Shopping online continues to grow in popularity, and shows no signs of waning anytime soon. If you run an ecommerce website, you know all too well your competitors are only a short click away. Optimal site design is crucial for converting visitors to customers—good products only take you so far. Poorly designed sites that are difficult to navigate don’t stand a chance against increasingly shortening attention spans; they look less credible, which can be a big hurdle to overcome in the online world.
A bit off topic, but somewhat related: while there is a lot you can do on your own to help matters, it may be a good idea to use ecommerce web design services to really set the stage for a great site, which you can tweak as needed.
But, back to the matter of increasing conversions—here are just a few helpful hints to accomplish this goal:
The 3-Second Rule
Remember in the online world, getting to the next store only takes a millisecond; when a visitor first gets to your site, you only have a few seconds to convince them to stay. When it comes to ecommerce websites, you want to design it in a way that a person can figure out exactly what type of store you have in 3 seconds. It is not something you want them trying to ponder for a period of time. If they can’t figure it out, they will move out, for sure.
Optimizing Your Shopping Funnel
A whole bunch of stuff happens from the time a person visits the site until she completes the purchase—referred to as the conversion funnel. One of the most important things you can do to optimize this process and increase conversions is allowing for a purchase in the least number of steps possible. What is going on during the check out process? What can be eliminated? This may not be the right time to ask people to enter their email address so he can be added to your marketing list, for example.
Google Analytics can provide some very good information for helping you determine at which point in the funnel your abandonment rates rise sharply, and then you can tweak your content and/or process accordingly.
Address Pain Points
There are several ‘pain points’ that give online shoppers pause when they are deciding whether to make a purchase. If you can put their mind at ease once they hit your homepage that they don’t have to worry about these things, you increase the likelihood they will buy from you. If you know you are charging the lowest price for particular products, let your shoppers know. If you offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount, make sure that is prominently displayed. If you have a hassle-free return policy, shout it out loud. Basically, you want to let visitors know right from the get –go all the great reasons to buy from you.
Make an ‘About Us’ Page
One thing you may not find a lot on ecommerce sites is an ‘About Us’ page. But, by telling your unique story, you give a human element to your site. It can establish trust and credibility, which is very important when doing any sort of business online. Give visitors some background on you, how you got started and why you sell what you sell.