Ecommerce optimization is critical to increase sales.
If you know how to implement these tips, you will easily increase sales 100% or more.
Ecommerce Optimization Tip 1: Eliminate Options on The Checkout Page
Amazon is clearly the king when it comes to ecommerce.
Everything about their site is designed to appeal and sell to their customers. And of course, their optimization tricks don’t stop at checkout.
So what do they do? Simple. They remove navigation once someone enters the checkout process.
You may notice that on most ecommerce sites, you’re often given the option to return to the product page or make edits to your order.
But Amazon urgers you along with a simple “Continue” button, which can help eliminate customer waffling when it comes to purchasing.
I’d recommend implementing this once someone has shown clear intent to purchase – which comes after the “item added to cart” page. Generally, when someone clicks through to their shopping cart or enters step 1 of checkout, they’ve already down the checkout rabbit hole.
So keep them focused by eliminating too many options. Simply asking them to continue.
Ecommerce Optimization Tip 2: It’s All About Reviews
It’s a given that somewhere out there, someone is selling the same product as you.
In order for them to choose you, customers need a reason to trust you over the competition.
Which means they’ll be checking out your About Page, your contact details, and social media pages to gather information and make sure your business is legitimate.
More importantly, they’ll be scouring the web for good reviews. Research from Internet Retailer published by Shopify shows that customer testimonials and product reviews can boost conversion by between 14 and 76%.
Reviews act similarly to personal recommendations, and in fact, 84% of people treat online reviews much like personal recommendations.
That’s because they act as a form of social proof; a voucher from someone who isn’t connected to the product, but genuinely finds it to be a good one.
The downside is that there’s really no quick fix to collecting good reviews. It’s a long-term strategy, but it pays off in the end.
To get the best reviews, make sure you’re doing the following:
- Set up a series of automated emails after purchases:
- Purchase confirmation email – thank them for their purchase; should be sent immediately after the purchase
- Purchase follow-up – ensure they received their purchase and are satisfied; if so, will they leave a review? This should be sent 2-5 days after delivery
- Ask for the review – ensure satisfaction again, and ask for the review; this should be sent 5-10 days after delivery
- Bonus tip: Ask specific questions for them to answer in the review; they’ll be more likely to respond if given prompts
- Include marketing inserts in the package
- This adds a personal touch to the purchase, but make sure you include a clear CTA asking for a review, and the steps needed to do so
- Provide excellent customer service
- Reach out through emails, and be available on social media to answer any questions or concerns
Ecommerce Optimization Tip 3: Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is a definite no when it comes to SEO.
Like it sounds, duplicate content is content that appears on the internet in more than one place.
According to Moz, it causes the following for search engines:
- They don’t know which version to include or exclude from their indexes
- They don’t know whether to direct link metrics to just one page or keep them separated
- They don’t know which version to rank for search results
All of this translates to a demotion in the search rankings, which in turn results in a loss of traffic.
Duplicate content is especially difficult for ecommerce sites to avoid as they list the same types of products throughout their site, or run duplicate tags or manufacturer notes on products.
To cut down on the duplicate content, try the following:
- Use a canonical tag to indicate to search engines which page you want indexed
- Use robots.txt to block certain areas of your site that create duplicate content
Ecommerce Optimization Tip 4: Optimize Product Pages Based on Search Demand
To purchase your product, searchers have to be able to find it.
That means your headlines, title pages, and descriptions need to be optimized for the keywords users are typing into search engines.
For example, if you type in “mens jeans,” you’ll get a different result in the #1 spot of the SERPs than if you type in “mens blue jeans.”
This is similar to how you would optimize any other page of your website. And it begins with keyword research.
That begins with a knowledge of your target audience and their search intent, and then fine-tuning it with research tools like Google Keyword Planner of Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
Also, keep in mind keywords that indicate a prospect’s intent to buy.
For example, those just browsing will use words like review, best, or comparison, while those who are ready to purchase will include words like affordable, buy, deal, discount, etc. If you can include those long tail keywords throughout your site and product descriptions, you’ll be more likely to attract the right kind of audience.
Ecommerce Optimization Tip 5: Send Abandoned Cart Emails
If you’re not already doing this, it’s a tactic you need to add to your strategy ASAP.
As we discussed, a customer isn’t really in the “checkout funnel” until they’ve clicked through to their shopping cart. Just adding an item to the cart doesn’t mean you’ve closed the deal.
And in the end, 75.6% people put items in their online shopping cart only to leave it without completing their purchase.
But all’s not lost. This is precisely where a well-timed abandoned cart email comes into play – and it’s one of the most effective kinds of email you can send.
SalesCycle reports that abandoned cart emails average a 46.1% open rate, a 13.3% click rate, and $5.64 per email in extra revenue.
An effective abandoned cart email will have the following:
- Compelling subject line (“You Forgot Something,” “Your Items are Waiting,” etc.)
- The item from the cart
- A strong CTA
And usually, an added incentive like free shipping is included to sweeten the deal.
Ecommerce Optimization Tip 6: Optimize the Checkout Process
Of course, you can avoid having to send the abandoned cart email if you don’t let the customer get away in the first place.
One of the best ways to do that is to make the checkout process as easy as possible. After all, the less work the customer has to do, the more likely they are to go through with the sale.
The first thing you want to do is make sure your customer feels that their information is safe. You can do this by including trust marks on your site. A study found that these are important for 76% of web users, and a similar number have failed to purchase items when they didn’t recognize the logos.
Next, always offer multiple payment options, and show them clearly. Not everyone is comfortable giving up their credit card information, so setting up payment through Paypal, Google Checkout, etc. may help with conversions.
And always ask the user to fill in as few fields as possible. You don’t really need to know their gender, job, or hobbies, so don’t ask.
Along the same lines, don’t ask for duplicate information. For example, always include an option to use the same shipping address as billing address, rather than making them fill in the same information twice.
A few more tips:
- Pre-fill information like city and state based on the customer’s zip code
- Mark fields that are mandatory
- Include a guest checkout option for those unwilling to register an account – a recent Econsultancy / Toluna study found that 25.6% of online consumers would abandon a purchase if they were forced to register first
Bonus tip: try including an option to sign-up for your newsletters if you want to add to your email list.
Ecommerce Optimization Tip 7: Optimize Your Design and User Experience
One thing that’s guaranteed to kill your conversions? A slow load time.
In fact, you only have about two seconds to work with; for every second after that you stand to lose up to 10% of your visitors.
That means in seven seconds, half of your customers are already gone. It’s a harsh reality, but one you can’t afford to ignore.
Your first job is to check you load speed with Google’s Page Load Tool. If you don’t pass the test, try speeding up your pages by:
- Enabling compression
- Reducing redirects
- Optimizing images (they shouldn’t be any larger than they need to be)
Another thing that will help both customers and your SERP rankings? Always using unique descriptions.
If you sell items in your store that are shipped from manufacturers, never use the descriptions that come with them. Because these products are distributed widely, you could end up with the same descriptions as every other ecommerce store the item is shipped to.
Clearly, this won’t do you any favors in terms of setting you apart from the competition. Additionally, it will just signal more duplicate and unoriginal content to search engines.
So avoid the problem by writing your own product descriptions – for everything.
Keep in mind that this is where you want to expand on the benefits and unique characteristics of the product. Make sure your description addresses the following:
- Is the information fully filled out?
- Does the description address customer’s major pain points?
- Is the description optimized for keywords?
- Does it address the product’s most important features?
- Is it unique?
Ecommerce Optimization Tip 8: Use Video to Boost Sales
Want to take your product descriptions to the next level? Try incorporating video.
Conversion rates have a tendency to skyrocket when video’s involved; in fact, 73% more visitors who watch product videos will buy.
Why is it so effective? Because video accomplishes what text can’t. It helps people better understand your product, and 71% of consumers think video explains the product better.
Because of the ability to see the product in action, it gives customers more confidence when buying.
It also doesn’t hurt that Google happens to love video, and having them on your site increases your chance of ranking.
To really step up your game, consider repurposing your user-generated content into product videos with tools like Stackla.
Using it, you can set your product pages to pull relevant images and videos from your customers of the product being worn or used by them. Read more about how it can be used for here.
This idea of social commerce may prove even better than company-produced product videos, as it comes from actual customers and will therefore act as social proof. They show your product in real life – no fancy promo shoots – and will up the trust factor.
And more trust = more sales.
Start Your Ecommerce Optimization Now
No matter how successful your ecommerce site is, you should always be on the lookout for new ways to increase conversions.
Hopefully, you found a few new tricks to try today.