Optimize your website to increase sales
As the marketplace becomes more digital, today’s consumers have come to expect retail businesses will have an e-commerce website. But just having a site doesn’t mean customers are going to engage. Additionally, in an increasingly competitive world of online shopping, brands have to be savvy about how to encourage customers to buy items from them instead of the competition.
It’s all about conversion. And here’s the most important thing to know about conversion: it doesn’t happen automatically, you need to optimize for it. Whether you’re building a brand new e-commerce website or simply making changes to your existing one, let these tips guide you.
Make it easy
User experience is utmost important. Every business needs to think about the target audience when creating an e-commerce website. Good design and user experience will not only help improve conversion rates, but it also builds trust and increases organic search engine rankings.
There are few things more annoying for a potential customer than to get to an online store and not be able to browse and find what he or she is looking for. Make navigation clear and uncomplicated. Great e-commerce sites will have:
- Home page
- Category page
- Product page
- Checkout page
- Contact and support page
Also be sure to have an ever-present search bar. It’s incredibly important for users to access the search even when scrolling down to the bottom of the page. No customer should ever have to look around or have to scroll back to the top just to search for something new.
Keeping pages clean. Websites that take too long to load will be left behind; research shows almost half of all online customers expect pages to load within 2 seconds. If they are unhappy, they will leave.
Don’t be confusing or overwhelming in any way. If your goal is to have visitors click on something, it’s vital that the call to action (CTA) is clearly identifiable and users find it within 2 seconds.
Have a good hosting service
Because speed is so important, having a service that is consistent and can deliver at a good speed and is a vital investment. Nothing will hurt conversions more than a site that constantly has glitches – or worse – crashes.
Shoppers can and will be indecisive at times. For example, someone looking at the short sleeve blue shirts may wander off to find the long sleeve yellow shirts and then to matching ties only to realize he or she really wants that short sleeve blue shirt. Make it easy for the customer to get back and get it.
Remember, this tactic is not only helpful for users, it’s also great for SEO. By showing people exactly where they are at any given time, it passes along information to search engines about the content on the inner and outer pages of your website in a logical and natural way.
Not every customer that comes to the site will want to make a purchase, even if they start clicking and making selections. Let’s be frank, even the biggest online retailers have shopping cart abandonment rates. It’s going to happen; that’s just part of e-commerce. As a way to improve conversion, however, you can still use tactics to keep the interest going beyond a simple sale, including:
- Display comments and ratings. Consumers are more likely to trust a brand with reviews, especially when negative comments are also included alongside positive ones. The more a user trusts, they more they likely he or she will buy.
- Prioritize SEO and use keywords. Craft the absolute best descriptions possible. It’s not only helpful to users, but search engines will be looking for words that will rank your site higher. When you’re easier to find, customers will come.
- Add a blog. By providing insightful information for users, you again give search engines more content to find. As you update the blog, in addition better optimization, you also create interest for consumers who are on the fence. They may return to read the blog; those on the site are more likely to buy.
- Send abandonment emails. If the user went through the steps to set up a profile but walked away without completing the transaction, don’t ignore it. They were interested, they just didn’t take the final steps. Send a helpful email to remind them. Letting them know the cart is still there may be enough to complete the sale. If you don’t take advantage of this data, simply said, you’re missing out on money.
Use your data
Every e-commerce website will gather analytics as consumers come, go, browse and buy. The only – absolute only – way to know how much success you’re having with your improvements is to know where you started and measure your data. To get the best ROI, make the most of these metrics and continue to make updates as necessary to be serve your customer. When you meet their needs, they will be loyal to your brand.
T.E. Digital has a team that can help with everything from concept and creation of e-commerce websites to slicing and dicing vital analytics to increase your success rates.
We partner with businesses to help them get into the e-commerce game and make the most of their efforts while they are there. Need some help with your website? Just give us a call. Let’s discuss your goals, target audience and develop overall strategy specifically for your brand.