Streamline Your Ecommerce Website to Maximize Sales
Many ecommerce businesses are losing sales because of website usability issues. If a site is difficult to navigate or the ordering process is too complicated, many visitors will simply abandon their shopping cart or visit a competitor's website. Anyone managing an ecommerce site can improve its bounce rate and boost sales by making a few simple adjustments.
Simple Ways to Enhance the Shopping Experience
Web forms are a crucial aspect of customer interaction, so making them easy to fill in is a simple way to encourage more sales. Forms are not just an essential part of the checkout process (when a customer is ready to register), but also necessary for email opt-ins, downloads, and lead generation. Make forms simple and intuitive, and remove any unnecessary fields.
Using a breadcrumb trail to enhance navigation is standard practice for many ecommerce stores. If you have a huge selection of products, it's easy for visitors to get lost in the website, ultimately damaging sales. Consumers need to know where they are at every stage of their shopping experience. Including a breadcrumb trail will show users exactly where they are and where they have been.
Visitors to your ecommerce site will make a judgment about your company within a few seconds. Simple design mistakes will spoil your image and impact sales. Make sure colors, fonts, and heading sizes are consistent throughout your website. Showing you are serious about design also implies you are serious about looking after other issues that matter to the consumer.
Improve Sales by Providing Clarity and Guidance
Studies have shown that providing a reliable on-site search box can have a dramatic impact on sales. As well as improving website usability, search results will often give consumers exposure to additional products. Consider investing in a reputable site-search program with extra features to improve the shopping experience and encourage sales.
Contact information should be clearly visible on every page and at every step of the checkout process. Displaying your customer service telephone number and other contact details increases consumer confidence and can have a positive impact on sales. Include a "Help" link to a separate page where customers can send an email, or include an FAQ section to answer the most common questions.
Make it easy for people to find exactly what they're looking for with intuitive navigational links and clear product categories. Additionally, on every product page display the product name, price, and purchase button above the fold (before users have to scroll down). With regular testing, you can determine the best positions for action buttons, promotional headlines, internal links, and other important content elements.
Including related products next to searched items will not only improve the shopping experience for consumers, it should ultimately improve sales. People like to know what other people are buying, and will often make impulse purchases based on what they see on the page.
Manage Website Performance and Accessibility
Every ecommerce website needs to be checked regularly for functional errors during site interaction and navigation. Having friends or colleagues test out your purchasing process can alert you to issues that need addressing. Feedback from customers is also crucial to understanding how practical, intuitive, and enjoyable your site actually is. Once you have this knowledge, make the necessary changes.
Remember to cater for users in the minority. Many ecommerce stores still fail to address accessibility issues. With around five to ten percent of internet users being blind or partially-sighted, it doesn't make good business sense to ignore this valuable customer base. How about users with mobile devices, tablets, or games consoles? Improving website accessibility can engage a wider audience which should lead to more sales.
Take a look at any successful ecommerce store and you'll notice a consistent site design that is aimed at making the experience for the shopper enjoyable and uncomplicated. It's also important to remember that every ecommerce store is unique, so regular usability testing is crucial for long-term success. Following these best practices should not only make your ecommerce website more user-friendly, but also boost your sales power by keeping visitors happy and customers loyal.