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October 20th, 2023

eCommerce Spotlight: How to optimise your website for conversions.

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Since 2019 we have seen the number of eCommerce stores rise from 9.2 million to 26.5 million! The number of online stores is continuing to grow rapidly, giving more and more businesses access to larger more diverse marketplaces. However, with the number of online marketplaces tripling, we’re noticing an increased amount of competition too! So your job as SEO’s, marketers and business owners is not just about getting found online – but also about converting the traffic you do get into paying customers.

Providing an excellent online experience is crucial in today’s competitive landscape, from overall site-speed, to creating trust there are plenty of factors which potential customers look for when deciding to use you, or your competitors. eCommerce is about so much more than the price of your products, it relies on creating a quick, easy and intuitive shopping experience!

How do I optimise my eCommerce store?

Work on your homepage first.

When it comes to selling online your homepage is your virtual storefront. For many online retailers, they don’t have a brick-and-mortar store, so their homepage is their first and only chance to make a lasting impression on potential customers. So, when it comes to optimising your site and increasing conversions, always think: homepage first!

First of all, you need to ensure your homepage is aesthetically pleasing, yet fully functional. Putting your best foot forward by showcasing your best sellers gives customers an option to see what you do, straight off the bat. With that also comes striking product photography. Including interesting eye-catching imagery will speak to your client base much louder than the content itself.

Next, we want to build trust! Having reviews and testimonials from existing clients and customers is the best way to encourage new potential customers to buy from your brand. And showcasing these trust-building elements from the beginning will help customers to trust your brand over others. Not only do reviews help with this, but having awards, certifications and other elements which demonstrate that your business is capable of providing a certain service or product is a fantastic way of encouraging customers to choose you over your competitors.

Finally, when it comes to optimising your homepage ensure the site is easily navigable. Having clear CTA’s and a nav and search bar which will help customers find what they’re looking for will help them get to the products that they want. Fast. The purpose of your homepage is to get your customers, to your products, so having a clear journey to get them to what they need is the key to converting a potential customer, into a paying customer.

Improve your calls-to-action across the site. 

From banners to buttons, a CTA is the best way to get your customers to where you and they want to be. Having strategically placed CTAs can help to increase conversions on your website ten-fold. A CTA should have a short, quirky attention-grabbing line of copy which instructs the customer of what you want them to do.

When it comes to eCommerce stores these CTAs can be used to help customers navigate to a new product line, help them to instantly add a product to the basket in a single click, reduce the actions they have to take from homepage to basket, or to contact a member of the team.

Looking for some inspiration? A CTA can look like any of the below:

  • Buy it now
  • Try our free trail
  • Speak to the team
  • Quick buy
  • Get started
  • Download our guide
  • Get signed up
  • Add to bag

These are all great examples of CTAs which you can use to help your customers convert on your site. But what about the visuals? CTAs can be buttons or banners and should STAND OUT. Using brand colours, moving imagery and so much more will guide the customer's eye right where it needs to be!

Create trust with online reviews.

Did you know as many as 88% of customers now put as much weight on online reviews as they would on personal recommendations? What’s more, on average reviews produce an 18% uplift in sales! What does this tell us? A lack of reviews creates a barrier to entry when it comes to converting a customer. If you don’t have social proof to tell people how great your products are, you will struggle to secure new sales. Focus on displaying reviews, testimonials, case studies and awards you’ve won – these all count as trust signals and help to add some credibility to your brand, which in turn will help to improve your conversion rate.

Give customers access to the information that they need.

When it comes to purchasing online potential customers need to have a lot more trust in the brand than they do when shipping in a physical store. That is why 86% of people want further information about products and services than is available on the product page. Now, we’re not suggesting you fill your product pages with heaps of information, because let’s face it that would probably have the opposite effect! But having an accessible FAQ section available on the website would be the perfect way to allow customers access to additional information without disrupting the page layout. FAQ sections are a great way to let customers know more information on elements such as products, brand, customer service, delivery and returns.

Make the site easily navigable.

When it comes to your menus and on-site navigation, you should apply the same care, and intuition you would if you were setting out a physical store. You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find the products that they’re looking for. The average attention span of a human being in 8.25 seconds. That means that if they can’t find instant gratification in getting to the product they want within that time frame, the likelihood is that they will move on to one of your competitors.

How do you combat this? Having a clear path around your site and towards checkout is the best way to get customers to their end destination, fast without the possibility of them heading to one of your direct competitors. Having your nav bar clearly at the top of each page and with distinct headers will make it easier for customers to navigate your site.

It's not just the nav bar you’ve got to consider. Product pages can be a minefield so having clear and concise filtering options as well as the ability to sort products is another great way to get your customers to convert.

Provide a sleek and seamless checkout process.

As the final step in converting your website traffic into paying customers, your checkout process should be sleek, seamless, and as smooth as possible. We want to ensure there are no obstacles between your customers and that final payment action.

Avoid lengthy or multi-page checkouts.

Let’s face it, there is nothing worse than filling out lengthy forms or multipage checkout steps. 18% of online shoppers will abandon the checkout if the process takes too long! But all is not lost, with new technology like ShopPay or introducing different payment methods such as Klarna and Apple pay can increase the speed of checkout. Apps such as these often have customer’s details saved so your checkout goes from multiple boxes to one button! A massive win for your customers.

Avoid additional costs at checkout.

49% of people will abandon checkout if the additional costs at checkout are too high! This can be anything from VAT to shipping! People often feel as though adding additional costs at checkout is brands being insincere and has an impact on how trustworthy they are. The best way to avoid this is by being transparent on your product pages. This is where tabs can be your best friend. Having different sections which break down additional costs will help customers make an informed decision at this stage!

Make sure you’re offering a guest checkout.

In an age where people are more conscious of giving away their personal details online more and more people are abandoning checkout if the page requires them to have an account, 24% to be exact. By offering a guest checkout you allow people to quickly complete a purchase without having to give you too many personal details. But that doesn’t mean you can’t target them in the future, sending an email with tracking information can also be a helpful prompt to create an account, or asking at the end if they want to make an account to track their order. Offering an account at the end of the process will remove any additional obstacles between your customer and the payment gateway.

When fine-tuning your checkout process, make it as easy as possible for users to complete their online order, and they will be more likely to do so!

Offer free and/or fast delivery!

One of the biggest areas of tension when it comes to eCommerce conversions is the delivery! 19% of all customers will abandon the basket if the delivery is too slow! And in today’s society more and more people are expecting a delivery to be with them the next-day… sometimes even the same day. Working with a 3PL or an eCommerce fulfilment specialist can help you keep your delivery costs low and improve your delivery speed. Get in touch with a member of the SCEND team.

How do you handle an increase in orders?

Now you’ve optimised your site, and inevitably you’re receiving an influx of orders. So how do you deal with this? It’s important to have the right infrastructure in place to be able to get those orders out to your customers. By outsourcing your order fulfilment process to a company such as SCEND we’re able to pick and pack and deliver orders quickly and accurately to keep your customers happy.

The offline service is just as important as the online ordering processes, so it’s key to ensure this is as efficient as possible – we can even handle your returns process for you too! If you’d like to find out more about our eCommerce fulfilment service, get in touch with our team today.

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