The e-commerce industry is still growing, but the introduction of more competition has raised the bar in terms of what customers have come to expect. If you want to run a profitable e-commerce website, you will need to stay ahead of the main competitors in your niche by providing a better shopping experience and getting buyers to purchase more. Leading online businesses are improving the quality of product listings, using clear calls to action, and making it easier to place an order. To understand how you can skyrocket the success of your business in 2019, consider how you could implement changes that are currently being used by leading businesses.
Simplify Your Website
Entrepreneurs who are new to e-commerce often make the mistake of assuming that providing more information will make customers more eager to buy. In reality, even a small amount of superfluous information can make shoppers dramatically less likely to make a purchase on your website. A study by WordStream, for instance, found that conversion rates increased up to 40 percent by simply removing an unnecessary image slider from a landing page.
When customers visit your website, they should be made to focus only on the information that they need to make a buying decision. If you are selling physical products, there should be one clear picture that immediately shows what the product looks like. You should also have a brief description and a couple of bullet points describing your product.
Buyers will never get the chance to thoroughly consider your offerings if the top of your website is cluttered with big banners, dozens of buttons, and social media icons. Cleaning up the area of your website that is above the fold should, therefore, be your main focus while you work to simplify your interface. Information should also be clearly conveyed in a logical manner as the buyer scrolls down the page they are visiting. If you take steps to simplify your website, your conversion rates can improve drastically.
Improve Your Product Pages
Keeping your website simple doesn’t mean that you should not offer comprehensive information about what you are actually selling. In e-commerce, any vagueness on a product page will make customers wary about buying. Some customers scan pages for the specific purchasing criteria that they are looking for, and they will refuse to buy when this information is not listed.
To get the best results, you need to put in the time to do sufficient research on your products before making a new listing. Ideally, you should try to add new information that is not available from your competitors since doing so will improve your rankings on search engines. Hundreds of sellers often rehash the same basic information in all of their listings, so Google strongly favors product descriptions that truly stand out from the rest of the pack.
If your product pages currently do not have any images, your immediate focus should be on finding high-quality images for these pages. Manufacturers and distributors can often provide images upon request. You might also want to consider using a professional camera to take your own pictures because shoppers are more likely to buy from businesses that provide very clear images of each product.
Measure Your Performance
You cannot expect to sustainably improve your e-commerce platform if you do not continuously monitor metrics to understand how new changes are impacting user behavior. The most successful e-commerce businesses are using multiple analytics programs to track user behavior in thorough detail. You will need to understand how customers are flowing across your website, and it can help to see a heat map of where customers are clicking and moving their mouse on a page.
Once you have configured your analytics software, you will need to keep your eye on key metrics that can determine the success of an online shopping platform. Many marketers focus on average order value because this metric helps to monitor whether customers are buying in greater quantities over time. Larger orders generally correlate with high customer loyalty, good information, and solid referrals.
You should also focus on measuring customer lifetime value since maximizing this metric will help you to develop a sustainable brand. Many e-commerce businesses work to increase CLV by making good use of email autoresponders, increasing the quality of inbound leads, and implementing a retargeting campaign. If you want your business to be truly successful, you should be constantly tracking dozens of metrics to monitor your performance and recognize where improvements need to be made.
Use Clear Calls to Action
Buyers can get confused if you are trying to get them to take several actions when they are on a page. In most cases, buyers will not click through several calls to action when they are shopping. Buyers will take only one action before taking the next step based on information provided on the next page.
You cannot expect shoppers to remember a call to action from a previous page. Your product listings, therefore, should have just one clear call to action that encourages customers to move in the direction necessary to close a sale.
The first major improvement that you can make is to optimize your logo. Your logo should immediately convey your brand so that customers can feel confident that they are on the right website. However, it is also important to avoid making your logo too distracting since this can move a customer’s focus away from the main product listing and your call to action. You can use a free logo creator to experiment with several different logos that you can test using analytics software.
Optimize Checkout Pages
Another great way to skyrocket your success is to take the time to optimize your checkout pages. Studies have found that 50 to 80 percent of customers abandon a checkout page without making a purchase. In many cases, customers decide not to buy because they question a website’s security practices or cannot find the information that they are looking for. In other cases, buyers will abandon a checkout page when there are unexpected charges or unclear terms.
You should start by thinking through the conditional flow of your shopping cart experience. Buyers should be presented with a minimal amount of information so that they can focus on getting to the point where they can input their credit card information. In general, you should send buyers straight to a shopping cart page with a clear order overview before sending them to the final transaction page that immediately encourages the placement of an order. Upon completing the purchase, there should be a final order confirmation page that provides clear information about the transaction that was just completed and encourages customers to keep shopping.
It is also important to ensure that your checkout page captures key information at the right time. For instance, grabbing a customer’s email at an early stage can enable you to reach out to a customer who fails to make a purchase. Studies have shown that 45 percent of buyers open emails that are sent to follow up on a customer’s failure to make a purchase. A broad range of other changes that you can implement on your checkout page can drastically improve your ability to earn conversions.