Over several months, we ran a series of conversion rate optimization (CRO) tests to improve results for Trailcam Pro—an eCommerce site that sells trail cameras.
Their customers are hunters, wildlife researchers, and people looking to monitor activity around a cabin or a house. Most of their buyers are in the U.S.
Of all the CRO tests we ran, one change had by far the biggest impact on results.
If you’re driving traffic to any type of website, this is a test you can and should run on your own site.
In the case of Trailcam Pro, it had everything to do with shipping and returns.
Here’s what it looked like:
That little free shipping and returns notification?
It immediately increased sales by 20%.
The question is…
Below we dive into:
- The psychology of why this worked
- Other objection killers we tested
- How you can apply these learnings even if you don’t offer free shipping
(Note: Want to see if we can create a similar lift in sales for your eCommerce store? Contact us here.)
The Psychology of Objections
Everyone who visits your website has questions (a.k.a. “objections”).
In eCommerce, site visitors almost always come to a site with these two objections:
- Will I have to pay for shipping?
- Can I return it if I don’t like it?
If you have an eCommerce site, your customers also have these two objections.
Because the vast majority of people are just like Drake:
If you don’t offer free shipping and returns, we recommend you start offering—and test to see the impact on sales and overall revenue.
If you do offer free shipping and returns, we absolutely recommend featuring it in your header.
Put it where Trailcam Pro has its notice if possible—immediately to the right of the logo.
This method increases conversions, sales, and revenue on any eCommerce site we’ve tested.
That’s how powerful it is.
Trailcam Pro Had Free Shipping; It Just Didn’t Mention It
What’s fascinating about Trailcam Pro is this:
- The company already offered free shipping and returns when we started working with them.
People just didn’t know it.
There was no mention of shipping or returns until a customer went all the way to the cart or checkout page.
Which means, a significant number people came to the site ready to buy, but they left before adding an item to the cart.
All because they were worried they’d have to pay for shipping or returns.
Other Trust Elements
The free shipping and returns notice was easily the most impactful change we made.
But it wasn’t the only change.
We also added trust elements.
1. An 800 number with hours
An 800 number with EST hours let customers know there was help available if they needed it.
2. Facebook Likes
Displaying the company’s 44,000 Facebook likes provided social proof that the company was known by a large group of existing customers.
As a note, this trust element is becoming less impactful as people become used to seeing it. But it’s still worth testing.
3. BBB A+ Rating
An A+ BBB rating was another way to provide social proof that Trailcam Pro was a company you could trust.
Answering Other Objections in the Buying Process
The idea of answering objections as they arise?
It’s not limited to the header.
When they’ve narrowed their search down to one product, for example, they have questions like these:
- What happens if it breaks?
- Do they have any in stock?
- Do they accept my preferred payment method?
For Trailcam Pro, we knew in advance where people had these questions.
So… we answered them in those places.
Example: What Happens if It Breaks?
Several companies make a big deal about their warranties on their homepage.
But that’s too early.
At first, people are just trying to find the right product. Until they do, talking about warranties is just a waste of real estate.
Instead, we held the mention of the warranty until the customer made it to the product page.
If it breaks, there’s a 2-year guarantee. You can send it back for a replacement or a refund.
We reiterated the guarantee again—even bigger this time—on the cart checkout popup:
This is the place to mention warranties—when the customer is ready to complete the purchase—because this is where people begin to wonder:
- “What happens if this breaks after I buy it? Can I send it back?”
Featuring the warranty on the product and checkout pages provides an answer to that objection at exactly the right moment in the process.
Beyond Shipping and Returns: Study Your Customers to Improve Your Results
The real lesson behind this case study isn’t just “offer free shipping and returns” (although that is not a bad idea at all). It’s actually far more general and can apply to any eCommerce store:
Know your customers.
- What are their objections?
- What do they value?
- What do your competitors offer that they value?
- What’s holding them back?
First, work to gain insights into what your customers are thinking, then test what you know by running CRO experiments.
Consider what’s happening in their minds as they navigate your site.
If you have an eCommerce site, you can be sure website visitors want to know if you offer free shipping and free returns.
But even if you don’t—or never plan to—offer free shipping or returns, the principle is the same.
What questions will they have on each page?
As we saw with Trailcam Pro, if you answer those questions, you can sometimes significantly increase the total sales you make on your site.
As with all things CRO, your website visitors are unique.
It’s helpful to benchmark your strategies against the best in class sites.
But ultimately, we advise running these tests on your own site—then watching the numbers to see what happens.
After that, adjust as needed for better results.
If you’d like our CRO experts to see what conversion best practices can be applied to your eCommerce site, contact us here. To see your best possible conversion rate, you need an advanced strategy designed for your specific audience, and we can help. Contact us here.