E-Commerce in 2018
Although the demise of high street stores continues, getting a good return from E-Commerce websites is still no easy task. The key is to maximise the conversion rate – getting as many visitors as possible to complete a purchase and/or make enquiries. Of course, your visitors need to find their way to your website in the first place – we’ll cover that in a future blog post.
We’ll cover 8 tips that will help to keep visitors on your site and encourage them to purchase products.
1) Make It Clear What Your Website Sells
It’s very important to make it immediately obvious what your website sells. If within a few seconds the visitor is not sure that your site sells what they are looking for, they are likely to leave. Some companies are lucky in that their company name helps people know – e.g. ‘Bobs Bicycles’. Other popular methods include having a keyword rich strapline high up on the page. In addition, it’s important to show products and/or categories on the homepage.
2) Ensure Your Website Is Fast
Making sure your website loads quickly and displays pages within a few seconds is another important factor. Research has shown that users are not very patient and will leave to visit an alternative site if there are lengthy delays loading pages. A secondary impact of speed is that a slow site can give a bad impression of your business – e.g. if the website is slow, is the service slow? Or if the company can’t afford proper web hosting, what else are they not doing properly?
3) Make Sure Your Website Is Secure
There is no excuse nowadays – every E-Commerce website (and indeed we’d recommend it for all) should treat security as a top priority. The site should have an SSL certificate site-wide. In addition, the website code should be secure – this can be achieved by ensuring the CMS / system it’s using is safe, up to date and relevant patches/updates have been applied. Security is also important for GDPR compliance.
4) Optimise Your Design and UX
The design of your site and resulting user experience (UX) is very important for an E-Commerce website. As with other items, trust with the visitor can be achieved by having a professionally designed website. Design factors can include typography (e.g. font choice, font size), through to use of photography, illustrations and colour. It’s all about making the site as easy to use as possible. One particularly important point is the colour of ‘action’ buttons (e.g. add to basket, go to checkout) – these need to stand out (e.g. in a bright colour such as green) and be easy to find.
5) Ensure Your Website Works Well on Mobiles
As more than 50% of website visits are now made on mobile devices, it’s critical to ensure your site works well on mobile and tablets. The site needs to be properly ‘responsive’ – adapting to the smaller screen sizes and optimising for them. This doesn’t just mean laying out the content differently, it also means considering what content to show – on a mobile device you may decide to hide some content to optimise the browsing experience.
6) Clearly Display Contact Details and Address
This is a simple one, but a number of sites (particularly start-up) companies don’t do the simple thing of showing contact details (phone number, email address) and postal address. The phone number and email should be easily viewable (either displayed in the header or on a contact us page). Having a proper postal address is also important to show you are a proper company and should be shown on the contact us page.
7) Have Reviews And/Or Testimonials
Having reviews and/or testimonials on your site is a great way to improve creditability and increase the confidence level of visitors. Reviews of course help them decide if the product is good, but also show the website is genuine and other people have ordered items.
8) Analyse Your Website Usage and Conversion Funnels
A key tip for optimising the conversions (and indeed to make sure you are doing well with many of the other items here) is to analyse your website usage and review conversion funnels. This can be done by utilising an analytics platform such as Google Analytics. Reports are then available which shows many things including which pages are the most popular and the ‘bounce rate’ – which is how many people view just one page and then leave your site. Conversion funnels can be setup to show what stage (e.g. find the product, add to basket, complete site registration, make payment) visitors get to along the purchase process. Analytics can be complex, so you may decide to get an expert to do reviews.
If you have an E-Commerce website that isn’t performing as you wish, please do contact us. We are happy to review it and give an honest appraisal to determine what can be done – this may be changes to your website, or in some cases (particularly where the site is several years old) we may recommend a re-design and re-build.
Please contact us if you are interested in this or are looking for any other assistance with your website.