So, you’ve launched an online business venture, huh?
Whether it’s dropshipping, Amazon Affiliate marketing, info products, Software as a Service (SaaS), or whichever eCommerce venture you’ve embarked on, online is where the riches are these days.
While your enterprise might be profitable, I’ve got some good news for you. You can still grow even more.
Through smart eCommerce optimization. By fine-tuning what you are already doing, you can close more sales and maximize profits.
In this guide, I will give you 12 proven eCommerce optimization tips to boost your online business. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s discuss your store’s vital but unseen foundation—the store architecture.
How you set up your store determines whether it becomes a booming success or a dismal failure.
At the heart of online store architecture is keeping things simple. The goal is to make it super easy for customers to find what they are looking for. Experts recommend that every page should be three or fewer clicks from your home page.
Translation: customers must find what they are looking for fast. This ensures they shop right away.
Let’s say you sell shoes. Your store’s architecture should look like this:
From the three major categories down to the six shoe types subcategories and then individual product listings underneath, the site has a marvelous structure.
Clean. Clutter-free. Collocated.
That’s exactly what you want.
An excellent online store understructure that supports growth and increases conversions.
Now that you’ve established a firm foundation, it’s time to get into the essence. Let’s explore 12 eCommerce optimization tactics to lift conversions and sales.
Your homepage is the gateway into your funnel. It’s your store's main front window, the page through which most visitors will arrive.
So your storefront must make a good first impression on visitors, otherwise they will bounce off. Here's how to design a conversion-friendly online store homepage.
Partake Foods feature their popular 5-in1 Baking Mix on their homepage.
An optimized homepage gives you a start, but you must do more.
Your visitors are there to shop, right?
They aren’t there for fun and games. They are actively looking for products that suit their needs.
Accordingly, make it super easy for them to hunt for what they want by making your search bar enormous. So immense nobody can miss it.
Instinctively, shoppers will move towards it.
Your visitors will start browsing right away. That’s what you want. For shoppers to kick-start their shopping journey seconds after they arrive without even thinking about it. Most leading online retailers use this proven tactic.
Amazon, the eCommerce behemoth, uses a giant search bar.
Tell me, who can miss that search bar? It almost covers the entire width of the page! Amazon knows how to use the magical powers of a prominent search bar to sway shoppers and get them shopping pronto.
Today’s shoppers are picky.
They want a super smooth, personalized shopping experience. Modern shoppers insist on individualized red carpet treatment whether they are new buyers or regular customers. Anything less and you risk losing them. As per research by Epsilon, 80% of customers are more likely to buy when companies provide personalized customer journeys.
Below are quick tips on how to personalize shopping experiences.
Houzz offers first-time shoppers a personalized search experience.
Shoppers can select topics that interest them so they only see relevant results.
Product photos and descriptions are an integral part of the online store conversion formula.
They work in tandem.
When shoppers browse product pages, the photo draws them first. Therefore, it must be dazzling. Here’s a quick rundown on how to craft irresistible product photos that mesmerize shoppers.
Once the photo attracts them, they check the product copy. For starters, your copy must go beyond the product’s features. Show visitors how the product will benefit them. Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Don’t use dry product descriptions from the manufacturer, Create personalized juicy ones as chocolate brand Recchiuti does.
They deserve brownie points for drawing prospects in with a captivating image of their chocolates as well.
Also, tickle the emotions through sensory words. These words are more descriptive, more memorable, and more powerful than ordinary words. Studies show using sensory words causes more people to buy.
It’s also important to keep your copy crisp and concise. Don’t be verbose otherwise you will cloud meaning and scare visitors off.
For SEO purposes, write distinctive descriptions for both product and category pages to help Google grasp what the page is about. Similar descriptions confuse search engines.
When a shopper reaches the checkout point, they are on the home stretch of their shopping journey.
Make the checkout process as friction-free as possible so you don’t lose sales at the last minute. An unoptimized checkout process not only leaks sales, but it also frustrates buyers. Imagine how put off someone becomes when they’ve taken the time to hunt for what they want and put it inside the cart, only to meet a brick wall at the last moment.
Here’s how to optimize your checkout so shoppers go through with their purchase.
PandaDoc teases prospects with a no strings attached free trial.
Because they remove the friction of filing in credit card details, they land more leads.
Video is a powerful conversion-driver in eCommerce.
Look at these impressive numbers on the conversion prowess of videos:
I’m sure you now realize the tremendous power of video to influence buyers both online and offline.
Beneath are several ways of using video to hike conversions and sales:
Essie shows potential customers how to use their nail polish through a short video.
The video makes it easy for shoppers to appreciate the value of the product more than still images.
Maybe you’ve experienced it.
You visit an online store. And guess what? It’s your lucky day. All your favorite products are available at a good price. You excitedly add them to the cart and head straight to checkout.
After you fill in all the required details, you get to the method of payment. Lo-and-behold, your preferred method isn’t available! Ugh. You leave in a huff. Research reveals up to 25% of shoppers abandon their packed shopping carts because their favored payment option was missing. Now, that’s a lot of lost sales.
To maximize sales, avail many payment options to your customers. You don’t have to provide all the countless options out there. Focus on those preferred by your audience, as Somnifix does.
With five payment options, customers have the leeway to pay using their favorite method.
To discover their preferences:
It’s all about your audience. Their money. Their rules. Their way.
Don’t bleed sales through limited payment options.
While we like to think of ourselves as free-spirited independent thinkers who know what they want, human psychology shows otherwise.
Humans get swayed to a large extent by what they see other people do. In other words, we follow the herd. That’s the tendency reviews and testimonials tap into. One study showed 93% of customers read reviews before they buy a product.
For your reviews to have an impact, follow these 5 simple guidelines:
To garner many testimonials, send an automated follow-up email and ask for one from happy customers. Ask for video testimonials from those who shared the most fascinating ones.
Use the testimonials on product pages, homepage, paid ads, and social media. You can even have a dedicated testimonials page to impress shoppers by the sheer weight of the number of recommendations.
Marketer Hire uses a testimonial type of listings for customers to order the services of their experts.
The testimonial is effective because it highlights specific results achieved by the expert. They also included a photo of the marketer to humanize the brand and connect with prospects.
We live in a mobile-first world. Mobile devices are an inseparable part of the modern lifestyle. These mouth-watering numbers reveal the significant growth of mobile commerce:
In short, if you don’t optimize for mobile, you will leave money on the table. Here’s how to give shoppers a delightful mobile shopping experience in 5 simple steps:
Chubbies know how to cater to mobile shoppers.
They use a bare-bones design with a clickable image that fits perfectly into the small screen. Apart from that, they use a few words.
Humans abhor loss.
Psychologists say the pain of loss is 2x stronger than the pleasure of gain. Whenever shoppers feel a product is scarce or about to go away, the loss aversion tendency kicks in.
Here’s how to take advantage of this strong bias:
Clothing brand, American Apparel displays a low stock notice on fast-moving products.
On seeing the urgent notice, shoppers are more likely to get over the buying line quickly.
Times are hard.
People are always on the lookout for ways to stretch the value of their dollars. Therefore, if you can stimulate them to buy by offering them rewards, they’ll gladly take the offer.
Below are 5 incentives you can offer to drive conversions:
Mattress store Zoma tempts shoppers with a discount.
It’s a powerful offer because it includes:
A whopping 87% of shoppers today start their product searches online.
This is good news.
Get your eCommerce SEO strategy right and you’ll attract hundreds of purchase-ready shoppers to your store organically every day all year round.
Let’s go over three building blocks of eCommerce SEO:
Pet food retailer Chewy has a good grasp of eCommerce SEO strategies. They rank on the front page of Google for the lucrative keyword ‘cat food’.
Not only did they use ‘cat food’ as a major category in their store. They also broke it down further into long-tail keyword subcategories ‘dry cat food’ and ‘wet cat food’ respectively.
Admittedly, SEO takes a while to gain traction. But once things work, the benefits compound over time. SEO is the gift that keeps on giving.
In optimization, data is your friend.
Without the guidance of data, you risk missing conversion opportunities because you make baseless gut-based decisions. Here are four crucial types of data you must pay close attention to.
Having data on hand isn’t enough. You must develop a keen eye that cuts through all the tons of figures and unearths valuable insights you can use to grow your business. Learn how to pick and interpret data patterns to drive conversions.
Thankfully, you don’t have to start from scratch to increase your eCommerce business profits.
Use the above strategies to enhance what you have going for you. All it takes is improving your site, one step at a time. Touch up product photos and description copy. Personalize customer experiences. Add a bit of personalization. Tweak a keyword. Keep at it. Gradually you will see your conversions and sales rise.