The eCommerce industry is currently in an awkward position. On the one hand, people are shopping online now more than ever. In fact, it is estimated that over 60 percent of all internet users purchase items online. These numbers are set to grow over the next few years.
At the same time, you will now be faced with more competition than ever before. It is not uncommon to find even small businesses selling and promoting their goods and services online. Well, if you are hoping to boost your sales, you need to actually focus on your website first. After all, this is akin to the spaces and aisles in a brick-and-mortar retail store. As such, it stands to reason that to increase your profit, you first need to concentrate on eCommerce website optimization.
11 eCommerce Website Optimization Strategies
Update Your Software
The first thing you will need to do is to check on the eCommerce software you are using. If it has been a few years since you have shopped around, you may want to think about an upgrade. See, in a relatively short period of time, multichannel marketing and automation have progressed by leaps and bounds. As you are probably already aware, these are features that can really help take your business to the next level. Unfortunately, not all eCommerce software is equipped to deal with this, particularly those that are older. So, if you want to ensure that your website is able to reach its full potential, it may be time to get new software.
Have a Customer-Friendly Design
A great deal of thought goes into website design. However, in most instances, the focus is mainly on the aesthetic appeal of the site. Now, this is definitely important as it is what will lure customers to your website and encourage them to stay. Nevertheless, it isn’t enough. The first thing you should do is to make it easy for your visitors to navigate the site. Clearly mention the page titles, category levels, and pathways so that your viewers know where to go and can also identify their position on the site.
Similarly, your customers should be able to find what they are looking for without having to peruse an entire category. After all, the faster they find their preferred product or service, the more likely they are to make a purchase. To encourage this, make sure to include search functions and features. Use additional elements like auto-complete to make it simpler for your visitors to narrow their search even further.
Make Your Site Secure
More and more consumers are becoming aware of how exposed they are when they shop online. As such, you will find that many people are reluctant to make purchases on a site unless they are quite sure about its authenticity and secureness. Fortunately for you, there are a number of different ways to make certain that your site is secure and well-protected against hackers and malware.
To start with, layer your security measures. While you may begin with a firewall, it is important to also have a content delivery network to further improve the barrier. Essentially, it is about building one layer of security on top of each other so that you don’t have to worry about attacks. Even then, it is important to make certain you stay up-to-date on the various security measures and system you have imposed. For example, your web hosting may be a decisive factor in your website’s security too and not caring about it may just decrease the effectiveness of all measures that you have taken already.
Of course, it doesn’t make sense to have all these elements in place if your customers can’t appreciate it. So, ensure that all your consumers are informed that you run a tight ship, and this can help clear up some of their doubts.
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Your Site Should Be Mobile Friendly
People are relying on their smartphones a lot more, especially as they are becoming ever more powerful. As such, you will notice that many consumers are using their phones for shopping purposes as well. Now, your site will only experience this boost if it is mobile-friendly. That is to say, your customers should be able to easily view and make purchases from their smartphones as tablets. This is why it is worth it to have a mobile-friendly version of your site. If you want to, you can also take things up a notch with mCommerce optimization. Here, you can allow your consumers to make purchases through mobile payment means and other features specifically related to smartphones and tablets.
Create the Ultimate Online Shopping Experience
One of the limitations of online shopping is that it can often feel like a dissociating experience. Since you can’t examine the product in any way, your clients often have to rely on quite a bit of guesswork. This can make them hesitate about making a decision as they don’t have all the necessary information available. This, however, can be remedied.
Primarily, you will need to ensure that the images are high-quality and take a picture of the product from every angle. Customers should also have the option to zoom in so that they can take a closer look. You should also offer plenty of details in the description so that people know exactly what they are purchasing. In short, try to recreate a real-life shopping experience as much as possible.
Organize Products for Maximum Impact
Then it is a matter of how you arrange the products in your online store. Something you should definitely do is place the best-selling products front and center. In most instances, the majority of your profits will come from the sales of a few select products. So, you really should make the most of the items that are popular and sell easily.
Another tactic is to sell as many products as you can. This is why you should offer suggestions for accompanying accessories. See, in many cases, most devices or items are lacking in certain features. If you are able to point out the accessories that can make up for these, you might be able to make an even bigger sale. Take, for instance, modern laptops. As they are going to be lighter and more compact, they will often be missing some of the older elements like DVD players. Your site, though, can offer them the best of both worlds by suggesting a compatible accessory.
Utilize User-Generated Content
You might have noticed by now that user-generated social media platforms like Instagram have become quite popular. This is because promotional interest has shifted among consumers. They are no longer satisfied with brand-generated advertisements or marketing campaigns. Rather, they are more interested in organic, user-generated content. The upside of this trend, however, is that you can use it your advantage. What’s more, it may actually save you time and money in the long run.
To make this particular strategy work, you will need to look through various social media platforms to see what your customers have posted about your product. If you are lucky, they will have tagged your brand so it should be easier to find them. Then, once you have discovered these posts, you will need to feature them on your website. You also have the option to promote these on the company’s social media sites.
To create even more buzz, encourage your consumers to post pictures of themselves using your product or service. This will also work as word-of-mouth advertising, hopefully drawing even more people to your site.
Streamline the Purchase Process
Your website’s purchase process could be one of the reasons why you are not making as many sales as you should be. See, people can be quite fickle when shopping. Thus, when faced with too many barriers, your consumers may simply abandon their shopping cart. This is why you should work on streamlining the process as much as possible.
So, what does this mean, exactly? Well, for one thing, your customers should find it simple to add and drop items from their cart. This way, they will be able to get exactly what they want without going through much hassle. Then, it is about simplifying the payment process. Give your consumers the option of automatically filling out fields and information so that they don’t have to input the same details over and over again. By doing this, you will also be giving them time to change their minds above their purchase.
Now, you may want to advertise other items, offer future discounts, and utilize other sales tactics during this process. However, if it is to do with future sales rather than current promo codes, it is best to leave this until after the final step. After all, you don’t want anything distracting your customers from their main purpose, do you?
Deal with Abandoned Shopping Carts
An abandoned shopping cart is never good for business. It essentially means that there was a chance for your business to make money but it lost that opportunity. Luckily, there is something you can do to remedy the situation. However, it is important that you go about it the right way, to ensure optimal results.
Essentially, you will need to remind your consumers about the shopping cart they have left behind. The best way to do this is through email as it offers more promotional opportunities. Nonetheless, make sure that the emails you send are fun and quirky rather than nagging. Your goal is to tempt the potential buyer back to the site, not annoy them so that never return again. So, you need to come up with a creative strategy to inform your customers about the items they have left in their cart.
Personalize the Content
The great thing about modern software and eCommerce platforms is that they can easily store information about your consumers’ past purchases or even what they have viewed. The benefit here is that you can use this information to create a more tailored experience for your customer. You can adjust the settings so that when a consumer visits the website again, the content and the products are according to what they like or prefer.
There is also another way to further tailor the experience. This can be done based on the location the customer is shopping from. See, it is important to realize that customers might want different things depending on where they live.
For instance, during the middle of winter, your Canadian customers may be looking for snow blowers, shovels, and other related equipment. On the other hand, those living in Florida may be more prone to shopping for barbecue grills and accessories. By taking this into account, you will be able to specifically show your clients what they are more likely to want.
Provide Additional, Useful Content
The other point you will need to be aware of is that these days, people are looking for a lot more from eCommerce websites. They aren’t satisfied with just a list of products and payment options. Rather, they are looking for a well-rounded experience. One of the best ways to provide your consumers with this is to have some form of informative content.
This can be managed in a variety of ways with the help of content management software. A popular option is a lengthy and detailed buyer guide that helps people find exactly the type of product is right for them, given their specific requirements. Another great idea is to have useful videos. In particular, how-to, instructional videos are quite sought after as they give buyers inside information about how they can set up or use a particular product.
If you want to go with a more tried-and-true avenue, blogs are still quite widespread. Thus, setting up one related to the goods or services you are selling can offer your customers additional information on a broader range of topics.
As you can see, there are quite a few things you can do in eCommerce website optimization. By putting some or even all of these strategies into action, you will certainly be able to notice an uptick in your sales.