Top 25 CRO Tactics of 2023

These tactics are easy to implement in 2023 for the following reasons:

  • Easy to apply: They work across a variety of business types
  • Easy to implement: Supported by most content management systems
  • Easy to get approved: There are plenty of case studies proving out the success of these tactics

#1 Add Social Proof

Social proof is anything that proves others value your product or service. It is often found in the form of customer testimonials, awards, and well-known businesses you have worked with. These give you instant credibility and make the buyer more comfortable with a purchase decision.

Example – provides social proof by showing you the product popularity, customer testimonials, and press from other popular websites.

Drsquatch social proof example

#2 Include Reassurance Copy

Price match, guarantees, free returns, third party reviews…these are all examples of reassurance copy that remove the micro barriers preventing or delaying a purchase. They ultimately work together to reassure the consumer the right purchase is being made.

Example – has a lot of reassurance copy including full refunds, social proof (reviews and popularity) and price transparency.

#3 Compare Yourself to Competition

If you don’t do it, consumers will. This works best for products like software where the consumer has a set of needs and is searching a competitive set for which option best satisfies those needs. By preemptively addressing this comparison, you can own this conversation.

Example – has fully embrace comparing themselves to the competition. They even have paid search campaigns to get ahead of this traffic:

These ads send the user to a page that compares Monday to all other project management software. In this way, Monday owns the comparison conversation.

#4 Speed Up Your Website

A slow site leads to higher bounce rates, shorter sessions, and more abandoned carts.

But don’t take it from me. Amazon estimated one second of site delay could cost them over $1 billion in annual sales.

There are a wide range of studies quantifying the impact of speed on different site metrics.

Google found that bounce rates increased 32% as page load times increased from 1 to 3 seconds.

And site speed doesn’t just reduce the number of visitors. This A/B test showed how a 2 second delay during the checkout process increased cart abandonment 30%!

Finally, slow speeds contribute negatively to brand sentiment. If your site is slower than competition, the customer may wonder where else you are falling short.

#5 Offer a Discount to New Customers

Do you have a good product your customer will buy over and over again? Why not give them 10% off their first order? The lifetime value you’ll receive will more than make up for the initial discount.

Example – offers new customers 10% off their first order. This site sells items like deodorant customers will order on a recurring basis so it makes sense to capture potential customers before they go somewhere else and give that business owner their money.

#6 Add Multiple High-Quality Images provides multiple, high-quality images along with influencer videos to show the quality of their products.

All the CRO tactics in the world won’t help if your product has one, small, fuzzy image you took with your 2017 iPhone. While topic of product imagery runs deep, here are some of the most important best practices:

Best practices:

  • Multiple images (three or more)
  • High quality images only
  • Different angles
  • Work well on mobile devices
  • Avoid manufacturer images and stock photos
  • User submitted photos could be a nice addition if they are high quality
  • Videos if possible

Additional reading:

Relevant case studies:

#7 Offer Free Shipping

Free shipping works because it is perceived as getting something for nothing. Even though we logically know shipping has been priced in, one all inclusive price seems like a deal.

This plays into the aggregate effect which states that negative experiences, like costs, are less painful when grouped together.


  • Free shipping is not a one-size-fits-all recommendation. It may not make sense for your business, at least not without strategies like priced-based shipping described below. For this reason, you should first determine if the expected lift in revenue will be more than the increase in cost. This estimate should take into consideration the increase in estimated conversion rate increase, average order value, and hard shipping costs.
  • If you determine this tactic could be a net positive, run an A/B test to determine if your assumptions around the lift in conversion rate and average order value are valid.

Best practice – Promote the f*ck out of your free shipping:  This is especially true if you are a smaller e-commerce store as many online shoppers have come to associate smaller stores with no free shipping.

Best practice – Priced-based free shipping: For e-commerce stores that sell lower-priced items, show how far the buyer is from achieving free shipping. Combining this with cross-selling can be a powerful way to increase average order value. provides a great example of how this can work:

#8 Consider Free Returns

Offering free returns can be a powerful way to increase conversions. It makes sense as you are eliminating the risk of buying a product that does not meet expectations.

However, free returns can also be extremely costly for some ecommerce stores. For some, the gain in sales are outweighed by the loss from shipping costs, processing time, and wasted inventory. For this reason, offering free returns should be approached carefully. Any tests for effectiveness should measure costs as well as revenue.

If you decide to test this CRO tactic, consider the following best practices:

Best practice – Promote your free return policy. This is especially true if you are a smaller e-commerce store as many online shoppers have come to associate smaller stores with limited refund policies. Preemptively address this hesitation at the outset. promotes their free returns using a banner above their main menu:

Best practice – Prevent preference-based returns. Preference-based returns (e.g., size, fit, ingredients, etc.) represent the largest and most avoidable type of return. To prevent these types of returns, ensure you clearly label product attributes from the beginning of the purchase journey all the way up to the checkout page. Other methods of preventing these returns include offering FAQ content where users can answer each other’s questions. prevents preference-based returns by listing product preferences like color and size throughout the checkout process:

Best practice – Offer alternatives to refunds. If operationally feasible, start by offering exchanges. Wrong shirt color? No problem, we’ll quickly get you the one you want. If an exchange is not an option, offer in-store credit to keep the user on your store. You can use different means to incentivize this option. Amazon incentivizes in-store credit by increasing the speed by which you get your funds if you choose credit. You could take this one step further by offering 5% on top of the return to keep them in-store.

Additional reading and statistics:

Case Studies & Statistics:

#9 Price Anchoring

Price anchoring involves showing an initial price to a consumer, followed by a second, lower price. The consumer, who is anchored to the “higher” price, will then find the second price as more of a value. This tactic is used by many different businesses from e-commerce sites to your local car dealership, where the price offered always follows the MSRP.

Example – Winter Park Resort anchors their online price to their same day price:

winter park price anchoring

Example – anchors their old price to their new reduced price:

REI price anchoring example

#10 Create a Sense of Urgency

How many times have you taken action because of a limited time deal, expiring sale, or fear an item may go out of stock? It shouldn’t be too hard, just look back at your Cyber Tuesday order history:) Creating a sense of urgency gives your customer a reason to buy sooner rather than later.

Example 1 – Camelback Resort created a sense of urgency by adding “prices increase soon” to their season pass page.