The whole point of marketing is to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. But what about conversion optimization? How do you know which tool to use in which area of your ecommerce site that’s key to the customer journey? What’s better for a particular campaign?
In this article, we cover a list of ecommerce site optimization suggestions and tactics that can boost your sales.
1. Design and UX
A. Optimize your home page
So, there’s the home page of your ecommerce site. The first thing your target visitor expects to see on it is the product/service you’re selling.
Since a person’s eye first falls on the center of the page, it is better to attract his attention with a bright thematic image of the main product.
Suppose the image has worked and the user has decided to stay. Now he would like to know what shop he got into, whether it’s worth buying here. The vision moves to the bar in the top of the site, where it’s necessary to place:
- Company logo – always in the upper left corner
- The search bar
- Contact details (obligatory – phones, in addition – addresses and hours and other means of communication, button to order a call). According to the survey results, 90% of respondents confirmed that they once became the victim of fraudsters when making online purchases. This means that the trust of customers must be earned, and detailed information about the store – one of the effective ways.
- Shopping cart (always on the right)
Here you can also find a horizontal menu with product categories or information pages (delivery and payment, reviews, FAQs).
Becoming acquainted with your shop, the visitor will surely want to explore a variety of products. As usual, on the left side of the screen, they will look through the category menu. A left sidebar is an appropriate place not only product categories, but also news, promotional, and top products, if necessary – the benefits of buying.
B. Simplify your product categories
The visitor gets to the category page in one of three ways – goes from the main page, goes from the search, goes from advertising. In each case, they want to see exactly the products they’re looking for.
On this page, everything should be extremely simple, clear, and convenient – especially the images of goods to make sure that the person got to the address.
The left-side docket provides the advantage of sorting products in customized searches and detailed views.
Important: If the product is out of stock, it’s better to gently notify the client – to offer to buy under the order or notify about the receipt of goods.
If the visitor opened the product card, the main thing they want to see here is a good photo, price, a button to buy. These are the elements that need to be highlighted and worked through.
Therefore, only high-quality professional photos may convince the customer to make a purchase, with the possibility of magnification, taken from different angles. Place a photo in the left upper part of the card. Being acquainted with appearance, the client for certain will be interested in the description of the goods.
The card should be compact but filled with the basic characteristics, feedback and evaluation of the product by customers (psychological trigger of social evidence). This will increase confidence in the store.
The order of placement of all elements in the product card should follow the logic of the client: What is the product/service? How much does it cost? How to buy and get?
This information is offered to the person consistently, which corresponds to the AIDA marketing model:
Attention → Interest → Demand → Action
2. Understand and fix server site errors
Much has been written about the usability of the site. Today, anyone who has their own ecommerce site understands what is needed at the start. But, even working with large sites, you can notice a certain tendency of repetition in usability shortcomings. One of them is related to displaying server errors.
A. Error 404 is helpful
The 404 error page is one of the most common and yet undeservedly forgotten errors. Keep in mind that our main task is to ensure the longest interaction between a user and the site. That’s why even the 404 page should not lose a user at least but redirect them to another useful section of the site.
Act as a guide and prompt your site visitor the following steps: “Return to Home”, “Order a call”, “Pick up similar ones?”
Again, act creatively – it’s a whole free page on your resource. Ask yourself, “what can be placed there?” Once again remind your target audience about the company with the logo, give a coupon/discount to the “Top Sales”, make an announcement of upcoming promotions, lotteries or the opening of new sites.
Do not forget about the correct title for pages 404 error. For example, “404 Not Found”. In a series of open tabs in the browser is much more convenient to see immediately “broken” URLs.
And, of course, check that all links on your 404 page are working. If you redirect the user to the main page or directory, the links must be correct and working. Finally, owners of ecommerce sites, in particular, should know basic information about HTTP code errors and how to fix them.
3. Improve the shopping experience
A. Setup structure so visitors can easily find products
If you have a good understanding of your business, it will be easy to identify the main product categories and divide them by their key attributes.
But if you are just starting your online business, you may have problems forming the structure of the catalog. In this case, you need to arm yourself with your own buying experience and proven recommendations for building a directory structure, analysis of competitors and their comparison with popular search engine queries.
Try to form a directory tree by keeping a balance between sections. There are some rules to follow when creating a directory structure:
According to the psychology of perception of information, 7 is the optimal number of sections of the highest level in the directory, in which the user can simultaneously capture the view.
In each subsection, there should be no more than 100 items. If any category has hundreds of items, and there are only 10-20 product cards in the neighbouring categories, it means that you should divide a large section into subdivisions or create a handy filter for key features.
The maximum level of nesting sections – no more than three: The buyer should go from the catalog to the product card in three clicks:
Section – First click > Subsection – Second click > Product – Thirsd click
The catalogue should be balanced: in each section, there should be an approximately equal number of subsections, and in each subsection – an approximately equal number of goods.
4. Tweak and test your ecommerce checkout process
A. Offer a variety of ways to buy wisely
Let’s start with the fact that there is no and can’t be a single ideal list of payment instruments for all sites. The list of payment methods is formed depending on several key factors:
- The size of the average check
- The geography of business
- Goods or services
- Habits of clients (buyers)
Next, we will give you some tips that will make the page of choice of payment methods as effective as possible.
B. Do not follow the logic of “the more, the better”
In most cases, only a couple of payment instruments are really in demand. The largest selection of payment methods provides its customers with coupon services, online software stores, ticket offices, and other services. In the vast majority of cases, 99% of online payments will fall on two-to-three payment instruments. Do not forget that most customers prefer to pay for large physical goods on delivery and check the quality of goods before buying.
C. Structure your payment methods
If you provide your clients with a wide range of payment instruments, create a separate section for bank cards, a separate section for electronic money, and a separate section for payments via mobile operators. Visualize payment methods with icons and logos. In large amounts of text, attention dissipates, sometimes it is difficult to understand how they differ. All discounts and commissions should be immediately converted into the final amount of the order.
D. Don’t scare the client with terminology
Your buyer does not have to know the terminology common among Internet entrepreneurs. Separately, it should be noted that even payment service providers, not to mention stores, often use completely different terms to denote certain phenomena of “payment reality”. Talk to customers in their language, and get rid of rejections at the stage of choosing a payment method and at the stage of payment, the additional burden on the call center and other consequences of misunderstanding.
E. Do not pass on your work to the customer
Often ecommerce businesses that accept payments through several payment services (aggregators, payment service providers, bank-acquirers) offer their customers to choose, but most likely, they hear about any for the first time.
F. Do not overload the payment page with unnecessary links
The buyer should not be distracted by unnecessary information and leave the payment instrument selection page. This breaks the conversion chain and negatively affects the proportion of successfully paid orders.
G. Let customers checkout as guests
Do you need to force a user to remember another login and password? I don’t think so. You should not create another obstacle to the client’s way of payment. Forcing users to register an account on your site is too obsessive, especially for first-time buyers. Mandatory registration is another winner of the “killer conversion” rating.
Usability research conducted by Smashing Magazine has shown that the main reason why users dislike registering accounts is waiting for unwanted spam. The study also noted that many customers do not understand why they need to register at an online store to buy something, while in offline stores they do not require registration when buying. Another disadvantage of registration is that it adds a few additional fields to fill, which delays the process of ordering and negatively affects the conversion. To make life easier for customers and increase the chances of a favorable outcome, it is necessary to minimize the customer’s time for ordering and request only the necessary minimum information from them.
The answer to increasing online sales is simple, use the tools listed above. All of the tips on internal and external factors we’ve covered in this article are based on a long experience with customers and the term of world-renowned online stores.
Feel free to share your thoughts and queries in the comments section.
Birbahadur Singh Kathayat is an Entrepreneur, internet marketer, and Co-founder of Lbswebsoft. He can be found on Twitter @bskathayat.
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