Your ecommerce website is much more than a sales gimmick. In an age when online browsing and purchasing are becoming the rule rather than the exception, your internet presence is rapidly becoming your store’s most visible brand ambassador. As a result, it makes sense to put your time, effort, and perhaps even a little capital into making it one of your most persuasive sales tools.
Flesh out your product pages.
When people shop online, they gain an exponential amount of convenience and choice. However, virtual customers lose the ability to physically see or touch the items you are featuring. In order to minimize this disadvantage, your job is to make your product descriptions as vivid as possible, by:
- Providing clear images from all angles.
- Ensuring that your text product information is thorough and descriptive.
- Using SEO-friendly titles to make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to learn about and navigate to popular items, as well as their products of choice.
- Providing videos that show how your products are used and/or how they appear on different human models.
- Presenting consumers with reviews and social media testimonials to persuade them that people just like them already love what you are selling.
Once you have taken these steps, you can be sure that visitors will have a good understanding not only of what you are offering on your site, but why they might want to spend their money on your site.
Call consumers to action.
Displaying your wares is only the first step. Believe it or not, buyers also need a clear call to action (CTA) that guides them toward completing the purchasing process. Your CTA should be visually prominent and communicate a clear message such as, “Purchase now.”
Provide a live chat option.
While ecommerce affords the ability to shop anytime and from anywhere, potential buyers can feel isolated and might begin to question if making a purchase without being able to speak with a representative of your business is such a good idea after all. Giving them a way to chat with someone who can answer their questions or provide additional product information can often serve to ease buyers’ concerns. Even a chat bot is better than no interaction method since it can collect valuable contact information that you can follow up on at your earliest convenience.
Personalize your customers’ experiences.
If you use an integrated payment processing system, you probably already collect a great deal of actionable data that you can leverage to make each and every one of your buyers feel special. Many systems even allow you to customize the data you request so that you can learn about buyers’ relevant hobbies and interests, product preferences, etc. Once you have accrued this gold mine of facts, you can send personalized offers and content that will optimize your sales.
Use the customer information your social media presence and POS software provide to:
- Recommend products related to what the customer has already purchased.
- See which part of your site the customer went to in the past and optimize navigation to ensure that they are sent directly there in the future.
- Send emails promoting products related to those the buyer has just purchased.
- Tailor offers to the user’s geographic location.
In general, the more a customer feels valued and cared about, the better you’ll be able to cultivate a genuine, dynamic relationship with them that results in heightened satisfaction and increased sales.
Make your site mobile-friendly.
You cannot afford to miss out on the ever-increasing number of potential buyers who use their smartphones to browse the internet and make product purchases. That’s why you should consider adopting the following mobile-friendly measures:
- Be sure your render start time (how long it takes for your site content to load) is no longer than three seconds. Do so by checking your speed, using a more responsive theme if necessary, and providing content faster with a caching plugin.
- Drive traffic to your site with mobile marketing campaigns.
- Make your site easy to find with search engine optimization (SEO).
Furthermore, never underestimate the power of explanatory and popup videos to engage highly distractible smartphone customers.
Use marketing techniques to create urgency.
Nothing inspires a tentative consumer to get off the fence and press that “buy now” button more than urgency. After all, we all hate missing out on a good deal. Create this need to purchase immediately by doing the following:
- Have flash sales. Prominently publicize when the special deal will end, while being sure to let customers know how much they can save by acting now.
- Display a running tally of diminishing stock levels to drive traffic.
- Feature a countdown timer that convinces buyers there is no moment like the present to make their purchase.
Of course, it is crucial to use a visible and clear call to action that further directs wavering buyers to proceed to check-out.
Lower shopping cart abandonment rates.
The bane of many ecommerce sites is the uncompleted purchase. While you can never eliminate them altogether, taking the following actions can minimize this all-too-prevalent customer tendency:
- Refocus user attention with popup offers.
- If possible, offer free shipping. At the very least, don’t spring any price surprises on your customers immediately before checkout.
- Offer multiple payment options including credit cards and debit cards.
- Offer a guest checkout option for people who do not want to create accounts.
- Send emails to existing customers who have abandoned their cart encouraging them to complete their purchases, perhaps even offering a discount or coupon.
In short, anything you can do to keep your shopping cart at the top of a consumer’s mind increases the chances that they will complete the purchase.
Check in with your customers.
The best way to learn about the effectiveness of your ecommerce optimization strategies is to ask the people they directly affect: your customers! Without any difficulty, you can include a button on your website that leads to a survey. You can also give people a forum to provide their opinions using live chat. Your survey can ask visitors whether they found what they were looking for, how their experience can be improved, and what additional products or deals might interest them.
Without a doubt, your ecommerce website is the window into your entire operation. When you optimize it to make your customers’ experiences as fruitful and satisfying as possible, everyone wins. Your sales increase, while you can count on a dynamic group of buyers near and far who will visit your site again and again.