If you’re a retailer chances are that your website will be the first point of call after someone has heard about your brand. But are you maximising the opportunity to convert them into a customer once they get there? When a potential customer has entered your site there are 5 key areas that have a huge influence on buying decisions, and will determine whether they end their visit with a purchase. Here’s a quick run-down.
1. Site Navigation - Can they find what they are looking for?
It’s important to keep your navigation area simple so people can easily find what they are looking for, but your navigation also needs to include search options that can drill down to specifics if a customer wants to. This way you can cater for the visitor who is simply browsing with no intent, but also capture the opportunity from a visitor who has a clear product in mind, and wants to find it quickly!
2. Product Images – Strike a pose!
In ecommerce, your product images act as your main advert to a customer. That’s why it’s vital these are high quality, and demonstrate the product as it really is. False expectations will only lead to returns, and bad quality images will undermine the credibility of your business. Your photography can also be used to inject a little more brand personality into your website, helping to tell your brand story along with your content.
As a general guide, the most effective product images are those that place the product within 80% of the frame. Customers also need to see the scale of certain items to avoid setting unrealistic expectations, so try to place products in real-life situations if you think the true size of the item could be misinterpreted.
3. Product Copy – Your virtual salesperson
If your images are your advert, then your on-site product copy is your virtual salesperson. Treat the copy you provide for each product like the sales-pitch you would give in real life. The description needs to match the photo, clearly demonstrate the function and benefits of the product and be really persuasive. Your copy should speak to your customer in the way they want to be spoken to, and about the things they value.
So, rather than beginning the product copy for a kitchen blender with detailed specifications about blade size and cord reach, open with a persuasive paragraph mentioning its ease-of use, lightweight design and super-fast blend speed to make blitzing soups and smoothies a breeze. Optimising your content for SEO purposes is important, but make sure it remains appealing for actual human-beings as well as a search engine.
4. The Shopping Basket – Always make it visible
Consumers want to know exactly how much they will be spending on your site and will usually come with a budget in mind. The best way to encourage purchases is to show how their total is adding up. For this reason, the basket icon and total amount needs to be visible at all times during the customer’s journey, ideally in the top right hand corner so it is always easy to find.
5. Guest Checkout – The easy way to pay
Guest checkout is now a desirable function for most online shoppers, and a recent Econsultancy article has shown that it is actually becoming best-practice amongst larger retailers.
Don’t miss out on a sale by not offering this. The hardest part is funnelling a customer through to the checkout process, and making them fill in a long, time-consuming registration form is only going to block their purchase route or put them off a sale altogether. A guest checkout still captures an email address, and gives the opportunity for a customer to create a full account at a later stage, but they make it much faster for a customer to place their final order.
Optimising your site is all about making it quicker and easier for a visitor to get what they want, and ultimately, the easier your site is to shop on, the better conversion rate you will achieve. Whilst you will never be able to convert every visitor, focusing on these 5 areas will definitely help to improve the overall user experience, and increase your conversion rate as a result.