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E-Commerce Optimization

Small to Medium-sized online stores are mostly focused on improving the e-commerce software and the search engine optimization. Very important indeed, but the real money is earned when you optimize your conversion!

What is the first step to a higher conversion? Don’t see the traffic on your online store just like “traffic”, but as real human visitors. When these people visit your online store they interact with it on many points. Every word and every pixel conveys something to the visitor and makes them form an image of your online store. The image that the customer has from your online store ultimately decides whether they buy from you or from your competitor. conversion-funnel

User Experience

Although this section is called “conversion optimization” I could just as well have called it “User Experience” – because that is what it is about in the end. You want a higher conversion, but for that you need to improve the “feeling” the user has about your online store. I am convinced of the fact that the above is one of the most important lessons to sell more. It is not only about the conversion percentage, that is just a number. It is about improving the user experience. When you really get that, improving your online store becomes much easier!

Why optimizing the user experience is relatively easy

Most online stores are simply built by matching the right technology with a beautiful design. The outcome is, however, only an average user experience. Conversion optimization is often neglected and left to be dealt with at a later stage. The fact that conversion optimization is not taken up from the start is not strange. When starting an online store you have to do so many things you often simply don’t have the time to work on conversion optimization. Sometimes it also the case that multiple experts are collaborating, each working in there own specialization, but forgetting about the total user experience.

Split tests are not necessary

You don’t have to execute complex split tests to improve the experience. Of course, a green order button may work better than a blue one but there are dozens of things that are more easy and simple to improve. Just by giving it a good analysis and paying attention to the details! To find out what the total user experience of your online store is, it is wise to break it up in a number of aspects. Pose yourself the following questions:

  • What is the direct impression visitors get when visiting your online store?
  • What do visitors get to see when they are looking for something on your website?
  • What do visitors get in their inbox when subscribing, request their (forgotten) password or make an order?
  • What does a visitor see on the product page when a product is out of stock?
  • What happens when a visitor accidentaly enters an invalid e-mail address?
  • How much information did the visitor have to enter before placing an order?
  • What does the online store do to gain the trust of a visitor?
  • What does the online store do to inform the customer about the exact shipping times?

There are thousands of possible questions that can make or break your online store. Good news: In this section I address more than a hundred topics to improve you user experience! I want to emphasize the way I put the last two questions: “What does the online store do to…” You maybe know what you do, you may be reliable and have a good knowledge of the products you sell -but what counts is what the online store conveys to its visitors.

What is a good conversion percentage?

Unfortunately the conversion percentage is different for every niche. Some niches have a higher conversion percentage than others. A site selling expensive swimming pools will have a lower conversion percentages than an online store selling books. It is good to know what the conversion percentage is of your direct competitors. You should always make sure that yours is higher. This allows you to always spend just that bit more on advertisements than your competitor. To indicate something about online stores in general:

  • 1%: You have got a lot of work to do.
  • 2%: You are already doing a reasonbly good job, but probably there are competitors who are doing better
  • 3%: You are probably part of the top. Getting more visitors is perhaps easier than improving your conversion.
  • 4%: Yeah! You are part of the happy few online stores with such a high conversion percentage!

Contact Moments

Besides the visible pages in your online store there are many more contact moments with your visitor. Think of e-mails, notifications, thank you messages, metatags, etc Continue Reading…

Know Your Customers

As e-commerce entrepreneur you should find out as much about your customers as possible. Not out of curiosity but to target your marketing. By mapping your target group and your customer base you can improve your service and sell more. Continue Reading…

Loading Time

People shop online because it is easy and fast. Therefore you should make sure your online store IS easy and fast! Continue Reading…

Optimize All Pages

The “about us”, “terms and conditions”, “contact” and “FAQ” pages are normally not visited that often. But when a potential buyer does takes the time to look at one of these pages he is probably already far in the process of considering a purchase. Continue Reading…

Optimize Navigation

Most visitors visiting your online store are in a rush. When they can’t directly find the information they are looking for via the search box, there is a big chance they will directly leave your online store, as quickly as they came. Continue Reading…

Optimize Home Page

The home page is the page which gets the most page views of your online store. It is also the most important landing page. Continue Reading…

Product Page

The product page should be an excellent showcase of every product. By using photos, videos, descriptions and extra tools you can convince the visitor to buy this product from your online store. Continue Reading…

Retargeting

With retargeting you try to convince the visitor once more to buy in your online store. You can do this by sending them an e-mail or by chasing them with advertisements on the internet. Continue Reading…

Product Page

The product page should be an excellent showcase of every product. By using photos, videos, descriptions and extra tools you can convince the visitor to buy this product from your online store. Continue Reading…

Search Box

When the visitor already exactly knows what s/he is looking for s/he will use the search box to directly find the product. When the search box doesn’t work well enough, this will definitely cause damage to your online store. You will generate fewer sales. Continue Reading…

Shipping and Returns

The way you approach shipping costs of products on your website is key to succesfully running your online store. The amount of deserted shopping carts is closely interrelated with wether you do or do not invoice shipping costs and how clear you state this on your website. Continue Reading…

Shopping Cart and Check Out

Visitors are most vulnerable during checkout. Desserted shopping carts are a big problem for every online store. Effective use of texts, pictures and logos is necessary to take away fears and doubts of potential clients.Continue Reading…

Trust

Visitors always have a psychological barrier when visiting your online store. The aim of optimizing your online store is to take away all possible objections visitors may have against buying something. You want the visitor to become inspired and full of trust when visiting. With each new page they open and every action they undertake you have a new opportunity to gain more trust.Continue Reading…

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