Anyone who owns and manages an ecommerce website understands that no matter what type of product you are selling, your competitors are only a click away. It doesn’t matter if you have the best prices and best after-sales service, if a potential customer doesn’t enjoy your ecommerce site or they are getting confused, it will be difficult to generate sales.
While the list of ways to improve ecommerce websites may seem never ending, here is a look at some tips to improving your ecommerce site to make it more enjoyable - and that’s a very important point in itself; making the shopping experience on your online store enjoyable.
Strong Calls to Action in the Right Place
Calls to action need to be very clear. This includes the colour, size and shape of wording, buttons and position. In many cases, we see CTAs are not as well placed as one may think. Heatmaps are a great way to find out where real visitors are looking. There’s no point having an “Add to Cart” button at the top of the page unless you have another one under your product introduction. Clear calls to action should be exactly where the viewer needs them when they need them - that’s a little different to “in your face”.
Short Signups & Easy Registrations
Filling out forms feels like work. All the best sites make it as easy as possible to purchase without filling out extended forms. For example, you can let customers register with you after they have made a purchase. Registering to purchase is a big wall that can get in the way of that sale.
Have a Great Search Function
A search box that delivers excellent results without delivering too many results is extremely important too. All too often, I see search results which start at items closest to the search and continue on to display everything else for sale on the store. Results like those don’t feel like results either.
Search Box Category Refinements
For ecommerce websites with a lot of products and categories, a search box with additional features such as category refinement will also speed up search so that potential customers can find what they are looking and turn into buyers.
Appropriately Suggested Items in the Shopping Cart
It’s common to see related and suggested items when looking at products but I don’t see as many shopping carts with savvy suggestions at the shopping cart stage. For example, if someone has put a product into their shopping cart that needs batteries, having these useful suggestions can really help with increasing sales, as well as being very useful (pleasing) for your customers.
Everything Out in the Open
While we are on the topic of shopping carts, there is nothing worse than viewing a price that one feels is fantastic only to find out there’s a bunch of extra charges added when it comes to the time of making payment. Make sure you display any extra charges, such as tax and shipping early on. I’d say it’s even better to let them know well before they even get to the shopping cart. Why not state it outright?
Clear Header Space with Important Core Messaging
You might not believe it but I’d have to say the majority of sites that I have worked on (and that’s thousands) make it hard to find out what make them different and what special offers they have. You have to dig about the “About Us” page or read through all the different policies before you can find out something that is really a unique selling point. A clean header space with the key main messages from your ecommerce site is the best way to go. For example, if you have the following, it makes sense to have them loud and clear across the top of the page. This lets a potential customer know where they stand every step of the way.
Free Delivery • 10 Year Warranty • Financing Available • Money Back Guarantee • All Prices Include GST
Fast Loading Pages
Nobody wants to wait for a page to load. Fast loading pages are critical to an enjoyable experience. Everything that can be done to optimise page load times must be done and constantly improved on. There’s nothing like a zippy ecommerce site that loads your next click right away.
Great Images & Clear Product Introductions
Now, this is where many ecommerce sites let themselves down. Take away the words and the pictures and there is little left on an ecommerce site (or any website for that matter). Big images that customers can zoom in on and see every detail are so important and very enjoyable. Well written and thoughtful product introductions are so rare and a delight when found. It is tough as a customer shopping online in Australia trying to know what one needs to know about a product - but that’s another topic for another article.
Google is constantly reminding us of the importance of mobile friendly pages. Many people are browsing on their phones, making purchases or making purchases later on their computer after looking on their mobile phone. Whether you have a responsive site or you have a mobile version of your site, Google is also pushing for mobile first. In short, make sure your mobile version is simple and easy to use.
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of just being simply “user-friendly” but making a your shopping experience enjoyable is one to strive for.
If you need some help, get in touch with us.