Running a shopping business is not just all about selling things online. It’s also about creating the shopping experience that allows your customers to have as smooth and pain-free an experience as possible. There are a few different disciplines you need to master to create a truly blissful shopping experience. However, once you do, you’re going to find it much easier to keep hold of your customers, and lead them towards even more sales, growing your profits.
Leading them to the products they want
The customer journey through your store begins outside the store. How do they find you and how do they find the products that they’re looking for? Your marketing practices can play a huge role in this. For instance, your advertisements and how you position your pages on search engines. Good SEO for eCommerce isn’t just about leading them to your store but making sure they get to the precise page that they want to. This might include making great use of category keywords and category pages, but you should also look at creating specific landing pages for the most popular products on the store. When they click a link leading to a landing page, they’re immediately in the right place, instead of having to look a little further for what they want.
Lend a helping hand
No matter how smooth and how easy you make the journey through your website with the following tips, there are always going to be customers that have issues. They might have trouble finding a certain product they’re looking for, navigating the site, or parsing the information that you provide. Whatever the case, if you can’t help them, it’s likely to lead to a higher bounce rate and a lost customer. Live chat software plugins that you can host on your website can allow them to get in touch with a rep that can help them find what they need or, in some cases, a sophisticated AI that might be almost indistinguishable from a person.
Streamline the site
If you’re looking to create or redesign your online store from scratch, then you should make sure that you’re not just using any website builder to do it. Ecommerce navigation requires a little more forethought and planning, and these can be baked into the specific tools that you need, like Jamstack eCommerce site makers. The same goes for if you’re choosing a team to build the site for you. Make sure you’re using the tools and teams that are specialized in eCommerce website design so you can avoid the mistakes that can lead many of your visitors to get lost, to give up, and to never become customers in the first place.
Use plenty of calls to action
Don’t be afraid to take your visitors by the hand and tell them what to do. If you happen to tell them something that aligns with their interests already, then they’re more likely to follow along. Calls to action have long been proven to be effective, but they work differently in eCommerce than they might work in different settings. For instance, you don’t just place them at the end of content as you might with a blog. Leading with an instant call to action above the fold of the website can make the purpose of the site clear and, should it match what they’re after, lead ot a much quicker sale.
Manage your load times as best as possible
One of the issues that eCommerce pages run into often is slow loading times. This is often because they are loaded with high-quality images for product and category pages. You don’t want to get rid of the images showing off your products, so you can instead look at trimming down the code of the page and arranging it so that not all assets have to load at once. For instance, you can make use of image carousels that don’t fully load images until the customer is browsing through them.
Make searching easier
Effective navigation is a lynchpin of good eCommerce design. How your customers search for the products they’re looking for is a key to this. You shouldn’t simply leave it up to them to type in the right commands, however. Using search functions that allow them to narrow their options by as many criteria as possible, including category, brand, size, material, price, and more can help you get many more sales. You ensure that customers are able to find the products that they’re most likely to buy, rather than forcing them to browse through products with no relevance ot them.
Signpost the buying process
If you’re buying a product, how many steps does it take you to complete the process? Removing steps where possible can help streamline things a bit, but that’s not always possible. However, you can make the experience of checking out feel a lot shorter by showing your visitors precisely how many steps they have to take before they’re done. This breadcrumb navigation can at least make sure that customers aren’t wondering how long until they’re done, thus reducing your rate of shopping cart abandonment.
Pepper user-generated content through the site
User-generated content is quickly becoming a powerful force in the world of e-Commerce. This is not only true in advertising, but also in the website itself. Having plugins that showcase social media campaigns such as popular hashtags with user-generated content you have inspired or even creating platforms that display user-generated content that customers consent to sharing can make your products seem a lot more popular, increasing the perception of the brand and creating the powerful positive social proof that can be a very convincing aspect of the web site’s design, indeed.
Make sure that no matter what decisions you make when it comes to your online store, you always keep the customer journey in mind first and foremost. The tips above can help you get started, but this mindset should affect every facet of your online store, so be thorough.