Just like brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce stores need to make changes from time to time to improve their performance. Optimizing your e-commerce store does not involve doing a quick fix, rather it requires making a lot many changes that ultimately results in increasing your sales.
Addressing required deficiencies and incorporating solution for addressing issues is the best way to handle major issues beforehand which might otherwise occur in the future. All the changes which you ultimately do on your website create a positive brand image of your product/service while improving customer experience on the website. Here are some useful tips for optimizing your online store:
Increasing Website Loading Speed
The experience of customers on your e-commerce website starts off when it loads on the screen. The longer it will take to load, the shorter people will stick and remain on there. People usually run out of patience when any website takes too long to load. Faster websites rank higher on search engines and convey a positive message to your viewers that you take their limited time quite seriously. Making use of high-performance hosting can also improve the website loading time and enhance customer experience.
Add Proper Products Clearly
Optimize your product pages to the maximum possible way you can for increasing sales. You have to make sure that your product pages also show an array of relevant products. This will enable your customers to not only have a look at only the ones which they intend to buy but also take a peek at others which might be of interest to them. By doing this, you will reduce bounce rates on the website and keep the visitors for a longer time.
There are many tools available which enable you to display “Suggested Items”, “We recommend” and other such features for shoppers. Even offering matching items is a good strategy for presenting more choice to your customers. All the information related to your products should be displayed clearly so that they can easily find all the relevant information they are looking for. Make sure the product description, details are all easily visible.
Ease of Contacting You
Make sure that your shoppers are able to contact you easily. In fact, your detailed contact info is extremely important to be displayed on the website for increasing your credibility. The company address and the phone number especially is critical to be displayed on every web page so that they know that you are a trustworthy e-commerce website and they can reach your company in case of questions, concerns or problems faced while shopping.
Shipping Prices & Policies
One of the prime reasons that customers abandon shopping carts is high shipping costs and return policies for the purchased goods. Both have to be reasonable enough and agreeable for the customer to shop on your website. Ideally, you should have a clear-cut return policy, low shipping costs/free shipping and offer the price guarantee to the shoppers which will ultimately help in increasing your credibility and reputation.
This will also set you apart from your competitors if everything is in place and displayed clearly. Following consumer friendly policies will definitely benefit you in the long run. Clearly, display prices of all products on the product pages along with the expected shipping costs in the beginning itself so that they are not in for surprises at the end due to specific conditions stated by the company. Besides, adding ‘taxes’ and ‘shipping costs’ in the ‘add to shopping cart’ stage itself is preferable as they should be fully aware about the total cost before clicking on ‘check out’ option.
Countdown Timer on your Product Pages
Having a countdown timer on your product pages is a great feature to incorporate as the countdown timer creates a feeling of urgency for the customer. In fact, it prompts the browser into making a purchase without further delay. This feature is not recommended for every product on your website, rather for only the ones which are available for a limited time offer or limited quantities. In both the cases, you can also use sale pitch specifying the number of quantities left in your inventory which will help in creating scarcity.
Optimize your Online Store for SEO
For optimizing the store for SEO, make sure that you have used the right keywords, your meta description is to the point as per your web page, and the content is relevant as well as updated from time to time. Titles of the pages, meta descriptions and URL as well have an important role to play in your search engine rankings.
To be on the safer side, titles should be within a word limit of 60 characters and the description should not be more than 160 characters. The meta description for pages should contain at least a relevant keyword. The meta description for the product pages should contain the product name and the brand number. Make sure that every image has an alt tag. The page urls should ideally be short and should contain relevant keywords specific to the page.
There are many e-commerce apps and plugins available such as SEO Manager offered by Shopify and Yoast which make the process of doing SEO way easier and faster. You don’t need to make it a complicated process, though. This can help search engines find your website, index them quickly/regularly and increase the chances of people clicking on the website from the SERPs.
Trustmarks/Security Badges and Reviews
A majority of the shoppers consider credibility and trustworthiness to be a major factor during shopping on any website. They need to feel secure and confident for using their credit cards and debit cards when they shop online. You can borrow the trust factor from brands such as VeriSign and McAffee Secured which will build your customer’s confidence when they come across popular trustmarks.
An ideal way to go about it is to get verified by organizations, such as VeriSign & Better Business Bureau so that you can display their logos on the website. Besides these, you should also add logos of the credit cards you accept and the major payment methods allowed on your website.
Also, featuring positive customer reviews and testimonials on your home page also encourages your future shoppers to develop trust and melt away their doubts on your credibility, which can otherwise prevent them from buying your products and services. Reviews also give them a great idea that what others, who have used the product before think about it.