You’ve spent untold hours building your website. The marketing department strategically posted on every social media site that makes sense for your brand. What should you do now? Just sit back and wait to see if the orders roll in? On the other hand, maybe your site has been around for a while, and you aren’t getting the sales you want. Whatever the case, there are some things you can do that will improve your eCommerce site in as little as a day.
Studies show that online retail sales in the United States will hit $700 billion by the year 2022 – up from $445.8 billion in 2017. Online retail grows each year, so now is still a good time to take advantage of the public’s desire to buy from the comfort of their couches and have items shipped directly to their homes. To compete with the other eCommerce stores on the Web, though, you have to make sure your site stands out.
1. Study Site Searches
If you offer a search feature on your site, dig deep and figure out what people are searching for. How can you highlight these items on your landing page? You also may be able to discover items people want but that you don’t carry and add those to your inventory.
2. Add a Special Offer
In a study of factors that influence consumer buying, 71 percent of respondents indicated that coupons and discounts are the number one factor in their decision to make a purchase. One way you can increase your conversions is by offering the consumer a reason to go ahead and buy now. If they bounce away from your site without making a purchase, they may or may not find their way back to you again.
Some of the things consumers appreciate include a percentage discount and free shipping.
Abel & Cole is located in the United Kingdom and offers an organic grocery delivery service. Note how they pull the user in by offering a special discount. They make the offer stand out by using a contrasting color bar near the top of the page.
3. Add Visual Branding
Visual branding expands your online presence and makes you stand out from competitors. Your first step should be to come up with some specific visual guidelines that you use both on your eCommerce site an in other forms of branding. The more consistent you make the experience, the more customers will recognize your brand.
4. Invest in Better Servers
About 47 percent of people expect a website to load in no more than two seconds. If your site takes longer than that to load, about 40 percent of your site visitors will bounce away to a competitor or the vastness of cyberspace. Talk to your web hosting provider about what you can do to speed up your site. If you get a lot of traffic, it might be worth investing in dedicated servers.
You can test your site speed to see how you measure up with competitors. Other things you can do to reduce load times include reducing clutter on your site, optimizing images and limiting the number of plugins and scripts you use.
5. Add Seasonal Flare
Tap into the spirit of whatever season it is and gear your specials and landing page features to what consumers are most likely searching for at that time. If it is after Halloween, for example, people are in Christmas shopping mode and likely looking for gifts for the holiday season. If it is after the first of the year, you may get some shoppers looking for Valentine’s Day gifts. Think about what seasons are upcoming and choose specials to tie into those seasons. Seasonal highlights also keep your page updated.
Hickies adds special offers based on the season. Each holiday has a specific sale or offer, and they link to products most likely to be purchased during that time of year. Note the bold color to draw the eye.
6. Improve Your Funnel
No matter how many products you sell, there is a specific funnel to those sales. When a visitor lands on your page, what is the first action they take? Look at ways to narrow the sales funnel and simplify the process, so consumers have an easier time ordering. Amazon does a great job of offering shortcuts for those wanting to buy an item by providing one-click ordering, for example.
Also, take a look at where you’re losing your customers. Do they get to the checkout process and bounce away? Perhaps you already collected their emails and can follow-up with an offer for free shipping or 10 percent off if they complete the purchase. Look at ways to improve your conversions. People hate filling out long forms, so only collect what is necessary to fulfill the order.
Create a Sense of Urgency
If the consumer hesitates, you risk losing them. There are hundreds of other things competing for the average person’s attention. Your goal is to make your landing page so enticing that the user can’t look away and winds up placing an order or at least sharing their contact information. Create a sense of urgency by offering limited time offers and follow SEO best practices to get users to your site and engage them the entire time they’re there. With a few updates, your eCommerce site can increase sales and keep customers coming back for more.
Lexie is a web designer and UX design strategist. Her work is featured on Marketo, Creative Bloq, Website Magazine, Envato and eCommerce Tips. She manages Design Roast and reach out to her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.