E-commerce has become a powerful way to drive profitability and find success. Whether as a small shop owner, a private creator, or a drop shipper, e-commerce websites offer the ability to get products in front of a global audience. Learn how to optimize your e-commerce business.
Achieving success is more difficult than simply building a store and then waiting for customers to come flooding through your virtual doors. For many would-be business owners, the challenge can mean the difference between success and failure.
This is the flipside of the online business world. 20 years ago only a small percentage of businesses had any kind of presence online, even fever had an e-commerce shop.
Traditional marketing such as TV, radio, and newspapers have declined over recent years since online marketing can be much more targeted to your audience and much effective.
The good news is that e-commerce store optimization can help drive significantly more targeted traffic to your WordPress site (or any other e-commerce site, for that matter).
How to improve your e-commerce Store
What do you need to know about optimizing your website? Here are some of our top tips and tricks to help you build a more successful business.
The first step toward e-commerce store optimization is to make sure that your product pages are up to snuff. This is actually where many online retailers drop the ball, and it’s one of the easiest things to fix.
Images – Make sure that your product pages offer high-quality images of the item in question. Photos should show the item from different angles (check how Amazon does most of theirs). You should also consider showing customer photos to provide social proof.
Description – Get rid of that stock description from the manufacturer and create a custom text that is optimized with keywords, but written for customer conversion.
Breadcrumbs – Make sure your visitors can tell where they are, where they’ve been, and more by providing navigation breadcrumbs.
Ratings and Reviews – Customers today are pre-programmed to seek out social proof of a product in the form of ratings and reviews. If you have no testimonials to present to them, they’re far less likely to buy that item.
Your Pricing matters a lot
The problem might not be the product description, images, or navigation. It could be that your prices are out of line with other similar products, or that your customers are not seeing the value proposition of your product in comparison to others on the market.
You can use comparison pricing here to illustrate why your product is the better choice, or you could lower the price of your product. While that will net you less profit per sale, you may see higher sales volume, which boosts profitability. Finally, you might consider using what’s called “charm pricing”.
This is nothing more than using prices that end in 9. For instance, rather than pricing an item at $11, you might go with $10.99. Charm pricing can have a significant effect on sales without hurting your bottom line.
SEO plays a significant role in overall e-commerce store optimization. While there are a lot of moving parts within the greater SEO sphere, URLs play a significant role.
Make sure that your URLs are transparent and easily understandable. This is important for a number of reasons.
First, it clearly communicates to human beings (your customers) what they’re going to see when they click on a URL.
Second, it helps search engine spiders better index your pages. It’s all about building trust while ensuring your website can be crawled quickly and accurately.
There are many many more things to do when it comes to SEO, check out our WordPress SEO optimization guide if you need to learn the basics of SEO or just making sure you have done everything.
Once you have done that make sure also go through our WordPress Optimization checklist to ensure your website is running smooth and fast.
Use Google Analytics
You’ll find a wide range of analytics programs out there, but Google Analytics is the most popular (and it’s free, too).
Using Google’s tools allows you to drill down into what your visitors are doing on your website, where they’re going, where they’re coming from, what pages see the most interest, and where your visitors bounce out.
Based on this information, you can then make adjustments to your marketing strategy to change the situation for the better.
If you’re not using analytics, then you’re just flying blind and trusting pure luck that you’re reaching the right audience and that they’re finding what they want on your website.
This is one tip that many small business owners find difficult to follow. However, it is becoming increasingly important, particularly if your customers can get the same product through Amazon Prime without paying for shipping. More and more, online consumers are coming to expect shipping to be free.
The simplest way to do this is to just roll the costs of shipping into the product price. However, be diligent in your market research to ensure that this doesn’t set your costs significantly higher than a competitor.
Make the Checkout Process easy
Are you seeing a lot of abandoned shopping carts? If so, the problem might actually be your checkout process. Long checkout processes, or checkouts that force your customers to jump through lots of hoops, will result in your website visitors bouncing before completing the purchase.
Take a look at where you’re losing your customers and if necessary, adjust your checkout process to be as simple as possible.
Consider installing a plugin for abandoned carts that automates writing to the potential buyers.
You know the kind of emails, you have gotten the kind of emails before where you started to buy something online, but then stopped for whatever reason. You have most likely gotten an email a little while later asking you if “you forgot something”.
These emails can be highly effective, and if you have many abandoned carts you can sometimes easily make a sale just by reaching out.
If you use WooCommerce, a great plugin is the Abandoned cart lite for WooCommerce. Several of my customers have had great success with this tool. There is also a pro version of the plugin, but that is a subject for another day.
Chat with your customers
In some cases, you may find that your optimization is fine, but your customers have questions or concerns that are not being satisfied by product descriptions, terms and conditions, shipping policies, privacy policies, and other text.
In this case, having a chat option, even if it’s just a chatbot, can make a significant difference in your success.
Mobile Friendly for shoppers
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on more than half of the traffic you could be experiencing. When it comes to e-commerce store optimization, mobile-friendliness is essential.
To ensure your site is optimized for mobile visitors, make sure it loads fast, that you have videos of your products on offer, and that you are optimizing for mobile search.
GDPR – What you should know
Maybe not an e-commerce optimization tip as such, but if your business is based in the European Union or you do business with customers that are inside the EU you need to be aware of GDPR. There are some benefits for GDPR also, so it is not just bad news 🙂
Check out our article on what GDPR means for your business.
E-commerce store optimization can be challenging, but it does not have to be impossible. Use our handy tips and tricks to ensure that you’re targeting the right audience and that you’re delivering the best possible experience for visitors who reach your site.