How To Improve Your Website and Your Customer's Online Experience
Posted on February 04 2021
Tips From eCommerce Marketing Experts to Improve Online Sales
Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to set up a website for your company. There are many free “website builders” that allow you to set up a website without any knowledge of coding. For example, companies like Shopify, WIX and GoDaddy all offer website builders that are easy to learn. However if you’re not comfortable setting up your own website, or would like to build a more sophisticated website than is possible with a free website builder, you can always employ the help of a local web developer.
Of course, building your website is just the first step. The next step is making it profitable. Once you’ve created your website, it’s time to optimize sales and improve your conversion rates, which means to convert as many visitors of your site as possible into paying customers. In this article, we’ll offer practical tips to improve your customer’s online experience which in turn will increase your online sales.
Clean & Simple Homepage
In most cases, the homepage is crucial because this is usually where you make your first impression. One common practice is to have a slider or carousel of products on your home page. However, recent studies have found image sliders to be detrimental for a few reasons.
In a study at Notre Dame University, they found a Click-Thru Rate (CTR) of less than 1% and the first image in a slider received 84% of the clicks, while the rest received almost nothing. Even when users click on the slides, they clearly don't sit watching each slide and they move on before the slider moves past the first image. Part of the reasoning for this behaviour is that the sliders look like ads so people tend to ignore them. We suggest avoiding a product carousel, and sticking with something simple instead on your homepage, like a few large images of the new products and sale products that you would like to promote.
Descriptive Product Titles & Subtitles
Let’s start with the basics. Every product page on your website should have a properly structured title and subtitle. This is very important because the title allows Google to locate your website and the products that you sell. In addition to the brand / model name of the product, a proper title should use other words that people might type into google. For example, instead of using the title Zarkon Loudspeaker, you might change it to Zarkon Powered Bluetooth Speaker. People are more likely to search for the type of speaker rather than a specific brand / model. Now, when people search for “powered speaker” or “bluetooth speaker”, your product will come up closer to the top of the search results.
You should also add a subtitle to all products—this will again help to improve the position of your products in Google searches as well as help them visualize where they might use the product. Continuing with the speaker example, a subtitle could be “Affordable Speaker Perfect for Your Home Office or Bedroom.” This again will show your website in more search results.
Product Descriptions with Keywords
Writing good product descriptions isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Many websites simply talk about the features of the product in the product description but we know that statistically this often doesn’t convert a visitor of the page into a buyer.
When trying to sell a customer on your product, you should instead attempt to make a psychological connection with them. A strong product description should start by explaining how the product benefits and improves someone’s life. Another good way to make that connection is by identifying a common problem and then showing your product as a solution.
Here’s an example of how you can start a product description:
“Do you enjoy listening to music while working in your home office or while reading a book in your bedroom? We know you probably already have a dinky wireless speaker in your room but its mediocre sound probably isn’t cutting it, right? Well… you’ll never have to worry about bad sound again when you add the Zarkon Powered Bluetooth Speaker to your room. This speaker offers an engaging, room-filling sound that will make your favorite music come alive. It might even make you want to dance once in a while!”
And then following this, you would get into talking about the speaker’s specific features. Don’t be afraid to use casual, fun language in your product description intros, this is what will make a much stronger connection with your website visitors than a simple feature list.
Another important thing to keep in mind is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Be sure to include specific keywords and phrases in the product description that relate to your product. That should result in more Google searches directed to this product page. Make a list of all the words and phrases first by using free tools like Google Trends and Ubersuggest and then integrate them into your product description write-up.
FAST and FREE Shipping
Most online retailers offer fast and free shipping when a customer spends a certain minimum amount. If your website doesn’t already offer free shipping, you absolutely need to do so because having to pay for shipping will turn many of your potential customers away. According to this recent study 63 percent of Americans cancel their purchase after seeing the shipping costs - that’s a huge missed opportunity.
To save on your shipping costs, we recommend using a company like FlagShip, rather than using individual shipping companies. FlagShip has relationships with all the major shipping couriers and shows you the rate offered by each courier when you’re ready to ship. Using a company like this can save you a significant amount on shipping - we’ve seen their rates up to 50% lower than going directly with a specific courier.
Equally as important as offering FREE shipping to your customer is how you highlight this on your site. It’s good practice to promote FREE shipping in a prominent way on both your homepage and every product page. While you are at it, be sure to also promote FAST shipping or “Shipping within 24 hours” as well. While you might not be able to tell the customer the exact delivery date like Amazon does, customers feel much more comfortable making a purchase, knowing that their purchase will be shipped within 24 hours of payment for example.
What are the best ways to make the FREE and FAST shipping stand out on your site? Use larger, colorful fonts or place the text inside a colored box. This text needs to pop compared to the rest of the images and text on your pages.
A lot of business owners don’t realize the importance of displaying the right type of photography on their website and how this can have a dramatic impact on increasing sales. Imagine two websites - one with just a single small product image for each product and the other website with several large, lifestyle images per product. Which website would you be more tempted to purchase from?
There are 2 types of photography you should be displaying on your website. Product photography and lifestyle photography. Product photography simply shows the product by itself. Lifestyle photography shows the product in a real life environment. It’s intuitive that your images should be of high quality, but a lot of people don’t realize their image should also show their products while in use.
A well known fact to Amazon sellers is that large photos which show products in use or in action result in much higher sales, compared to photos that show the product by itself. This supplement brand saw a 150% increase in their sales when they incorporated more lifestyle photography on their product page. Products with people’s faces in them offer even higher conversions. Good photos allow users to envision what it would be like to use your products in real life.
Adding Video Content
Videos and animations are another way to increase sales on your website. Adding video content to your online store will increase user engagement and help you connect better with your visitors. Beyond that, it also increases your sales. Mashable has found that when you add videos to your landing pages, it can result in an average increase of 86 percent in conversions.
Of course, the caveat here is not to go overboard. Too many videos would slow down your website and slow loading websites turn people away. Be strategic with your video content and only do it when it clearly adds value to the customer. For example, a video of a testimonial might be less important than a video of the product in use.
Where do you find videos of the products you sell? First ask the manufacturer and if they don’t have any video content, look up the product on YouTube.
Another great way to increase sales is by cross promoting. Amazon does this all the time. At the bottom of many products the site displays bundles with other items you might also need. Apply this strategy to your own website by mentioning and linking other products in your product descriptions wherever they make a natural fit. Oftentimes, a specific product will bring a customer to your website, but they will purchase a completely different product. This also increases your chance of selling multiple products to the same customer.
Add Testimonials / Reviews
In copywriting, this is referred to as social proof. User reviews can have a great impact on conversion since they provide reassurance to site visitors that other people have purchased your products and they are satisfied with them. It’s also a way to make use of the Bandwagon Effect in psychology. People tend to like things if others like them too. They also create a sense of envy from the person looking at the product page, which is powerful in converting visitors to customers.
Encourage Email Signups
Every business should have a newsletter. Getting your customer’s email address when they first come to your website allows you to establish a long term relationship with them. Of course, in order to collect a steady flow of customer emails, you should incentivize your visitors by offering something for free like a checklist or resource guide. It’s also good to let your customers know what to expect in the newsletter. Coupons and deals are another great incentive, and many websites offer 10% off your first purchase for subscribing to the newsletter.
Another great way to increase email signups is by displaying your email newsletter form prominently at the bottom of every page on your website. We published a whole article on the topic of newsletters recently which shares tips on how to collect more customer emails, how to create great newsletter content and more. We invite you to read it here.
Create a Blog
While a blog might not be an immediate need for sales, it does benefit your company in multiple ways in the long term. Writing articles that are related to your industry but not directly involving your products is important and referred to as Tangential Content. This content builds up your reputation and reliability. In fact, companies with blogs see 55% more web visitors than companies without blogs. This makes it a great opportunity to potentially make sales when users find your website through a useful article you wrote. After reading it, they might poke around and purchase your product as a result.
A CTA is a sentence that encourages a visitor or customer to perform a certain action. It’s good practice to display your CTA messaging in large, bold and colorful fonts or white text placed on top of a colored background. Adding simple suggestions to your website is a highly effective sales strategy. Here are a few examples that will probably look familiar:
- Buy Now!
- Add to Cart
- Sign Up for our Newsletter
- Share on Social Media
- Leave Us a Review
These are just a few examples of ways to encourage user interaction and increase sales on your website. Now, obviously you don't want to be telling them what to do every second, but it’s important to strategically remind website visitors to perform certain actions that will benefit your business.
Add an “About Us” Page
Many customers want to put a face to your business. In fact, according to this study, 55% of website visitors click on “About Us” pages while visiting websites. Clearly, this shows it’s important to add a brand story to the website that includes information about your founders and company values.
A strong “About Us” page will tell your visitors a story and connect your brand with them. You should also include images of the founders as well as pictures of your retail store and / or warehouse. This will help to forge a stronger connection between your website visitors and your brand - and that will in turn increase the chance of sales conversions.
Summing It Up
A website that is properly optimized for eCommerce is more important today than ever as consumers continue to shift their shopping habits online. Experts predict that many of these consumers will be sticking to these habits for good. Therefore it is no longer a choice for brick-and-mortar stores to flourish without a good eCommerce website.
So follow our clear-cut and practical advice in this article to make your website as good as it can be and attract more consumers to shop on your site.
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