Guest Post by Rodney Warner
In order to grow your online store, you have to put as much focus into increasing sales as much as you put into generating traffic. What you need to understand is that increasing sales doesn’t always involve marketing. There are many store optimizations that you can make to realize big lifts in your conversions. Here are some of the different things that you can try optimizing.
1. Reduce Your Loading Speed
Your site’s loading speed affects bounce rates as well as your conversion rates. Online stores can be quite media heavy with photos, images, and videos. The issue is that you need these media files to help sell your products. That’s why they are more challenging to optimize than the average site.
You want to work with somebody that understands e-Commerce web design to help optimize your site for fast load speeds. It’s not just a matter of following industry best practices. There’s a lot of design work that’s involved with the speed optimization process of online stores. One thing that helps is loading the top part of your site first rather than the whole site at once.
2. Optimize the Shopping Cart Process
Shopping cart abandonment is one of the biggest causes of lost sales. What’s surprising is that only 16 percent of users abandoned just because they were browsing. This means that 84 percent of users abandoned due to issues that are within your control.
The same source shows that 23 percent of people abandoned the cart because they were forced to create account while 12 percent abandoned due to a complicated checkout. So what you want to do is to create a simple checkout process that doesn’t require account creation. You also want to use a two step process that captures the user’s information so that you can follow up with users that didn’t go through with the purchase.
3. Display Most Popular Products Prominently
Which products you showcase on your main page will heavily impact your sales. That’s why you want to dig into your sales analytics and figure out which products are the most popular. There’s a reason why your customers are buying these products. It’s likely that your marketing is targeting a specific audience and this audience is responding to certain products.
So instead of trying to diversify product sales with new customers, go with what’s already being bought by the majority of your customer base. The same concept applies to category pages as people will look for certain types of products in each distinct category. If you want to appeal to all your customers, offering advanced search functions with filters in category pages will help them find what they’re looking for.
4. Add Credibility Icons and Trust Badges
Consumers are aware of identity theft and other security issues. You want to make them feel safer by putting credibility icons and trust badges throughout your site and checkout process. Credibility icons will depend on the industry you are in. For example, if you are selling supplements, organic, gluten free, and vegan icons will help sell your products if that’s what consumers are looking for.
Trust badges like ScanAlert’s hacker safe, McAfee SECURE, VeriSign, BBB, and SSL security are some examples of trust badges that will make consumers feel comfortable about providing you with their credit card information. There are many tests that various icons and badges improve sales. Some of these badges require subscriptions, but they will be worth it due to the conversion boost they provide.
5. Improve Your Product Page Copy
Many online store owners do a poor job in selling their products. They think that a feature list and specifications will suffice for their product pages. If you want to improve your sales, you need to write copy that makes people want to buy. Explain the benefits of your product and why people should want it. You can always add the features and specs below it or in another tab.
Writing copy for each of your products is a lot of work. However, there’s the added benefit of SEO. Your page will be more likely to be indexed and ranked higher due to the content. In addition, you will avoid issues with duplicate content if you are sourcing your products from a distributor that other online stores are using.
6. Offer Multiple Photos, Photo Tools and Videos
One photo will not suffice for your product pages. You need to place multiple photos that really show how your product looks, works, and functions. If possible, you also want to use photo tools to enhance the experience. These photo tools allow users to zoom in and out of the photos, look through all 360 degrees of it, and visualize the product in different options (if available).
Video is another powerful selling tool for online stores. They do a far better job in selling products than text. You can really see a big difference in sales conversions by adding video sales presentations and descriptions for each of the products sold in your online store.
7. Display Similar Products
An easy way to guide users to find what they’re looking for and increase the average order size, is to show similar products. Show what products other customers have bought and looked at. The idea is to make the display relevant to what the user is currently looking at or has browsed through. This should also be used as a way to upsell customers on a product page or during the checkout process.
These simple optimizations can boost the sales in your online store without any big marketing campaigns. There are many more ways to optimize your online store performance. Start by implementing these strategies and keep trying new ones as you see improvements.
Rodney Warner heads the team at Connective Web Design and is also a musician, outdoor enthusiast, and ice cream connoisseur.