10 Things to Optimize on an eCommerce Site to Drive Sales
Sep 10, 2022 | 4 MINUTES TO READ
Summary: If you are looking to increase the sales in your eCommerce shop, it helps to ensure that you optimize the essential areas of your site to help boost purchases.
Running an online store gives you access to mountains of consumer data that you can use to improve your business over time. Some of the most important figures to watch are your site traffic numbers and conversion rates – in other words, how many people visit your website and how many of those go on to make a purchase.
Both of these numbers should be as high as possible, and the right eCommerce web design optimization strategy will help you accomplish this. Here are 10 areas you can optimize to increase the number of leads and conversions your online store receives.
Table of Contents
|Smart Use of Pop-Ups|
|Site Search Queries|
|Product Listing Page|
|Product Detail Page|
|The Shopping Cart|
|Mobile Web Experience|
What to Optimize on an eCommerce Site to Improve Sales
1. Smart Use of Pop-Ups
Pop-ups can be intrusive and irritating to the user, but they do an incredibly good job of getting a user’s attention. Implementing these tools along certain guidelines will allow you to take advantage of this attribute without sacrificing the goodwill of your users.
- Avoid using pop-ups to prompt your users to download your company’s shopping app as soon as they visit your website. At this stage, they do not know whether your eCommerce shop is a good fit for their needs. If they enjoy their time browsing your website and decide that they are definitely interested in perusing your products in the future, a small button or call to action will be enough to get them to download.
- Do not use pop-ups to collect opt-in emails without offering anything in return. If you want a lead’s email address, offer them a discount or freebie for giving it to you.
- Do not use pop-ups to request that users fill out a survey immediately. This will frustrate them, and they have no valuable insights to offer you yet regardless.
- Make sure that your pop-ups follow Google’s mobile interstitials guidelines. These guidelines discourage the use of interstitials that negatively impact the user experience, including pop-ups that block content, interrupt navigation between pages, or are difficult to close.
2. Site Search Queries
Many users who visit an eCommerce website perform another search on that website to narrow down their findings. Reviewing which terms they are searching for can reveal a lot about what your leads need and how you can convert them into customers.
First, check which queries are the most popular. This will let you know which of your products are most sought after. Then, perform a search for those queries yourself. Check both the search suggestions and the search results page. Are they useful? Are all of the products you expected to see showing up? If not, you know to adjust your merchandise tagging to bring your users better results.
You can also use this information to guide your marketing and future business moves. If many customers are looking for a type of product you do not have in stock, consider adding it to your line-up the next time you are interested in expanding it. If you already carry a highly searched item, Shopify experts suggest that you promote it more to attract other leads who will likely enjoy it too.
3. Cross-Sell Relevancy
When a user purchases an item from your store, they may also be willing to purchase another related item as an impulse buy. ECommerce shops facilitate this process with automated cross-selling suggestions. You might see these displays labelled as “You may also like” or “People also viewed,” among others.
If you are not already using cross-selling suggestions in your e-commerce shop, it is time to start. There are many tools available that will help you match each user with more items that are similar to those they have already displayed interest in.
If you do have cross-selling measures in place, evaluate their performance. How many users who are shown these extra items click on them? How many actually purchase one? If your numbers are low, you may need to refine your item tagging system to provide greater suggestion specificity and improve the customer experience. A good Shopify developer can help you with both of these issues.
4. Site Speeds
Fast load speeds are even more important in eCommerce website design than they are in general web design. Browsing through a shop’s selection of items requires loading many pages in quick succession. Slow load speeds become much more noticeable and bothersome during this type of fast-paced use.
Remember that it is not just desktop load speeds that count. Mobile loading speeds are even more critical. Google’s commitment to mobile-first indexing means that if your website runs poorly on mobile devices, your search ranks will never rise. You will also alienate the increasing proportion of online shoppers who shop primarily on their phones.
To improve your website’s performance, review Google’s Core Web Vitals report for your website and make any changes their tools suggest. This may involve compressing images, reducing the number of plugins you are using, or removing some multimedia elements from your page.
5. Product Listing Page
Your product listing pages display all of the items in a relevant category. You can optimize several different aspects of this key area, including:
- Sort Options. Sort options help your users organize your stock and quickly find the type of item they are looking for. Include a range of different sort options that arrange items by price, popularity, star rating, and more.
- Filters. Allowing your users to filter products by colour, price, rating, and other attributes allows them to focus on items that meet their needs, enhancing their shopping experience.
- Stock Information and Delivery Time Frames. Many users who shop online want to receive their products within a particular time frame. Displaying whether a product is sold out or will take weeks to ship helps them weed out products that are not viable options for them.
- Pricing and Discounts. Everyone loves seeing that an item’s price has been reduced, but simply listing the discount percentage leaves room for confusion. Make the item’s value easier to understand by listing the reduced price alongside the original price and the discount percentage.
6. Product Detail Page
When a user clicks on a specific item, they will be taken to the product detail page for that item. At this stage in the buyer’s journey, they are interested in the product and are ready to do some research on it. Your goal should be to make this easy for them.
Each of your product detail pages should list attributes like the following:
- Product images and video
- Stock status
- Shipping details
- Care instructions
- Notable features
- Country of origin
Not all of these attributes are applicable to every product. Some products may require other information to be listed, including safety warnings like flammability and toxicity.
Include as much detail as possible on each of these attributes, but keep that information organized. You do not want to overwhelm the user with huge lists of product specifications that they are not interested in. Collapsible menus work well for this purpose, allowing you to hide the details from everyone except the users who are specifically looking for them.
7. The Shopping Cart
When users reach the shopping cart page, they are seriously considering buying from your business. Optimize the page in the following ways to nudge them in the right direction.
- Use Clear Pricing. Would-be customers want to know exactly how much they will be paying. Display the actual purchase price clearly and accurately. Include the shipping costs here if possible.
- Make Backtracking Easy. Some consumers like to double-check everything before they proceed with an online order. Accommodate them by providing an easy way to head back to the product detail page so users can confirm information before purchasing.
- Display Clear Fulfillment and Return Policies. Show the user the options they have for order fulfillment, including home shipping and ship-to-store. Try to offer a free shipping option if you can. Include a clear statement regarding return policies or a highly visible link to your return policy page.
- Use Abandoned Cart Emails. A user who places an item in their cart and leaves without purchasing it may change their mind later on. Marketing automation tools can help you reach these users with automated emails that remind them that they’ve left something behind.
8. Checkout Experience
Users who have reached the checkout screen are moments away from making a purchase. At this point, focus on keeping things simple and easy to navigate.
Your checkout should give users clear instructions on how to proceed. Some things may seem like common knowledge, but you have no idea how tech-savvy your prospective customers are. You can use features like auto-fill to make the process faster and simpler. In addition, make sure your shop has a guest checkout option available for customers who do not want to sign up for an account just yet.
It is also a good idea to offer some Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options at this stage. Many consumers are no longer using credit cards but still appreciate the opportunity to break up larger expenses into smaller monthly chunks. There are many companies offering BNPL services you can extend to your customers, including Klarna and Afterpay. Use their easy integration tools to build their financing options into your checkout portal.
9. Mobile Web Experience
As noted above, many consumers now do most of their online shopping on mobile devices. The mobile version of your website should be optimized the same way the desktop version is.
Good news: if you build your website with responsive design elements, all the optimizations you make on the desktop version will also apply to the mobile version. This cuts down on hours of work you would otherwise have to do to get the mobile version of your e-commerce store up to consumer standards. The one thing you will still need to do is test whether all of the tweaks and features are working correctly on mobile. Bugs and glitches can still happen, so catch them early!
10. eCommerce SEO
All of the measures listed above will help you make your e-commerce store more user-friendly and promote more sales. However, they will all be useless without new users coming to your site. eCommerce search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website rank better on searches made in top search engines like Google.
There is much more to SEO than keywords, but adding a few high-value ones is a good place to start. For example, a high-end clothing store might use keywords like “luxury fashions,” “designer dresses,” “boutique couture” and more. Sprinkle these keywords into your:
- Alt Tags
This helps Google understand that your e-commerce shop will appeal to people searching for those terms, prompting the engine to rank your website above others that appear under that search query.
Give Your eCommerce Store the Ultimate Tune-Up with Help from Shopify Experts
ECommerce optimization directly impacts your bottom line, so give it the time and attention it deserves. If you want expert help with implementing the strategies described above, WSI Comandix is here for you. We create and optimize e-commerce stores on all the leading platforms, including Shopify, Wix, and WooCommerce. The improvements we have made to our clients’ eCommerce shops have generated incredible increases in both sales and revenue. Contact us today to learn more about how we can do the same for you.
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