eCommerce Optimization On Steroids
Ecommerce is now big business and growing. In 2017, it accounted for 10.2% of all retail sales globally. Shoppers online now have shopping destinations in their millions around the world from which to choose from. Whether you are dealing with shoes, electronics or concert tickets, today ecommerce optimization has evolved beyond convenience shopping.
This makes it important that your business stops seeing people landing on your web store as simply ‘traffic’, merely numbers but as real human beings. Those visiting your website engage your store at different levels (touch points) and you need to also engage with them at that personal level.
With each word read and with each media pixel viewed at these different touch points, people form a mental picture of your business. And it’s based on whether they like the final picture that informs their decision to buy or not buy from your store or go elsewhere. Optimizing your e-commerce store helps you gain more exposure, cultivate brand loyalty, and ultimately sell more products. E-commerce optimization involves many different elements and a multi-tiered approach.
Conversion Rate Optimization
As a manager of an online store, you should always be on the lookout for additional ways of getting more sales and value out of every customer. It doesn’t matter how successful your site is, you always should be looking for new and innovative ways of increasing conversions. You could, for example, say your current conversion rate is 4% or 15%, perhaps more than the majority of e-commerce stores out there. However, the truth is that you should strive to improve your current conversion rate and not focus too much on industry statistics and benchmarks.
Website Design and UX
A site that loads slowly equals lost revenue, simple as that. Experts believe that you only have 2 seconds to capture people’s interest and that for every second that follows, you will be losing 10% of all your site visitors. This literally means it only takes about 7 seconds for 50% of your visitors to disappear, perhaps for good. It’s no wonder then that Google actually seeks for a page load that happens under a second!
Another key user experience issue is navigation. As you plan your navigation, at the back of your mind think of how users will search for your offerings (products or services). With ecommerce optimization, There are lots of different changes and tweaks that you can implement to your product page that boost usability, improve clarity and optimize the user’s general shopping experience. Personalization means showing customers relevant content and personalized offers.
Optimize Your Homepage
Use analytical tools such as administrator reports and Google Analytics to help you determine which of your products & categories are doing well. Once you identify these, you should then begin focusing your marketing efforts in promoting them using banner sliders and recommended products. Clearly display all the different ways through which customers can place an order on your e-store and also include the options of “by phone and by email”.
If you are US or Canada based and selling internationally, there is a possibility that a sizeable number of visitors may be coming from other countries. Make it easy for them to convert and transact with features like multi-currency options. If it requires shipping, these people will need to be reassured that you have the capacity to not only ship but deliver the item on time.
Usually, the intent of anyone landing on a particular product page is higher compared to those visiting your homepage. It is, therefore, your job to do all that is possible to help that potential buyer complete that higher intention, to purchase. This is done by addressing all their concerns as well as in providing all the necessary information/data needed to help them make a decision.
On-page SEO has to be repeated for all new pages that you add to the e-commerce site. It’s also important to remember that Google is ever releasing new updates and your properly optimized pages are among the first things that are needed to maintain traffic coming from organic searches. Also equally important is product page SEO because it directly impacts your revenues.
Provide Valuable Content
Visitors hate to see content that is irrelevant and 70% of them get frustrated when your site has nothing to do with them. Write valuable and useful content that supplements your product offerings. The more information and value you can provide to your customers, the higher the chance of their buying from you other than from your competitors.
Besides writing valuable product landing pages content, also use blog content to inform, engage, and educate your target audience. This also helps your organic SEO traffic as blogs are a powerful way of attracting people to your site.
Use Product Reviews
When you neglect product reviews, you could actually be missing out on a potential 20% conversion rate increase or even more. Why do you think so many people flock and buy products from Amazon? It’s because of their amazing reviews. For ecommerce optimization, social proof is not only useful but essential.
If you want people to buy what you are offering, then show them that others have bought and liked your product. Some buyers won’t even read all the reviews. Most will simply see the decent star rating that your product has and get convinced. You may want to think of incorporating a review request to the confirmation email. You should also provide a link that goes back to your product page.
Often, retargeting campaigns cost less and convert more. This makes them the advertiser’s ultimate win-win situation. One study found that email marketing generated income from email marketing is on the rise with 68% of businesses ranking it as their best ROI channel. Facebook retargeting is another channel that is gaining greater impact.
Facebook retargeting basics are remarkably simple. Facebook gives an opportunity of re-engaging those who visited your e-commerce site but never made a purchase. To get the maximum out of your Facebook retargeting campaigns, ensure that you are giving them a worthy reason why they should get back into your site’s purchase funnel.
Use Social Media Buttons
Shoppers may visit your online store and decide that what you are offering isn’t for them. That, however, doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t provide your business with value. Maybe that particular visitor knows someone else, a family member, friend, colleague, etc., who might just fall in love with your product. That person can share it on Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms if your site has social media buttons. These buttons automatically fill in all the vital information such that your user only has to click or tap a button to spread the word. By utilizing social media, you’re enabling your brand for brand awareness.
Optimize for Mobile
Mobile SEO or optimizing for mobile users forms an important element of winning conversions. Today, more people are using mobile devices compared to desktops. The mobile device has also become a key channel when people want to research services and products. In view of Google’s mobile-first index reality, no one can afford to ignore this if they want mobile users to not only read their content but also convert into actual buyers.
Mobile users are in general not the most patient and if your site is taking over 3 seconds to load, about 40% of them will leave. For more mobile user conversions, your marketing strategy must include campaigns that specifically target them.
Use High-Quality Video and Images
When video is involved, conversion rates tend to skyrocket with 73% more of those who watch product videos becoming buyers. A video is effective because it accomplishes what your text can’t. Ecommerce optimization requries thinking outside the box. Because a video gives the viewer the ability to see your product in action, they gain more confidence as they buy. In addition, Google also loves video, and when you have them, you boost your chances of site ranking.
Optimize CTA Buttons
The CTA buttons on your product pages greatly influence product success. It’s simply not a matter of the button color but the location too. Your CTA button must stand out, prominently displayed and it should be page’s main focus. It should be the first natural place where the eyes are drawn.
The color of the CTA button should remain the same throughout your entire website as this makes it easy for people to immediately recognize it on each and every single page. The words you use on your CTA also matter. Remember to include an awesome product return policy because over 50% of customers are likely to read it before buying.
Introduce Live Chats & Bots
People are too busy nowadays and have no time for emailing or calling. Live chat is one way of helping them out. Chatbots are increasingly becoming important for ecommerce optimization. They allow your store to create the illusion of a permanent touch point as they provide a dynamic communication channel with your customers. Moreover, being a relatively new tool, you can leverage the curiosity of users. Also, remember that Messenger contents actually get opened 12 times more compared to emails!
If you are a store owner, ecommerce optimization ought to form part of your everyday business life. It takes lots of effort and hard work to encourage a person to visit your online store, but to lose them only takes a couple of seconds. Experiment and relentlessly test everything that has the potential of bringing new conversions starting with the unique ideas discussed above.
The bottom line is that if you want to get people’s attention, you must get in their way, take them where you want them to run!