Ecommerce websites have a multitude of small factors that can both positively and negatively affect conversions. To compete, you need to make sure you do everything little thing possible to increase your conversion rates. Even small, seemingly minute factors can add up to big sales as your business scales and grows. Because your revenue scales with your growth by means of your conversion rate, you need to be sure that you implement the following techniques to optimize and maximize your sales potential.
1. Keep a Tidy Navigation Bar
On ecommerce websites, accessibility and navigation are everything. But remember, Internet shoppers today are more impatient than any buyers in history. We live in a data driven world, and the advent of the Internet and mobile technologies have made us accustomed to having whatever we want at our fingertips in the blink of an eye.
Online shoppers follow the path of least resistance, and if you force them to laboriously browse through your site to find the product they are searching for, you’re going to miss out on a few sales. Poor navigation is one of the main factors that contributes to a high bounce rate. Don’t try to do anything too fancy or odd because it could be a massive turn-off to potential buyers. Instead, ensure that your navigation bar is constantly visible at the top of the page or on the left-hand side. Take a leaf out of Amazon’s book – they are the leading online ecommerce platform, after all.
2. Offer Related Products
You’ll also notice that Amazon does a fantastic job of recommending related items based on a user’s search history. For example, if I was browsing the Kindle portion of the website and I recently purchased Cujo by Stephen King, they might very well recommend The Shining or other related works.
There are two reasons why this is an effective strategy. First of all, it offers users a customized user experience by adapting the web content to the user’s preferences, needs, and desires. Secondly, there is a fraction of online shoppers who make impulse buys. If you don’t offer them related items they would most likely be inclined to purchase, you are missing out on additional sales.
3. Make Famous Partners, Brands, and Affiliates Easy to See
One problem a lot of ecommerce sites have is bolstering their credibility to set themselves apart from other ecommerce websites. If visitors to your site don’t trust you, they are going to be far less inclined to make a purchase. The good news is that there is a shortcut to building credibility if you partner with big names or have been featured in publications or magazines.
This is your chance to brag a little bit, and you can essentially draw on the credibility of other successful organizations. It’s not the end-all-be-all solution to a low conversion rate, but it will certainly inspire more trust with your visitors and cause them to make more purchases.
This includes badge icons that you can use from service providers. For example, a lot of the leading Internet security software services have badges they offer clients to post on their site. On the one hand, the software firm gets free promotion. On the other hand, visitors will trust your site more and believe it to be safe, secure, and credible.
4. Make the Search Bar Easily Accessible
My favorite tip. Nothing is more irritating on an ecommerce site than looking for the search bar. Even if you have an accessible navigation bar, some people just want to type in the name of their product instead of drilling down through all the different categories. To ensure that visitors to your site don’t become needlessly irritated, make sure that the search bar is persistent, easily seen, and readily available.
Think about it - someone that's on your site and actively searching for something (probably a product) is much more likely to purchase. In fact, I've seen drastic differences in conversion rates from visitors that use the search bar vs. those that don't. If your search bar is hidden, you're missing out on easy sales!
5. Use Carousels Responsibly
Carousels that flip through different products, promotions, and savings opportunities are a great way to offer more products – to a certain extent, at least. Please, don’t overuse them. Some people even have the notion that they annoy users and waste space that could better used for other types of promotion mechanisms. Whether that’s true or not, remember to use them responsibly and exercise discretion. Too much of a good thing can annoy visitors to your site and ultimately make them shy away from making a purchase.
6. Advertise Shipping Promotions
After finding that the product you were looking for is on sale, most people feel elated – until it comes time to check out and they notice the shipping charges. To help promote more purchases, a lot of ecommerce sites offer free shipping. If that’s the case with your site, your missing out on a lot of conversions if you don’t advertise that information to visitors. Believe it or not, the leading reason that people abandon their purchase when it comes to checkout is because of shipping charges. How many sales have you lost because an online shopper didn’t know you offered free shipping?