5 website updates that can actually impact your sales.

Mar 19 2020 | PayPal editorial staff

Taking steps to optimize how shoppers engage with your products online can set your business up for higher ecommerce sales. Start with these easy-to-implement tactics.
User experience, or UX, impacts how customers navigate your website, find the products they’re looking for, and ultimately complete a purchase. When users find that experience to be fast, easy, direct, and even enjoyable, there’s a better chance they’ll buy from you instead of your competitors. On the flip side, if your UX frustrates or confuses shoppers, expect them to go elsewhere.  

While some UX improvements require a lot of resources, the five tactics that follow are easy to implement and have paid off for businesses in all kinds of industries, from apparel to healthcare and even home improvement. 

1. Create a more prominent and attention-grabbing call to action (CTA).

Content placed at the top of a page, before anyone needs to scroll down, is seen 84% more than content placed “below the fold,” or content that requires users to scroll down to see it.1
 So take a quick peek at your homepage — is your CTA hiding at the bottom? If it is, try moving it toward the top, where users can see it once they land on the page. Better yet, put your CTA at the top and bottom of the page, or make it "sticky" so it follows the user as they scroll down the page.
In addition to being immediately visible, your CTA should also grab users’ attention. Test a few enhancements like font size or colour and see which CTA generates the most clicks.

“I was curious whether colour would impact user behavior, so I chose a colour for the CTA that contrasts the colour of the main landing page,” says Sam Malik, founder of the UK-based online pharmacy Dr Felix. “It’s an easy thing to implement and I saw a bump in conversions and more visitors clicking on in the CTA to go past the main landing page.”

2. Make your products easy to find.

A hallmark of great UX is uniting users with what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. “If they click on a product and it’s not exactly what they’re looking for, you'll end up with frustrated users and a huge bounce rate,” says Kevin Stewart, senior UX designer at automotive website LeaseFetcher.com. 
Using filters can make this process fast and efficient. “At LeaseFetcher, we added a range of product filters—fuel efficiency, doors, transmission, rating, popularity, fuel type, etc.—so users could find cars that met their specific requirements,” says Stewart. “After implementing the new filters, we saw a significant fall in the bounce rate on the car page and a huge fall in site-wide exit rates.” 
While you’re making changes to your product filters, also take a look at how you’re naming product categories. Ask: Is the naming intuitive? Would most of my shoppers easily understand where to click to find the item they’re looking for? If there’s even a slight doubt, test your website out on platforms like UserTesting.com to get user feedback.

3. Streamline your checkout experience.

A faster, easier checkout process is a no-brainer when it comes cultivating higher checkout completions. Your first step: examine potential roadblocks to users completing purchases. 

“We had a few comments from customers who expressed trouble in completing the checkout process because their address was not recognized as part of the autofill feature,” says Greg Bullock, marketing manager at TheraSpecs, an eyewear company. “This inspired us to remove it and evaluate the impact. We observed a direct 12% improvement in the conversion performance of our checkout page in the first four weeks after the change.”
You can add a simplified option like PayPal Checkout to provide customers with multiple payment options and save them the hassle of having to enter shipping information. “By allowing customers to use delivery and billing information that’s already stored on their PayPal account, we’re preventing them from having to re-enter the same details on our site, making the whole checkout flow much quicker and easier to complete,” says Andy Halliday, SEO manager at home improvement retailer VictoriaPlumb.com. 

4. Increase your font size.

This may seem obvious but if users have a hard time reading information on your site, you could be cheating yourself out of sales. Experts recommend a font size of at least 16 pixels for responsive websites2, as larger fonts improve UX readability and reader comprehension3This explains why default font sizes for search engines usually hover around this mark. Luckily, changing the font size on your landing pages is typically a quick and inexpensive fix.

5. Tailor your site experience using analytics insights.

Use tools like Google Analytics or PayPal Marketing Solutions to get an overview of user demographics and traffic sources to your website. “I noticed almost 70% of our visitors were using smartphones,” recalls Dr Felix’s Malik. “So I created a new mobile menu and optimized the site for mobile users as a priority and saw an increase in sales.” Getting started with Google Analytics is simple: create an account, set parameters around the data you want to collect, and add a tracking code to your website or mobile app—it’s all free if you’re a small business owner. PayPal Marketing Solutions is included as part of a PayPal Business account.  
For an in-depth look at how customers are behaving once they get to your site, try tools like Hotjar, Crazy Egg, and Inspectlet. These platforms record user sessions and provide easy-to-digest analytics in the form of heatmaps that show where users scroll, click, and focus their attention.
Once you’ve spent time learning about your customers, act on those learnings. “A great way to leverage customer data is through the use of A/B testing,” says Darren Schreher, digital manager at clothing retailer INTO THE AM. “If you’re able to compare two versions of a webpage, you can determine which one performs better. Continuous testing and optimization ultimately lead to a better user experience.” 

A great UX encourages your customers to take action.

As successful ecommerce businesses can tell you, optimizing the user experience on your site doesn’t need to take a huge chunk of your time or budget. The little things you do to improve your customers’ journey, from experimenting with simple style tweaks to collecting customer data with a single line of code, have the potential to boost sales, sign-ups, and downloads in a big way.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

1Source: Nielsen Norman Group. The Fold Manifesto: Why the Page Fold Still Matters. February 1, 2015. 
2Source: Learn UI Design Blog. The Responsive Website Font Size Guidelines. April 23, 2018. 
3Source: Make It Big! The Effect of Font Size and Line Spacing on Online Readability. May 2016. 

Frequently asked questions.

The PayPal Developer Centre (in English only) offers support for developers who have questions about technical topics, such as APIs, PayPal product integration, or testings. You can also find useful information on the PayPal Community Forum, or contact our technical support specialists on Merchant Technical Support.

Below is a list of common topics searched for by developers: 

Account Authentication
Information about validating your visitor's PayPal account.

Encrypted Website Payments
To make online payments more secure, you can make Encrypted Website Payment buttons that rely on standard public key encryption for protection.

Identity API
PayPal offers a secure commerce Identity API that lets your customers sign in to your web site using their PayPal credentials.

Instant Payment Notification
Instant Payment Notification is a message service that automatically notifies merchants of events related to PayPal transactions.

Merchants, developers, and business solution providers use Invoicing APIs to automate the creation, delivery, tracking, and reconciliation of invoices with an integrated payments solution.

Mobile SDK
Accept PayPal, credit cards and other payments methods through mobile apps.

Name-Value Pair (NVP) API
Information and support on name value pairs and NVP SDKs.

PayPal Checkout
PayPal Checkout gives your buyers a simplified and secure checkout experience that keeps them local to your website or mobile app throughout the payment process.

PayPal Sandbox Support
Information and support for users testing in the PayPal Sandbox environment.

PayPal Shopping Cart
The PayPal Shopping Cart system allows buyers to select multiple items on your website and pay for them with a single payment.

Permissions Service API
PayPal's permissions service enables you to request and obtain authorization to make API calls and take action on behalf of your customers.

The PayPal SOAP API is based on open standards known collectively as web services, which include the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Web Services Definition Language (WSDL), and the XML Schema Definition language (XSD).

Testing Your Apps in Sandbox
A guide for developers testing their apps in the PayPal Sandbox environment.

Virtual Terminal
Information about PayPal's Virtual Terminal - a web-based application that processes credit and debit cards, replacing swipe machines.

Website Payments Pro
PayPal's Website Payments Pro is an API-based solution that enables merchants and developers to accept credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal payments directly on their website.
Website Payments Standard
You can accept credit cards online easily and offers a streamlined checkout experience to customers using mobile devices.

With PayPal, you can enjoy a safer and easier way to send and receive payments for goods, services and more.

Shopping globally with peace of mind
Simply link a card to your PayPal account and you can start making payments in over 20 currencies. Instead of entering your card information for every transaction, you can now pay with just a few clicks without compromising your security. You can also withdraw funds into your bank account anytime. We use industry-leading anti-fraud technology and a dedicated team of risk experts to help keep your transactions safer. Learn more about PayPal Buyer Protection.

Growing your sales from various channels
Select from our wide range of payment solutions to receive payments from buyers all over the world. Accept safer payments anytime, anywhere – on eBay, through your own website, using PayPal Here in your storefront, or by simply emailing an invoice to your customers. Besides our expertise in payment security, our Seller Protection protects you from any losses arising from unauthorised payments and items not received on eligible transactions.

Find out more about how we protect you.

Website Payments Pro – Hosted Solution is a customisable payment system that allows Hong Kong merchants to accept payments funded by all major credit and debit cards. You can create the online checkout experience that’s right for your customers – from branding, look-and-feel, to back-end integration.

Here are some features and benefits of Website Payments Pro – Hosted Solution:
  • Easy integration with popular shopping carts.
  • Keep your customer engaged with your site through the checkout.
  • Accept credit and debit cards in 16 currencies.
  • Accept payments over the phone, fax, or mail orders with Virtual Terminal.
To learn more about the product, fees, and application details, please visit Website Payments Pro – Hosted Solution.
If you have your own website, here are the payment solutions we offer in Hong Kong:

Website Payments Standard
You can simply add PayPal payment button code to your website. When your buyers click on the buttons, they’ll be directed to PayPal’s payment page to pay you.
  • If you need a shopping cart: Choose a shopping cart that's already integrated with PayPal, or add our "Add to Cart" button to your website.
  • If you already have a shopping cart: For PayPal-compatible carts, select PayPal as your online payment service. If you have a custom-built cart, add PayPal by cutting and pasting HTML code into your checkout.
PayPal Checkout
An API-based solution that simplifies your buyers' shopping experience, and keeps them engaged on your webpage or mobile app throughout the entire checkout flow. View our integration guide (in English).

Both payment solutions have no setup or monthly fees, and the transactions eligible for our Seller and Buyer Protection policies are safeguarded by PayPal. You're only charged a fee when receiving a payment.

For technical support on implementing the payment solutions, please visit our dedicated Merchant Integration Tech Support Community and PayPal Developer Centre (in English).

Note: To enhance your account safety and remove initial account limits, please confirm your email address and verify your account first.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.