14 Of our favourite tips and tricks for an e-commerce website
Running an e-commerce website these days means not having to learn as you go or even by trial and error. Information on ways to improve your online venture is widely available and there is a host of things you could do to enable your e-commerce site to function better, tricks of the trade, as it were. Many of them are not huge shifts or changes at all, but little fine tunes that go a long way in the e-commerce environment. Listed here are a few of our favourites.
1. Show related products
In case the product that a customer is viewing on your page is not the right one, make sure to show them other products closely related or similar to the one on offer. This can be done by showing related products at the end of the product page.
2. Learn to upsell and cross-sell
To upsell is to encourage a customer to purchase a product similar to the one he or she has selected, but which has a higher selling price or a higher margin. Cross-selling is when you encourage a shopper to buy products that complement the product they have purchased or intend to purchase. Missing the opportunity of providing an upselling option or providing a variety of goods that might appeal to an existing customer, is essentially a missed sale. Often online retailers can improve upsells and cross-sells without any change in software. It just takes a bit of research.
3. Make your page more visible on Google
You can make your page rank well on Google if you produce good content or have a notable brand. Google’s algorithms have advanced to the point where they reward sites that produce good and helpful content, even if these sites are not doing much optimisation. The technical side of SEO’s just means making sure your website is quick and easy to use, and available on mobile.
4. Use good quality imagery
Especially in the online environment, photographs help sell products to shoppers who do not have the opportunity to touch or feel the product before deciding to purchase. Good photography showcases an item in detail and inspires a customer to click through to view more. Often, it is best to do your own photography. Ideally, your product pages should use both model and pack photographs of the product.
When it is important to establish the size, be sure to have something in the shot that provides scale to the product. If you are selling rare items or used products, use a photograph of the actual item to enable the selling process. Use an image zoom feature so customers can view the product up close while keeping the page design clear and neat. The use of image compression tools allow you to optimise how customers experience your site across devices. This will also increase the speed of your site.
5. Have closing sales for slow-moving merchandise
Closing out ageing inventory is as important to online ventures as it is to traditional stores. The process of a closeout sale usually doesn’t take very long, but it can leave you with extra cash and an exciting opportunity to stock new, faster-selling items.
6. Write clear and complete product descriptions
When providing product descriptions, make sure they are clear, detailed and descriptive. They also need to fit the detail and inspirational qualities of the photograph it accompanies. Make sure that product descriptions answer the basic questions regarding the item.
7. Highlight the price and buy buttons
The buy button needs to be the most visible thing on the page. Make sure it is near the top, just below the price and product title. This is convention, so users are already used to it. Whatever the layout, you should always make sure that the buy button is the clearest call to action.
8. Include delivery, returns and refund information
Make sure to have information on delivery, returns and refunds on the product page. This can be summarised to save space (but always include links to a comprehensive information page).
9. Show availability
Indicate stock availability as early on in the buying process as possible. For the product pages, this means making it obvious which variants are available. Do not risk annoying customers who have to click through several options to choose a size before finding it is out of stock.
10. Add live chat to your e-commerce site
Live chat creates a platform for customers to reach you if they have questions or concerns in the decision-making phase of online buying. This could very well improve the customer service experience available from your website.
11. Add a phone number
As with live chat, the purpose of adding a phone number to your e-commerce site is to connect with your customers.
12. Take the time to proofread your site
Taking just a few minutes to proofread your website, you can eliminate mistakes and/or price discrepancies before making them public. It may also be necessary to remove your site from other sites or search engines to make sure that customers see what you expect them to see.
Always access your site following the pathway that a consumer will, which means via Google or other search engines. It may be that everything works when you look at it from inside the website, but could be faulty when accessed via a regular search engine.
13. Offer free shipping
If your business is not yet offering a free shipping option, you need to seriously consider adding one. Understanding that, while you will be giving away a bit off your profit margin, your free shipping service will result in more sales overall.
14. Send thank you cards
There is nothing as sincere as a thank you note sent via the mail. It costs virtually nothing, but makes your customers feel appreciated and valued. An e-mail might have the same sentiments, but the added perceived effort provides a personal touch that is sure to impress your customers.
For further reading on advice for your e-commerce website, click here.
Realm Digital. We imagine then build.
Whether you are starting up or running an existing e-commerce website, get in touch. We would love to discuss the many exciting possibilities available to you. More than just a digital transformation, let us assist you in shaping your e-commerce website to suit your unique style and specific business needs, every step of the way.