It’s no surprise that for most businesses, a sales-focused e-commerce website has never been more important.
When it comes to converting website traffic into sales, many business owners struggle.
Unfortunately, pushing people to visit your website and landing pages means very little if you can’t turn these visitors into customers. Almost 72% of business sites fail to attract and convert new leads. This would be much lower if business owners realised there is a number of simple tactics that can help make your website perform better!
Simple Purchase Process
We’ve all experienced it.
There’s something we’d like to buy but 8 clicks later we’re still trying to navigate through the multi-step ordering process. At the end of the day, every additional click is another opportunity for someone to drop off. The fewer steps involved, the more likely the user will make it to the finish line, their purchase.
Simple ways to do this include:
- Offering a Guest Checkout. While we would like users to create an account to encourage repeat purchases, it shouldn’t get in the way of that first sale.
- Highlighting the most popular products on the first page they visit. If customers often purchase a number of specific products to start, keeping these front and centre will ensure they don’t need to spend time searching through categories of products
Mobile Responsive Design
Many reports are suggesting that mobile commerce sales are expected to make up 53.9% of global E-Commerce sales in 2021. Around 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile devices in the last 6 months. Despite this, mobile conversion rates lag behind desktop conversion rates. Why? A site’s user experience isn’t built for mobile.
A responsive site is one that “responds” to the device the visitor is using. This means there’s no awkward zooming in and out, scrolling and misclicks. Google has adopted mobile-first indexing which means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. This means there’s more of a necessity for a mobile-first site design strategy for your e-commerce site. While tablets are included in mobile statistics, smartphones make up 70% of all transactions. Your initial aim should be to not lose consumers on smartphones and desktops because your site isn’t responsive to their device choice.
With a number of product categories and types of customers, E-commerce stores often quickly find themselves with multiple navigation options and a confusing experience for the user. Website trends change every year and instead of creating more navigation options, focus on ensuring your audience knows where they are. Around 38% of your users will stop engaging if they find it difficult to navigate through your website and down your funnel.
Build Trust & Expertise
With so many e-commerce stores in Ireland, it’s often hard for customers to distinguish between the good and the bad. It’s important to highlight the key selling points of your business over others. This is often done through Social Proof or testimonials.
While it might sound counterintuitive, your product or service doesn’t really matter to your customer, it’s the benefit, outcome or feeling it provides to them that matters. What better way to communicate this than highlight others in a similar situation who can speak to their experience.
Well Designed Product Page
It’s easy to forget that a lot of website users might be linked directly to a product page instead of the homepage on their first visit. On that basis, it’s important that the product page can stand in and of itself, and give a strong first impression to a user.
If you have an e-commerce website, take a look at your product pages, if you landed there directly without any context, would you be convinced to buy?
This is not just a customer service tool. Live chat has become a necessary component for an efficient lead converting machine. Thanks to HubSpot Research we now know that 90% of customers believe an immediate response to a marketing or sales question is just as important as an immediate response to a customer service question.
Increased response time = Decreased likelihood of purchase.
So don’t leave your customers waiting. Live chat fills the void left by email responses or customer care lines, providing an immediate line of communication to get customers’ questions answered without leaving the page or picking up another device.
Payment methods can be a crucial part of the process and can cause friction in a lot of cases. It’s the crunch time when potential customers are being asked to separate with their hard-earned cash. A poor experience here gives them an easy “out”, as compared to an easy “yes”.
In most cases, we recommend Stripe for online payments. It’s so easy to use. Most Irish consumers use Stripe multiple times per month without even realising it. The credit card fields added directly to the website make it as easy as possible to provide your details and complete the purchase process.
Depending on the industry and audience, PayPal is also another viable option. We recommend using this as a secondary option if at all. The friction created by a user being sent to Paypal.com to complete their purchase adds another number of clicks in the purchase process, something we want to avoid.
Any website collecting payments faces a higher burden to ensure the website is secure. There are a number of steps you can follow to ensure that this isn’t an issue.
Firstly an SSL certificate has long been a requirement for e-commerce websites to ensure user sessions remain encrypted. These small data files ensure all data passed between the web server and browser remain private when a user is on a particular site. They can be identified as the small padlock on the website bar.
As of July 2018, Google SSL requirements were enforced by flagging sites without SSL as unsafe in Chrome, making them a strong recommendation for every website.
Secondly, it’s important to communicate this sense of security to your audience to build trust and ensure users are comfortable with making a payment online.
Follow Up on Abandoned Carts & Purchases
Make sure to keep an eye on abandoned carts. Your site design can contribute to a high rate of abandoned carts. Watch out for outbound links!
Around 35% of your abandoned merchandise is potentially recoverable through site optimisation or checkout process improvements. If that doesn’t work, a follow-up email or digital ads are recommended a few hours later.
In addition, triggering emails based on past visits/purchases can be a great opportunity. Making the past visit into a personal email can be a great way to re-attract:
- Product recommendations based on purchases
- Coupons based on past purchases or wish lists can drive sales; especially when the specific product goes on sale
- Offer referral incentives such as refer a friend or review reward schemes
Social Media Advertising
If you aren’t using email marketing and social ads to remain front of mind for past and potential customers, you’re leaving sales on the table. For every purchase made, on average 10 users left without getting to the finish line. Triggering Facebook/Instagram ads depending on how far potential customers made through that process will unlock extra sales, much more cost-effectively than other forms of marketing.