5 tips for the Call-to-Action in your online shop

Author: Henning Ahlers // 8min

Customers need orientation in an online shop. They should know at any time of the customer journey what they have to do and above all: how to carry out an action that you as a shop owner are aiming at. This is exactly where the call-to-action comes into play. The call-to-action indicates in button form where the customer or potential new customer must click, for example, to place a product in the shopping cart and complete the purchase. Provided with a clear message, it initiates the checkout. At the same time, the call-to-action can provide the final impulse to make a purchase in the first place.

Small, fine, but with a big effect – the call-to-action is one of the most important elements in an online shop. In the following article, you will learn why it is so important and how you can use it strategically.

Why is the call-to-action so important?

The call-to-action, also known as a CTA for short, ensures that a visitor knows how to get to the next step in an online shop and what action to take. A call-to-action

In summary, the call-to-action is the deciding factor in achieving your goals. A call-to-action appears in the form of a button and contains a short text that shows what the click means for the customer. The CTA button enjoys worldwide acceptance. Users are simply used to such a CTA button – whether in an online shop or on a landing page.

When does a call-to-action come into play?

Consequently, the call-to-action is a central core element for bringing movement and activity into your online shop. The possible uses of the call-to-action, which usually stands out succinctly from the rest of the content, are versatile. You can use a call-to-action among other things for:

  • Purchase of a product
  • Booking a service
  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Securing a discount
  • Downloading an e-book
  • Sharing a post
  • Following in social media
  • and much more.


Yes, even accepting the privacy policy uses a call-to-action.

How to use the call-to-action correctly in your online shop

You know what a call-to-action is now and what actions it can encourage your customers to take. Now the question is how to use the call-to-action button correctly. First of all, it is very important that your CTA is integrated into the overall design of your online shop. It is part of your concept and serves as the final call to action for your customers. Whether, where and in what context you place your call-to-action depends on various factors. Ask yourself the questions in advance:

  • What action should be carried out with the call-to-action?
  • Who do I address with the call-to-action?
  • How can the design of the CTA encourage a specific target group to take action?


One of the most important criteria of the call-to-action is that it is clearly identified as such. Customers and visitors should not have to search for a CTA button for a long time, but should recognise and use it immediately. You will learn more about what you should pay attention to in the following section.

We also work with an optimised call-to-action in our exit-intent popups to win back shopping cart abandoners. Whether voucher popups or service popups: if the exit-intent popup appears to support your customers in making a purchase decision, the CTA points the way to the goal. The context in which the call-to-action appears is accordingly one of the most important criteria you should pay attention to.

Learn more about the use of exit-intent popups in your online shop.

1. The call-to-action in the right context

Where and in what visual form you place a call-to-action essentially depends on what you want to achieve. A CTA should fit coherently into the context and at the same time stand out clearly from the rest of the content. It can be inserted at different positions on a website. The classic “Add to cart” button is located in the upper part of a product page so that the visitor does not have to scroll. On a landing page, it is usually embedded in between and at the end, so that the user first has the opportunity to inform himself sufficiently about the offer.

Use a call-to-action in moderation to avoid too much distraction. On a product page, a CTA is sufficient. If it is a very complex product that you describe in detail, you can also set several call-to-actions throughout the page.

2. Consider Responsive Design

Online shopping is increasingly shifting from desktop to smartphone or tablet. For this reason, make sure that your call-to-action buttons are optimised for all devices. Above all, the size must adapt to the different screen formats.

We have 7 tips for mobile commerce.

3. Reach target groups with the right CTA

Always adapt a call-to-action to your target group. This is closely coupled with the goal you want to achieve with the CTA button. In order to know what your target group wants, you should know them exactly. Carry out a target group analysis. Look at the user behaviour on your website with the help of tools such as Google Analytics and Hotjar and test different call-to-action buttons.

4. Design of a call-to-action

A call-to-action can be eye-catching. Nevertheless, it should be consistent with your corporate design. In terms of colour, a CTA usually stands out from the rest of the content, yet blends harmoniously into the overall look. It comes to the fore without being distracting. A certain amount of tact is required here.

For your message, you have a maximum of 3 to 5 words in a call-to-action to clearly show the user what he or she should have to do. Ideally, include verbs of activity:

  • Add to cart
  • Order now
  • Yes, get discount
  • Contact us
  • Add to wish list
  • Sign up for the newsletter

You can also create urgency with a CTA. To do this, for example, choose messages such as ” Save quickly now” or “Only for a short time”.

Furthermore, pay attention to the optimal size of the CTA button. On the one hand, it is crucial that customers find the call-to-action immediately, and on the other hand, it should not be distracting. A rather smaller format has established itself here, which nevertheless offers enough space for your individual message.

5. A/B Testing for the Call-to-Action

To find out which type of call-to-action is well received by your target group, carry out A/B testing. To do this, design several versions of a CTA button and compare the click rates with each other. This way you will find the variant that really resonates with your customers and ultimately leads to the goal.

Tips for the shopping cart call-to-action

For online shops, especially the shopping cart call-to-action on the product page is of crucial importance. Therefore, we would like to give you some best practices for the shopping cart call-to-action in the last section:

  • Decide on an eye-catching colour for your shopping cart call-to-action (keyword: signal colours) and ensure a high contrast. Ultimately, however, a black button with white lettering can also be effective. Therefore, use your corporate design as a guideline.
  • A good guideline for the size of a shopping cart call-to-action is the thumb width.
  • Differentiate the size of the call-to-action from secondary CTAs such as “Add to watchlist”.
  • Keep the text short and crisp. Established call-to-actions for the shopping cart include “Add to cart”, “Add to shopping bag” or “Order now”.
  • Add symbols such as a small shopping cart/shopping bag or an arrow for improved visualisation.
  • Place the shopping cart call-to-action high up (above the fold) so that it is accessible to the customer without scrolling.
  • Leave enough white space around your call-to-action for visualisation.

Using the power of the CTA

The call-to-action leads your customers to the final stage of their customer journey. It is the door opener that brings you decisively closer to your goal. Therefore, make sure you have a well-optimised call-to-action. Test different variants to get the best result.

  • 4 tips for more leads in your online shop

    You want to use the existing traffic optimally for your online shop? Since by far not every shop visitor is ready to buy, most of them leave you online shop. Take the opportunity and generate leads from the visitors who are not ready to buy.

    To the Blog Post
  • Wacholder Express doubles orders without extra effort

    The company was looking for an easy-to-use strategic tool to support its strong growth. At the same time, the tool should adapt the expertise and experience from the local business to the online shop. The results: 25% conversion rate of exit-intent popups, 70% conversion rate of abandoned cart emails, 100% ROAS, Increase in new customer acquisition, Increase in revenue from existing customers.

    To the Success Story
  • Successful Item Descriptions for Online Shops

    Why do customers decide to place orders in a particular online shop? The decisive factor here is the motives for buying. So recognise the buying motives of your visitors and then fulfil the customer needs! We compile 7 central buying motives and show you how to stimulate them on the product page.

    To the Blog Post