With so many businesses moving away from brick & mortar only model, adding an online store nowdays has become so much easier than ever before. But with easier entry barrier comes a fierce competition. Not paying attention to how to stay competitively ahead in your market will result in wasted investments and missed opportunities. To avoid the common mistakes, we look into 7 tips essential to increase and optimize your online store’s conversion rate.
1. Navigation and Search
Firstly, your online store should be simple to navigate and allow most users to find products through it. If your store sells more than 20 products than you have to keep in mind that users bounce rate is less than 5 seconds. A user looking doe specific information should be able to get what they are after. Therefore, it pays to organize your products into a common category, attribute or feature so they are easily found through fewer navigation links. A 5 to 8 navigation links of products are fine, with lower the better. If you are having more categories than consider nesting these as sub-categories.
Secondly, your search function is a good to have feature. Its not something that users use often but still their place in a website is very important. Consider user navigating through multiple items and deciding to add one in store, before checking out they remembered previous items and thought they’d like to add that too. At that point if they even loosely remember the name or type of product, guess where they are going to look for it. Therefore, having a search bar popping friendly results and suggestions, is very important for driving higher conversion rates for your store.
2. No Compromises on Product Images
If you are shopping in physical store, there are many factors that play role in increasing your emotional decision making before making a purchase. Things like how the store looks, lightening, smell, product placements, able to touch, feel and see them help you with buying decision. That is also why shops who pay attention to these factors along with friendly customer service get to increase their sales and meet targets, unless you are in a bad business than that can be a different story.
For online shopping, you don’t have all those factors but instead all that you are left with to make a good impression is how well you present your product online. Having a high-quality image that focuses on products you are selling, with plain background and right angle will help you increase conversion rate tremendously compared to having same products with poor images.
3. Straightforward prices
This is very important, with so many options online. It only takes a user few seconds to find alternate seller and differentiate what they are offering. Not having clear pricing mentioned on product pages is a big no. Unless you are trialling and not ready to sell you should absolutely put price in product page with distinction from other text. So, users can see it easily. Having consistent branding guide adoption in page elements with right colours based on your user research is very important.
Also, don’t forget to mention your shipping rates too if you can so it becomes clear, what user would be paying before adding items in their cart. Offer value with the mention like Free shipping over orders of this amount (standard and expected). Nothing is more frustrating to customers than adding items in cart, just to see unexpected high shipping price pop-up.
4. Abandoned cart follow-up
Abandoned cart is now more prevalent than before. Why is that? you may ask. Well, firstly users are not necessarily visiting your website through a computer. More than 54% of users shop online using a mobile device. Therefore, users are mobile too, they are not sitting in comfort of their home where they can pull up credit card and fill up details of shipping that easily. Along with this, online price, feature etc comparison has become easy too. Hence there are many factors that users may delay their purchasing decision. A follow-up, friendly email with items they added help such users when they have the time and decision-making ability to make that purchase easily.
5. Mobile First Store
As mentioned above more than 54% of your online store customers will be coming through mobile. While that is general statistics and can differ from business to business but downplaying that importance now will be a killer mistake for your stores conversion rate. More than ever before websites are designed with mobile first intention, you may ask why is that so? Well, with mobile you have less real-estate screen, if you can use spacing, images and wording effectively there, then you can do so similarly on desktop. Imagine 6 long sentences along with product features describing your product on desktop screen and then looking at same product page on mobile where you realise all of sudden the buy button is so down low that users will have to scroll to be able to get there will only result in decrease in purchase numbers for your store.
6. Unique Selling Point
For businesses to thrive, they need to have that unique selling point aspect to their business. Whether it is your operational efficiency, good pricing offers, environmentally friendly production, helping a good cause etc plays an important role and serves a good differentiation point. Unless you are selling that no-one else in that are is selling than all power to you, go and command the price you think you deserve. But for most businesses it is important to have that unique selling point aspect.
Not able to show or high-light such aspect can set you back in your online business. Ensure your selling point is mentioned on home-page and on product pages if it makes sense, otherwise stick to home page but don’t forget to mention it so it is clear and catches the attention with appropriate image, wordings etc.
7. Do A/B Testing
To run your online store, you will need to be engaging your business in online marketing activities. Whether you are offering special price, massive seasonal discount or clearance of remaining stocks. You need to play with messaging that resonates most with your customers. With A/B testing you can do just that.
What it means is that you can trial multiple messaging/layout etc at the same time and see which one is converting more. Once you find out you can scale the well performing and cut-down/remove underperforming page. Another good thing is that you are not limited to any specific marketing campaign. If you are doing email marketing, you can trial multiple subject lines with same offer, if you are running social media campaign, you can trial with different images and titles and for AdWords you can try different keywords to see which ones are bringing you more gain. The importance of A/B Testing is really important to derive success campaigns on marketing and land you high conversion rates for your business.