Online Store Development – How to increase your sales!
3 January 2017
Did you know that shopping cart abandonment makes up 70% of all online shopping incidents that lead to less income for online sellers? Sounds scary right, considering these people were interested in purchasing your products. Did you also know that Thursday is the day that your prospective customers are most likely to do this? It is information like this which you need to think about in order to reduce this occurrence and make your e-commerce business a success.
Since customers are wanting to buy more online we have decided to give you a bit of an insight into some of the best ways to increase your sales from your online store and help you optimise your website for the best e-commerce outcome.
Optimise Your Homepage On Your Online Store
Your homepage is like your shop window; it is a vital marketing asset which is often overlooked. Aside from people who visit your site by searching for a particular product, the majority of users will arrive on your online store’s homepage first. That means it has to look good and work well, otherwise, people will jump from your website.
The best and most effective way to optimise your homepage is to do the following:
- Add top selling products
- Promote special offers, discount codes and other
- Identify ‘hot categories’ – those which you think your customers are most likely to be interested in.
Your customers and potential customers need to be able to trust your business and will judge you based on how your online store looks. Get your homepage right and they are more likely to continue looking around your website through the specific path you’ve created, giving you a greater amount of control over their experience.
Your e-commerce platform probably has a ‘card abandonment’ extension available. Whether one is available or not, a reliable and experienced developer will be able to create or install an extension for your site which will send offers out to customers who abandon their cart. You may have noticed that eBay do this a lot. If you didn’t notice, you probably will now. Try it out; add something to your basket on eBay and leave the site; you’ll end up with an email within the next couple of weeks from eBay letting you know that it’s still there.
Faster is Better
One of the key reasons shoppers leave an online store is because of the slow loading time. 47% of shoppers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds. If your website isn’t hitting these targets, then that is a real issue that needs addressing. Look for ways to improve the speed of your website, or get a professional to do it for you. Doing this will not only appease new customers but also encourage repeat purchases from those who have bought from you before. Everyone’s a winner!
Is your online store responsive? Can shoppers browse on the go? If the answers to these questions are ‘no’ then you need to make sure you take the necessary steps to make sure your website lives up to these expectations. As more people use their mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, it is very clear that e-commerce websites have to be able to work well on a mobile device. It needs to be able to be re-size based on the device of the visitor. Content and visuals also need to work well for the design to be responsive. This way your customers can order from whatever device wherever they choose, they are not confined to one desktop.
Offers & Promotions
Encourage customers to provide you with their email addresses by having an opt-in offer. By doing this, prospective customers will be more willing to give you their details, which you can use to build an e-mail list and regularly keep in touch with your subscribers and sell them your products or services.
Other offers will also encourage online sales. In particular, free shipping will also help persuade buyers to make the final step in purchasing from your website. Research shows this is the number one thing that convinces visitors to buy, see how you can fit this into your business model and budget. Discount codes and sales promotions are another great way to increase online sales and conversion rates.
Focus on Content
Invest in content that gives buyers all the information they need and that is going to make you rank higher in terms of your SEO. You can create a great website but if your customers can’t find you then they will not buy anything. Also, if they are uncertain about the product, the information is vague or the information is incorrect, then this will hurt your conversion rate. Giving your customers all the information they need before they check out is one of the easiest ways to improve your online sales.
For example, if an item is out of stock, make this clear by mentioning it on the product page. If it will be back in stock in the future let potential customers opt in to receive an email notification the moment it is available.
Build Customer Support
It is vital that your sales copy establishes your business credibility: It’s through this process that your visitors come to trust you and feel comfortable enough to buy products from your business. In today’s social media nature, customer feedback had never been more important. Satisfied customers can provide you with great marketing content.
There are two easy ways to help create customer trust:
- Security is an important part of trust, always display the payment providers you work with, such as PayPal. It’s also good to have a Verified by Visa sign and an SSL certificate.
- Customer testimonials and user reviews/ratings. What customers say about you is more powerful than what you say about yourself, make sure to promote good feedback.
One fantastic way to increase sales from existing customers is to provide fantastic, clear customer service. Answer your clients’ questions and complaints, whether that’s directly through the website or via social media. Unanswered questions can lead to shopping cart abandonment and potentially negative feedback and loss of a customer. Try to always provide an excellent service and your customers will return again and again.
Offer A Variety Of Ways To Buy
While most customers will check out of your store online using a credit or debit card, some will prefer to use a completely different payment and order method. Instead of only offering this option make sure to offer other forms of online payment, such as PayPal for example, this is a simple way to expand your prospective customer audience.
If you want to target a local area you can let customers order via phone or even email. This can work for ordering too. If your customers are located close to your retail store or shipping outlet you could provide in-store pickup and payment. Having multiple ways your customers can shop on your e-commerce website will be very beneficial.
Simplify Your Checkout Process
By simplifying the process of checking out from your e-commerce store you can help reduce the amount of cart abandonment identified at the beginning of this article. We would recommend the following ways to help lower this rate.
- If users register for your website before checking out make sure to retain their information and pre-fill it into your checkout form automatically.
- Uses a persistent shopping cart which lets users return to your e-commerce website to check out without having to re-add their items.
- Don’t require customers to register in order to check out. Statistics state that 26% of users will abandon their cart when they are forced to register.
- Give examples for every form field, particularly addresses and other fields where users often make mistakes.
The 10 points mentioned above can help you increase your online sales and improve your conversion rate.
Tienda Digital specialise in e-commerce solutions and have an extensive portfolio of successful online store development. To find out more, contact our team here, call us on 01772 393989 or email us at email@example.com.