practices? I have no idea what the “big picture” numbers say. Any thoughts on that?

    • Thijs de Valk
      By Thijs de Valk on 31 January, 2014

      Hi Shane,
      Well I think in this case it’s more important to look at the visitors on your website, than at the big picture. What percentage of your visitors are actually on mobile devices? If this isn’t a significant number, it’s just not worth it :)

      Also, don’t just assume it’s a lot of work to make your website responsive. It can be, but that really depends on what CMS you’re on, what your site looks like, etc.

      That’s my take on things, anyway ;)

  5. Prashant
    By Prashant on 2 February, 2014

    Great Insights Thijs, looking forward to more giveaways.

    • Thijs de Valk
      By Thijs de Valk on 3 February, 2014

      Don’t count on any more giveaways soon; if you want a Conversion Review, the best thing is to order one ;)

  6. Bob the webbuilder
    By Bob the webbuilder on 3 February, 2014

    I’m sure the people at WooCommerce are very happy with this review too, since the Indigobox webshop is a standard WooCommerce install with just a few adjustments ;-)

    • Joe
      By Joe on 3 February, 2014

      Yes – echoing Bob’s comment this is all the standard WooCommerce setup, and they have a lot of improvements to make for sure. I wish they had better standard practices to help the small time shop owners and prevent them from needing developers. Anyways, I completely agree with the calculate shipping section and lack of steps in the checkout – those are atrocious! But I have the exact same problem on one of my sites as well.

    • Thijs de Valk
      By Thijs de Valk on 3 February, 2014

      Let me try and get a good deal with WooCommerce then ;-)

  7. Mask Me
    By Mask Me on 3 February, 2014

    Great round up, but I am surprised you didn’t mention anything about SSL/HTTPS://. This would be a huge red flag for me to not order directly via the site. Even though you aren’t processing a credit card through them, it would be nice to see https:// in the checkout areas.

    • Thijs de Valk
      By Thijs de Valk on 3 February, 2014

      Don’t give it all away at once! ;-)
      Good addition though! I feel the same way, and actually all studies point in this exact same direction.

      • Mask Me
        By Mask Me on 3 February, 2014

        Speaking of https:// seems thats the default now :)

        Woo, yoast is https now!

  8. Bhanupriya
    By Bhanupriya on 5 February, 2014

    I missed the giveaway. Surely I’ll take part in your next giveaway.

  9. Shakhboz
    By Shakhboz on 6 February, 2014

    Again very interesting posts. Is the Conv. rate high enough for the shop without category menu in the front page? I guess they can increase their sales by changing few elements in the site.

  10. Mariana
    By Mariana on 7 February, 2014

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the site is also really good.Flowers To Mumbai

  11. Bonifes mKenya
    By Bonifes mKenya on 10 February, 2014

    Excellent post. I was glues to every line of the review even though I’m not into any webshop. I’m into news and forums, but I see the need for a ‘from the outside the box’ review.
    YOU really are website optimization, not just seo!

  12. Goldara
    By Goldara on 13 February, 2014

    Thank you for posting this article. I have a jewelry site and was looking around for optimization ideas and this helped me a lot.
    Most of articles are about optimizing blogs, but this really helps people with e-commerce sites. I’m looking forward to read many posts like this on Yoast

  13. Vivek
    By Vivek on 26 February, 2014

    Good review. I see a huge set of other problems but I guess this make it clear. “..this is only a small part of what we’re looking into…”

    I have one quick suggestion though. Just like the reviewed site, the navigation menu of too seem a little out of place. It works great when it goes ‘Sticky’ but before that the grey bg is not helping.
    The transition between normal and sticky is abrupt too.

    Please ignore if you/your team has given thought about it.

    Personally, I hate to use Grey (unless color pallet specifies) as I find it lazy and convenient to use.

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