If you have an appealing e-commerce store, but its conversion rates are at the lower end of the scale, there is a problem. What could be the reason behind its abysmal conversion rates? Frankly, there could be many reasons, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find the right one. However, commonsense says that maybe your e-store fails to provide a memorable user experience.
So sincerely answer this question:
Is my website providing a memorable user experience?
If the answer is NO, it’s time you took steps to make your website stand out from the pack. For that you need to take its user experience to a whole new level. So, let’s talk about user experience first.
User experience is the sum total of all the experiences a user gets on your e-store. It includes all the audio, visual, text, navigation, commercial, technical, aesthetic and post-purchase experiences (for e.g. if you do not receive shipments by the promised date, that amounts to bad user experience).
It encompasses what users feel and think while visiting your site and how they behave on your e-store.
So, invest in building a rich user experience throughout your store to get better conversion rates.
Look at the ASOS website:
It has got a fantastic navigation. It makes sure visitors are able to access all information on the site easily and quickly. It’s a site that respects the user’s time. Some of its features include:
- Clear demarcation of the product range. You know what to buy. No confusion.
- Free shipping offered worldwide.
- Smooth checkout.
- Excellent all round usability.
It is this inherent usability of the site that makes shoppers buy from the site again and again.
Product Page Optimization
Get high quality product pictures on your e-commerce site. Remember the saying ‘A picture says a thousand words”. Hire a style-photographer and get nice, clean product shots from different angles uploaded on the product pages. They will add life to your store and push conversions northwards.
Add killer taglines, a convincing sales description; spruce up the presentation with a video testimonial about the product. Visitors will be impressed.
Use bulleted points so that visitors readily consume the information and act accordingly. Also link to privacy pages, shipping; return policy & FAQs to improve the credibility of the shopping process.
Currys is a text book example of a website offering great product pages:
- Great product range cleanly spread; no clutter at all.
- Individual product pages look realistically neat with the right content (details are stashed away in the corresponding link).
- Product pages are optimized for sale.
I will definitely buy from this website.
Even a great looking website will fail to entice visitors to its checkout page in the absence of smooth navigation. Navigation hassles equal bad user experience, which incidentally is good enough to drive prospective clients to your competitors’ website.
The prime purpose of a navigation menu (top, side or footer menu) is to make your best content easily available to skippers (hurried visitors). Naturally, you must make sure all useful links are clearly visible to your viewers:
This is precisely what the JC Penny site does with aplomb:
- You will find all the products in the top footer- lined up horizontally, right in front of your eyes. So you know where to go straightaway.
- Pick your product and head straight for the checkout page and complete the purchase. It is that simple. Great isn’t it?
- What about the great discount offers on the main header? You cannot ignore them!!
Localize Your Store
A great way to drive up sales is increasing your consumer base. Localizing your e-store in specific countries is one way of doing that.
Suppose you are US-based and your Google analytics say that loads of traffic on your store is from India then it would be wise to enable a functionality that identifies the user’s country and shows a notification in the top header along the lines of ‘Are you from India’ or ‘shopping from India?’.
Get smart and display prices and content in local language. That will create an emotional bonding because your store speaks the language of your customers.
Learn from the BIG DADDY of ecommerce- Amazon how to localize and generate thumping sales.
Many visitors desert the website during the crucial checkout process because of lack of trusted touchpoints like SSL certificate (BBB, VeriSign etc.), known payment gateways (PayPal, Google Checkout, credit cards etc.) accurate shipping and tax details. This creates apprehensions in the potential customer’s mind about the e-store’s capability to deliver a safe shopping experience.
So get these credibility features right, to win customer trust.
Also take care of additional features like:
- Speedy navigation to checkout page.
- Easy form filling.
- No forced registration; it is annoying.
- Transparency in the entire checkout process.
Do all this and see the conversion rate jump.
Stacks and Stacks has all the required features in place – the mode of payments, SSL certificate etc., which convinces buyers to buy.
Enable Faster Search
Incorporate product search engines like SOLR or Celebros in your e-commerce store, if you can afford them. It is worth it because this will help you enable quick product search on your site; your users are going to love that.
Also do not forget to focus on ‘intelligent search’ that easily deals with singular, plural and miss-spellings and returns intended results.
Make sure you have at least category level search so that users are able to search in a particular category.
Take a look at the eBay website. It offers a search box where you can query a search term and find that product on the website. An additional feature in form of a drop down menu gives the option to locate the link from the home page itself.
Use Video on the Homepage
Video is the best way to persuade visitors on your store about the quality of the product. So, embed a professional video clip of your product(s) on the home page (or provide a link to it).
Use the video to make features and benefits of the product apparent to users and educate them in its effective use. If there are many products on offer, provide a video/s that helps them choose the perfect product for their needs.
Take a look at the cool TICO website. As soon as you open the site, you see a video link on the homepage, which takes you to a convincing video presentation of Tico shaving oil.
Result – Better sales.
Create an Impressive About Us page
If you check Google analytics of your store, you will be surprised to know how many visitors go to your ‘About Us’ page before they traverse your product pages, especially if they are visiting your e-commerce store for the first time.
It therefore makes sense to personalize your ‘About Us’ page. You must make sure it exudes trust. Here are a few steps that will help make this possible:
- Share your whole story.
- Highlight your people.
- Tell your purpose and sprinkle true facts.
- Write in company’s voice.
- Connect and be authentic.
Look at the Shopify’s about page and everything will be crystal clear.
Make it Responsive
Mobile is all set to overtake desktop search in 2015 and with more users opting to shop from their mobile devices, mobile commerce is set to grow. If your e-commerce store is not mobile-friendly, you will lose revenue. So, make sure it is responsive and renders effectively on diverse devices irrespective of their screen size and resolution. This will open the doors to viral mobile traffic to your site.
Encourage users to leave reviews
It is difficult to regularly change the content of your product pages. But, Google loves fresh content updates.
So what should you do?
The answer lies in encouraging customers to leave reviews or comments that are a credible testimony to product quality. Google will treat such reviews and comments as fresh content updates.
Though ecommerce is growing at a steady rate, it remains a highly competitive industry. So if you want viral traffic with sky rocketing sales, you need to adopt all the sales optimization techniques mentioned above.
Author Bio: John Siebert is the President and CEO of Tranquil Blue – Tampa Website Design Company that focuses on all kind of website design, mobile app development and search engine marketing.
Featured image curtsey of Fede Cook