Are you getting the most out of your e-commerce store? With such a wide variety of things to manage, from social media to email, your website itself might have critical areas that are being overlooked
We discuss 6 things on your website that you should improve today, if you haven’t already.
1. Create a sense of urgency
You probably heard this one before, it’s classic sales talk. So how have you implemented this golden rule into your webshop? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on sales.
We’re humans and we’re afraid of missing out on something big. This effect is so big even that when we’re excited about something, dopamine levels in our brain increases and doesn’t decrease until about 20 minutes later. After that, your prospect is much less likely to buy from you and loss aversion comes into play.
Ways to increase urgency include:
Stock alerts: Let your visitor know that the stock of a certain item is low.
For WordPress, consider these options:
For Magento, take a look at these countdown plugins:
Time or number limited offers:
Giving people a hard deadline for them to act on or limiting an offer to a small number can be very helpful. Consider emailing your clients with offers that are “Only valid this weekend” or “Free shipping until Monday”. Almost every large e-commerce retailer has this built into their rotation and so should you.
2. Start a mailing list
Everyone who runs a webshop should have an active mailing list that they regularly send newsletter emails to. If you don’t have an email subscription list, you’re missing out on a lot of money.
Through your mailing list you can connect with existing customers while converting prospects and even winning back old buyers. On top of that, you will see a better conversion from existing customers if they feel connected to you, your brand and your (weekly) newsletter.
It is also a great way to send instant notifications to all of your customers and prospects. Got a summer sale coming up? Want to boost sales on certain products? Just send the offer out to everyone on your list.
The two most popular email list platforms are MailChimp and aWeber. I personally have been using MailChimp. It is also free so it’s probably the one you want to try out first.
Integration on your site:
If you’re using WooCommerce on WordPress, consider these plugins:
Setting things up:
Setting up your mailing list, auto responders and campaigns is relatively simple. I suggest you read through MailChimp’s (or Aweber’s) documentation or take a free Lynda.com trial and learn the basics of email marketing there.
3. Maximise sales from the category page
Category pages are far more important than most e-commerce entrepreneurs give credit for. A good 90% of all webstore’s category pages are NOT optimized.
A simple category page hack is to put the best converting products first, leaving products that are less likely to convert last. This sounds simple enough but few people bother changing order regularly.
Here’s a formula that I use to determine which products should be moved:
Product page conversion rate (as a %) = [number of purchases / number of pageviews] x 100.
When I use this clever little formula for any of my webshops, it may look like this:
A silver ring that has had 103 purchases and 894 page views. This is a 12% conversion rate. Next, I’ll compare this to the rest of the products (silver rings) to determine the best converting products that should be moved to the top.
4. Understand how your visitors are using site search
Another important factor that is rarely optimized. As an e-commerce webshop owner, you should have access to logs of your searches, through Google Analytics for example. Look for any search phrases that are often used but that have empty or thin result pages.
For example: your customers might be searching for “sneakers” whereas you listed most sneakers as “tennis shoes”. Tag and categorize products properly with the right phrases. This will increase search relevancy right away.
5. Flag problems in the check-out process
To investigate problems with your checkout process, you should look at cart abandonment. You do this by comparing the “add to basket” rate to the actual conversion rate. If there is a large difference between the two, consider making some changes.
The most common causes for high cart abandonment are:
Distractions on the checkout page: it should be completely quarantined
Long delivery times (or worse: uncertain delivery times)
Inconvenient or unclear return policy
High additional costs, such as shipping or payment processing fees
6. Improve your design
I’m not talking about making the site look cooler. I’m talking about creating a solid design that is tailored towards conversion rates. Eye-tracking studies have shown which text placements work best and product the highest conversions. For example: top aligned text, that is text above an order form, converts far better than left or right aligned.
Why? It’s because with the text sitting above the form, your eyes jump up and down processing the information. This increases the cognitive bias and the customer will be more likely to comply with the page: complete the order.
7. Make checking out easier
Your job is to assist shoppers who have decided to buy and direct them to the checkout page. If you have decided to add extra pages in between this process, for whatever reason, I strongly suggest you remove them.
When a buyer is hot and motivated to buy right now, you should allow them to do so. This is sales 101. Creating a simple, one-step-checkout process can be done with pretty much every e-commerce platform.
On checkout, the form shouldn’t be too long and placing an order should definitely not require users to sign up for an account. Having auto-complete functions also increases conversion rates. Auto-complete functions can include automatically filling out the user’s state when they type in their ZIP code and so on.
Sugested software for WordPress: