There are two main ways to improve the commercial value of your site. The first is to drive more traffic towards it. The second is to boost the number of conversions from existing visitors.
For most e-commerce sites, in order to make a profit you need more than just a healthy number of hits. Visits to your site need to convert. To make the most of the traffic you already have, work on turning traffic into sales. Here are five simple steps to get you started.
1. Use Intuitive Designs
Many e-customers choose to buy online because it’s faster and easier. Make it slow and difficult and you’re handing over potential consumers to competitor sites with more intuitive design.
2. Prioritize Functionality
Keep a close eye out for things like broken links and out of stock products. If a customer visits your site only to feel that they have been misinformed or that your services were falsely advertised when they fail to find what they were looking for, they are unlikely to return.
3. Increase Site Speed
This is one of the most important factors in ensuring e-customer satisfaction, and one of the easiest to address, yet it is often overlooked. In 2009, Google produced research explaining the impact of site speed on overall site performance.
It’s worth noting that, as a result of their site speed report, page loading times also factor in Google’s search rankings. Improving site speed = ranking more highly on Google searches = more conversions. Make sure to use a site speed testing tool to check how your site is measuring up.
4. Be Informative
There’s a reason your brand is selling what is sells: it knows about it. Sharing information with your customers in a friendly, accessible way will give them confidence in the brand’s expertise. A good e-commerce site should be more than just a catalog. It is an opportunity for online shoppers to make fully informed choices about the products they buy.
5. Work On Your Payment Gateway
This is where many consumers will be put off as it’s when they feel most vulnerable. They are committing to purchase through an anonymous website, providing personal information — addresses and phone numbers — and credit card details. Using a reputable system like PayPal is one way to alleviate their concerns. Another is to include a running feed of positive reviews from previous customers. It’s also a good idea to offer a range of payment options, as not everyone coming to your site will have or want to use a credit card.
Whatever approach you choose, try putting yourself in the position of your users and think carefully about your own experiences as an online shopper.
The good news is that there is a huge number of freely available online resources to help you improve, and continue to improve, your site’s conversion rates. As well as a multitude of tech and design-focused articles, there are a few useful webinars, like the e-commerce platform webinar from experts Amazon. You’ll also find a variety of blogs and forums dedicated to helping designers with niche concerns relating to their site’s particular e-commerce services and branding.
The message is clear: conversion rates can always be improved. It’s simply a matter of knowing where to make the right improvements for your site and brand.