7 Easy Steps to Improve Your eCommerce Website Sales
Article by Danielle Guerrero
Graphics Design by Vargheese Martin
Better sales and conversion should be the goal of anyone wanting to improve an eCommerce website. After all, this kind of website is more than just a static brochure. It should be a conversion piece in and of itself.
If you want to enhance your eCommerce website, then you must first know what your customers expect. Think like your own customers in order to bring them what they want. If you’re still wondering what these things are, don’t worry. We’ve done the shopping exercise for you and listed down several things you can do to increase customer satisfaction and of course, your sales.
7 Powerful Strategies to Improve Your eCommerce Website Sales
1. Improve your website loading speed
Similar to buying in person, customers are likely to browse various categories and jump to different pages several times. Loading your pages should only take around 2 to 5 seconds to keep your customers on your website and decrease your bounce rate. You can improve your site’s speed through the following different ways.
Images serve as a vital identity for your website but sadly, images may have huge file sizes which may cause a great slow down. Optimize the images you upload by compressing file sizes without compromising their high resolution.
A slightly more technical way to ensure your site’s speed is to monitor your use of plugins. Sure, plugins help your site’s processes but too much of it can slow down your site. Additionally, installing poorly developed ones that are prone to errors can affect other plugins’ performance or worst, your site itself. So before you install another plugin, think long and hard if you really need it.
The backbone of your site’s service to end-users is its hosting server. A hosting service makes your site available via the world wide web. Your end-users’ device communicates with your chosen server in order to deliver your website to their screen. It may sound as if it’s a fast process regardless of geographical location but in actuality, your hosting service’ location determines the speed by which your website reaches your users’ screens.
In order to ensure a fast response from your server, employ a hosting service that is within the territory where you have the most users. Bringing the hosting server near end-users will enable fast communication between their networks, reflected in fast page loading. Not only will you benefit through your brand new rapid loading site, but you will also be granted a local IP which can also help boost your search engine ranking.
Alternatively, you may opt to employ a content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) service. In contrast to a single hosting server, a CDN service distributes proxy servers and their data centres to avoid influx. Instead of overloading one server with requests to access your website, a CDN creates “copies” of the single server to cater to more users at every given time. You can expect an improved page loading time and also lower bandwidth costs if you employ a CDN service.
In this fast-paced world, site speed is a vital factor in providing a satisfying experience with your eCommerce site. So whether it’s your image optimization or choice of hosting service, bear in mind that the best practices always involve keeping your site’s speed up to par with the demand.
2. Organize your products for easy navigation and be there to help
Once you enter the retail mall, you know that there is an area for shoes. Different categories are placed in a logical manner so getting lost is not a problem. Do the same for your site. Construct a site map of the categories of your products. Review it thoroughly to ensure that navigating through your site is intuitive for the average internet user. They should not get lost as they browse through.
For more convenience, make sure that your products are labelled properly. A search bar works best for people who don’t like navigating through your categories. Put short but specific descriptors on every product for more accurate search query results.
Customers can be quite confused about your page and that is inevitable. Having a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page can conveniently help them address common questions.
However, you should still always have support services that can reply to their questions quickly. An appropriate response time would be until the next day. Beyond that, the customers would have lost interest already. Put up-to-date contact information with an assigned staff to answer.
3. Provide images and clear descriptions for your products
Shopping online can be risky for other consumers since they can’t really inspect the product’s quality before buying.. As much as customers want to take a hard look at their desired item, there’s really no guarantee that the item will be in pristine condition, and that alone won’t convince them to buy. This makes gaining a new customer’s trust to be a daunting process, but a few tips will take you a long way.
First and foremost, make sure that your web copy and product descriptions are grammatically correct. It is indeed fishy to see spelling errors in a 100 dollar clothes’ description box. Invest in a good copy, hire a professional copywriter or proofreader. With a professional’s help, you can be assured that your website looks and “sounds” very professional.
Practically, people want to get what they see, so show them exactly what they will get! Post professionally taken pictures of your products in different angles to focus on different details. Using substandard images will result in fewer conversions. Worse, users will have a reason to give you a bad review — and that alone could cause you a huge amount of damage.
4. Show social proof through reviews and ratings
Given that your site looks very decent and professionally made, social proof will still be in demand. Allow reviews to be viewed by customers to guarantee that your products are indeed satisfactory. Like your photos, never fake your reviews. Honest business practices pay off in the long run.
What are the ways to get customers to give you reviews? Notify them about your review incentive program. Give a few discounts for a fixed number of words for a review. Not only do you provide social proof for potential customers, you also gain a possible frequent customer because of your discount offer.
5. Make your CTA work for you
Writing a strong CTA or call-to-action is one thing, but placing your CTA buttons strategically is another. Just to be sure, a “Shop Now” CTA button should be available all the time on every page. After all, your site’s goal is to sell. Your customers should be able to find a CTA button easily when they’re convinced to purchase already
CTAs that are low-friction such as “add to cart” or “add to my wishlist” still work well. These ensure customers that they won’t have to lose something if they click on it. Words that don’t come across as an instant commitment and give them the time to decide are ideal for shopping CTAs. Some more examples of low-friction extra buttons are “mark as favourite”, “my pick” and “save for later”
Use creative CTAs that go well with your promotions like “Buy now for a 20% discount!” Make them feel that they’re losing out on a great deal if they don’t buy immediately. These should be more eye-catching than your regular CTAs. Having promotions that don’t stand out is a waste of effort but having no CTAs to redirect your customers after seeing the promotion is a huge loss.
6. Make your checkout process simpler
A sure-buyer has got their cart loaded and is ready for checkout. They reach the page and find out that they have to register. They go through the long registration process but stop midway because it just takes too much time.
This is a common phenomenon wherein people fill up their cart but ultimately abandon it. You might say that there is nothing you can do about it but actually, there are several steps you can take to lessen cart abandonment.
First and foremost, allow for guest checkout. No one wants a long registration process if they don’t get anything from it. If registering does not give discounts or special promotions, then give your customers the liberty of checking out as guests.
Shorten your registration process. Don’t ask unnecessary questions. Ask yourself if you really need additional information. Tailor checkout questions to your target audience then present their chosen products, quantity, specifications, the price per product and total bill computation. A long-form to fill out is very daunting to customers. In addition, provide a visible overview of the whole registration and purchasing process. Knowing what’s ahead lessens anxiety over online transactions.
Your checkout process is the cherry on top that seals the deal. The ultimate goal is to provide convenience until the last step and make sure that the seamless process will satisfy customers enough to shop again.
7. Do not compromise security
Imagine opening an eCommerce website then getting a pop-up warning that the site is not secure. You’re likely to immediately leave the site to protect your data. In the age of online banking, everyone should be wary of phishing and other money scams. Gaining your customers’ trust is one of the most important steps in a successful eCommerce business.
We cannot stress the importance of security enough. Since eCommerce websites naturally ask for users’ confidential information (credit card details, name, address, etc.), it’s critical for you to have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate which can protect these valuable data. An SSL certificate secures your website and gives a padlock beside your URL as a sign of security. Customers should look for this when shopping online.
In more technical terms, SSL is used to establish an encrypted connection between a browser or user’s computer and a server or website. This simply means that no one can access any data apart from the user and your website. Display your SSL certificate as a sign of your website’s credibility and your client’s security.
Also read: 5 Reasons Your Site Needs an SSL Certificate
Need a helping hand on your eCommerce website?
Developing an eCommerce website offers more challenges than any other type of website. You should put your best foot forward in all aspects. If broken down into several components, you will have to develop your website, take photographs of your products, write product descriptions, offer customer support and most importantly, handle your business transactions and processes.
Operating an eCommerce business means needing many hands to support you. Let Verz take some of the load off with professional services that will complement your business needs. Let us handle your website development and your content, while you do what you do best — managing your business.
Looking to have an awesome eCommerce website at a reduced cost? With Verz, you can get up to 80% funding support with Productivity Solution Grant (PSG) and SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC). We offer our very own Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) to eligible SMEs in Singapore. You’ll be ready to roll out with your new eCommerce website without any delay with our pre-approved premium Magento eCommerce solution.
Verz can help your eCommerce website be the best it can be! Get in touch with us by calling at 6841 1680 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation!