eCommerce Website Owners!
I’m not writing to you as a marketing / web design project manager, but as an average person who’s willing to shop on your website rather than Amazon. And let me tell you, no normal person is willing to have a nervous breakdown trying to buy a gift. It’s supposed to be fun. And simple. But after trying to buy a Mother’s Day gift this year, I think it’s time for us to have a little chat.
I know you’ve got a full plate just running your business, but after trying to use your website I’m almost positive you’re not using your time well. And while I could nitpick your website and come up with a laundry list of things for you to fix, I’m just going to highlight six major issues that would prevent me from buying my mom’s gift from you today.
If you want to do more business and improve your profit margins — which is ultimately what you’re spending your time doing anyway — I think you should take these suggestions to heart. ;)
[bctt tweet=”Jeff Bezos doesn’t need more business. Do you?”]
1. Your Site is Not Responsive
It’s 2015. The majority of us aren’t shopping from our desktop computers anymore. We’re browsing your site on our smartphones and tablets.
Have you checked your traffic lately? Is more of it coming from the mobile? Some of our clients get over more than 50% of their traffic from mobile.
Responsive design allows you to run a single website that changes its layout based on the device a person is using to shop.
So when you update your site to a responsive design, you’ll show people that you care about their business by making their shopping experience as easy, pleasant and personable as possible.
It’s the digital equivalent of clear signage, friendly associates, clean and organized aisles and fast check out lines in your brick and mortar store.
And, oh, by the way, Google is favoring mobile friendly i.e. responsive sites in their new mobile search algorithm. So, you need to do this anyway just to stay visible and competitive.
2. Your Images are Low Quality – Are Your Products?
Do you know why so many stores spend time and effort making beautiful displays in their windows? They do it because it encourages people to come inside and browse around. They often wind up buying more.
One of the few downsides of shopping online is our inability to hold, test, try and actually see the merchandise before we buy it, which makes presentation an even more important concern for you.
If you’re using pixelated, blurry and low quality images of your products, you’re losing business. I can’t tell if your pictures are just bad or if you’re trying to disguise a bad product, but that doubt is enough to make me find someone else to buy from.
Invest in a professional photographer who can snap high quality photos of your products. Have her take a few shots from different angles in really good lighting so people can see detail and really get a feel for your products.
High quality photos will have a big impact on how quickly people decide to buy, whether they make additional impulse purchases and if they come back to shop from you in the future.
3. This is Taking FOREVERRR
Your website needs to load fast!
I can almost guarantee that you’ll lose customers if your site takes 4 or 5 seconds (sometimes less) to load. Even a 500ms connection speed delay can cost you. It will also create a long-term negative perception of your brand, which makes it much less likely that the customer will return.
The good news is that there are many simple things you can do to improve speed. For instance, you can:
- Reduce image sizes
- Deactivate plugins you aren’t using
- Switch your web hosting
- Fix broken links
- Update your CMS.
You may even want to consult an expert that can give you advice on specific issues affecting your load time.
4. I Need More Information…You’ve Got Nothing
It’s no secret that search engines love fresh, relevant, high quality content. That is their product after all. But so do the users.
So if you’re struggling for visibility in search results and want to drive more people to your site, you can use a blog to create more pathways to it. Just make sure you include targeted keywords in your headlines (don’t overdo it in the article text, though.)
A blog also adds a personal touch to your website that helps you engage your customers’ interest, communicate more about your brand and products and get instant feedback.
If you don’t have the time or skill required to write your own articles, there are many professionals that would be willing to take over for you.
Furthermore, create more guided content for your products. Shopping guides, advanced product filtering, FAQ sections, video reviews of products; these will all help your cause.
5. Why Are You Asking Me All These Questions?
If you’ve ever done holiday shopping, you’ve probably seen people get off a long line, push their cart to the side and leave.
It’s the same deal with your eCommerce checkout. If there are too many steps between me and my goal (making the purchase), I’m more likely to give up than wait you out.
Your checkout process should have one goal: getting the sale.
Eliminate all the steps that aren’t absolutely necessary for making a purchase. Offer customers a few different ways to pay, rather than just PayPal. List every item in their cart with the price and any additional fees (like shipping).
Don’t force your customers to sign up for your newsletter. This is not the time for that. A simple checkout will make them much more likely to make a return visit than your newsletter.
6. I Can’t Find What I Want But I KNOW You Have It
Site-wide search functionality is probably one of the most useful things you can do. If you’ve already lured them in with great content, fast load times and stunning images, they may want to do a little more shopping.
Or maybe what they’re looking at now isn’t exactly what they want, but it’s close enough that they believe you may have that perfect gift.
A prominently displayed, advanced search functionality will let people find exactly what they’re looking for along with their different options. You’ll ultimately complete more sales, decrease your cart’s abandonment rate and avoid negative reviews from frustrated customers.
While there are plenty of other ways you can improve sales on your eCommerce site, I promise that you’ll start seeing immediate results if you’re able to fix these six major issues.
Jeff Bezos doesn’t need more business, but you do. If you’d like more personal suggestions for improving your online sales, contact Optimum7 today!