Have you ever wondered, what motivates customers to checkout their carts?

The list can go on: an uniquely and neatly designed website, amazing products, attractive product photos,… Those are the basic features that all online store owners try to check off their lists, however, there are still hundreds of those who struggle with their checkout.

If you find yourself in that position, you might need to improve the call-to-actions on your website.

What is CTA?
A call-to-action, or CTA is verbage that encourages a specific action from your audience immediately. CTAs on ecommerce websites are not limited to “Buy now” and “Add to cart”, but can call for engagement or information like “Subscribe” or “See more”

How do I create effective CTAs?
There is no one-size-fits-all way to create call-to-actions. Here in this ultimate guide we would like to deep dive into 6 must-do tips to persuade your customers with killing CTAs.

#1 Keep it simple

When it comes to CTAs, less is more. The wording of your call-to-action should be straight, simple and self-explanatory so customers easily understand what will happen when they click the link.  Amazon use a plain and simple “See more” button below a brief description about their products.

#2 Be generous, give them some incentives

Incentives such as coupon codes can be a great call-to-action to encourage customer’s decision to buy. For example, you’re shopping online and at the check-out step you realize you left your credit card in the kitchen, and it’s pretty late at night so you intend to leave it to tomorrow. Now, if you had a 30% coupon code, would you be more motivated to get up and get your card? The chance of completing your purchase is surely higher. So, why not add this to your online store too and increase your conversion rate?

Many online stores use discount codes to increase both conversion rates and social follows. For example, with Checkout Boost app, when customers check out, a beautiful popup window offers free gift, free shipping or discount. This is a great incentive for customers to follow the CTA “Share on Facebook” or “Share on Twitter”.

checkout boost

#3 Use action words

It is extremely important to use verbs, not nouns, such as “buy”, “add to cart”, etc. You should only use words that customers are familiar with to avoid confusion. Also, don’t be afraid that your verbs are too strong, it is okay to give your customers commands sometimes.

Here are some of the action words that you can use for CTA:

CTAs for add items to cart CTAs for engagement CTAs for more details
  • Shop
  • Buy
  • Get
  • Purchase
  • Order
  • I want this!
  • Ask
  • Live chat
  • Subscribe
  • Contact us
  • Register
  • Sign up
  • Like, Tweet, Follow
  • Learn
  • Discover
  • Explore
  • Browse
  • Compare
  • See more

#4 Pay attention to visual appearance

The key to an effective CTA is that, while still keeping it simple, make it look extra attractive to customers. Check this list to see if you’re doing it right:

  • Format: Bold fonts and thick outlines should be used to highlight your CTA button.
  • Color: Don’t use too flamboyant colors, it is ideal to make your call-to-action button the same color as your logo for consistency. Forever21 use a simple design so their black “Shop now” button, which is the same as their logo, stands out above everything.


Surveys show that a simple change in Add to cart color, from blue to neon green can bring up to 35.81% increase on conversion rate, which proves how important an effective CTA is to your business.

  • Size: Customers should see your call-to-action right away, so make it the biggest link to click. Don’t make it too small and invisible like Dodocase, the “Start shopping” just button seems to disappear among other text and images.

  • On some special occasions such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas or New Year’s Eve, you spice it up a little bit and add holiday theme to your call-to-action button to make it more attractive.

holiday theme

#5 Place it at the right position

Call-to-action won’t be call-to-action if customers cannot see it – place it where it is more likely to be noticed. There are a few popular ways you can put your CTA button:

  • Top-to-bottom order: position your “Add to bag” button at the end of product page, just below the price like Levi’s, simply because after seeing the price customers might want to buy the product.

  • Left-to-right order: you can place your CTA on the right side as customers also scan from left to right. Also, try to put it “above the fold”, which means at the first scroll of your page, you want it to be seen immediately.

#6 Create urgency

A sense of shortage or limited opportunity can motivate customers a lot, and can range from end of season sales, to a limited amount of stock. Customers are more inclined to buy the product if they are in fear of missing out an opportunity. Some stores, like The Musicians Guide, add a countdown clock along with the offer and a simple call-to-action “Buy it now for £47”.

urgency of call-to-action

Your turn
There can be many things that make a great call-to-action, but remember: your goal is to encourage actions from customers. Also, at the end of the day, you know your online store best, so test different versions and choose the best one.

What is your favorite tip? Do you have any special techniques you want to share? Let us know in the comment section below, and don’t forget to share these great tips with everyone on Facebook, Twitter, sharing is caring!

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