When your ecommerce sales need a boost, it can be difficult to know where you should focus, what to change, and how an optimized site should function.
Below is a list of nine things to start with that are sure to drive incremental sales:
1. Smart Use Of The Intrusive (And Often Annoying) “Pop Up”
Many ecommerce (and non-ecommerce, for that matter) sites will serve you a pop-up the moment you arrive.
Some are necessary – like privacy compliance – while others are strictly promotional.
Pop-ups can work quite well, as long as you follow some basic common sense guidelines:
- Just because you may have a native mobile app for shopping, doesn’t mean you need to prompt your visitor to download it as soon as they get to the site.
- Don’t ask someone to take a survey the minute they get to the website. Wait until they either complete a purchase or leave without doing so.
- If you want to collect an opt-in email, make it worthwhile to the visitor. Provide them with an incentive that will bring near-instant gratification on an immediate purchase.
- Make sure you do not use the types of pop-ups that can cause you trouble. Here’s a recent Search Engine Journal post that goes into greater detail on pop-ups.
2. Site Search Vigilance
Your visitors are telling you exactly what they want when performing a site search query.
Make sure you’re paying attention and acting accordingly.
Here are a few basics to ensure the site search experience is helpful to your customers.
- Review the queries on a regular basis so you know what the most popular searches are.
- Test the search suggestions and subsequent results page for yourself on top queries (especially when a new product is added to the shop).
- Use the search query data to guide your merchandising, promotion, and product decisions. Remember, your visitors are telling you exactly what they want, so respond accordingly and profit.
- For a more in-depth study of onsite search, here is a recap of a recent Search Engine Journal webinar (along with an option to watch a replay).
3. Cross-Sell Relevancy
This is a big one that’s often overlooked.
There’s no easier way to increase your AOV (average order value) than to make a relevant suggestion that triggers an impulse addition to a planned purchase.
You’ll see these displayed in some of the following ways throughout the purchase process:
- People also viewed.
- Customers also bought.
- You may also like.
- Related items.
- Items that go well with this.
- Recommended for you.
If your site is built to cross-sell items, make sure you’re consistently looking at the experience to ensure it’s optimal for your customer and looking at the data to monitor the attachment rate.
4. Site Speed
This one should be obvious: fast sites = good. Slow sites = bad.
If you’re using a hosted platform (for example Shopify and BigCommerce) for your ecommerce shop, make sure any apps you use aren’t slowing the site down and always ensure your image sizes aren’t crippling load times.
Make sure you have the right plan, data, and resources necessary to ensure the site speed is optimal.
5. Product Listing Page
The experience you provide to your customers viewing the product listing page may very well be the difference between them adding an item to a shopping cart and exiting the site altogether.
Some very critical items to consider include:
Default Sort And Available Options
Is the listing page sorted by newest first?
Best sellers? Lowest price?
Most relevant? Featured Items? Trending?
Ask yourself what makes the most sense to the user as a default setting and what other ways visitors will want to sort your product selection.
This is all about ensuring you have the proper product attributes to allow customers to filter from.
Examples of this include size, color, style, price, rating, release date, compatibility, etc.
The attributes you need will vary based on what you’re selling, but make sure to pay attention to how customers look at the product.
Keyword research and site search data can provide helpful insights here.
Availability & Delivery Timeframes
This matters – especially now.
In the age of supply chain issues and product scarcity, availability often plays a greater role than price.
If you have it in stock for immediate shipment, you just increased your chances of getting the sale.
Make sure your ecommerce shop is set up to show stock availability and delivery estimates to customers prior to purchase.
Pricing & Promotions
This one is simple: Make your discounts clear for your customers.
If 20% off means the price goes from $53.99 to $43.19, do the math for the customer instead of just stating “20% off.”
6. Product Detail Page
What information is useful to your customer in determining whether a product is the right option or not?
Start a list and begin executing.
Here are a few suggestions to make sure your product detail page is optimized.
- Use Case scenarios.
- Images from every angle of the product.
- Ability to zoom into an image.
- Video overview.
- A/R experience.
- Inventory, stock status, or delivery timeframe.
- Q & A.
- Moderated reviews.
- Detailed specifications.
The biggest takeaway here is to understand what will matter to your customers and make sure to include it.
Take something simple like a shirt, for example.
Customers may care about things like:
- Cleaning instructions (dry clean, machine, hand wash, separately, cold hang dry, etc.).
- Country of origin.
- Sustainability/environmental friendliness.
- Ethical manufacturing.
- Wrinkle care.
- Sizing chart.
Important: The list above for shirts is neither complete nor applicable to all. If you’re selling a cheap t-shirt with a goofy slogan on it, that audience will care about something very different than a high-end top.
7. The Shopping Cart
Think of the shopping cart as a critical point in the purchase journey where your customer will either affirm the decision and press forward, or start to second guess themselves.
Here are a few tactics to employ to help ease the customer’s anxiety:
- Make sure you have an easy path back to the product detail page so the customer can research any details necessary.
- Crystal clear and customer-friendly return policy.
- Clarity on pricing/savings. Again, don’t give the customer a math problem to solve.
- Clear & flexible fulfillment options (For example: Ship to home, ship to store, pickup in-store).
- Relevant cross-sells (see #3).
- Set Up an abandoned cart program where a logged-in customer gets an email if a product is left in a cart for X period of time.
8. Checkout Process
Here are some things you want to make sure you have in place to ensure the customer completes the checkout process after making it this far:
- Ability to easily do a “guest checkout.”
- Clear checkout instructions so the customer doesn’t get lost or overwhelmed.
- Include a free/low-cost shipping option (even if it’s a “slow boat” option, you want to give the customer a free option).
- Make sure a customer can take advantage of their browser’s auto-fill capabilities to reduce friction.
- Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options. You might think your product price point isn’t high enough to bother with BNPL options, but you would be surprised how popular of an option this is for sub-$100 orders.
9. Mobile Web Experience Must-Haves
10 years ago, a mobile ecommerce audit had its own separate checklist.
Today, there’s no separate checklist.
Everything noted in points one to eight applies equally to the mobile experience.
The action item is clear: Test everything on mobile to ensure a pleasant experience for your customer.
While focusing on these items cannot guarantee success, your ecommerce revenue will be far more likely to grow by optimizing the areas covered in this post.
If you’re just starting out, use this article as a checklist to put you on the path to growth and in a year you’ll look back and thank yourself.
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