If you have a site that doesn’t convert, then you have a business that won't succeed. A website that's stunningly designed and beautiful is all well and good. But conversions and sales are the lifeblood of any ecommerce business. So it's imperative that every site does the fundamental aspects well. Aspects that can make a big difference to your bottom line. With that in mind, here are six quick wins that you can apply to your site right now to improve conversions.
- Create unique product descriptions
It's essential that all of your products have unique and enticing descriptions. The description is your opportunity to really sell a product. So you need to be:
- Snappy and to the point.
- Lead with benefits, not features.
It could be worth investing in a professional copywriter to overhaul your descriptions (that's how important they can be). Failing that, at least read up on the art of selling through words - books like Words That Sell by Richard Bayan and Ca$hvertising by Drew Eric Whitman are gold. On top of this: If you simply copy and paste text from a supplier’s site (or a competitor) you'll likely be penalised in Google rankings for violation of duplicate content rules. So it's well worth the time spent creating unique descriptions. The Future Kept is a site selling ethical, natural and sustainably sourced products. This really comes across in their unique product descriptions – they understand what their audience is looking for and tailor the content around them: Note the use of impactful language like fresh, natural, energising, zesty. And the initial focus on how the product will make the customer feel before going on to describe more detailed features.
- Optimise images for speed
There's no doubt that images are important on an ecommerce site. But arguably even more important is page loading speed. Slow website loading speed can:
- Annoy and put off potential customers.
- Put you in Google's bad books.
So you'll not only have fewer customers converting, you'll also struggle with rankings. Unnecessarily large images are one of the major culprits in slow page loading – and this is very frustrating because it can be so easily fixed. First of all: Make sure to know the image sizing requirements for each section of your site, particularly product images. So if your design or theme requires images to be 600x600 pixels, then only use images of this size - anything bigger than it has to be just means bigger files to load every time someone opens the page. You can also use an app to help with this. Like Minifier or Plug in Speed for Shopify, or SEO Doctor for BigCommerce.
- Have multiple images for each product
While we're on the subject of images, it's also essential that your product pages have more than one image for each item. Customers want to be able to see what they're buying without ambiguity. And with smaller file sizes from your optimised images, you can afford to have more images per page – helping to improve conversions. Take a look at how musical instrument specialists Andertons present their guitars: Rather than a single shot of the guitar from the front, the site has multiple pictures from a variety of angles so buyers can get a feel of what the product genuinely looks like – as they would in a showroom.
- Reduce clicks in your checkout process
You might be surprised at the effect of a slow checkout process. Studies have shown that as many as 27% of shoppers who abandon their carts do so simply because the checkout process took too long. So it's essential to make your checkout process as simple as possible - ensuring you don't fall at the final hurdle. Think about tactics like:
- Recording the number of clicks it takes to complete your checkout process, then eradicating all but the essential ones.
- Giving the option of guest checkout, so users don't need to sign up or login to make their purchase.
- Removing unnecessary form fields - even if they're only optional to the user.
- Even hiding some form fields until others have been completed if possible.
Take a look at Veeqo Retailer JOSEPH's smooth checkout process. They clearly label the steps you'll be taking at the top, and then give you the option of logging in or checking out as a guest: You're then asked to fill in a short and simple form with just the essentials - name, email, address, shipping option: Before then going on to complete payment details. Simple, short, easy and the fewest opportunities for customers to abandon their cart.
- Use a custom 404 page
No customer wants to find themselves on a 404 page – it’s confusing, frustrating and provides them with the perfect excuse to abandon your site. Even worse, Google hates to find lots of 404 errors being returned to users. So it’s not just bad for your customers, but bad for your search rankings too. But this presents something of a problem for ecommerce sites – especially those with a high turnover of products: What do you do when an item gets discontinued or goes out of stock indefinitely? The worst thing you can do is simply delete the product and send users to a generic 404 page. Instead, create a custom 404 page that suggests products that are similar to the one that's no longer available. This is a far better customer journey and it can stop Google from penalising your site. US bank and financial services provider Chase utilise a great 404-page: There’s quirky text to let the visitor know that the website has made the error, not them. There are also helpful links to potentially take you where you need to go.
- Provide live support
Customers can make decisions very quickly when it comes to ecommerce. If they're unsure or confused by a certain aspect of a product, then they are unlikely to buy. Worse still, if your site doesn’t give them the answers they're looking for they'll click away and search elsewhere. They won’t want to email you and have to wait days for a response, and many won’t bother making a phone call. However, supplying live chat can provide them with the answer in just a few clicks. See it as the equivalent of a sales assistant in a store – it can make a huge difference to the number of sales you make. Campus Protein offer a simple live chat service where visitors to the site can initiate a conversation with an advisor to help with any issue: You can see the support team members that are online. And start a conversation to get your answer from a real human. These six things that are easy to implement on your site and can make a big difference to your conversions and profits. It’s worth working with your webmaster or web developer to achieve them – you might be surprised at how quickly they can be accomplished.