The eCommerce industry is growing at a rapid pace which is creating opportunities that didn’t exist before. Brands are launching and growing to millions of dollars of revenue in a short time. In some cases, they reach heady milestones in months.
With this increase in opportunity and proliferation of brands, there’s also an increase in competition. Consumers who have more choices are less forgiving of any mistake you make. It’s easier than ever to start a beautifully designed eCommerce store but harder to attract customers. The right eCommerce optimization strategies are no longer optional.
In this guide, you’ll get a first-hand look at different strategies you can employ. You’ll also learn when and how to use them for maximum impact so you can remain competitive in a growing industry.
1. Product Imagery
The right product imagery is an essential part of optimizing your eCommerce store. People are unable to hold, smell, or otherwise interact with a physical product before buying it online. If your imagery doesn’t convey the right information then you’re at a disadvantage.
Everyone seems to know on some level that imagery is important but it’s more than just taking pictures against a white background. Consider using images of the item on the standard background so people can understand how it looks but also include images on models or in its natural setting.
With this understanding, a shirt would be on a model while a knife would be in a kitchen. In addition to this, you can take images of your products being used by real customers. For example, you can pair one of your blouses with different bottoms like skirts, jeans, and pants to illustrate its versatility.
Videos that share the lifestyle associated with a product also work wonders for conversions. Make a short video that shows the kind of people that buy your product and how they use it on a daily basis. The video doesn’t have to be long – 60 seconds or less is enough.
A final suggestion is to add a zoom and rotate function to the product image. The zoom will allow people to get a better idea of the materials and minute details of the product. The 360-degree rotation will let them view the product from different angles.
Effective product descriptions build a narrative of what the product is, who it’s for, and why it exists.
2. Product descriptions
Product descriptions are often created as an afterthought because an image commands most of the attention. When people are satisfied with what a product looks like, they’ll focus on the description. Of course, how much emphasis is placed on the product image varies based on the type of product you sell. It’s a mistake to downplay the description because that’s where people will get the information they need to justify a final decision.
This is where you discuss things like the dimensions, the weight, or even describe the texture of the product. Beyond the physical specs of an item, effective product descriptions build a narrative of what the product is, who it’s for, and why it even exists. It gets people excited and they’re often willing to pay a premium if they relate to this narrative.
Brands like Patagonia have mastered this narrative art. Its clothing isn’t just something to keep you warm. Each piece has been meticulously crafted from cruelty-free raw materials, helps support various charities, and carries the hopes of a generation. The overall company branding helps with this, but it’s the product description that drives these points home. If you’d like to take advantage of the narrative product description style, consider using a tool like SITE123 or Square Online. These tools don’t limit you to an arbitrary product description length.
Up to 30% of Amazon’s revenue comes from targeted recommendations.
3. Targeted recommendations
Most people have used Amazon to buy or at least search for a product. The website isn’t particularly good looking but it does what most eCommerce store owners can only dream of. It converts a huge number of visitors into customers. This is due in part to its brand, but up to 30% of its revenue comes from targeted recommendations.
These recommendations are within the boxes labeled ‘people also viewed’ or ‘frequently bought together’ Effective product recommendations don’t need to use complicated tracking to produce the desired action. In fact, the best product recommendations are built between natural synergies in products.
If someone is looking at an MP3 player, recommending headphones is natural. If they’re looking at a clutch bag then recommending a matching bracelet makes sense.
Start by identifying your most popular products. If you have a large catalog, focus on the top few items. Next, consider what kind of products people buy at the same time or that would pair naturally with the product someone is viewing. Group them together and repeat the process for all your popular items.
Once you have the groupings sorted out, create a ‘people also bought,’ ‘works well together,’ ‘customers also viewed,’ section on your product page. This will draw the attention of motivated buyers and funnel them to products that work well together. Your conversion rate will increase and so will your average order value. A tool like Bigcommerce will make this possible without additional effort.
Cart abandonment is estimated at as high as 70%.
4. Checkout pages
Some estimates put cart abandonment as high as 70%. That means well over half of the people that initiate the process of buying a product from you don’t complete it. That’s unheard of in physical retail but is the reality of eCommerce.
There are many reasons for cart abandonment, and some of them are out of your control. The good news is that many of the cart abandonment factors are within your control and can be mitigated with a well-designed checkout page. Here are a few recommendations to implement:
When someone buys from you for the first time they’re essentially testing out your service. They may never come back so forcing them to create an account creates a major obstacle. Instead of requiring them to create an account offer it as an option alongside guest checkout.
Oftentimes, people are interested in finding out how much everything will cost them including tax and shipping. That information is usually unavailable when there are multiple steps in the checkout process. They’ll go through the motions of checkout only to abandon the cart when the costs exceed their expectations. A single-page checkout shows the price of everything upfront so if it’s too expensive your visitor never initiates the checkout.
Visible trust seals and social proof
The internet is full of unscrupulous websites. People have learned to be wary and look out for certain things unconsciously. You can utilize this to your advantage by displaying trust seals like padlocks, the logo of your security provider, etc. right on the checkout page.
Additionally, you can show testimonials or reviews at the point of checkout. Try to include the faces of people leaving the review so it’s clear that it came from a real person. Together, these factors will ease some of the skepticism and give customers the confidence to complete their purchase.
Boost conversions instantly by showing when stock levels are running low.
5. Stock alerts call-outs
A simple and effective strategy to boost conversions almost instantly is to show when your stock levels are running low. If it’s an item they were previously on the fence about then it’ll be the nudge that pushes them to buy.
You can choose to show the exact number of items left in stock or you can show a general notification that you’re running low. It’s a good idea to test each approach to see which one gets you the best results. Make sure the notification is visible on your category pages and the product page. You can even create a separate section on category pages that highlight items that are almost out of stock to ensure people see them.
The eCommerce industry is growing rapidly and shows no obvious signs of slowing down. This is a good thing for brands that can optimize their websites in a way that appeals to visitors. In this guide, you’ve learned five effective ways to boost conversions every time someone lands on your eCommerce store.
Don’t try to implement them all at once. That may cause more harm than good. Instead, focus on the ones you think can have the most impact right now then slowly roll out the rest of the strategies mentioned here.