In a market overrun by competition, it can be a tedious task to make a mark in the eCommerce space. International giants like Amazon and Walmart in addition to the local and regional brands have raised the bar of competition higher than ever. It is essential to maintain the standard of the website for continued success. From designing a homepage that converts to meticulous marketing strategies, all efforts must be directed towards making a website worthwhile.
Whether you are expanding your existing WooCommerce shop to an online business or you are new to e-commerce space, a clear strategy can help you increase conversions.
Here is a guide with some best practices for running a successful e-commerce website.
Say Goodbye to Clutter
Simplicity is the key to a successful eCommerce website. Clutter on the homepage can be overwhelming and can distract the customers from making a purchase. For a higher conversion rate, opt for a simple design that is easy to access. Another important aspect is the placement of the CTA (Call to action) button. A cluttered website confuses potential customers by making it difficult to identify the CTA. It has been observed that 53% of websites have CTAs that the visitors are not able to locate even in 3 seconds. This is a major setback for the business and can reduce the conversion to a great extent. The aim should be to place the CTA button in such a way that it instantly appeals to the visitor. Ensure that it is the first thing that a visitor is attracted to on the website after the product.
Simplify the Menu
The Categorization of products by using Menus is one of the best ways to create an organised website. However, if the menu is too specific it can often confuse the visitors. It is thus recommended to use a broad term to categorize the products. For example, a clothing brand can use a single menu with category name as “tops” instead of using 5 specific menus like T-shirts, Long Sleeve Shirts, Sweaters, Tank Tops, and Vests. This can de-clutter the page and offer an uncomplicated view of the product that the visitor is looking for.
Implement a Search Bar
To ensure that the customer finds the desired product effortlessly, the search bar is an ideal option. With a broad and simplified menu, visitors get to scroll through numerous products at once. This might make it difficult for them to decide what needs to be purchased. In such a scenario, the search bar is the best solution to drive sales and increase conversions. Let’s understand the significance of the search bar with an example of the Nike website.
The search bar on the top of the page effectively enables its visitors to find what they are looking for. Filters will let the potential customers narrow the options further based on specific parameters like gender and Sport. This will keep the customer’s focus on the product that he intends to buy and will also save time. To make sure that this strategy works well for your WooCommerce shop, tagging and labelling the products accurately is essential. The display of products on the screen according to customer’s intention will result in quick conversion.
Enable Faster Checkout
The next crucial step in converting a desire to an actual purchase is the checkout process. Long and complex checkout is one of the major reasons for shopping cart abandonment according to 28% of the consumers. A faster and easier checkout is the solution to reduce the cancellation of a transaction at the final stage. Make sure to get only the essential information like billing information and shipping address from the buyer to carry out the transaction smoothly. Streamline the checkout process by avoiding any other questions that are not related to the purchase.
Avoid Mandatory Creation of Profile
For a convenient completion of the transaction, a Guest Checkout in WooCommerce > Checkout settings can work like magic. New users can quickly make the purchase without getting into the hassle of registering a profile. However the fact that the creation of a user profile is important for the business cannot be ignored. Hence it is also essential to encourage visitors to do the same by setting up a creative strategy. Let’s elaborate this with an example of the Lululemon website.
The website has two methods for checkout that allows you to either sign in to the account or to continue as a guest. However, to encourage the customer to create a profile, they have innovatively added an option of express checkout for those who sign up. All the necessary details like the shipping address, contact no. will already be saved and the checkout will be quicker. This has the potential to allure the visitor to register on the website without being annoyed.
Make way for SEO
All the potential customers might not be familiar with your website and the products that it offers. Research suggests that 46% of consumers find the product through a search engine like Google. Further, competition can make it even more difficult for them to reach your website even if you have everything they want. An effective SEO (Search engine optimization) can list your website on top of the google rankings whenever a customer searches for a product. To increase sales, it is thus important to boost the SEO and grab the attention of the buyers expeditiously.
Stay Connected with a Blog
To stay well connected with the visitors, an extra effort has to be made in addition to advertising. Publishing an engaging blog regularly on the website can attract more audience towards the website. This will ensure that visitors will check the website on a daily basis which can increase the chances of them buying something. They will also be acquainted with new products available on your WooCommerce site and can consider buying it too. It is also an impressive way to increase followers and raise the popularity of the website.
Email Subscriber List
It is an undeniable fact that a potential customer will not visit your website regularly. But it is sure that a shopper will check his emails multiple times even on a single day. This can be considered as a remarkable opportunity to drive traffic towards the website. To keep the communication alive with subscribers, it is a brilliant idea to build an email list. Send emails with exciting offers and promotions regularly to increase sales. The Email address can be easily collected from the Subscribers during checkout. A good idea is to have the checkbox ticked by default and the email address gets added to the subscriber mail list unless it is unchecked. Another great way is to offer an incentive or personalised discount to sign up for emails. Get creative with this option to reap maximum benefits by sending emails.
Informative Product Description
Short and Precise product descriptions can make it easier for a visitor to identify if he needs the product. Make it a point to include informative descriptions that are not monotonous. To make it even more clear, bullet points can be included to get a quick glimpse of all the details. Highlight the key benefits of products by using eye-catchy titles that would attract buyers.
Say No to Ads
E-ommerce website is indeed the finest platform to display ads and earn additional income. This is however not a great deal for the business as it distracts customers from the products of the website. Further, it has also been observed that people stop visiting sites with sidebar ads as it appears to be a potential scam. Here is a report of research on how consumer behaviour is effected across the globe due to advertisements on websites. Statistics show that in the United States itself 82% of consumers find online ads disruptive. The ads do more harm than benefits to the website. You must strictly prohibit any advertisements on the website and let the customer focus only on your own products.
Accessible Customer Service
If an E-commerce website has customer service par excellence, half of the job is already done. Easily accessible customer service will provide a delightful shopping experience by offering solutions to customer’s queries. All the staff must be trained well to assist customers at every step of the way. They must be ready to go the extra mile in resolving customer issues promptly and effectively. This can have the highest positive impact on conversion rates. The various methods of communication like phone and email must be displayed distinctively on the homepage. An interactive live chat is another innovative medium that the customer can access easily. Keep a tab on frequently asked questions and feedbacks and proactively find solutions.
Run Tests Regularly
Keeping a tab on the performance of the website is essential for continued success. You must always be updated about the improvements that a website requires. One of the best ways to identify how well the website fares is by running an A/B tests regularly. Even a slight change in basic elements like the colour scheme, headlines, and CTA buttons can bring drastic changes in the conversion rates . Check out the beginner’s guide to A/B testing to know how to use it effectively. Make it an essential part of marketing and evaluate the results to stay ahead in the competition.
Make it Mobile Friendly
With the advent of technology, mobile phones have become a convenient source even for shopping. According to Mobile E-commerce stats, 62% of smartphone users completed their online purchases through their devices. A mobile version of the E-commerce website can help the consumers to finalise the transaction even while they are on the go. Additionally, you can also launch an app for the business and ease the entire shopping experience. As the app can save information like payment method and shipping address, the checkout will also be faster resulting in higher conversion.
Offer Free Shipping
The Inclusion of the word “Free” has an exceptional effect on driving sales of any product. Offering free shipping can fascinate the customers towards buying a product only from your website. Shipping cost is an additional expense that a customer must not be expecting while purchasing a product. Whenever a product is presented at the final stage with unexpected costs, the customer often tends to abandon the shopping cart. The marketing strategy of offering free shipping, however, need not hamper with your profitability. You can increase the price of the product to cover the shipping costs. This will enable the customer to view the same price initially and at checkout. In addition to increase in sales, this will also increase customer loyalty.
Power of Brand Influencers
In the past one-decade Social Media has emerged as one of the strongest platforms to advertise products. It is the best way to reach out to the target audience of almost any age group or gender. Furthermore, if a product is endorsed by a celebrity or social media influencer who has attained credibility and followers, the sales can go up quickly. Choose an apt brand influencer who can pursue the audience to try a particular product. For instance, to advertise baby products you can choose an influencer who has just embraced parenthood. This will make the effort look realistic and trustworthy. Although this method can be expensive, the result is totally worth the cost.
Use High-Quality Images
The phrase that “a picture speaks more than a thousand words” can be rightly put to use in your E-commerce website. The picture of a product is of supreme importance in an E-commerce website as it is a major deciding factor of the purchase. Customers can only rely on pictures to identify if the product meets up to the expectation. Upload multiple high-quality images from different angles so the customer can see it to believe it. Highlight all the important features, benefits and uses of the product through different pictures.
Include Video Demonstrations
Customers do not often read the entire product description and in some cases, even the pictures are not enough. You can lose out a customer if a simpler method to explain the use and features of a product is not available on the website.
According to Forbes, 90% of consumers have given a nod that a video assists them in purchase decisions.
To stay ahead of competitors, a video can be extremely helpful if a product is complex or needs a demonstration
. Let’s Understand how this works with an example of the website Thule. The website displays a video along with the product description in the majority of its products.
In this example, the video explains to the customer how to use the luggage and what are its specific features. It will give the customer the feeling of being in an actual shop where a salesman is helping him with the purchase. The decision making here will be quicker as the customer gets to know almost all the features of the product in over a minute.
Display Customer Reviews and Testimonials
The Word-of-mouth strategy has been in the Marketing space for a very long time. For an E-commerce website, product reviews can do the same job in influencing others to buy a product. Whenever a customer buys a product from you, make sure to send an email to share their review of the product. Regardless of whether it is positive or not. display all the feedbacks about the product on the website. It will add credibility to the website as users can see other shopper’s experiences of the product. Never be guilty of displaying a negative review, rather reply to it about how you will improve it in the future. This will make the website look even more legitimate and trustworthy.
E-commerce has revolutionized the shopping space and it is here to stay. Make your WooCommerce shop stand out by implementing these practices. No matter whether you are building a new website or improving your existing one, make sure that it possesses remarkable features to succeed. Along with conversions, aim for an increase in customer loyalty and brand popularity by a smart website.