Website Conversion

We were both honoured and humbled when American couple Dustin and Erin asked us to review their online retail store A La Mode and help them with a commonly faced problem, website conversion! Here was the question:

 I own a site . I do most of the management / business and my wife handles the creation of product. We are ranking for a few key words and even have some pretty decent volume of unique visits 50-100/day. Our conversion rate is terrible though. Less than (hidden) We are lucky to make (we removed the figure) sale a week. Can you check out the site and offer any ideas or recommendations? Thank you so much and I look forward to learning from your book.

We requested a bit more information and also learnt:

Our primary sources of visitors come from google and recently pinterest. (with various other search engines sending us traffic in lower volumes) Our primary key words that seem to actually send us the unique visits are (we have removed them for A La Modes protection).

Pinterest recently shot our site into a viral state with upwards of 300 unique visits/day —-but only (we removed the figure) sales. ?????? Their method of directing traffic does not seem to be from kw’s but impression from images. (if what I see in analytics is correct) This period of viral visits has slowed back to a more regular pace of 50 to 100 /day. We are targeting the U.S which is where 90% of our traffic comes from. I hope I have provided enough information to somewhat understand our position. Thank you so much for your time and I really look forward to hearing from you guys.”

I was SO excited about checking this baby gift store as a large number of friends are currently expecting babies. When I landed on the homepage my initial thoughts were ‘beautiful’, the site was vibrant and playful, things I really look for when I am personally shopping. The biggest concerns for me, as a customer, came when I tried to go shopping for a present. Here is the 411 of what we discovered and the tips we passed on.

Homepage Body

  • Homepage is beautiful.
  • Colourful and vibrant.
  • Great images
  • No call to action


  • Shop Now?
  • Latest Collection?
  • Latest Deal?
  • Free Shipping?
  • Policies?


wasted real estate

Don’t leave a gap on your homepage, turn it into keyword rich content that your customers could find helpful.

Home Page Heading

I love your homepage, and I really love the header images that scroll through. However, I think you are missing an emotional connection with your customers. There is no baby on your site! Can you add an image of a baby (or baby and mum) using your product/with your product as one of the scroll header images?

Product Category

I was overwhelmed by the number of category options available. I think you have room to remove a few unless they are vital for keywords. The 3 that are the most important out of the list you have, to a customer:

  • Baby Gifts for Girls
  • Baby Gifts for Boys
  • Gender Neutral Baby Gifts

Some others that are good:

Baby Hair Pieces

Edible Creations

New Mommy Gifts (but not the personalised baby bit)

Vitals I think you could add:

  • All Baby Gifts
  • Gift Baskets
  • Gifts Under $30
  • Gifts Under $60
  • Gifts Under $100

Remove some categories and create space for other call to actions!

This would actually create extra real estate under the categories where you could put:

  • A Pinterest Button?
  • A Facebook Button?
  • A Testimonial?
  • A Featured Product?
  • Your Policies Button?

Product Category Pages

Visual merchandising is one of the most important selling points in retail. Your images here are too small for people to fall in love with. As a customer I have to click on every image just to get an idea of what it might be. For most customers this is too hard and they will shop elsewhere, where it is easier.

Some Additional Points from the info that you told us:

Congratulations on ranking for some decent keywords! Coming up as number two for “creative baby shower gifts” is great, and it shows the power of having a good site title. This niche as a whole is extremely competitive, so you’ve done well to target certain aspects of the niche. Another thought is to really drill down into the surrounding keywords. A few I would consider targeting a bit more might be (we have removed the keyword ideas we provided for A La Mode’s protection).

Specifically I would produce content for them (500-1000 word articles). Looking at some of the more popular phrases in the niche scared the pants off me, so going for some of the less trafficked (and less competitive) keywords would be my strategy here.

Pinterest sent you traffic of around 300 unique visits per day but only a small conversion: Pinterest is a tough one, while it is great to gain extra traffic and help with rankings, customers are not as targeted as if they are searching for gifts themselves. There could have been a multitude of reasons why these did not convert to as many sales as you expected. Did you look at the stats and see how long this traffic was spending on your site? What pages did they view? What page did they exit? This can be a great insight into where things are not connecting for your customers.

Facebook: Your facebook page does not tie in with your website. Your website is really vibrant and playful but none of the carries across into your FB page. You have a solid number of fans so it is worth putting the time into fixing it up. There are heaps of free programs out there that could help you quickly give your page a makeover.

If you have any ideas or thoughts for these guys, please let us know in the comments and we will be sure to pass them on.  


  1. Tessa — Great points! More targeted CTA’s, leveraging of unused real estate, and category structure will definitely boost conversion rates.

    My two cents below:

    1. Your landing pages for top-level categories (A La Mode Gifts, Artisan Crafted Baby Gifts, and Favors) are pretty weak. When I land, I only see a short paragraph, and some “Refine Search” links.

    This leaves a TON of page real estate unused.

    In the same vein, your top sub-category “Custom Gallery” links to an weaker intermediate page instead of directly to the gallery.

    2. Where are the customer reviews? May be harder to implement initially, but I’d imagine your target audience tends to skew to a more vocal bunch, and social proof can really help conversions.

    3. Another idea to incorporate is an email signup form. I’m not sure how much email marketing you guys do, but it’s a great driver of revenue on the backend.

    4. Twitter and the blog seems to be pretty neglected. You have a good Facebook following. May be a good idea to pull some images of your followers on Facebook to up that social proof.

    Dustin & Erin, I love your products! I think implementing some optimization will help you crush it!

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