Are you making it easy for consumers to make buying decisions and check out? Here’s our thoughts on how to remove any obstacles and increase sales on your e-commerce site.
More and more consumers are considering the social, environmental and ecological impact of their purchases and today, more than ever they are looking for a seamless experience from the brand.
As a result, successful e-commerce outcomes are shaped by understanding what consumers want, how they want it and by making the shopping experience easy for consumers to make a decision and check out.
This is how to increase sales to an e-commerce site.
The concept of seamless shopping is all about making something easy to do. Seamless online experiences should apply to all websites, but it’s particularly critical for e-commerce sites.
Navigation is a reference to the menu used to help users find and buy products when and how they want. In this instance, the best approach is to make sure as much of the content is available by linking to the top-level categories from the menu.
For an especially large e-commerce site, this may mean linking to top-level categories that are several layers deep in the hierarchical structure. It’s important to focus on getting users to the most popular top-level categories and allowing them to take one more click to their desired destination.
If a category isn’t that popular it’s okay to only link to the parent category of the less popular category.
Home > Category A > Subcategory B > Subcategory C
Subcategory B is the parent category to Subcategory C. So if subcategory C isn’t especially popular then it’s fine to link to Subcategory B and let people drill down.
You aim to make it easy for people to find and buy the products they want. Remember the job of the menu is to help users go to the most popular sections of a website.
Conclusively, every category or page on a website stands or falls by how many links point to those inner pages. This is often the key to getting pages ranked, so the focus is on what a user sees making it easy for them – seamless.
Always list products by their popularity, as opposed to their price points as this makes it easy for the users to find and purchase what they want. By listing products on the category pages by order of popularity you ensure that buying products on the site is easy for the majority of people.
Google’s quality raters guidelines define a high-quality e-commerce page as one that allows users to browse and compare products and while the ‘quality raters’ guide is not an indication of what is inside of Google’s algorithm, it does give you an idea of what kinds of sites Google views as desirable, and the kinds of sites it wants to aspire to rank.
Consumers like to research the features and know the specs of the products being considered, both online and offline. Accommodating consumers to help them with their research and to compare products in a manner they are inclined to do, fits into the concept of creating a seamless shopping experience.
Reviews can help make the decision-making process easy. So you should always encourage users to return and leave reviews. Whatever you can do to encourage users to leave reviews will result in a win for you and shoppers.
In-fact by showing reviews it can boost the conversion rate by up to 270%, according to a research study undertaken by the Spiegel Research Center at Northwestern University.
The research also showed that online reviews were most important for high priced purchases, the more expensive a product the riskier the choice perceived to be by the consumer. They want to ensure that they make the correct choice, so online reviews go a long way to increasing conversion rates for higher-priced products.
Five-star perfect ratings, tended to generate sceptical feelings while reviews that scored less than five stars were perceived to be more trustworthy. Badges that indicated a reviewer is a “verified buyer” tended to increase trust in the review and increase conversions.
The factors for increasing sales and decreasing returns is exciting, researchers at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania recently published research that examined how offline interactions drove sales and conversions.
Among the many things discovered was that a ‘personal’ type of online presence tended to cultivate better customers – they referred to this as turbocharging the customer.
Likewise, they discovered that traditional offline businesses that also delivered a personal interaction with a consumer tended to cultivate better customers who in turn purchased most often, returned to the store more often and returned less merchandise.
The idea of customer turbocharging may be something to explore, particularly for more expensive purchases, as the more personal touch may be ideal in helping a site convert more visitors and kick-start positive word of mouth referrals.
Because consumers jump from laptop to mobile, it can be easy to disconnect on how the user experience is created where the desktop version might seem to receive more attention.
The Mobile Moxie Page-Oscope tool is very useful for testing web pages across a wide range of simulated devices to diagnose how they function, it’s also a useful tool for revealing where a webpage can be improved upon to generate more sales.
The purpose of seamless e-commerce and good user experience is all about sales and removing the obstacles that prevent conversions is a way to increase sales.
Each discussion about how to structure the site navigation, how to create the best mobile shopping experience, or how to increase trust is a conversation all about conversions. When considering what should be done about a particular website issue, looking at it from the perspective of what can be done in a way to increase conversions will result in useful answers.
The consumer expectations we have touched here aren’t necessarily new, consumers have always wanted a bespoke experience and great service from a brand, but now this has been accelerated through the rapid rise in technology. Today’s consumers are now more connected and always looking for conversation and seamless brand experiences.