Getting the most out of your eCommerce website and online store is surely important to you. There’s A LOT of noise out there and AI further complicates the issue. But performance, as with most things, is based on some sound fundamentals. Let’s cover them off.
It all starts with the right website.
There is a ton of information on best practices. We’ve learned so much since the advent of the first eCommerce online bookstore back in 1992. Yes, that was over 30 years ago! P.S. Amazon launched about 2 years after that.
There are 14 solid suggestions here. So as not to create an overly lengthy article, here is a quick summary of the strategies your eCommerce site should employ. Once you get past this portion, make sure to read on as it all misses one critical component!
Don’t overwhelm your audience the minute the page loads. It’s the equivalent of having a sales representative yelling offers the minute they walk through the door. If your visitors receive too much information, they likely get confused and disenchanted. Instead, present your best-selling products first, and let your users know of any current promotions on the entry page. Maintain the focus on your products.
There are a few ways to accomplish this. Trust Badges, reviews, a valid SSL certificate, and a physical address are a good place to start.
Stick to your brand’s style and create your own content instead of relying on third-party images. You’ll be ensuring the best quality and help customers better imagine owning the product. This will improve your conversion rate dramatically.
Simplify the process of navigating between products. Your primary objective is to increase the amount of time spent on your website, as this boosts the likelihood of customers making a purchase. To achieve this, consider displaying product suggestions at the bottom of the page, as well as options for frequently bought items. This is a straightforward technique to implement and is considered one of the fundamental best practices for eCommerce websites.
Maintain a user-friendly navigation by simplifying it as much as possible, enabling users to effortlessly navigate from one product page to another, and monitor their actions on the website to provide tailored suggestions.
Research has indicated that showcasing product demonstrations is an excellent technique to enhance sales. In essence, you need to present videos of products rather than just displaying photographs.
To enhance your sales, it’s crucial to have hosting that is super-snappy for your store. Slow loading times only drives away potential customers.
Some customers come to your eCommerce website with a specific item in mind, while others are browsing to discover new products. It’s like window shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. So, it’s crucial to have product filters or sorting options available to help customers find what they’re searching for.
To compensate for the ability to physical help, it’s important to address a variety of frequently asked questions on your site. It’s super-important to provide customers with all the information they need to make an informed decision. Avoid assuming that they have prior knowledge and provide as much detail as possible.
This one just makes sense given that many customers have overwhelmed inboxes and spam. It is guaranteed to result in a significant decrease in your shopping cart abandonment rate. So, offer up a way to transact that just lets them “be your guest”.
Good ones can make your sales go through the roof, while boring ones can leave you with a “so-so” conversion rate. They’re also the reason why people might rave about your brand or forget you exist. When it comes to online stores, SEO product descriptions are really where it’s at. So, make sure you’re writing descriptions that not only inform and provide value, but also rank high on search engines.
If a shopper abandons their cart, there’s probably a reason why. Stay on their radar by sending follow-up emails. You can ask for their feedback to understand why they left, or offer a small discount to entice them to complete their purchase. It’s a commonly ignored tip that can boost your revenue.
People are impatient. How much so? Well, it’s been reported that a mere 1-second delay can decrease your conversion rate by 7%. If you do that math, that’s a little scary. There are many online tools to help you test speeds and find the offenders that are slowing your site down. Google values website responsiveness and rewards it with visibility. Continuously look for ways to enhance your website’s responsiveness and performance. Use responsive web design practices throughout your website and eliminate unnecessary page elements.
Customers are attracted to rarity, exclusivity, and urgency. Creating product scarcity or urgency is a powerful conversion optimization tactic. Use it to prevent customers from second-guessing their decisions. Flash sales, last day offers, while stocks last, and limited releases are safe bets. Test which methods are most effective for your online store.
You made it! Okay, you have an amazing eCommerce site, so now what?
This is that critical miss we were talking about. Don’t let your site live in a vacuum! It is most definitely not a “build it and they will come” scenario. Let’s get the right customers to your site and let the shopping spree begin!
Start by defining the right audience for your products and services. This is vital to the success of your eCommerce website. Without understanding who your target audience is, it can be challenging to create effective marketing campaigns and drive traffic. Here are some steps to define your target audience and get them to your store.
Step 1: Define your ideal customer.
This involves creating a profile of the type of person who is most likely to buy your products or services. Ask yourself some questions such as: What is their age range? What is their gender? What is their income level? What are their interests and hobbies? What are their pain points and challenges?
By answering these questions, you can create a clear picture of your best customers. The industry loves acronyms and will call this your ICP – ideal customer profile. This will help you create more targeted marketing campaigns and develop messaging that resonates with your target audience.
Step 2: Do the research.
The next step is to conduct market research to validate your assumptions and refine your target audience. This can involve surveying existing customers, analyzing data from your site and social media channels, and researching competitors in your industry.
Analyzing this data will results in gaining insights into the demographics, interests, and behavior of your target audience. This information can help you further refine your ICP and create more effective marketing campaigns.
Step 3: Create targeted messaging campaigns.
Now that you have defined your ICP, the next step is to create targeted campaigns that speak directly to them. For example, if your ideal customer is a busy professional, you might create marketing campaigns that emphasize the convenience and time-saving benefits of your products or services. Or, if your ideal customer is interested in sustainability, you might create marketing campaigns that emphasize the eco-friendliness of your products. Balance the rational with the emotional benefits for a super-charged and effective effort.
Step 4: Use multiple channels to drive traffic.
Finally, it is important to use multiple channels to drive traffic to your eCommerce website. This can involve leveraging social media, email marketing, display (banner ads) and PPC advertising to reach your target audience. Know where your audience lives and tailor a media plan that will make sure that you’re in front of them multiple times and in multiple places.
We know, it’s a lot to consider and do…
You don’t have to do it alone – and here is the shameless plug. We have experts in all the disciplines required to get your site stood up AND make sure the right audience is being funneled to your eCommerce site in droves. Then we ensure peak performance through constant analysis, applying the learnings, and optimizing. It’s hassle-free for you and it has made an exponentially positive difference in the amount of sales and revenue we’ve generated for brands just like yours.
Have a look at how we do it HERE and let’s connect!