The other month, we discussed ecommerce in our guide to Shopify ecommerce sites. Now, we're going to dive into conversion rate optimization and what is extremely important while developing your website.
If you’re in the ecommerce business, you already know how important conversions are. You optimize the checkout page, study customer behavior, and analyze conversion rates like it's the only thing in the whole world. In short, you worship the sales god and would do anything to get those customers to purchase what you are selling. Or do you?
Kidding aside, if you are really serious about converting sales in your ecommerce store, then you really need to give the customers what they are looking for. This means that you have to make sure that every part of your store and sales funnel is optimized to provide a great shopping experience. This means page speed, less distractions, fewer steps to checkout (or maybe more depending on what you're selling), and many other factors.
To start getting more sales, here are some tips that can help you improve conversion rates for your ecommerce store.
Create clean and distraction-free product pages
It’s very important that your product page is organized in such a way that product images and information (i.e., product name, description, specs, price, availability, etc.) are on top of the fold or appear above other less important things. This is to further showcase the product to the customers, making them see what they are going to purchase. You want them to discover more about the product to make their buying decision easier. Also, the more information about your products with help with your search engine optimization efforts.
If you have reviews appear on top of the product page, you might want to move them down slightly. Yes, reviews are one of the most important factors in converting sales, but the potential customer needs to learn more about the product. This rule also applies to “Similar products” section.
Bottomline, it is vital that you arrange everything in order of priority. Give users a product page that doesn’t distract their buying mode.
Give users a way to choose their preferred shopping method
Different customers visit your online store everyday. And each of those people have different preferences on how they are going to use your site. That’s why it’s important that you give them an easy way to customize their shopping experience.
Create an option where customers can search or sort every product by bestsellers, features, prices, release dates, reviews, etc. In this way, you are giving them more power on your store, which usually equates to more conversions.
Provide a robust search functionality
Allow your customers to easily search and pull data based on product titles, tags, descriptions, or other features. You want people to easily find what they are looking for.
Search suggestions should also be provided to customers. whether they end up with results that they are or are not looking for. If they have incorrectly typed the keywords or the product simply does not exist in you inventory, give customers something to look in your store. If your product does exist, showcase products that other customers have bough in conjunction. Amazon, unsurprisingly, does a great job of this.
See a theme? Make the experience easy and friendly.
Make navigation clear and practical
If you’re selling different products on your web store, then I’m sure that you also have a lot of categories under the navigation menu. And because of that, it’s important that customers should have an easy time getting to each of the categories and subcategories.
It’s not just categories that you should organize, you should also take into consideration everything that involves links that take customers to their desired product.
One of the best suggestions in creating a better navigation is to create drop-down menus, which Shopify easily allows. These kind of menus are more pleasing to the eyes because customers won’t have to scroll down far compared to a long and single column menu. With these menus, every categories and subcategories are properly organized under different short columns.
You should also implement breadcrumb navigation on each of your store’s pages. In this way, customers won’t have a hard time tracing their way back to where they started.
Additionally, every time customers add something on their carts, make sure that there’s an easy way to get back to the list of other products. A “Continue Shopping” link or button near the carts is a great example of making navigation intuitive.
Allow customers to preview products
Offering a preview option to your products while customers are still on the category or search results page is a great feature. This is very useful to those customers who don’t have the luxury of getting into each of the product pages.
On the preview window, make sure that you include all the important data about the product, including an “Add To Cart” button so customers can check out the item easily.
Provide various options for products
Most of the products nowadays come with different style, color, and other options. If it’s applicable, provide customers an easy way to choose various options on the product’s page.
Aside from traditional options like dropdowns, also include an image of the product that changes its color or size whenever an option is selected. In this way, people can have some insights on how the product will appear when use.
Always update availability of products
Have you ever experienced shopping for a product and was about to purchase it when you suddenly discover that it’s not available? If you do, then don’t let this happen to your customers.
Sometimes a lack of supply can create an increase in demand and you'll know you're onto something.
Let your Shopping Cart and Add to Cart buttons stand out
The shopping cart and being able to add to cart are definitely two of the most important parts of your ecommerce store because this is how you can sell. Also, the cart should be visible to customers, complete with a summary of all the items that are added into it so they can checkout easily.
For customers to never miss the shopping cart, give it a color that is in contrast from the rest of the site. In this way, customers will be reminded all the time about the products that they have added in their carts.
Wondering what colors affect purchases? Check out this infographic from KISSmetrics.
Checkouts should be straightforward
As part of the shopping cart experience, the process of checking out an item should also be convenient to the customer. Make sure the checkout information is readily available to the customer. Customers should be able to easily navigate back to the checkout page wherever they end up in your store.
The most important thing to do with your checkout page is to optimize it in a way that customers don’t get distracted by other things. It only takes a second for buyers to change their minds, so make sure that you guide them in the correct direction, right until they click the buy button.
Fewer steps typically result in higher conversion rates, but products and services differ so test your checkout funnel. Make sure that customers can fill out billing, credit card, and shipping information on one single page, and that repeat customer's information is pre-filled to allow for a more seamless buying experience.
Payment buttons should be easy to locate and should stand out. If you have different payment gateways, make sure that all options are shown to customers so that they won’t think that you don’t cater their preferred payment method.
Create a mobile version of your store
With the growing population of mobile users, it is important that you should offer a way for these customers to get to your site using their smartphones or tablets.
Whether you choose to provide a native mobile app or an HTML5 version of your online store, make sure that you optimize it similar to the way you have improved the web-based site.
It is very important that you provide good customer experience within your ecommerce store. As the old saying goes, “first impressions last forever,” so strive to get customers coming back to your store for their shopping needs.
What ecommerce tips do you have? And what has worked for you? What platforms have you used: Shopify, Squarespace Commerce, Magento?