Last time on the blog, we discussed which ecommerce platform is the right one for you. Now that you’ve got that sorted out, it’s time to look at ways to optimise your site for converting customers.
You may have heard of conversion rate optimisation (if not, read our post here) and you may be aware that 53% of businesses spend less than 5% of their budget what is probably the most important part of the customer journey. It’s seen as complicated and time consuming but wouldn’t you rather convert 80% of visitors than drive more traffic at 5% conversion rate? Which results in a high return?
Here are 5 ways you can start optimising your site for converting shoppers into customers:
1. Get a clean and intuitive design.
Poor design distracts users from the ultimate goal: browsing and buying your products. White space, high quality photos and an easy to navigate design will make their lives easier and keep them on the site. The steps to finding what they need and buying it should be obvious.
Ensure that your website is optimised for mobile users and that the search bar is easy to find and provides auto-suggestions. Allow social log-in instead of having them sign up for an account.
Make your check-out form easy to use by allowing Auto-Fill and having a postcode look-up system. Remove unnecessary fields: Expedia removed one field on their booking form (Company Name) and saw a $12 million increase in transactions. It confused purchasers and resulted in failed bookings.
When it doubt, just keep it simple.
2. Take advantage of your product description.
Too many ecommerce stores were sailing through with thin content and earlier this year, Google was sure to penalise them with an update to the Panda algorithm. Panda 4.0 resulted in sites losing their rankings due to short product descriptions and useless content overall.
In this case, less is not more.
Even though we’re being told that people want to read less on the web, brevity is not what people want when they are making a purchase decision. You want to provide all the information they need to help that them decide this is the best product for them.
Start with a short description that can be expanded if the shopper is interested. Provide complete and clear information – they shouldn’t have any questions about the product after reading it.
3. Perform user testing.
Usability and user experience design is all the rage right now and the best way to find out what your customers think is to ask them. Seek out people who are your typical customers and ask them to complete tasks. Have them discuss what they’re doing as they go and comment on any difficulties they’re having.
Can they easily tell what you sell? Does your site look trustworthy? You want to discover the problems your average users are having so you can fix them. User experience needs to be simple and seamless – they should know where to go and how to get there without trying too hard.
4. Help your site look credible and trustworthy.
I can think of a few times where I’ve abandoned a purchase because the early noughties design made me doubt the website’s credibility. I didn’t want to send me credit card information through a website that potentially had an old software system.
To boost your credibility, offer a money back guarantee and free shipping for purchases over a certain amount. Display genuine user reviews to show that other people have been satisfied with your product and service and that they’re getting what it says on the tin. Replying to all comments shows customers that you are responsive and that they can have confidence in you addressing issues that may arise.
Add trustmarks to your website. Get badges from Norton, McAfee and Verisign for your check-out page. Validate your business with the Offices of Trading Standards. Display all of these logos, along with those from major brands, prominently on your website. Using brands people trust will help you be associated with that trust and will lend you credibility. Ensure that there are multiple ways to contact your business – especially a phone number. It lets people know you’re a real person and that they can contact you easily.
5. Make those calls-to-action count.
This comes back to user experience – a customer should always know how to check their cart, where to click if they want to check-out or continue shopping. Make your Add to Cart button stand out, perhaps by changing the colour.
Rather than ‘Buy Now!’ text on your button how about ‘Buy Now – Save 15%’? Instead of ‘Learn More!’ consider ‘Download your free e-book!’
If this has gone over your head, don’t be afraid to consult a professional. Good web designers will understand with user experience design and can point you in the right direction. Working with one will pay itself off in no time, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with one today!