The extra challenge that online stores face is that they must grab the visitor’s attention fast. We shop online with our eyes as much as our brain. The decision making process is closely associated to those few elements: do we like what we see? Do we recognize what we see? Do we need what we see and is it easy to get?
eCommerce conversion optimization : the experience
1. The gift of time: load or lose
Time is of the essence in online retail. If you are not performing well in that department, the content of your website, the quality of the products or the incredible deals you promote are useless. Is it unfair? Not really. It is your responsibility to cater to your target customers. We may say online buyers are spoiled; with the convenience and accessibility of it all, waiting is not well received anymore (if it ever were).
Your goal towards eCommerce conversion optimization starts right there, that number of seconds between “click” and “see”. No more than 3 seconds.
2. The gift of simplicity: navigating clear waters
Simple has always proven efficient. Unclutter your pages so the essential is readily visible, rather than lost in too much irrelevant information. The layout of each single landing point should be kept on point, product descriptions need to be clear, concise, honest.
Make sure your shoppers see, understand and appreciate what you have to offer. In fact, eCommerce conversion optimization should be re-tagged eCommerce comprehension optimization.
Navigation from point A to B (and eventually Z, checkout) should be as linear as possible. If backtracking is necessary, you’re in trouble.
3. The gift of visual efficiency
There is such a thing as visual identity in eCommerce. As a matter of fact, that’s your edge to compensate for the absence of real human interaction. It’s your shop’s business card, it’s your brand’s legitimacy.
The logo, the color scheme, the design, the photos, the font all contribute to eCommerce conversion optimization (though only if they make sense as a whole and are used consistently).
Convert more by sparing your shoppers feelings
4. The gift of trust: security certificates
There is a certain irony pertaining to the cyber world. We can get anything we want (and easily pay for it), but we are not always convinced it is safe enough.
29% of online shoppers still abandon their cart if they have concerned about the security of their data (be it email address, password protection, shipping and billing info or , of course, payment details). Don’t compromise all your effort in eCommerce conversion optimization by not reassuring your customers. It’s easy to implement and makes a difference (a 29% difference).
5. The gift of compromise: quick process
Yes, customers who sign in (user id and password) are likely to become repeat shoppers. So, yes, you’d rather have a base of accounts than just visitors who shop your products. Yet, forced registration is a big no-no. Don’t waste their time by making them jump through hoops before they can finally pay. By offering a guest checkout option, you show you respect their wishes and still have the opportunity to get them later (at the final page or via email notifications).
6. The gift of service: options
Customer service is still very high on the list of reasons to be satisfied with a purchase. In a store, we can always get friendly staff or popcorn. One size never fits all, so make sure you offer enough options to secure the sale (payment types, shipping, multiple addresses, wish list, leave a comment, answer a quick survey, contact us, chat with us, tell your friends,…).
Convert better through communication
7. The gift of knowledge: blogs
Blogs are gaining in popularity, even in online retail. Whether you offer advice, tips and how to’s or inform about events and news, blogging is a dynamic tool of eCommerce conversion optimization. An article may even be the entrance door to your site, and the way people find you when searching. If your topics provide an answer to their queries, a lot of your work is done.
8. The gift of community: social media
We live in a world of sharing, and customers are more than happy to tell all their friends they just bought an amazing product, or they found the new “it” brand. And on the other side, potential shoppers will react to posts. Your site should include ways to share and ways to like you on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and the likes.
9. The gift of freedom of speech: reviews
Your customers are THE ultimate eCommerce conversion optimization tool. They do the work for you, with honesty and a real sense of participation to a better shopping world. Make sure they can leave a review, or at least have a way to rate their experience and your products (and don’t neglect less than 5-star comments, learn from them instead).
There are many, many available tools aiming at eCommerce conversion optimization. And if you wonder why there is no #10, it’s because we deliver it right here, in our conclusion. Once all is said and done (mostly done), your visitors will still abandon their cart. So the tenth essential tool you need is a retargeting solution. With all 10, you take care of customers, shoppers and cart abandoners.
Carts Guru is a comprehensive retargeting solution designed to increase cart abandonment conversion. The only product that allows you to use email, SMS and automated calls separately or in combination, so your target is precise and easily engaged.
Try Carts Guru for free until you recover $2,500 in sales and see for yourself.