Converting your website visitors to paying customers is not always easy. It can even be disappointing and discouraging to see visitors enter the website, spend time on it, but exit the site without making a purchase.
When customers enter the sales funnel but there is a blockage at checkout, it is called a conversion problem. Meaning that people enter your site, browse the products, and show interest but never convert to customers.
Fortunately, boosting sales is simple with eCommerce website optimization. By properly optimizing the store and website and adding certain elements, potential customers can finally convert to paying, existing customers.
Fortunately, eCommerce optimization is not as difficult as it sounds. Your eCommerce site can be improved and optimized to boost sales by following some simple steps.
Making the sales funnel navigation as easy as possible gives the potential customers a nudge that will make them move from one step to another, all the way to the checkout process and finish line.
Your product page is what the customers will look at first. Of course, when a customer wants to purchase a product, they will find as much information about it as they can.
So, the first step should be to optimize your product page when you want to improve your eCommerce website.
Making the product page easy to navigate is one of the best ways to optimize your eCommerce site. For instance, using breadcrumbs based on hierarchy and history is an excellent way of making it easy for the visitor to navigate product pages.
SEO-friendly titles and product descriptions will help the product page to appear in search results, making the page easier for your customers to find.
Product images are one of the essential keys because they help shoppers see what they are buying. Well-lit images that show different aspects of the product can help the shoppers make a purchasing decision.
In addition, adding product videos lets the shoppers see what the product looks like in action and how it works. For instance, adding videos of dresses being worn can show the shopper how the dress moves.
In addition to easy navigation, SEO-friendly descriptions, and better quality images and videos, product pages can also be improved in the following ways:
Every shopper pays attention to pricing. Optimizing product pricing can help the sales funnel blockage dissolve.
By comparing two products side by side, customers get a chance to see how your product differentiates from others. For instance, placing a similar, more expensive product next to yours draws attention to the product you want to market and sell.
It may seem simple, too simple even, but it is essential to tell people to buy. CTAs should be short, clear, and simple. The purpose of the call to action buttons is to tell your customer to do something and to encourage them to move forward in the sales funnel.
When customers have too many options to choose from, they will have a hard time making a decision. For instance, if an online store offers multiple subscriptions, the most popular one should be highlighted to ease analysis paralysis.
Even here, a call to action can help eCommerce websites to do better.
Charm pricing means numbers that end in number nine. In fact, charm pricing can help you increase eCommerce conversions.
One easy way to find out what works is to split test different versions of pricing pages to see what the customers gravitate towards the most.
Many shoppers have questions before making a purchase. Adding live chat to product pages gives the customer a chance to ask pre-sales questions, which can result in rising eCommerce conversions.
Other ways to optimize and improve pricing include:
Personalization has been an important topic in eCommerce in the past couple of years. Some studies have shown that personalization can even increase sales by 15%.
The goal of personalization is to show shoppers relevant items and content. This can be done by analyzing the website and social media analytics.
Personalization also helps with relevance. Shoppers hate nothing more than seeing irrelevant content and products that do not interest them. The best way to personalize your eCommerce website is to offer targeted products and content.
For instance, Amazon is a master at showing highlighted and recommended products. When customers view a product on Amazon and scroll down on the product page, they will see the title “products related to this item.”
The shoppers can then view similar products and find something more suitable.
You can personalize marketing emails and newsletters. For instance, it is possible to set automated emails to recommend related products for a shopper who abandoned a cart or made a purchase.
This is another trick by Amazon. After you view a product, Amazon will send you emails related to the products you viewed before.
Another excellent way to boost eCommerce optimization is to offer discounts by category. Tailoring offers to the section that the shopper is browsing can help increase conversions and sales.
Additionally, the following things should be considered when boosting eCommerce optimization.
Nowadays, eCommerce site owners cannot afford to skip mobile optimization. Today, shoppers use their mobile devices more than desktops.
So, creating a mobile-friendly site that is easy to navigate can help boost engagement.
Typically, mobile users have limited patience, and they do not stick around for too long. If the site takes more than a few seconds to load, the visitor will not wait but will exit the site before even landing on the homepage.
When optimizing the eCommerce store, you should look at the render start time (or RST). It tells you how long the loading time is before the first content shows up on the page.
In the best-case scenario, eCommerce sites with fast RST can boost engagement by 50%, leading to even more sales and conversions.
To improve site speed on mobile devices, the following things can be implemented:
Shoppers love watching videos on their mobile devices. In fact, studies have shown that more people purchase after watching a video.
Thus, video marketing can be an effective tactic to boost mobile conversions. For instance, explainer videos and video popups can help shoppers to make a decision.
Mobile SEO is just as important as desktop SEO. To optimize mobile SEO, the following things can be implemented:
It is essential to include mobile marketing campaigns in your marketing strategy. For instance, mobile opt-ins can help to increase sales and traffic.
Upselling means encouraging your existing customers to buy another version of the product they are already using. For instance, Netflix offers a basic subscription that includes only one screen at a time. Netflix can upsell its existing customers by offering a plan that allows streaming on three devices at a time.
Upselling can happen on the product page, during the checkout process, or even after the customer has already purchased.
Many marketing professionals recommend upselling to existing customers. They already know the product and trust the company. Thus it is easier to sell them something else.
The following tactics can help with effective upselling:
Holiday sales are some of the most effective ways to lure in customers and get them to make a purchase. Everyone loves sales, and by using urgency, people act. This is why flash sales can be so effective. To improve conversion optimization, you can use the following tactics:
Sometimes, the customer may leave the site and come back later. In some cases, it simply takes them some time to decide to buy.
The most common objections to buying include, for instance:
For many buyers, price is the biggest obstacle. But this can be overcome by offering discounts, such as flash sales and other sales.
When it comes to product fit, this is all about the shopper determining if the product or service suits them. The solution to this can be, for instance, presenting similar products or even reviews from other customers.
Finally, sometimes shoppers may think that your competitors have an advantage. This can be solved by getting feedback from customers.
By analyzing the most common obstacles and issues potential customers face, the eCommerce store can be optimized properly to help customers move forward in the sales funnel.
Cart abandonment is a big issue for many eCommerce owners. In fact, the cart abandonment percentage can be as high as 69%. So, cart abandonment is normal, but there are some things that the site owner can do to reduce it.
By using exit-intent technology, the site can automatically detect when the user is about to leave the site. When this happens, a popup window with an offer opens to grab their attention.
Visitors hate surprises in the checkout process. This is true, especially when it comes to pricing. In fact, most people abandon carts because they encounter extra costs that were not included in the original price.
Free shipping is one of the best ways to cut out extra costs. Free shipping can be the golden ticket to increasing sales if you can afford it.
Another great way to increase sales and improve conversion rate optimization is to offer fair customer returns.
It is very easy for potential customers to abandon the cart if they do not find the right payment options. The payment process should also be as simple and quick as possible, and the checkout page easy to navigate.
Popular payment options include, for instance:
A visible and persistent shopping cart that follows the customer from page to page can be an excellent way to remind the shoppers that there is something in their cart. Even in this instance, Amazon excels.
One of the most effective ways to reduce cart abandonment is to offer guest checkout. Having to create an account for a site that the customers have never purchased from can be a major turn-off.
Let people make their purchases first, and offer them a chance to save their information for future purchases. The clearer the checkout page is, the more likely the customer will complete the process.
Remind your customers that they have something in their cart. If you have the customer’s email, you can set up website automations that remind the customer about abandoned items.
For instance, you can:
Coupons are excellent incentives to offer customers. Coupons can be used, for instance, for in-cart upsell. Discount coupons can help to recover abandoned shopping carts easily.
Email lists are gold to all eCommerce site owners. Site owners can build a strong relationship with their customers by utilizing effective email marketing, which has a great return on investment (ROI). This, in turn, means more sales and conversions.
The subject is the first thing that the recipients see. Thus, it should be catchy and alluring. If the customer likes the subject line, they will most likely open the email.
The subject line should tell the customers what the email is about. In addition, it should be short, sweet, and easy to understand.
Email personalization can encourage people to become more engaged with emails and marketing.
However, personalization is not just about using the recipient’s first name.
Email personalization also includes:
Holidays are the time for big sales. For many companies, holiday sales can make up to 20% of their annual sales. Thus, taking advantage of the holidays and special occasions is vital and can give the eCommerce store a much-needed extra boost.
The months between October and January include many holidays, but there are also many other big holidays that should not be neglected:
You’re missing an opportunity if you’re not marketing to shoppers using transactional emails. Many customers open their order confirmation emails and shipping emails, and this can be used to your advantage:
Split testing was briefly mentioned earlier. It can be a powerful tactic for improving eCommerce strategy and marketing.
Simply testing what works and what does not can give the online store owner useful analytics that helps boost conversions and sales.
For instance, a lightbox campaign with integrated yes/no forms can be useful and effective.
Automated emails are one of the most effective tools in email marketing. They have proven to drive more sales and get more customer engagement without spending a ton of money on promotions.
Email automation can even be used for abandoned shopping carts. When your customer abandons a shopping cart, they automatically get an email in their inbox reminding them to complete the purchase. The automation can even include coupons and offers to encourage customers to return to their shopping cart.
Welcome emails get up to four times more engagement than other emails. It is essential to send welcome emails to non-buyers as well.
For instance, a good welcome email series to people who did not yet convert to customers can include the following:
Most of the sales will come from repeat customers, who most likely make up a small percentage of your overall customer base. They deserve some pampering, and remembering them with offers and coupons can encourage them to return to the store again to make a new purchase.
Offering something exclusive to VIP customers makes them feel important and appreciated.
Sometimes, customers make a purchase but do not return to the site for a long period of time. These customers should not be ignored, but you should rather make an effort to win the customer back.
An excellent way to do this is by sending out email campaigns.
For instance, sending out a series of email campaigns that include the following can give the disengaged customers the nudge they need to return.
The best way to eliminate the guesswork in eCommerce marketing is simply to ask for customer feedback and reviews. The way to figure out if your customers are happy is simple: ask.
For instance, simple surveys can offer a lot of insight into your customers’ headspace and allow you to improve your marketing and boost eCommerce sales.
Asking your customers the following questions can help engage them and find out what they hope to see in the future:
Asking questions lets you connect with customers and even personalize the shopping experience.
Collecting customer feedback can also be done in the following ways:
An eCommerce site is a website, which means that it needs to be properly optimized in order for people to find it on Google and other search results. In addition to optimizing the store internally with on-site SEO, it is critical to do off-site optimization as well.
This includes, for instance, transparent URLs and rich target keywords.
Also, one of the vital aspects is to avoid duplicate content. This can be hard at times when the same types of products are listed over and over.
It is recommended to fix this by focusing all the options for one specific product on one main page while using canonical URLs to boost the main product page.
A notable aspect is also visuals. Younger audiences engage more with pictures and videos than written content, so utilizing embedded videos and optimizing their descriptions is vital.
There are many things you can do to improve SEO on-site and off-site. Improving your SEO can have a huge impact on the number of visitors you will receive on your site. For instance, when your eCommerce store ranks at the top of the search results on Google, you get more visitors compared to when your store ranks on the second or third page.
Improving your on-site SEO can help you to rank better and increase the site’s SEO score.
The following tactics can be implemented to improve on-site SEO:
If the goal is to improve the overall SEO score of the eCommerce site to get more visitors, it is vital to also focus on off-site SEO.
Tactics for off-site SEO include, for instance:
One big reason a shopper may choose the competitor’s site instead of yours is trust. Sometimes, shoppers choose another brand simply because they trust it more.
You can use the following to instil trust in your clients:
Many potential customers also check how the customer service works before making a purchase. They want to know that if there is a problem with the order, they can contact the customer service, preferably a human and not an agent, and resolve their issue.
In fact, excellent customer service can be the fine line between success and failure. A good example of this is Amazon, because it offers fast and friendly customer service.
Nowadays, people do not want to wait. They want answers as fast as possible, and live chat is an excellent solution. Adding a live chat window on the website allows the customers to contact the customer service agents immediately and get answers to presale questions and possible issues with a past order.
Live chat is also another way to instill trust in people. When customers know that they can immediately get in touch with an agent, it makes them feel at ease.
Email is one of the typical ways for customers to contact a brand. Even though email is not as fast as live chat, fast and accurate responses are always appreciated. If the company does not have the resources to have live chat agents or representatives by phone, email is the best customer contact method.
Phone support is another way to instill trust in shoppers. Offering phone support tells the shoppers that there are real people at the end of the line and that the company is established. While small businesses and startups may not have the resources to provide phone support, it is worth considering if there is money in the budget to set up customer service via phone.
There is nothing worse than encountering a problem with an order and having to talk to someone who does not attempt to solve a problem or who is rude and inconsiderate. Being friendly and understanding is a way to ensure that the shopper will come back and make repeat purchases despite occurring a problem.
Yet again, Amazon excels at customer service and is adamant about their customer service agents being friendly and helpful.
So, focusing on providing excellent customer support can help to increase sales and increase conversion at eCommerce sites.
You can do many things to increase your sales and push your customers forward in the sales funnel. The most important thing is to ensure that the whole process, from entering your website to the checkout, is fast, easy, and seamless.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what you want to see as a customer. Ensuring that the products are well presented, the site is easy to navigate, and your brand is present online are the key ways to make your customers feel comfortable shopping on your site.
But don’t forget the importance of correct pricing and alluring sales and campaigns. Because, let’s face it, who does not love a good sale?