If you’ve ever tried to sell products directly to your customers online, then you already know just how many different options you have for setting up your e-commerce site. From basic landing pages to plugins like WooCommerce on the WordPress platform, the options are endless and can even seem overwhelming.
If you’re like many small business owners, manufacturers, and retailers across the country, you’ve probably researched different ways to improve your e-commerce site and drive sales for your business. With everything from paid Google Shopping campaigns to the design and layout of your site, there are numerous ways you can bolster sales and improve the quality of your customer’s shopping experience.
We at VIG have worked with countless clients to help them redesign and improve almost every aspect of their e-commerce websites. From multi-million dollar manufacturing companies to small clothing retailers, we’ve seen just about every trick in the book. To help businesses like yours, we’ve put together our top tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your e-commerce site.
Improve Your User-Experience
Easy to Use Navigation & Filters
One of the first things we sit down and talk about with our clients during any website project is the user-experience of their website. Many times, when a client wants to redesign or improve their website, their existing layout, features, and navigation are often difficult to use. We always refer to the golden rule of web design that if a user cannot find what they’re looking for within three clicks, it’s an issue.
With that said, when putting together any type of website, especially e-commerce, you need to make navigating the site and finding content clear and easy. We usually recommend using drop-down menus in the header of each page that organizes products by category, industry, or specific target market. This allows the user to quickly transition between different pages and quickly compare products, options, and even different configurations.
Filters are another great option to help your users find the exact product they are looking for. Depending on your products and industry, you could set up filters by the brand name of your product, product category (Example: shelving/chairs/tables/etc) size, or even color. Having this filtering menu on your main product page and even your home page is a great way to help your users find everything they’re looking for with minimal frustration and difficulty.
Responsive Web design
Whether you sell t-shirts to the consumer market or custom medical equipment that’s strictly B2B, you need to ensure your customers can find everything they’re looking for across multiple devices, browsers, and operating systems. Ensuring users can navigate your page on a smartphone, desktop, and tablet is not only an essential ranking factor in organic SEO, it’s an integral part of managing customer relationships.
According to a report by Search Engine Land, over 50% of searches across the globe are performed on mobile devices. This number is only growing and the need to deliver content seamlessly across multiple platforms is taking a top priority in web design strategy meetings. To stay competitive in your industry you need to ensure your content is accessible to all.
Great Content on Product Pages
Tying into the user-experience of your website, your product pages should have all the necessary information your customers are looking for displayed in a clear and logical manner. Everything from product specifications like sizes, colors, available options, and features should be listed and organized in a way that allows your customers to sort through content quickly.
Having bulleted lists of product features like available sizes and options is a common way. If you have products that feature different configurations and sizes, adding a filter that allows customers to choose the specific model that’s right for them is another great way to keep things organized.
Keeping your product descriptions clear and to the point is important too. Having informative descriptions that are not lengthy love letters helps customers make educated buying decisions without dropping off after reading long paragraphs.
Professional Image Gallery
It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. As cliché as it sounds, it directly correlates to the success of your e-commerce site. If your product pages display merely one simple graphic of your product or simply no image at all, you’re losing customers.
Take a cue from the largest and most successful online retailers across the country. Amazon, Walmart, and even some grocery stores feature their products with a plethora of professional images to captivate the attention of their customers. Images serve multiple purposes for a website and also help build credibility for a business.
Think about this from a consumer’s standpoint. If you’re in the market for an expensive piece of machinery or even something as simple as a laptop, you’re going to do as much research as you can before you make the decision to buy. As a consumer, you’re going to read product descriptions, maybe reviews, and even compare prices from different providers.
As part of this research process, if you visit a website that doesn’t have detailed professional images of this product for you to review, or worse yet clipart, you’re probably going to visit another site and make your purchase elsewhere. To not only improve your online sales but also reassure your customers they made the right choice in choosing your site, you need to feature a gallery of professional images that show off the strengths of your products and differentiate you as the best in the business.
Develop a Shopping Cart Abandonment Strategy
Did you know that over half of all online shopping carts are abandoned by potential customers before they make a purchase? OVER 50%!
Knowing that if those customers converted, your sales would practically double – what a tough fact to digest.
Developing an abandonment strategy that wins over your customers and makes them want to purchase their abandoned items can be one of the most vital actions taken when developing an ECommerce website. So rather than just letting your potential customers walk out the door after they’ve placed an item in the cart, let’s follow up and incentivize them to make their purchase!
Make Your Site Secure
In October of 2017 Google rolled out an algorithm update that penalizes websites that do not have an SSL certificate for their domain name. What this means is that websites that do not feature an https:// in their domain are seeing a decrease in organic search rankings.
Google rolled out this algorithm update in an attempt to make web browsing more secure and valuable user data out of the wrong hands. In basic terms, SSL certificates are an extra layer of encryption that prevents browser data from being intercepted when a user inputs data into a form. If you have a payment feature on your website that collects sensitive information like credit card data, having an SSL certificate is an absolute must.
Sites that do not have the added layer of encryption of an SSL certificate are being flagged by Google and are clearly displayed when a user visits the site. Consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of these sites in response to recent cyber attacks and are showing a higher preference to secure sites. To ensure customers of a safe buying experience and to display credibility in your industry, securing your site is one of the most important steps you can take.
Increasing sales and boosting the performance of your e-commerce site isn’t easy. Every day we work with clients across the Commonwealth to help them improve their digital presence and grow their business. More and more customers are turning to online sites to purchase everything from groceries to cars. To stay ahead of your competition and avoid being lost in the clutter, you need to start taking active steps to improve your e-commerce capabilities.
Interested in taking your site to the next level? Think VIG!