the top 21 best practices for running a successful ecommerce website – PART ONE
If your business sells tangible products, you need to have a strong online presence. But with so much competition in the ecommerce space, it can be tough for you to establish your ground. Not only are you competing with local and regional brands, but you also have to deal with international giants such as Amazon and Walmart.
That’s why it’s important for you to focus on every detail of your ecommerce website. Learn how to design a homepage that converts. This guide is useful to everyone. Whether you are a brick and mortar retailer expanding into online business, a company that operates strictly through the Internet, or something in between, you’ll benefit from these tips. It doesn’t matter whether you’re building a new website or making changes to your existing one. Following these 21 best practices will help you increase conversions for your ecommerce store. You’ll also be able to generate more leads and add additional sales revenue to your bottom line.
2. simplify your menus
Menus are a great way to stay organized and group what you’re selling. But as just mentioned, you don’t want to overcomplicate things. Too many menu categories will confuse the consumer, preventing them from finding what they’re looking for. Your menu shouldn’t be super specific. Instead, use broad terms to categorize your products. For example, let’s say your ecommerce brand sells clothing with items such as:
long sleeve shirts
Rather than having five different menu options for each of these choices, you can group them into one category: “tops.”
4. buy a premium web hosting service
Speed is one of the most important elements of a successful ecommerce website. Each page needs to load fast to yield high conversions. But if you buy a budget web hosting plan, it’ll cost you in the long run. Research shows a one second delay in page loading time can lead to a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and a 7% loss in conversions. If your site has a two or three second delay, you’re in big trouble. Even worse than a slow loading time is site crashes, glitches, or error reports. That’s why you’re better off spending the money on a premium web hosting plan now as opposed to dealing with these headaches later. Trust me, it’s worth the investment.
5. eliminate steps in your checkout process
Once a website visitor decides to buy something, they should find it easy to complete the purchase. It’s your job to make it so. Each additional step in the checkout process will increase the chances of them abandoning the transaction. In fact, 28% of consumers said they abandoned a shopping cart during checkout because the process was too long and complicated. The key here is to get only essential information from the buyer. There’s no reason to ask for their mother’s maiden name, the first concert they attended, or their favorite vacation spot. Get their billing information and shipping address. That’s all you need to process a transaction.
7. send shopping cart abandonment emails
Once a user sets up their profile, you can tell when they add something to their shopping cart without buying it. Don’t ignore this. You’re missing out on money. Often times, they were just a click or two away from completing the transaction. Clearly, they were interested in the product enough to add it to their cart. Sending an email reminding the shopper about the item can be just enough to finalize the sale.
8. prioritize seo
Not everyone who wants what you’re selling will navigate straight to your website. In fact, research shows that 46% of consumers start the buying process through a search engine, such as Google. If your ecommerce site isn’t one of the top results, they’ll buy from one of your competitors instead. That’s why it’s so important for you to focus your efforts on search engine optimization. Do everything in your power to reach the top of Google rankings based on searches related to whatever your brand is selling.
9. write blog posts on a regular basis
How often will the same person visit your ecommerce website/ Chances are, they’re not buying something every day. They probably won’t buy something even once a week. Only your top customers might shop once per month. If people aren’t on your website, they obviously can’t spend any money. But running a blog in addition to your ecommerce site is a great way to build a strong following. Now people have a reason to check out your site on a daily or weekly basis. Once they’re on the site, they’ll be more likely to buy something.
10. build an email subscriber list
To have a successful ecommerce site, you need to have lots of visitors ready to buy. But how are you planning on driving traffic to your site? Building an ecommerce email list is one of your best options. Once you have a subscriber’s email address, you can contact them with special offers and promotions to entice sales. A great way to add subscribers is to collect email addresses during the checkout process. Here’s an example of this from SAXX. By default, this box is already checked off. Shoppers will have to deselect this option if they don’t want to be added to the subscriber list. Once people are added to your list, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to send them personalized offers to drive traffic to your website and increase sales. You can even offer an incentive for shoppers to sign up for emails, such as a discount off their next purchase.